Brundle joined by Croft and Davidson at Sky

Television

Sebastian Vettel, Martin Brundle, Suzuka, 2011

Sebastian Vettel, Martin Brundle, Suzuka, 2011

David Croft and Martin Brundle will share commentary duties during Sky’s Formula 1 coverage in 2012.

Anthony Davidson will follow Croft from BBC Radio 5 Live to the satellite broadcaster and remain alongside his co-commentator in practice sessions next year.

Natalie Pinkham and Ted Kravitz will also move across from the BBC to Sky’s F1 coverage team.

The Grand Prix weekends will be hosted by Simon Lazenby and Kravitz will participate in an F1 magazine show hosted by Georgie Thompson.

Former ITV F1 host Steve Rider will also appear in the coverage, to “stage a series of big interviews with racing legends of the past and present for Sky Sports”.

F1 on television

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

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240 comments on Brundle joined by Croft and Davidson at Sky

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  1. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 7th December 2011, 9:52

    Sounds great! Can’t wait to stream it.

    • ajokay (@ajokay) said on 7th December 2011, 10:04

      Damn straight.

    • gatekiller (@gatekiller) said on 7th December 2011, 10:05

      Can’t wait to pirate it.

    • Superted666 (@superted666) said on 7th December 2011, 10:27

      Piracy is still a crime, i don’t think you can justify it just because you don’t like Sky…

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th December 2011, 10:28

      You can count me in on that at well @magnificent-geoffrey and @ajokay!

      • snowman (@snowman) said on 7th December 2011, 10:32

        :) Sky made me do it

        The cheapest Sky package for F1 for year is £360 with half the 20 races on BBC that means your paying for 10 races at £36 A RACE

        • Superted666 (@superted666) said on 7th December 2011, 10:50

          Okay, lets say i enjoy watching the BBC series ‘Sherlock Homes’ It was on last year and had 3 episodes. In order to watch it i would need to buy a TV license (£100ish?) and TV (£200 ish) and pay for the power. That would cost me over £100 per episode. I already have most of those but what if i didn’t? I get more use than just that one show!

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th December 2011, 10:59

            Well, @superted666, let me give you a tip. You can buy a DVD of that for a fraction of the amount :-P

            Seriously, I think the comparison between a TV series and a live event does not work her Ted. You would have to compare say, wanting to watch the Royal Wedding and broadcasting of the elections and F1

          • ajokay (@ajokay) said on 7th December 2011, 11:04

            I enjoyed watching the F1 on BBC. I paid £145 for the right to do so. It’s near enough the only thing I watched on TV, at least on the BBC anyway. But the BBC have halved their coverage, but I can’t half the fee. So I’m planning on not paying the fee at all next year. I’ll use my TV for playing games, watching DVDs, and streaming from the iPlayer and 4oD. Not my fault if i happen to stumble upon a justin.tv stream of motorsport every now and again next year.

          • Superted666 (@superted666) said on 7th December 2011, 11:30

            No it’s clearly not the same program category but it’s still a made for TV production with high costs for the producer, even if FOM provide the coverage.

          • Mouse_Nightshirt (@mouse_nightshirt) said on 7th December 2011, 12:23

            Doesn’t work for me even if i wanted to pay. I’m possibly moving in 8 months so I’m limited by the minimum contract.

          • nik (@nik) said on 7th December 2011, 14:27

            add in the house you need to watch it in and that brings it to almost £130,000 per episode. ridiculous.

          • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 7th December 2011, 19:24

            @nik now that is a brilliant comment!

          • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 7th December 2011, 20:12

            This reminds me of a Carl Sagan quote I read just yesterday. “To make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”

          • Mouse_Nightshirt (@mouse_nightshirt) said on 8th December 2011, 17:38

            @nik That raised a smile!

        • Rob B (@rob-b) said on 7th December 2011, 11:00

          It might be £360 for the year but with cashback deals if you look around.

          I got £100 M&S voucher, £100 cashback & £25 M&S voucher from quidco and then another £75 M&S voucher from being referred from a friend…

          I cancelled my lovefilm subscription and grabbed sky movies as well!

          • KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 7th December 2011, 14:07

            @ajokay
            the BBC have halved their coverage, but I can’t half the fee. So I’m planning on not paying the fee at all next year.

            I’m a Virgin Media customer, I don’t know whether I’ll be able to get the Sky channel as part of my subscription, but I’m not changing my service provider, as I get pretty much everything from Virgin (and therefore it works out cheaper).

            The BBC are still broadcasting all 20 races in 2012, just only 10 of them will be live… If you’ve decided that’s the reason to completely stop watching TV, then I can’t really see the point. It seems incredibly silly…

          • ajokay (@ajokay) said on 7th December 2011, 14:23

            @keeleyobsessed I don’t want to see half the races live with the best bits of the commentary team missing, I want to see all the races live with the best bits of the commentary team in-tact.

            So if I don’t want to do that, then there is no reason for me to pay the BBC their TV license fee. There’s plenty of other things you can do with a TV, and there’s plenty of ways to watch TV shows without paying the BBC their tax, wspecially when 97% of what’s on TV is not BBC content.

          • Mugambian President said on 8th December 2011, 6:12

            Luckily Africa seems to be best one has for a good F1’s 2012 coverage LOL, the change in broadcasting rights does/will not affect our budgets and F1 coverage in any way. F1 races are shown on Premium Bouquet on monopoly DSTV (our sort of Sky-TV) among more than 180 latest TV channels + Full English P. League + Espanol + Germany league and Italian all at Botswana Pula 570 p/month (57 BPounds per mounth). For F1 season one will end up paying 570 Pounds (10 months) but there is “so much more” you can watching besides F1 with all those channels: Cricket, NASCAR, Boxing etc. Tough guys, i feel for you

          • Mugambian President said on 8th December 2011, 6:17

            ***Luckily Africa seems the best place one can be to enjoy a good f1’s 2012 season**

        • cubejam (@cubejam) said on 9th December 2011, 0:56

          So you’re saying the only reason you would turn your tv on would be to watch F1…. Doubt it. I’ve had sky for almost 7 years now and there’s more than just one channel….

