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· Slid'n around 'n havin a ball
3,015 Posts
RE: WRC on Speed

I don't have any inside info.
I know on this AM's NASCAR show, a tease was given about this evening's show at 6PM that Jeff Hammond will give his report on Finland.
Do you doubt it'll be "great"?
My take is that D Richards is raising the entry fee and Speed is making a show to get the price back down.
If you don't think this made for TV sport has a future on TV in the US then nothing will.
All they need to do is get the drab Finns off the camera whining about poor tire choices and have more exciting, photogenic americans giving sponsor plugs and thanking the crew.

· Registered
28 Posts
Well, I just finnished (arr, arr, arr) sending them an email and complimenting them on the Rally Finland coverage, and encouraging them to keep up the improvement, and keep on broadcasting Rallying.

Matt "K2" Kennedy
#931 Subaru Impreza 2.2 Open - SCCA Pro/ClubRally
#44 Subaru Legacy 2.2 Production 4WD - SCCA/NER RallyCross

· Registered
92 Posts
Just a thought, but maybe he should save his money and not try to do a live show in GB. I don't think rally is something that will be good live unless it is a side by side super duper stage. I would rather see the "best" parts with good, well thought out commentary.;)

· Registered
737 Posts
Speed's coverage/announcers are painfully awful - no great loss if they drop it, maybe ESPN2 will pick it up (they have been playing the Asia Pacific series) and just rebroadcast the brit version (yay!)

Skye Poier
Seattle, WA

· Registered
295 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
>Speed's coverage/announcers are painfully awful - no great
>loss if they drop it, maybe ESPN2 will pick it up (they have
>been playing the Asia Pacific series) and just rebroadcast
>the brit version (yay!)

It's my understanding Speed rebroadcasts the international version tape with their own narration, mostly using a script taken from the english (small "e" ) version of the script.

There's alot worse announcers out there than Ralph Sheheen. He loves rallying. He went to Euro-Rally's school to learn more about the sport, and he and Nicky Grist are now buddies. Also, he's a familiar voice (and face) to the majority of Speed viewers who aren't rally nuts like we are here. ...better than no coverage at all.

George Beckerman

· Registered
438 Posts
Over the years, I've gotten use to Ralph's voice. He is excited
about rallying, but not an expert. But Speed coverage is better
than no coverage. With Speed's stupid network-within-a-network
idea, I get three hours of primetime NASCAR reruns every night.
(Except Tuesday which Dave D. has been able to keep somewhat
together.) I'm already prepared to drop Speed. OLN has been
showing Asia-Pacific events, plus the Ramdama Express Rally
(a.k.a. Laughlin).

What about the ProRally series? Is that gone too?


· Registered
672 Posts
Migrating further and further toward 'Bubbavision' all the time.....

Get rid of that guy Ralph Sheheen and put someone in there who has a clue.

edit:shouldn't choose adjectives when tired and angry, my apologies

Matt Manspeaker
Seattle, WA USA
89 323GTX - OPEN
97 Escort Cosworth - WIDE OPEN

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435 Posts


Just so everyone knows. One of more of the commentators that you are all so lovingly slamming right now, are registered users of this forum. Please consider this.

I just thought you should know

Jeffrey Burmeister
Former Associate Producer for Speed Channel

The North American Rally Resource

· Registered
1,043 Posts
Yeah - I agree. Speed broadcasts are not quite as sophisticated in their commentary as the UK announcers - but they couldn't be since the audience is not as sophisticated in terms of rally (yet). The broadcasts are still pretty good and the genuine enthusiasm comes through.

I think it's very good to have a keen American voice covering the events - it will always remain foreign if there's too much (insert now-BBC-mandated mid-English accent) "Juuso PYKÄLISTÖ is pressing on well in his Bozian-run 206, awlthough he admitted he was knackered by the end of the special. But Ringer clawked in early to a main time control, and so the second place Xsara takes a one minute penalty..." We understand that - love it, even. But we're not the ones that the broadcast has to appeal to.

Love it or hate it, the New York Magazine this week has a major article on Bill France and NASCAR, and you can't pick up a paper these days without NASCAR business analysis. That's the audience we have to start to tap into if we're going to consolidate our presence in North America. Otherwise we'll still be in an empty church, preaching to the choir.

Flirting with the laws of physics.

· Administrator Emeritus
1,239 Posts
>Get rid of that moron Ralph Sheheen and put someone in there
>who has a clue.

I'll probably get flamed for this, but I disagree.

He was a little painful initially, but he has obviously done research about rallies, rallying, and pronouncing names. His initial over-enthusiasm has been tempered, and it sounds like genuine enthusiasm now, rather than something forced. I suspect people get annoyed by the script, but I think to a certain extent it has to cater to the rally newbie, since there are a lot more of those than there are rally experts in this country. Much as we like to think to the contrary, we do not have the numbers to carry a broadcast with just the rally fans.

I also think that Speed Channel realizes that to market the sport in the US, you need an American announcer. I don't have a problem with this, as long as the announcer likes the sport. Which, I strongly suspect, Ralph does (although not having ever met the man in my life, I cannot make any claim for first-hand knowledge).

And, above all, I am glad we are receiving WRC coverage at all. We need to do what we can to keep it, and bitching about the on-air personalities here is not likely going to assist that effort greatly.


· Registered
194 Posts
RE: WRC coverage voted #2 in US?

I really think it has to do with marketing. Nascar viewers tend to be fans of American V8's. I think they should market rally to the younger generation "Import tuner crowd" "video game generation". I also think it would be really hard to convert nascar viewers to rally. Speed Channel has no control over the exact coverage shown " Its just taped coverage from Europe". I liked the way the prorally coverage was going with snow drift ....They showed the car coming to the line of each stage /start/middle/end. We should wait and see how the live coverage at rally GB will be. I am sure its going to be a totaly different format.

I agree with Ben- I think Ralph's narration has been steadily improving, and on the Finland broadcast I think it compared favorably to whatever the Euros must've been listening to. If he was just reading a transcript of the British commentary (who knows, maybe), he did a great reading job that didn't make me raise an eyebrow once.

Folks here say Ralph's a rally fan, I say it shows! Thanks Ralph! And of course I would rather listen to Al Gore doing WRC commentary than anyone doing NASCAR...

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