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Eurosport

squiredsquired Posts: 1,216
edited May 2012 in Pro race
Eurosport sometimes get abuse for their coverage of certain cycling events. One that springs to mind is (I think) from last year where there was no live coverage of what was one of the key weekend mountain stages in the Giro. However, I think that they deserve a huge amount of credit for the sheer volume of cycling they have aired in 2012. If they carry on the way they are going they will eventually need to consider launching a channel dedicated to cycling. I guess the fact they now use the catchline "the home of cycling" shows that they have fully embraced the sport as a key part of their offering.

Despite all of the coverage they do provide, what races should they be adding to their vast catalogue? For me, a couple of the Belgian cobbled semi-classics would be brilliant to see (rather than using web streams). However, it is very hard to complain when there is so much coverage now, with 95% of it live.

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  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 47,998 Lives Here
    squired wrote:

    Despite all of the coverage they do provide, what races should they be adding to their vast catalogue? For me, a couple of the Belgian cobbled semi-classics would be brilliant to see (rather than using web streams). However, it is very hard to complain when there is so much coverage now, with 95% of it live.

    Pretty much.

    Enjoyed Giro del Trentino a lot.

    Some of the commentators could be replaced.

    I genuinely think I'd do a better job than some.

    I'd offer my services but there's nothing on my CV to suggest I'd be good.
  • inkyfingersinkyfingers Posts: 4,397
    Rick, if we just wanted to hear people raving about Boonen then we'd all just watch Sporza.

    Personally I think Eurosport do a great job with what is clearly a pretty limited budget. Imagine there was no Eurosport, I can't imagine many races other than the grand tours and the monuments getting covered by any of the other channels, and even then it would be very much a filler.

    I also have some sympathy with the commentators, it must be pretty hard to talk sensibly for 2 hours, especially during the long sections of racing when frankly there is not much happening other than one team riding tempo and a Euskaltel riding crashing for no apparent reason.
    "I have a lovely photo of a Camargue horse but will not post it now" (Frenchfighter - July 2013)
  • danlikesbikesdanlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    I think their coverage is generally pretty spot on & this week when the snooker finishes early they go straight over to live feed so I get longer coverage.

    Personally some of the commentators are not always to my liking, however having said that they all ways give good value and as they have a roster of them plus guest commentators I think it keeps things fresh.

    The down side is I don't like it when they don't show coverage or they can't get it due to weather or some other reason. Though I do realise its they way they buy in the footage from the host broadcaster and its not really the commentators fault. If I wanted to blame Eurosport I guess they would say that their model is cost efficient, meaning if we wanted them to have their own film crew etc they would just be like Sky Sports and we would all end up paying a lot more than we do.

    Certainly in 2012 I have been really impressed with the coverage & have a lot more time on my hands to watch the live races and the commentary does seem to work better and I like the fact that they are trying to engage the public using Twitter to answer comments.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 47,998 Lives Here
    Rick, if we just wanted to hear people raving about Boonen then we'd all just watch Sporza.

    Personally I think Eurosport do a great job with what is clearly a pretty limited budget. Imagine there was no Eurosport, I can't imagine many races other than the grand tours and the monuments getting covered by any of the other channels, and even then it would be very much a filler.

    I also have some sympathy with the commentators, it must be pretty hard to talk sensibly for 2 hours, especially during the long sections of racing when frankly there is not much happening other than one team riding tempo and a Euskaltel riding crashing for no apparent reason.

    Look, I'm a big Eurosport fan. We've all seen my sticky. It's the place to go.

    Boonen jokes aside I genuinely think there's a reasonable chance I'd be better than that awful guy who commentates with Backstedt. I think there are many others who'd be better than him. The guy who did, (I think it was Tireno - new guy who tends to do Italian races) - he was good. Get him in more often.

    But as people say, because cycling has quite a few quiet moments, the commentator has a bigger effect. If the racing's great, it's easy for anyone. It's when you fill the time it's tricky. Even Harmon sometimes is so focused on filling time that when something DOES happen, he's still banging on about his favourite edition. By and large he's good, and I don't want to complain too much, but he has his moments where I'm tearing my metaphorical hair out.

    *shrugs* Maybe I'm a) full of myself and b) overly critical.
  • Ron StuartRon Stuart Posts: 1,242
    If it wasn't for Eurosport I'd get rid of SKY.

    Just would love never, ever to hear Charlton Kirby's inaccurate, mis-discriptive, babble ever again. He even gets the birds wrong, Vultures!! the day before he rightly calls them Cranes.

    Found Lloydy easy on my ears but please can they find another commentator other than Harmon that actually knows even a little of what they are talking about. I watched the whole of the last stage in the Tour of Turkey with the sound off :roll:

    Is it the reincarnation of Duffield :?:
  • Ron Stuart wrote:
    If it wasn't for Eurosport I'd get rid of SKY.