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 9th December 2011, 3:19

            And virtually every other programme people like me watch can be found on freeview. Including half the F1 races.

  2. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th December 2011, 9:56

    I’m disappointed there is no DC, but I think Sky have made some great choices here. I always found DC to be a younger version of Brundle; they had the same knowledge, but DC’s was more-recent. So while they could provide some great insight, there wasn’t too much different between them.

    I’m also disappointed the rumours of Nigel Mansell as Sky’s answer to eddie Jordan didn’t come true …

    • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 7th December 2011, 9:59

      Really? I find Nigel to be quite boring!

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th December 2011, 10:02

        Still better than Eddie Jordan. Jordan is like Nicolae Ceaușescu – sure, he might have gotten into his position by legitimate means, but that doesn’t mean he was sane.

        • wificats (@wificats) said on 7th December 2011, 10:16

          That is one of the most fantastic analogies I have ever heard. I found myself cringing every time that EJ opened his mouth, you just never knew what was going to come out: reasonable insight, or controversialist fabrication.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th December 2011, 10:51

            Thank you.

            For those of you who don’t understand this analogy, I chose it because Nicolae Ceaușescu was notorious for having some ideas that sounded good on paper, but were a disaster when introduced. He had a vision of a self-sufficient and prosperous Romania, so he encouraged large families – of eight or more – at the same time as he exported absolutely everything the country produced to pay off national debt. The net result was a devastating famine in the middle of an uncontrolled population boom. Ceaușescu claimed nothing was wrong and further retreated into fantasy by hiring people to paint the leaves on trees green before he arrived in a town. So while some of his ideas sounded nice, running a country just doesn’t work that way.

            The same goes for Eddie Jordan. Some of the things he says sound absolutely fantastic … but Formula 1 doesn’t work that way. When Murray Walker said something and was proven wrong almost straight away, it was endearing. When something happened and then Eddie Jordan contradicted it, it was just frustrating.

            But I do admit that I miss Jordan Grand Prix, if only for the sight of a bright yellow hornet zipping around the circuit.

        • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 7th December 2011, 10:24

          @prisoner-monkeys I find Jacques Clouseau to be a closer match to EJ. Having said that, Nigel has a very slow drawl that can be rather therapeutic – in a lullaby sense.

        • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 7th December 2011, 10:53

          @Prisoner-Monkeys But at least he’s entertaining and he’s not hurting anyone. I think he’s a valuable part of the line-up. He’s like the crazy one that they can always pick on and if you’re not laughing with him, you can laugh at him along with DC and Jake.

        • ididnt said on 8th December 2011, 7:57

          gosh – thanks PM – I did’t know who NC was…where would we be without your exceptional brain?

    • DVC (@dvc) said on 7th December 2011, 10:03

      I’ve found Brundle to be more balanced, less inclined to let his personal relationships with the drivers bias his commentating.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 7th December 2011, 10:13

        That’s pretty much why I disliked both Legard and Coulthard.

        Brundle is great. In fact, Sky is assembling quite a team. Looks like they are at least going to make a proper go of it.

        Sky has hit the jackpot, with the large number of British fans combined that it’s season by season means that they have secured a deep and long term supply of sheckles.

        I hate that it is so expensive. But at least part of it is right.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th December 2011, 10:22

          Brundle is great.

          He is indeed. Murray Walker was entertaining simply because he got so involved that he’d inevitably say something that was unintentionally hilarious (like the time he spelled “F1″ backwards, or when he announced that it was time to “stop the startwatch” – even typing this out now, I’m in stitches). But I find Brundle to be equally hilarious simply because he’s so dry and so quick. Like when he referred to Ted Kravitz as “Lenny” in Brazil, or when he described Lewis Hamilton’s gearbox seizing up as “sounding expensive”. It’s not laugh-out-loud hilarity, but I do find myself grinning at most of his comments the way I do an episode of “Buffy” or “Angel”.

          • Randy (@randy) said on 7th December 2011, 10:43

            DC has had his moments, too.

            My favourite was in China i think, when after a message to some driver saying “Alonso is behind, he’s on a fresher tyres, and he’s going to attack you” he said “That message could only have been scarier if it was delivered in the dark”.

            A bit sad to have him gone from the main show, though i’m sure he’ll still be somewhere around to give his input.

            But this is awesome news, a spoonfull of sweet in a barrel of bitter stuff (or however it’s said in english).

          • Mike (@mike) said on 7th December 2011, 11:09

            :D All I got was, PM watches Buffy O.o

            Seriously, I agree. Except for the Buffy part.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th December 2011, 11:11

            All I got was, PM watches Buffy

            I’ll watch anything with the name “Joss Whedon” on it.

      • Carlito's way said on 7th December 2011, 10:39

        I agree, I think DCs personal loyalties clouds his judgement a little bit sometimes and that comes through quite clearly on his commentary. Brundle is more balanced but with DC alongside him he kind of got into it a little bit too much on occasion too. Mind you still think Brundle is great!

      • GreeenWolf (@greeenwolf) said on 7th December 2011, 18:38

        Curiously I’ve found Brundle to be less balanced in places on Twitter, which begs the question of whether some of his balance was appealing to the BBC’s standpoint of neutrality. It should be interesting to see if as a result he’s a bit more outspoken next year or whether I’m just reading too far into 140 characters or less.

    • snowman (@snowman) said on 7th December 2011, 10:18

      I thought Brundle and DC were a bit too alike. With DC sharper and more recent out of the sport I’d say he would be very good along side someone more upbeat in a M Walker style commentary.

      Agree Jordan isn’t sane but if you can stand him being highly irritating sometimes he is tv gold other times.

    • sato113 (@sato113) said on 7th December 2011, 11:37

      If DC remains at the BBC, who will be the lead commentator next year? (presuming it’s not DC himself…)

      John Watson? Ben Edwards?

      • SVettel (@) said on 7th December 2011, 20:17

        Ben Edwards
        His BTCC commentary is just awesome

        • looking at the guys who will be presenting it, its typical sky sports glitter and no substance. Brundle and co will do a cracking job as ever but lanzeby and thomson??? really??? plastic fantastic springs to mind…….i can see lots of swooshing sound affects and 3d side bars and heck of a lot BS being thrown at us.

