Here’s a few thoughts from a pretty loyal viewer of the Versus IZOD IndyCar Series coverage:
-I love the fact that I can tune in early on a Sunday and watch the Lights race, as well as a comprehensive pre-race show. An IndyCar race should be an “event”—not a two-hour contractual obligation that barely joins the race before the green flag. If I tune in a half-hour before the flag drops, I want to see Tony Kanaan being interviewed or last week’s race being recapped—not an infomercial for a Veg-O-Matic or Miracle Bra.
-I know a lot of folks are down on Robin Miller, but he’s been insightful and well-behaved on the broadcasts. He adds a deep knowledge base, an insider/familiar feel with many of the drivers, and a bit of humor besides.
-In fact, I really think your entire broadcast team right now, from Kevin Lee to Lindy Thackston, is really doing a great job. I love it when Dan Wheldon jumps in there—he’s an absolute natural.
-If Wheldon isn’t available, it was sort of neat when you brought Graham Rahal in after his early crash to do some commentary. I know you can’t always do that, but it is nice hearing that driver point of view.
-The “Professor B” segments are excellent, and I hope you keep them around.
-Speaking of Miller, I love the Grid Walk/Grid Run, but it needs more time, and the back-and-forth of two hosts. Allot a solid 4-5 minutes for it, and work on going back and forth between Miller and Wheldon or another individual.
-I think the series is doing a pretty good job of just not focusing on the same 4-5 cars, but it would be nice to see 1-2 backmarkers highlighted or interviewed a bit more now and again. It is time for sponsors, helps show the diversity of the series, and can create some underdogs for folks to cheer for.
-I hear that some new graphics are perhaps in the works, but I’d like to see the segment times in qualifying, F1-style. I’d also like the graphic of when Race Control is looking at an incident. I’m no big F1 fan, but it’s two things they do quite well.
-Don’t shy away from showing the IndyCar legends. We got to hear from A.J. Foyt this past Sunday, which was cool. Rick Mears, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Jr., Johnny Rutherford, and other legends have a place in or around the series. They might be occupied with their other jobs, but it’s nice to make that link to the glorious past and the present/future.
All in all, I appreciate the job you’re doing—there’s still kinks and some production snafus, but I think things are on the right track. I know that people look at .39 ratings and scoff, but the point is, INDYCAR has a dedicated broadcast partner, and one that’s doing a bang-up job overall. Best of all, the ratings are going up. Now they just need to keep doing so.
Bottom line? I love IndyCar, and love that it feels like your broadcast team does, too.
Keep up the good work, Versus.