Special Stage Forums banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
don't cut
Joined
·
2,252 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I came across some interesting numbers today, courtesy of my local WB Network sales babes. According to AC Nielson, for the 2004/2005 season, the average home used it's TV for 8 hours and 11 minutes. The average viewer watched for 4 hours and 32 minutes (both new records). Kind of pathetic, but interesting nonetheless.

Setting aside for a moment the Jens-ian argument that rally should return to obscurity, I think this makes a pretty plausible case for the idea of growing rally through television. Face it, that's where the people are. If a person is spending 8 hours a day at work, and another four and half watching TV, that doesn't leave much time for anything else (such as driving up to Bemidji to slap at mosquitos for 12 hours). Instead of trying to bring them to rally, it seems like you'd have much better luck bringing rally to them.

This seems to be a reoccurring argument on SS, and one with no real consensus as of yet. So I figured I share these numbers to add a little more fuel to the fire.


Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

·
Faster Mabricator
Joined
·
3,611 Posts
Besides people getting lazier, perhaps the better variety of programming has lead to the increase in time people watch TV. I hate sitcoms which in years past were about all you see on TV. Now there is reality shows that I find more interesting. And many more channels to flip thru.

Rally has done OK on Monster Garage. I think someone should approach the History Channel show "Automaniacs" proposing a rallycar episode.

Check out the episodes they've already covered:
http://www.carbuyersnotebook.com/archives/2005/04/goldberg_to_hos.htm

"Rides" would be another good canidate if someone building a very modified car contacting them before the build or documenting it very well.

How about Pimp my RallyCar?
 

·
I have a cat.
Joined
·
3,676 Posts
20 inch Foose wheels tend to bend easily in rocks, and they weigh a ton.

If you want a rally car with 700 pounds of bondo reshaping it, but a killer paint job and a lot of chrome, Chip's yer man.

Not knocking Foose. His team does amazing work...on show cars.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
Ah yes, internet rally discussion #53045- "Why doesn't anybody want to watch me play with my toys?"

I've got a unique take on this. See, I don't have cable or satellite or whatever. When rally is on TV, I have to go to a bar with cable to watch it. It's a difficult burden to bear, but I manage.

Anyway, I always go to a bar in Houghton to watch rally. Houghton- home of the POR. Without fail, nearly 90% of the bar will be familair with the POR. The remaining 10% will at least have an appreciation for driving really fast down gravel roads, even if it is to get away from the cops while driving drunk.

So, when I hop up on my barstool and commandeer the biggest TV for rally watching, guess how many people take interest?

None. Nobody. Zip. Nada.

In the rare instance where I'm not alone watching rally at the bar, I've dragged people along with me to improve my odds at taking over the TV.

So, why is this?

Let's start with the current state of TV rally coverage. In a word- BORING! Look, it's a car going sideways! Look, another car going sideways! Oh my gosh, another one! Then we get to see the stage results carefully noting which which car slid through the corners fastest. Sometimes we get to see a crash, this may drag people away from their Packers game, but only for a moment.

Let's not forget the little insights these stunning programs provide. Usually it's an attempt to educate "the masses" about this enlightened form of motorsport. I recall such educational episodes as "We use special tires, they're called rally tires and come from Europe." and always a crowd favorite "This car is just like a street car, but with safety stuff in case we run into something."

Although I've seen some valiant attempts, these programs do little to encourage me to jump off my bar stool and yell expletives or throw beer bottles at the TV. Football and NASCAR are great at this. Rally is absolutely terrible.

Here's my theories as to why:

1. No drama- at all. All the cars are show by themselves without anything around. There's no expressly displayed conflict. There may be conflict, but I can't see it on TV. I could listen to the radio and get a better sense of conflict.

2. Why should you care which car wins? They all look the same. People outside the sport don't anything about any of these people. Heck, they could all quit mid-race and go home and it wouldn't matter to most people at all.

3. No umbrella girls. (Yeah I know, but you'd get a few more viewers out of it)

Hope this was helpful. I'll be around until LSPR is over at which point it's time to crawl back under my rock.

-james
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
> 2. Why should you care which car wins? They all look the same.
> People outside the sport don't anything about any of these people.
> Heck, they could all quit mid-race and go home and it wouldn't
> matter to most people at all.

Yep, recognition of teams and personalities is a big deal and rally organizers seem to be aware of this. I've certainly noticed more efforts at collecting and presenting team bio's recently and a lot of teams out there have their own web page (though as it stands, I bet few folks outside of the rally community ever view them - web ring anyone?).

Raising team profiles is in everyone's interest, increasing exposure to the public, giving the fans something to root for and providing sponsors with the kind of attention they crave.

Ian. :)
 

·
Photo Monkey.
Joined
·
79 Posts
Sad thing is you are talking about a country that see's the pinnacle of insane racing being Figure 8 Racing down south. While that is fun to watch (just like seeing a monkey getting its ass kicked is sorta fun) theres no point.

But in rally theres a point, but no fun to watch for the average viewer. NASCAR has got the nation on its "slipstream/bumpdraft/turn left" tit. It seems stupid hard to get people to realize that you dont need to be 3 wide through every corner, or have "the big one" in every race to make it interesting.

Lack of personalities is simple - 75% or more of the field is AMATURES, people who come out for a handful or less of rallies in a year. these people are out there to race, have fun, and challenge themselves, NOT act on camera. Since NASCAR has gotten us used to having young, clean cut, well spoken, charismatic drivers who love TV time as much as they like bump drafting.

But this all goes back to money. Few drivers paid to race = few drivers that stick around every year at the top levels. No real revenue coming into the sport = no marketing. No marketing = less and less interest by the american public since that space is being taken up by Rolex, NASCAR, F1, Champcar, IRL, etc...