          Get someone of keith heuwin’s style to present it, someone with substance.

  3. Martin (@thelegendofmart) said on 7th December 2011, 9:57

    So where does that leave the BBC, they have lost all the decent people bar Coulthard.

    The BBC really got shafted in this ‘deal’.

    • gavmaclean (@gavmaclean) said on 7th December 2011, 10:01

      Totally.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th December 2011, 10:04

      The BBC really got shafted in this ‘deal’.

      They can hardly expect all their star commentators to stick around to do just half a season, can they?

      • Martin (@thelegendofmart) said on 7th December 2011, 10:08

        I don’t blame them for jumping a sinking ship but its a kick them while they’re down situation for the fans.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th December 2011, 10:15

          So you expect them to stay with the BBC and cover half a season out of loyalty to the fans? The BBC will still be broadcasting every race – they just won’t be showing every race live and in its entirety. No doubt the BBC will simply show extended highlights with commentary intact and maybe book-ended by some input from Coulthard. It’s not like the BBC are showing ten races and the other ten are completely inaccessible to you.

          • Martin (@thelegendofmart) said on 7th December 2011, 10:23

            They have lost all of the presenting team I actually enjoyed listening to/watching. I doubt anyone the BBC hires now is going to click for me.

            If i wanted to watch highlights i would watch highlights, theres a reason I get up at ridiculous o’clock to watch practice/quali/races that are on so early.

            I cant afford Sky so that means I have lost out on half of the season because there is no way that I can avoid the internet, news, people etc.. that are going to spoil who won, and if i know who won then i wont enjoy watching it.

      • snowman (@snowman) said on 7th December 2011, 10:23

        “They can hardly expect all their star commentators to stick around to do just half a season, can they?”

        But their viewing figures are still going to dwarf Skys + it seems they will be at every race commentating before it is put in slightly condensed highlight form.

      • SparkyJ23 (@sparkyj23) said on 7th December 2011, 12:27

        I think the fact the staff didn’t know about the “fantastic” deal until way after the event coupled with BIG pay rises that will have been dangled in front of them means everyone apart from Jake (who is doing the Olympics) was looking for an out.

    • njw (@njw) said on 7th December 2011, 10:14

      Its their own fault. They wanted to drop F1 because it was big pay cheque to them, but they also wanted to keep it. In that selfish have your cake an eat it way, they’ve now got this half baked coverage.

      If they we’re going to let it go, I just wish they’d let it all go.

    • beneboy (@beneboy) said on 7th December 2011, 11:02

      The BBC brought this onto themselves, they never got shafted; they were the ones doing the shafting !

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 7th December 2011, 18:21

      I think it’s good Sky will keep most journalists and commentators, it keeps the coverage linked to that pre-2012.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 7th December 2011, 23:37

      @thelegendofmart The BBC shafted themselves.

  4. Ben Everard (@beneverard) said on 7th December 2011, 9:57

    I’m relatively happy with the line up… and no Eddie Jordan, epic win!

  5. damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 7th December 2011, 9:58

    It’s a great team but it’s such a shame that we only had one year of broadcasting perfection. The BBC had finally got it right and had the perfect commentary line-up and punditry, but once again, it’s all being stirred up for the new season.

    I wonder who actually is going to commentate for the BBC now. And 5Live have to find an entirely new commentary team which is going to be difficult. I do feel sorry for the BBC because it’s all fallen apart so rapidly. I’ll miss having DC and Brundle in the box, backed up by Eddie, David and Jake being idiots on the forum and in the pre-race show.

    • ajokay (@ajokay) said on 7th December 2011, 10:05

      Half a year of broadcasting perfection… until they announced the new TV ‘deal’ in the summer and it became tainted.

    • Mike (@mike) said on 7th December 2011, 10:14

      Eddie, David and Jake weren’t always the greatest commentators. But at least it was fun.

    • Carlito's way said on 7th December 2011, 10:44

      Out of the whole commentary team at the bbc this year the presenter I enjoyed the least was jake. The guy was just so annoying sometimes.

      • elf341 said on 7th December 2011, 11:17

        I used to really like him, but recently he’s become a bit like a broken record, and appears woefully unprepared. I’m started to get fed up with the incessant “and we’ve talked about this facility before, but what a great location, Martin” type starters. I don’t know if it’s to do with the BBC/Sky announcement mid-season but I thought I remembered his presenting being much more original.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th December 2011, 10:54

      I’d say @damonsmedely, if I were the BBC i would probably do the commentary for 5live and use that for the highlights as well, just with added interviews, talk to patch the bits together and a bit of “pre show” things.

      Sending 2 whole teams of reporters to a race when the TV commentary will be used only in shortened form later does not make much sense to me.

      • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 7th December 2011, 12:26

        I think they should have struck a deal with Sky to use their commentary. It just seems like a giant waste of money to me in every way.

        • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 7th December 2011, 20:56

          Exactly. If they’re trying to save money, sending hoards of people to every race isn’t the way to do it. SPEED sends 1 person. 1! In comparison I’d say their coverage is pretty great. Sky will apparently be sending 80 people to every race, and I can say with confidence that there’s no way their coverage will be 80 times better than SPEED’s. BBC should try something like SPEED where the main commentators are back at the broadcast center, and just a small number of pit lane reporters are actually on site.

  6. Dizzy said on 7th December 2011, 9:59

    Great Line-Up, Looking forward to watching on Sky next year :)

    Everything I’ve heard suggest’s that Sky are going to give us the best F1 coverage since F1 Digital+.

    • Martin (@thelegendofmart) said on 7th December 2011, 10:00

      Yeah just a shame for those that cant afford Sky.

    • snowman (@snowman) said on 7th December 2011, 10:26

      was F1 Digital+ skys last attempt at F1 that failed with hardly any subscribers??

      • Homer said on 7th December 2011, 10:30

        was Bernie’s attempt, not sky behind it.

