Stinger 312- There were some big name sponsors onboard way back when. Ofcourse the Bacardi name carries over into today's racing but it is alone on the island. Anyway, the whole sports scene has changed dramatically and now sponsorships are based on exposures. That's where the tv was so important. It gave a mass exposure along with the exposure on-site. Problem is now, the television is being bought by the sanctioning bodies so we've seen the shows fall to Outdoor Network which is no where close to ESPN, ESPN2 or Speed. I am guessing that the OSS "show" is part of a series on Outdoor Channel as opposed to being a stand alone hour like it was. I am not real familiar with SBI/APBA's effort either so I maybe off a bit. It's somewhat the same problem the NHL is having right now. Their deal with NBC is the league pays for the production costs and air time and then splits with the network anything over that. Obviously, high player salaries play against the league having the money needed but until the sport gets considered "major" by the networks they have no choice but to buy the time. Boat racing has bought the time ever since I can remember. (Exception - Unlimited Hydroplane Racing on ABC's Wide World of Sports)
Television is limited by helicopter range and the amount of cameras needed to cover something like Ft. Lauderdale to the Bahamas. Donald Trump talked about wanting to televise the race he was putting on in Atlantic City. The day of the race the fog rolled in ... it would have killed a live signal. Satellites and such provide more technology but technology comes at a big time price.
SHANE B - You had me smiling. You are right about the "old" days and how the teams would show up and such. I'll tell you another angle. At one point I was asked about taking over the sport. I met with the owners and told them they would have to put up around $300,000 to $400,000 each in an escrow acount in my name. They looked at me stunned and asked why when they were going to pay such-and-such. I told them that from what I could see the rules of the sport were made by the ones who had the most money on the table and as I had no money close to what they had so I needed a stake to play at the table.
Things have changed somewhat and that's a good thing. Now I revert to the original premise of this thread ... in essence ... where does it go from here?