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  1. #1
    Go Go Fassa
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    OLN Commentary Sucks!

    Has anyone noticed how difficult it is to watch the race on OLN when they have Bob Roll and his sidekick act as commentators? Their commentary has all the sophistication of a 7 year old child and their approach to the race assumes you have an IQ of 0.

    I hate how he continually drones on and on (with his equally poor grasp of enunciation) about irrelevant topics. It's like he's having a damn conversation while we're watching images of a bike race. I've found myself pressing the MUTE button a lot of times.

    Why aren't they using Phil Liggett? They have to bring him back or I'm gonna find this year's tour REALLY hard to watch.

  2. #2
    Lance Hater Laggard's Avatar
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    Phil and Paul do commentary of the actual racing. They do a damn fine job of it too.
    i may have overreacted

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    Quote Originally Posted by Laggard
    Phil and Paul do commentary of the actual racing. They do a damn fine job of it too.

    Umm...are you sure about that? Because I'm watching the 8PM Prime Time version and it ISN'T Phil and Paul doing the commentary of the actual racing. It's Bob Roll and the other guy.

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    Record the LIVE coverage in the morning, or the afternoon replay; that's when we get Phil and Paul. I'm not sure why they have Trautwig and Roll doing commentary over the same pictures for the PrimeTime show.

  5. #5
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KennethToronto
    Because I'm watching the 8PM Prime Time version
    There's the problem... I would suggest you record the live version instead if you can't catch it in realtime.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
    "Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send." -- Jon Postel, RFC1122

  6. #6
    back of the autobus jobob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KennethToronto
    Has anyone noticed how difficult it is to watch the race on OLN when they have Bob Roll and his sidekick act as commentators? Their commentary has all the sophistication of a 7 year old child and their approach to the race assumes you have an IQ of 0.

    [...]

    Why aren't they using Phil Liggett? They have to bring him back or I'm gonna find this year's tour REALLY hard to watch.
    I agree, the OLN primetime coverage with Al Trautwig & Bob Roll is pathetic. It's basically dumbbed-down Lance-centric blather aimed for the lowest common denominator - OLN probably thinks the "All Lance All The Time" approach will attract those who will only bother to watch if Lance is in the lead.

    Luckily, the live early-morning coverage still has Phil and Paul commentating, so if you can get up that early or remember to set your VCR, that's the way to go. For the primetime coverage, all Bob and that nitwit Trautwig are doing are basically reading off Phil & Paul's early-morning commentary, and adding in their own painfully moronic ad-libs.

    If you do record the early-morning coverage, just be warned that it tends to go over the allotted time, particularly in the mountain stages (at least that's what I've seen in the past).

    HTH, - jobob
    Last edited by jobob; 07-04-04 at 09:40 PM.

  7. #7
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jobob
    remember to set your VCR, that's the way to go.
    I finally joined the rest of my geek-friends and got myself a TiVo box. I never before found much use for something like that since I try to not be a slave to the TV. The only exception is the TdF. I used to do the VCR thing but TiVo is so much nicer... especially since I do a lot of travelling. My DirecTV receiver does have the ability to externally control my VCR so if the stages run long then I still won't miss the ending (assuming I had enough tape) and that worked fairly well but with TiVo there's no worries.
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  8. #8
    Geezer Member Grampy™'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KennethToronto
    Has anyone noticed how difficult it is to watch the race on OLN when they have Bob Roll and his sidekick act as commentators? Their commentary has all the sophistication of a 7 year old child and their approach to the race assumes you have an IQ of 0.

    I hate how he continually drones on and on (with his equally poor grasp of enunciation) about irrelevant topics. It's like he's having a damn conversation while we're watching images of a bike race. I've found myself pressing the MUTE button a lot of times.

    Why aren't they using Phil Liggett? They have to bring him back or I'm gonna find this year's tour REALLY hard to watch.
    For cryin' out loud. You'd probably beotch if they hung ya with a new rope. I like the different perspective Bob and Al give it. If ya don't like it, don't watch it.

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    Go Go Fassa
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    Thanks guys. I can't catch the LIVE one because of work...so I guess I'll have to dig out the VCR to record the Phil and Paul commentary.

    It's really a shame I have to do this - what in the world is OLN thinking??

    Also, I'm relieved I'm not the only one who finds Bob Roll and Al Trautwig to be PAINFULLY to difficult to listen to. Them and this 24/7 focus on Lance Armstrong is really making watching this race a difficult experience - and I'm a huge fan of cycling and Lance!

