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« Leave Your Baggage at the Door and Enjoy Turbo | Main | NASCAR/NBC News Conference Transcript »

July 23, 2013

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Christian

how can u assume that moving nascar to nbcsn will make fans change their cable contracts?

indy317

Now if we can get some good booth announcers for the abc races we'll be jammin.

Ron Ford

In my opinion it is not going to matter much because I don't think the future of TV is cable or satellite. Cable subscriptions have been steadily declining throughout this decade. The demographics of cable suscribers reveal that younger customer prospects are increasingly opting for internet video services. I am an old guy, but I feel the same. I only want to pay for what I watch. You can do that on the internet for the price of the internet service which is much less than the price of cable. The advertisers are still there as on network TV, so they must see opportunities to reach viewers. I got rid of cable and have never regretted it. I bought the largest monitor I could find. I support IndyCar by going to as many races as I can. The races that I miss live I watch a day or two later on the internet. I would watch a race on a pay per view basis. I believe that IndyCar would be wise to find ways to tap into the growing number of viewers who choose the internet over cable.

Titus Pullo

What I want to know is whether Jamie Little and her man-killing ponytail will join the NBC NASCAR team.

I think it's bad news for Indycar. Being on ESPN with NASCAR didn't help them. And NASCAR isn't going to make subtle hints to NBC for them to favor NASCAR?

redcar

we really don't know at this point. but it seems like it could be an improvement. and at least they won't be in the same time slot.

S0CSeven

NBCSN isn't Speedvision yet, but It looks like they're trying. Who knew Indycar was actually relegated to the BEST racing channel?

pressdog

Christian: legit question ... all I assume is that if NASCAR fans want to watch those 13 late-season races they'll have to get NBC Sports Network. When IndyCar moved to Versus we had the same situation. I had to go up a tier on my Dish package ... at a cost of $120 a year extra ... to get Versus (now NBC Sports Network). NASCAR cable/satellite customers who don't get NBCSN will have to change tiers as I had to -- if they think it is worth it to get NASCAR coverage. NBCSN is available at some level on both Dish and DirecTV. I believe it's available on all cable systems too, if you have the right tier. If it's not on your cable system, it'll be "call your cable company and ask them to carry NBCSN" or switch to satellite. Some fans will probably say "screw that!" and not change, just as some IndyCar fans did. Most, I think, will make the changes needed to get the programming. But, since this is America, NASCAR can't "make" anyone do anything.

pressdog

Even if NBC gives IndyCar the bastard child treatment, the fact that ESPN will have zero major racing on it as of 2015 perhaps will make them interested in bidding for the IndyCar contract in 2018, or maybe even buying Comcast out of their contract with IndyCar. BUT IndyCar needs to be a LOT more attractive to viewers than it is right now for that to happen, IMO.

billytheskink

I can definitely see this helping NBCSN's penetration and brand recognition (especially among racing fans), things that should be good for Indycar. I would also be surprised to see it affect production values.

I do think there are fair concerns, though. Will the scheduling demands of NASCAR broadcasts dictate awkward green flag times for Indycar races? Will those conflicts require this season's largely continuous ABC schedule to be broken up? Will Indy Lights and qualifying broadcasts be squeezed to late-night tape delay, or off air altogether?

And on an interesting note, this move would seem to make the Indianapolis 500 and the other 4 ABC Indycar races the most prominent motorsports events in the ABC/ESPN portfolio. Could this lead to increased promotion of Indycar on the network, or a de-emphasis of motorsports in general on ESPN?

GeorgeK

I'll be impressed when NBC buys out the rights to the Indy 500, then there will be a better synergy between NBCSN and NBC including the ability to cross market the balance of the NBCSN Indycar races to over the air NBC networks.

All in all I would say NASCAR going to NBCSN will help Indycar as opposed to relegating it to redheaded step child status.

vern

First off if anything this deal is a death sentence for Nascar on NBCSPORTS for a top series on this garbage low rated network. Apparently greedy Nascar is only counting their billions of $$$ they will get over 10 yrs and don't care if their series starts getting barely a million viewers instead of 5+ times that on Fox or even ESPN like now. Not that many are going to pay for this overpriced low rated network of NBCSPORTS even for Nascar as they are counting on making it cheaper to start with then eventually raising the price sucking people in--watch and see? Course its not till 2015 anyway. BTW--NBC had Nascar broadcasts yrs ago and lost their butts on the deal and they will again.

For those suggesting ESPN will bid for Indycar--your kidding right--as they don't want a low rated series like Indycar as no one does. That's why they ended up on VS in the first place as they had no where else to go as if it wasn't for the Indy500 they wouldn't have ABC at all either. On other forums some insiders are suggesting Indycar may even be moved to like a CNBC or other NBC affiliate cable network for some races that conflict with Nascar or even be tape delayed, but only time will tell on that?

On the other hand many are suggesting ESPN will be hurt also as they wont have enough stick & ball sports to cover all the air times other then boring us to death with more sportscenters then they have now.

