MotoGP: BT’s first year

The 2014 season has been and gone in a flash, in this I’ll review all the good and bad points of this season’s coverage from BT Sport.

Firstly, I must congratulate them, they put in the hours and showed every Practice, Qualifying and Race Session on the calendar from all 3 categories, and after a fog-delayed Moto3 Race start in Aragon, they even showed some of the MotoGP warm up session.

Over the course of the season, they have got much much better, however there were the odd things that weren’t so great.

BBC set the bar, and BT bettered it. Well, slightly. I’ll first talk about the presentation team. For Presenting duties, BT at first turned there eyes to Mel Sykes. Mel had presented no live sports previous, and it showed during her first weekend in Qatar, she was way out of her depth. In Jerez after the Moto3 race, no analysis was done, this was mainly because Mel could stop thinking about Jack Miller’s “disgusting” bogey that was hanging out during the interview with Gavin Emmett. She was replaced with numerous presenters including Chris Hollins (who also seems out of his depth), Motorsports Tonight Presenter Abi Griffiths, and MotoGP Tonight Presenters Iwan Thomas and was mainly replaced by Craig Doyle.

Craig Doyle fit in like a knife through butter and should probably be retained for 2015. The main commentary line up of Keith Huewen and Julian Ryder was a line up I was very unsure about after the first weekend, I didn’t really gel with the line-up but as the season went on, I started to really get used to it, and I thought that in the end It was a great line-up. But during the practise sessions they kept on switching the commentators around, I wasn’t that big a fan of that, but it was interesting. Throughout the first quarter of the year it kept on bugging me that the names were in my eyes incorrect, one main name was Aleix and Pol Espargaro, over the course of the year, these names were rectified to my delight. Another point is that the commentators were biased towards the Brits which wasn’t that great albeit Keith and Julian should again be retained.

The pit reporters of former Superbike champ Neil Hodgson and former Dorna commentator Gavin Emmett were brilliant, Neil’s laps each weekend really put an insight into the eyes of the rider and were fantastic, and Gavin was everywhere getting all the latest news and was a brilliant reporter, if Andrea Iannone gets a top 3 next year, Gavin will be there, so we can get a British translation. Both great guys and should definitely be on the team in 2015. Matt Birt should also be back in 2015 getting all the latest rumours from all the different teams, the Eddie Jordan of MotoGP and a great addition to the team.

Moving on from Presenters, I thought that the addition Tuesday night show ‘MotoGP Tonight’ was a great show with great things like the lean machine, the studio was packed every screening, and the Marc Marquez special was brilliant despite the accidental over selling of the tickets. Definitely keep up the show for next year.

The amount of coverage was spot on over the race weekend, maybe for morning practice start just a bit earlier as the coverage started when the lights went green in FP1 for Moto3, If they could show more of the warm up session, then that would be the cherry on top of the cake.

On track, the coverage was great, away from the track, not so much, pit lane presentation was replaced with Studios and iPads were replaced with Clipboards. However all of the presentation team made it to the Silverstone race in late August.

One final thing I may add, is that the intros outros and and the indents going to the commercial breaks were effectively identical. I think they should at least doo highlights packages at the end and also a proper 30-60 intro.

While writing this I am also watching BT Sport’s coverage of the MotoGP Valencia test, which I am elated that they are showing, because its great to see how the riders are getting on this afternoon, especially Jack Miller making the jump straight from Moto3.

Apart from these small things, I have nothing to criticise, BT really did a great job this season, and I cannot wait for the next season to start again in late March next year.

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