Brundle joined by Croft and Davidson at Sky


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

  1. Pingu said on 7th December 2011, 10:46

    I’ll miss F1. Shame.

    It’s going to be interesting to see what happens in 2017 when this ‘deal’ is supposed to run till if Sky don’t get the subscribers they’re expecting.

    One thing’s for sure, they won’t run at a loss so if the increase in subscribers doesn’t pay for the coverage they will drop it like a hot potato leaving us with no coverage at all. I see this as a weening period to ease me out of F1 entirely. A shame after 30+ years…

  2. joolsy (@joolsy) said on 7th December 2011, 10:47

    I love the line up of crofty and brundle with natalie , ant and ted.
    It really couldn’t be better.
    The biggest issue i have with the whole affair is that the bbc are still sending their entire package (producers,cameras,editors,presenters) to every race.
    In what way is that saving money?

  3. jw393 (@) said on 7th December 2011, 11:32

    Yeyy an F1 magazine show with that wench Georgie Thompson. Great! Why don’t they call it F1 am and get a whole bunch of idiots to make grunting noises and girls taking off their tops. Even better, they could just amalgamate it with Soccer AM.

    People talk of the dumbing down of the BBC, and it’s true to an extent, but have you seen what sky does to some sports? Football, the nation’s game, is now almost entirely predicated by loutish singing and idiotic behaviour. I’m no snob, and I understand that there’s horses for courses, but I get the feeling F1 fans like a deeper, more stimulating commentary to their sport. I hope sky don’t * this up.

    Take Abu Dhabi sports, it’s a dream come true for techies and non techies alike. They begin the show with engineering features (which I’d like to see more of, Scarbs F1 is good but a twitter feed can only do so much for the little grey cells) then move on to the more sporting aspect as the buildup increases. i advise anyone who wants to stream F1 next year to use that as their base.

    • mattj99 said on 7th December 2011, 12:52

      Well the technical pieces was one of the reasons Martin Brundle said he wanted to go to sky.

      “‘There will also be more airtime for the technical features I so enjoy crafting.”

      so hopefully there’ll be plenty of them

  4. racelitze (@racelitze) said on 7th December 2011, 11:33

    “good stuff” ;)

  5. Dan Brown (@danbrown180) said on 7th December 2011, 11:59

    This is going to be a disaster. Viewers will be below 200,000 before you know it.

    • Dave_F1 said on 7th December 2011, 12:06

      This is going to be a disaster.

      Not as big a disaster as it would have been had channel 4 got the rights.

      Im expecting Sky to get a decent number of viewers, Certainly enough to make getting the rights worth it.

      Once the BBC viewers see just how brilliant the Sky coverage is I guarentee more will look at subscribing.

      • Yeah, because all the extra money they’ll have to pay will just appear out of nowhere.

      • Slr (@slr) said on 7th December 2011, 13:03

        I disagree, many have already said they can’t afford Sky, and that they will simply use live streams. Sky will get a few extra customers, but I can’t see them getting enough subscribers and ratings for F1 to cover the costs.

        Most people who have Sky Sports are football fans, and with many races clashing with football games, they definitely won’t be watching.

        Bernie’s idea of more people than ever watching F1 (legally) is absolutely crazy.

        • GT_Racer said on 7th December 2011, 14:34

          Bernie’s idea of more people than ever watching F1 (legally) is absolutely crazy.

          Not necisarily.

          They won’t simply say x watched on Sky & x on the BBC, They will just say x amount of people watched in the UK.
          Its how its been done in Germany for years, They always say 6m+ Germans watch F1 but never say that x of those watch on RTL & X on Sky Deutschland.

          Also the BBC coverage may not see a substantional drop in viewers because BBC have been pretty smart when it comes to when there highlight shows will be on.
          5:30pm is prime time, More people tend to be watching TV at this time & traditionally races which have been on in the 5-8pm time block have got more viewers for this reason.

          The sort of drop in figures some here expect will not happen & those expecting Sky’s coverage to fail will turn out to be completely wrong.

          F1’s TV ratings will remain high, More people than predicted here will watch on Sky & Sky will easily get enough back to make it worth them paying whatever there paying for F1.

