Maybe the wrong Rage Against the Machine track was promoted to number 1 at Christmas, didn’t they also sing “Don’t believe the hype?”…
I am really struggling with the Sky coverage of the Tour Down Under and we are only at the preamble criterium stage.
The challenges I have are two fold.
1. Sky Sports News (SSN) is doing its level best to cover cycling as a dramatic action packed thrill ride with their own team at the forefront. The facts we know are that in cycling there can be long periods of inactivity where very little happens and the TV viewer is best served by relaxing with a cuppa to watch the scenery or get their ass off the sofa and do some miles themselves. This can be applied to every race on the ‘Protour’ calendar, even Le Tour. You can also sense from the SSN coverage that they truly expect their team to win every stage of every race all season… when they inevitably fail I wonder how much time will be dedicated to their riders coming in off the back on the first hilly stage of the Tour of Turkey.
2. I know I will get some stick for this and I know that it is the host broadcaster in Australia who makes the choice, but please… no more Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen. Ever!. I love both of them for what they have done for the sport and two more pleasant characters away from the microphone you couldn’t wish to meet. But their commentary is now clichéd and they have a clear bias towards certain Anglophone riders whilst towing the sports politically correct line on doping… i.e. ignoring it in the main.
So in short I have a couple of suggestions that will ensure that I don’t get bored with Team Sky before I have even ordered some Adidas leisurewear from their upcoming online store.
They would be ensure that SSN has some sort of understanding of the sport and report using that rather than trying to make cycling fit the “wham bam kapow” style of journalism that fits their coverage of football and rugby. They have made cricket and golf (other long format sports) work, by being innovative and having features like the ‘snickometer’ and’ heatspot’. If they are to cover a bit more cycling I would love to see some development of the GPS and heart rate monitor data we have started to see onscreen in recent times.
Secondly Paul and Phil will have to go. The Anthony McCrossan/Brian Smith combination works really well and there must be other opportunities for old pros to offer a more up to date insight. I cant take anymore “Well Phil” or “Big George”.
Get these things right and we could be on for a treat of summer coverage