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Old 9 Oct 2016, 21:19 (Ref:3678753)   #1
MaskedRacer
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Media/TV/Internet in sportscar racing

Can talk about media for any series of course but I want to focus on IMSA. They of anybody need a online subscription service you can pay for. My dream is it can provide:

1. Live and archived coverage of every session including practice sessions

2. Option to turn on and off commentary

3. Live timing and scoring that is concurrent to point of the race that you are at even when you are watching the race on delay or replay.

4. Same thing for the cars/dots following on the track

5. The same full race in car cameras you see as on the IMSA.com tv page but archived as well.

6. A real kicker that would be neat if it can be pulled off is a channel that focuses on just the GT races on the track.

I think IMSA worrying about if they are FS1 or FS2 is pointless now. Yes they should try to get on the FOX network as much as possible but beyond that. Focus on the paid online subscription service and MARKETING MARKETING MARKETING. IMSA cars are a natural fit for the Fast and Furious movies and maybe even a TV cop show. I mean you can base an episode of Law and Order or something like that based on a con man who used the money to fund a race team like Scott Tucker. But while filming that episode you can show off the cool race cars and drivers that IMSA has to offer.
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Old 10 Oct 2016, 02:46 (Ref:3678814)   #2
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There have been enough shady individuals in sports car to have a season-long weekly series---drug dealers and smugglers and swindlers, people robbing churches and bars and commandeering Indian tribes .... Only problem is it will make everyone think sports car racing is a den of thieves.

As for Pay-per-view ....

Based on what FIA-WEC has insulted us all with .... it would need all the things you mentioned plus Radio Le Mans coverage (even if they call it "IMSA radio") as an option for every session .. and NO COMMERCIALS EVER.

And NEVER any Fox Sports intro music.

And it would need to be a rock-steady reliable stream, every time, all the time.

As a start, they could just tie T&S to the YouTube stream just to prove they can conquer the technical obstacles there.
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Old 10 Oct 2016, 02:54 (Ref:3678819)   #3
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
There have been enough shady individuals in sports car to have a season-long weekly series---drug dealers and smugglers and swindlers, people robbing churches and bars and commandeering Indian tribes .... Only problem is it will make everyone think sports car racing is a den of thieves.

As for Pay-per-view ....

Based on what FIA-WEC has insulted us all with .... it would need all the things you mentioned plus Radio Le Mans coverage (even if they call it "IMSA radio") as an option for every session .. and NO COMMERCIALS EVER.

And NEVER any Fox Sports intro music.

And it would need to be a rock-steady reliable stream, every time, all the time.

As a start, they could just tie T&S to the YouTube stream just to prove they can conquer the technical obstacles there.
Good points. I think one episode featuring a race car crook would be good enough by the way.

Also I am certain that the concept of a subscription service for IMSA would include IMSA radio commentary. I think the option to turn them off and hear just the engines through a race or session is cool for when we get to that point we want to watch a replay for the 3rd time or something like that. We love Hindy and Shaw of course! The idea of that comes from seeing some of the free practice sessions for the Blancpain GT races on youtube. They are free of commentary and that was pretty neat. Although I also love John Watson.
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Old 10 Oct 2016, 03:11 (Ref:3678823)   #4
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I think the option to turn them off and hear just the engines through a race or session is cool for when we get to that point we want to watch a replay for the 3rd time or something like that.
I agree with that.
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Old 10 Oct 2016, 09:34 (Ref:3678873)   #5
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Great programme on BBC 2 about Chris Hoy at Lemans. Bloke to take up a career in diplomacy! What an angry team!!!
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Old 10 Oct 2016, 10:10 (Ref:3678880)   #6
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I can't speak for domestic American viewing, because I've never watched it. But for international viewers, IMSA is basically perfect with the streaming.

IMSA Radio (otherwise known as Radio Le Mans) has a stream which is easy to find, works on every device I've tried, is high quality and reliable, and has the perfect set of commentators. However, commentator tastes change depending on where you are in the world. I personally cannot stand the American style commentators who prefer a heart warming story about how someones dog once was friends with a cat and died 17 years ago to the day, and that's why it's a meaningful victory. I'd rather have Hindy and Goodwin arguing about something incredibly geeky whilst Martin Haven has a rant about something. It's just personal tastes, but if a series doens't have RLM commentary, it gets harder to watch IMO.

This actually becoming the norm now days, and it's fantastic. ELMS, N24, SuperGT, IMSA, Spa 24 have all taken the route of making their series easier to watch, and providing RLM commentators for it. It really opens doors to new series when you hear familiar, trustworthy voices out the speakers.

