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Liggett and Sherwen Commentary

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Dec 29, 2009
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auscyclefan94 said:
That is no excuse! They still should commentate the race! They mention him when the happenings of the race have absolutely nothing to do with him and mention him in races he is not even in!:mad:;)

they do. you have to consider their audience.

erader
 
I'm going off topic here and I don't know if this has been brought up by anyone before but I suspect now that Shack knew that Armstrong was done long before the Tour started as many here did. I say this because Bruyneel early in the season began emphasizing the importance of the team classification in virtually every stage race they entered, way more than ever. Now they're at the Tour, Armstrong's gc position somewhere around where Thor Hushovd's is, Leipheimer with no chance of winning, Kloden having his typical off Tour year after last year's "on" year and Horner having inebriated himself on the Armstrong kool-aid and now giving his all to do whatever it is that pleases him.

In a way for me it's kind of interesting to see Shack trying to match everything that Caisse d'Epargne does in their battle to win the team classification. In the past I never paid much attention to it but with the Shack so deeply involved in it, Caisse being one of my favorite teams being their sole competition and of course the Versus crew keeping us abreast of the war on the road, it is now piked my interest in it and how teams in the past may have pursued this goal when maybe their initial plans coming into the Tour were thwarted for whatever reasons.
 
For those who wonder what the broadcast will be like when LA is gone, we already had an answer to that in 06-07-08. THEY BRING HIM UP CONSTANTLY!!!

But for the record, their broadcast is very appealing to the non-die hards (like my wife and father), or even those die hards that have never heard any of the other broadcasters. This might get broken down slightly as the Universal broadcasts of the Giro and Vuelta introduce the American audience to different announcers, but thus far it hasn't.
 
Pharazon said:
i wouldn't say they're particulariy pro UK...

they've been down on Sky ever since the start.. when Wiggins was in the escape group yesterday he never got a mention, yet it was Lance this, Lance that, etc..

they're completely dictated to by the US networks... hopefully they'll be better next year when he's gone.. i may have to subscribe to Eurosport online otherwise next year as i can't take another year of them

They're definitely partial to the US riders and also to the Australian pro's. I think that it's based on what riders they have relationships with. Roll's anti-French stick is so frakkin' ungrateful since this event is the reason for whatever fame he has accumulated over the years. It is beyond tiresome and shows what a small man he is. Baffling that the producers allow him to continue with it because it is not productive at all.
 
Jul 19, 2010
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boardhanger said:
The commentary is appauling. I believe they are being dictated to by the US producers and as such need to commentate as directed. It's sad an annoying especially hearing the repeated mantra over and over. Yet I know its the producers fault and P&P just have to suck eggs to get that pay check......:D

That doesn't explain why Phil is constantly wrong. Wrong name, wrong team, wrong time, wrong position. It used to happen 2-3 times a race but now it's every time he opens his mouth.
Sorry Phil, you've been great, but it's time to retire.
 
Jul 19, 2010
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Hitchey said:
So, another question I do have in all honesty is what percentage of the viewers of the tour are hard core cyclists/ex or current racers/people that really understand cycling? I ask only because I question if my personal constant annoyance of the versus broadcasts actually put me in the minority when it comes to the total viewing audience. Is versus really catering to the viewing majority out there rather than to the miniscule percentage of posters on this forum that complains?

For example, I have a good friend that is quite the enthusiast rider, rides 3-4 days a week, no racing experience at all, a very smart guy, an admitted Lance fan, and just loves the versus commentary.

Well, I have to say the commentary is atrocious. However, I'm so starved for cycling here in the US that I put up with it.
 
Jul 21, 2010
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53x11 in DC said:
Here's a thought....

Anybody in America remember when we used to get our Tour de France news via 2-month-old "Winning" magazines in the bike shop? Remember when a HUGE leap was the 30-minute recap of the WHOLE TdF on CBS, or Wide World of Sports, or whatever it was?

I agree with the original point, but...... just turn the TV down, and be glad that we can see 50% of every day's stage, 4 times a day.

