Eurosport commentary

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Hmm... I guess were referring to different things cuz I still don't follow. My post was about the watchability of the GCN broadcast. Constant giggling and the Chatty Friends in a Room concept is annoying. I don't know anything about abstract concepts like witch hunts, internet mobs or the rest of it.
Think that's a bit unfair I think. Dan Lloyd's commentary very much focus' is on the sport and is always keen to move any conversation back to the action. Robbie McKewan is new to the Team and has been encouraged to use the "dead periods" of a long stage to talk about his own experience and stories of past tours.

I think they have been very entertaining. (I am a big CK fan and think his ability to fill in and describe the areas and scenery is exemplary. It's a pity he can't recognise any of the riders when it comes to the action itself particularly at the end of races). Think Orla C has encouraged the boy banter as well.
My take is McEwan probably got confused by the overly informal nature the GCN Giro production overall. I mean, the Breakaway is just 30 minutes of giggling and inside jokes. When GCN decision makers were deciding on the type of vibe they want, they somehow decided upon "Suburban teenagers hanging out in a basement on Saturday afternoon."
"Top Gear with bicycles" was what I figured.

Which probably explains why McEwen said what he said. That's absolutely the kind of thing they would do in Top Gear - contrive a situation that enables them to use an archaic or politically incorrect term under the defence of it being literally appropriate to the situation at hand. And it's not like they can even argue that Top Gear got away with it - they caused minor controversies like this all the time, they just got away with it because the series made so much money.
That's absolutely the kind of thing they would do in Top Gear - contrive a situation that enables them to use an archaic or politically incorrect term under the defence of it being literally appropriate to the situation at hand.
TBF I don't think it was contrived, I think it's just simple schoolboy word association humour - "Look at me, ma, I said something rude!" But it does come from that casual mateyness familiar from TG.
In defence of McEwan: yesterday Llloyd noted how McEwan had picked him up on one of those meaningless air-filling phrases that regularly falls out of his mouth. If he can do that with a few of the others (especially Sideshow Rob's love of long years - no year is ever short or the normal length with him, it's always three long years since this and two long years since that)
I'm never sure what Bradley Wiggins and Hannah Walker are asked to bring to proceedings. Their instructions seem to be just "please say exactly what everyone can see/has just seen". Total waste of time.

McEwen and Blythe are interesting breaking down sprints but that's about it really.
Like, if you didn't know Lloyd was an ex-pro then you'd be stunned that he ever raced a bike given the lack of insight he has in comparison to them.
A few notes: 1) I love the GCN ethos. There. 2) today was the first time I thought Wiggins added something from the motorcycle—he spoke of how Carapaz and the chasers looked up close—that Carapaz looked a little nervous and the chasers looked strong. he turned out to be right. That’s the kind of insight I’d like to see more of.
McEwen and Blythe are interesting breaking down sprints but that's about it really.
Like, if you didn't know Lloyd was an ex-pro then you'd be stunned that he ever raced a bike given the lack of insight he has in comparison to them.
Well I don't really think he's given the oppotunity to. As much as I like McEwen, he and Blythe speak alot more than Lloyd. I think it's partly down to McEwen being much more of an extroverted personality and Blythe having grown in confidence from when he first really featured which was back in the 2018 grand tours for short stints. This is compared to Lloyd who although good at presenting, and fairly natural at doing so, doesn't seem to have the same 'flare' the other three in the studio do.

I must say, watching the Veenendaal Veenendaal Classic today, it was strange listening to Kirby commentating on a 1.1 race. Once upon a time, you wouldn't hear him on eurosport during the month of may as he did the international feed at the Giro. More recently he did the Tour of California once the likes of Quigley and Boulting took over that role from him and also shared the commentary with Hatch one year at the Giro, but it's definitely different listening to him in the smaller european races. I'd assume that is partly down to Jose Been (who's done the other Exterioo races) doing the Women's Burgos as Macdonald is doing the Tour Series crit races in the UK.
I find the whole vibe of the studio on GCN a bit jokey/laddish and not very good ..its alright to have fun but I need insight and i dont feel i get that from Blyhte in particular as he talks such rubbish, plays the fool and just refers to his mates (cav, ben swift ,etc)

Funnily I like the time when Llyod and McEwen are on comms the best and when Sean Kelly overlaps with them are there is no shouting or declarations of how momentous everything is which gives you time to make up your own mind..its just calm observations on the race

I dont know where the idea comms in sport should be loud, over the top and bigger than the sport itself...constantly telling you how great everything you are watching is ......USA ??

