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Old 01-15-2004, 12:00 PM   #1
Bumsarama
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Angry SpeedTV Cutting WRC Coverage!

Ok, so maybe they are not cutting coverage all together but they are reducing the WRC programs from two hours to just one measly god-d@mn hour! I already sent them some feedback about this and gave them a piece of my mind. This is pathetic and unacceptable. They have hours and hours of programming for those no talent rednecks from Nascar but the WRC gets the shaft. Having a 3-day rally event summarized in one little hour is uphauling. Let them know what you guys think and that they need to at least give it a two-hour block again.
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Old 01-15-2004, 12:10 PM   #2
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Link?
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Old 01-15-2004, 12:14 PM   #3
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Here's the schedule:

Monte Carlo Sun, Jan 25 9pm
Sweden Sun, Feb 8 9:30pm
Mexico Sun, Mar 14 9:30pm
New Zealand Sun, Apr 18 9:30pm
Cyprus Rally Sun, May 16 9:30pm
Acropolis Sun, Jun 6 9:30pm
Turkey Sun, Jun 27 9:30pm
Argentina Sun, Jul 18 9:30pm
Finland Sun, Aug 8 9:30pm
Germany Sun, Aug 22 9:30pm
Japan Sun, Sep 5 9:30pm
Wales Rally (Britain) Sun, Sep 19 9:30pm
Italy Sun, Oct 3 9:30pm
France (Corsica) Sun, Oct 17 9:30pm
Catalunya Sun, Oct 31 9:30pm
Australia Sun, Nov 14 9:30pm


Speculation is there will be a 30 minute intro to each rally (Rally XS) and then 1.5 hours of coverage. But, it's just speculation at this point.

Where did you see the 1 hour thing?
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Old 01-15-2004, 12:29 PM   #4
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I suspect this has less to do with SpeedTv, and more to do with the changes in the coverage for the UK. The changes are detailed here ( http://www.wrc.com/en_GB/News/2004/0...VISIONDEAL.htm ), but basically their coverage is cut down to a single one-hour summary of the event. Since they no longer produce the longer summary for the UK, I didn't think ISC would still make the longer coverage for the US market.

(It sounds insane to me to cut coverage in order to increase viewership. But from all I've heard, the UK fans are overwhelmingly in favor of the change, even though it means that they lose same-day coverage. Go figure.)

BTW, this is a new change. When I set my TiVo two days ago, the coverage was still scheduled for two hours. Again, this makes me think that the change came suddenly from ISC, rather than Speed. Which isn't to say that it doesn't suck (it does!), just that Speed might not be the best place to direct your letters.


Looking at Speed's schedule ( http://www.speedtv.com/schedule/inde...am=&usecal=yes ), it looks like we'll get a half hour "Rally Magazine", followed by an hour and a half of coverage.

Besides, with the Mille Pistes recce system, there will only be half the rallying to cover anyway, so it's not like we'll be missing that much more action!
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Old 01-15-2004, 12:31 PM   #5
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Thanks datageek. Much more reasonable response than what this same thread in OT is receiving
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Old 01-15-2004, 12:33 PM   #6
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I just hope that the coverage is done by English announcer that did it several years ago and not Ralph Shaheen from Speed TV.
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Old 01-15-2004, 12:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by TimStevens
Much more reasonable response than what this same thread in OT is receiving
Thats not too shocking now is it?

There's always a chance that it will be a better put together show anyways. Honestly, it seems like in the past there were a lot of in car segments where there was so much glare that the view out the front of the car wasn't that interesting anyways.
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Old 01-15-2004, 12:48 PM   #8
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The actual coverage being changed makes sense to me, as Speed Channel doesn't really have the time/resources to edit something down from what they've already received.

Oh, and not everyone in NASCAR is a "no talent redneck." Most o them are first-rate drivers, as a matter of fact. Handling those cars at race pace requires skill, not to mention testicular capacity.

Kevin
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Old 01-15-2004, 12:49 PM   #9
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Here's the response I just got from Speed:

First, as you say, Speed is the only network carrying World Rally.
Secondly, our coverage is really being cut back by only one -half hour per
event, and that is because of production cutbacks by the world feed
producer. We dropped the one-hour "Rally X-tra," which was really just a
condensation of our two-hour same day report that aired (and will continue
to run) each Sunday night at the conclusion of a rally event. The half-hour
"Rally XS" remains as a recap of the previous rally and a peek at the
upcoming series. In fact, Rally XS will probably run more often under this
new format.
It all comes down to economics. The small audiences drawn to this series do
not justify the expense of providing daily coverage. Consider the
alternative.