:)

I was thinking the same thing reading through this thread. Growing up as a kid I would go out every morning to get the newspaper and turn to the sports section hoping to find out what happened in the previous day's stage. And all that coverage consisted of was the top 10, maybe top 20 in the stage and overall listed somewhere on the sports stats page - if there was room. Sometimes we'd get lucky and get a small paragraph of the stage taken from some AP article. And then I would wait anxiously through the other sports on Saturday and Sunday afternoons to get maybe a 30 minute recap on TV if we were lucky.

The core audience of the Tour coverage is comprised of cycling enthusiasts and racers - current and ex. However, the Tour has gained popularity with the American masses and some of them do watch. Over the past 10 years I've had countless non-cycling friends tell me they are watching the Tour. And enjoying it. I'm sure partly because of the success American riders, obviously LA, but also because of the commentary provided by P&P. This dictates how they are going to package the coverage. And let's not forget at one time, Comcast, the owner's of Versus were sponsors of LA.

While I don't particularly care for the P&P commentary it beats getting little or no coverage at all. This year I'm not watching the Tour on Versus mostly because I don't pay for TV anymore. This year, I'm streaming coverage from Eurosport online. There are options.
 
Jul 26, 2009
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you know all the above is pretty much on the money, what kills me is all the assessment on a personal level, like when they say contador is afraid or insecure and doing things out of desperation.........roll is the worst, he is beyond biased,
how the heck does he know whats in any, any, riders mind at any point, and its not just contador , they do it with diff guys constantly, i have heard both kelly and delgado comment on racing and neither presupposes there ideology on a given riders mentality
 
Jul 19, 2010
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Maybe I'm an example of someone whose gone through the transition from one type of audience to another. I fell in love with the TdF a few years back via the Vs. coverage. Never paid any attention to pro cycling at all before that. Initially the French countryside and the antics of Roll were enough to bring me back day after day.

And yes, someone did have to tell me that drafting was a big deal. That, and all the other strategy elements of the race that make it so different than a track meet are not obvious to a beginner. It took a while to figure out that there was a lot more to watch than just who was in front.

This year, however, the Vs. coverage is really ****ing me off. It feels like the commercials are getting more and more intrusive. At the start of the race it was Lance and AC like there where no other riders - even AS was hardly mentioned. Now they still interview LA every day. And Phil seems to be making more mistakes as the great killer time is catching up to him.

But is it the coverage that has changed or me? Is it just that I can notice that they miss so much on the sprint finishes? Or that their explanations don't go very deep? And the Vs. technical coverage - there is so much they could do with replays that id the riders more clearly and break down the strategy.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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We're in the USA but we don't watch the Vs coverage. We stream Eurosport online instead. Our next TV will be internet compatible so we can just put it directly from the computer to the TV and watch it comfortably w/o having the laptop on our laps!

The very first Saturday we were able to watch the whole stage DBF says to me at the end, "I don't think we've heard the words Lance Armstrong all day!" And he was right. The Eurosport folks don't even like him and mostly just ignore him. It's quite wonderful, really.

I don't even like to watch the Vs highlights or video coverage post-race at all because the commentary is useless.

****One thing that people who are watching Vs coverage could do is mute the Vs and have your computer set to the audio-only (there are Yahoo links among others that are free) for the Eurosport English coverage and turn it up loud enough to hear. OK, you won't be seeing the same close-ups, but it works. It's worth it!!!
 
Mar 12, 2009
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Yeah that makes sense

Biffinator said:
Going out on a limb here................... but it could be cuz he's won 7 times before and was on podium last year.............

Hey...... just saying. Maybe that has something to do with it.

Don't shoot the messenger. I'm just pointing out why they do it.

Why does every fanboy sound like he works for Fox News? Next thing you'll trot out the oldie but goodie "some people say". Do everyone a favor and stop insulting people's intelligence with nonsense like this. Do the moron twins constantly make irrelevent points about Schleck or Contador?
About the only positive thing I can say about the "job of work" these two do is I think it's amazing how they can talk with Armstrong's chamois jammed up their noses.
 
