Unofficial I hate Versus thread

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Jun 30, 2009
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I'll confess to not having read all of this thread, but I'm totally going to stick up for versus. Is the coverage great? No. Is it completely Lance-centric? Yes (and I'm a Lace-neutral-to-Lance-supporting).

But is it appreciably better or worse than other sports coverage? I'm in the US, and every day I hear Liggett call the race I'm just glad it's not one of ESPN's "ace" commentators... the clueless Joe Morgan or the constantly-shouting Chris Bermann.
 
Apr 24, 2009
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Paul Sherwen Twitter post: BTW Spread the word. Versus covers the entire ventoux climb (60 mins) commercial free- sorry but gotta put a lot of ads in early to get this.

At least he is being honest.

And more interesting than the African proverbs.

Not sure who one is more annoyingly obtuse on Twitter: Sherwen or Bruyneel.

Bruyneel definitely more condescending.
 
Jun 26, 2009
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Azdak6 said:
Paul Sherwen Twitter post: BTW Spread the word. Versus covers the entire ventoux climb (60 mins) commercial free- sorry but gotta put a lot of ads in early to get this.

At least he is being honest.

And more interesting than the African proverbs.

Not sure who one is more annoyingly obtuse on Twitter: Sherwen or Bruyneel.

Bruyneel definitely more condescending.
The ironic thing is that they cram in the commercials early for a "commercial free hour" later and then put a great big commercial in the top left corner and remind us every 5 minutes that this is a commercial free hour.
 
Apr 24, 2009
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Bala Verde said:
I still think that quality coverage, unbiased and still enthusiastic commentary, expert input, could make a difference.

Perhaps it's comparable to having a good and a bad teacher in a class of kids who still have a lot to learn. A good teacher is capable of winning over the 'hearts and minds' of the students, they can make a very difficult subject or course interesting, fun, as wel as educational. The high entry requirements could be off putting at first, but once you've given it a chance, and have been sucked in, you'd never want to miss a class.

For the already 'educated' cycling fans, the high quality will keep them glued to the screen.

Now, no one learns anything and the ones that are already inducted, are disappointed as well...

The improved coverage could actually increase the 'small US' cycling fanbase, and turn it into a something to stay, and in effect, becomes an entity with a 'demand', a market force, ie is capitalisable. Why would anyone invest in cycling, as much of the fanbase disappears after the TdF is over?
While I think that tailoring the coverage to "educated cyling fans" would not only be a disaster commercially but extremely boring, I agree in principle that one of the most frustrating things to me is that I know it could be possible to structure a broadcast that would satisfy the cycling dork niche and interest the general audience as well.

Almost everyone I have ever taken to the US PRO Criterium Championship in Downers Grove (most of whom knew little or nothing about cycling) has come away excited and impressed by the event.

I look at what they have done with NASCAR broadcasts--the data, the driver cams, etc--and really pumped up an event that consists of guys driving in circles for several hours. They have found a way to find out what is most dramatic and entertaining and show that to the audience. I think the same idea could be applied to not only cycling, but coverage of marathons and other endurance events.

Unfortunately, most TV production people are too timid to do anything other than mimic the past.
 
Jul 9, 2009
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1,948,758.

The number of times the commentating team have used the words 'Lance' and 'Armstrong' or a combination thereof. I think these guys have a quota to fill, else they don't get paid.

Seriously though, these guys are reporters and as such I'm expecting reasonably unbiased and objective commenting on what's happening in the race, which is definitely not what we've been getting.

Saying (for example) that Armstrong was going to win the ITT is just a little ridiculous, isn't it?
 
Mar 19, 2009
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cody_57 said:
Saying (for example) that Armstrong was going to win the ITT is just a little ridiculous, isn't it?
yes and afterwards when he comes in wherever he did(was it 16th?), it´s he´s really rose to the occasion today :S

I did see bob rolls predictions before verbier and his 7 climbers to watch :S, I think he doesn´t notice he´s amazingly biased, he´s just losing his mind a bit, but his love for armstrong is amazing.

Versus I think would be really good if armstrong wasn´t racing.
 
