ITV Sport is pretty much Champions League and FA Cup football nowadays.
When I was a teenager I watched the great British fighters of the nineties like Eubank, Benn, Watson and Collins fighting on a saturday night, earlier still there was World of Sport and Saturday afternoon wrestling, at times there was Formula One racing, but now they only really have rights to show football and not particularly regularly at that.
In many ways I don't feel too sorry for them, they have a sometimes amateurish approach to football with Steve Rider presenting much in the style of a Thunderbird Puppet, Andy Townsend generally adds his views which are bland and a tad pointed. The adverts take away from the atmosphere greatly and unlike sky the emphasis does appear to be more on making money than on the football.
The coverage is pretty basic, its better to watch with the volume down, especially if the awful Clive Tyldesley is commentating as he gives his views too often and works on cliche and opinion. John Champion is a much better commentator and makes the game do the talking. As experts alongside Jim Beglin and David Pleat are fairly good offering opinion and tactical insight.
There is often a foreign guest such as Marcel Desailly or Leonardo on European nights and their eloquence and intelligence just shows up Steve Rider and Andy Townsend further.
Admittedly there is a Rugby Union Round Up show on ITV 4 at weekends and the occasional Darts event, but ITV do seem more interested in Celebrity Ice Skating or Celebrity dating, which is a shame as boxing nights used to pull in wonderful ratings and sport is a big part of our countries history and substance.
Overall ITV sport is incredibly basic dealing only with football, it is a poor relation to BBC, Sky, ESPN and in my view, it is only better than Channel 5 due to the standard of football, as 5 have a better anchor and summariser.
ITV do need to raise their game for the World Cup, they are safe, boring, overrun with adverts and unambitious.
I could spend all day describing my comtempt for the second rate coverage that ITV provide in comparison to Sky, but I'm going to focus on one area in particular that has really got my goat in this season's FA Cup coverage
I have found it baffling that by next week, Leeds United will have had games televised 5 times in 4 rounds. I'm not 100% certain of my figures, but at something like £72,000 going to each club featuring in televised games, this amounts to a £360,000 payout. As a national TV station, how can such bias be justified? There are clubs up and down the country struggling on a daily basis to survive and just one of these payments would keep the creditors at bay for a short period at least.
I accept that Leeds have had some good draws and their games have made for good viewing in this season's cup. I would have expected them to be shown in earlier rounds as the biggest club in the bottom 2 leagues but more than once a round is a bit rich isn't it? If they beat Spurs this week they are due to be shown in the next round as well!
Small clubs are still suffering now from the collapse of ITV digital and this pandering to the 'big' clubs in the lower leagues is another kick in the teeth
I'm not a huge fan of ITV sport if i'm honest, basically their sporting content now consists entirely of football as they no longer have Formula One, have given up on boxing and never really got into cricket.
To start with their boxing coverage used to be excellent with the versatile Jim Rosenthal hosting and with summary from Reg Gutteridge it was great Saturday night television, unfortunately we can only see Boxing on PPV channels now which will affect future generations in watching the sport.
Anyway back to the football, ITV has always been seen as a slightly more flashy, cheaper version of BBC football, I have to admit I do love the Champions League so do have to watch ITV, but I find it strange that the channel seems obsessed with only showing Liverpool and Manchester United games, i'm not an Arsenal fan but they are the most exciting English team to watch and yet I never see them on ITV as they prefer to show the latest dull Liverpool 0-0 draw every time.
The football on ITV is regularly punctuated by ad breaks as was most painfully shown when Everton scored in another dull 0-0 draw about 9 minutes into extra time in an FA cup match on the channel last year and ITV missed the only moment of excitement due to an ad break.
In terms of Presentation I don't find Steve Rider convincing as an ITV anchorman, he doesn't seem to love the game like someone like Jeff Stelling or Richard Keys or even Gabby Logan who was woefully underused by the channel.
The guests too can be very hit and miss, for every Marcel Desailly or inciteful foreign player we get Andy Townsend or Teddy Sherringham who are dull, listless and predictable.
