OK, I know I should have written this at least a couple of days ago, but something always came up before I could get to it. However, I didn't want to let this go without throwing my two cents out there.
Anybody try to catch the IndyCar race on Saturday night? ESPN (or ESPN2 as it were) scheduled a racing double-header with the Nationwide race, with the Indy race scheduled to go on air at 10 p.m.. Of course the Nationwide race ran long, as races are wont to do somtimes, and didn't quite fit into the window that ESPN had planned out.
So what does ESPN do? Does it move the start of the Indy race to another member of its family of networks, oh I don't know, like ESPN Classic? Nope, it tells fans they can catch the race on ESPN360. 1. I bet more than half the audience had no clue what ESPN360 was, and 2. How many people have access to ESPN360? My particular internet provider does not provide me access.
Now fortunately for some, indycar.com was making live video available. However, the quality was poor and didn't work particularly well on my computers.
In any case, when the Nationwide race did end, I figured ESPN would join the race in progress. I mean, after Indianpolis, many consider Texas the best race on the schedule. At first I had no clue what was going on. I heard live audio from the in-progress race, but the pictures were the typical prerace packaged video. I thought it was a temporary glitch and that someone had managed to flip the wrong video feed. How sadly mistaken I was, for when ESPN returned from commercial it was prerace commentary and interviews we were seeing -- and now hearing.
No live race. I couldn't believe it. And there was no note that it was tape delayed anywhere on the screen that I could remember. No more scroll that said if you actually wanted to watch live go to ESPN360 or indycar.com. Basically it was played as if it was live. I'm sure some folks were fooled or didn't care that it wasn't live.
Was I the only one taken back by this?
It was bad enough that race was penned in for a 10 p.m. ET start time -- not exactly the best way to grow a fanbase if you ask me -- but then ESPN can't show it live? I'm curious as to what IndyCar officials thought of this move.
And if that wasn't a big enough kick in the gut, the race ended under caution. Just like the previous week's event.
I'd say for all the good that's happened to IndyCar this season with the merger and Danica winning, the events of Texas this past weekend shows the series still has a lot of growing up to do. Basically the IndyCar series played second fiddle to a second tier NASCAR series. Not good.