The only semi niche sport I have seen people freak out about and instantly get drawn to it. Was the Isle of Man TT, simply because you could feel in the video feed how close to the edge these guys are. In rally its hard to communicate that fact on TV I think.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,812 Posts
What part of the past 6 years do you guys not understand?

Did you miss the part of all the people screaming for TV coverage?

Did you miss the trickle-down theory part?

How about the part where you were told big rally would benefit everyone?

Or, even the part in the proposal of 1998 that said everyone should have pretty, painted trailers?

Oh wait! I got it! You missed the part where all this crap lead to entry fees being tripled.

Continue with this nonsense and in a few years you will have $5,000 entry fees.
 

·
don't cut
Joined
·
2,252 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
>2. Why should you care which car wins? They all look the
>same. People outside the sport don't anything about any of
>these people. Heck, they could all quit mid-race and go home
>and it wouldn't matter to most people at all.
>

Good point. We need to create some interesting characters. To that end, I propose the Jake-Cam. From now on, at every rally, a camera crew will follow Jake and the other 52 Himes brothers around from the moment they get into town. That way we will catch on camera such endearing moments as wearing a chainsaw helmet inside the RX-7, and tackling the sparring dummy during a women's spinning class in Salem, MO.

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

·
Faster Mabricator
Joined
·
3,611 Posts
Nascar into rally

Still waiting for someone to offer Jeff Gordon a drive in a rallycar in the US.
RallySport offer Robbie Unser a ride for STPR a couple years back but unfortunately the car blew up during pratice. Robbie still came and spectated and was hoping he'd come back.
We have Travis.
I still think the old Hyundai Production class media car could have been used finding more popular or famous people to drive to draw interest into the sport than they did.

How about a stage challenge for 'Fear Factor'?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,368 Posts
>
>Let's start with the current state of TV rally coverage. In a
>word- BORING! Look, it's a car going sideways! Look, another
>car going sideways! Oh my gosh, another one! Then we get to
>see the stage results carefully noting which which car slid
>through the corners fastest. Sometimes we get to see a crash,
>this may drag people away from their Packers game, but only
>for a moment.
>
>

What determines entertainment popularity?

Millions of people watch such insomnia cures as major league baseball and soccer.

Millions of viewers tune in every week to unbelievably crappy TV sitcoms and dramas with bad acting and 100% predictable plots...and then will watch the same program in re-runs,

Why?...

Why do high speed strung out parades from nascar tracks like Michigan rate higher than the closer racing at much higher speeds and death-cheating action in the IRL?

Ever seen winged sprint cars on dirt? how is this not more exciting or marketable than Nascar?

I believe people tune in because of specific characters and personalities in the sport or program. The more the personalities are exposed and marketed, the more likely viewers are to tune in...and not much else matters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
>
>I believe people tune in because of specific characters and
>personalities in the sport or program. The more the
>personalities are exposed and marketed, the more likely
>viewers are to tune in...and not much else matters.



I think you and others are right. It's more the personalities involved than anything else.

So, what are you guys going to do to elevate yourselves beyond a bunch of guys with nothing special outside a really expensive hobby?


-james
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
706 Posts
What's the point of doing something if you're not going to be famous? Isn't that the whole point? (note to the sarcasm-impared: SARCASM)

Skye

PS: be back in the States soon!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,812 Posts
>What's the point of doing something if you're
>not going to be famous?


Well if they don't fix the RA TV show nobody is going to be famous.

>PS: be back in the States soon!

Thanks for the warning :)

Don't bring back the plague, sars, avian flu, etc with you.

Where are you?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
706 Posts
>>PS: be back in the States soon!
>
>Thanks for the warning :)
>Don't bring back the plague, sars, avian flu, etc with you.
>Where are you?

I've been in New Zealand for the last 12 months. Very interesting seeing how a country of 3.5 million people (total) can have a rally scene better than the USA... even if they didn't have a WRC round it would still be way better. As far as TV coverage, I think they might get a brief mention once in a while on the Sunday sports show on TV3, but it's certainly not "on TV" or even in the papers, and the "average guy" on the street hardly knows about it (I was suprised about that). There are some great national magazines though, like NZ Speedsport. From what I can tell its simply the super-dedicated clubs, competitors and enthusiasts that make things work down here. Simple as that. People put a lot of effort into things and work TOGETHER without much expectation of glory or fame.

Skye


>
>


____________________
F4 Rallysport - http://www.rallyrace.net/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
I think NASCAR is successful because such a small percentage of it has anything to do with auto-racing. A large percentage of people who watch it know very little and care very little about the technical part. It is "my guy vs your guy", and it's "so and so getting upset and crashing someone else" that appeals to most.
I know we would all love rally to be overburdened with sponsers paying our costs, but I would rather pay more myself or get out completeley than bastardize the sport beyone recognition just because that is all Americans will watch on TV.
I think WRC suffers already from the dumbing-down it has been forced to endure. Soon it will be just F1 on dirt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,246 Posts
>
>>2. Why should you care which car wins? They all look the
>>same. People outside the sport don't anything about any of
>>these people. Heck, they could all quit mid-race and go home
>>and it wouldn't matter to most people at all.
>>
>
>Good point. We need to create some interesting characters.
>To that end, I propose the Jake-Cam. From now on, at every
>rally, a camera crew will follow Jake and the other 52 Himes
>brothers around from the moment they get into town. That way
>we will catch on camera such endearing moments as wearing a
>chainsaw helmet inside the RX-7, and tackling the sparring
>dummy during a women's spinning class in Salem, MO.
>
>Dennis Martin
>[email protected]
>920-432-4845


i would pay money to see that show on tv every week. best idea yet.

Himes family+rally=gauranteed good time.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top