Is it just me, or is that a little condescending right at the end with the 'consider the alternative' line. The whole thing seemed pretty snotty. Here's what I started this dialogue with:

I have begun to hear that your coverage of World Rally Championship racing
will be limited to one, one hour program following each rally. I sincerely
hope that this is not the case, as your single day coverage last year was
already a bit of a step back in terms of WRC television coverage. While I
certainly appreciate that WRC is covered at all on American television, I
would hate to see it marginalized by the only carrier available. If plans
are to drop coverage to one hour for each rally, please reconsider and look
at extending this coverage to give more details about each rally. Those of
us that have become true fans of WRC on Speed would be thrilled to see it
covered as well as possible.

Is it just me? I have an email back to them to mention that they might not want to be asshats (not using that language, obviously), but I wanna make sure that it's not just me.
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Old 01-15-2004, 12:55 PM   #10
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Snotty, maybe, but they have a point. It sounds like it's basically out of their hands, unfortunately.
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Old 01-15-2004, 12:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by TimStevens
Snotty, maybe, but they have a point. It sounds like it's basically out of their hands, unfortunately.

I'm not knocking their logic, but there was just this underlying tone that I didn't like. Ah well, no biggie. Now you know why, and it shouldn't hurt at all. The Rally X-tra was kind of a waste of time.
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Old 01-15-2004, 01:01 PM   #12
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I wonder if it'll basically just be a one hour program with 30 minutes worth of "sounds of speed" and Penny Mallory talking mixed in...
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Old 01-15-2004, 01:30 PM   #13
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C-Dale...

Thanks for giving us the first hand response from Speed.
I think your original e-mail was respectful and to the point. Speed's response was OK, maybe a tad snotty HOWEVER, it seems like their hands might be tied on this one.

Davis
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Old 01-15-2004, 03:20 PM   #14
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The programmes will be shorter, because the programmes will be shorter, so to speak. ITV's original productions will only be 60min, so that's that. I'm just glad to have it, and I like that at least we'll know for sure when to look for it.
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Old 01-15-2004, 03:29 PM   #15
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I'm still pissed that my stupid cable company (Time Warner) dropped Speed off the expanded cable and now wants me to pay to upgrade to digital cable just to get Speed. The problem with digital cable is that the video quality sucks compared to normal cable and you also need to use their special tuner which keeps me from hooking up mulitple TVs without paying for more digital tuner boxes.

At least you guys still get some rally coverage!
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Old 01-15-2004, 03:32 PM   #16
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You can still hook up multiple TVs and they'll all get standard cable, but you need extra digital boxes if you want digital on all of them.

And yeah, the picture has a tendency to suck at times!
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Old 01-15-2004, 03:35 PM   #17
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Unfortunately it seems like Time Warner switches off the normal cable when they turn on the digital cable. I had digital for a while and I couldn't get a signal without the digital tuner.
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Old 01-15-2004, 04:25 PM   #18
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The Speed guy is right. "Consider the alternative," indeed. There is a LOT of looking gift horses in the mouth on NASIOC, and a lot of grousing before understanding what is going on. People are slagging the new Legacy for different bumpers...ripping the STi because the brakes are expensive to replace...etc, etc.

Understand that Speed isn't a network in the literal sense of the word, with armies of producers and editors. They purchase programming, and re-air it, usually unedited, though it appears to be checked for offensive material.

An hour and a half is indeed better than nothing, so the comment from the Speed representative is very apt. Interestingly enough, I am in the process of dubbing Speed rally coverage from 1998-2003 from VHS to DVD (for my own use...don't even ask), and there were half-hour wrapup shows that dealt with each rally. Then they moved to one-hour shows, then the excess (to my eyes) of same-day, hour-long coverage, then the two-hour shows of last year.

The half-hour shows are still pretty informative. They pack a lot into the actually about 22 minutes of show time.

The hour-long shows are significantly better. You can get more information/insight.

The three-hour shows are full of repetition. If you chop the commercials, those three hours of coverage don't even fill a two-hour videotape.

Last year's two-hour shows were quite good, but not as good as the edited version of the three-hour shows. But if you look at it, it's the raw material, not anything that Speed is doing.

If you REALLY want to see crappy coverage, I have a tape of the 1997 WRC stuff from ESPN 2. It's so bad I didn't even dub it.

