Should Desert Racing get more media coverage?

stephenrjking

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2015
Posts
662
RDC Crypto
1,119
Location
Duluth, MN
It should get more and it is engrossing. Following it is tough, though. It’s impossible to actually watch, and it’s not always easy to understand the dramatic moments as they’re happening.

Last year’s Baja 1000 tv show was very frustrating to me, because the race itself was gripping. There was a dramatic pass attempt by Bryce that damaged his truck (caught on video!), forcing a pit repair that was just long enough to be decisive. And there was an absolutely insane battle for the top three spots in San Felipe deep into the night, with trucks right on top of each other.

None of this stuff was in the tv show. And there was literally video footage to show.

The biggest event this year was the 7 blowing the engine from the lead.

It’s a GREAT sport that I wish were easier to show off to the masses. It’s just not easy, though.
 

JayQC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2016
Posts
273
RDC Crypto
409
Location
Canada
ESPN was on the ball in the 80's and early 90's. They were covering races in the US and Mexico. They were covering the Mickey Thompson stadium series. Nothing like a dude in a nice suit landing with the helo in a whoop section to interview racers in front of their balled up car. Must've cost them a decent penny to cover a pretty niche sport but they did it, and they did it well IMO.

It poked at the mainstream a few times. Current tech would significantly drop the budget, but it's still a niche sport for whatever reason.
 

Bro_Gill

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2007
Posts
15,687
RDC Crypto
11,227
Location
Big Bear, CA
You guys act like having 24/7 coverage of 1,226 miles would be easy if they just did it. Let me quote one of the best people this sport ever had- " I was racing back and forth with Parnelli Jones across Chapalla and we were having the greatest battle. I almost crashed several times and I thought, 'the only people seeing this battle are the jack rabbits and rattle snakes.' " That was Mickey Thompson who went on to start short course racing in the L.A. Colliseum and the MTEG series of stadium races. Why? Because it is IMPOSSIBLE to capture everything that happens and is significant at a desert race.
 

paranoid56

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2008
Posts
227
RDC Crypto
160
Location
Santa Barbara CA
BITD series shows on MAV tv, so thats nice. but about the only one. KOH also has amazing live coverage online. Mint 400 also has great live coverage. anything in baja seems to suck with coverage.
 

JayQC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2016
Posts
273
RDC Crypto
409
Location
Canada
You guys act like having 24/7 coverage of 1,226 miles would be easy if they just did it.

No one is actually saying it would be easy. Matter of fact it's almost unbelievable to me that ESPN and Marty Reid even did it for so long, probably losing money every race on insane logistics and transport in a time with no internet trying to get people into the sport. Every time I watch one of these classic shows on Youtube I cherish every second of them.
 

MTPyle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2018
Posts
2,489
RDC Crypto
5,345
Location
Draper UT
Can’t wait until Starlink has mobile antennas that would work on a race car. Live streams from anywhere would be a game changer.

The real issue is uploading. You can’t do a show unless you have stable connection.

Dave does an amazing job at KOH but that’s a relatively smaller area. But it takes a lot of equipment. I have seen the amount of batteries they have to power the remote comms sites and it’s crazy.

Hard to do that in a spread out race. Way easier in a loop race.

The MAV BITD shows are a joke. They know nothing about the race. Might as well give the content to someone that was not even at the race and have them produce the show months later. Oh wait, that’s what they do. Haha

Mike
 

stephenrjking

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2015
Posts
662
RDC Crypto
1,119
Location
Duluth, MN
You guys act like having 24/7 coverage of 1,226 miles would be easy if they just did it. Let me quote one of the best people this sport ever had- " I was racing back and forth with Parnelli Jones across Chapalla and we were having the greatest battle. I almost crashed several times and I thought, 'the only people seeing this battle are the jack rabbits and rattle snakes.' " That was Mickey Thompson who went on to start short course racing in the L.A. Colliseum and the MTEG series of stadium races. Why? Because it is IMPOSSIBLE to capture everything that happens and is significant at a desert race.
Well, I did say "It's just not easy." I actually stated a week or two ago that a continuous broadcast of the 1000 is impossible with current technology, and Dave Cole, who knows a lot more about this stuff than I do, said it *is* possible.

It is certainly feasible to be better.

This is a bit of a tangent to the "publicity" question. The way mainstream vs niche works in today's media landscape is a lot different than it was in 1980 or 1990.
 

stephenrjking

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2015
Posts
662
RDC Crypto
1,119
Location
Duluth, MN
Can’t wait until Starlink has mobile antennas that would work on a race car. Live streams from anywhere would be a game changer.