The presentation is cheap, the commentary of Clive Tyldesley constantly recalls that famous night in 99 when United won the Champions League and overall its just a bit disappointing, ok at least they don't have the woeful Mark Bright who adds comedy to any BBC football show, but their choice of commentators, summarisers and guests are really hit and miss as is their choice of matches!
Having spent time abroad for many years and just recently been back to Uk on a trip I must say that ITV coverage of F1 race is better than most.
Although I personally have nothing to do with F1, my husband's family have been involved with it in a serious way for many years and it was and still is a religion to watch the race.
I went back to Uk two weeks ago and had to watch the race - Spanish GP as it was the weekend ritual and there was no way of getting out of it unless you went in another room but then that was looked at as you weren't interested or you were sulking.
So at 4pm we had dinner. Very nice it was too. The inlaws had recorded the race to watch after the meal mainly because I was a guest but usually I think the set up would be to watch the race whilst eating the meal.
Let me stress that I really didn't want to watch the race as over many years I have been subjected to motor racing and at most times apart from the days of Senna and Prost I have usually been bored. As I was a guest I thought I at least should show some consideration and watch this race. Kubica was doing well, the Polish driver, so I was interested to see how good he was.
So I must say I watched the whole race and I enjoyed it. I thought the coverage compared with foreign channels was fine. This particular race was quite dynamic as a lot of cars for one reason or another retired and there was an accident where a car crashed at 140 miles ph under the tyre barrier. Luckily the driver was okay. I know it is cruel but you have to be honest, most people like a crash or two and like it even more when there are only 4 or 5 cars left in the race.
Sorry I am rambling a bit. What I am trying to say is that I know people in Uk moan about the ITV coverage and they would love to hear Fleetwood Mac again at the start of the race which I think they will next year but honestly ITV is okay.
This Sunday I watched the coverage on polish TV and my god, I fell asleep after 4 laps then woke up and tried to be alert. Kubica was then 3rd and Hamilton was 2nd so I thought this is good - I am rooting for both but then I fell asleep again until the 20th lap. Woke up again - thought I must be alert but then fell asleep again. I woke up on the the 3rd lap from the end which by that time Massa had clinched it. I felt cheated as I had missed all of the race nearly. Was I really tired, bored or was it a boring race or bad coverage. Who knows?
My question is - is do you have to be a F1 fanatic to enjoy the race on TV? Okay the cars are out of this world design wise and mechanically sound. Some of the drivers have character and charisma but not many - not like in the old days. So do people who watch the race on TV really enjoy it or do they find it boring and fall asleep. I would love to know. Please tell me.
But compared with foreign coverage ITV is still sophistcated and I would rather watch it any day. At least I never fell asleep!!!!
why does itv feel that they have to put so many adverts into the formula one they don't do it to football you can always garantee that there will be adverts right at the vital point in the race, i prefered it when the motor racing was with bbc cause you get fuller better coverage instead of haveing a interupted race, if itv paid as much attention to the formula one as they did to football then they would have more users of there service please itv sort it out
Before we had Sky Digital installed, I used to watch I.T.V. fairly regularly, but these days I only ever watch it at other people's houses! I suppose part of the reason why I don't watch it is that we don't have a TV aerial on the roof, meaning that to get I.T.V. in our area (dodgy TV reception at best)it means I have to faff about with one of those mini aerial thingies (or the bent coat hanger that serves as one for the TV upstairs!). And to be honest, there is nothing currently showing on I.T.V. that inspires me enough to undertake the, er, faffing! (Although I may well re-think for the next series of 'Bad Girls', great programme that!) In its favour, I.T.V. is essentially a free channel, as once you have paid for your licence there is no other charge for it, but to be honest, I don't think that many people would subscribe to the channel if it wasn't free...unless of course they were die hard corrie fans! I know that a lot of people do watch I.T.V. and enjoy it, but there isn't really much in their programme schedule that interests me. I'm not really a Corrie fan, I don't like formula one and I hate the constant advert breaks during films (something you don't get, in newer films, on Sky Premier!)Day time TV is something I never watch, partly because I rarely have the time, and partly because during the day my daughter jealously guards the remote! I would say that I.T.V is an average channel with average programmes; a contender for the viewing figures when you only have 4 or 5 channels to choose from, but when offered more choice, it is simply a channel that is all too easy to ignore. As more and more channels hit the airwaves, I think that I.T.V. will need to seriously review and improve their programming schedule if they are to keep the viewers that they have now!