All these major networks transferring top series to low rated cable networks is a joke as whats going to show on the network TV, info-mercials all weekend, as there are plenty of them already. The bright spot is for all you die hard Indy fans you'll be able to laugh at Nascars low ratings on NBCSPORTS and may even hurt the major network broadcasts being moved around also in 2015 and well see how long that lasts when big sponsors start dropping. Nascar is very expensive and high dollar sponsors wont stick around if no one is watching with the much lower ratings they aren't used to getting--be sure of that. Oh well-- a long time coming yet.

Stephen Barnes

I wonder how many NASCAR fans will decide RaceView ($44.95 for the season) is a MUCH better option than paying to add NBCSN to their cable line-up. I think Ron Ford is correct when he comments above that Internet TV may well make this whole NBC/NASCAR deal moot. If anything, NASCAR gets a boatload of money and has dumped the "collection" of said funds in NBC's lap. Pretty smart move on NASCAR's part IMHO.
Indycar needs to get serious about its web presence. The current website is a poster child for "how NOT to create an exciting compelling website" and I believe Indycar should get out in front of the curve and forget the TV contracts and put its emphasis on internet distribution. Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and many others are showing people will pay directly to receive content. Indycar could/should get into the "pay-per-view" world and get serious about making money off content.

pressdog

Good points, Stephen. Your comments about the online efforts are spot on, in my opinion, but unfortunately have been made in each of the last five years or so .... and yet here we are.

redteam

Pressdog wrote : "ood points, Stephen. Your comments about the online efforts are spot on, in my opinion, but unfortunately have been made in each of the last five years or so .... and yet here we are."


Ahhh Indycar has an exclusive deal with Verizon for an "I Thing" Application which is promoted extensively. Indycar is way out front of NASCAR

redteam

Pressdog wrote : "Even if NBC gives IndyCar the bastard child treatment, the fact that ESPN will have zero major racing on it as of 2015 perhaps will make them interested in bidding for the IndyCar contract in 2018, or maybe even buying Comcast out of their contract with IndyCar. BUT IndyCar needs to be a LOT more attractive to viewers than it is right now for that to happen, IMO."


1) Bill you are missing a couple of things. The way the Indycar has written it's rights contracts the Over-the-air Broadcast rights supercedes the Cable Rights. The 6 Races aired by ABC are the minimum number specified in the contract. Disney/ABC can pick up as many races as they desire so long as they pay for them. When they do so NBCSN loses the rights to that race.

2) The BCG (Boston Consulting Group) Report commissioned by the IMS Board of Directors found that NBCSN's acquisition of F1 Broadcast/Cable Rights breached a clause in the Indycar-Versus Contract stating that Indycar would be the only automotive racing series they would carry. Most of us were not threatened and even welcomed NBCSN's acquisition of Formula 1. NBC pitched the line that synergies of the 2 Series would benefit both Series. But the deal with NASCAR CHANGES THE LANDSCAPE ! The 800 Pound Gorilla is going to stroll into 30 Rock and start calling the shots when it comes to scheduling. Indycar Fans know all to well where this will wind up ! Watching races tape delayed in the middle of the night and waiting in the stands for races to start because a Nationwide Race preceding and Indycar Race ran outside its broadcast window because of excessive yellow flags. We have been through this drill before with Disney in the 2000s. At the time the IRL was carried by both ABC/ESPN. Disney acquired Nationwide Rights for ESPN and everyone said it would be OK. Then later on Disney got Nextel Cup Rights. When the IRL Contract came up for renewal Disney told Tony George they were no longer interested in the Cable Rights. And the rest is history. Now it appears that we are going to repeat this routine again !

4) Regarding the attractiveness or unattractiveness of the Indycar Product. There is plenty of blame to go around for everyone in this matter including the TV Networks. With their "manage to the next quarterly report" ethos the TV Networks blow-off any possibility of growing a successful product yet they are all to willing to sign 10 year contracts, that is mystifying. Since the last Indycar Broadcast Contract expired in 2008 the Series has consumated a merger with Champ Car and introduced a new chassis that is producing an on track product that towers over its nearest rivals yet Indycar's Broadcast Partners have shown no signs of reevaluating their relationship. NBCSN promotes itself as "the home of Open Wheel Racing" but in the aftermath of the announcement of the new contract between NASCAR and NBC Marl Lazarus, NBC Sports Group Chairman, had this to say :

In a conference call with NASCAR officials announcing the deal on Tuesday afternoon, Lazarus explained that IndyCar had a 10-year agreement with the former Versus network and that NBC Sports Network inherited that deal in the merger.

The word "inherited" translates to "It's a burden"

Let no mistake be there still is a lot of work to be done but at least Indycar is working on addressing the problems. Going forward Indycar Management is going to have to impress the attitude on any prospective TV Partner that any such relationship is going to require extra effort and hard work.

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