The real issue is uploading. You can’t do a show unless you have stable connection.

Dave does an amazing job at KOH but that’s a relatively smaller area. But it takes a lot of equipment. I have seen the amount of batteries they have to power the remote comms sites and it’s crazy.

Hard to do that in a spread out race. Way easier in a loop race.

The MAV BITD shows are a joke. They know nothing about the race. Might as well give the content to someone that was not even at the race and have them produce the show months later. Oh wait, that’s what they do. Haha

Mike
Baja is as logistically challenging as any sporting event in the world to broadcast. Helicopter restrictions, spotty cell coverage, covering an enormous amount of ground in a single day: there's nothing like it.

The closest analogues are WRC and Dakar, with a hint of Le Mans thrown in due to the length of the race. Dakar has a moving logistics base, does not broadcast live, and has a discrete space in which each day's stage takes place. WRC broadcasts everything live, and it's really good, but also has limited (albeit large) space where it takes place. They adapt to the impossibility of comprehensive exterior cameras by using extensive in-car footage.

Le Mans is at a single location, lasts 24 hours, has full exterior camera coverage, and has announcers 24 hours a day. It also draws hundreds of thousands of fans live and millions on tv worldwide.

There's a cost-benefit issue at work here. The Baja 1000 is the pinnacle of the sport, but it is still a niche sport and the action at any one time might not be that compelling to watch. So there isn't a lot of demand to, say, buy time on a big network to show stuff live. It can be done, but you need some cash, and the cost for really comprehensive coverage *right now* is relatively high for what you're getting.

But it's possible.

And, with starlink, a more affordable type of live coverage could be available within a year or two. Bryce Menzies has already broadcasted a majority of several BITD races using his own equipment and helicopter, and... it looked pretty good. The major limitation was cell coverage, a problem that starlink could help resolve. Then it's just a question of equipping enough trucks and cars with cameras and connectivity, signing a few agreements, and staffing a central production facility, and you can have live coverage of some kind for the entirety of the race. Not hard to improve that with some stationary cameras and perhaps a few local drone locations.

Yes, it would mostly be in-car, but WRC+ uses mostly in-car footage with announcers that love the sport and the coverage is outstanding. Baja doesn't have the wide fanbase, but it doesn't need to be WRC level either.

It can be done.
 

JayQC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2016
Posts
273
RDC Crypto
409
Location
Canada
Desert racing is a grassroots sports, especially in Baja.

Our primary reporting during the races actually comes from the fans.

It's impossible for anyone to put a camera on every mile of the course, but with current tech some fans are able to report with live video sometimes. The quality does not matter in the least.

Imagine if there was like a unified platform (from SCORE or anyone else) where fans who want to livestream could link their feed to.

Let's say that SCORE (or whoever does it, but I'm gonna say SCORE for the sake of simplicity) puts up a "Live Action" or whatever section on their website. SCORE could host their coverage there, but fans could also post their streams there and if possible SCORE could put banner ads on those streams maybe? In an ideal world we could donate money to those streamers and vote on good streams. SCORE could split donations with the streamers maybe? I actually wished there was a donation button on official SCORE livestreams if they can make a couple grand it's a couple grand. I tip my Baja streamers when I can and when it's good.

This is far fetched because a platform like that requires a significant amount of development but even if it's janky and lacks features in it's first few iterations, with some kind of collaborative platform like that, you wouldn't have to dig around Facebook/Instagram/Youtube to find them. Centralize most of them in one place and give fans an incentive to livestream. SCORE doesn't have to do ALL the work themselves, allow the fans to chip in, and within a couple years maybe it would catch on?

Grassroots fan coverage encouraged by a grassroots organization to promote a grassroots sports. Very "baja" use of tech.
 

dan200

#BSF200
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Posts
16,308
RDC Crypto
9,146
Location
Tempe, AZ USSA
Didn't the network coverage of Baja go away because someone crashed into an announcer, killing them?

Another thought- With the state of environmentalism we are living in, do we really wanna be on TV right now? Imagine the outrage "Karens" who have never heard of the Baja 1000 might have about us smashing down cactus and running over eazy ups.
 

MTPyle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2018
Posts
2,489
RDC Crypto
5,345
Location
Draper UT
Love it. crowd sourced media coverage of off-road racing.

The sad thing is the ones that abuse it would make it not work. Imagine giving the general public access to a road side digital billboard. There would be dick pics everywhere. Haha.

So the challenge would not be a technical one but a enforcement and sensor ship challenge.

