2009-02-08

You Call That A TV Schedule?

If you hop on the IRL website, you will see one of the featured articles is the Canadian TV schedule. If I was the IRL, I would be embarrassed to tell Canadians that they have to stay up until 3:30am Monday April 6th to watch the opening race, let alone advertise it on their website like it's a victory for the series.

Now, obviously I'm biased since I live in Canada. I'm sure this story will appeal to Canadians more then any other nationality, but hopefully some of you will still feel our pain.

Us Canadians have been plagued by mediocre coverage of AOWR on TV for a few years now. I understand that CCWS had a bad TV schedule for a few years in the US, and the IRL had a good deal with ESPN going for the last little bit, but we have consistently been given the boot when it comes to television. Either TSN would show the races pieced together to save time or we would have to watch on SPEED, if you got it, and then in CCWS' last year, we watched on The Score, which was maybe the most consistent. However, in Canada, CCWS coverage was never good, and even IRL had tough times on TSN.

Now, with the new TV deal in the States, you would think they would put some more work into Canadian TV as well. Nope, plain and simple. Give it to TSN (thanks ESPN International) and let them air it on tape delay and most likely start the races late due to other events. Or even throw it on TSN2 which Rogers Cable customers (ie: me) don't even get because TSN is too cheap to sell it to them.

So in 2009, instead of being able to watch the races in real time, I'll be stuck watching St. Petes, Long Beach, Kentucky, Motegi, and Homestead at 3:30am and four other races after 11:30pm. These times are all EST by the way.

If I was the IRL, I would be doing my best to hide the fact that Canadians are getting screwed, not advertising it on my homepage. Hell, this TV schedule does as much for Canadians as Mariah Carey does for comedy.

I'm not sure what the TV deals are like in various other countries, but outside of the US and Canada, let me know what time you get the races and how good the quality is.

2 comments:

Too Much Racing said...

Hi Matt.
I'm in the UK and we get most races live on a suite of pay-monthly sports channels that I can't afford, Sky Sports 1, 2 and 3. I think IRL is mostly on SS2 but I'm not sure. Those races which are not live have been bumped by NASCAR, IRL follows directly after.

The channels have a big following as they air most English Premier League footie games, but gets pitiful ratings for any motor racing (they also show A1GP). IndyCar is not promoted at all, A1 gets a small amount.

Timezones mean a 6 or 7pm start for afternoon races in the East. Not bad. For a Saturday night race it means 2am Sunday morning. Not good. For Long Beach it's midnight Sunday night, or later. Not good for work! I know I'm slightly off here as I don't (can't) watch the races live so I'm not familiar with race start times.

We used to get an 'international' commentary which was moderately good and informative, but not that exciting to listen to. Waiting to see what will happen this year. Oh, and Sky have a studio panel in London who interrupt the feed before and after the race and during yellows. They are annoying.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I live in Hungary and a sports network (Sport Klub) usually shows IndyCar races on tape delay a week after the event. So I download the race torrents instead and watch it the day after instead. The good side is that I get U.S. commentary. We used to get live Champ Car coverage on Eurosport and Eurosport 2 but the Hungarian commentators were awful.

Cheers, Dr. Krogshöj

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