Thursday, November 8, 2018

Foggy Recollections of Jumping Thru Multiple TV Network Hoops to Watch Motor Racing Stateside Over the Years



As is the Sport itself following the same Downwards trajectory as the Terrestrial Television Broadcasting has here in America? Oh Wait a My-nute', that's right, I forgot Indy Cars Broadcasts are on the Rise. As they may even have Shattered the 1.0 Rating's barrier...

Although this No Fenders story's been on my mind Ah-while, ever since Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen said how come I Don't know the history of Formula One's TV Broadcasting?

Not to mention the Mickey Mouse treatment we're subjugated to here Stateside, thus it came racing back upon my radar screen when initially getting Wound Up over a recent Daily Mail article insinuating that Yank' Formula 1 Fans are indifferent to thou Pinnacle 'O Motor Sports; ACK!

As is It My Fault? If the Powers to Be cannot even provide us information upon what Bloody TV Channel the F1 Weekend's action is on? Is it le Duesh? (ESPN2) Or may be ESPN? ABC? ESPNews? Oh Never Mind!

While I find it Hilarious how the Media was All Ah-Tizzy over gifting Hamilton his fifth World Championship prematurely...


Thirty-two Years Ago, I was introduced to the World of Formula 1 by a Co-worker from Montana; NO Sheep Jokes Here; Hya!

Those were the Dazes when F1 was on ESPN with the legendous' Bob Varsha and 'Ol Hobbo', nee HobbsCap', aka David Hobbs actually calling the Grands Prix action live from the individual racetracks, with thee Biz', nee John Bizziano as Pit Reporter.

This lineup stayed stable for several years, albeit with the sport being shoved over to what I affectionately call le Duesh', A.K.A. ESPN2! Along with ABC's Wide World of Sports with Keith "Whoa Nellie!" Jackson and thou 'Wee Scot, nee JYS, aka Sir Jackie or formally known as Jackie Stewart calling the Monaco Grand Prix in subdued Golf tones in Thar Sports Blazers each May. Although I tend to recall 'Ol Hollywood, aka Danny Sullivan doing these subdued; SHUSH, We're On the 18th Green! TV Broadcasts later.

Then Walt Disney decided it's Dizzying Networks 'O Shopping Channels could be better served broadcasting RASSCAR' and Grid Iron Sports, which caused things to get sticky for Mwah, since my Po-Dunk Cable TV Provider, some third string outfit from Santa Clara, CA first refused to provide  Fox Sports Net. Although I still recall it being Fox Sports Northwest in my Warshintonion' Suburb. Where Formula One had moved to in the late 1990's, before moving onto Speedvision.

Yep, Yuhs guessed it! this same Cable TV outfit, whom although I did like you're supposed too; Ceasessly Badgering 'em to Add The Speed Channel to their line-up, I've long since forgotten who they were...

But they Flatly refused to Acquiesce to my Demands, leaving me Devoid of Formula 1. For which my good friend Roberto, who claimed I was the only Yank' he knew who liked Formula One - Would tape the F1 races for my benefit via them 'Ol School Memorex VHS tapes.

Which I think he did for over a year's time before I finally bit the bullet and got Dish Satellite television instead! After getting written permission from my then current Apartment Complex's management.

Apparently I did this early 2002? Prior to that year's Open Wheel Racing season beginning - Since all I tend to recall is how ecstatic I was over finally getting to watch every Blinkin' CART, (Championship Auto Racing Teams) nee today's IndyCar Practice and Qualie' session live. Along with the races TV Broadcasts with my Numero Uno all-time Announcer Bob Varsha at the Helm!

Also vaguely remembering thee Brackster', nee Kenny Brack emblazoned in red coveralls piloting the ubiquitous blazing red Target Chip Ganassi Racing Lola B2/00 Toyota, which sadly the Swede underperformed in...

Funny how I remember more 'bout the Indy Cars vs. Formula 1. But I suspect that's because previously I didn't have any access at All to them vs. my recorded F1 races...

And although I totally enjoyed having the Dish Network, there was only one major Problema, as my dish's receiver mounted on a Boom pole, to elevate it as high as then allowed. Naturally had to be pointed directly overhead the one bloody tree next to my patio.

Yep, Yuhs guessed It! 18mos later, when the tree's branches had sufficiently grown, my satellite suddenly quick receiving it's signal; CRAP! As I had the offending tree trimmed once, but then by the second time it "Bloomed." A further 18mos later, when the tree had grown back again, I gave up on my Dish TV, which conveniently coincided with my Apartment's reneging upon allowing satellite dishes on the property. As perhaps they were losing too many Cable TV contracts to their proprietary provider?

