January 03, 2009

2009 supercross TV schedule announced: only one event covered live, and that's TONIGHT.

So the first race of the MES (Monster Energy Supercross) professional indoor motocross national championship is just hours away. The company producing the race series, FMS (Feld Motorsports), issued a press release from the near future dated January 3rd, 2009 at 2:21am (very strange) announcing the upcoming television schedule.

I imagine the strange timing of this public relations info is because this year's schedule seems to be a definite rollback from previous years. Still, the writer of the blurb does a decent job of stressing the remaining positives, i.e. this year the 250F class will finally get "next-day aired" coverage. Only the opening round of the season will be delivered live, but only on SPEED, not CBS. CBS is in for "9 hours" worth of "original programming" as they like to call it.

And yes, it will include the same announcing team of Erin Bates, Jeff Emig and Ralph Sheheen (see, I know his last name). Ah, same as it ever was...

What goes unsaid until the very last sentence of the press release is the news that SPEED has just closed a "new long-term deal" with FMS. Oh really? Of the deal with his "new partners", Rick Miner, SPEED SVP of Production & Network Operations says it " ...will ensure the continuing process of developing exciting and innovative coverage of some of the network’s most popular motorcycle racing.”

I'd like to hear more about this "long-term" arrangement. How many years? Is CBS locked in, or will they be able to partner with another network? Things that make you go "hmmm..." indeed.

And call me what you will, an unreasonable stickler for nerdy, wordy detail or whatever, but I think it's unfortunately revealing that the word "motorcycle" ... in a press release about a multi-million dollar television package for the world's premier motocross racing series, no less... appears only once, and it is the next-to-last word in the entire release. Could be due to a stunning lack of inspiration or a head cold; who knows? They were clearly lathering on the lipstick to this pig of a television schedule and they did the best they could. Must be hard to get good help, I guess.

Most telling of all? CBS not giving up any "live" airtime for this sport this year. Of course, Ken Hudgens explained why live television coverage of West Coast supercross doesn't work last year, so what am I thinking? Stupid me, expecting something for nothing.

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