F1 and Trans Am Searching For Better “TV” Economics

News, Racing I By Tom Martin I February 14, 2018

Everyone knows TV broadcasts are expensive to produce. Everyone knows that road racing is a niche sport. Put those two factors together and you have a recipe for problems. Without a big audience, you can't sell the ads needed to fund the giant crew and expensive equipment needed to do live video from huge race tracks. Couple that with the production values (very, very slick) that viewers are accustomed to, and costs rise even further. If it costs $100k to produce a race broadcast (it is more), then you have to sell a lot of advertising to more than cover your costs. If you have an hour broadcast and an audience of 100,000 people, you could sell about $80,000 of ads at standard rates. And you still haven't covered your costs, because you have to buy cable rights etc. So, you need more people or lower costs.

F1 is experimenting with pooling audiences. F1 has traditionally offered a world video feed (for a sport like F1, you can't have 50 sports networks each using their own video equipment). F1 on ESPN will then partner with Sky TV, the British TV network, for their coverage and on-air personalities.

Details here.

Trans Am is also sharing production teams where they can. Trans Am has 12 races, but only 5 will have CBS Sports Network coverage — when Trans Am shares the weekend with another series that is broadcast. The remaining 7 events will have 10 minute summary videos for online consumption.

Details here

The breakthrough for entry level professional and amateur racing may come with the increasing usability of unmanned remote cameras and simple production boards at the track to feed a live stream. NASA and others have been experimenting with this at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill and their national championships. Couple that with 5G mobile service and the revolution may be on.

The Guide to Road Racing: Winding Road Magazine's ultimate guide to getting your start in racing.

Table of Contents

Related Articles

Lamborghini Urus Breaks Pikes Peak Hill Climb Record

Ahead of its premiere in mid-August, the yet-to-be-revealed new Urus model set a new record in the production SUV category on the track used for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb: the famous uphill race that recently celebrated its 100th Running.

August 10, 2022
Bubba Wallace Claims First NASCAR Pole, But Falls Short on Sunday

Bubba Wallace secured his first pole position in his NASCAR Cup Series Career on Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, being the only driver to eclipse the 190mph barrier.  The pole was also the first for his team, 23XI Racing, since they starting running last season.

August 08, 2022
Pure McLaren Arctic Experience

McLaren is offering the discerning few an opportunity to throw a McLaren GT around a frozen lake in Finland (plus enjoying a luxury stay with excursions and gourmet meals). 

August 05, 2022
Cleared for Takeoff: Will This Flying Car Take to the Skies?

Named after it’s ingenious folding wing design, the Switchblade hopes to succeed where so many others have failed.  On its website, Samson Sky allows people to reserve Switchblades in advance.

August 05, 2022
EV Revolution Heads Out to Sea…Literally

So what has taken the EV Revolution so long to set sail?  With quite motors, clean engines, and the availability of shore power at most marina docks – what’s not to like?

August 05, 2022


Get the latest driving and racing news straight to your inbox.

no thanks

Begin typing your search above and press return to search.