      • Superted666 (@superted666) said on 7th December 2011, 10:30

        And was fairly irrelevant compared with what’s happening now.

      • Mark Hitchcock (@mark-hitchcock) said on 7th December 2011, 10:32

        Spot on @snowman.
        And at least when F1 Digital+ failed it had the terrestrial coverage to fall back on.
        When the Sky attempt also fails there’s nothing to fall back on at all.

      • GT_Racer said on 7th December 2011, 10:37

        F1 Digital+ was on sky but was completely run by FOM from there facilities at Biggin Hill.
        Sky actually had very little input outside of giving us the channel space & a half hour slot on Sky Sports 2 the Wednesday’after each race for a sort of highlights show.

        Its true that the service didn’t do brilliantly in the UK but it had been running elsewhere in Europe since Mid 1996 & had been doing well.

        The F1 Digital+ service was something which I always felt was ahead of its time (And something I was proud to be a part of), Some of what we were doing back then are things which have only started to be more commonplace in recent years.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th December 2011, 10:56

          thanks for the insight GT_Racer.

          I think it was a great coverage, just not too available to many, I guess. And possibly not good enough marketed (or too far ahead of its time) to get big enough to be viable.

          • GT_Racer said on 7th December 2011, 11:58

            I think your point about how it was marketed, We didn’t do much advertising of the service & because Sky were not involved neither did they. I know we ran a couple ad’s on the Sky network in the 2 weeks prior to Melbourne but beyind that im not sure there was much promotion.

            Another sticking point was the price, In the UK we went for a PPV model in which you spent £12 a race. In other country’s (Germany for instance where it did very well) it was included as part of a subscription based package (Like Sky’s channel will be in 2012) & as such was less expensive to view.

            With the price I never expected it to do as well as it did in Europe but I was surprised at just how poorly it did in the UK.
            I was surprised especially since there was a lot of critisisms of ITV’s coverage at the time & the basic poor quality of the Host-Broadcaster driven World-Feed (Poor camera shots, lack of OnBoards, Inconsistent directing, regularly missing passing/spins/accidents).

            Something else that was really killing us was just how much cash was been spent on it. Just transporting all our equipment out was costing us a fortune & trying to stay ahead of everyone else & buying new equipment/technologies was costing us even more. There was also the amount of staff we had for stuff like setup, maintanance & directing/assisting in the production of the 8 or so TV feeds we provided.

            When the service was closed down at the end of 2002 a lot of staff had to be let go & while we did keep much of the equipment, We did have to sell off a lot of it.

            Its a shame the service didn’t go on another 2-3 years as we had some stuff in the pipeline which would have taken the broadcast’s to a whole new level & some other stuff which would have reduced cost’s.

            I know FOM got a lot of critisism for been late to adopt stuff like widescreen, HD & embrase the internet & I think a lot of that was due to just how badly Bernie got burned by F1 Digital+.
            He’s now reluctant to spend money on a new technology when a new one is just around the corner, Back when we were running F1 Digital+ Bernie really was throwing money at everything we felt would make the coverage the best & he’s less willing to do that now.

  7. sw280 (@sw280) said on 7th December 2011, 10:06

    I feel sky and bbc have missed a trick here by not sharing the Brundle/DC commentary, it saves their costs and is universally popular.

    • braisim (@braisim) said on 7th December 2011, 14:06

      sharing a brundle/dc commentary between sky and bbc wouldn’t work because presumably brundle would be contractually obliged to repeat incessantly ‘live and exclusive on Sky Sports’ or such like every 5 minutes. The ‘full Sky Sports treatment’ which we were dreading so much…

  8. Homer said on 7th December 2011, 10:06

    Gonna miss Ant during the race – but great to have him along for the practice sessions atleast. Killer Sky lineup to be honest.

    BBC and 5 live both losing their main commentator (not to mention 5Live losing all their on-air talent…) is a huge blow.

  9. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th December 2011, 10:13

    So, what’s happening to Jake Humphrey?

    More importantly, what’s happening to Jake Humphrey’s iPad?

  10. Chris Goldsmith said on 7th December 2011, 10:18

    Bear in mind, before you feel too sorry for the BBC, that this is a situation they caused for themselves by approaching Sky. And by taking over the broadcasting of something they couldn’t actually afford. It’s totally logical for Sky, who have effectively unlimited resources, to throw money at all the best people to make sure that they have absolutely the best line up. It’s a great statement of intent from a company obviously eager to appear to be in tune with what the fans want from their coverage.

    The combination of Brundle and Crofty is something lots of people said they wanted when the BBC dropped Legard, and while DC did a passable job, I think you do still need a pure TV commentator in the box alongside a pundit.

    Sky are making all the right noises here, and it seems like we can expect some great coverage from them next year. I’m eager to find out what (if anything) will be shown on the weeks when there’s no F1 on, on their dedicated F1 channel.

    • Martin (@thelegendofmart) said on 7th December 2011, 10:26

      Underhanded tactics.

      They throw loads of money at F1 so they can get the best coverage and best people so they have to pay the ridiculous price of admission.

      If they were so in tune with F1 fans they would at least offer an F1 subscription on Sky Go so we dont have to buy the base package then the sports package just to get F1 channel.

      • Chris Goldsmith said on 7th December 2011, 10:41

        It’s precisely what the BBC did themselves when they bought the rights to F1 – took the elements of the ITV team they liked and put them into their show, while dropping the dead wood of James Allen. How is there anything underhanded about paying for the best people in the business to present your show? Do you really expect them to say “no hold on, let’s only emply a couple of decent people, and have the rest of the team made up by nobodies, so we don’t unfairly take up all of the talent”? Seriously?

      • DuncF1 (@duncf1) said on 7th December 2011, 10:52

        If they don’t manage to negotiate a deal with Virgin Media/BT Vision et al, I imagine they will offer a package on Sky Go to ensure the high viewing figures that F1 teams and sponsors demand.

        • Chris Goldsmith said on 7th December 2011, 11:09

          Yeah it doesn’t really make sense that they would try to restrict access to the package, when the whole thing hinges on generating interest and increasing coverage. It’s the reason it’s being given its own channel and lumped in with the HD package, rather than being tagged onto the Sports packages; because the whole idea is to get as many people watching as possible.

