The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix concluded just under two weeks ago. After the race, I asked for your opinion on the BBC and Sky Sports Formula 1 programming this season. The response from readers have been fantastic, with 35 comments in total, a lot of them in depth, making for interesting reading.
The main conversation that dominated throughout was the improvement of Sky Sports F1’s coverage compared to 2013. Whilst there are one or two people who are not yet happy with the coverage, on the whole, things do seem to be changing.
The Sky team work together much better now than they did in there first season. It’s a well oiled machine now and for sure they have delivered on what they promised at the outset, by giving it the full Sky Sports treatment. Yes it may be expensive but it’s worth it in my opinion. – Mick
Once again Sky, well better coverage and longer builds than the BBC has, their graphics are mind blowing and their features are fantastic. – RubbishMonkey2014
Jamie praises Sky’s coverage, however says that the punditry does come across as “a bunch of middle aged men in suits having a chat.” I really like the point made by Elliot Smith, which would mirror ITV4’s British Touring Car Championship coverage if implemented:
Seeing as Sky have a dedicated channel I think, at least for the European races, they should have something like qualifying day live and race day live, where they are live from the start of FP3 through to the end of the GP3 race and then do the same on Sunday with GP3, GP2, get Porsche Supercup rights and show them, then have the F1 race. Also they really should have proper presenters for the GP2 and GP3 rather than just using the world feed.
With Sky’s coverage improving according to the majority of users that commented, the BBC’s coverage appears to be heading into reverse:
Despite having to pay for Sky F1 which still grates – I have given up on the BBC coverage completely. – C Williamson
The BBC is so bad now, losing some of their popular staff (most of them moved to Sky), plus the analysis is well behind compared to Sky’s analysis. – RubbishMonkey2014
Rob disagrees, but does believe that their coverage has dropped since Jake Humphrey left as presenter:
I have seen both Sky and the BBC coverage and will always choose the BBC. Okay, their coverage has dropped considerably from the Jake Humphrey days but it is still a lot better than Sky.
Another key subject was the commentary, however, there were clearly more negative comments about the BBC’s commentary compared with Sky:
Edwards gets worse and worse. It seems they don’t actually want to acknowledge that any of Sky’s presenters exist – Edwards’s tone when he found out Brundle was doing the podium interviews in Abu Dhabi; Coulthard saw Brundle coming on the grid walk in Abu Dhabi and went the long way around Hamilton’s car to avoid him; Edwards will go “oh, there’s [celebrity] in the [team] garage” for every single celebrity except Johnny Herbert or Damon Hil. – Rhys Benjamin
Also I have noticed that both the BBC and Sky commentary teams have started every single race with ‘Lights out and away we go…’ Is this now the only way to call the start of a motor race? I like a catchphrase as much as the next man but for me this isn’t even a particularly good one? – Lonestarstraits
An aspect of BBC’s coverage that has improved compared with last year is Suzi Perry’s presenting. James Rowe summarises the picture:
Regarding presenters, I think Suzi Perry has improved this year, I still don’t believe she is the best fit for the role but year-on-year, her rough edges have been smoothed out a touch.
Sky’s bias towards Lewis Hamilton was noted by readers such as f1picko, others said that this is not a Sky only issue:
If anything, I felt both were pro-Hamilton this season, which is annoying for someone like myself who wanted Rosberg to win. In Canada, Edwards shouted down the mic “ROSBERG GOES OFF AND HAMILTON LE—-oh, sorry, no he doesn’t.” – Rhys Benjamin
There were a few NBC related comments, all negative it has to be said. I’m going to be reviewing two of NBC’s F1 programming on this blog in the next month or so. I’ll end this with a comment that I completely agree with. “The dream team”, shall we call it.
Still hard to avoid the general conclusion that both channels have some excellent people / ideas and some dross and that if you put the two together it would be much better. – Richard
As always, the original post has a lot of detailed comments worth reading, the above is just a taster of what readers are talking about.