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Information overload March 17, 2012

Posted by nicf1fan in Formula One.
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It’s the first race of the F1 season, I dutifully got up at 5am to watch the Sky F1 coverage then tuned in again at 1pm for the BBC F1 coverage.

Normally on a race weekend I am quite an active tweeter and enjoy conversations with people about the races but today I felt like my brain was getting well and truly boggled! I wondered why? Why was this different to the other qualifying sessions I have tweeted through? Have I really aged that much over the winter that I can’t handle it? I can only put it down to one thing – information overload and I blame 3 things for this!

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1. Twitter – Last year I had a different twitter account and on that account I didn’t follow very many people and had a smaller group of people I talked to, as a result it was easier to follow while still keeping up to date on the race. Since last year I changed my account and now follow nearly 700 people, as you can imagine this now makes my timeline pretty full. I was still trying to follow my twitter account in the way I did the old account ie reading every tweet but I soon discovered this is not possible. I also found that when I tweet things now I have a lot more people who respond, which is fantastic and I love that but can also be distracting.

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2. The amount of ipad F1 apps I have – I will admit I barely looked at the apps I have this morning but I have numerous ones I could refer to and it was playing on my mind during qualifying, wondering what these apps had to offer. There would be no way I could have followed the apps, Twitter and the race so this weekend the apps are getting ignored.

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3. The Sky F1 style of coverage itself – This is not a criticism but the new Sky F1 coverage is much more technical than the BBC coverage. Anyone who follows me will know that I love the BBC coverage but even I find they do ‘dumb down’ F1 too much sometimes. Sky cannot be accused of this and this will take a bit of getting used to! I don’t really have a technical mind, unfortunately, and this, combined with the fact that it was a 5am start, made it a bit hard for me to follow everything that was being covered! I wonder if I might find this easier at races which are held later in the day? At the moment Virgin TV have not got the red button facilities up and running, in some ways I’m glad because it will mean even more information when they do! I definitely felt that the BBC coverage is more designed for the masses wheras the Sky coverage is aimed at the crazed F1 fan. Where I would call myself a crazed F1 fan, at 5am in the morning it was a little too much for me. (Oh and I know you were excited but did you have to shout quite that loud Crofty? I went back to bed with a headache after it.)

So what can I do to stop feeling this overloaded during the race tomorrow and even at the subsequent races? My style of following twitter will have to change, I’m afraid I won’t be able to read every tweet but I’ll do my best to find the edited highlights! The apps will have to wait until a later race to be used, or maybe I will peruse them after the race but during the race, this weekend anyway – no way. As for the Sky coverage, there is not a lot I can do about that other than try to have an early night and pick up as much as I can.

So tomorrow, during the race if I suddenly go quiet, spare a thought for me as my brain may have exploded!

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Follow me on Twitter @NicF1Fan

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Best of both worlds February 9, 2012

Posted by nicf1fan in Formula One.
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8 comments

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BBC F1 v Sky F1 has been a hotly debated subject of late with people on both sides of the fence. I have been keeping an open mind as much as I could but here are my observation, feel free to agree or disagree!

With the BBC we know what we are getting. I’m sure almost all F1 fans would agree that the BBC have produced some World Class F1 coverage over the last few years so we all know that their coverage will be outstanding! But they only have half of the races live and the rest as extended highlights!

How about Sky? Sky is an unknown commodity as far as F1 goes so it is harder to say. For certain they have invested a lot of money in the new channel and the introduction of the GP2/GP3 coverage is a huge addition but does the investment of money necessarily mean that it will be amazing coverage?

Firstly lets look at their choice of ‘the team’. I personally was slightly disappointed with their choice of commentators. I have never been a fan of Martin Brundle and find Crofty fairly average, I know at this point many people will probably shout at me in disagreement but as I said this is my opinion and I don’t make any apologies for it! The choice of Natalie Pinkham and Ted Kravitz were inspired I feel, although Natalie does not have as much paddock experience as Lee McKenzie she is very enthusiastic which I think helps immensely! Ted is just a genius in my eyes so I am pleased for him to get a more prominent role. The rest I don’t know at all so can’t comment on but since I don’t know them it does make me nervous of what they will bring!

As I said earlier Sky have invested a lot of money in to their coverage but that won’t bring the rapport that the BBC currently have with the drivers/teams and I’m not talking about Martin on his gridwalk here I am talking about Jake, EJ and DC! The kind of relationship you can see between Jake and Jenson or EJ with Christian Horner or DC with Michael (tension is good as well) isn’t built up overnight, it takes time! Personally I love how EJ runs off to find some random person that might give them an insight or how he is quite happy to walk up and turn off someone at Red Bull’s ipod because the music is too loud, he may ramble sometimes but I can forgive him this for the pure entertainment he brings! Also lets not forget it was to Lee McKenzie that Lewis uttered the words “Maybe is because I iz black” and on many occasions has Vettel had a cheeky dig at Lee, she may not be top of everyone’s list but she does catch drivers on a back foot sometimes which is classic TV!

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I have (as of today) subscribed to Sky Sports in order to get the Sky F1 channel so I am not against Sky in any way. My finances allowed me to be in a position where I could purchase the channel and as a F1 fan I could not deny myself half the races. What do I expect from it? I expect excellent coverage, I expect a team working hard to bring us all aspects of F1 and I expect lots of adverts (although Sky have promised none during the race I can guarantee that pre and post race will be full of them).

Some say the BBC have sold out the fans by making this deal with Sky and maybe they have made a deal that is unpopular but at least F1 is still going to be on free TV in some format. If the viewing figures were to dip to an all time low then perhaps the BBC would give up on it altogether and then millions of occasional viewers will be lost along with those who simply cannot or will not get Sky! This is why I feel it is important to continue watching the BBC coverage, we certainly don’t want it to be lost forever and if viewing figures remain high then maybe the BBC will reconsider at the end of this contract with Sky.

So what are my plans for the races this season, simple, when a race is only on Sky then I will watch the races in full on Sky and then the extended highlights show on the BBC, when a race is on both then I will watch the BBC coverage but record the Sky coverage and watch the pre and post-race shows for all the best bits! That way I will be getting the best of both worlds!

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Follow me on twitter @NicF1Fan