          • braisim (@braisim) said on 7th December 2011, 14:56

            OK, Sky will tempt some of the BBC hardcore F1 fans with their coverage of the 10 races but a lot of casual viewers who will not pay will drop out. A highlights programme will not compensate for the drop in viewers for those races not live on BBC.

      • Dan Brown (@danbrown180) said on 7th December 2011, 17:11

        There are plenty of people who just won’t get sky, on top of those who simply can’t afford it.

        Football is the perfect example, in 1992 they effectively decimated it.

        • TheBrav3 said on 7th December 2011, 21:11

          I have no intention of watching sky or the bbc next year, and might i add a “yar me heartys”.

          So unless 2 fans for each pirate one with at least £40 a month to waste come out of no where the viewer raitings will certainly not increase. Even if you combine the viewer numbers (which wont happen because the bbc will not have access to skys numbers and vice versa, even if they did neither channel will want to advertise the other.) from sky and the bbc there is no way on earth that the numbers will be more than this year. When all the races were covered comprehensively and free.

  6. petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 7th December 2011, 12:05

    Congrats to Davidson for getting the Sky job now. He’s been really good in the practice sessions on BBC so it’s good that Sky have picked him up too. Hopefully he’ll get to commentate on a race at some stage as I think him and Brundle would work really well.

  7. ogamii (@ogamii) said on 7th December 2011, 12:20

    Ant is a good addition but boo to Crofty he is a smarmy git, i wish they hadn’t taken him on.

    • jw393 (@) said on 7th December 2011, 15:47

      He also gets things wrong very often. I find it hard to watch the practice sessions without cringing from time to time. I suppose they’re doing it under a bit of pressure but you should still at least know some elementary facts about the drivers

      Ant and Karun are constantly correcting him!

  8. James (@jamesf1) said on 7th December 2011, 12:33

    Sounds great, for those of us fortunate and lucky enough to have Sky. However, we must not forget this is a masssive own goal, with the “Failure of 2011″ award going to them.

    They’ve proved that the fans love the F1 coverage with them thanks to their incredible viewing figures over the last 3 years. They’ve now lost five members of their team who were key to making that coverage so great (perhaps less so Pinkham as she’s only more recent to the crew).

    As much as I hate to do so, I probably will be watching on Sky next year. I prefer Humphery to Rider (cant stand the man, dont understand his appeal) and the banter which Eddie brought to the screen for the audience.

    I hope the BBC arent expecting the same audience figures as they’ve grown accustom to, because when they do drop, they’ll probably review F1 altogether and get rid. Fools.

    • TheBrav3 said on 7th December 2011, 21:24

      I would suspect that jake very much wants as many viewers as possible, he knows that the bbc high ups are hoping for a decimation of viewing figures so they can justify completely dropping it. That’s why they have made no attempts to make the fans happy in the way they have done any single part of this deal the whole thing has been 2 fingers up to english f1 fans. I thought it was a bit of a kick in the teeth that it was announced as well this week the olympics is getting another 40 million for poxy fireworks ontop of their multi billion £ budget. I have never watched any part of any olympics i don’t plan on changing that because it’s in london.

  9. taurus (@taurus) said on 7th December 2011, 12:52

    Great news, they really have taken the BBC apart, I for one am very pleased. No more cobblers about Eddie Jordan’s shirt or JH’s iPad wafting about in my face all afternoon. Think DC will join Sky next year. Once this deal runs out I dont think the BBC will bother screening live races at all.

    Nice to have a bit of Steve Rider back, but with him doing Sky and Ben Edwards going to the Beeb BTCC could be the big losers here.

  10. I am pleased about this. Never liked Eddie Jordan or Jake Humphreys so I am glad I won’t have to watch their boys own club every race. I think David Croft is an excellent commentator, him with Brundle should be really good (although I quite liked Coulthard this season.) Sky have definitely cherry picked the best the BBC had to offer because Kravitz is great too.

    I didn’t really watch the prerace build up on the BBC, all very well produced and visually appealing but that’s not why I watch Formula One so hopefully Sky will focus more on the racing side of things. Even if they don’t as long as (fingers crossed) they don’t put ads in the races like ITV did I ‘ll be happy with it.