    Perhaps letting OLN know might help? I already wrote a short msg to
    http://ww2.olntv.com/feedback.asp

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    Go Go Fassa
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampy™
    For cryin' out loud. You'd probably beotch if they hung ya with a new rope. I like the different perspective Bob and Al give it. If ya don't like it, don't watch it.
    Well, I don't think I can knock any sense in you if you somehow think this "different" perspective from Bob and Al is better than Phil and Paul.

    If there were any other stations covering the Tour, I wouldn't watch OLN. But there aren't, so I have every right to point out flaws in OLN's coverage.

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    G'day,

    I'm finding it difficult to feel sorry for you blokes!. You wanna try being a cycling nut & live in Oz!. Here we only get 1/2 hour of 'highlights' 12 hours after the stage has taken place!. I think we get 4 stages of the 3 weeks where we get the last 2 hours live........the grass is always greener folks!,

    cheers,

    Hitchy

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    Senior Member TwoTyred's Avatar
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    i think it's perfect the way they do it. If you want the 'pure' commentary--
    watch the *LIVE COVERAGE* in the morning. If you are interested, but
    would like it to be more presentable with replays etc.. watch it in the
    evening. If you still aren't satisifed--watch both!!

  13. #13
    Heeeeeere's Johnny! live311's Avatar
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    OLN's prime time coverage is geared more towards cycling n00bs who may be interested in seeing what all the hype is about, and I think they're doing a good job of explaining the nuiances of the sport. It will sound annoying to someone who knows everything already. I find myself watching both the live AM coverage and the prime time show.

  14. #14
    back of the autobus jobob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khuon
    My DirecTV receiver does have the ability to externally control my VCR so if the stages run long then I still won't miss the ending (assuming I had enough tape) and that worked fairly well but with TiVo there's no worries.
    Hmmm... you might have a more sophisticated DirecTV/TiVo setup than I have, but if I'm recording a stage and it goes over time, the TiVo still stops recording at the end of the scheduled time, unless I set it in advance to keep recording, say, 30 minutes longer (which I routinely do for the live stages). Your setup might be different, but if not, just thought I'd warn you-- such a bummer to have the recording stop 5 km from the finish (been there, done that!).

    Hitchy, you're right, we in the US are very fortunate to have daily coverage. Were it not for Lance's dominance in the Tour, our coverage would be on par with yours ...

  15. #15
    Geezer Member Grampy™'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KennethToronto
    Well, I don't think I can knock any sense in you if you somehow think this "different" perspective from Bob and Al is better than Phil and Paul.

    If there were any other stations covering the Tour, I wouldn't watch OLN. But there aren't, so I have every right to point out flaws in OLN's coverage.
    Knock some sense in Me? You elitist snob! God forbid someone should have a different view. I said I enjoyed the different perspective of Bob and Al, I didn't say they were better than Phil and Paul, but what if I did think that? I'm writing OLN daily to tell them how great I think their coverage is...... It would serve you right if you lost your OLN coverage next year....

  16. #16
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    Hmn... silly me, I never noticed that Bob is comentator in the prime time until reading this thread. But I rarely watch reply anyway.

    I agree that many of them are not pro, but who cares, we are watching the race, though it's annoying, it's not big dea. Overall, just like Kristen Gum thread, I see many people discontent with OLN comentators. Peharps you guys who serious about cycling should learn French and move to France to watch TDF .

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    although I do like the oln comentary of phil and paul a lot, bob and all did sound like they were 5 years old...it sounded like bob was giving al a lession on cycling, cause he is a new comentator for oln......he doesnt know what is going on at all IMO. i think most of us here could do a better job with the cycling comentary, let al stick to "mainly" sports like football and baseball and hockey..............agree?

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    Lance Hater Laggard's Avatar
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    Thanks for letting us know that Phil and Paul only do live coverage. Now I know to tape it.

    Phil and Paul are the best commentary duo in sports. No one knows more about pro cycling than Phil. Some of the obscure race results and facts they pull out of thin air just blow me away.
    i may have overreacted

  19. #19
    Since Ever Since Devil's Avatar
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    I like Bob Roll, and I enjoy watching the prime time coverage with his commentary. But only AFTER watching the live coverage with Phil and Paul. Cycling wouldn't be the same for me without those two. I'll echo what Laggard says. Phil and Paul are 10,000,000 cuts above the rest.

  20. #20
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KennethToronto
    Thanks guys. I can't catch the LIVE one because of work...so I guess I'll have to dig out the VCR to record the Phil and Paul commentary.

    It's really a shame I have to do this - what in the world is OLN thinking??

    Also, I'm relieved I'm not the only one who finds Bob Roll and Al Trautwig to be PAINFULLY to difficult to listen to. Them and this 24/7 focus on Lance Armstrong is really making watching this race a difficult experience - and I'm a huge fan of cycling and Lance!

