Could ESPN/ABC Be Letting Indycar Go?
Adam Stern has brought glorious news to the racing world. ESPN/ABC appears to be noncommittal to the idea of renewing their contract with the Verizon Indycar Series. Huge news for anyone that watches the first part of the Indycar season.
ABC/ESPN has televised the Indianapolis 500 every year since 1965. Recently though the coverage has been absolutely atrocious. Specially with the commentating team of Allen Bestwick, Eddie Cheever and Scott Goodyear. Essentially Bestwick is working two garden gnomes who have the personality of trees.
The coverage of the Indy 500 isn’t spectacular. In the closing laps the ABC director generally spends more time looking at the contending drivers wife or girlfriend while split screening the actual race. The promotion is usually three days before the actual race. Cheever and Goodyear display no emotion during the broadcast and constantly miss on track activity.
This weekend in Detroit was just another display of the truly awful commentating. Cheever and Goodyear provided no color to some pretty great passes. Will Power passed Simon Pagenaud on the outside, nothing. Conor Daly was leading, finished second for Dale Coyne, nothing. Sebastian Bourdais should be surprised to know he raced for the Toyota F1 team (really Toro Rosso).
Every week they continually out due themselves in how bad a booth can be. Bestwick can only do so much, it’s hard when two oak doors are your partners. NBC Sports televises the second half of the Indycar season and they employ 9 people to be color. They have all the color commentators.
ABC/ESPN could easily fix their issues. A better booth is a great start. Dario Franchitti is free, he’s driven these cars and he’s really entertaining. Anyone at this point would be better than who they have now.
If they don’t want to renew their deal though. There won’t be a tear shed in the racing world. No one is sitting around saying “man I miss Cheever and Goodyear” instead everyone will be popping confetti cannons.
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