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First impressions March 10, 2012

Posted by nicf1fan in Formula One.


Last night was the launch of the dedicated Sky F1 channel and, since I have the Sky Sports package now, I was as keen as anyone to watch the show. I tuned in at 8pm and was greeted by a stirring intro and the new Sky F1 title music. I love the song ‘Just Drive’ but I am unsure whether it really works as an introduction music, it is an emotional song but I don’t find it stirring. I want my title music to excite me!

The Sky F1 show started and was very slick, very professional and very interesting. I particularly enjoyed the parts where Ted talked us through the technical elements. As always, for me, Ted didn’t disappoint. I also particularly enjoyed the section where Natalie Pinkham interviewed Mark Webber, top girl meets top guy in my opinion so it was always gonna be a winner for me.

Maybe my unfamiliarity with the new presenters got in the way but I was not so keen on Georgie Thompson and Simon Lazenby. I found Simon slightly stiff and it resulted in a lack of rapport between him, Martin and Damon. When we are so used to the amazing rapport between Jake, DC and EJ I found it slightly uncomfortable to watch. I hope as the season goes on they can build this rapport and it will become easier to watch.

Georgie was a whole different story though! I found her choice of outfits bemusing to say the least. Her leather outfit while interviewing Jenson and her Glitzy gold outfit while using the SkyPad seemed like odd choices to me, as one of my Twitter friends said ‘Georgie you are presenting a sports program not going to a party.’ I am sure she is a very nice person and I’m sure it’s just my own personal jealousy talking but I wasn’t keen on her.

What has amazed me though is the complete split of opinion on Twitter over the new channel. I looked through the @SkySportsF1 @ mentions and the contrast in opinions is staggering! There are many, many tweets of congratulations and positive feed back but there seems to be an equal amount of people finding small faults in the coverage to ‘slag off’ Sky or just blatantly calling it rubbish.

I think Sky were very clever with their launch of the F1 channel the week before F1 starts. We have all been starved of F1 for months and are desperate to see anything new around our favourite sport. I feel that a lot of the ‘wow’ factor from last night was purely because we all needed F1 so much after being starved of it for so long. I may be wrong, maybe the style of presenting really did hit the note for some people but I just wonder if a show of that level shown mid season would have had as much of an impact.

I am of the opinion that many of the people ridiculing it are people who do not have the channel and there is either an element of ‘Sky hating’ preventing them getting it so no matter what Sky did it would never be good enough or for those who cannot afford the channel there is an element of jealousy that they cannot watch the coverage. I can understand the latter much more easily than the former, it was only recently that I discovered that we would be able to have the channel and I know if I hadn’t I would possibly be slagging off the Sky coverage as well! As for the ‘Sky Haters’ I understand why you hate BSkyB and Rupert Murdoch but we just want to watch F1 races live, it was the BBC who sold it to Sky not us so I won’t feel guilty about watching the sport I love, sorry!

Someone made a comment this morning which I read as meaning that since Sky have a dedicated F1 channel they therefore have more dedicated staff so therefore their coverage will be better. I completely disagree with this. I don’t think anyone can doubt the dedication of the presenters and crew who bring us our BBC F1 coverage, you can tell that F1 passion runs through them but also I need to point out that the coverage ie camera angles and shots during the race will be identical. This all comes from a common feed which goes to every country so the really important part (the actual race itself) will only be unique in it’s commentating and personally I’m tempted to listen to James Allen on 5 live for this as I am a big fan of both him and Jaime!

I have mixed feelings about last nights show. I didn’t get the WOW effect that some people seem to have got, I enjoyed the show immensely, I hated the adverts with a passion but I look forward very much to watching more. They say first impressions last, I’m hoping with me my opinion grows, I really don’t want to be left feeling ‘Sky F1 – Meh’




1. Peter - March 10, 2012

All felt a bit sterile to me and at times I thought Brundle in particular looked uncomfortable – the suit thing doesn’t really work for what is a sports channel and I’m afraid my initial reaction is it all feels very like what SKY have done to football – you watch it because you have to if you love the sport but if you had the choice you’d watch it on the BBC. I’m not a SKY hater because I’ve given my money to SKY to watch but I just don’t think they do things as comfortably or as well as the BBC do.

As for the “technology”, some of it is unnecessary and distracting (spinning cars in the background! For what purpose other than to show they can!?) and while I can sympathise with Brundle jumping to SKY because the BBC tended to dumb down their coverage of the technical aspects, technology for the sake of it doesn’t work either.

Early days and I will give SKY a chance but my initial reaction was not that great – in my opinion, the BBC have something that SKY will find hard to acquire – STYLE!

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