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October 12, 2012

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Savage Henry

NBC should also go after the merged Grand Am/ALMS series starting in 2014. Then they will have every non-NASCAR series that is of any relevance in this country. Hell, even go for the Australian V8s. It would be the place to go for twisty racing and hopefully give Indycar good exposure when it comes to ovals, too.

I know Speed TV has a tie-in with NASCAR and the merged series will be owned and run by the France family. However, I don't think that they air too many Grand Am races live and if someone would be willing to pay to broadcast the series, the Frances would probably take the money.

I think that if you have the rights to F1, Indycar, and top-level sports car racing you have something to grow with. Also, grab domestic broadcast rights for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and maybe some other euro sports car racing and you have a destination.

GeorgeK

NBC Sports will do for F1 what it has done for IndyCar exposure: Next to nothing. Maybe with a broader base of programming they can expand into wider cable systems to pick up potential eyeballs on screens.

At the least they would have the choice of showing the two U.S. F1 races on over the air systems as well as any other featured racers they selected like Montreal.

I can't believe NBC made a deal with Bernie Eccelstone; would love to know how much they paid.

HR Licence

NBC sports has a wider reach to sports fan. Nothing can give you the best of racing broadcasting than NBC. I am excited.

GeorgeK

My source (thanks son) tells me that SPEED and NBCS have/had approximately the same market penetration, which is marginal at best. FOX did broadcast several F1 races on Fox broadcasts, so even if NBC does the same I'm not sure if there is a big gain there. I hope they do, and maybe activate the synergy between IndyCar and F1 p'dog referred to.

For FOX to convert SPEED into a sports channel in lieu of a car-racing channel is their acknowledgment that racing is a shrinking market. Maybe stagnant is a better descriptor. I believe they had the most NASCAR based programs anywhere, for them to close the door on that is also an indicator that NASCAR popularity is down and going down further in the future.

Think what you want, this Chicken Little/Negative Nelly does think the sky is falling.

Pat W

There was a suggestion going around last week that Speed/Fox would be taking the UK Sky Sports F1 commentary feed next season. I don't know how true that was and if it only referred to Speed's plans for next season, perhaps that came hand-in-hand with a lower bid for the rights.
This is an ideal time to shake up the US TV deal as Bernie (FOM) is looking to make gains there. Two new races along with Montreal and Sao Paulo, a possible event in Mexico not too far off, F1 is looking Westward again.
It'll be interesting to see which races are over-the-air, which on NBCSN, and what the presenting and commentary line-ups will be (assuming they use their own). I think it would be pretty cool if they sent commentators to each race, I think the US fans deserve that rather than buying someone else's feed or calling the race from another continent.

GeorgeK

Great points Pat W, radical change does present a chance to improve. I should be a firm believer in the old adage there are no problems, just opportunities. I apply that daily in work, but I have hands on control over how to exploit those "opportunities". Feels like I'm going off the rails on a crazy train in regard to this SPEED announcement.

Let it unfold and see where it goes is all any of us can do.

DougC

During qualifying, Varsha / Hobbs / Matchett gave big thanks for all the years of coverage they've had at Speed. I sure hope they get picked up by NBC, but it sure sounded like they were saying goodbye. Sadness..

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