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Pre-1984 IndyCar, Formula 1 Television coverage (Help with a list?)

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  • Pre-1984 IndyCar, Formula 1 Television coverage (Help with a list?)

    I've been trying to come up with a complete list.

    I know that 1984-present is fairly complete. I think about thing that you can't really find would perhaps be some qualification sessions, quite a few Indy Lights/ARS/USAC Mini-Indy races, and the Atlantics of course. (F1 of course is only really "found" if you know a friend, of a friend).

    The 60's and 70's though seem quite a bit more "fuzzy" in that realm. 78 seems strangely quite complete (in theory). I was watching the 78 USAC race at Milwaukee (Tony Bettenhausen 200), then Squier mentioned that (paraphrasing) "We will be showing Trenton,Brands Hatch, Silverstone, The US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, and Phoenix"

    so per what I'm seeing, the 1978 USAC Championship Car Broadcasting schedule was (roughly):

    ABC Trenton Gabriel 200
    ABC Indianapolis 500
    CBS Milwaukee Rex Mays Classic
    CBS Milwaukee Tony Bettenhausen 200
    CBS Trenton Machinist Union 150
    CBS Brands Hatch
    CBS Phoenix

    Am I missing anything?

    I'm really fascinated about having the most complete list possible. What races did NBC, CBS, and ABC cover of Indy, F1 and just auto racing in general prior to the advent of cable.

    I'm also curious how Mario's 78 F1 season was covered in the states. Which races that he competed in were covered by American television? Was the traditional "anthem" at the podium showed and did we actually get to hear the "Star Spangled Banner" on television?

    (edit: This is not to say that qualification sessions, early "road to indy" footage is "lost", but rather it's not really popped up online and we have little proof of it's existance sans a few pieces here and there)

  • #2
    Most 1978 F1 races were same day tape delayed on ABC Wide World of Sports. Remember this was pre-internet, pre ESPN, satellite TV was 5 years down the road too, so no one without a AP or UPI teletype (only newspapers, radio and TV stations had them) knew who won, unless some blabber mouth on the radio spoiled the results. I don't think local Sun AM news show were around then (at least not in Indy).

    Some of the early season races, might have had highlight aired a week later on ABC's Wide World Of Sports, but when it was obvious after the Belgian GP, that Mario was a contender, that ABC did the best it could considering the Europe to America time problem. Argentina, Brazil, Long Beach, Canada & Watkins Glen were aired live in the US if I recall correctly! And Mario's having to miss Indy in order to win the World Championship was given a lot of media attention by all National news outlets and especially ABC.

    In June, with Mario's winning the Belgian GP at Zolder, all of a sudden America came to the realization that Mario was the Man in F1 and the attention factor multiplied exponentially. ABC had the lead, but in Indy, the Star and local TV made a big deal about it. Some times sending a reporter to overseas races. Always before, F1 was hardly mentioned on the Sunday TV newscasts unless a driver died or Mario was on the podium.

    I remember watching the Monza race, what a bunch of heartbreak and yet somber satisfaction it was, as Mario's Lotus team mate Ronnie Peterson wrecked (and later died) on the first lap, the race was red flagged, Mario was penalized for the restart and his race win taken away, but yet he won the World Championship!

    ABC even showed high lights of the GP races on Monday Night Baseball/Football shows too!
    To their credit, ABC rode the Mario "USA" mania very tactfully as ABC Sports use to do during their heyday.

    Yes, they did show the podiums when Mario won and we heard the "Star Spangled Banner" and the Brit national anthem in honor of Team Lotus!

