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Old 07-24-03, 08:58 PM   #1
Barnaby
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Ullrich not credited by Roll and Gum

OLN has given wonderful coverage so far. Phil and Paul are amazing. Frankie A. for the interviews is also very professional and knowledgable. But personally, I think that Roll and Gum go over the top on the Lance thing. As an example, Roll was ridiculing the Bianchi team and saying that Ullrich would not last on the stage where he had to go to the back of the peleton to get his own water. He continually points out the overall superiority of the Postal team_BUT_ he fails to credit Ullrich with keeping up with Lance with such an obvious handicap. If Bianchi is so inferior to Postal, and if team strategy and support is so important for the eventual winner, then how come Ullrich is not given credit for staying in contention even without these advantages?

I think that Roll and Gum are so hyper-American and pro-Armstrong that they may turn off a few viewers. Much more balance is given by Paul and Phil and Frankie.

By the way, I think Lance is great as well, but I like a good competition, not a runnaway coronation, and Lance does not need any help from the studio.
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Old 07-24-03, 09:08 PM   #2
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I think you're right. I have not watched one minute of TV coverage of the TDF, but let me ask, Barnaby, has anyone mentioned that USPS is ranked #4 in the teams competition and Bianchi is ranked #5?

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Old 07-25-03, 12:22 AM   #3
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just propaganda.
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Old 07-25-03, 12:26 AM   #4
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I don't have the US coverage here so I can't say one way or the other, but by what you've said, they could end up looking very stupid if Lance doesn't come away with the win.

I think Lance will hold on for the win but no one can say for sure until Sunday.

If they belittle Ullrich's performance and then he wins it'll make them look like amateurs.
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Old 07-25-03, 03:18 AM   #5
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oh yes, they would really look like donkeys.
Either they don┤t even mention Ullrich┤s win or they find 1001 excuses for Armstrong┤s defeat.
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Old 07-25-03, 04:26 AM   #6
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Originally posted by Piratello
oh yes, they would really look like donkeys.
Either they don┤t even mention Ullrich┤s win or they find 1001 excuses for Armstrong┤s defeat.
nothing to worry about, since ullrich won't win.
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Old 07-25-03, 04:34 AM   #7
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we will see on saturday.
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Old 07-25-03, 05:40 AM   #8
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Originally posted by shrimpx
nothing to worry about, since ullrich won't win.
I agree. However, Ulrich does have a better position on the bike.
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Old 07-25-03, 05:54 AM   #9
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yes, absolutely right !
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Old 07-25-03, 06:51 AM   #10
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well, it IS an AMERICAN station. pirate, are the german media gushing about lance as well, or might they be playing up jan's chances? anyone in basque country tell me how much e-e butt they're kissing? bob and kristen (yes, i'm aware that's not her name) are homers, as well they should be. frankly, in a sport with so small a following in this country, some homerism might be exactly what's needed to boost interest.
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Old 07-25-03, 07:00 AM   #11
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I think OLN just can't "risk" those "foreigners" interviews. They don't talk clearly or have name recognition. So they figure it's bad TV.....


I'd love to have some pieces on the "average" guys, or a piece on the "Lanterne Rouge" .........

Remember this is bike show for people not cyclists... And it shows........
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Old 07-25-03, 07:08 AM   #12
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Well, on german TV, reporters and sports analysists try to be objective, and in almost all cases, the TV coverage is fair. Although they route a little for Ullrich, saying he still has very good chances to win the Tour and that he┤s the better TT-rider... but that┤s understandable.
They definately do not bash Armstrong.
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Old 07-25-03, 07:23 AM   #13
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one thing to remember, cycling is a much less popular sport than it is in a lot of other countries. by playing up the american that has a chance to tie the record for tour wins it will hopefully get more people in this country interested.
next, OLN is sort of a small time station, and there commentators may not be as professional in the traditional sense. Bob Roll in no way can be considered like most commentators. I like him a lot, but i think theres no doubt he was brought in because he's kind of a nut. the fact is he says what he thinks, and he thinks LA is about the greatest cyclist to ever turn a pedal, and he says so.
atleast he has the guts to state his opinion strongly, without hedging. it may bite him in the ass in the end, but you know exactly how he feels.
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Old 07-25-03, 07:38 AM   #14
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i don't know that oln has been BASHING big jan. if anything, i think they've been praising him for coming back so strong, so fast. yeah, they're still acting like lance will win, but i haven't heard anything approaching a bash of ullrich. i know i personally have become a fan of jan during this tour. he has earned my respect, and i think that of bob and kristen too, no matter how vigorous they are in their support of lance.
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Old 07-25-03, 07:42 AM   #15
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This is just silly.

