BUT DID INDYCAR LEAVE IT TOO LATE TO GET A CANADIAN TV PARTNER?
Big news today on the TV racing front.
For all the F1 fans out there, TSN will once again provide coverage of all 20 rounds of the 2012 World Championship. Included in the coverage will be – as has been the case previously – all final qualifying sessions.
All races will be on the main TSN channel with the exception of the June 10 Canadian Grand Prix (I suspect it will be televised on the parent CTV main channel) and the Grands Prix of Germany and Hungary in late July.
The Hungarian and German GPs will be carried on TSN2 because the 2012 Summer Olympics, being held in London, will be being televised on the main TSN Channel.
So the good news is that TSN is providing the coverage. Exactly who will be providing the coverage is still a question.
As most of you know, F1 (meaning Bernie Ecclestone) made a deal with the Sky pay-TV satellite channel in the U.K. to televise races in 2012 and also with the BBC, which will televise 10 of the 20. No word, as yet, who TSN has got a deal with, but in the end it doesn’t matter a whole lot to me because seeing the races is the most important thing.
First telecast of the season will be on March 17 at 1:55 a.m. when final qualifying from Australia will be shown. The Australian Grand Prix will be shown live on March 18 at 12:55 a.m.
Moving right along, it was announced Monday that the ABC television network has selected the Honda Indy Toronto as one of the six IZOD IndyCar Series races it will televise live in 2012.
As expected, ABC will show the Indianapolis 500 for the – can you believe this – 48th consecutive year, going back to the days of same-day-tape-delay.
In addition to Indy and Toronto – and, by the way, Toronto’s own Scott Goodyear will be returning to the booth as analyst and colour commentator – ABC will also cover the season-opener in St. Petersburg as well as the stops in Milwaukee, Detroit and Mid-Ohio.
You will note that three of the six races scheduled for ABC (St. Pete, Toronto and Mid-Ohio) are owned and promoted by a company owned by Kevin Savoree and Kim Green. And a former partner of Savoree and Green, Michael Andretti, is promoting the Milwaukee race. This probably means nothing, but it’s interesting all the same.
All other races in the IZOD series, including the stop in Edmonton two weeks after Toronto in July, will be televised in the U.S. by NBC Sports Network, which used to be called Versus.
Although there has been no announcement, it is hoped that some kind of a deal can be made that would see most – if not all – of the IndyCar series races shown on TSN or TSN2. However, as IndyCar was so late in nailing down its final schedule - it only confirmed the Milwaukee race late last week - it might have created a scheduling problem for prospective TV partners in countries other than the U.S.
Finally, TSN announced Monday that every single NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series race, starting with the Daytona 500 a week from next Sunday (Feb. 26), will be televised this year on either TSN or TSN2.
The first race to hit the airwaves, the Budweiser Shootout, will be televised this coming Saturday night at 8 p.m. on TSN2 (as mentioned in the item above). The two qualifying races that set the field for the 500, called the Gatorade Duel at Daytona, will go to air a week from Thursday (Feb. 23) at 2 in the afternoon.
(A little editorial comment here: once upon a time those qualifying races meant something. That was when qualifying at Daytona was straight up, when some weekend racer from Wisconsin could beat a Cup regular to a starting position – before nonsense like the top 35 cars in the points standings automatically being locked into the starting field and points being bought and so-on. The two races are mildly entertaining, but that’s about it now.)
Oh, the Nationwide Series stop at Montreal on Aug, 18 will be televised at 2 p.m. on TSN.