ITV has been given a lot of stick over its coverage of Formula 1 by the fans, including myself. The number of adverts during the qualifying and the race is far too many, and often occurs during moments we wish to see. However, you can't blame ITV for doing this, races are unpredictable. The drivers can hardly radio the commentators and say, "Hold on, I'm just about to crash, don't go to an advert break," can they? I've given up complaining about the advert breaks, it just isn't worth it, it's going to happen anyway. What really gets on my nerves is when we don't get shown the press conferences. Why? Coronation Street, that's why. Why is it that a fictional show, which can surely be shown a few minutes late, gets priority over real-life happening there and then? Unfortunately, I can't answer that question. Also, when we didn't get shown the qualifying sessions for Montreal and Indianapolis. I understand that ITV have to get as many viewers as possible, but when I had to wait for an Indiana Jones film to finish in the early hours of the morning, I was infuriated. One of the things that I loved about Formula 1 was the commentary of Martin Brundle and the great Murray Walker. Now, Murray is gone and James Allen is his replacement. How I suffered, listening to his monotonous voice drone on about tyres and pit strategy. Not that I'm against listening to talk about tyres and pit strategy. But for the whole race, I don't think so. Thank God for Martin Brundle. Still, on the whole you can't really complain about ITV. You get the race and the qualifying (mostly live), interviews with the drivers and other interesting features too (although Beverley Turner's features I do not consider interesting).
I'm not one to complain about F1 coverage but there have been a few things nagging me while watching the Grand Prix. The first is the slowmo camera. Yes it is a nifty piece of kit to show how the cars bounce over the curbs but not the same driver twenty times. They can get very boring. Don't get me wrong the camera is excellent if there was a crash over the curbs and the slowmo camera got the cars breaking up. In the German GP there was a lot of concerntration on German drivers, German manufacturers and so on. We saw Trulli spin in his Jordan at least 4 times in a row - German sponsor. Michael Schumacher was seen nearly every five minutes even though he was out - German driver. To top it all when the McLarens went out we had to watch both on the long walk in. Longer than we needed to - German engine. All I ask is that the producers cut down a little on the boring shots and concerntrate on the race.
I have been a massive fan of Formula One racing for as long as I can remember. I never miss a Grand Prix if I can help it, and if I really have to go out when one is one, I video it, but that's not the same, because some eejit invariably ends up telling me who won the race before I get a chance to watch it. When BBC had the contract for televising the Formula 1 season, I used to love sitting down with a cold Miller and crisps and watching every second. Now that ITV has taken over coverage, they seem to take an ad break every 15 minutes. I recognise the fact that due to high viewing figures, this must be a very lucrative time period for sponsership on the TV network, and without the money, ITV could not exist, but I fear that the top men have forgotten the fact that Formula 1 is a very fast moving sport, and in the time they take an ad break, the race line up could have changed dramatically. Fair enough, if there is a major crash, or a change of leadership, we are usually played back a snippet of what happened, but the whole continuity of the race is broken up for viewers. I'm praying that the BBC get back the viewing contract, then I can get back to my 2 hours of uninterupted pleasure every second Sunday, not to mentio the 1 hour qualifying on the Saturday. One other thing, I have to say that I won't miss Murray Walker when he finally retires at the end of this season. Yes, he's been the 'voice' of formula 1 for decades, but he should have retired years ago. My boyfriend & I fall about laughing at his commentary sometimes. He is forever mistaking drivers, leaving poor Martin Brundle to correct him. Just for the record, Schumie is my racing idol. I think he drives like a dream, and to have come back so well and so quickly from the accident which broke his leg showed his genius for what it is. On top of that, I shouldn't miss out the fact that he's a babe - and that always h
as to count for something!