OLN packaged it's entire tour around Lance Armstrong's "Drive for Five Live" and he's the guy featured in the primary sponsor's ads. As others have noted, OLN is marketing itself to a US audience not just cyclists and while we -- the cyclists -- may recognize all the players Lance Armstrong is the guy who they've seen on the Subaru commercials and the cover of Sports Illustrated as SI's Sportsman of the Year.

It's commentators include Rob Roll and Chris Carmichael who, if you don't know, are Lance's closest friends and the two people responsible for putting Lance back on a racing bike after his cancer treatment. For your reading pleasure: http://www.nytimes.com/library/sport...armstrong.html

So, why does it come as a surprise that the producers have created a script and storyline for the "pre-race show" that all ties things into Lance's hoped for success? Personally, while they are playing up Lance, I haven't seen nor heard Bob, Phil, or Paul be critical of Jan. You'll recall that Bobkie predicted Jan would beat Lance in the first individual time trial... throughout the event they have reminded viewers that Jan is Lance's prime adversary and as Lance has said, he's the guy he has to beat. In literature, that means Jan is the co-star since every protagonist needs an antagonist.

Bottom Line: If there wasn't a story line to the "show" then non-cyclists wouldn't remain interested. If you want 100% objective televised reporting... well, I have no idea where you can go anymore because all TV reporting and news reports are built around telling stories that support agendas (most of them thinly hidden) and not about bringing people facts because facts require viewers to think for themselves. Spend more time reading ProCycling News, VeloNews and print media if you want objective facts and color stories labeled as such.

Just my .02. Enjoy the "Show" for what it is.... entertainment that rallies the Lance supporters and rials-up anyone who isn't. Either way, they get viewer's juices flowing and that usually makes viewer's tune back in so they can continue to cheer or jeer.
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Old 07-25-03, 08:00 AM   #16
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I don't know, Jan seems to be getting a good amount
of air time on OLN, and none of it is negative.
Sure Roll and Gum aren't too high on the Jan Ulrich supporters
list but they have not ignored him either.
I seem to recall alot of Kudo's to Jan for his return, his
weight loss, his recovery from his stomach ailments.
I could go on.
I think that the Jan fans would find alot to complain about
if they are (were) watching OLN.
I think Lance fans would find alot to complain about if
they were watching German Broadcast (what channel? ORT?).
I'm sure that Italian (bettini/Gibo) fans will complain alot
no matter what they are watching

just my .02 worth

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Old 07-25-03, 08:23 AM   #17
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Mark-Good reply, but I think I am being misconstrued. I stated that I was very happy with the OLN package, in fact I am greatful that they have undertaken what must be a very difficult undertaking.

I stated that I was very impressed with the commentaries of Phil, Paul and Frankie. I have not noticed any bias from them at all. I have not noticed that they are skewing their comments to conform to some story line, although of course, they understand that the "drive for five" thing does play in the background.

I do not object even to the addition of Kirsten Gum in the mix. She has a contribution to make as well. What I find irksome is when she goes into the "Ooh he's going to win" mantra, and gets the same reaction back from Roll. I do understand the Roll/Armstong relationship.

My central point remains that to the extent that Roll exhaults the power of his old team over the competition teams, to that same extent you must credit Ullrich for staying 67 seconds away from the yellow jersey without the same level of team support.

PGreene-I do understand that OLN is an AMERICAN station as well, but unlike the World Series that is curiously only played in the U.S.A., this event is the Tour de France, and is 100 years old-to which the American presence was not significant until Davis Phinney's stage wins afew short years ago. It is a real world event not a braggard event that pretends to be one.