          I don’t understand this mentality of “I’ve been a fan for xx years, but now I’m going to stop watching rather than have to pay”. Surely if you were a proper fan, and there’s this opportunity to support something which might actually elevate the coverage to a level never seen before in the UK, then you should be happy to spend a bit of money to support it. If you’re not prepared to do that, then I can’t see why ten live races and comprehensive highlights of the rest would really be that disappointing.

          • Mark Hitchcock (@mark-hitchcock) said on 7th December 2011, 11:26

            It’s disappointing because there are long-term fans who now can’t afford to watch it. It’s not that we’re choosing not to pay, it’s that there’s no choice to be made.
            I’d pay if I could, but I can’t.
            That’s why people are getting so angry.

          • snowman (@snowman) said on 7th December 2011, 11:50

            “Surely if you were a proper fan, and there’s this opportunity to support something which might actually elevate the coverage to a level never seen before in the UK”

            That’s the problem, you are not supporting better coverage but you are supporting Sky(Murdoch) taking away the coverage from the vast majority of people and putting it behind a pay per view wall where no matter what they do the growth can’t be as good as being on free to air tv.

            Is the coverage of a grand prix really going to be better than BBC’s was??

            Don’t forget it will be littered with ad breaks before and after the race and FOM provides the same race feed to the BBC.

          • DuncF1 (@duncf1) said on 7th December 2011, 11:51

            If there isn’t an option to just take the SkySportsF1 channel then I can fully understand people’s concerns about the cost issues. I don’t really watch other sports so definitely can’t justify forking out for SkySports 1 and 2 just to get F1 as well.

            If I could pay for just the F1 channel, or got it packaged with another motor channel then I’d be happier to pay a fair amount to subscribe.

          • Chris Goldsmith said on 7th December 2011, 12:19

            Well, it’s all subjective isn’t it. I’m already a Sky HD customer so for me there’s no extra charge.

            You can get the Sky HD package for just over £30 a month, which includes a whole bunch of other channels as well. Personally I don’t have any problem with paying that for my whole TV service, though if it came down to a question of adding the sports channels, then I might have reconsidered. Like I say though, affordability is a totally subjective thing, and it’s extremely hard to quantify when you look at the pricing as it stands, since there’s no specific cost for the channel itself; only the services it comes bundled with.

          • McLarenFanJamm (@mclarenfanjamm) said on 7th December 2011, 12:23

            @snowman – Sky have the deal because the BBC blocked the other terrestrial broadcasters from dealing with them. They chose to do the deal with Sky. Obviously, you’ll ignore this because it doesn’t fit with your anti-sky agenda, but it’s the truth and it’s why the Government want to speak to the BBC regarding the deal.

            Yes, there will be advrts before and after the race (ITV!?) but unlike ITV there won’t be any during the race.

          • John H (@john-h) said on 7th December 2011, 12:26

            Chris you obviously don’t have a family. If you do, you’ll realise getting sky when times are tight (i.e. justifying the cost with someone else) is just not going to happen, as much as I truly love F1 and have done for 20 years now.

            Sure, if I want to be an **** to my family, feed my child chicken nuggets every night in order to get sky installed then yes I’m perhaps more of a true ‘fan’, but I’m also an **** and I don’t want to be an ****.

            I’m saying goodbye next year. I will still watch the odd race, but now others will have more coverage than I can afford it will feel second rate and I will fade away to Snooker or something else.

          • Chris Goldsmith said on 7th December 2011, 12:41

            That’s a choice that you make isn’t it. Life is all about priorities after all, and how you manage your budget is entirely down to you. £30 a month is hardly an astronomical amount, and it’s something I think most people would be able to afford if they chose to do so. The price doesn’t compare that disfavourably with the likes of Virgin Media’s TiVo service, so I don’t think the cost is especially unreasonable, and like I say – that’s for a full TV service, not just for one channel.

            And let’s face it, even if you don’t have Sky, it’s not as if you won’t know someone who does. Races may well be shown in pubs if there’s enough interest.

            End of the day, if you really wanted to afford it, I’m sure you could find a way of doing so. At least, that’s going to be the situation for the vast majority of people in the UK. Sure, there will be some living on the bread line, for whom luxuries like TV subscriptions and whatnot will be unaffordable. Unfortunate, but they don’t really represent the majority.

          • snowman (@snowman) said on 7th December 2011, 12:43

            @McLarenFanJamm

            I am well aware of the underhand tactic BBC used to prolong their coverage while at the same time block rival fta broadcasters from bidding for rights.

            I didn’t say anything because I was making a remark about why F1 needs FTA for the best growth. Sky will have 1-1.5 million watching for a grand prix for as BBC will have 5-7 million.

            Which is better for growing the sport??

          • Chris Goldsmith said on 7th December 2011, 13:07

            I’m not taking issue with people not being able to afford Sky, by the way. Just the ridiculous nose-spite-face mentality of refusing to watch it any more just because you don’t have the full coverage coming straight to your telly. A true fan would make the effort to see the races, whether it be by paying for sky, visiting a friend who has it, or just watching it in whatever form it might be available in.

            I don’t see how you can say that you love a sport and yet make absolutely zero effort to watch it.

            With regards to the growth of the sport, I don’t think initial viewing figures are going to be much to go by. The one thing Sky have a proven track record for is generating interest in something, especially through the use of technology and innovative broadcasting. Say what you like about garbage like Soccer AM, but you can’t deny the fact that before BSkyB took over most football broadcasting, it wasn’t anything like as popular as it is now. That audience has been developed, even behind a farily significant paywall, by a dedication to putting the sport into the forefront of public thought. Because what Sky has is ties to swathes of other media sources, and the kind of financial resources to run something at a significant loss with more of an eye on the long term goal.

            The BBC could never do this. All they could hope to do is give a reasonable pre and post-race show, and put a little bit onto their online services. Sure, during that period the viewership has grown significantly, but it would be ridicuous to suggest that this is due to a hundred million boring references to Eddie Jordan’s shirts. The fact is that the racing has become better, and having two british f1 champions in competitive positions has given people a reason to tune in. This is a sport just about recovering from the tedium of the Schumacher years, and the increase in viewership has far more to do with that, and perhaps thanks to slightly weak coverage from ITV, than the show put together by the BBC.

