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April 22, 2011


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One minor correction...ComVersNBC paid $2 billion for the US rights to the NHL. The Canuckistan rights are sold separately to a combination of CTV, CBC, TSN (their version of ESPN), and RDS (the French version of ESPN). Versus won't be shown in Canada legally (though one might be able to pick it up with a semi-bootleg DirecTV dish up north linked to a US address so one can get US channels).


Robin Miller gave about the same numbers that you did... so I'm guessing they're fairly accurate. Two bad ratings in a row is a major issue. I still want to believe Versus will work out, but each race that goes by (we're in our 3rd year) that see's very little improvement makes it harder. Worse, the sponsorships are so tied to the ratings, I worry if they're not up, we won't see nearly as many cars as we'd like to in 2012, or they'll be packed with talentless ride buyers.

On the penalty thing, that's why I'm against avoidable contact penalties unless it's a Carl Edwards incident. They mess up the race and add needless controversy. Besides, we need drivers to race harder, not take it easy.


Thanks, Mark. Was not aware, obviously. Updated the post. Sucks to be Canadian IndyCar fans.


yo, P-dog *poses, gives gang sign, punches knuckles* it's ok, we up here in Canuckistan have become increasingly adept at finding illegal streams thanks to the increasingly super secret coverage of IndyCar over the last few years... hehe. (oh, and no one would ever DARE considering messing with our hockey coverage... just sayin... )

Whether or not you agree or disagree with the calls in LB, perception is everything!

We saw replay after replay of Helio taking out drivers like he was a bowling ball and they the pins, in fact one was in the EXACT spot as Tracy's "alleged" punt of Simona.

I say alleged, as we out here in NONEOFYOURBUSINESSville only saw the aftermath of that, and NEVER the cause, yet that was the incident deemed worth of a penalty, while Helio's rampage of destruction only sent him to the corner of Mr. Penske's office for a stern talking to.

You can understand why then, even if Tracy is not your horse in this race, why you would be a little... perplexed by the officiating.

So I agree with you on all accounts above. GET AHEAD OF THE MESSAGE! Don't wait until everyone is convulsing on the floor, frothing at the mouth over [ insert controversy du jour here ] Full disclosure. Full Transparency.

They (the proverbial they) need to realize that the 109 of us diehards *grin* have been through so much shite over the last decade. We have been lie to, betrayed, tossed under the bus, dragged through the mud, maligned, watched our series implode, split up, grow, die, implode again, get glued together in psuedomergification, gasping for air for each season since while drivers, events & sponsors appear and disappear, and yet, we're still here, ever faithful like an abused spouse in denial.

And while "they" are focused on getting "new fans", they might want to consider that we "seasoned" fans are a smart bunch. We recognize lipstick on a pig when we see it. We are also some of the strongest voices out here. You want new fans? We're the ones that are going to help you get them, but only if we still believe the product is worth fighting for.

We're still here... but there are a lot of shiny objects floating around, that are WAY less exhausting and frustrating to play with.

Jack The Root

"I worry if they're not up, we won't see nearly as many cars as we'd like to in 2012, or they'll be packed with talentless ride buyers."

Yes, having a bunch of talentless ride-buyers would be vastly different then what we have now.

These lame-ass owners are whining about a $75,000 aero kit. You think with that mentality that its going to be anything but more rich kids with rich daddy's and mommy's writing checks to play race driver? Nope.


wow.. sorry about the blog entry up there. Didn't look that long before I hit post... oops!

Brian McKay

?? Nothing wrong with that, Meesh. You and Pressdog write lots of sensible ideas.
"We are also some of the strongest voices out here. You want new fans? We're the ones that are going to help you get them, but only if we still believe the product is worth fighting for."
I don't believe that ICS has an "Iron Hand of Justice" because I don't see justice season after season.
I HOPE that an "NBC Sports" channel promoting the heck out of our sports will be available on a lower tier of channel packages and thus in more homes AND that the channel shows ENTIRE seasons so that the 'casual fan' will know that a race will be televised on the weekend and will not wonder which channel. I'd like the channel to center its image on NHL and ICS.


