A Thought for IndyCar
Take note IndyCar. It’s the third Saturday of January. For the first time since Labor Day Weekend, there is no football college or pro to take in on a Saturday. With much of the nation experiencing freezing temperatures, inevitably people are going to be looking for some quality television programming. And a quick glance at the TV Guide shows many Americans are going to be quite disappointed with what they find.
NBC is showing Chicago PD, while FOX is showing Almost Human. ABC is rerunning the 2008 film Hancock starring Will Smith and Charlize Theron. CBS is showing Mike and Molly.
On cable, ESPN is showing Louisville v. Connecticut in college hoops at 9 p.m., while ESPN2 has Australian Open coverage. IndyCar broadcast partner NBC Sports is showing College Hockey before World Series of Fighting 8 at 9 p.m.
You probably don’t me told, but none of that is what you would call “Must See TV“. This means opportunity for IndyCar
Yes, AR1 has been saying this for years, but IndyCar should open its season early, particularly now that they are ending by Labor Day. During the cold-weather months television viewership is higher, yet every year IndyCar wastes the precious television viewing opportunities of January and February. Instead all IndyCar fans get are IMS/IndyCar executives tweeting pictures of IMS in the snow.
A better idea would be to find a suitable warm-weather domestic venue and run an under-the-lights spectacular. Lead in to the coverage with a long pre-race show even if you need to buy some time (it’s not going to be too expensive judging by the alternative programming choices) and ideally one or more of the Mazda Road to Indy series.
Overall, there is tremendous opportunity for IndyCar to open their season, against very little competition. Further, the cold-weather months provide television opportunities not seen during the months IndyCar runs their schedule. And IndyCar needs to maximize every opportunity it can.
Brian Carroccio, AutoRacing1.com