This does not diminish the fact that Tyler Hamilton, Lemond, Phinney, Hampsen are simply superb, and that the American presence and especially the incredible Lance Armstrong have added to the event immeasurably.
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Old 07-25-03, 09:22 AM   #18
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World Series that is curiously only played in the U.S.A
Sorry for the stupid comment! I forgot about Canada.
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Old 07-25-03, 09:33 AM   #19
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Originally posted by Barnaby
But personally, I think that Roll and Gum go over the top on the Lance thing. As an example, Roll was ridiculing the Bianchi team and saying that Ullrich would not last on the stage where he had to go to the back of the peleton to get his own water. He continually points out the overall superiority of the Postal team_BUT_ he fails to credit Ullrich with keeping up with Lance with such an obvious handicap. If Bianchi is so inferior to Postal, and if team strategy and support is so important for the eventual winner, then how come Ullrich is not given credit for staying in contention even without these advantages?
Barnaby, help me out here, has anyone mentioned on the coverage that Postal and Bianchi are positioned next to each other in the teams competition? Since you've been watching so closely, surely you've noticed whether any mention has been made of this. I mean, if the teams are that close to each other in the Teams competition, isn't Ullrich in fact getting close to the same level of support, even if the TV coverage is not getting it?

With regards to Livingood's comments that "This is silly.", presumably meaning some of the comments in this thread about OLN's coverage. I do not agree. When I come to this forum, I read posts about the TDF by countless inividuals, some who love cycling only up and down bike paths, who know little about the sporting end of the activity. They often make comments that are inaccurrate or purely emotive, based on their perceptions. This is all part of the learning curve that some apparently forget they went through at one time to. Personally, I don't consider a lack of knowledge as silly. I consider the refusal to learn as silly.

Regarding OLN's responsibilities or role, if OLN understands the potential for this broadcasting opportunity, they will also understand the need to BUILD a market, not just sell to the market that already exists. The building process involves developing a knowledge and understanding of the sport and the participants that will extend BEYOND Lance's participation in the sport. Look at the number of Americans on this forum who never heard of Ullrich 2 years ago who are now cheering for him and hoping he wins. That is the kind of breadth of viewer knowledge OLN needs to work towards.

In the UK, to take just one country as an example, their interest in the international sport of cycling has run through a string of characters spread out over 5 decades, Tom Simpson, Barry Hoban, Phil Bayton, Robert Millar, Sean Kelly and Stephen Roche(I know they're not Brits), David Millar, etc.... While following these athletes they learned and developed relationships with other non-British athletes, strengthening their bond with the sport.

In America, most know only of LeMond and Armstrong. This takes time gents, takes time.

Last edited by don d.; 07-25-03 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 07-25-03, 10:52 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Barnaby
Mark-Good reply, but I think I am being misconstrued.
My apologies, by I was actually responding the the totallity of the thread comments and probably embellilshed a bit more than I would have had I just replied with your original post in mind.

Quote:
Originally posted by don d.
With regards to Livingood's comments that "This is silly.", presumably meaning some of the comments in this thread about OLN's coverage. I do not agree.
No, it's silly because:
a. You haven't watched the coverage that is being discussed but have commented.
b. The folks who are most displeased by the OLN broadcast that plays to it's US audience are from Australia and Germany and, therefore, aren't the OLN targeted market.
c. The folks who are defending OLN's coverage are from the US and are therefore part of the OLN targeted market.

Not a lot of learning going on here.... this is just good old fashion my dog's bigger than your dog, i.e., this is just silly.
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Old 07-25-03, 11:03 AM   #21
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just propaganda.
Kind of like watching Formula Schumacher



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Old 07-25-03, 11:14 AM   #22
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Originally posted by livngood
My apologies, by I was actually responding the the totallity of the thread comments and probably embellilshed a bit more than I would have had I just replied with your original post in mind.



No, it's silly because:
a. You haven't watched the coverage that is being discussed but have commented... this is just silly.
My comments about OLN's coverage were objective comments that pertain to marketing principles in general. I did not comment on OLN's coverage. Do I need to watch OLN to understand marketing? Please.

I asked for more info about the issue Barnaby raised. Have you offered that info to inform, add something other than criticism to this?

What I think is silly is that you are calling others silly because they are less informed. If this is a forum, let's in-form, not name call. Name calling is the my dog is bigger than your dog debate. Is your dog really bigger, Mark?

I understand that like you said, you embellished a little in your original post. I know it's unlikely, but maybe you embellished again. Just to make sure I'm wrong, (see me scratching my head in consternation like Peter Falk in Colombo), could you please take a moment to point out where I made any specific comment about OLN's current coverage. Thanks, Mark. Appreciate it. Going to feed the Caniche now.