  11. KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 7th December 2011, 14:16

    Luckiest guy in all of this? David Croft.

    I think he deserves a more mainstream commentating job, commentating on the UK’s main source of F1 next year is the best step he could possibly take. I really hope he doesn’t disappoint…

    There’s only 1 person in my opinion who would be able to keep me on the BBC coverage.. It’s just a shame Murray’s time is over…

  12. antonyob (@) said on 7th December 2011, 14:37

    so if they are all moving to sky, who will do the beeb delayed transmission coverage? ej and dc plus the bird?! disastrous.

    good calls on skys team tho i was getting fed up with dc “well” by the end. EJ is an ejiot of the first order and jake humphries although a good pro was blander than beige porridge.

    i still dont know if i can pay money to the dark side tho…

    • TheBrav3 said on 7th December 2011, 21:28

      If you can dislike people because

      “i was getting fed up with dc “well” by the end. EJ is an ejiot of the first order and jake humphries although a good pro was blander than beige porridge.”

      I’d say you’re already well on your way.

  13. mclaren (@mclaren) said on 7th December 2011, 15:20

    Some may not be keen on this, but BBC are looking like they’re going to resign JONATHAN LEGARD as their lead commentator. James Allen is also linked to the BBC f1 team, also a spicy suggestion that Murray Walker may think about a comeback. Nevertheless, the strongest links lie with Legard, i also heard his name being linked from other sources.

    • I thought Ben Edwards was going to the BBC. In which case it’ll be Edwards and Coulthard.

    • peteleeuk (@peteleeuk) said on 7th December 2011, 18:36

      Be warned, if this happens I may go on a murderous rampage. Legards voice is not welcome in my ears now or ever.

      • TheBrav3 said on 7th December 2011, 21:31

        Wow just look at that i hate to say i told you so but murray walker no way no how. It will be legard the bbc are attempting to get as low viewer figures as possible so they can drop it at december 2012 at latest.

        • KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 7th December 2011, 23:57

          the bbc are attempting to get as low viewer figures as possible so they can drop it at december 2012 at latest.

          Why do people praise the BBC when they are doing what the people think is right, but when they act in their own interests, which they are completely entitled to do, people decide that they’re deliberately sabotaging everything?

          • TheBrav3 said on 8th December 2011, 5:15

            Why do you obsess about people not being happy that a tv/media tycon has taken over their sport and started charging for what we used to get for free? Are you ruperts accountant or heir? If not i suggest you get your nose out of his you know what and focus on what you want in life rather than telling everyone else how they should be feeling.

  14. pobtoon (@pobtoon) said on 7th December 2011, 16:35

    During Brundle’s grid walks he can barge his way through other journalists to interview a driver. Now he works for sky can he still do that?

    • TheBrav3 said on 7th December 2011, 21:32

      Yes because he will still be with the main + more importantly *live* broadcaster. Ofc he may say he’s not even going to do them but if sky want him to he can.

  15. peteleeuk (@peteleeuk) said on 7th December 2011, 17:26

    Here are my thoughts, posted on the Ben Gallop blog, of the shameful mess this all is…..

    608. At 08:57 3rd Dec 2011, pluk wrote:
    It’s fair to say I remain disgusted by this arrangement. Nothing that has been written here makes any of the bad news we were given when the $ky deal was announced any better, in fact is it considerably worse.

    Your line up of races is pathetic, so many of the weak races have ended up on your list. To say this is because of the terms of the agreement with $ky is ludicrous – YOU MADE THE TERMS OF THE AGREEMENT WITH $KY, any problem with the terms are still your fault. Please explain why the terms were agreed which favoured $ky so much.

    Brundle has left. He’s obviously playing the $ky corporate game now and saying because it is because of the thrill of being live over recorded. I don’t doubt this is true, but I also believe (from his reaction at the time of the announcement) that the way this deal unfolded and how you informed (or didn’t inform) your presenting team has led to him being so angry with the BBC he has walked away. Who would want to work for you after that?