It seems that IMSA needs to work on the domestic viewing package. International, I wouldn't change a thing personally.
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Old 10 Oct 2016, 10:28 (Ref:3678889)   #7
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Speaking of commentary, I wonder if there's an option of choosing either English (mostly Radio Le Mans) or foreign should the race is held countries like Germany, France, Japan, etc.?

I've watched the recent Super GT race in Buriram and I noticed that I'm hearing some Japanese commentary, specifically the pit garage report.

Now if Youtube can have that option, it'll accommodate foreign-language and English commentary at the same time without changing the video feed. Not just in motorsports, but for traditional sports and e-sports.
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Old 10 Oct 2016, 12:27 (Ref:3678930)   #8
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I can't speak for domestic American viewing, because I've never watched it. But for international viewers, IMSA is basically perfect with the streaming.


It seems that IMSA needs to work on the domestic viewing package. International, I wouldn't change a thing personally.
I think you are correct on this. I think it is great that IMSA has top-notch international coverage, but what about the home product? Their target audience (for sponsorship $) is in North America, but they make it an awful hard sell for companies when we can't see the races with ease. Perhaps companies prefer to hear a race will be on cable though instead of being streamed live?

I don't know what it costs to produce a 10, 12 or 24 hour race, but the costs have to be pretty significant. So does the series simply want to cover production costs and get a tv deal, or do they want to try and make some money off the coverage?

edit: I guess a better way to state my question is, what is the point of a tv product? To let the fans seek it out who want to watch? Or to introduce the product to new fans? IMSA always thinks new fans are watching and puts all these segments about racing and tires and such into the broadcast as if new viewers are watching, but then puts the race on an obscure cable channel where only die hard fans will seek it out.

Last edited by joeb; 10 Oct 2016 at 12:42.
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Old 10 Oct 2016, 14:09 (Ref:3678947)   #9
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Perhaps companies prefer to hear a race will be on cable though instead of being streamed live?
I think you're on to something here. To some people streaming might sound like "oh, you're product is so bad no broadcaster wants it".
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Old 10 Oct 2016, 14:23 (Ref:3678952)   #10
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edit: I guess a better way to state my question is, what is the point of a tv product? To let the fans seek it out who want to watch? Or to introduce the product to new fans? IMSA always thinks new fans are watching and puts all these segments about racing and tires and such into the broadcast as if new viewers are watching, but then puts the race on an obscure cable channel where only die hard fans will seek it out.
The constant "features" about the race are one of the things I cannot stand about American broadcasting. You're continually bombarded with features about the race you're trying to watch. In reality, it's an advertisement. Continental pay for an advert to be mid broadcast, and they disguise it as a "feature" where they talk about how amazing the tyres are. Then you cut back to the race and the lead has changed and they don't really care.

With TV, the race is simply a vessel to provide advertising space. With streaming, the race is the main feature, and takes priority.
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Old 10 Oct 2016, 15:50 (Ref:3678958)   #11
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With TV, the race is simply a vessel to provide advertising space. With streaming, the race is the main feature, and takes priority.
That is an excellent point. But how do you grow the viewership if you only have a stream? I would love a streaming option, but I feel like you grow you need to get in front of new audiences. That is what a tv deal can bring you.
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Old 10 Oct 2016, 16:48 (Ref:3678965)   #12
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How about turn the online streaming into a pyramid scheme? Your fans will sell the series and subscriptions for you. That way no one has to worry about the casual fan getting hooked because they casually happened to surf past fs2 in between bowling semi quarter finals practice.

Intentionality of users searching for somewhere to pay would shoot through the roof. I'd be genuinely curious how many people upgraded cable tiers so they would have access to North American sports car and endurance racing.
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Old 10 Oct 2016, 16:52 (Ref:3678967)   #13
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That is an excellent point. But how do you grow the viewership if you only have a stream? I would love a streaming option, but I feel like you grow you need to get in front of new audiences. That is what a tv deal can bring you.
Good question and I don't really have an answer. Promoted streams? I know when I start YouTube on my Xbox, and there's a SpaceX or ELMS stream starting in a couple of hours, it's literally the first video I select. It obviously knows I like this stuff so moves it to the front. I imagine paid/promoted content is a thing on YouTube. So do you pay YouTube to promote your live event?
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Old 10 Oct 2016, 17:34 (Ref:3678976)   #14
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Can talk about media for any series of course but I want to focus on IMSA.
FYI, I am working on #3, for IMSA (and IMSA series), ELMS & WEC currently.
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Old 10 Oct 2016, 18:30 (Ref:3678992)   #15
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With TV, the race is simply a vessel to provide advertising space. With streaming, the race is the main feature, and takes priority.
That is the problem, if the race is the only object, who's paying for it? Obviously there isn't enough interest or money in it to even buy tv time as the ALMS was so where is the money coming from without paid features? Even streaming costs buckets of cash and it seems like IMSA has teaspoons of cash to use.
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