By David G. Firestone
I try to be reasonable, but I have my limits. Every year, I watch Isle of Mann TT motorcycle racing. Every year, I get annoyed with the in-house television coverage show on what is now Motor Trend Television. But this year, it was so bad, I had to stop watching for a few days. I have no idea who produced this years Isle of Mann, but apparently, they aren’t racing fans.
I get that during a televised event, you want to explain to new viewers some of the technical aspects of the track, bikes, and weather. I also get that you want to interview drivers about their outlook on the race. I have no problem with any of that. What I have a major problem with is how they went about doing this. They set this up in the worst way for several episodes this year.
The telecasts are one hour long, for a total of 60 minutes. These telecasts feature one race, that amounts to about 35 minutes of that. The other 25 minutes are the above mentioned segments and commercial breaks. The way they did several episodes this year were almost unwatchable. The first 20 minutes of several telecasts were talking segments and commercials. I’m watching on the DVR so I can skip these, but if you were watching the telecast at broadcast time, your stuck. I don’t know about other people, but I would change the channel long before the action began.
What makes this even more frustrating is that racing TV numbers are on the rise in the US. I don’t know what the ratings for Isle of Mann TT are, but the can’t be great to begin with. Then to have a pointlessly unwatchable telecast is driving viewers off even more. Racing fans don’t want to sit through 20 minutes of talking to start a 60 minute telecast.
Granted, not all episodes were like this, but the few that were couldn’t have been popular with fans. I will watch Isle of Mann next year, and when I do, if they pull this shit again, I’m done! You have been warned!