Rating OLN coverage

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Anonymous's picture

While I appreciate the ability to speak for hours on end I am quite unimpressed by the quality of their coverage. Phil and Paul have tremendous cycling experience and history, yet except for their ability to pick out and pronounce all the cyclists names you would hardly know it. Bottom line, I hardly ever learn anything or hear anything interesting from them. They seem content to set a very low standard and stay there, assuming their audience are all cycling novices. (Not to mention that they say the same 10 things over and over and over again).

They can't predict at all. They provide a scant and superficial coverage of tactics. They provide little insight into what the other non-American GC contenders have been thinking or why their form is so bad. They are toeing the party line on doping. Especially, this year, when Lance has effectively been leading from day 1, they needed to provide more color and side stories.

If they have no original thoughts in their head, why not provide for us a summary of what the hundreds of other journalists are saying out there every day. How about giving us more than 2 minutes of (only American)rider interviews per day.

To be clear, I enjoy watching the shows, I just think that they could be a whole lot better. (does John McEnroe know anything about cycling?)

I have been watching the live coverage, not the evening coverage where Bob and Al redo some of the commentary. Is that better? Bonus question. Why is Bob recommentating what Phil and Paul already did in the morning?

Anonymous's picture
Robm (not verified)

I will not have you or anyone else talking rubbish about Phil and Paul. If you have ever suffered through the utter drivel that comes from Bob Roll and his idiot friends mouth you will realize how lucky you are to be able to listen to Phil and Paul. God forbid Bob could pronounce a foreign name or even ‘de’.

All Bob and his mate talk about is US Postal and Lance ‘the git’ Armstrong. They discuss nothing but US postal tactics and wouldn’t know anything about the quality riders in the field like Robbie Mcewen, Richard Virenque (drugs I know but your really telling lance isn’t on them) and all the other riders who actually race the whole season.

I guess you can tell I don’t like lance, that’s beside the point. One evening sit in font of the telly between 9 and 11:30pm suffer through the stupidity and sheer incompetence of Bob and his mate before you pass judgment on Phil. Its nothing personal but I really hate Bob Roll (and before you jump up and down yes I do realize that he could ride a bit, but that doesn’t mean much. We don’t have Mike Tyson commentating the boxing do we?)

Anonymous's picture
<a href="http://www.OhReallyOreilly.com">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
Phil, Paul and Bob

Notwithstanding their extensive experience with racing and covering racing, I find the complete respect and absence of cynicism/negativity for the sport and the riders among Phil, Paul and Bob to be most refreshing. That became most conscious to me when Al Trautwig joined the OLN crew. I only wish that were true for other sports and news events broadcasted.

Anonymous's picture
John Grandits (not verified)
it's just you....

Phil, Paul, and Bob are a heck of a lot better than somebody like Bob Costas trying to call the race for an hour on CBS. They all have immense cycling experience and do a good jod of catering to a wide range of viewers. OLN does a great job with the coverage. It's a bike race, not a chess match.

Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
Robert, I totally disagree!

I think Phil and Paul are exceptionally good at what they do. The other day when Jens Voigt was called back to help pace Basso, to protect his potential podium position against attacks from Ullrich etc, Paul spotted it straight away. Phil didn't admittedly, but that is why the two commentators work together as a team. Initially, I thought that there was something wrong with Voigt, as did Phil.

With the Stage 17 win, all the European commentators made the same error as Phil Ligget, in saying that Klöden had run away with it. But LA surprised the commentators just as much as he did the other riders.

I've said this on another thread: Al Trautwig has brought nothing to OLN's coverage, and he and Bob don't work well together. A good combination two years ago was Phil Ligget, Paul Sherwen and Bob Roll commentating. There was no one-sided commentary on US Postal's tacticsl. And he injects his own sense of humour into the proceedings, which you either love or hate. I happen to like it.

If you want to hear really awful commentary on the TdF, try going to England and watching Eurosport, where you can hear four or five hours of total drivel from David Duffield with much less commercial breaks to rescue the viewer.

I doubt if any other TV network could do any better than OLN. Even with the commercials, and having seen coverage in Britain for many years, I would have to say that OLN provides the best English language coverage of the TdF that I have ever seen. I don't know what they see in Australia, but I would be surprised if there was better English language coverage anywhere in the world.

And this year, we've also had excellent coverage of the spring classics, as well as the grand tours.


Anonymous's picture
Chris T. (not verified)
Roll with it...

"Anthony, while Trautwig is still the new kid on the broadcast, he hasn't been horrid. He sets up Bobke really well. Question: Does Al have more upside as a cycling commentator than Dave Duffield?

I skimmed Bobke II, and Roll tells some really great stories; true or not, he's funny as hell.

Best Bob moment of the tour: Bob asks a few questions IN FRENCH to a famous French cyclist (Theivinet?) turned TV commentator. Now we know that his ""Tour DAY France"" is all schtick."

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