May 03, 2008

Added Vegas Bonus: Hudgens Explains Reality

So I was listening to the Supercross Live webcast for the Vegas finale tonight, wondering why they were running commercials urging people to buy tickets for an event that was already underway and halfway over. And then the Director of Marketing for LiveNation Ken Hudgens appeared, apparently to publicly address complaints about the lack of live television coverage for this otherwise most exciting of nights.

And I was surprised they didn't ask him who was gonna win tonight.

Anyway, Hudgens explained that a joint decision NOT to go live as in previous years was made after Anaheim 1, though he did not elaborate on the significance of the timing, if any. Basically, since the event takes place on the West Coast at night, live broadcast requires the East Coast audience to stay up late (after 1am) to watch. Which they historically do not, if television ratings mean anything. Which they do, certainly to Hudgens and his clients. Simple, really: the ratings are too weak to justify the costs.

I heard that and immediately thought, "so tell the promoter to move the finale to an East Coast stadium and be done with it..." Oh yeah, LiveNation IS the promoter. This should be a no-brainer, right? Of course not, stadium logistics are a nightmare, ask someone who would know... like LiveNation. Anyway...

So after listening to Hudgens, I felt pretty clear on a couple of things. One, he knows a lot about this sport because he has been involved with the sport for a long, long time. One could say he's part of the status quo; he's certainly part of the establishment, and since the issue of live television broadcasts has ALWAYS been property (literally) of the establishment, he has great credibility on this issue. So when Ken Hudgens says that the ratings indicate that broadcasting the final supercross event is not worth the cost and effort, we should take that as the truth.

So with that understanding, Mr. Hudgens, why not let us have it on the web, for free? You know, us, that miniscule audience listening to the webcast with our friends from all over the world? I'm not even suggesting you pay for production, just let someone else come in and do it, for free. As in, no licensing costs to broadcast in a certain limited fashion on the internet. Imagine that? Some people can't.

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