Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

January 4, 2011

IndyCar’s Broadcast Partner Strikes Another Deal With Another Series

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 12:01 am

The American Le Mans Series, the much better alternative to Grand Am although near death the past couple of years, signed a deal with ESPN to air races on ABC and ESPN2.  No word on whether it is a pay deal or whether they are getting paid, but their President, Scott Atherton, calls it a ‘game changer.’ ALMS is partnered with the marketing outfit Intersport, who brokered the deal.

Both parties are downright giddy over the deal and claim it will help grow their 18-34 numbers. I would be very curious to see how NASCAR feels about the deal.

Meanwhile, silence from the 40+-year IZOD IndyCar Series partner regarding anything even remotely resembling coverage of the upcoming Centennial Year festivities of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the series is deafening.

The IndyCar broadcast partner now must balance NASCAR, ALMS and IndyCar. Given the outright neglect of the IndyCar franchise by ESPN over the past dozen years or so, no one should be optimistic that IndyCar coverage by ESPN will improve in this lifetime. They have lodged themselves firmly into NASCAR’s camp, and now evidently feel they can make road racing popular in this country.

Randy Bernard needs to solve this problem immediately. The most significant auto race in the entire history of the sport is being ignored by the main OTA partner. That is not acceptable. Once the Comcast acquisition of NBC is approved I recommend terminating the agreement with ESPN and moving most of the franchise to NBC Universal and its family of channel and entertainment brands. I am certain they would treat it with the respect, dignity and professionalism it deserves, and in particular the 100th anniversary.




  1. I have never understood why espn does such a shitty job on indycar races. They pay for the broadcast rights then treat as if they don’t really want it. That doesn’t seem like the right way to do business. Is it just incompetance on their part or are they really doing the France family’s dirty work? I am not one for conspiracies, but it’s hard not to wonder about this.

    Comment by Matt — January 4, 2011 @ 12:53 am | Reply

  2. why the censorship?

    Editor’s Note: This is the last time I will acknowledge your ilk. I do not think of it as censorship. I think of it as mercy. Your meandering, obsessive, illiterate attempts at replies do not make sense, are not on topic, and are, frankly, more stupid than anything I have ever tried to read in my entire life. I usually have to harvest them from the spam folder which is a pain in the rear. Here are some helpful suggestions:

    1. Have a point.
    2. Ensure the point is related to the blog topic.
    3. Spell words correctly.
    4. Don’t cuss for the sake of cussing.
    5. Strive for grammar perfection.
    6. Lose the cutesy fake names and communicate as an adult.
    7. Grow up. You are no longer four years old. At least physically.

    That will be a good start.

    Comment by Dr. Phil — January 4, 2011 @ 1:33 pm | Reply

  3. Hmm, my comment seems to have been eaten, but I don’t think it would have been edited. Nothing controversial, I don’t think. I just hope ALMS gets better coverage with ESPN than IndyCar has had, for their sake. Not a fan of most ESPN coverage, Oreo notwithstanding.

    Comment by Zachary — January 4, 2011 @ 1:52 pm | Reply

  4. Ask yourself why you’re inclined to “defend” this series. I’m sure your answer to this question will give you insight as to why it get zero respect.

    Editor’s Note: The ‘Defender’ moniker dates back to 1996 to the nascent years of the IRL. In that period, some of the most vile, disgusting excuses for racing fans in the history of the sport embarrassed themselves and the sport by acting like two year olds throwing floor fits at Wal-Mart because they stupidly blamed Tony George for the shortcomings of their preferred series, which went on to kill itself. Twice. Any valid points they attempted were rendered without merit based mostly on the gutless, immature ways they reacted. Putting them in their places by pointing out the hypocrisy and outright stupidity of their stances became a mission for me. Fortunately, the vast majority of such fans have grown up. A handful have not. I will keep up the pressure until we have an entire group of enthusiastic folks who deserve to be called racing fans.

    Here is something else I intend to keep trying to fix: Those who provide commentary that deviates from the topic, as you have. If you want your commentary to see the light of day, you had best keep commentary confined to the topic and not the person(s) who offer the content.

    Comment by jb — January 4, 2011 @ 10:09 pm | Reply

  5. As an ardent fan of both IndyCar and ALMS, this supposed “deal” with ALMS is terrible for the series. Read it deeper, we’ll only get to see full live races on espn3.com – not all ISPs allow espn3.com. Forget about timeshifting a recording or catching it if you’ve been gone a couple of days. While not a problem for me as I have sufficient bandwidth on my internet connection to handle streaming as well as an ISP which supports espn3.com, it’s a loss for the series.

    This deal makes the Versus deal with IndyCar look like a master stroke.

    And let’s not forget how badly ABC bungled the IndyCar broadcasts over the year. Sure they’re OTA, but the total lack of decent coverage and NPR-esque commentary turns off more fans than it gives exposure to.

    Comment by Matt K — January 5, 2011 @ 2:28 pm | Reply

  6. I fail to see where i was” off topic”. Your post laments how ABC does not give the IRL the repect that you beleive it deserves.When the series biggest backer feels he has to “defend” said series,it would prove obvious to even the most casual of observer that the problem lays with the product.Not with those that have no use for the product. But what do I know,I’m just one of those youthful haters that would spend my money on a good product. Saddly for the IRL, they see none of it.

    Editor’s Note: I always thought the Canadian education system was excellent until many cart-centric Canadians began attempting to comment so vociferously. Now I have serious doubts. It appears both reading, spelling, grammar and comprehension skills should be emphasized a tad more up there, at least based on the Canadian contributors to this blog.

    Comment by jb — January 5, 2011 @ 4:45 pm | Reply

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