Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory

Champ Car has managed to do it again, snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. They appear to have the patent on that process these days. Just when it appeared they were turning the tide after just getting by in 2004, they have managed to totally bungle their TV deal. While a deal could have been signed with CBS and SPEED four months ago and all races shown live, now that they have managed to procrastinate long enough CNBC has told them to take a hike and SPEED has already sold all their inventory for Sunday afternoons to NASCAR, ALMS, Grand-Am, etc., meaning if they do go crawling back to SPEED begging to air their races (the ones not on CBS or NBC) the races will have to be tape delayed. Champ Car left SPEED hanging while they were trying to do a deal with CNBC. This has left SPEED with another bad taste in their mouth for Champ Car, and we suspect Champ Car is going to have to pay a hefty sum of money now for SPEED to let them buy time on their network. They can probably get a good rate if the races are aired, say 2 AM on Monday mornings between infomercials. We also hear Champ Car is over in England as we speak begging Autocourse to produce the annual yearbook for the 2004 Champ Car season after Autocourse had decided not to publish one this year. A Champ Car version wasn't even listed on their order form, but the IRL and F1 versions were. Those two are already published and Champ Car still doesn't have someone to write theirs. Perhaps it can be delayed long enough to make it a 2004 and 2005 season double issue….a first in the industry. It is now January, the 2005 race schedule has yet to be finalized, the TV deal is still in limbo, most teams have not been able to sign or announce sponsorship because the TV deal was so late in coming, driver contracts are in limbo, they have lost another popular Mexican driver to the oval track cartel, SPIKE TV does not want Champ Car back we are told, and just this afternoon we heard NBC is fit to be tied with some of the shenanigans going on in the production end and may cancel their TV deal (after CNBC, an NBC affiliate, told them no). 2005 is shaping up to be another typical year for Champ Car.

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