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  • Track & Field TV network

    T&FN opined a couple of years ago that with TV becoming digitized and with cable systems and dish companies now able to handle an unlimited amount of channels, that one day there will probably be a network devoted to every imaginable interest -- even a network devoted entirely to track and field.

    I wonder if anybody has heard of any talk about such a track network being started up? Such a specialized network would probably get a large number of subscribers and would likely be attractive to advertisers. It would be tough to get cable systems to carry the channel, but if you could get it on Dish or DirectTV, it wouldn't matter.

    I'm not sure if there would be enough programming to go through the year, but you could always put road races on there, "classic" meets, HS meets, etc.

  • #2
    Re: Track & Field TV network

    "Such a specialized network would probably get a large number of subscribers and would likely be attractive to advertisers."

    You meant NOT, right? I can see the Nike's and the adidas's of the world buying some ad time, but this would be massively NOT well received unless it was 95% local 5 and 10K's and then only the locals would watch. Euro TV is different, cuz they don't have 24/7 baseball, basketball, football, golf, etc. It's soccer, then track.

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    • #3
      Re: Track & Field TV network

      I think the bigger factor would be market forces and the cost of running such a network. There is only so much advertising dollars to go around, and I can't imagine advertisers putting enough money into it to make it sustainable. Television equipment and salaries would make overhead on such a project pretty high, unless we were willing to settle for something that looked like a cable access channel.
      "Run fast and keep turning left."

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      • #4
        Re: Track & Field TV network

        Track #2 behind soccer in Europe? Are you kidding me? While track is definitely more popular in Europe than in the U.S., track is nowhere near the #2 sport.

        And it's important to remember that soccer is probably as big as football, baseball and basketball combined, when you figure that fans follow the leagues (multiple levels) in their own country, the leagues in other countries, Champions League, Euro Champs, World Cup,etc.

        With that said, there are other sports that are still more popular in track, IMO: Formula One, basketball, cycling, et. al.

        And perhaps the worst is that because there are fewer and fewer top Europeans, fans have fewer athletes to root for/less reason to attend meets.

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        • #5
          Re: Track & Field TV network

          "With that said, there are other sports that are still more popular in track, IMO: Formula One, basketball, cycling, et. al."

          If we are talking about France and Germany . . . maybe . . . but in my experience over there (OK, I'm NOT a globetrotter, but in my travels with Uncle Sam's Navy) Formula One and cycling were not universally appealing like basketball and track. Basketball used to be way behind, but it's come on big in the last 10 years. Eurosport's willingness to support so much quality track is what I was referring to.

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          • #6
            Re: Track & Field TV network

            take a lesson from Al-jazira television in Qatar- if you broadcast controversial news you can't get on the commercial news shows, you get a new big audience.

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            • #7
              Re: Track & Field TV network

              If College Sports Television (CSTV) gets off the ground, a great deal of its winter/spring action could be track . . . if, of course, track people decide they want to be on TV enough to fiddle with the way things have always been done.

              The people behind it (the same ones that brought us ESPN Classic) want to showcase "underserved" sports, and small-school football and basketball. Creative coaches could find their sqauds on TV a lot. For example, I think a midweek mens-only tri-meet between Arkansas, LSU and South Carolina (followed by the women the next night) would probably bring in good audiences. But there'd be a lot of resistance to this simply because it's different!

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              • #8
                Re: Track & Field TV network

                Accidently ran across this thread from April 2003!!

                Now that I have Universal's live web-casts to give me DL and the WC, I'm good to go, but look at all the niche cable networks and we STILL can't have an Oly sports network showing live material??!! (Universal TV runs the meets on tape-delay)

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                • #9
                  Re: Track & Field TV network

                  Originally posted by Marlow
                  Accidently ran across this thread from April 2003!!

                  Now that I have Universal's live web-casts to give me DL and the WC, I'm good to go, but look at all the niche cable networks and we STILL can't have an Oly sports network showing live material??!! (Universal TV runs the meets on tape-delay)
                  how does one "accidentally" come across an 8 year old thread? :lol:

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                  • #10
                    Re: Track & Field TV network

                    Not sure about an overall "T&F TV Network" but there seems to be evolving more opportunities for College track on TV in the future.

                    The PAC-12 has committed to a sports network in conjunction with new cotract w/ ESPN in which virtually all minor sports will be shown. Major games of major sports will be on ABC / ESPN and Fox Sports; other sports on PAC-12 Network.

                    Texas is establshing its own network; Big Ten, Mountain West have channels devoted to their sports and T&F can be found there from time-to-time.

                    Unless there is a higher level of interest by the public, USA T&F on TV won't improve much.

                    It's interesting that many of the European Meets have good attendance as the fireworks show starts after the last event. Even the Oakland A's can fill the stadium on Fireworks Night.

                    Maybe we ought to have the Modesto & Fireworks Relays!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Track & Field TV network

                      If the IAAF was serious abou increasing the exposure of Track and Field here in the US, it should pay Universal Sports TV/NBC to broadcast all the DL meets live as a starter.

                      I read a recent report that USA Track and Field pays NBC to broadcast the Nike and The Addidas DL live on NBC. The IAAF should do the same for the rest of the Diamond League meets.

                      Little Jamaica with only 3 million people get to watch all 14 DL meets live on TV. Also, Jamaicans will get to watch the upcoming Daegu World Championships live on two of their OTA stations while us here in the US will gather around our computer screens to watch it live. Pathetic to say it lightly.

                      The IAAF should get more proactive in trying to promote the sport here in the US. USA Track and Field obviously isn't doing a good at it right now(especially now that they don't have a president)

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                      • #12
                        Re: Track & Field TV network

                        Well, the Big Ten Network shows the Big Ten meet, for both Track and XC; the XC in the following track season and the track in the following XC season... :evil:

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                        • #13
                          Re: Track & Field TV network

                          Hey -- Marlow -- Isn't there some metaphysical problem with you posting to a thread that has tafnut's posts in it? Some sort of matter-antimatter thing? I wouldn't want you to disappear into some alternate universe or something...

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                          • #14
                            Re: Track & Field TV network

                            Originally posted by kellits2gnv
                            how does one "accidentally" come across an 8 year old thread? :lol:
                            Originally posted by Master Po
                            Hey -- Marlow -- Isn't there some metaphysical problem with you posting to a thread that has tafnut's posts in it? Some sort of matter-antimatter thing? I wouldn't want you to disappear into some alternate universe or something...
                            Indeed, I was having an out-of-body experience and met myself coming back form tafnut's world. Very metaphysical, y'know. We can't touch or this univrse would implode, turn-itself inside out and time would begin to run backwards . . . been there, done that . . . :wink:

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                            • #15
                              Re: Track & Field TV network

                              I remember posting that like it was yesterday. I still wonder why we don't have a track tv network. Hard to believe that it's been 8 years since I posted this. But that really is not a long time ago.

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