Yet by '05 our LUV-lee' Apartment complex had switched allegiances to the All Conquering comca$t, which I faithfully subscribed to for 13 Bloody years, regardless of its lacking access to SPEED2, FS-2 or ESPN News - before moving to Oregon this Fall.

As it's funny to Mwah how I've remained faithful to Formula 1 thru four major TV Announcing line-ups, since I cannot recall when my All-time favourite Pitlane Reporter Peter Windsor first appeared on thy Telie', as he along with Varsha, Hobbs and newcomer Steve "Professor" Matchett were Hands Down my Numero Uno announce Crew!


Then thou House 'O Windsor was replaced by thee 'Wee Willie buxom', aka Will Buxton during the latter SPEED F1 Days, who I think only rates above the aforementioned Bizziano. As I have to say I find Theodore "Not Lenny" Kravitz a most entertaining Bloke, even if he's constantly cut off mid-sentence by another In-car Radio message.

As the Speed Channel and then later Speed TV Broadcasts with Leigh Diffey replacing Varsha were simply far superior to today's stinted Sky Sports broadcasts. Which I'm still fairly Luke warm over them.

Albeit I found myself enjoying the most recent Friday Free Practice 2 broadcast from Mexico City on Channel 412 with Kroftie', (David Kroft) Johnny Herbert and Paul di Resta in the Commentary Box. Along with Martin Billybob' Brundle Trackside. And the aforementioned Ted Kravitz on Pitlane very enjoyable.

Although it's a Bit Annoying it's taken me until round 19-of-21 to finally hear Kroftie' tell us who that other Commentator; err, Uhm Presenter's voice is, after just saying Thanks Simon.

As Sky Sports has a pretty robust cast, with Simon Lazenby and Craig Slater being interspersed with the others, not to mention occasionally having Rachel Brookes chime in, Whale' at least I think it's her...


Meanwhile, going thru a fairly same rotisserie 'O television channels for Sports Cars racing, beginning with ESPN/ESPN2, then Ditto SPEED and Fox Sports. I tend to recall I gave up trying to watch 'em after the lame ARSE decision to return back to ESPN; Hmm? I'm sensing a theme here. As why does  ESPN tend to Not give a Flying SHIT 'bout motor racing, Eh?

Becoming Uber Annoyed over the Sebring 12 Hours being shown on ESPN3's G-O app - which naturally I didn't have access to! Thus I began simply listening to selected events via Zed Internetz' and the superb Play-by-Play announcing of Der Heindenmeir', aka John Hindhaugh as lead announcer via IMSA Radio and Radio le Mans instead.

Thus, I found it a Wee Bitamyte funny that I'd missed another Memo - when listening to the final 3hrs of this year's Petit Le Mans. Since it was totally a surprise to Mwah when Hindhaugh casually mentioned how this year's race was the final TV Broadcast for Fox Sports, with Sports Cars moving to NBC Sports next year.


As I say this was funny since I'd only finally gained television access to (Fox Sports) FS2, where the majority of the Endurance Race broadcasts end up on this Fall when moving, for which I haven't bothered tuning into yet. Only to learn I won't need this channel any more.

Although my Spectrum/Charter Cable TV Service, which is far Superior to my old one, also gives me access to the Velocity Channel, for which I know Le Mans is on, and perhaps the entire World Endurance Championship (WEC) series? For which I've yet to investigate, albeit I have visited this channel briefly for a myriad 'O Car restoring shows.

As I've got ZERO Clue who'll be NBC Sports Broadcast Crew for Sports Cars next year, although they couldn't go wrong with the current cast of Greg Kramer, Calvin Fish, Justin Bell, Jamie Howe, etc.

As it's sad to think that NBC Sports IndyCar TV Broadcasts are my current Numero Uno choice, even with Thar ceaseless Commercials... But I just really enjoy the ease which Leigh Diffey leads the way with Paul Tracy and Townsend Bell alongside him in the commentary booth.

While I can never get enough of "Professor B," aka Jon Beekhuis. With 'Ol R', nee Robin Miller, thee Curmudgeon 'O Indy Cars always having Somme-thun' good to say. But just keep Kevin Lee patrolling the Pits, as he's definitely NOT worthy "O being a lead announcer! Whilst Katie Hargitt slowly grows upon me while continuing to improve.

Thus the point of this Diatribe? Is that ESPN could learn a lot from NBC Sports production of its IndyCar races to make it's Sky Sports presentations better Stateside, which I know won't Bloody Happen.

But Hey Messer's Chevy Chase and Brickity Bratches. Don't say one G-DAMN' Thingy publicly 'bout your TV Ratings being pathetic, because you deserve 'em after Watering Down our Formula 1 television programming here Stateside, for which some of us still prefer simply watching on our Telie's...

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