Originally posted by EricB
I guess I don't fall into the "All hail SPEED for airing any WRC" camp. I'm happy they broadcast what they do, but am not happy with the 2nd (or 3rd) class service it (and everything non-NASCAR) gets. I'm not surprised by this, but I'm not about to cheer loudly for broadcasting lousy coverage of what I like to watch.
But we get what the rest of the world gets, except for places lucky enough to have it broadcast live. That's one of the things I'm saying. Speed Channel isn't taking five hours of excellent coverage and boiling it down. They are airing what they get. The Grist/Mallory voiceovers are easy things to insert.
Speed Channel also gave WRC the same time slot evey airing, and in prime time. Fans knew when it was going to be on, which was very nice. I don't think that's 2nd or 3rd class at all, as those who used to have to chase the WRC programming around the Speedvision (back then...) broadcasting schedule certainly remember. Never mind waiting until months after the season, to buy the season overview shows (90 minutes, the whole season) from Duke Video.
I've been following WRC since 1994, and we have had it really good since 2000, when Speed really made a commitment to this programming. Is it unfortunate that it's changing? Perhaps. I'll reserve judgment until I see the shows. A nicely-done 90-minute show can beat a three-hour show all to heck and back.
There were the same rantings when the rumors began that Speed Channel was going to go all-NASCAR, and the spittle flew across the bandwidth. Well, anyone who watched the WRC coverage, motorcycles, live F1 and (these days) German and British touring car coverage, knows this isn't the case. Speed does very well at giving us what we like to watch, but I'm saying that from the perspective of being able to watch the programming from year to year through fresh eyes.
The Brit blokes were better commentators, however....but for the aficionado, not the real person that Speed has to reach to be able to justify keeping WRC on the air. The email in question alluded to the piddling ratings that the WRC programming gets (don't get me started on the tyranny of the Nielsen boxes). But with the inroads being made by digital cable, for all we know, there is actually a way now for our cable providers to know what we are or aren't watching.
I don't think it's as much "all hail Speed," as it is appreciating what we have. If they don't air it, who will? I can see the entire WRC season getting a half-hour show on NBC or something, Saturday afternoon after NBA Inside Stuff.