Why have a press conference at 2pm…

if you’re gonna release all the details to the media in the morning???

Anyhooo…. So, I’ve looked over all the nitty gritty details… even wrote it up for the OOW site myself

I have to say, looking at it on paper, it’s a pretty sweet set up.

Admittedly, after being treated like the ugly stepsister for years, I would be falling over backwards, beside myself with happiness had this been presented to us via Champ Car last year. (and all of you still bitter holding on to the past jaded CC fans know damn well you’d be creaming your jeans too if it were for “our side” )

If it pans out as written, and is available to the majority (including the international audience) it is fantastic.

Live races. Check
Re-airs. Check
Pre-show and extended coverage hopefully eliminating timed race windows. Check
Pre event show with qualifying highlights and news. Check.
Magazine style “fluff” show, highlighting the series, drivers, teams, sponsors, creating a buzz and hopefully introducing us to and snagging the casual fan. Check.
Big fish in a small pond, on a channel that actually wants to provide coverage, as opposed to has to provide coverage (and in the most minimal fashion at that). Check.

Now… the only “downside” is that it is on this elusive channel called VERSUS. From what I understand, this is OLN in Canada. (which is controlled by fuckTSN) This could be an issue.
I also am unaware of how or where VERSUS airs internationally. (Latin America, Europe, etc… )

I would assume that IndyCar, if they are smart, (and they have shown brief glimpses of being that) will make sure that any of the additional programming is made available via the web via IndyCar.com. (not necessarily as it airs, but for sure once it has hit the airwaves)

So there ya have it. Once again I believe I am falling into the glass half full category on this one.
(when did I become such a fucking pollyanna??? )

I look forward to logging on later today to peruse the web and see how my fellow blogmates are reacting…

and with that… my lunch hour has officially expired… ciao friends!

EDIT: As I expected the reactions are mixed. From despair from those who don’t get the channel (Will, I feel your pain as I’ve been there kid! Scan back to last year when the ESPN deal was announced for CC… I was about as livid as I’ve ever been) to a lot of “wait and see” stances. No one is really overjoyed by this. (well, Gonzo is, but he’s a strange little manpuppet…) Again, a year from now, once we have a season under our belt, it will be interesting to look back.

The funniest reactions are of course from the disgruntled Champ Car fans. Hypocrisy at it’s finest in action. Yes, yes, it’s “another nail”, the series is “dying”, FTG! and all that.


Actually, strike that…
no no guys, there is another series in the wings, it will rise up from the ashes of IndyCar and be run by pure, innocent and principled businessmen who are doing it all for the fans!! So you kids keep holding on to that!!

(wouldn’t want them to get a life or a hobby anytime soon, I would lose all of my comic reading!)

ok…back to websurfing!

16 responses to “Why have a press conference at 2pm…

  1. How many markets and people does Versus reach vs ESPN/ESPN2?

  2. 78 Million vs 96 Million

  3. Hmm, you do have a point. I still have my worries but in the meantime, I’ll certainly enjoy the extra coverage. πŸ™‚ I do say that I like the hockey coverage on VS better than when it was on ESPN.

  4. Believe me, I’m worried too, and come the start of 2009 when I realize that the Canadian market is not receiving any of the above perks, I will change my tune. Mark my words.

    In the meantime however, I really do think we need to applaud the efforts of those who put this together.

    I know the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and this release may just be another section of highway, but lets wait and see how it plays out before condemning it.

  5. Quality vs. quantity. How many of those 96 million households for the Deuce/Ocho actually watch racin’?

    One thing you can say about Versus is that their audience is HARDCORE… πŸ˜‰

  6. Exactly. And really, with their ridiculous scheduling (middle of the day, middle of the week, middle of the night) and preempting…

    Now if we could just dump the broadcast team…

  7. To answer the European question (even though at the mo it probably doesn’t even rank as high as a secondary question), Versus/OLN isn’t here at all AFAIK unless under another name.

    IRL will probably continue to do deals independently of their NA contracts. e.g. here in the UK we have Sky Sports, part of Murdoch’s empire so logically you’d think SPEED would have US coverage to keep it in the family. Doesn’t end up working that way.

    Hope this deal works out for you guys&gals.

    PS – I’ve been reading for a few months, my first post!

  8. yay! Hello Pat in the UK! Welcome out of the shadows! I may bark (and often do) but I don’t bite! and love to have mini conversations with y’all!