Hitchey said:
-snip-It makes you want to reach out and slap them sometimes, though I've come to forgive Paul more recently, especially since I personally feel his opinion on and debate with Phil about AC's attack the day when AS lost time was more reflective of the bad luck that just happens sometimes in a race. I thought that Paul was being a total ****er actually asking Phil if he ever rode the tour and implying that just because he had not ridden the tour, his opinion was not qualified.

That was pretty crude, rude and uncalled for in my opinion. Phil was pretty much shocked by Paul's response as was I. I couldn't believe he went there on Phil like that. That was quite personal by Paul. I actually felt sorry for Phil.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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that was a bit much.
I loved Phil's"well your entitled to your opinion" response.
Yesterday he gave Pail a dig when Gesink got a flat with 4 k to go..
"shouldn't they stop and wait for him Paul...?" Nice.
 
No disrespect to Fedrigo or any of the other riders in the breakaway yesterday, but Armstrong was the story of the day and Phil and Paul in this case were correct to focus on him. Armstrong is one of the most successful riders in the history of the Tour and is riding his last race, yesterday was realistically his last chance at getting a stage win. In terms of the history of the race this was a more important story than the everyday breakaway fighting for the stage win.

I've observed that Phil and Paul have spent less time in general talking about Armstrong this year. Since he dropped out of contention after the first stage in the Alps, we've heard less and less about him during the daily stage coverage. Phil and Paul for the most part have been focusing on the riders who are still in contention for the race (and the other jersey competitions).

Where I would criticize Phil and Paul is in the dismissive attitude they have taken towards Floyd Landis and the investigation under way into the U.S. Postal team. Despite all of the credibility issues that Landis has, this appears to be a very serious investigation. At this point there is a lot of speculation and little specific information on the investigation, but from what we know so far this is a very serious matter which will have a profound impact on the sport. Phil and Paul should be treating this issue with the gravity it deserves (to a lesser extent I would say the same things about their dismissive attitude toward Cancellara and the motorized doping issue).
 
rzombie1988 said:
I like Phil and Lance, but Phil has been alot more generous to Lance on commentary than other guys. I assume that he is being forced to say some of the stuff, but at a few points it got to be a little bit much.

Obviously mentioned before, but may bear repeating:

Paul Sherwen is an expert cycling commentator for much of VERSUS' cycling programming, including the Tour de France. Paul worked as a cycling commentator for ABC Sports’ and ESPN’s coverage of the Tour de France from 1991 to 2000, and served as a cycling analyst for the NBC production of the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. Working closely with Lance Armstrong in his early professional career, Paul served as the Public Relations Director of the now defunct Motorola Cycling Team (1991 – 1996).
 
Hitchey said:
So, another question I do have in all honesty is what percentage of the viewers of the tour are hard core cyclists/ex or current racers/people that really understand cycling? I ask only because I question if my personal constant annoyance of the versus broadcasts actually put me in the minority when it comes to the total viewing audience. Is versus really catering to the viewing majority out there rather than to the miniscule percentage of posters on this forum that complains?

For example, I have a good friend that is quite the enthusiast rider, rides 3-4 days a week, no racing experience at all, a very smart guy, an admitted Lance fan, and just loves the versus commentary.

Oh, you are definitely in the minority.

Versus website - ask Bobke thread

If you can see that thread i just posted have a read of it and it will show you what kind of audience Phil and Paul are catering to and their level of intelligence. Some of the dumb questions Americans ask over and over again about professional cycling. It just amazes me that most of them haven't learnt how to use google to search for an answer to their question that they are asking Bobke.

If you can't see that thread just go to the versus website click forums and go to the 'Ask Bobke' thread.
 
Oct 26, 2009
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Angliru said:
They're definitely partial to the US riders and also to the Australian pro's. I think that it's based on what riders they have relationships with. Roll's anti-French stick is so frakkin' ungrateful since this event is the reason for whatever fame he has accumulated over the years. It is beyond tiresome and shows what a small man he is. Baffling that the producers allow him to continue with it because it is not productive at all.

