You may be right about commentary. I've only ever had the sound on a couple of times and there seems to be an awful lot of very long pauses followed by ridiculously excited babble. It's either 0% or 100%, however, I always get that impression with Japanese sports. My Japanese is no where near good enough to know how much sense they're talking - it just comes across as pretty brainless.
The terrestrial sports commentary is certainly brainless stuff. F1 used to be until they scrapped the separate terrestrial team at the end of last year, and football certainly is. The guys on the paid channels tend to be much better - in terms of not talking to the audience as if they need everything laid out for them - although even then it still depends on the person.
Do they still do the crazy intros using the flying anime characters like in 2007? I love Japan.
No, sadly not. F1 is now also without the pretty lady in the studio who's just there to be pretty and enthusiastic.