View Full Version : Mountain Biking on TV
11-20-2002, 02:55 PM
Im doing some a research project and i thought you lot could help
Here's my hypothesis
TV coverage of extreme sports in the UK has increased due to the success of British nationals in these sports
Do me a favour and discuss - i know all you bikers hate the lack of coverage we get
11-20-2002, 03:01 PM
I have no clue about the UK, but US commericals have placed many more MTBs in the last few years. I was wondering about the stats on how people affect commericals or commericals affect people. I guess it matters if we are sheep or shepards too.
11-20-2002, 03:07 PM
Thats a good point actually - what about MTBing on TV anywhere in the world. has it increased or not and why?
11-20-2002, 04:08 PM
I have most certainly noticed an increase in US marketeers adding 'MTB'ing scenes' to sell products. I would attibute that to a grassroots type upswelling and popularity of the sport.
As far as coverage of races and professional mountain biking I have only ever seen it on 1 cable channel, occasionally.
11-20-2002, 06:35 PM
here are some stats on US cycling on TV.
Outdoor life Network, a Canadian cable tv station, aired 10 hours of mountain biking in 2002, and plans the same in 2003. There are 6 million OLN subscribers in the US. (OLN was originally available only on satelite, but i think you can request to get it from cable, now, too).
In 1999 (which is the latest stats/demos report released by USA Cycling), 265 hours of cycling aired on tv (OLN to be exact). Also in 1999, NBC aired 1 hour of the NORBA National Finals.
The trouble is that fit people are not real popular in pop culture. my husband was listening to an annoying talk show on the radio, and the callers were to call in and vote for the most fit athlete. they all called in and said that nascar drivers were the most fit athletes. ok!
people throw their McDonald's garbage out the window at cyclists.
what can i say? before cycliong hits mainstream, it has to have everyday american acceptance... our responsibility is to make it accessible to all...
11-21-2002, 03:52 AM
Yeh - the main problem we have in england is those old people who attack us! can be quite dangerous at times. anyway - BBC covered the world champs at kaprun for us but thats about it. the problem is that biking is quite popular in the UK with loads of new custom built trails appearing all over the place but its still not getting the coverage it deserves
02-06-2004, 01:41 PM
Its not just the fact that its cycling, its the fact that it doesn't make for good tv viewing. Try watching a cross country or downhill race, it sucks. You get to see what look like slow XC racers grinding around, or some rocket blow by for two seconds.
Boring when filmed with anything less than a helicopter (like the TDF) or some good old make you car sick watching it helmet cam!
The only thing that makes for good tv, whether its skate boarding, extreme cycling, motocross, or whatever, is if you can see a lot of action from a few central cameras. Otherwise you would need about 100 cameras for a ten mile course and you dont really feel what is going on in the race if its a true outdoor event.
That's why no one goes to spectate these types of events either. Stand around an hour to see someone come by once. That's another reason you are seeing 4 cross events, dual slalom and so on. You can sit on a bench and watch the all out 30 second race that it is.
And most Nascar drivers are in decent shape, takes a lot of strength to hold a car through hard turns. Formula 1 racers and motocross would probably make the top for fitness.
Now if we lined up all of San Antonios cyclists with cycling clothes on, I doubt the majority would look like extreme athletes! :o
So get a highspeed connection and watch what its really like at my site (http://www.pedalmasher.com)!
02-06-2004, 02:06 PM
I agree with Pedal 100%. Unfortunately, without changes (4x, short-track, etc), watching cross country isn't all that fun! There, I said it, let the flames begin :rolleyes: :p
The so-callled X-type-games are the best way for a bike to get onto the screen.
Then again, they do have ALOT of fishing and hunting shows (how did THAT one happen :confused: )
02-06-2004, 03:48 PM
They could do better with the downhill, all you have to do is look at downhill skiing and how that is covered. They just don't want to give it the TV time.
02-06-2004, 04:31 PM
I think OLN had it right for the 2002 season. Or at least as close as possible. They showed quite a bit of MTB racing, a hella lot more than they did for 2003 and what looks like 2004. Most of it was due to the series sponsor (Chevy Trucks, I think). They had a sponsor dumping a decent amount of money into the production of the TV coverage.
You are right that it would take a lot of cameras to get good coverage for a XC event and OLN did that. The best ones were the World Cup type events where there was a lot of double track. They had a motorcycle out there filming during the double track sections just like you see in the Tour. Then during the singletrack sections they cut to the various fixed cameras and would sometimes have a MTB'er waiting on the racers with a helmet cam to follow along with them for a while. But them the sponsor pulled out (same thing happened with the title sponsor for the NCS). C'est la vie!!
I think for XC to gain popularity the courses need to change. That's for TV coverage and for spectators at the event. There are two things you can do. One, shorten the course to a maximum of five miles if it is a large loop. That way the spectators see the riders more than 2 or 3 times plus they can walk and see a good majority of the course. Or if the course is longer in length it needs to loop back on itself many times, again so the spectators get to see more of the riders. A good example is the Olympic MTB course in Atlanta. I was lucky enough to live only 2 hours away back in '96 so I got to see the races. The course was great for spectators because it looped back on itself. You would only have to walk about 2 miles at the most and you saw at least 80% of the course which was around 9 or 10 miles.
I realize this might be difficult for most venues that already have trails established, but it wouldn't be impossible plus you may get more spectators. More spectators and TV time can only help the sport, not hurt it.
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