If have to have one talkative announcer then also have one less talkative that tells you something insightful
its about balance and insight
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British Eurosport commentary pairings season 2022 (men's elite):

(WT=World Tour; PS=Pro Series, ET=Europe Tour, AT=Asia Tour)

Australian National Championships: host broadcaster package
ET: Challenge Mallorca: Trofeo Calvia (highlights on 26/1): Kirby (solo)
ET: Challenge Mallorca: Trofeo Alcúdia - Port d'Alcúdia (highlights on 27/1): Kirby (solo)
ET: Challenge Mallorca: Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana (highlights on 28/1): Kirby (solo)
ET: Challenge Mallorca: Trofeo Pollença - Port d'Andratx (highlights on 29/1): Kirby (solo)
ET: Challenge Mallorca: Trofeo Playa de Palma - Palma (highlights on 30/1): Kirby (solo)
ET: Grand Prix Cycliste de Marseille La Marseillaise (live on 30/1): Been & Stephens
AT: Saudi Tour (live from 1/2): Cox & Smith
PS: Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (live from 2/2): Stephens & Backstedt
PS: Tour de Provence (live from 10/2): Stephens & Blythe
ET: Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia Costa Calida (live 12/2): Been & Smith
PS: Clasica de Almeria (live on 13/2): Been & Smith
ET: Jaén Paraiso Interior (live on 14/2): Been & Smith
PS: Vuelta a Andalusia (live from 16/2): Cox & Smith
PS: Volta ao Algarve (live from 16/2): Lloyd & Blythe
ET: Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var (live from 18/2): Been & Stephens
WT: UAE Tour (live from 20/2): Kirby & Blythe (stages 1&2), Backstedt (stage 3-7)
PS: Tour of Oman (review on 21/2): Ant McCrossan (host broadcaster package)
ET: Gran Camiño (live from 24/2): Cox (stages 1, 2 & 4), Kirby (stage 3) & Smith
WT: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite (live on 26/2): Lloyd & Blythe (with Marty MacDonald)
PS: Faun-Ardèche Classic (live on 26/2): Cox & Conor Dunne
PS: Kuurne - Bruxelles - Kuurne (live on 27/2): Hatch & Blythe
PS: Drôme Classic (live on 27/2): Hannah Walker & Dunne
ET: Le Samyn (live on 1/3): Been & Backstedt
WT: Strade Bianche (live on 5/3): Hatch, Blythe & Lloyd
WT: Paris-Nice (live from 6/3): Hatch & Kelly
ET: Grote Prijs Jean-Pierre Monseré (live 6/3): Cox & Backstedt
WT: Tirreno-Adriatico (live from 7/3): Kirby, Lloyd & Robbie McEwen
ET: Albert Achterhes Profronde van Drenthe (live on 15/3): Been & Walker
PS: Milano - Torino (live on 16/3): Hatch & Smith
PS: Danilith Nokere Koerse (live on 16/3): Been & Backstedt
PS: Grand Prix de Denain - Porte du Hainaut (live on 17/3) Been & Backstedt
PS: Bredene Koksijde Classic (live on 18/3): Been & Backstedt
WT: Milano-Sanremo (live on 19/3): Kirby, Hatch, Lloyd, McEwan & Blythe
ET: Classic Loire Atlantique (live on 20/3): Been & Smith
WT: Volta Ciclista a Catalunya (live from 21/3): Kirby & Smith
WT: Minerva Classic Brugge-De Panne (live on 23/3): Cox & Blythe
WT: E3 Saxo Bank Classic (live on 25/3): Lloyd & McEwan
WT: Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields (live on 27/3): Cox & Blythe
ET: La Roue Tourangelle Centre Val de Loire - Trophée Groupama Paris Val de Loire (live on 27/3): Stephens & Dunne
WT: Dwars door Vlaanderen - A travers la Flandre (live on 30/3): Lloyd & Blythe
PS: Gran Premio Miguel Indurain (live on 2/4): Cox & Smith
ET: Volta Limburg Classic (live on 2/4): Been & Backstedt
WT: Ronde van Vlaanderen - Tour des Flandres (live on 3/4): Kirby, Lloyd, McEwan, Blythe
WT: Itzulia Basque Country (live from 4/4): Stephens & N. Roche
PS: Scheldeprijs (live on 6/4): Kirby & Backstedt
WT: Amstel Gold Race (live on 10/4): Kirby & Blythe
PS: Presidential Cycling Tour of Türkiye (live from 10/4): Cox (stage 1, 5, 7&8), Kirby (stage 2-4, 6) & Smith
ET: Giro di Sicilia - Tour of Sicily (live from 11/4): Been & Backstedt
PS: De Brabantse Pijl - La Flèche Brabançonne: (live on 13/4): Cox & Blythe
WT: Paris-Roubaix (live on 17/4): Hatch, Lloyd, Backstedt and Blythe
PS: Tour of the Alps (live from 18/4): Hatch & Blythe
WT: La Flèche Wallonne (live on 20/4): Cox & Stephens
WT: Liège-Bastogne-Liège (live on 24/4): Hatch, Blythe & Lloyd
WT: Tour de Romandie (live from 26/4): Stephens & Roche
ET: International Tour of Hellas (highlights from 27/4): Quigley (solo)
WT: Eschborn-Frankfurt (live on 1/5): Cox & Backstedt
PS: 4 Jours de Dunkerque / Grand Prix des Hauts de France (live from 3/5): Kirby & Smith
WT: Giro d'Italia (live from 6/5): Hatch, Lloyd,Kelly, McEwan & Blythe
ET: Tour de Hongrie (live from 11/5): Kirby & Smith
PS: Grand Prix du Morbihan (live on 14/5): Been & Dunne
PS: Tro-Bro Léon (live on 15/5): Cox & Backstedt
ET: Veenendaal-Veenendaal Classic (live on 21/5): Kirby & Smith
ET: Tour du Finistère (live on 21/5): Cox & Backstedt
ET: Antwerp Port Epic / Sels Trophy (live on 22/5): Kirby & Smith
PS: Tour of Norway (live from 24/5): Kirby & Smith
PS: Boucles de la Mayenne - Crédit Mutuel (live from 26/5): Cox & Dani Christmas
ET: Circuit de Wallonie (live on 26/5): MacDonald & Dunne
ET: Grote Prijs Marcel Kint (live on 29/5): Harry Downdey & Dunne
ET: Mercan'Tour Classic Alpes-Maritimes (live on 31/5): Been & Backstedt
WT: Critérium du Dauphiné (live from 5/6): Kirby & Smith
PS: Brussels Cycling Classic (live on 5/6): Cox & Backstedt
ET: Ronde van Limburg (live on 6/6): Cox & Stephens
PS: ZLM Tour (live from 8/6): Cox & Stephens
ET: Grosser Preis des Kantons Aargau (live on 10/6): Hatch & Backstedt
PS: Dwars door het Hageland (live on 11/6): Been & Backstedt
WT: Tour de Suisse (live from 12/6): Hatch & Backstedt
ET: Elfstedenronde Brugge (live on 12/6): Been & Dunne
PS: Tour of Slovenia (live from 15/6): tbc
PS: Baloise Belgium Tour (live from 15/6): tbc
ET: La Route d'Occitanie - La Dépêche du Midi (live from 16/6): tbc
WT: Tour de France (live from 1/7): tbc
WT: Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa (live on 30/7): tbc
WT: La Vuelta ciclista a España (live from 19/8): tbc
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It was worth reading this thread just to learn S4C are covering the Giro live.