    And my part in this? My GF at Butler was from Geneva NY (which is on the Northern end of Seneca Lake while Watkins Glen is on the Southern end), so We (actually me) decided we were going to take her home for the weekend. We saw her mother for 2 hours and spent the rest of Friday thru Sunday at the Glen camping. Nothing like being awakened by a flat 12 Ferrari in the morning when you've got a hang over after drinking Genesee Cream Ale with a bunch of guys from Colgate U in a tent in cold NY. Unfortunately Mario didn't have a good show at the Glen. Made it back in time for Monday night classes at Butler and didn't recover until the weekend. But I can proudly say I supported Mario during his Championship year!
    Last edited by Eaglenindy; 03-25-2018, 10:12 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Eaglenindy View Post
      Most 1978 F1 races were same day tape delayed on ABC Wide World of Sports. Remember this was pre-internet, pre ESPN, satellite TV was 5 years down the road too, so no one without a AP or UPI teletype (only newspapers, radio and TV stations had them) knew who won, unless some blabber mouth on the radio spoiled the results. I don't think local Sun AM news show were around then (at least not in Indy).

      Some of the early season races, might have had highlight aired a week later on ABC's Wide World Of Sports, but when it was obvious after the Belgian GP, that Mario was a contender, that ABC did the best it could considering the Europe to America time problem. Argentina, Brazil, Long Beach, Canada & Watkins Glen were aired live in the US if I recall correctly! And Mario's having to miss Indy in order to win the World Championship was given a lot of media attention by all National news outlets and especially ABC.

      ...

      Yes, they did show the podiums when Mario won and we heard the "Star Spangled Banner" and the Brit national anthem in honor of Team Lotus!
      First off? Wow! Thanks for all the info! I've been begging a guy offsite for footage of this but none of it has yet to show up...

      Second off? I do wish there would be some sort of documentary of some sort that could be made to discuss Mario's WDC season now.

      It it something I'm fascinated with as a whole. The cross over of the "Two worlds" (American Championship Car Racing and Grand Prix Motor Racing). Drivers that did both, the coverage of both forms of open wheel, etc.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by AEOWR89 View Post
        I'm really fascinated about having the most complete list possible. What races did NBC, CBS, and ABC cover of Indy, F1 and just auto racing in general prior to the advent of cable.
        There was plenty of racing televised back in the 60s, 70s and early 80s, much of it on "anthology" shows such as "ABC's Wide World of Sports", NBC's "SportsWorld" and "CBS Sports Spectacular." Though it seems many here seem to think everything was solely on ABC or "Wide World of Sports."

        Some were "live", some aired same-day tape delay. Living on the West Coast, most everything was delayed 3 hours, especially if it was on ABC. It would be odd though for the F1 races to be aired same-day tape delay on "Wide World of Sports" on a Sunday though (WWoS was a Saturday show).

        In 1969 and 1970, TVS televised a few USAC Championship races "live" (same day on the West Coast). I remember Milwaukee, Continental Divide and Trenton. Some Can-Am races were televised as well. ABC had a series of telecasts they titled "Championship Auto Racing", which joined a race (usually a NASCAR Grand National race) in progress "live" after providing taped highlights and ran until the checkered flag.

        It would take research in going through online newspaper TV listings from the era to re-construct and compile an accurate list.
        "Versions of a story that are more tidy, compact, and camera-ready should generally be viewed as historically suspect." - Jackson Landers

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        • #5
          Originally posted by AEOWR89 View Post
          It it something I'm fascinated with as a whole. The cross over of the "Two worlds" (American Championship Car Racing and Grand Prix Motor Racing). Drivers that did both, the coverage of both forms of open wheel, etc.
          There's a book by Steve Small due out this fall about Grand Prix drivers who raced at Indy. I know nothing else about the book, but Small's Grand Prix Who's Who books are generally excellent.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by JThur1 View Post
            There was plenty of racing televised back in the 60s, 70s and early 80s, much of it on "anthology" shows such as "ABC's Wide World of Sports", NBC's "SportsWorld" and "CBS Sports Spectacular." Though it seems many here seem to think everything was solely on ABC or "Wide World of Sports."

            ..

            In 1969 and 1970, TVS televised a few USAC Championship races "live" (same day on the West Coast). I remember Milwaukee, Continental Divide and Trenton. Some Can-Am races were televised as well. ABC had a series of telecasts they titled "Championship Auto Racing", which joined a race (usually a NASCAR Grand National race) in progress "live" after providing taped highlights and ran until the checkered flag.