    This causes the biggest problem; the whole BBC coverage has been amazing but the soul of it is the superb Brundle commentary, he is our generations Murry Walker and now he’s gone. To lose him to $ky really gives them the advantage.

    I also want to know do you have the option of showing full reruns of every race? And if so, why don’t you. Late night if you like, but highlights are no good. If I can not see the full race I will not be watching and nor will many F1 fans, the excitement comes from the long game strategy which unfold subtly, not a show reel of crashes and overtakes. If you had any idea about the sport and why we watch it you would know that this is the case. And please stop using the term ‘extended highlights’. It is a nonsense, you edit anything out then it is highlights, to extend highlights would mean to show the full race. Stop trying to sugar coat this mess, we are not idiots.

    You have given $ky F1. You’ve given them the perfect set up to succeed and once they’ve got their claws in they won’t let go. You are supposed to be a public service broadcaster, the decisions you make should always be in the interest of the public. If you could not afford to continue your coverage then fair enough but in that case you should walk away, to give the rights to a non free to air broadcaster is shameful. It is preserving your interests over the good of your viewers. No explanation has ever been given as to how any sane person at the BBC thought this would be a good deal for the viewer over letting someone else (could never have been a pay channel due to FOTA) take the rights over.

    I will not be paying for $ky, I will not be watching the BBCs pathetic leftovers. I’m a lifelong fan, YOU have taken this sport I love away from me. How dare you?

    Now is the time to explain yourselves. We are waiting.

    Obviously the illusive Mr Gallop has not bothered to reply to me or any other poster.

    As for the team $ky are putting together, I just don’t care. I won’t be watching and all I can do is hope the whole thing is such an abject failure they run away from as quickly as they’ve dived in. Fingers crossed.

    • KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 7th December 2011, 23:54

      So the 10 races that the BBC ARE showing live next year don’t interest you at all? You’d far rather have the BBC blowing shedloads of money on F1, the Euro 2012, and the Olympics next year, in the current economic situation and the way the license fee has been frozen?

      Seriously, that IS acting in the interests of the public. Sky have got F1 now, that’s the end of it. They’ve got the opportunity to do it justice, a dedicated F1 channel, I can almost see Brundle’s technical insights being given 30 or 40 minutes a weekend between sessions rather than a rushed 3 or 4 minutes at most on the BBC.

      Sky have the right team as explained in this article, because they are the ones ensuring F1 remains on British TV, if they hadn’t have made the deal, BBC would’ve likely dropped F1 completely…

      Don’t think about saying anything about C4 coverage… I don’t know about anyone else, but I wouldn’t want Tinie Tempah all over our screens whilst we’re trying to watch F1, Channel 4 simply didn’t have the people or the money to make it work. Sky had the money and the BBC gave them the people.

      If you don’t like it, then that’s tough unfortunately, it’s been done now. If you’re going to walk away from 10 live races and 10 highlights programmes at no extra cost, then I’m not sure you could classify yourself as a

      lifelong fan

      • peteleeuk (@peteleeuk) said on 8th December 2011, 12:26

        @Keeelyobsessed At the risk of sounding rude, most of your argument is just daft……

        I can’t be bothered to go through it bit by bit, but to question if I am a lifelong fan because I’m angry at not being able to watch all the races is just baffling. It is the casual fans that will be best served with this set up and won’t miss the ‘dull’ bits, I on the other hand, will miss them deeply.

        And to praise Sky for putting the right team together? It is basically the team the BBC had put together, so well done to them. Anyone could have taken that team over (without BBC man Jake).

        Bottom line, BBC should not use my money to be part of a deal that gives a commercial broadcaster an advantage over themselves and restricts what content I can see. Sky could not have got a look in without the BBCs complicity, any other fta broadcaster could have provided me with decent coverage. Not sure what Tinie Tempah or any other second rate rapper has to do with this.

        If Sky wanted to buy equal rights so both them and BBC have all races live, but make their coverage so amazing (as you seem to be expecting it to be) that they could drag viewers away from the BBC then that would be fair enough. But they know they can’t be better, so have to force you to watch if you want to see it. Your optimism with what Sky are going to deliver you is somewhat misguided I think. Good luck with that.

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