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Track on cable TV? (OLN cycling-style)

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  • Track on cable TV? (OLN cycling-style)

    Based on the coverage that each sport receives during the Olympics, I have to believe that there are more track fans here in the States than cycling fans. But that didn't stop OLN TV from giving us AWESOME coverage of the Tour de France (and the other grand Tours, and World Cup races, etc.). They just took the French video feed and overlayed English language commentary on top of it. They covered the Tour LIVE every day, with the exception of Sudays, when CBS got to do their cheesey coverage before OLN could run their tape of the day. Why can't this happen with track? ESPN does an amazingly better job of covering track than CBS did (still does) with cycling. But of course they leave us wanting more. OLN does a great job of in-depth coverage. Sure, I'll never watch bull riding or rodeos or the running of the bulls, but I bet there are plenty of people who do. (And the bull riders don't watch the Tour.) Wouldn't it be nice to get that same kind of coverage of track and field? Then the hardcores could get what they want, and the 'regular people' could watch a dopey 'Dateline NBC-style' photojournalistic 'collage' set to Yanni tunes that compresses a week into 20 minutes. ABC/ESPN could still do it, but it would free up hours of air-time that they could use to cover what they really want to cover (baseball, scandals, ANOTHER Sportscenter, etc.). How can we get a cable network (OLN?) to be interested in some agreement like that? Wouldn't more people watch track than cycling? Everyone would be happy...the track nuts, the typical Americans, the major network, and the cable network. How can we make this happen? Ideas?

  • #2
    Re: Track on cable TV? (OLN cycling-style)

    I'd like OLN to pick up marathoning. It would seem to fit their theme as much as cycling. Nowadays, NBC only shows packaged highlights of NYC, and London, Chicago, and Rotterdam are nowhere on American TV. Sad. Two of the great formative moments in my young running live were watching Rod Dixon chase down Geoff Smith at NYC, and Steve Jones chasing the WR at Chicago. Riveting.
    "Run fast and keep turning left."

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    • #3
      Re: Track on cable TV? (OLN cycling-style)

      I know what you mean, trackstar. For me the big inspiring TV moment was Salazar making his move in the dust cloud in the '82 NYC marathon. We may never see anything like that again unless some network decides to cover racing. I was also a cyclist as a youngster, but the CBS Tour coverage never really provided the real inspiring moments, as we couldn't watch the races develop. OLN has changed that for cycling. Why can't we demand that kind of quality coverage of track - why are we settling for ESPN's mediocre coverage? Track fans deserve more. Sure, consistent big road race (marathon) coverage would be great (and you are right - that would fit right into OLN's format), but all I am asking for is good W.C. and Olympic track coverage. We're only talking about a few weeks every four years.

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      • #4
        Re: Track on cable TV? (OLN cycling-style)

        What I can't figure out is why CNBC doesn't convert over to Olympic sports on the weekends - at least the afternoons and evenings. They can keep their infomercials on late night and mornings if they wish. But otherwise, they just have on re-runs of shows from the week and occasionally some senior golf. From what I know, they draw next to no ratings on the weekend because their viewers during the week are folks looking for business news and there is virtually none of that on the weekends.

        Making CNBC a weekend Olympic Sports channel would be a cheap way for NBC to promote the Olympics. They could get plenty of events for no or nominal rights fees. And they could supplement bigger events that get only limited windows on NBC or ESPN.

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        • #5
          Re: Track on cable TV? (OLN cycling-style)

          I am very impressed with the obviously high intelligence and intellectual level evinced by HitTheTrails.... must have been inherited.

          Inside joke here.

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