            It would take research in going through online newspaper TV listings from the era to re-construct and compile an accurate list.
            I'm just really trying to "retrace" things going backwards to see how many races (in theory) were televised. I would say that around 82? That was the last time an IndyCar race went "untelevised.

            I imagine the advent of ESPN (around 81 was when their coverage began) and TNN (around 83) eliminated a lot of "gaps" in coverage.

            But it's still surprising that I can't seem to find "more" races pre-1978 outside of Indianapolis. Hell even some of the Indianapolis footage has gone missing (..sadly..). I believe IndyCar "teased" existence of say, the 72 race, but the only footage that was posted was the highlight film (...which is fantastic in it's own right, but not the orignal race footage of Mark Donohue getting Penske his first win).

            I do wonder if WTHR, WTTV, and WRTV (who apparently covered "Time Trials" in 78) has anything stored in the reels some place.

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            • #7
              Don't forget CBS's F1 coverage in that time frame. Squier and Hobbs were their usual first-rate selves. I'd pay top dollar to have a copy of the CBS '77 Long Beach race. Dijon was carried in full as a same-day show. I'll never forget seeing Mario pass Watson on the last lap.

              Wide World of Sports showed a lot of same-day 5min. summaries in that time. That's how I saw Zolder '78 and Mario's winning debut of the Lotus 79. I think Monza that year was a pretty comprehensive story, with video, on same-day, then the race was shown the next Saturday as a WWoS feature.
              You have the IndyCar you deserve.

              Comment


              • #8
                A couple here...
                Originally posted by AEOWR89 View Post
                But it's still surprising that I can't seem to find "more" races pre-1978 outside of Indianapolis.
                A lot of that is probably down to the fact that VCRs didn't become more widespread in the public until the late 70s/early 80s.

                Originally posted by dalz View Post
                Don't forget CBS's F1 coverage in that time frame. Squier and Hobbs were their usual first-rate selves. I'd pay top dollar to have a copy of the CBS '77 Long Beach race.
                Yes! CBS had quite a bit of F1 (and racing coverage in general) during the mid-70s. Squier was joined by Stirling Moss for some of the F1 telecasts (at least in '76), which often were edited down to be shown a week later on CBS' Sports Spectacular much like ABC did with Wide World of Sports.

                dalz, you realize what a minority you're in by suggesting anything was on a network other than ABC, don't you? 'round here everyone seems to remember all racing being only on ABC (you and I excepted).
                "Versions of a story that are more tidy, compact, and camera-ready should generally be viewed as historically suspect." - Jackson Landers

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JThur1 View Post
                  Yes! CBS had quite a bit of F1 (and racing coverage in gg5eneral) during the mid-70s. Squier was joined by Stirling Moss for some of the F1 telecasts (at least in '76), which often were edited down to be shown a week later on CBS' Sports Spectacular much like ABC did with Wide World of Sports.

                  dalz, you realize what a minority you're in by suggesting anything was on a network other than ABC, don't you? 'round here everyone seems to remember all racing being only on ABC (you and I excepted).
                  Thanks, but that's a bummer that so few remember. CBS covered Long Beach live from '77-'81, and Detroit from '83-'88, plus some in full same-day (Dijon was always a staple for some reason.) Squier was...Squier. I assume Mario's exploits carried the interest in it. For me it's a seared-in memory--I didn't blink for 2 hours watching Long Beach '77.

                  Many races were also segments on Sports Spectacular, probably next-Saturday.
                  You have the IndyCar you deserve.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    In 1982, an independent production company launched an ambitious plan to bring all F1 races live or same-day to independently contracted TV stations across the U.S. After 2 very well-presented tape-delay races--South Africa and Long Beach--things apparently fell through and no more races were broadcast. F1 coverage for 1982 was pretty sparse after that, except for ABC showing Detroit live.
                    You have the IndyCar you deserve.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Eaglenindy View Post
                      Most 1978 F1 races were same day tape delayed on ABC Wide World of Sports.

