The Verizon IndyCar Series is looking to step up their in-car video footage for the upcoming 2018 season for both of their broadcast partners, ABC and NBCSN. The press release issued this evening from INDYCAR promises “never-before-seen views.” They will mount the in-car cameras to various points around the car including the nose cone, the roll hoop, above and behind the driver’s head, the sidepod, rear attenunator, and the always popular visor cam. No doubt that more camera locations can yield more engaging video, especially more engaging b-roll footage for promotional and post-race productions. I wonder how much the additional angles will really add to the television product, though. I’m all for more angles, and I especially love the nose cone angle. No other angle conveys the raw speed of a racing machine than on the nose mere inches from the tarmac. Heck, I even use this angle for my autocross and rallycross videos specifically to enhance the sensation of speed.
The goal of this exercise is to enhance the on-screen product for INDYCAR’s broadcast partners, ABC and NBCSN.
“This is a unique opportunity to bring the sport even closer to the television audience,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., which owns INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “INDYCAR has experienced 38 percent growth in audience over the past four years and providing a firsthand look at the exhilarating action is a way to win over even more fans.”
It’s no surprise that NBCSN has a positive view of these new camera angles. Ever since their assumption of the Versus contract, NBC has been very enthusiastic about their IndyCar coverage.
“As the cable home of the Verizon IndyCar Series, NBCSN is proud to once again showcase the exciting racing that INDYCAR delivers at each event,” said Jon Miller, president, programming, NBC Sports Group. “Our schedule features iconic circuits like Long Beach and Road America and the final nine races of the season, including INDYCAR’s return to Portland, as we crown another INDYCAR champion on NBCSN in 2018.”
In ABC’s final contract year with INDYCAR, they seem eager to promote the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. The remainder of the season, unfortunately, does appear to be an afterthought for the network, as it has been for the past several years. In addition to the Indianapolis 500, ABC will air the season opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and the singular double-header weekend of the season, the Chevrolet Duel in Detroit.
“The Indianapolis 500 is one of the world’s iconic sporting events and it’s always an honor for ESPN and ABC to bring the pageantry and excitement to our viewers as we have for the past 53 years,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN executive vice president, programming and scheduling. “And with the other big events of the month of May at Indy as well as the season opener at St. Petersburg and the doubleheader in Detroit on our calendar, IndyCar Series fans will have the opportunity to enjoy a robust schedule of racing events from a diverse selection of venues.”
So what say you? Is this merely an enhancement for viewers that are already hooked, or will this be enough to keep the attention of the casual viewer and draw new fans to the sport?
I like the idea of more camera angles but hopefully it doesnt make the car look like a movie studio. I think Indycar has led the way in camera technology on a race car. Hopefully the video feeds for this won’t be behind the Verizon barrier that existed the last few years (at least I could not figure out how to view the 360 cameras without being a Verizon customer)! But it’s been a few years since I watched a full indycar race.
Verizon are out of Indycar at the end of the year as the series title sponsor anyway.
2018 marks my year of return to Indycars as my primary racing series and I turn my back to F1. I can only hope they(Indycars) improve their on-air presence and coverage while working with ABC and NBCSN. I remember seeing some atrociously bad broadcasts from ABC in the past. I think the racing should be dramatic this year.
This is the last year of the ABC contract, and their production last year was less than inspired. I think they’re simply cruising to the end of their obligations. The NBCSN on-air product has been pretty good.