Our latest info on the TV deal is that SPEED Channel will be the domestic cable partner for both NBC and CBS for Champ Car in 2005. There is still an issue with the final race of the year if it is on SPEED. Apparently there is a NASCAR race SPEED does not want to go up against. Equally as important as the domestic TV deal, is the international TV deal, or should we say deals. ESPN International was in play for the entire contract, but the latest we hear is that in many countries individual deals are being hammered out, many of which will see Champ Car broadcast live. We suspect because of this, the international TV deal(s) will not be complete enough to announce at the same time the domestic TV deal is announced. Mark C. 11/05/04
It seems like every time we get more info on the new TV package, the news is different, but this time for the better. We now hear that 3 races will be on CBS, 3 on NBC and the rest on USA Network (Cable). If true, that is 6 races on network TV which is the same as the CBS deal on the table. For those who doubt NBC and CBS can work, remember NASCAR has FOX and NBC and it works just fine. Mark C. 11/04/04
A reader corrects us, Regarding your NBC article, CNBC has carried sporting events and motorsports. ALMS races were shown there for 1 or 2 years. I also believe that some Olympic coverage was shown there. That however, doesn't mean it would be a good deal for Champ Car. MSNBC might be better. But if NBC is serious about putting sports programming on CNBC, they may heavily promote it on NBC, which, if Champ Car and NBC form a "partnership", could be a good thing. We shall see. Mike Stucker, Sugar Land, Texas
Dear Mike, Thanks for correcting our error. ALMS is not on CNBC anymore for a reason, the ratings were horrible. SPEED Channel ratings would not be stellar either, but at least they offer more reruns and other motorsports shows that Champ Car can wrap into. NBC is a major NASCAR partner so one has to wonder if Champ Car would get any attention at all. We saw CART get neglected on ABC because they were an IRL and Indy 500 partner. Rest assured that NASCAR will make sure NBC gives Champ Car as little attention as possible. CBS has no major affiliation with NASCAR or the IRL, both of whom would like nothing better than see Champ Car dead. They bring a lot of force to bear because of the major advertising buys they send the networks way. And, as we said, CBS historically gets higher TV ratings. CBS is #1 in ratings right now and have been for quite awhile, but then again, when did CART or Champ Car ever worry about being affiliated with #1? With that said, perhaps, like the Spike TV deal, there is some silver lining behind the NBC deal that we are not aware of. Mark C. 11/04/04
Our sources are telling us that Rick Murphy of Betelgeuse is at NBC and CNBC trying to do a CHAMP CAR TV deal. Nothing against Mr. Murphy, he means well, but CNBC, which has no sports broadcasting history? While a CBS/SPEED Channel deal is ready for signatures, if NBC and CNBC get the deal, Champ Car will once again have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Not only does CBS traditionally get the highest TV ratings, at least SPEED Channel is a motorsports network that does an excellent job on all its broadcasts. That plus the fact that have programs like Wind Tunnel that give the drivers some air time….more air time goes to the race series SPEED Channel broadcasts. CNBC will be another SPIKE TV nightmare where race fans have no clue there is a race on. With NASCAR making SPEED Channel more popular, at least race fans of all forms of motorsports visit the channel often. Mark C.