Sunday, September 5, 2010

TSN Gives Auto Racing the Back Seat Again!

Almost two months ago, I published an article on XSL Speed Reporter examining coverage of the IZOD IndyCar Series from a Canadian perspective. Taking a deep look into the way American network had covered the open wheel racing series, I also couldn't help but to bring up the coverage provided by my courntry's own cable sports network, TSN. Criticial of the station's devotion to motorsports, many Canadian race fans would share my frustations in their choice of programming IndyCar and some NASCAR races.

This Labour day weekend, TSN uttered another non-verbal  insult to IZOD IndyCar Series fans by scheduling the 3rd-last race of the 2010 season on the digital cable/satellite only TSN2. Not only is it disappointing the Canadian sports network decided to divert a motorsport event which featured two native drivers (Paul Tracy and Alex Tagliani), the Kentucky Indy 300 was booked on a tape delay so a NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Atlanta can be preferential treatment. While TSN has a very close business relationship with NASCAR, the continuous contempt for the IZOD IndyCar Series is wearing thin on a nation which still remains loyal to open wheel racing.

Instead of providing one live race event, TSN determined a repeat broadcast of the US Open tennis match was more deserving of the primary channel. Of course I expect TSN to favour CFL games but not a tape-delayed tennis match. I could immediately tell it was recorded from earlier in the day because there was still afternoon daylight out when I which on the channel at night. Please don't get me wrong, I have no problems with tennis and the US Open is a major sports event but I'm sure residents in the state of Kentucky and Georgia hold their respected races in just as high esteem.

A couple of months ago, I would have voiced a push for Rogers Sportsnet network to pick up IRL/IZOD IndyCar Series but I've recognized now that this cable sports channel has chosen to copy TSN's ill-executed plan for their own digital channel SportsnetOne. These digital cable channels seem to encourage these sports networks to maintain one-track minds on certain sports to the point of discrimination. Throughout the past few years, I could have at least given some credit to TSN if they would rebroadcast races shown live on TSN2 on the regular TSN channel but this has not happened. They showed Sportcenter around 5-6 times through the nighttime but they chose not to allocate a few hours to the Kentucky Indy 300.

A little disappointed with TSN for Saturday night on September 4th, I will give Canadian's sports channel some major appluase for last week's coverage of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series in a live broadcast. Like the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series event at the Honda Indy Toronto, it was excellent seeing auto racing in stock car form being treated with respect by the sports channel. 

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