    I have just got rid of SKY to switched to Eurosports online player. So far really impressed with the player and cheaper than SKY. You just need to make sure you have a reasonable broadband connection with good usage that will allow for streaming.

    I like Eurosport as you say it has limitations but on the whole does a good job.

    Mike
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 23,086
    Commentating is one of those things that everyone thinks they can do until they actually try. This was recently addressed by James May when he had a crack at commentating on the Grand National.

    As for Carlton Kirby, he's essentially the commentating equivalent of a supply teacher. He fills in when others are unavailable across a range of sports. British Eurosport can't afford several specialist cycling commentators.100k is about as big as their cycling audience ever gets.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • ProssPross Posts: 22,595
    I sort of agree and I think those of us who were into cycling before satellite TV have probably forgotten how poor coverage of the sport was. ES certainly cover plenty of races. The biggest problem though is the way it so often gets moved around the schedule or even cancelled plus the end can get cut short if it over-runs. I can understand a delayed start if a live event over-runs but it is often highlights or even those 'hilirious' crash outtakes being shown. On the whole I like the commentary teams, obviously Kirby can be a bit annoying but on the Tour team he seems to fit in a lot better (i.e. he doesn't have to talk very often!).
  • Ron StuartRon Stuart Posts: 1,242
    Fair comment Pross, it's a personal thing for me but less and less is better and better. Oh, and I will be at stage 6 start T.O.B , I'll let you know what colour carnation I'll be wearing.
  • graeme_s-2graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
    I enjoy Cartlon Kirby's interludes during the Tour (especially the loaded silence from Sean Kelly who seems to refuse to engage with him at all), but he leaves a lot to be desired as a main commentator.

    When you think of the number of hours in a year we spend listening to David Harmon, it's no surprise that he becomes a bit annoying from time to time.

    We have Sky in our house purely for Eurosport for me, and E! News (don't ask) for my wife. If those two channels were available on freeview then I'd ditch the Sky package in a heart beat.
  • Ron StuartRon Stuart Posts: 1,242
    Graeme, Sean thinks like me that Kirby is a prat hence the non-comunicardo.
  • pat1cppat1cp Posts: 763
    The Giro clashes in the calender with The French open tennis. The MotoGP European season is starting about May too. They both pull bigger audiences and sponsorship money than cycling, fact.

    So I believe the Giro coverage will get hit again, but only at a weekend.

    Maybe a "cycling channel" could be the way to go.
  • graeme_s-2graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
    Ron Stuart wrote:
    Graeme, Sean thinks like me that Kirby is a prat hence the non-comunicardo.
    I'd picked up on that - I think it adds something to the whole experience. It's like three mates down the pub where two of them can't stand each other and Harmon's the guy in the middle trying to keep a conversation going with the other two!
  • Ron StuartRon Stuart Posts: 1,242
    :lol: Excellent Graeme you got it :wink:
  • Yep, I'd echo the 'fair play, Eurosport' sentiment. They seemed to have twigged the V+ / Sky+ problem of missing the end of stages/races that are running behind schedule by putting in more time at the end too.

    Also, comparing the commentators to those in other sports is the fair yard stick, and I reckon Harmon does bloody well by that measure. Have a listen to the pearls of wisdom that the ESPN football commentators come out with and you'll see what I mean. Utterly cretinous, and they've even got an easier job as there's a more constant supply of action in football.

    One thing Eurosport has got wrong this year though was their Tour of Taiwan coverage. Anyone see that? Might have even been the worst sports coverage I've ever seen! Almost impossible even to track what was going on (apart from Lee Rodgers generally being in the break :wink:), where they were on the course, what was coming next, then all of a sudden you'd get the finishing sprint without having seen the break being swallowed up.

    Reminded me of the Magic Roundabout (bizarrely!) where it was almost impossible to guess when an episode was going to end - it just suddenly did.

    To be fair to Eurosport, that was of course a host broadcast, but maybe they shouldn't have bought it?! At least we got to see a Brit winning the points comp though.
  • afx237viafx237vi Posts: 12,630
    Dunno if it's true, but I read on another forum that the sport with the highest rating on ES International is actually snooker, but it gets lower ratings on British ES because it shows the same stuff as the BBC.

