Motocross and TV – When Sponsorships Have Gone Too Far

LOPMX

This past supercross season, Monster Energy Supercross took a big step towards expanding exposure by having all but three of their races broadcast on the now popular and widely available Fox Sports 1, with the remaining three races broadcast on Fox Sports 2. This was a welcome shift from the supercross broadcasts on the now defunct Speed TV, and most fans were happy with the coverage.

Outdoor motocross coverage however, has been a different story. The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series over the last few years has been broadcast mostly between NBC Sports and NBC, but many races (including most first motos) weren’t available live or could only be accessed through the Alli Sports online stream. With the sport growing rapidly in popularity, fans have been asking for Lucas Oil Motocross to work out a better, more consistent television schedule with all races being aired live and on the same channel.

Instead, Lucas Oil Motocross will now air their first motos on the new MavTV, a channel that most people do not even get (unless they have DirecTV and the standard sports package). That means that Comcast users will be left out of the mix. To make matters even worse, NBC Sports, which usually broadcasts the second motos live, will be broadcasting the second motos for at least four of the races after they actually happen, some in random times such as 1:00am… meaning that most fans will already know the results hours before they get a chance to watch the races.

This is a horrible step back in live coverage for the sport of motocross, and many fans are very unhappy about it. Instead of using the opportunity of broadcasting live on a standard channel that mostly everyone gets, therefore increasing popularity and growing the sport, Lucas Oil is pretty much holding the motocross coverage hostage for the sake of MavTV, attempting to give the channel a boost in popularity instead of the sport.

What is important to realize is the motive behind this; Lucas Oil, the main sponsor of the pro motocross championship to the point where they’ve branded their name into the title of it, also owns MavTV. That’s right, Lucas Oil is more concerned with promoting their own channel than giving the fans a fair and widespread television coverage of the sport they love.

What’s ridiculous is that this may have potential to hurt both the brand of the outdoor motocross championship and Lucas Oil’s reputation. Lucas Oil is already the leading oil product company in the United States. They already get their name attached to the name of the motocross series. They even have the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts Stadium named after them, which has been regarded as the best stadium in professional football for the past 3 years in a row. They don’t need more exposure, they’re already winning the damn contest. But somehow instead of thanking the fans that have supported them, they are using their unique positioning to be selfish and hold the MX season for ransom in order to promote a television channel.

There’s not much the fans can do except complain to their current cable/dish providers and request for them to add MavTV (which is what Lucas Oil wants you to do) or to go to a place that has DirecTV to watch the channel. Me, I’ll just call around town to find the nearest bar with MavTV and pay for a couple beers instead of paying a cent to get that channel myself. Between all the energy drinks that these riders don’t even drink themselves, the “I’d like to thank (insert 10 sponsors)” speeches after a victory, and now this television coverage chokehold, I think we can officially say that the sponsorships that once helped build this great sport have gone too far.

 

For now, you can still watch all the races via the live steam on the Lucas Oil Pro MX website: http://www.promotocross.com/motocross/live

For the complete list of the Lucas Oil Pro MX television coverage, visit here: http://www.promotocross.com/mx/tv-schedule

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