I love Formula One racing, every other weekend throughout the season I cannot be pried from the sofa (many have tried and failed). ITV's coverage is excellent and I am happy that unlike football and boxing it is not pay per view (and long may it stay that way), but pleasssssssssse do something about the amount and frequency of the commercial breaks. I understand that its ITV and that means putting up with adverts, but last Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix programme took the biscuit and all it left us were the crumbs. The race was hotting up and the battle between Michael and Ralf Schumacher was to say the least edge of the seat stuff, both were due to come in for pit stops, depending on when and for how long the race could be won or lost. ITV showed no less than 4 seperate commercial breaks during this critical half hour, why? no other programme has 4 breaks in half an hour, have I missed something are we now the 51st state of America?
Right i have to say i'm a big fan of F1. And was surprised when it moved from bbc a ferw years ago. Having watched I.T.V.s coverage i have these things to say. The ads annoy me during the race it help deaden the excitment. (Not by much i'll grant you.) You don't see the breaks in football matches. Again minor gripe, but a gripe none the less. Now there was a lot of grumbling (Me included.) about the decision to show the US grand prix live on itv2. Well i have good and bad news on this......... THE bad news is they will more than likly show the us grand prix on itv2 again this season. The good news (For people with sky this is.) In September Sky will have itv 1 and 2 on the network. Now hopefully they will start showing itv before the grand prix but i think that's good news. Before i finish i must mention the commentry team. Murry and Martin rule. What would a grand prix be without Murry makinfg a mistake??? "lousie Allen is in the pits." anyone? It will be a sad day when Murray retires.
Well I don't know about anyone else but Murrey makes it for me. The only reason I watch the Grand Prix on ITV - apart from the reason that it isn't on any other channel in English - is to spot Murreys mistakes. We always look for the 'Murrey quote of the weekend' at every race. The favourite at the moment is, "and I can see him in my earpiece", classic. OK, serious now. Without having anything to compare it to, ITV do a pretty good job at covering the grand prix. During the race you can always see what's happening, you don't get any large gaps of empty track. The commentators do a great job, even if Murrey gets it all wrong! Have you ever seen those races with commentators just saying the odd work here and there - big long gaps in between speaking. It's not right. What you need is Martin and Murrey drivelling on constantly, it adds to the atmosphere. And doesn't Murrey get all exited when something happens!! What is annoying is the adverts. I know they have to have them but can't they do it before and after the race. You'll be quite happy watching the race, adverts come on, five minutes later and back to the program and everyone has crashed, blown up etc. ITV do show replays though so you haven't completely missed it. While the race is on you also get news from the pits from everyone who crashed/blew up/broke down/sulked/gave up. Apart from the race ITV also cover the qualifying which is also very good. If you have long gaps without cars on the track Martin and Murrey will fill you in on all of the latest gossip! One of my favourite pieces is Martin's grid walk where he just barges in and interviews anyone, even if they are being interviewed by someone else at the time!! Overall ITV do a great job covering the grand prix. Hopefully they will find a good replacement for Murrey Walker next year, I'll miss him! Can I suggest th
e bloke who commentates for Robot Wars, "AND HE'S ON FIRE"!!!!!!!
When I first heard that ITV had won the rights to Formula One, I fell into depair. I felt that of a 100 minute race, fifty would be devoted to adverts. Not the case. As I am aware, they have a certain length of adverts to be included into the entire program. They pack as much as possible into the chit-chat at the start and end of the transmission. They also provide a good opportunity for a toilet break! If you do want to know what is going on, Radio 5 (909 & 693 MW) often carries live coverage. The commentary stayed the same "The Voice" and the legend that is Murray Walker (I'll miss him!) with Martin Brundle now as his assistant who is more than qualifed to comment on even the smallest little tactical or mechanical detail. Martin's start-line walk about at the start of the race is often a laugh with him falling over various mechanics, cars, drivers and camera crews and giving us a feel for the atmosphere Louise Goodman and James Allen prowl up and down the pit-lane interviewing the unfortunate retirees and telling us, the public, exactly what is going on. Allen has this wonderful knack of working out at the click of a finger what sort of a pit-stop strategy a driver is on. Louise recently wrote a book detailing the behind the scenes activites of both ITV and the teams. Jim Rosenthal is the anchorman with former F1 and CART driver Mark Blundell and Tony Jardine with him in the studio providing their thoughts and predictions for the race ahead and the analysis of the race at the end. I enjoy it and am glad that it is on terrestrial TV now for a further 100 years. Those who are complaining at ITV's coverage now would probably have complained further at having to pay enormous amounts to watch even more adverts.