    In agreement with everyone in this thread, though. ES isn't perfect, but it does a good job with a small budget and limited resources. The quality of the commentary must rely sometimes on the info they're given and the pictures that get put on screen by the host broadcasters. It can't be be easy during some of those Spanish races where they don't even put how many km there are to go.
  • Sonny73Sonny73 Posts: 2,604
    Got to say I'm a fan of ES and particularly the Harmon - Kelly combo and I would agree Kirby is maybe better suited as the 3rd cog in their Tour wheel, also think he'd be a good reporter on the field like that chap on Sporza. And to be fair to him I can think of 2 other commentators from another channel that are more prone to getting names, action and facts incorrect on occasions.
    I think it's also worth noting that Brian Smith is a bloomin great listen, one of the best they have for sure.

    In the end of the day though it's great that any channels focus on cycling and that nowadays we get to see the bulk of the action. Still be nice if ITV4 ramped it up a bit more.

    If you're interested in viewing figues check out http://www.barb.co.uk/report/index
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 23,086
    edited April 2012
    As a slightly relevant aside, ITV's coverage of last year's Tour got nominated for a BAFTA this week for best sport/live event
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • Sonny73Sonny73 Posts: 2,604
    RichN95 wrote:
    As a slightly relevant aside, ITV's coverage of last year's Tour got nominated for a BAFTA this week for best sport/live event
    Yeh I saw Ned Tweet that, up against the Royal Wedding amongst others I believe. Good on them, hope they win.
  • That's b#ll#cks, JC.
    My Men 2020 - Mark Cavendish, Ben Swift, Fernando Gaviria, Alejandro Valverde, Edvald Boassen Hagen, Zdenek Stybar, Vincenzo Nibali, Geraint Thomas.
  • Ron StuartRon Stuart Posts: 1,242
    That's b#ll#cks, JC.

    Remember it well, my opinion of Harmon went up ten fold after that :D:D:D
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 14,501
    Another first for Eurosport, next week.
    They have picked up the 4 Days of Dunkirk.
    Unfortunately, while it's live on most versions, UK is showing it either delayed, or as highlights.

    Yes, the fact that it is often a race's Queen stage that gets the weekend chop, is my only major gripe.
    That and the could take a few more of the cobbled races.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • sherersherer Posts: 2,404
    interesting that cycling only gets about 100k viewing figures. Guess that explains why it gets moved about so much.

    Considering the length of some of the programmes they don't have too many adverts in and cover a huge amount of races. Not really a fan of Carlton but apart from that they do a great job.

    Did wish they showed a bit more of the Belgium races, even a few women's races would be ok as well.

    Let's hope the giro doesn't get moved too much for tennis
  • They've started showing highlights of the women's events too this year, which I think, along with the 4 jours and all the other new races, is a good move
    My Men 2020 - Mark Cavendish, Ben Swift, Fernando Gaviria, Alejandro Valverde, Edvald Boassen Hagen, Zdenek Stybar, Vincenzo Nibali, Geraint Thomas.
  • mrolimroli Posts: 3,622
    You know what? I've started enjoying Carlton Kirby's commentary. Largely because I can sit there and go "no, no, no Carlton, its because....." and my wife thinks I'm a genius because I know more than him, but also because he does genuinely throw himself into it and give it a good crack. Getting things wrong doesn't seem to phase him, neither does Sean just ignoring him, neither does the crippling silence when co-commentators try and process what he has just said. He just laughs at his own jokes and gets on with getting it wrong. Good for him. He's got a great job that he ain't amazing at (but would probably still be better than me) and he gives it a load of beans.

    Eurosport. Its free, it covers bike racing and I've just accidentally watched a load of Irish people racing motorbikes round some roads in Cookstown. Quality.
  • Gazzetta67Gazzetta67 Posts: 2,006
    Carlton Kirby is annoying and a bit OTT esp at bunch finishes trying to make it sound as every finish is the final stage in Paris. He`s the equivalent of "smashy & Nicey" or Tony Blackburn - opens his mouth and talks alot of nonsense .... "Chugging along" ???? cue the classroom sniggers !!!!! - You can almost hear Brian Smith saying shut the F**k up you muppet....Tho is one defence of Kirby it could be worse imagine that Drone Aussie Matt Keenan being on Eurosport :D
  • ms_treems_tree Posts: 1,405
    I think that they have shown good races this year - Trentino. Looking forward to the Giro and they are advertising it as being Live. Like the addition of Dan Lloyd to the commentary and hope they use him more. Wasn't keen on Graham Jones and find Harmon's Sky bias is getting a bit much - have to keep saying to self 'calma, calma' or will throw things!! Thanks for the heads up about Dunkirk - I'll check that out.
    'Google can bring back a hundred thousand answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.'
    Neil Gaiman
  • mrolimroli Posts: 3,622
    I like Matt Keenan too. Once you get over the drone stuff, he's pretty good.
  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 14,701
    It seems that Eurosport is part of the Sky 'Entertainment' package (in the News sections) so you don't need a 'Sports' subscription to watch.

    *rubs invisible supervillian beard

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