May 13, 2009
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saphblue said:
This is true. If people didn't care to tune in when Hincapie, Levi, and other Americans were riding well during Lance's first retirement, what evidence is there that they'll continue to tune in after Lance's second retirement? I was talking to a group of women who are watching the Tour for the first time ever because they're inspired by Lance. Two of them are breast cancer survivors. From talking to them it was pretty clear that they didn't care about the sport. They wanted Lance to win because it gave them inspiration as cancer survivors. Once Lance is out of the picture they won't give another thought to cycling. And, there's nothing wrong with that. I don't know how Versus or Lance is going to turn a "I only watch for Lance" or "I only care about US teams" fan into a general cycling fan. If it didn't happen over 7 years, I don't know what will make it happen. I think cycling is destined to be a niche sport in the US.
That's because Vs does such an incredibly sh!tty job. When all they focus on is Lance Lance Lance and Lance, of course people tune out when he's not riding any more. 2006-8 they still had tons of Lance features in their coverage. How Lance climbed on this hill, what he said about that finish and so on and so on. Now, far down second to all the Lance blathering is the coverage of US riders. Mostly Leipheimer and Hincapie (to their credit, vs has finally discovered the Garmin team as well). A distant third come English speaking riders. Cadel, Cavendish etc. Nonexistent is any kind of coverage of the vast majority of riders which are (i) not LA, (ii) not US citizens and (iii) don't speak English as their native language. Also nonexistent is any kind of feature which goes further back in history than 1999 (except Bob Roll's antics and the very rare mentioning of Greg Lemond). I think I've yet to see any substantial feature on Hinault, Merckx, Anquetil, Coppi, Poulidor, Zoetemelk, Indurain, van Imp, and the many, many other legends cycling has produced throughout the years. Vs is doing an extremely sh!itty job covering cycling, that's the main reason why 'after Lance' they won't have anything left of their investment.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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Bala Verde said:
I still think that quality coverage, unbiased and still enthusiastic commentary, expert input, could make a difference.

Perhaps it's comparable to having a good and a bad teacher in a class of kids who still have a lot to learn. A good teacher is capable of winning over the 'hearts and minds' of the students, they can make a very difficult subject or course interesting, fun, as wel as educational. The high entry requirements could be off putting at first, but once you've given it a chance, and have been sucked in, you'd never want to miss a class.

For the already 'educated' cycling fans, the high quality will keep them glued to the screen.

Now, no one learns anything and the ones that are already inducted, are disappointed as well...

The improved coverage could actually increase the 'small US' cycling fanbase, and turn it into a something to stay, and in effect, becomes an entity with a 'demand', a market force, ie is capitalisable. Why would anyone invest in cycling, as much of the fanbase disappears after the TdF is over?
I agree with you and given the bump in viewership they get when Lance is riding, you'd think it would be in the network's interest to do this as a way to get folks to tune into their other cycling coverage as well as stick around after Lance is gone...for real. Maybe by the time that happens Taylor Phinney will be the next great American cycling phenom and Versus will have a new star to pimp. :eek:
 
Apr 24, 2009
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Cobblestones said:
That's because Vs does such an incredibly sh!tty job. When all they focus on is Lance Lance Lance and Lance, of course people tune out when he's not riding any more. 2006-8 they still had tons of Lance features in their coverage. How Lance climbed on this hill, what he said about that finish and so on and so on. Now, far down second to all the Lance blathering is the coverage of US riders. Mostly Leipheimer and Hincapie (to their credit, vs has finally discovered the Garmin team as well). A distant third come English speaking riders. Cadel, Cavendish etc. Nonexistent is any kind of coverage of the vast majority of riders which are (i) not LA, (ii) not US citizens and (iii) don't speak English as their native language. Also nonexistent is any kind of feature which goes further back in history than 1999 (except Bob Roll's antics and the very rare mentioning of Greg Lemond). I think I've yet to see any substantial feature on Hinault, Merckx, Anquetil, Coppi, Poulidor, Zoetemelk, Indurain, van Imp, and the many, many other legends cycling has produced throughout the years. Vs is doing an extremely sh!itty job covering cycling, that's the main reason why 'after Lance' they won't have anything left of their investment.
Heck--I'd settle for a feature on Major Taylor.
 

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