What I've noticed is that they are partial to English-speaking riders. I bet if you ask most American cycling fans who their favorite rider is, it's bound to be an American, an Aussie, a Brit, or at least a rider who can speak fluent English. That's why AC has not chance of ever becoming a big star in the States--in addition to him not kissing Lance's **** in last year's TdF.
 
Blakeslee said:
No disrespect to Fedrigo or any of the other riders in the breakaway yesterday, but Armstrong was the story of the day and Phil and Paul in this case were correct to focus on him. Armstrong is one of the most successful riders in the history of the Tour and is riding his last race, yesterday was realistically his last chance at getting a stage win. In terms of the history of the race this was a more important story than the everyday breakaway fighting for the stage win.

What about old warhorse and hero Christophe Moreau, riding his last race and with his last realistic chance of a stage win too? Moreau put in a Herculean effort too, coming back on the Aubisque and taking maximum points on both HC cols, plus leading out the sprint.

Or what about Rubén Plaza and Chris Horner, who at one point were poised to climb to 6th and 7th until Dave Zabriskie got on the front? Or Carlos Barredo's audacious solo attack, as somebody not noted for time trialling skills tried to solo in against eight men including two Grand Tour winners, a man who was formerly the dominant force in TTing at the Tour and another man who won a GT final ITT at then-record pace?

These stories may not have been as important to many as Armstrong, but they deserved to at least be given some credence.
 
Jul 9, 2009
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Hitchey said:
For example, I have a good friend that is quite the enthusiast rider, rides 3-4 days a week, no racing experience at all, a very smart guy, an admitted Lance fan, and just loves the versus commentary.

Should choose your friends more wisely! ;)
 
Apr 5, 2010
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El Imbatido said:
Oh, you are definitely in the minority.

I see what you mean, I'm afraid that's what I've been assuming. I guess they don't really censor the posts, here's a funny one from there:
Dear Bob,

I have been a TDF fan since I was 10 (1983) and I have never seen a commentator like you. I am from Europe, and believe me: nobody knows you over there. It is so embarrasing how you attack AC day after day. Of course, nobody at Versus said anything about what great cyclists like Hinault or Indurain said about Andy´s incident, or what Bruyneel commented about it. Shame on you all! I have stopped watching Versus because of your lack of professionalism. Love, Angie



cody_57 said:
Should choose your friends more wisely! ;)

I'll let him know you said that. :)I have to forgive his inability to see through the mist as he's a uniballer also and has an emotional connection to the franchise and LA.
 
Jul 19, 2010
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I watched the replay this morning on VS. Lance WAS in third position during the sprint but then he realized he didn't have enough kick and backed off.

Watch the aerial view, LA is clearly in third then runs out of gas and sits back down.

What do you expect these guys to say? You DO realize the only reason this race is even available on America TV is because LA won seven straight Tours. If you just put all your hatred of LA aside you'd see that.

You could ask 100 people in the US who Contador is and I'd guess maybe 1 person would know. I'm thinking 90% of Americans could tell you who LA is.

Yes he's a total d*ck in his personal life, and might be a d*ck in his professional life but you'd be streaming Eurosport otherwise.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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eztarget said:
I watched the replay this morning on VS. Lance WAS in third position during the sprint but then he realized he didn't have enough kick and backed off.

Watch the aerial view, LA is clearly in third then runs out of gas and sits back down.

What do you expect these guys to say? You DO realize the only reason this race is even available on America TV is because LA won seven straight Tours. If you just put all your hatred of LA aside you'd see that.

You could ask 100 people in the US who Contador is and I'd guess maybe 1 person would know. I'm thinking 90% of Americans could tell you who LA is.

Yes he's a total d*ck in his personal life, and might be a d*ck in his professional life but you'd be streaming Eurosport otherwise.

Yeah, but most people here are from Europe so we don't give a **** about America ;)
 
LOOKFOOL said:
you gotta love those ridiculous, built for the masses, animated clips that explain how and why riders rotate in a group..During the spring campaign they bring out the "eschelon" vid..

:rolleyes:

I've been involved in cycling since '84, and my parents did not understand these concepts until they saw the animated clips. This stuff does work at getting the masses to understand a bit more.
 

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