I don't watch all of the Eurosport coverage, just the highlights on the Quest channel. It seems they are trying to replicate e-sports coverage a bit in terms of using 'humour' as a means of attracting critical younger viewers. I think they are doing a decent job from the sections shown in the highlights.

When a stage is so truly dire that even the breakaway gives up and lets the peloton cruise the last 20kms then I think it's fine to just mess about a bit. The best presentation I've seen aimed at 'yoof' consists of the following.

  • use of engaging, telegenic individuals rather than always ex-pros with no media background
  • always be serious when the action merits it and prioritise the action in those moments (this doesn't mean there can't be lighthearted moments during points in big stages)
  • don't take things too serious during downtime in action. If something is boring, don't be afraid fo say it or even make fun of it
  • don't condescend to the audience, audiences are generally comfortable picking up what is going on in their own time
  • avoiding phoney whoops and hollering when it isn't merited (although the lead play by play commentator has to at least get animated naturally or they are in the wrong job)
  • avoid making up tensionk but do feel free to make predictions, even speculative ones about what might unfold
  • get everyone in the booth/studio at a given time on the same page, maybe shift between more serious and less serious combinations.
I think Eurosport are making a decent fist at the above barring their roving reporters.

I love the gravity and dry humour Gary Imlach (and Daniel Friedmann) brings to coverage, but there is more than one way to skin a cat and if Eurosport want to appeal to a younger audience I think that's a reasonable thing to attempt from a business point of view even if I'm not the target audience. I think you can get away with a less serious emphasis in the a Giro or Vuelta where there is a lot of downtime and, rightly or wrongly, it simply doesn't have the same prestige as a TdF, Worlds or Olympic road race where more straight coverage is likely required.
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