            I’m sure that show will continue to have good production values next year, but the real commercial future of F1 lies in a close working partnership with a large broadcaster with huge resources, who can work together to develop the way that the media is actually delivered. What Sky are doing next year will be just the start.

          • Martin (@thelegendofmart) said on 7th December 2011, 14:08

            Chris its not ‘just’ £30 though, you need a phone line at £12 a month then you need £10 a month HD subscription.

            Thats £52

          • Chris Goldsmith said on 7th December 2011, 15:17

            Where are you getting that from? Go onto the sky site and have a look. You don’t need to take their phone line subscription at all, and the £30 a month includes the £10 a month HD subscription. That’s all you need to pay.

            It’s true you do also need to have a phone line, but that can be from anyone.

          • TheBrav3 said on 7th December 2011, 15:40

            someones been sucking some murdoch sausage.

          • f1alex (@f1alex) said on 7th December 2011, 19:03

            Also what about the people who can’t physically get Sky, due to high surrounding trees etc? Are they not ‘proper fans’ either?

          • Mark Hitchcock (@mark-hitchcock) said on 7th December 2011, 20:30

            @f1alex clearly you’re not a dedicated enough fan. A real fan would move house. I know it’s expensive and inconvenient, but if you really wanted to watch the sport you’d find a way of raising the money.

            Personally I’m just gonna tell the mortgage company that I can’t pay themthe full amount each month, but it’s ok because I’m using the money to line Murdoch’s pockets.

          • Chris Goldsmith said on 8th December 2011, 10:29

            No, if you were a proper fan you’d find some way of watching, even if it meant physically going to a pub or someone else’s house. Throwing your hands up and saying you’ll never watch F1 again is childish, and not the sort of thing a proper fan would do.

          • f1alex (@f1alex) said on 8th December 2011, 14:43

            @mark-hitchcock I seriously hope you’re joking in the first paragraph lol

            @chris-goldsmith I don’t remember the part where I said I wouldn’t watch F1 again, I just think it sucks that half the races I’ll be watching (on the TV at least) will be highlights, as I am unable to get Sky because of where I live. And I think judging whether someone is a ‘proper fan’ or not is also rather childish.

          • Mark Hitchcock (@mark-hitchcock) said on 8th December 2011, 22:45

            @f1alex I was indeed joking! The perils of sarcasm on the internet.

          • f1alex (@f1alex) said on 9th December 2011, 17:13

            @mark-hitchcock Lol thought so, it’s just the way some people act on this website sometimes it’s hard to tell! :p

  11. Neil Davies (@neil-davies) said on 7th December 2011, 10:19

    Great, virtually everything good that the BBC had taken time to develop into excellent F1 coverage has been bought up and taken away from terrestrial TV viewers by Sky. Along with half the live races of course. 30 odd years of watching the sport now slowly starts to be taken away from me, bit by bit. Frankly I’d rather it all went onto pay-per-view and be done with it, rather than dragging it out over a few more years before it all inevitably ends up there anyway.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th December 2011, 10:26

      Great, virtually everything good that the BBC had taken time to develop into excellent F1 coverage has been bought up and taken away from terrestrial TV viewers by Sky.

      Did you honestly expect that the BBC, who cut their Formula 1 coverage down for cost-cutting purposes, would retain the same production values in 2012?

      • Neil Davies (@neil-davies) said on 7th December 2011, 10:35

        I’m sure they will for the ten they show live. It’s just doubly galling that the great team they’d put together has been decimated. I doubt they all jumped purely for more money. I hope not anyway.

    • Spawinte (@spawinte) said on 7th December 2011, 10:32

      I feel the same way. F1 was the only thing I even watched on TV any more……

    • Chris Goldsmith said on 7th December 2011, 10:37

      The team is mostly comprised of people who were working for the old ITV show. Brundle was commentating on ITV, Kravitz was in the pitlane, Ryder presenting..

      I don’t understand exactly what it is that people keep going on about when they talk about developing the coverage. The race itself is provided in its entirety by FOM; BBC just put commentary over the top. Do you really think that 6m people are tuning in to see the races specifically to see Jake Humphries pretend to know a single thing about F1, and Eddie Jordan bumble around using the word SHIRT every other sentence, like the world’s worst catchphrase?

      BBC gave us coverage without advert breaks. Everything else which has improved F1 over the past three years has been a result of changes to the sport itself which have resulted in better action on the track, as well as having a lot more interest in having two british F1 champions driving for a british team and fighting for wins. If we were in the days of Schumacher and Ferrari, with two overtakes per race and a result which was tied up after the first pitstop, nobody would be tuning in. The show that bookends the race will never be anything compared to the race itself. Everythign else is filler.

      • Andy G (@toothpickbandit) said on 7th December 2011, 11:21

        I agree 100%. I find most people love the hour pre-show/post-show but I usually just turn it on for the grid-walk, then when the usual F1 feed starts, until the press conference ends. So really for me as slong as Brundle is there with a competent commentator with Kravitz in the pits (and no ad-breaks) I remain indifferent to the rest of the production/team.

        I understand why most people enjoy the rest of the show, it’s just not for me personally!

      • Bleeps_and_Tweaks (@bleeps_and_tweaks) said on 7th December 2011, 12:01

        I kind of agree with this as well @ChrisGoldsmith – I have grown pretty weary of the ‘shirt’ banter on the BBC coverage, and apart from becoming mates with the British drivers I don’t think Jake Humphrey really adds anything to the coverage of F1, he could easily be replaced. Plus I think the BBC has dumbed down its coverage somewhat, they initially seemed to be open to discussing the technology in F1, but this season (e.g. off throttle blown diffuser) the technical nouances really weren’t explored in any level of detail. It has been mentioned plenty of times before that F1 has quite an intelligent audience, so why when there is a complicated new piece of innovation on display would we want it to be explained like a show on Cbeebies!?