Well, after a thoroughly enjoyable Brazilian Grand Prix in which David Coulthard comes home to give Mclaren hope and light at the end of the tunnel, I looked back on the coverage ITV have been giving it over the weekend and I would like to point out my frustrations and also good points about the race coverage by this channel. Throughout the second half of the Brazilian Grand Prix, ITV were intent on showing a tanner across the bottom of the screen telling us all that Coronation Street was still on and was following the race. It wasnt enough for them to scroll it across the screen once, it came across 6 times! I mean, Coronation Street is fiction, the sport of F1 is fact and is true life so do we really care about Vera Duckworth and that character with the squeaky voice? Secondly although not entirely ITV's fault, the sound and commentary for the Grand Prix was terrible! At one stage I thought Martin Brundle and James Allen had been hijacked in the commentary box because they were gone for so long. We made our own race commentary because it became quite boring with no sound for 10 minutes. It was nice they showed some respect when they apoligised. And with no Murray, well, he is supposed to be taking 5 races off this season, why bother presenting at all because it only leaves 12. What happened to the pre and post race press conferences that we get after every race for both qualifying and the race? Well, ITV had to cut them short because, yes, you have guessed it, Coronation Street comes first. And the amount of adverts the channel has to show is ridiculous. ITV are just within legal limits because it is illegal for the channel to show more than 7 sets of adverts per hour, sometimes ITV can do 5 so they are scraping the barrel! If you compare this to football on ITV, they dont interupt that coverage and they get rid of all the adverts they need to show during half time and not during the coverage itself and they only ha
ve one two to three adverts overall for the whole football programme! Comparing this with F1 which goes over double figures. I must congratulate them though on the programme setup with nice intro sequences to every race and stylised menus and screens to show us statistics etc. Also the picture quality is very good too although saying that there was some degredation.
I really don't like ITV. Not just because of what it has done to Formula One, but also because of the way it conducts itself generally. It is nothing more than a greedy, commercialist, uncaring station that cares nothing for its viewers until they start switching off. All that matters to ITV is ratings and money, and the only reason that ratings matter is that more ratings = more money. I was very, very concerned when ITV first acquired the rights for Formula One, as I knew they would do what they have done... introducing commercial breaks, failing to commit to live coverage of qualifying sessions for every race, and now even failing to commit to live coverage of races when they would have to move their precious Coronation Street to accommodate it. (Something that they are perfectly happy to do every time even the most unimportant football match comes along) The most notable thing about ITV F1 coverage as opposed to the BBC coverage that preceded it is obviously the ads. Now, I realise that being a commercial station, perhaps ITV really needs to advertise mid-race... but does it really need the 6 advertisements per race that it is currently running? It wouldn't do that during the FA Cup Final would it? Football fans would storm the ITV headquarters and burn it to the ground! I realise that Football has half-time, and so adverts can be shown there, but F1 has the pre-race and post-race which is also full of ads, and so the proportion of advertising versus action is much higher with ITV's F1 coverage than it is with it's football coverage. The most notable thing after this is ITV's dumbing down of coverage. Why oh why did they employ Jim "Let's talk about the football" Rosenthal? This man knows nothing about Formula One and you get the impression that he really doesn't want to... and it's all presented from the "Let's see what those good ol' British boys got up to"