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Old 07-25-03, 12:52 PM   #23
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Originally posted by don d.
My comments about OLN's coverage were objective comments that pertain to marketing principles in general. I did not comment on OLN's coverage. Do I need to watch OLN to understand marketing? Please.
This may be a minor detail to you, but your marketing comments didn't get posted until after my "this is just silly" post so it would follow that my explanation of why I thought this was silly would apply to the posts that preceded it.

Quote:
Originally posted by don d.
I asked for more info about the issue Barnaby raised. Have you offered that info to inform, add something other than criticism to this?
Well, gee, I think I did. Of course, you'd have to read my posting in detail which tried to actually run through a discourse for our non-US friends and those on both sides of both ponds who may not be as familiar with Bob Roll's background, his relationship to Lance (by the way, Bob Roll was never a member of the USPS team) or how the entire OLN programming was packaged for the tour, e.g., the Pre-Race show IS a Lance Armstrong, Go-USA pep-rally.

Quote:
Originally posted by don d.
If this is a forum, let's in-form, not name call. Name calling is the my dog is bigger than your dog debate. Is your dog really bigger, Mark?
Making a general remark that the direction a thread has gone is "silly" is not name calling; it's an observation and one that I quantified when you decided to take my twist of a phrase personally. It I'd intended to direct my comments at someone I would have quoted the material I was commenting on. Back to in-form, the folks engaged in the thread, IMHO, were not looking for facts as they were entrenched in opinions founded in nationalism so to pursue a debate about a television program -- again noting that more than 1/2 of the contributors had not seen the commentary that Barnaby was talking about -- is pointless and will never be resolved UNTIL Sunday afternoon when Jan and Lance finish the tour in Paris. The race is not over until it's over.

Quote:
Originally posted by don d.
could you please take a moment to point out where I made any specific comment about OLN's current coverage.
Sure, you wrote in reply to Barnaby's comments about Bob Roll's biased commentary and turning off viewers: "I think you're right. I have not watched one minute of TV coverage of the TDF, but let me ask, Barnaby, has anyone mentioned that USPS is ranked #4 in the teams competition and Bianchi is ranked #5?"

The answer is, Yes. The broadcast team have discussed the team standings several times and opined that Jan would have been even a greater threat if Bianchi had a stronger team. Moreover, at least once someone -- I don't recall who -- threw out the observation about what a different race this would have been if Jan had accepted CSC's offer and had climbers riders like Tyler Hamilton and Carlos Sastre working for him -- noting that CSC IS leading USPS in the overall team classification by over 47 minutes and Bianchi by over 68 minutes.

Last edited by livngood; 07-25-03 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 07-25-03, 01:07 PM   #24
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Originally posted by livngood
The answer is, Yes. The broadcast team have discussed the team standings several times and opined that Jan would have been even a greater threat if Bianchi had a stronger team. Moreover, at least once someone -- I don't recall who -- threw out the observation about what a different race this would have been if Jan had accepted CSC's offer and had climbers riders like Tyler Hamilton and Carlos Sastre working for him -- noting that CSC IS leading USPS in the overall team classification by over 47 minutes and Bianchi by over 68 minutes.
Thanks Mark, that's the positive contribution I've been looking for. I think this thread is finally back on track. Welcome aboard! By the way, I knew when my marketing comments were posted. Also, saying I think something and following that up with a question qbout what I "think", is generally considered a concession that one needs more info. Once again, thanks for the info. That's what I was looking for.
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Old 07-25-03, 01:34 PM   #25
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Barnaby, help me out here, has anyone mentioned on the coverage that Postal and Bianchi are positioned next to each other in the teams competition? Since you've been watching so closely, surely you've noticed whether any mention has been made of this. I mean, if the teams are that close to each other in the Teams competition, isn't Ullrich in fact getting close to the same level of support, even if the TV coverage is not getting it?
Yes! you are correct in this. The level of support is closer than what Gum and Roll are suggesting, and therefore Ullrich is getting almost the same assistance as Armstrong. Didn't mean to start a negative thread. This is the best athletic event in the world baring the summer Olympics,and maybe the World Cup, and Armstrong may be the most remarkable athlete of the last five years.

The counterpoint of the expressionless German from the East German system, with the crushing high-gear power cycling, versus the reformed Lance with the super-spin is great theatre. I am going to have severe withdrawl symptons starting Sunday. Thanks OLN!
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