        I do however think that the BBC have included some excellent features. It may be one of their most simple ideas, but the pole lap comparisons I thought were excellent. Whether it was comparing 1st and 2nd, or 1st and 10th seeing the tiny margins that make the difference in qualifying was really interesting. There have been a couple of others of note as well.

        Fortunately I have access to SkyGo, so I’ll be watching that next year, but it really is sad that half the season is being taken away from so many real F1 fans.

        • braisim (@braisim) said on 7th December 2011, 14:17

          Sorry but I don’t agree. On the BBC show this year we had useful features. For example, Martin Brundle talking about tyres for a 10-minute segment. This kind of thing is what the BBC does really well, expalining technical issues in a way which the layperson can understand. This is what a quality public broadcaster can do. I just can’t see Sky Sports being able to do the same thing. Half of the coverage will inevitably be used to cross-sell other Sky Sports shows/products and it simply won’t be possible to have a ten-minute segment uninterrupted by ads because they will have to compensate for the lack of advertising during the race. And there will be sponsors and so on… Won’t be as good.

          • KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 8th December 2011, 8:19

            @braism Martin Brundle’s tyre segment barely lasted 20 minutes for the ENTIRE season… I was slightly disappointed..

            Another thing you’re forgetting is that they don’t NEED Brundle’s pre-race technical segments.. They have a WHOLE CHANNEL now for that, broadcasting over the F1 weekends, I am sure Sky are thinking this through and are going to be making longer segments (possibly 30 minutes EACH?) to air inbetween the sessions.

            And there’d be no excuse to miss them, as most people get Sky+ now!

            I’m a Virgin Media customer, so I’m waiting on whether I can get the F1 channel, otherwise I only miss out on 10 full races and get extended highlights of the rest. Anything the highlights miss I can try and find on youtube or something like that. Let’s at least give Sky a chance, it’s 4 months until their first race and everyone’s saying it’s going to be rubbish.

            Or, look at it this way, Sky have thrown a lot of money at this, do you expect them to make a complete farce out of it?

          • braisim (@braisim) said on 8th December 2011, 8:35

            What with work, family and other commitments, there’s only so much time most people have to watch F1. Qualifying, pre-race build-up, the race, post-race analysis, with a few technical segments/interviews thrown in is enough for most. That’s why viewer ratings will fall. For most viewers a dedicated channel is over the top, but then that’s what we would expect from $ky.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th December 2011, 11:10

      @neil-davies, I fully get your sentiments. But if you look at it differently, it’s not the end of the world (I do think the BBC made a bad desicion by not continuing with F1 full time).

      First of all, you might say, that the BBC saved the sport and put it on a higher level when they took over from ITV. Without that coverage would now possilby end up at Sky as well, but with far worse quality as there would not be pressure on Sky to perform better than the BBC so far.

      And don’t forget, that its only been a couple of years now, that all races are actually broadcasted live. Its not that long ago that it was hard to find any channel having those night races on live.

  12. mclaren (@mclaren) said on 7th December 2011, 10:23

    WOW!!! BBC really have been robbed, they deserve it, i was initally very much against the deal, but i’ve stopped moaning and moved on, getting SKY F1 channel, and going to enjoy the best covergae ever. What made the beeb succesful was their team, they’ve all gone (mostly gone), I for one wouldn’t be suprised if BBC completely drop their coverage now.

    Crofty and Brundle -> Unbeatable line up.

    I have a feeling BBC is going to do something drastic, can’t see them continuing the coverage with DC,Jake, and Lee, Expect something to happen for sure.

    Looking forward to SKY F1 2012

    • SamC (@samc) said on 7th December 2011, 10:56

      As I understand it the concorde agreement (as long as it lasts) guarantees that there are some free-to-air broadcast races in the UK which is why we have this bizarre sharing arrangement in the first place.
      I don’t understand why the channels can’t share commentary, it would certainly save money for them both if there were one presentation team that the cost of was shared, at least the BBC would then have some decent presentation on it’s 10 race broadcasts even if it is them ‘buying in’ from SKY, it’s not really any different to them paying FOM for the pictures.
      For that matter if given that we hear so many complaints about coverage around the world why doesn’t FOM provide a full feed, commentary, access to teams for the presentation team etc for channels to buy in as a straight to broadcast package instead of every country and channel sending it’s own huge and expensive team.

      • Bleeps_and_Tweaks (@bleeps_and_tweaks) said on 7th December 2011, 12:08

        @SamC – thats true about the Concorde Agreement ring-fencing terrestrial coverage of F1 in the UK.

        But there is a totally new Concorde Agreement on the way pretty soon, which the teams are negotiating with FOM about, and there is no guarantee it will have any of these kinds of terrestrial tv coverage guarantees in it for the future.

      • SparkyJ23 (@sparkyj23) said on 7th December 2011, 12:34

        That agreement isn’t worth the paper its written on – every team would agree to no free to air if it got them more money. The talk of full races on tape delay disappeared once Bernie threw the teams some cash.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 7th December 2011, 12:40

          The talk of full races on tape delay disappeared once Bernie threw the teams some cash.

          Are you sure it wasn’t just a load of tosh to begin with? I remember Whitmarsh saying it might happen but I don’t think there was ever serious talk of it happening.

          • snowman (@snowman) said on 7th December 2011, 12:53

            In the fota meeting with Ecclestone the Friday of the TV deal announcement Whitmarsh said Ecclestone assured him there would be full re-runs.

            Ecclestone said the BBC could show full reruns if they wanted them to but he preferred they didn’t.

            BBC not showing full re-runs when they could is hard to understand.

          • snowman (@snowman) said on 7th December 2011, 12:56

            Could do with edit!!

            “Ecclestone said the BBC could show full reruns if they wanted them to but he preferred they didn’t.”

            Not to Whitmarsh at the fota meeting but on a later occasion in a BBC interview think with Ted Krativ

  13. It’s bizarre as I was outrage to begin with the coverage was moving over to Sky, however all the steps they have made so far has made me really quite excited to see how it develops. So long as they keep it ad free I think Sky could be onto a winning deal here!

