guess we’ll just read about it the next day…

“Because of network TV contracts, live streaming video of practice (outside of the Indianapolis 500), qualifying and races won’t be available this season.”

Well, isn’t that a hearty FUCK YOU to the fans and a complete step backwards in the use of technology and building a fanbase and momentum.

I love how this little tidbit was tagged on to the end of an article about “enchanted race weekend data”
(Someone’s got a sense of humour)

“expanded interactive IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights Timing & Scoring applications”
(Oh, does that mean they will actually work this season?!)

ooh and look! a map with coloured dots that roam over a track layout!
(that’s much better than an actual race feed!)

And a twitter feed!!
(Really? A twitter feed is considered enhanced weekend data?)

Newsflash… WE ALL HAVE TWITTER FEEDS! WHAT WE DON’T HAVE IS CONSISTENT STATE OF THE ART EVENT COVERAGE!

The one thing I could count on, every weekend, was a video stream, live from the track, for all of the important sessions. Why is this important? Well, I cover the series. Unfortunately I don’t have the luxury of traveling to every event, so many times I have to provide said coverage remotely. I also don’t have the luxury of Versus being a coverage option as I live outside of the United States.

“I know we have a lot of fans overseas that have used our web streams to watch our races live, so we’re talking about what can be done to maybe offer the races online after they’ve aired first on Versus.” – Randy Bernard

Guess what Randy, our Canadian coverage is pathetic too, so you might as well lump us into that category too.

IF a race is simulcast by a the Canadian sister station. (think ugly step-sister in this case) it is usually bumped to an odd timeslot, tape-delayed by hours, sometimes days, and then cut up all to rat shit, barely resembling the actual event. And what of the junior formulas? The only way I got to see any of the Indy Lights races over the past few years, was via the live stream.

Although the exact figures for live streaming viewership in 2009 and 2010 have not been released, Versus/Comcast apparently felt the potential Nielsen Rating gain warranted a change in live streaming permissions. – Marshalll Pruett – SPEED.com

I don’t understand how they can take such a GIANT step backwards. One would think they would be attempting to UP their online game as that is OBVIOUSLY where the numbers are! Almost everyone I know watches everything online. Take a page out of AIGP! Their online coverage was spectacular. Pre-race pit and grid walks and analysis, full race coverage (practices and quails) and full post race interviews/podium and analysis.

It’s all well and good that they are upping the “fan experience” at the track, but if there is no visual way to follow the series and build excitement leading up to the event, what makes them think anyone will actually show up to play in their shiny new Fan Village?

Personally, I could give a crap about a Fan Village. I’m not there to play. I’m there to watch and cover the racing.

I sincerely, SINCERELY hope that there is an announcement of some sort about a pay streaming coverage option on the back burner, otherwise they (INDYCAR, VERSUS & NBC) have just essentially cut off a large chunk of their international fan base, put the brakes on building any momentum leading into a race weekend, and building a fanbase that follows the series for a season, rather than just shows up to the event that rolls into their town once a year.

If not, I will have to seriously reconsider my involvement going foreword. It’s already too hard and too expensive to do what I do. But at least with the online streaming I could make it work. Now it just became virtually impossible, and much less enjoyable.

In a time when they should be doing everything in their power to make people interested and engage them in the series, teams, drivers, and events, by whatever means possible, they are choosing to alienate instead.
Why do they make it so damn hard to be a fan? I just don’t get it.

8 responses to “guess we’ll just read about it the next day…

  1. Very well said, that was exactly my reaction when I heard the news too (and I don’t cover the series apart from half-assed blog posts now and then).

  2. Leigh O'Gorman

    The word “idiots” came to mind. Getting people to hit the Nielsen sounds like an executive’s wet dream – best not let that nasty internet get way, oh no!!

    These will just be more viewers for Justin TV and torrent files. Guess what?! I haven’t had a TV for nearly four years, but online broadcasting over here (UK) has been more than acceptable to make TV’s a nice extra, but not a media necessity.

    So, does the NBC board comprise of brainless fools with no concept of growing generations that have not been brainwashed into television? On this decision, the answer seems to be “yes”

  3. If we keep going at this rate, we’ll have to go to the library a few weeks later to look up the results on microfiche.

    *sigh*

  4. Completely agree. Can there possibly be more than a handful of people who have Versus now that watch races on the net instead? For those of us who could have Versus, but choose not to pay $30, $40, $50 a month for a package of crap channels; do they really expect that we’ll pony up that kind of cash every month just to watch Indycar? Who are the people that they expect to start viewing Versus as a result of this move and is that 0.1 increase in share enough to offset the net viewership (those would also be called fans) lost? I’m livid and ranting like a lunatic. Thanks for letting me vent.

  5. Ah, you overseas/over the north border types haven’t had the pleasure of dealing with Comcast (owners of NBC/Universal and Versus). I think at some point, the Comcast board of overlords, which I believe is comprised of several guys who look like the Emperor from Star Wars, realized the stream constituted “giving a commodity away for free”. Comcast gives NOTHING away for free. The only reason Versus exists on my $30/month basic package is because Comcast already owns them and therefore doesn’t need to pay them a fee.

    Does NBC have someone up north that they share stuff like their NHL coverage with? Maybe that could become the go-to network for IndyCar up there…

  6. Pingback: A Web of Confusion | I Watch Too Much Racing

  7. Pingback: Where?s the LUV IndyCarz? | Georgegumm's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s