    Curious, do you get any coverage of IndyCar there currently? According to their press release, they are working out deals internationally too, so I’d be curious to know what the situation is now and what they would have to do to improve upon it.

  9. I love the check marks and all, but I am afraid that the casual fan won’t be checking to see what’s on Versus. I think there’s a better chance for casual fans to check out what’s on ESPN and perhaps give it a shot. Oh well…at least women’s polevaulting won’t be preempting my races anymore.

  10. true, not going to get “casual passersby” but… the demographic of VERSUS & OLN appears to be mostly testosterone fueled males who are into thrills and spills. If they aren’t already watching, they will at the very least tune in once or twice out of curiosity to see the “Sports Illustrated babe” (who I’m quite sure will be pimped out in overdrive) and all the “bad boy” drivers. (counting on the pre-shows and magazine shows to play up the PT’s and Viso’s )

  11. Well here at the Planet IRL headquarters I have learned that we will be seeing a lot more PT next year

  12. Indeed we will… (thus the ridiculous amount of races I’m trying to squeeze in next year!)

  13. Thanks for the welcome Meesh πŸ™‚

    This could be long and complicated so I apologise in advance.

    IndyCar is currently aired live on Sky Sports 2, which is a pay channel in that you have to pay extra per month above your normal satellite subscription to get it. Not sure if it is on cable. Bear in mind satellite (and that means the Sky platform, the only alternative launched just a few months back) is huge here and cable is much less so but growing.

    They take ESPN coverage but with Gary Lee and Larry Rice on commentary, with studio interruptions from London (they cut away to a panel discussion) to explain things to what I’d call ‘crossover F1 fans’ during yellows and before the race. These interruptions are highly irritating and detract from the ESPN guys who explain it much better as they also know their audience is international – so much so that the graphics often appear in km/h not mph.
    They seem to have less comment from the pitlane team, which is a shame, as it is needed.

    I said aired live, it has been until this year when NASCAR Cup moved to Sky from a much smaller channel (North American Sports Network). This year some IRL races have been aired ‘as live’ straight after the live NASCAR because they don’t like running two races against each other, especially ovals which are niche.

    Champ Car – and CART before it – lived on Eurosport. Eurosport is pan-European, based in Paris, with a huge reach across the continent. Sky Sports are UK & Ireland only but promote things hugely in a big media blitz. Eurosport doesn’t really promote anything in the same way – although they do bankroll the World Touring cars. Not that I’ve seen promo of that either, outside of specialist print and Eurosport itself.

    Eurosport are the most unpredictable network on this planet. They advertise something at one time, then air it at another, even if they advertise it during the programme immediately preceding the advertised slot! They also tend to go to a race late, or cut it short, if the tennis is on.

    The other option is Setanta Sports, an Irish operation which is growing in stature very rapidly. From nothing a few years ago they are suddenly now sharing the English Premier League (footie/soccer) rights with Sky. I’d say this is one to look at for the IRL. Especially if they don’t do stupid studio sections midrace.

    None of the races are on what you might call ‘network TV’ but that shouldn’t be a surprise.

    Personally I resort to torrents of the US domestic coverage,as Sky’s prices are way out of my league at the moment and that coverage is often better.

  14. Downside: Selling Vs. to sponsors vs. (Har!) ESPN. I’m telling ya, sponsors of the size IndyCar wants/needs don’t give jack shit about venue or attendance. They only care about TV numbers. If the IRL could rip down a 5 rating racing on Moon Base Alpha, you could sell sponsorships for it. Conversely, a 1.4 rating at wildly, hugely on-fire, 100,000-people St. Petersberg don’t get you the time of day from, say, Kodak.

  15. Pdog I see what you’re saying but if I were a sponsor of any size, I’d still like to see good crowds on the TV screens. Makes it look like a place I’d want to be. Maybe that’s why I’m not in marketing.

  16. PatW! Wow! great explanation!! thank you for that! I feel so edumacated now πŸ˜›

    P-dog & PatW: therein lies the rub. It’s a freaky catch 22 situation. While bums in the seats don’t do anything to boost the tv ratings for that particular event, it does make it look more appealing to the viewing audience, who in turn may actually turn out for an event in the future (perhaps that one) and tune in to subsequent events. ( thus perhaps actually helping the ratings afterall…)

    I’m with you Pat that I, as a sponsor, would want to see bums in the seats as well as tv numbers. I also think it would be valuable as a sponsor to be able to directly, physically market to a large crowd on site.

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