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The IRL's broadcast partner is ABC, not ESPN

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  • The IRL's broadcast partner is ABC, not ESPN

    Let's get this straight.

    The IRL's broadcast partner is ABC. Not ESPN. Not ABC/ESPN. It is ABC.

    I used to think "Hey, it is all the same company. Don't they work together?". Somemeone very knowledgeable about how the TV world works told me it does not work that way. ABC and ESPN, while being owned by the mouse, don't get along real well. There is a great deal of rivalry betweent the units.

    So why should IRL fans expect special treatment from ESPN in general, and their primary motorsports show rpm2night in particular? All this "corporate cousins" stuff sounds good, but the reality is significantly different.

    You would not expect Cadillac to promote Chevy's NASCAR program. Why would you expect ESPN to promote ABC's IRL program?
    "The problem with internet quotes and statistics is that often times, they're wrongfully believed to be real." - Abraham Lincoln

  • #2
    Very good points. Whenever corporate mergers occur, there's usually always tension. ESPN was started from nothing in Bristol, CT, by a visionary guy everyone said was nutty for such a silly idea back then.

    They were always independent in their thinking. The Disney/CapCities, et al corporate culture is a tad more stifled.

    Friction is inevitable. But that merger occurred long enough ago for corporate cultures to be properly meshed. The reality is they ARE one. They just need to learn to act like it.

    When I'm watching Fox News or Fox Sports or the regular Fox network, and I see regular promotion of NASCAR and ***** Speedvision programming on all three, I think 'D, THAT'S how corporate cross promotion is supposed to work.'

    Notice all the cross promotion sometime on NBC, MSNBC and CNBC. That's another good example. Viacom is beginning to do it with their relatively recently merged properties.

    Do you find it odd ABC's lineups are promoted on ESPN?

    The Disney family o' channels has certain 'franchise' properties. The IRL is one of them. They need to promote the franchised brand across all networks more effectively.

    Disney's current problems financially and otehrwise are helping that entity rapidly lose their claim of being the best in terms of sports casting. It's a real shame.

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    • #3
      FWIW
      SPEED News gives excellent IRL and balanced Motorsport coverage for those few who pay for it.(They have my respect and $)
      carl s
      Indio, CA
      Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

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      • #4
        ESPN and ABC Sports constitute a single division of Disney under a single management, and have since 1998. ABC (the network) just sets aside so much space (weekend afternoons, Monday nights, etc) for the ESPN/ABC Sports divison to fill. It is a single entity.

        Dittos on SPEED news. Look for a daily version, probably next year. And its included in the BASIC package on DirecTV.

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        • #5
          Both newtorks are also partners of every effort they program, should one, the IRL, be more important then any other? Only to one "expert!"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by carl s:
            <STRONG>FWIW
            SPEED News gives excellent IRL and balanced Motorsport coverage for those few who pay for it.(They have my respect and $)
            carl s
            Indio, CA</STRONG>
            I am very glad that I have speed channel.
            IRL, Champcar and F1 fan

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Defender:
              <STRONG> Friction is inevitable. But that merger occurred long enough ago for corporate cultures to be properly meshed. The reality is they ARE one. They just need to learn to act like it.
              </STRONG>
              Actually ABC/Cap Cities and ESPN do in fact have different owners. ABC/Cap Cities was bought in its entirety by Disney round about 1996.

              ESPN has long been owned in part by different groups (Getty Oil once owned 85%, Ohlenmeyer Productions division of RJR/Nabisco owned some). In 1990 or 1991 the Hearst Corporation purchased the now-20% of ESPN that is not owned by ABC/Cap Cities.

              So though ESPN may be operated in conjunction with ABC on a day-to-day level, they are not entirely "merged" and cannot be, so long as their ownership structures are different.

              [ August 24, 2002: Message edited by: bigred ]

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