    Perhaps letting OLN know might help? I already wrote a short msg to
    http://ww2.olntv.com/feedback.asp
    Phil and Paul do not do commentary exclusively for OLN. In fact, they also do, for example, commentary for ITV. If you bought the DVD of last year's Tour, you will note that it was the ITV feed they used. If you listen to OLN carefully, you will sometimes hear the "other" person commentating (Paul is actually speaking on OLN, but you can hear Phil also talking in the background) and this is because they are doing live feed for other programs at the same time.
    Given that, I suspect that since the entire world is not on the same time, they are doing feeds in the US evening hours for other places...for example, I have two good friends from Australia who also get to watch some of Phil and Paul...they may be working elsewhere and that's how OLN can do the commentary with Roll and Trautwig.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
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  21. #21
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laggard
    No one knows more about pro cycling than Phil.
    More than you?
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
    Bret Stephens, WSJ

  22. #22
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hitchy
    G'day,

    I'm finding it difficult to feel sorry for you blokes!. You wanna try being a cycling nut & live in Oz!. Here we only get 1/2 hour of 'highlights' 12 hours after the stage has taken place!. I think we get 4 stages of the 3 weeks where we get the last 2 hours live........the grass is always greener folks!,

    cheers,

    Hitchy
    That's basically the way it used to be here.

    I have a friend who lives in Melbourne, and I asked him, with all the Aussies in the race why they would not cover it more extensively. He thinks they are too cheap to buy the time...

    Too bad.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
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    Quote Originally Posted by jobob
    I agree, the OLN primetime coverage with Al Trautwig & Bob Roll is pathetic. It's basically dumbbed-down Lance-centric blather aimed for the lowest common denominator - OLN probably thinks the "All Lance All The Time" approach will attract those who will only bother to watch if Lance is in the lead.

    What have you got against the free market? OLN, which is owned by Comcast, is trying to expand its viewership. Last year, daily viewers of the Tour de France nearly doubled from the previous year, and all because of Lance Armstrong. This year, they are trying to get daily viewership up another notch.

    Most Americans couldn't spell Iban Mayo or Jaan Kirisipuu or pronounce Jens Voight or recognize Levi Leipheimer of Floyd Landis if they tripped over them on the street. But everyone who has opened a newspaper, magazine, or watched television knows Lance Armstrong.

    That is why the prime time rebroadcast is dumbed down; so the average American Lance-fan can understand what is happening in a bicycle race - possibly the first one they have ever seen.

    The only thing that can come from this is increased viewership, which means increased sponsors which means MORE bicycle racing on OLN.

    We should all be behind Al Trautwig and Bob Roll, cheering them on. For those of us who know the score, there is the live coverage in the morning and VCRs!
    "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

  24. #24
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Well said.


    Quote Originally Posted by TrekRider
    What have you got against the free market? OLN, which is owned by Comcast, is trying to expand its viewership. Last year, daily viewers of the Tour de France nearly doubled from the previous year, and all because of Lance Armstrong. This year, they are trying to get daily viewership up another notch.

    Most Americans couldn't spell Iban Mayo or Jaan Kirisipuu or pronounce Jens Voight or recognize Levi Leipheimer of Floyd Landis if they tripped over them on the street. But everyone who has opened a newspaper, magazine, or watched television knows Lance Armstrong.

    That is why the prime time rebroadcast is dumbed down; so the average American Lance-fan can understand what is happening in a bicycle race - possibly the first one they have ever seen.

    The only thing that can come from this is increased viewership, which means increased sponsors which means MORE bicycle racing on OLN.

    We should all be behind Al Trautwig and Bob Roll, cheering them on. For those of us who know the score, there is the live coverage in the morning and VCRs!
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
    Bret Stephens, WSJ

  25. #25
    human velocipedio's Avatar
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    i'm going to be contrary here for just a minute and say that i really don't like the job that phil and paul are doing on the tour -- particularly phil. i've enjoyed their coverage of other races in the past, and i think they've done some good tours, but they've definitely been slipping.

    there's phil's usual trouble remembering racers' names [francis moreau?], but the thing that really bugs me is the way commentary/analysis is completely tossed out the window. in the prologue, the whole thing about armstrong "dealing a psychological blow" was laughable and obviously calculated for the non-cycling viewers.

    i understand that these guys are anglos and the broadcast is aimed at an american audience that doesn't care about anyone in the race other than armstrong [i'm not talking about you cognoscenti, i'm talking about the broader audience that's also interested in the ultimate sports]. i also feel that the coverage has been compromised by the sponsors. all of the segment sponsors -- amd, subaru, trek, discovery network -- are current or future sponsors of the usps team, as is oln. it is perhaps inevitable, but i find that phil and paul are just doing their best to get the sponsors the most for their advertising dollar.
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