Updated: Aug 29, 2019
Across motorsports in 2019, all major events are televised in some form-or-fashion, from NASCAR to Indycar, Formula One, IMSA, and WEC, any-and-every marquee race you would be interested in watching LIVE, on national or broadcast television, you have access to. With the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 appearing on national TV channels, which most of the country can tune-into, as long as they have at least an antenna, or equivalent, those events bring-in millions of viewers, each year, which has led to them being pointed to as the "biggest races," in the motorsport.
Along with being on national television, across stations like FOX and NBC, these races bring-in millions of dollars in corporate sponsorship deals, which helps their bottom-line, the series, teams, drivers and gives them a boost through the entire event and the freedom to continue building the races. The prestige of these events pulls-in drivers, OEM's, teams and fans from other forms of racing, sports, and industries, to make their way to them and introduce themselves to the sport, which indirectly leads to even more opportunities for NASCAR and IndyCar, along with everyone involved.
In Dirt Track Racing, we have had a number of our events broadcasted either LIVE or on Tape-Delay across broadcast channels like MAV TV, Speed Channel and decades ago, on Thursday Night Thunder, nationally. Recently, races like the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals are broadcasted on MAV TV, LIVE for fans who want to pay extra to acquire a sports package through cable or satellite companies. Other races across major series can be streamed for a monthly subscription or on an event-to-event fee, for fans to take in, online. The question remains, should we keep improving our streaming services in dirt track racing or take our product to national/broadcasted television?
The quality of DIRTVision, Speed Shift TV, DirtonDirt, FloRacing, and many other dirt track racing streaming services is very, very good, leading our sport into the digital age full-throttle and giving fans the opportunity to take-in the biggest events in the world, each week. Along with their great quality and amazing races on the platforms, major companies have invested in the product, sponsoring the broadcasts and giving these services a chance to continue building and pushing into new and improved areas.
The problem with these services is they can add up quickly and take-a-hit to your pocketbook, from some events costing over $100.00 for a week of racing at the Knoxville Nationals to a monthly subscription being over $40.00 in other cases can be tough for the average American family to take-in all the racing there is to take-in. To broadcast races via national television can cost upwards of $200,000, or more, per event, which make sit nearly impossible for all dirt track racing crown jewels to be shown on your TV set, each year.
Even with this obstacle and the fear that putting races on national television will lead to too many corporate dollars flying around and eventually a watered-down, PC-product, seeing a mix of the top five or ten late model, modified, sprint car and midget races on NBC, FOX, NBC Sports Network or Fox Sports1 would give our sport the chance to be seen by people that may not even know it exists.
Having a handful of dirt track racing events on national television each year would be a HUGE HIT and shake-up the motorsports and sporting world, in a major way. The sport can still broadcast races on streaming services the rest of the calendar while keeping the base and pureness that made the dirt track racing fan fall in love with the form of racing in the first place, as well as not "selling," the sport to major CEO's and corporate Fortune 500 companies.
Our sport is made for TV, just like it is made for big companies to invest and market in it, but it all has to be done the RIGHT WAY, or it will be just another watered-down, PC form of racing/athletics, with zero authenticity or personality.
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