angle... I also felt that a lot of the features and studio chat (especially back when they had Simon Taylor in the studio) in the early days was insulting to the intelligence of fans... especially in the early days. Having said that, the standard of features at the moment is actually really good. "Murray meets" was and excellent series of features, and Martin Brundle's insider guides were very interesting and informative too. Now all they have to do is give Rosenthal the boot... he's clearly happier talking about ITV's upcoming coverage of Man Utd versus whoever in the Champions League than he is about Formula One (His face visibly lights up when he realises he's going to get to talk about footy again). The worst thing about ITV coverage though is most definitely its lack of commitment to the sport. For Football, ITV moves heaven and Earth. This seems to be partly down to the fact that Football attracts high ratings, and so more money, and partly due to the fact that ITV has a great love of Manchester United Football Club, but the bias there is a separate issue. ITV will not commit to allowing F1 any time in its weekend prime-time slots. It has consistently failed to show live Canadian Grand Prix qualifying - preferring to show trashy game shows and soaps instead, just because they are popular with ITV's target audience. It couldn't possibly move them just that one time each year... the channel does no favours for itself by relegating the tape-delayed coverage of this session to gone midnight either. I have no problem staying up that late, (It's inevitable that I will already know the grid by this time, but I still like to watch) but many people do have a problem with it. They also failed to show Malaysian Grand Prix qualifying live last year, despite the fact that this would have been in the early hours of the morning. They made some excuse about how it would have encroac
hed about 15 minutes into GMTV time, and how they would have had to pay for that... how greedy!! Decent qualifying coverage for the last GP of the season was the least they owed us after their shocking treatment of fans at the US Grand Prix. And that treatment was scandalous. They moved live coverage over to ITV2 - a channel that maybe six people and a dog somewhere in London can receive - (I even tried to buy an OnDigital box to watch it, but there is no OnDigital coverage in my area - so I was left high and dry) just so that they would not have to move Coronation Street (one of their biggest ratings winners) and mess up their prime time schedule. Funny how they have no problems moving Coronation Street for the Champions League, something which attracts lower ratings than Corrie itself... When fans complained, and many did, ITV basically told us all to go and take a running jump. It's what they've done all the way through their four years of shockingly awful F1 coverage. The only alternative at the moment is to watch the race on RTL, on the Astra 1G satellite. It's a free channel, and you can get the receivers for next to nothing, but unfortunately at the moment I switch addresses up to five times a year, and so having a dish installed is not really an option at the moment. If it were, I would watch the races that ITV chooses not to cover on RTL - a channel that has far better commitment to the sport, even if the commentary is in German! I was reduced to listening to the US Grand Prix at Indianapolis - the first USGP since 1991, one of the most eagerly awaited races of the year, and a crucial race in the championship - on Radio 5. I then got to watch tape-delayed (and very poor quality) coverage at 11:45 PM. This seemed to have been thrown together as an afterthought almost. It was very, very poor. The other major gripes are that ITV is now filling the victory lap with adverts - this is something many of us
like to watch, it's part of the celebrations - and they are also getting into the habit of running over the start of the podium ceremony with studio chat now. Not only is this annoying and disrespectful - it is also a breach of their contract with FOA (Formula One Administration). Also - why do we not get to see full press conferences anymore? You sometimes don't even see them at all unless there is either a British Driver or a McLaren driver in the winners seat... it would be nice to hear from ALL the drivers - regardless of where they hail from or the colour of their overalls. I would also like to hear a little more from some of the drivers that finished outside the top three, but ITV doesn't seem to want to interview them much now unless they are British. In summary, ITV coverage is exceptionally poor - how it ever won so many awards is beyond me - and more worryingly, it is getting worse. The coverage of the last Grand Prix in 2000 in Malaysia had me shocked - I didn't think it could get that bad! There is even talk of ITV tape-delaying the Canadian Grand Prix as well as the US Grand Prix this year in order to free up prime-time viewing slots. If only another channel in this country was also allowed to show F1 in competition with ITV, F1 fans would desert the channel in droves. I would recommend it to a friend only because there is currently no alternative. Please Bernie, give it back to the professionals at the Beeb!