We asked readers of Cycling Weekly how they would make television coverage of cycle racing better. And here's what they said
Coverage of professional cycle racing on television appears to be a contentious issue. Some of you think that the current broadcasters do a great job of bringing our sport to the small screen… and others are very vocal in their dismay at how cycling is shown, or not.
We asked readers of Cycling Weekly to come up with their own suggestions of how they would improve the coverage of cycling on television.
Here we present a selection of answers. Do you agree with them? Do you have your own suggestion? Let us know in the comment box below.
Have a one-hour weekly highlights programme including all the current races. It’s difficult to follow all the races that are on, and sometimes I pre-record them, sit down later at night when I’ve got the TV to myself only to find that Eurosport decided to show the Azerbaijan open snooker championship instead. Frustrating.
Use quadcopters (drones) instead of or as well as helicopters, they can get closer to the riders. Also, get rid of the helicopter noise as it’s annoying. Split screen action during long steady sections, maybe with re-runs or interviews alongside the live action.
Publicise it better. Trying to find which channel is covering which race can be a pain. It doesn’t help if programmes are bumped at the last minute, as per coverage of the final stage of the Dubai Tour.
For the Tour Down Under last month they had Robbie McEwen giving updates from the back of a motorbike on the road. It added an extra insight and dimension to the viewing experience, especially as Robbie is such an articulate speaker.
Remember the big fuss about new digital tech for Formula 1? How long ago was that? We should have the option on Eurosport/BBC to pick between cameras and ride with our favourite. And have on-screen speed, with wind information, upcoming intermediate sprints, feedzones etc.
Standard graphics set by the UCI. More live on-bike cameras. Eurosport to stop bumping highlights. Better highlights rather than the last hour, similar to ITV4’s Tour de France coverage. More women’s races and more British races.
I’d like to see more on-board bike cameras. More detailed look at the pro’s bikes with a mechanic talking about the bike. Riders’ tips for sections of races. Much better camera shots from the motorbike.
Put it all on one dedicated channel. Sky pay a fortune to sponsor a team but its coverage is very infrequent. Get Phil Liggett and Chris Boardman all working for them and get UCI to sort the graphics out.
I think it is pretty good as it is. Eurosport does a good job of bringing us most races, and the Carlton Kirby/Sean Kelly team is hard to beat. On a technical level, improve the signal from the motorbike cameras – it does break up a lot!
More sweeping helicopter shots of 12th century French monasteries.
GoPros certainly do add something, maybe as an option (press the red button to follow the ride leader for example).
More concise highlights to attract amateurs and new viewers who don’t understand the sport as much – it can be confusing at times.
In the USA, any coverage would be a bonus. NBCSports tries, but football, baseball, basketball, hockey, wrestling, college frat party keg stands or new feminine hygiene product commercials often supersede cycling coverage. I like the suggestion of a Cycling Network.