Kevin
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Old 01-15-2004, 04:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by drees
Unfortunately it seems like Time Warner switches off the normal cable when they turn on the digital cable. I had digital for a while and I couldn't get a signal without the digital tuner.
Really? I have TW, have digital cable in my living room, and standard cable in my bedroom, coming off of the same signal... hrm...
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Old 01-15-2004, 05:20 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by TimStevens
Really? I have TW, have digital cable in my living room, and standard cable in my bedroom, coming off of the same signal... hrm...
Yep...what's interesting is that some channels are box-required, and some aren't. So if you run the cable in from the wall into the TV or VCR (then feed the TV) you see how you get some channels (no premiums). We do this when there's something on network TV and something on cable, as the digital box won't let you record two things at the same time (actually, nothing does, though it would be pretty slick if one box could).

"Digital"cable is actually a misnomer, but don't get me started on that one... That's almost as funny as "digital" headphones.

Kevin
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Old 01-15-2004, 06:57 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by TimStevens
Really? I have TW, have digital cable in my living room, and standard cable in my bedroom, coming off of the same signal... hrm...
Must be different in my case for some reason, but I'm not going to pay another $15/mo just so I can watch a couple hours of rally footage every month.
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Old 01-15-2004, 10:19 PM   #22
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Quote:
and there were half-hour wrapup shows that dealt with each rally. Then they moved to one-hour shows, then the excess (to my eyes) of same-day, hour-long coverage, then the two-hour shows of last year.
Indeed. There should be gratitude that we get the coverage at all. Unfortunately, none of the drivers for this sport came from a town anyone in this country grew up in. That hurts us as fans. The amounts of coverage and exposure the WRC gets will be extremely varied in the coming years. With the FIA not able to settle on what the f@#$ they want for a rule structure, and the ISC trying like a teenager for sex, to get over a billion viewers for 2004, they will need our help here in the US. The economics have forced more than one team to rethink its involvement in the series (Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Ford, Skoda, Seat). Even SOA is withdrawing its factory team, from a lack of factory competition.

One thing is for certain, things will be very interesting for the next 2 years...
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Old 01-15-2004, 10:56 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by gtguy
The Speed guy is right. "Consider the alternative," indeed. There is a LOT of looking gift horses in the mouth on NASIOC, and a lot of grousing before understanding what is going on.

Ok... but that doesn't give the right for them to act like a-holes. The customer is always right... and last time I checked if we don't tune in and/or pay for the "premium" package with your cable company, SPEED won't get paid! Economics, indeed!
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Old 01-15-2004, 10:57 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by gtguy
The Speed guy is right. "Consider the alternative," indeed. There is a LOT of looking gift horses in the mouth on NASIOC, and a lot of grousing before understanding what is going on. People are slagging the new Legacy for different bumpers...ripping the STi because the brakes are expensive to replace...etc, etc.
We may be an ungrateful lot, but I still get the feeling this is more of a "Hey, buddy- NASCRAP pays the bills, we don't really need you rally freaks anyway..."

Quote:
Originally posted by gtguy
Understand that Speed isn't a network in the literal sense of the word, with armies of producers and editors. They purchase programming, and re-air it, usually unedited, though it appears to be checked for offensive material.
Though, of course, the World Rally coverage was edited. Poor Grist hadda keep changing jackets; "is this for ch. 4 or those Yanks? I forget..."
And where would we be without Mr Shaheen's witty repartee'?

Quote:
Originally posted by gtguy

An hour and a half is indeed better than nothing, so the comment from the Speed representative is very apt. Interestingly enough, I am in the process of dubbing Speed rally coverage from 1998-2003 from VHS to DVD (for my own use...don't even ask), and there were half-hour wrapup shows that dealt with each rally. Then they moved to one-hour shows, then the excess (to my eyes) of same-day, hour-long coverage, then the two-hour shows of last year.

The half-hour shows are still pretty informative. They pack a lot into the actually about 22 minutes of show time.

The hour-long shows are significantly better. You can get more information/insight.

The three-hour shows are full of repetition. If you chop the commercials, those three hours of coverage don't even fill a two-hour videotape.

Last year's two-hour shows were quite good, but not as good as the edited version of the three-hour shows. But if you look at it, it's the raw material, not anything that Speed is doing.
Yes! At first I was enthused about the 2-hr daily coverage, but that quickly dissipated as I realized "I'll never watch this- I'll just watch the 'wrap up'..."
I also agree that the 30 minute Rally XS previews were quite good- unfortunately I didn't figure that out until 1/2 way through the season!
I never saw the point of a 1-hr wrap up, Rally X-tra, when the initial coverage was only 2 hrs to start with... kinda like a band with 2 CD's releasing a "Best Of"!!
Hopefully they'll cut out repeating of in-car video during the same coverage this time around too...

Russ R
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Old 01-15-2004, 10:58 PM   #25
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at least you clowns get speed channel...
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