>According to what I understand, the Canadian Rally
>Championship will be airing on Sportsnet starting end of
>September with shows on every Saturday (or second Saturday).
>Rocky will be the first one.
>This was done to try and get a better following of the
>series by putting it on regular time slot and promoting it
Hmmm. Let's see, there's only about 10,000 rallies in the autumn (tons of road rallies, organising rallies, regionals, other nationals, etc), and about 99% of them on Saturdays. OK, I'm exaggerating, but you get the point. That's a busy time of year.
The formula is: Identify the target audience, schedule the regular broadcast for when they're either competing or marshalling! I further suggest airing around 3pm. :+ Good thing for VCR's!
>People participating in rally are NOT the target audience.
Right you are. 99% true. Well, the mountain bikers and all those other 'extreme' sports people will be outside on Saturday afternoon, too. So what IS the target audience? What slot are they watching?
I've surfed across a few doggie trick shows on OLN in more or less prime time more than once. It would be cool if rallying could make it up there some time (OLN did show some CRC a few times, at night, but it faded away it seems). The problem is that there are more doggie owners, and doggie food companies, than rally hopefuls. Guess who gets the good airtime? The manufacturers, except Subaru, are well off the beaten track in Canadian rallying. Ricer and tuner shows abound, but where is rally?
The target audience I would think are people (normally guys) with no, or small, or very supportive, families and enough time and money (freedom, essentially) to go romping through the bush in a car at least 3 to 6 times a year (A lot of the well to do folks re golfing now. You can't move for bumping into a golf course). That would certainly boost the sport, and I'm, all for the sport growing. Instead of telling me who the target audience is NOT, tell me who the target audience IS. Well, I'm not actually demanding this(!), but I'm just turning your point around.
Well, it was you who suggested it was bad timing since the target audience audience would be at the rallies, competing, working etc. That is just preaching to the choir
BTW the show is on at 8pm not in the afternoon, so the extreme sports guys will be in their hotel rooms . As you mentioned, as a rally fan, competitor, worker, etc, you would record it.
So who is the target audience? I would say it is anyone that willing to watch it. The point of airing rally on TV is not to attract people into competing, it is to attract people into watching it on a regular basis. The point of TV is to make "impressions" on people which gives value for companies to provide sponsorship.
>So who is the target audience? I would say it is anyone that
>willing to watch it. The point of airing rally on TV is not
>to attract people into competing, it is to attract people
>into watching it on a regular basis. The point of TV is to
>make "impressions" on people which gives value for companies
>to provide sponsorship.
Morgan, I concede, this is a good point. Oops, there's me thinking only of the sport again. I guess everybody else thinks about money. I hate it when that happens. Re the slot, I'm so used to a cruddy slot I figured why would it change. Of course, it would be nice if some viewers said "Hey, I'd really like to get close to that action."
But, like the rest of us, I'm just glad we get coverage at all. I just get bitter because darts, doggies, and 8-ball pool, and NASCAR gets more coverage than a Cdn national championship. x(
>... The point of airing rally on TV is not
>to attract people into competing, it is to attract people
>into watching it on a regular basis. ...
It's important to understand that it has different purposes for different stake-holders, and all of these interests overlap.
For the sponsors, the main purpose is indeed to attract a large loyal audience, so that their brand gains recognition and benefits from association with a popular activity. That comes primarily from building the TV audience, but can also benefit from using the TV to attract people to attend events in person. Increasing the TV audience by 100,000 viewers clearly gives way more brand exposure than adding a handful of new participants at the back of the field.
For the competitors, one purpose is to provide exposure for their team sponsors, and part of it is just plain ego - seeing yourself on national TV.
For the sport as a whole, part of the aim is honest and fair reporting of the events (this is, after all a SPORT!), and part of the aim is most certainly to build participation. Enlightened long-term sponsors understand that their interests in building an audience are aided (in the long term) by building participation in the sport, and I think you can see the result of that line of thought in things like the RDG travel fund.
This is a balancing act. If the programs are aimed purely at the armchair spectator, and only show the $100K and up teams, you might get some exciting driving on TV, but damage the long term viability of the sport by scaring off any prospective new competitors. If the programs try to show every single car every single time, no matter what they do, you might get confusing shows that fail to generate any real interest or loyalty beyond the already committed.
Last year the shows were one hour long and we did 8 of them. That was just too much material to fit onto a DVD and we didn't think there was a market for a "boxed set". It would be too expensive.
This year's programs are half-hours so a DVD release is much more realistic if RDG decides to go that way.
Concerning sheduling, the Canadian Rally Championship has been tried in many different timeslots. RDS did well with the shows running adjacent to F1 and WRC last season. TSN's best performer was early weekend afternoons (Eastern time).
We tried 6-day turnarounds for TSN in 2003. Rallye Quebec finished on a Sunday and the 1-hour show aired on the following Saturday at noon. The quickly-to-air broadcast didn't have any impact on the ratings at all and the move to 1-hours was a negative. The rally community liked it, but it didn't hold the attention of the general grazing sports fans.
The hour-vs-half-hour debate is what prompted the move to Sportsnet midway through last season. Sportsnet had always wanted the series and they offered primetime and one-hour shows. Unfortunately, we got killed in primetime up against mainstream entertainment shows. The ratings were very disappointing - far lower than weekend afternoons. We had to draw two conclusions: that the sport was not ready for primetime; and that a one-hour rally show was too long.
RDG has a new strategy this season which I fully support. By holding the shows until the fall, there will be consistency to the schedule. If you like rally on TV you don't have to wait 4 months to see it again. Also the shows will be shorter and therefore more exciting. Another first, RDG has bought advertising announcing the upcoming schedule. It will be very interesting to see how the shows fare in primetime at the shorter length. Generally TV viewership is way higher in the fall than in the summer. Historically the top-rated Cdn rally shows were the Quebec and Perce-Neige winter events - due mainly to the time of year and greater numbers of people indoors watching TV.
Although it's frustrating for the rally participants to have to wait months to see a telecast, I think RDG's scheduling strategy will result in a substantial jump from last season's audience ratings.
It's not aired yet so we don't know how it will play out but I think this is sound judgement and planning. If it gathers more viewers and interest in the sport, bringing new people out to spectate, it has been worthwhile.
Good job guys, fingers crossed, and looking forward to Monday's show.