Versus, NBC and IndyCars: A vignette

IndyCar commentary — By on December 3, 2009 1:57 pm

(Originally posted by Steph to

Various media outlets are now reporting that Comcast’s bid for NBC Universal has been completed.

In light of this, consider the following scenario.

Joe American finishes mowing the lawn / gets back from church / rolls out of bed with a hangover at 12:30 on a Sunday and turns on the TV while he waits for the 1:00 football games to start.  As he clutches his beer bottle and settles into his well-worn spot on the couch, he starts to flip through the channels and stumbles upon a program that isn’t like all the other excessively animated infomercials that are on in this time slot — instead, he finds himself watching a one-hour edit of the IndyCar race from two weeks before.

The cars are fast and shiny, there’s great on-track action, and the tape delay allows the best moments of the event to be brought into the spotlight.  Joe’s interest is piqued, and he keeps watching — after all, there’s nothing else on, anyway.

Then, at the end (and just before his game’s about to start), an announcer catches his attention.

“Like what you’ve seen?  Tune in to see in-depth, live coverage of today’s IndyCar race, live on Versus starting RIGHT NOW.”

“Huh,” Joe thinks.  “If the football game gets boring, I’ll have to check that out.”

With any luck, the game does get boring, Joe does seek out the race, and a new fan is born.

This won’t happen in 2010 — the deal still needs to go through the regulatory approval stage, which is reportedly expected to take 12 to 18 months. And it’s just an idea, one possibility of hundreds for how the IZOD IndyCar Series could be cross-marketed to the mutual benefit of the sport, Versus and NBC.

But as a start, it sure sounds good for 2011, doesn’t it?