Warning: Soap box content.
The following will probably read like an “old man shouting at the sky” but I make no apologies for writing it (have I EVER?)
My subject is the now almost total lack of motorsports content on free-to-air TV. Time was (yeah, I know) that you could see ALL the major disciplines on FTA. I well remember sitting up all night watching the telecast of the Indianapolis 500 that usually ended around 0500, grabbing an hour or so of sleep and then heading off to work. Same with F1 and later the bike races from anywhere in the world that they happened to be running.
Now? Yes, you CAN still see motorsports on TV BUT only if you pay. We are now almost totally in the era of Pay per View. And, even if the FTA channels run major events, the coverage is delayed, very late at night, peppered with ads and with commentary that is so asinine that it’s not worth hearing.
Yes, I know the broadcasters have to make a living and the controlling bodies charge for the privilege of being able to broadcast the content. But, if they make is so expensive and so inconvenient that it’s a hassle to take advantage of it, I’d rather not. I can’t tell you the last time I watched a WSBK or WSS race and, even though I know they are great, I’m not going to pay to see it. Consequently, my knowledge of what is happening and my interest in it has waned to almost nothing.
Likewise my interest in Formula One is probably less than zero now. That is also a consequence of the stupidity that surrounds the whole thing. There was a time that the F1 series was called the Circus. These days it is absolutely that.
My interest and involvement in MotoGP is maintained due to the generosity of a good friend stateside who lets me share his subscription at a small cost so, in fact I DO pay to view in this case but it’s always been worth it.
As an aside, my continued interest in MotoGP is also waning due to the F1-style of having the races decided by the lawyers instead of the riders and the increasing use of “riding aids” that make for processional racing and little overtaking.
We are in the “user pays” era, not just in terms of media content but in almost every area of life but my pension doesn’t stretch that far and being on an income where every expense is increasing except the income means that the amount disposable income available for entertainment is rapidly decreasing.
Oh, and someone is going to ask me about Foxtel, Kayo and the other platforms that allow you to stream events on your computer. Yes, I know about them but you still have to pay.
It’s a good thing that I have lots of other interests and I have my bikes to ride. Yes, the cost of that pastime is also increasing but it’s still tolerable.
Mmm, the weather is looking good this morning.
Yes fully agree Phil can remember when F! and Moto gp was sent live to SBS and watching live at 2am in the morning these day I have no interest in TV at all except ABC nightly news
user pays for crap these days IMHO