Saturday, June 20, 2009

JMO - Fox Sports

I have to say Fox Sports is only just a little better than ABC sports and better than any sports show with Brent Musburger, but I have to also say Fox Sports is showing they're equally bad. They own Speed Channel which has the broadcast feed rights to distribute the world feed of Formula One racing in North America. And Speed Channel continues to do an outstanding job with the broadcast.

But their parent company knows how to muck up a good thing. They broadcast 4 of the 17 Formula One races this year, and this year in succession which began with the Turkey Grand Prix in early June. But they do two very stupid things. First, they broadcast the race later Sunday, not until the early afternoon, and second, they don't allow Speed Channel to broadcast the race live early in the morning.

What don't they understand that the results are already posted on the official Formula One Website within 30 minutes of the race? People can simply read about the race instead of watching the delayed broadcast. They're not adding viewers but losing them. They're broadcasting the race smack in the middle of NASCAR races, basball games and golf tournaments.

Who's going to watch a Formula One race then? Fox Sports has been doing this for several years, including the Monaco Grand Prix the Sunday of the Memorial Day holiday. This year they let Speed Channel broadcast it live and it was great, and we can watch the other races later.

Now for these four races I watch the live qualifying and then read about the race Sunday morning before Fox airs it. I can decide if I want to watch it or wait for the Tuesday rebroadcast on Speed Channel. They don't get that they're losing their faithful viewers by at least not airing the live broadcast on Speed Channel, which they should do on the either channel, and then rebroadcast it later Sunday on Fox.

Fox is doing what ABC learned doesn't work with viewers, delay live events. Even the World Cup Soccer and Olympics are first broadcast live and then rebroadcast for other viewers. What's not to understand faithful sports fan love the live broadcast. Knowing the race results beforehand loses the excitement and mystery. Fox simply screws the viewer.

I hope Speed Channel gets the point across to their parent company, because the complaints are long and often among the faithful. I will give Fox the credit for using the Speed Channel crew this year, something they didn't do in previous years. They had some really awful broadcasters and they kept going to commercials and self-promotion ads in the middle of some good racing.

I know this won't change anything, and all I wanted to do is vent at Fox Sports for being stupid. It seems Formula One is full of stupid people, whether it's Bernie Ecclestone or Fox sports management. There were better days, but at least the racing is still good. Watching it live is another matter.

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