UPDATE: ESPN Objection
Regarding my article the other day on TV coverage (ABC vs Versus – May 20), I received the following response from ESPN which contradicts what I had said about their moving races to ESPN Classic, if the races went past their allotted time. The following is an excerpt of their comments:
With all due respect, this is simply not correct. ESPN has a policy of sticking with a live event until its conclusion, and we’re fortunate to have multiple networks available to us to serve sports fans. That’s why we have indeed stayed with golf or whatever until it ended, while starting a race telecast on another network and then switching to the originally-scheduled network when the other event ended. Fans of golf deserve the same respect as fans of the IndyCar Series. However, that policy also applies to racing on the other end of the telecast, and while I thought my memory was correct, I double-checked with our Programming department and there were no times when we left an IndyCar Series event and finished the race on another network.
If you have a specific example, please let me know, but simply making generalizations as you did in your piece is not accurate, and I’m sure you want to be accurate. There have been times when a race was rain-delayed or rained out, and then aired on a different network than originally scheduled, but I don’t believe that’s what you were talking about here.
My memory usually doesn’t fail me. I was confident this happened at least once in 2007. The reason I was so confident is that my brother does not get ESPN Classic. When the move took place, he was furious and had to call me for updates. After further discussions with ESPN last night, we determined it was the 2007 Michigan race which had in fact, been rain-delayed for two and a half hours. It was subsequently moved to ESPN Classic. It is not my intention to spread falsehoods on this site, so I want to clear up any misunderstanding immediately.