                      And Mario's having to miss Indy in order to win the World Championship was given a lot of media attention by all National news outlets and especially ABC.
                      I read this to say Mario missed the 500 the year he won the World Championship. Of course, he didn't. He did miss qualifying because of rain and had to start 33rd, but he finished 12th in 1978. I always thought it was cool that he ran 8 USAC races that year as well as winning the WC. That must have been a pretty busy season. Two weeks after clinching at Monza he won his first USAC race in over five years (and hard to believe, but only his third of three wins in the seventies!) with his win at Trenton.

                      He did miss the '79 500, but he was defending his WC at that time.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dalz View Post
                        In 1982, an independent production company launched an ambitious plan to bring all F1 races live or same-day to independently contracted TV stations across the U.S. After 2 very well-presented tape-delay races--South Africa and Long Beach--things apparently fell through and no more races were broadcast. F1 coverage for 1982 was pretty sparse after that, except for ABC showing Detroit live.
                        Not sure how you figure 1982 was sparse. I have 8 races on tape, and I'm sure I didn't tape all that were available. Seems as if ESPN aired quite a few races in '82.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Calhoun View Post
                          Not sure how you figure 1982 was sparse. I have 8 races on tape, and I'm sure I didn't tape all that were available. Seems as if ESPN aired quite a few races in '82.
                          Thanks. ESPN wasn't on my radar screen at the time, I should've known they were involved by then. I first saw ESPN at, believe it or not, a barber shop, possibly in that year.
                          You have the IndyCar you deserve.

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                          • #14
                            Go to YouTube and find the 1978 Texas 200 on CBS. It comes in 5 separate parts in YouTube. The live race date was August 5th,and there is a CBS News Bulletin in there early on breaking the news that Pope Paul VI had died. A.J.Foyt wins,and Steve Krisiloff comes charging in to the VL ceremony arguing that Foyt didn't really win because of a lap miscount. Almost becomes what happened between A.J. & Arie up the road at TMS in 1997. Worth watching.

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                            • #15
                              A disclaimer? I was born in 1989. So again, I was not around for this. My knowledge of it is literally by asking people older than me, looking up youtube footage and trying my best to piece together. So my apologies for anything that is misinformed here.

                              But here's what I've been able to somewhat gather purely on the IndyCar side. I am trying to fill in the gaps as much as possible but I'm unsure how difficult that is.

                              Highlight footage and Misc.

                              -Per terms of reunifcation? I would imagine Hulman Co. (IndyCar Series inc., Indianapolis Motor Speedway) own the rights to every televised AAA, USAC, CART, IRL, and CCWS race to ever be on the air. How much is in their "vault" is a question that is being debated. (IndyCar itself posted "highlights" of the ABC WWOS 1966 telecast of the 500)

                              -1982Road America (proof of one of the “last” untelevised races.)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BetvNPwEsbI&

                              -1983 to present seem to be very thorough in terms of "proof" of footage existing. The only "iffy" one would be TNN's coverage of Road America in 83, but again, there's footage of them doing "pre race".

                              -1966, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982 Indianapolis 500s are all available on youtube. 1972, and 1976 are "lost" for whatever reason. I imagine the odds of finding those one day are not unlikely. IMS/USAC did at the very least? document those with an "NFL Films Yearbook" style presentation that DoctorIndy has been so kind to post.

                              -There seems to be a “highlight show” (Akin to NFL Films) that featured many an event brought to you by Bud Lindeman and “Car and Track” that ran on CBS Sports. I didn’t count those “per say” because it’s kinda like me “counting” the NFL Films I have of the Browns as “broadcast footage” of the Browns playing say, the Colts in 87.
                              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_and_Track


                              -There seems to be footage “outside” of that program of the non-points scoring race at Ontario known as the Questor Grand Prix. (A fever dream event I dream of seeing revived one day…)

                              -I don’t know how “thorough” USAC was at creating highlight tapes of that era. I am curious how much they would have in the basement of their facility in Speedway for example. Tom Carnegie does narration for the 1974 Schaefer 500 for example, which is something he did in fact do for Indy 500s of that era
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gs0heIQFZa8


                              -IMS Radio Network likely has a good percentage of all radio broadcasts of the “500”. MRN has (in the past) proven to have broadcast old USAC and FIA events. The "K-Mart" IndyCar Radio Network was also a thing, along with Paul Page trying to do several efforts of what Ken Squier wound up doing with Cup for CART.

