Formula 1 16 Oct 2005 11:07 pm

Channel 10 — what were you thinking?

I’m flabbegasted! For the last race of the 2005 Formula 1 season, Channel 10 ditched the experienced ITV commentators (who were at the track) and provided commentary from the Australian team at Philip Island for the Moto GP.

Now, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Neil Crompton (in particular) and the Channel 10 crew in general. The technical and production values of the programming they originate is superb (just look at any recent Bathurst telecast for an example).

But you just can’t commentate from thousands of kilometres away. Can’t.

You can’t hear and report the latest track-side gossip.

You can’t watch the cars entering and leaving the pits.

You can’t listen for a failing engine.

You can’t see all the timing monitor information (there’s a lot more available on track than you can see at

You can’t send someone running around in the pits to find out why the safety car has been deployed (the drain incident).

Channel 10 — what were you thinking? Please don’t do this again. Please.

If anybody knows why Channel 10 made this extraordinary move, please let me know. Maybe I fast forwarded through some explanatory comments.

Not happy, Bill and Neil.

4 Responses to “Channel 10 — what were you thinking?”

  1. on 17 Oct 2005 at 11:16 (Sydney) 1.Pete said …

    Amen brother. Amen.

    I was very dissappointed for all the reasons you mention above. But another thing I enjoy about the standard coverage is that:
    1. Ten takes shorter ad breaks than ITV.
    2. This means Bill and Neil can provide their commentary while ITV is still on a break.
    3. Thus you get ITV’s fantastic expert/on-site commentary, plus the detached Australian studio perspective.

    I love the blend of the RPM/ITV commentary.

    We could email ten except they don’t have a public email address, but there is the RPM F1 forum

  2. on 18 Oct 2005 at 8:15 (Sydney) 2.Richard said …


    With you on all of the above.

    On ad breaks: 10 usually ‘pauses’ the feed for the ads, so we pick up where we left off (no lost action). This is an advantage of a delayed telecast. A disadvantage is that it’s not possible to watch the timing feed during a race to keep up with all the action, because it’s only worthwhile in real time.

    It’s a shame 10 doesn’t take some more of the ITV stuff in the 15 minutes prior to a race. Martin Brundle’s Grid Walks are legendary.

    As to the RPM forum, I doubt that 10 would read that. There really is a lot of silly stuff in there. Probably best to write an old fashioned letter!


    The one-eyed Williams fan otherwise known as the Flying Nerd.

  3. on 18 Oct 2005 at 14:21 (Sydney) 3.Pete said …

    I’ve already sent them an email, but all I’ve received from that is a auto-response telling me they don’t necessarily reply to all email. I might send them a letter.

    I haven’t had much luck using the live timing stuff on – might be trying to use it over dial-up.

  4. on 18 Oct 2005 at 14:30 (Sydney) 4.Richard said …

    Oh, the live timing is terrific. You really must give it a go when a race is broadcast live.

    F1 nerd that I am, I have often sat watching the timing screen for the second half of qualifying (usually around 10pm on Saturday night for European races), just to see who winds up on top (seeing as how there is no TV coverage of qualifying).

    For qualifying and during the race, there is also a live (written) commentary.

    During the race, you can see sector times, lap times, gaps and markers to show when cars enter and leave the pits.

    FYI, BigPond Broadband customers (I am one) get the same sort of service for V8 Supercars. My standard Bathurst watching arrangement is: TV on channel 10, wireless-connected laptop on coffee table showing live timing. You never need to wonder who is coming where!

    By the way, what’s dialup? 😉