I don't think IndyCar has to worry about the NBC investment in hockey because to a large degree it runs opposite seasons as IndyCar. IndyCar has to worry about NBC's strategy towards Golf, Horse Racing and Bicycle racing. NBC has broadcast rights for offerings in all three. Bicycle in particular is problematic. Versus owns the TDF, it is the event that built the channel really. In past years IndyCar bounced to ABC in July during the TDF to make way for Versus superserving of it. The NBC Universal Sports channel owned the rights to the other two grand tours of Cycling the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a Espagna. If the new channel chooses to super serve these two events as well as TDF, then IndyCar will be hard pressed to find a broadcast window before 2pm during May, July or September.


Bernard should use this opportunity to make the ways drivers are penalized more understandable and transparent. Punishment should not be based on subjective critera (as much as humanly possible) and why not have the "referees" available after the race to explain their rulings.

We can speculate on how many times they'd have to keep waving off the start (or restart) in the case of a repeat of the Long Beach fiasco but we won't know until they try. I'd keep the green flag in my pocket until the field was aligned and see how many times it would take. And if it took fifteen or twenty, at least Indycar might make Sportscenter that day.

The Speedgeek

I'm pretty much with Meesh on the "perception" of how certain drivers are dealt with. Helio got penalties at Edmonton in 2010 and Detroit in 2008 because those situations were so blatant that there'd likely have been a full-scale paddock revolt after somebody ignored the rules completely and then was allowed to keep a win, so I don't see those as analogs to what we saw on Sunday. At Long Beach, a win was not at stake, so the race control guys may not have felt like penalizing Helio was all that much of a priority (though this doesn't explain why PT got his penalty, which remains perplexing to me; believe me, I haven't been the first person to defend PT on ANYTHING since about 1993, but there's no reason he should have gotten anything on Sunday if Helio didn't, IMO). Whatever the case, we've got a perception gap. Race control percieves that they're fair and balanced, and that nobody escapes their watchful gaze (this goes for Cotman as well, who I really like but am starting to question his race control cred; I haven't liked a few of the things that have happened in Lights races over the last couple of years, either). A huge chunk of the hardcore fanbase (um, that's everybody reading this post and these here comments) percieves that Helio can do anything short of stab somebody with a sharpened upper wishbone and get away with it. The truth is probably somewhere in between.

Whatever the case is, and whatever is actually going on, like red says just above, hopefully Randy and The Series can take this opportunity to clean up some of the ambiguousness that we've got on our hands right now. On-screen notifications of when an incident is under review, more rules in the rulebook, clarified current rules, having a rep for the stewards available for media interrogation during all yellow flags, telling the drivers to just "have at it" (note: please do not tell the drivers to have at it), whatever. It's long since time to fix this.

As for the other topics you got up there, 'Dog, I got nothing to add. Well said. Here's hoping you had enough paper towel on hand to take care of the froth that was probably all over your shirt by the time you finished writing.

The American Mutt

It may or may not surprise you to find out I'm a hockey fan, (Meesh they might need to put a fork in Luongo...just sayin') and have been watching the playoffs all week long. In that time, I've seen (regretably only two) Indycar commercials at least five or six times a game. I don't particularly recall ABC/ESPN doing so much cross promotion. Could be wrong on that, but don't recall it anyway.

Titus Pullo

Meanwhile how are the rating on ESPN with what they replaced IndyCar with and how much did they pay for it?


All that needs to be said about the ESPN coverage of INDYCAR is that they pre-empted the start of as race a couple of years ago for WOMEN's GOLF!

Now I have nothing against the LPGA, but if our series is being relegated to such low stature that an LPGA tounament can "bump" us, then we truly are the TV equivalent of Milka Duno.

Travis R

One thing that really bugged me about the post-race "why didn't Helio get the same penalty as PT" questions directed to Little Al, Tony Cotman, and Brian Barnhart is the fact that they always referred to the Helio/Will Power accident, but never addressed the accident that deserved the same penalty as PT's - the Justin Wilson punt.

Don't pretend we can't remember that because of a more spectacular incident later in the race, it's an insult to the fan's intelligence. Don't try that "ooh, look - a shiny object" shit with me.

best drivers

Well, they are essentially concentrated in the acquisition of new fans, they might want to consider, our experienced fans are a smart group. We recognize the lipstick on a pig, when we see it. We are some of the strongest voices in here. You want the new fans? We are those who want to help you make them, but only if we continue to believe that the product is worth fighting for.

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