    • Alex White (@alex-white) said on 7th December 2011, 10:38

      This, Plus the fact that I already have SKY HD means I don’t have to pay any extra – I can’t wait for a dedicated F1 channel next year :D

      • Ditto, I was very happy when I found out. I didn’t want to have to put another £20 per month to my Sky bill. I also find myself thinking that I’ll most likely watch all races on Sky as opposed to the BBC.

        They are also thinking of some exciting things using the red button too, I am very happy they are putting so much thought into everything! Their objective is to definitely take us deeper into F1 and I really like it

    • DuncF1 (@duncf1) said on 7th December 2011, 10:56

      Likewise. Sky have shown great intent at producing a full F1 package and aim to take things even further than before with new technology and extended access. I hope it succeeds. I also hope they sort out a deal with Virgin Media as some of us have stupid landlords who won’t allow a satellite dish on the side of the house :/

    • bpacman (@bpacman) said on 7th December 2011, 13:24

      Agreed. What they’ve announced so far looks very promising and it’s clear that they are keen to make the most of their rights – they’re advertising the channel at every Premier League ground at present.

      I just hope they use their clout to demand some improvements to the FOM TV stream, such as:
      – the broadcast of more team radio transmissions;
      – the inclusion of more interesting camera angles. At the British GP, they had a camera on a cable that followed the cars through Brooklands, Luffield and Woodcote – it looked fantastic on TV. More of this would be great – imagine an overhead camera following the cars round the Lowes hairpin in Monaco, it’d look stunning;
      – better positioning of (or simply more) onboard cameras. I remember after Hamilton won the championship in 2008 there was a great shot taken from a camera either on or underneath the steering wheel of him lifting his visor and wiping the tears from his eyes – I haven’t seen this angle used since.

      Finally, after watching Senna again this week, any chance Sky can sneak their cameras into the drivers’ briefings?

      • davidhunter13 (@davidhunter13) said on 8th December 2011, 0:57

        I really hope Sky push FOM to improve their coverage as you request. It’s absolutely necessary. Even looking at the Sky F1 channel trailers, they’ve used more cinematic cameras trackside and in the pits to capture more handheld style of footage which brings the sport to life. The FOM race footage is the most dully directed coverage you could make with the sport you have at your fingertips. More and better quality on-boards are essential, and the helmet cameras NEED to be implemented more widely and then actually used during the broadcast. So often we see great on-boards but the shot is used once in the entire weekend’s worth of coverage. There’s so much wasted potential here!

        With rumours that Sky are sending over 80 people to each GP I think it’s safe to assume we might have some independent cameras roaming the track and get more interesting footage that way. Here’s hoping.

        As for regular race coverage it’s amazing how badly placed the trackside cameras are. Having seen F1 cars go full pelt round the first corner of the old Silverstone layout was mind-boggling to me back in ’99. The real power of downforce on full display as the cars looked literally magnetised to the track. No camera angle in any F1 broadcast I’ve seen has really conveyed this. There’s too many extreme zoom lens tracking shots which while they are technically superb from a camerawork perspective, show nothing of how the car’s behaving on track as it’s so zoomed in on the cockpit. We need more mid/long shots just showing the cars going round some of these amazing corners.

        Anyway I’ll end my rant by saying that I hope Sky force FOM to upgrade to a full 3D output by 2013, big football matches have it (admittedly a lot less cameras needed) but I think F1 would suit 3D better than any other sport. 3D HD on boards too (or even just regular HD on boards for now, the Le Mans 24hrs this year had them btw, and they looked amazing!)

        The wish list is into full swing!

  14. F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 7th December 2011, 10:42

    passing on dc and taking ted the cheerleader? give me a break

  15. The team is shaping up so good so far but I must admit I’m really not an Ant or Pinkham fan. I think Crofty with Brundle will be great; if there was one small niggle I had about DC/Brundle it was that they never really sounded that excited but Crofty’s like a kid in a sweet shop when F1 is on.

    • McLarenFanJamm (@mclarenfanjamm) said on 7th December 2011, 12:27

      I agree 100% (not something we can say often :P).
      I don’t really understand what Natalie does, surely she’s just a female version of Ted? Ah, got it…

      • Yeah, this may be the first time ever @MclarenFanJamm :P

        I don’t either but I did love Holly Samos but Pinkham I find rather irritating.

        • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 7th December 2011, 17:22

          What’s wrong with Pinkham? I can’t fault her and she’s never said anything even slightly irritating to me! :P I think she’s done a great job as she sounds like she knows what she’s talking about even though she’s not been doing the job for long. I do miss Holly though. What’s she doing these days?

          • TheBrav3 said on 7th December 2011, 18:26

            I’m with smeders.

            As for holly duno I have a feeling she may have had a baby?

          • The 5live team joked she was going to work in a donkey sanctuary irrc which I believed but I think she did have a baby.

            I much preferred it when Jenny Gow stood in.

    • davidhunter13 (@davidhunter13) said on 8th December 2011, 1:09

      I find Anthony Davidson at times to clearly be a bit resentful that he’s not out there racing, but it’s mostly tongue in cheek and he does offer some great insight into a modern racing driver’s thoughts and processes which is invaluable. Him and Crofty in the Practice sessions are a brilliant combo for me personally, it worked well on BBC Red Button, it will work well on Sky. Everyone has differing opinions of course, I for one despised James Allen a few years ago, he had a smarmy tone in everything he said, for me the Sky team are the best, nicest people and I’m so happy about their choices for the F1 channel. I also really like Ted Kravitz pit coverage and in fact the only person from the BBC I’ll really miss is Lee Mackenzie. She was great at interviewing and has real rapport with many of the drivers, plus she’s from my hometown so I’ll miss the abundance of Scottish people now that her and DC are out of the picture :p

      All in all Sky are going all out, there’s no ads during the races but I assume the way they’ve worded it there may well be ads during practice and most likely in between Quali sessions too. They’ve got a whole channel with extra features and shows and the average F1 fan with access to it WILL be getting a great array of coverage of their favourite sport way beyond what the BBC could reasonably afford to offer, which is the best of an admittedly sucky situation.

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