                              -WTTV, WTHR, WISH, WXIN, WLFI, WTWO, WTHI, WAWV (Indianapolis, Lafayette, Terre Haute) all could very well have footage in the "vault" due to the strong local ties to the sport.

                              1967 USAC Season
                              -Riverside “Rex Mays 300” (ABC)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLMYJPZMKqw

                              1968 USAC Season
                              -Riverside (ABC)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljmfIhrSRdA&

                              1970 USAC Season
                              -Phoenix 150 (ABC)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtnK5AWKUUY&
                              -Hoosier Hundred (ABC)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsiShpTnQYU
                              -Springfield (ABC)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2bD95hJ5ZE

                              1971 USAC Season
                              (partial Argentinian Television footage)
                              -Rafaela Indy 300 (???)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGslKLXds6Q

                              1976
                              -Phoenix 150 (ABC)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0G6Z1oNzdY

                              1977
                              -Tony Hulman Classic (ABC)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8Ls4oNeNhw
                              (Yes I still count this. I know that there had been a “split” but this did indeed feature drivers who drove Gold Crown during that era. )

                              1978
                              -Trenton 200 (CBS)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEOPHjFRyKY&
                              -Rex Mays Classic (CBS)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDRWqSSp0PE&
                              -Texas Grand Prix (CBS)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59l9oEk7BHs&
                              -Tony Bettenhausen 200 (CBS)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjwqSALdfqw&
                              -Machinist Union 150 (CBS)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPJcbsH6ZTg&
                              -Daily Mail Indy Trophy (Brands Hatch) (CBS)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cxor4Ne3xi0&

                              1979 CART/1979 USAC
                              -Phoenix apparently exists (CART)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q78vjlpjLdk
                              (Footage of AJ Foyt’s victory at Milwaukee was shown on ABC News Tonight of all things. So, footage of this is bound to exist some place)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KklAFhK2ZI
                              -Trenton (CART) (NBC)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqjVi2KljJc
                              -Michigan Twin 125s (CART) (NBC)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpVQERsen1A&

                              1980 “Champions Racing League” (CART/USAC temporary truce. I would very much like this logo if anyone has it)
                              -Pocono 500 (ABC)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLVL2oaTAbY&
                              -Phoenix- “Miller High Life 150” (NBC)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ozZyGCpN5c
                              -“Champions Tribute” (Shows presumably “Michigan” high banks. I might see “Atlanta” there as well)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cm_AX-MJzE

                              -1981
                              - Milwaukee “Rex Mays Classic” (I would “assume” ESPN’s first ever IndyCar telecast)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3dkXfsYVxg
                              -Atlanta Kraco Twin 125s (ESPN)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSCD1XsvCT4
                              -Michigan 500 (NBC)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwkcbJ3XKI0&
                              --Riverside California 500k (ESPN)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLLFHXgXahc
                              -Phoenix Miller High Life 150
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leyC0tIDOYQ&
                              (The holy grail race, the infamous 1981 Pocono 500? Has yet to see any footage surface. ANY video. Meaning film, tv broadcast, or 8 MM. All have yet to turn up.)

                              -1982
                              -Phoenix Kraco Car Stereo 150 (NBC)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0PP188c6xw&
                              -Rex Mays 200 (ESPN)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfQBlX4tnz0
                              -Grand Prix of Cleveland (ESPN)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKiMUR9R8JU
                              -Michigan 500 (NBC)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h2DYc_7xTE&
                              -Tony Bettenhausen 200 (ESPN)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eFqfW3mbRk&
                              -Tony Bettenhausen 100 (ESPN)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9JDZaBB1M8
                              -Pocono 500 (NBC)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwjrqZzkS1c&
                              -Riverside AirCal 500k (ESPN)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmQ-2nSv9iI&
                              -Michigan Detroit News 200 (ESPN)
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVo_J8ow1ro&
                              -Phoenix Miller High 150
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KklAFhK2ZI&

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