Mike
 

Dave Cole 4454

KING MAKER
Joined
Sep 1, 2010
Posts
837
RDC Crypto
5,885
Location
Lake Arrowhead, CA
Crowdclipper.com

We started the process 2 years ago. Not quite there yet.

I am positive you could have world class coverage of the 1000. It would cost about 500k...or 450k more than SCORE seems interested in paying.

This is not a dig on SCORE. Its simply not their business model. They are in the business of providing epic adventures. They delivered in spades.
 

JayQC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2016
Posts
273
RDC Crypto
409
Location
Canada
I had no idea that was a thing.

The site actually looks pretty good I'll keep an eye on that. Thanks for the post.
 

Tom_Willis

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2001
Posts
3,073
RDC Crypto
1,311
Location
oak hills
Didn't the network coverage of Baja go away because someone crashed into an announcer, killing them?
ESPN cameraman was standing IN FRONT of the snow fence used to create a turn at the finish line of the SCORE Fireworks race in Barstow. There was another fence probably 30' behind it, which was where he should have been standing. He had been told (yelled at) by several people to gtfo of there, but he stayed. Walker Evans and Ivan Stewart came through at the same time; Walker had actually got up over the back of Ivan & had one wheel on the ground. Ivan had slowed enough to make the turn but that big Dodge couldn't stop and went through both snowfences after striking the cameraman. He was literally knocked out of his shoes.
 

randy68

#1 Enemy of Google
Joined
Jan 21, 2009
Posts
3,265
RDC Crypto
3,323
Location
Chino Hills, Cal.
ESPN cameraman was standing IN FRONT of the snow fence used to create a turn at the finish line of the SCORE Fireworks race in Barstow. There was another fence probably 30' behind it, which was where he should have been standing. He had been told (yelled at) by several people to gtfo of there, but he stayed. Walker Evans and Ivan Stewart came through at the same time; Walker had actually got up over the back of Ivan & had one wheel on the ground. Ivan had slowed enough to make the turn but that big Dodge couldn't stop and went through both snowfences after striking the cameraman. He was literally knocked out of his shoes.
I was there, saw the whole nasty thing......(Can't fix stupid.)
 

Tom_Willis

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2001
Posts
3,073
RDC Crypto
1,311
Location
oak hills
I was there, saw the whole nasty thing......(Can't fix stupid.)
Do you remember people yelling at him? I remember hearing a woman's voice telling him to move. I just thought "gee, that's a stupid place to stand" and 2 minutes later, he got hit. There was a grey or silver Land Cruiser parked behind the 2nd snow fence (maybe 50' beyond the cameraman) that had been smashed as well. I believe his name was Mark Gleckle(?)
 

JayQC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2016
Posts
273
RDC Crypto
409
Location
Canada
Love it. crowd sourced media coverage of off-road racing.

The sad thing is the ones that abuse it would make it not work. Imagine giving the general public access to a road side digital billboard. There would be dick pics everywhere. Haha.

So the challenge would not be a technical one but a enforcement and sensor ship challenge.

Mike

Obviously yeah the only shafts we wanna see are driveshafts so there would be a need for some moderation but unless the fanbase and streamers grow to insane levels very quickly, the moderation would be manageable.

Hell, I would be browsing the streams non-stop so give me an access and I'll kick them myself. No need to pay me.
 

Bro_Gill

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2007
Posts
15,687
RDC Crypto
11,227
Location
Big Bear, CA
This type of thing happened more than once in Barstow. Back about 1984-85ish, I remember a guy with a brand spanking new Dodge D50 4wd pickup parking on the outside of a turn of the big roller powerline road coming back into the S/F at the college parking lot. Then his buddy in a clapped out IH Scout parked next to him and those 2 plus the Dodge's drivers kid get out, walk across the course, and set up some folding chairs to watch. Several of us told them that was a bad place to park, but all got the same general 'I know what I'm doing, FU' talk from the guy. As the cars came through on the first lap, it didn't take long for a 2 car (I think it was Temple's) to overshoot the corner while flying. We could see the driver trying to turn the steering wheel in the air trying to avoid vehicles in his flight path. As he came back to earth, he missed the Scout, but T-boned the D50 hard, through it in reverse, backed up and sped back out onto the course, missing just a few seconds. As the rest of us are laughing, the guy runs over to his shiny new truck, looks at the damade, pulls on the tailgate... and it fell on the ground! The guy then runs around to various other spectators saying he needed witnesses so he could sue the driver of the 2 car. He got a lot of FUs. I try not to think of the Barstow people as stupid, but Barstow seems to have an affect on people there.
 
Top