Monday, April 29, 2013

IndyCar Ideas: Part Three

It has been almost two weeks since IndyCar Ideas: Part Two was posted. At the end I previewed part three saying it would look into expanding television coverage of the Mazda Road to Indy.

Part one and part two of IndyCar Ideas can be found here.

Part two focused on having more weekends with all four Mazda Road to Indy series at the same track giving the fans quadruple-headers to look forward to on race day. That won't solve the problems of these junior series teams finding more money though. These series need to be on television with a decent size audience.

The Idea: A Full Day of Mazda Road to Indy Racing on NBC Sports Network
When three or all four Mazda Road to Indy series are at the same track, racing on the same day, have a TV window from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. of live racing. For example, when everyone is at Mid-Ohio, show U.S. F2000 live at 10 a.m., Pro Mazda at 11 a.m., Indy Lights at noon and IndyCar at 1:30 p.m. Bring an IndyCar driver or two into the booth for the other events to give color commentary. It sounds great but this does have flaws.

Flaws In The Idea
1. NBCSN has to agree to do it and if whatever is normally shown at 10 a.m. on a Sunday would draw better than U.S. F2000, then why would they change their programming?

2. The ratings on NBCSN aren't great to begin with. Would it make a difference for a sponsor to change their decision over whether or not to sponsor a U.S. F2000 or Pro Mazda team?

3. Could it be too much racing? How many people will stay tuned for six hours of racing? It has to be damn good racing for an average fan to still tuned through U.S. F2000 to IndyCar.

In Reality...
1. As a race fan, the possibility of a day beginning with Formula One followed by U.S. F2000, Pro Mazda, Indy Lights and IndyCar for over nine consecutive hours is great but does it make sense for the network and for the Mazda Road to Indy?

2. The is no major clamoring to see U.S. F2000 or Pro Mazda. People aren't dying to see these races other than those thoroughly invested in IndyCar racing.

3. I do not know who owns the rights to U.S. F2000 and Pro Mazda but I am pretty sure NBCSN does not own them.

I think NBCSN should try it once. Especially if it could be paired with a Formula One race weekend. A day full of racing from sunrise to just before dinner would be nice. It is probably something that can't be done every IndyCar race weekend but what if it was done once or twice a year? It might be good to try something different and have it be a unique day full of racing. NBC Sports Network needs something to separate itself from the likes of ESPN and needs more live sports to be able to contend not only with ESPN but with Fox Sports 1 when it launches this August.