It's now hard to conceive that Will Buxton was almost dropped with the switch to NBC Sports as he is now the only hope for a revitalized, modernized, and eccentric broadcast of Formula 1 in America.
I am going to say it up front: I would watch Sky Sports' broadcast if I could, but living in America, viewing an HD broadcast is more difficult than getting a seat in an F1 car. Our only legal option across-the-pond is NBC Sports, and Speed Network before that; it's outdated model for delivering the fabled motorsport to our television sets needs to change, but the programming is not getting the investment it needs.
Two potential solutions arise to solve this predicament: 1) Change the NBC Sports broadcast with Buxton leading the charge, or 2) open up the virtual borders to allow competing broadcasts.
Improving the American Broadcast
Let's start by noting the problem areas of the current NBC Sports broadcast.
The presenters we mostly see and hear are three old, outdated, fat, english (and one Aussie) gentlemen that wear suits from Kohl's and sit behind a very nice, but ultimately unimpressive and badly utilized set.
Bringing the presenters out to every race would almost entirely fix the problem described above, but even when they're brought out to one of the few races now, they still all sit behind a desk and bring minimal extra content from the paddock and pit lane.
Formula 1 is a fast moving sport, one that you have to keep up with at all times in order to bring the desired content to the fans, but also one that is relatively open to the media; though you may not realize this last point if you're used to the NBC Sports broadcast.
Let's now look at the Sky F1 broadcasting model.
The Sky and BBC presenters are always walking around the paddock and pit-lane before, during, and after a session, with the camera crew right by their side. They walk by and have numerous spontaneous conversations with anybody and everybody: drivers, engineers, owners, even random strangers/spectators.
This crossover makes me feel as if I'm at the race with them, instead of just watching the world feed an listening to three old men talk about it from afar.
An example of this openness: one time Jenson Button came up to commentator (and previous F1 team owner) Eddie Jordan after a race and handed him a piece of chocolate cake during the post-race chat; I think it was his birthday. You don't see that kind of interaction on American broadcasts.
Its only during a race or qualifying session when someone from a Sky broadcast runs up to the on-site commentary box to call the action.
So, why Will Buxton?
No offense to the main three NBC Sports commentators, as they may be more apt than I know, but Will Buxton has the character, charisma, holds current friendships with current drivers, and supports a huge connection with the fans.