Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

August 8, 2008

Reaction To The New TV Deal

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 12:56 pm

Part of the beauty of being an unapologetic Internet gadfly is the certainty with which others will jerk their knees whenever I write anything. This phenomenon is most pronounced on selected racing-themed forums on which I often appear.





I gave an unabashed initial review of the new IRL television deal announced yesterday, and did not hold back. In many previous often preachy prognosticating, I advocated an entirely new deal with the NBC Universal family of channels. That is not the direction selected by Indy Racing and not my preferred approach, but is OK. The number of threads on racing-themed forums chiding my NBC musing as if it were gospel is entertaining. I should feel sorry for what is mostly the immature barely literate meandering of Indy Racing/Tony George haters who claim to hate all things IRL but spend hours every day posting about it, but I would rather openly laugh at their abject hypocrisy and obvious stupidity. They are as unimportant as their meandering.


Tony George keeps mentioning loyalty to ABC for an almost 45-year ‘partnership.’ That kind of loyalty is commendable to a fault. Too bad the loyalty he shows is not reciprocal. ESPN on ABC is being rewarded for repeated public adultery with a fat mistress and outright neglect of their 45-year partner. And for this they got awarded a continuance of the juiciest part of the series. That would be like my wife allowing me to divorce her, marry some stanky fat woman, spend all my money appeasing (and feeding) the obesity queen, but continue having sex with her whenever I felt like it without telling anyone.



ESPN's Primary Racing Partner and the Object of Their Affection (and Money)

To me, business is business. My loyalty to them would have ceased the moment the adultery and neglect began. I have more self respect than that. That lack of self respect is, IMHO, the single biggest threat to continued IRL viability. They need to get ruthless. Like NASCAR.


That said the Indy Racing Series actually deserves a tremendous amount of congratulation for taking the most bold, forward looking step they could. What they did requires a certainty the brand can grow significantly with the right partner and they rolled the dice even though they hedged the bet. Versus really wants to showcase the series in a way no one ever has in the past, and they have not only the space but the commitment.


When those of us in the business look ahead the one thing we continue seeing is increasing fragmentation of audience across not only an increasing number of delivery channels, but also across delivery platforms. The more platforms on which Indy Racing can perch, the more potential success can be realized. All eggs in one basket is no longer the way to go.


Ratings already suck. Why not have them suck on a channel that will treat the channel with respect and professionalism? If the brand is treated with enthusiasm, who says the ratings have to continue sucking? From that standpoint, the up and coming Versus is the perfect partner.


A Speed TV Executive Manages Their NASCAR Partnership

Bottom line: Defender endorses the deal with one caveat. The deal must include more platforms than just Versus and ESPN on ABC for their five one night stands. How can the linkage with DirecTV be exploited? There is a new move afoot to merge Dish and DirecTV. Mark Cuban goes to Indy races. HDNet could use quality programming. Has Speed bent itself completely over for the France family? What happens if Jim Liberatore actually builds another racing channel not bent over for the France Family? Hopefully Versus is just the beginning of a widely disseminated multi-platform strategy for Indy Racing.




  1. You’re an idiot.

    How the hell are the teams supposed to sell this crap to sponsors?

    In less than a day you’ve convinced yourself that you’ve polished the turd the IRL crapped out yesterday.

    Comment by Howard — August 8, 2008 @ 2:03 pm | Reply

  2. You are a brilliant observer of the human condition.

    Comment by john — August 9, 2008 @ 12:49 am | Reply

  3. It feels pretty good to mostly be right, doesn’t it, Defender? I can relate.

    Comment by Jim Wilke — August 9, 2008 @ 5:48 pm | Reply

  4. No, I said you are a MASTER, in addition to a brilliant observer of the human condition.

    Comment by john — August 9, 2008 @ 11:12 pm | Reply

  5. I can’t seem to get past 1995 and look more stupid with each passing day. Please continue laughing at me Defender.

    Comment by some idiotic champcar retard — August 10, 2008 @ 5:26 pm | Reply

  6. John, well said. I have mostly agreed with what you have said over the years…most importantly, everything about the “Partner.” Keep up the good work.

    Comment by Will S. aka SactoIndyFan — August 11, 2008 @ 1:42 am | Reply

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