The new series will only work if fans actually watch. That would drive up media rights fees and spur potential sponsors to try to reach a very desirable audience.
This is valid - and ultimately where this all needs to go, to make a sustainable business model out of it.
The challenge, and I have said this here on the forum NUMEROUS times, in the largest media market in the world, the U.S., Endurance Sports (all of them - running, cycling, triathlon, nordic skiing, swimming . . .), are totally off the radar screen. There's a bot of hype coverage and interest during the Olympic Games every 4 years, IF, the U.S. has a contender/winner, but then it fades back into obscurity for another four years. We know what Lebron had for breakfast this morning but can't find ANYTHING about what is going on in running, cycling or triathlon.
The only time that there does seem to be coverage that breaks through is some big doping bust (which never puts the sport in a good light), or there is some freak running a marathon every day for a year - so the sport is looked at as some freaky carnival side show!
Part of this challenge in North America (the U.S. and Canada), is that there is little if any what I call Endurance Sports Culture. It's all Pro Team stick & ball sports all the time. In many other countries around the world, after Soccer, which is the #1 Sport, cycling is often the #2 Sport in terms of media coverage - so there is respect and understanding of what endurance sport is all about. It's why you see more triathlon coverage in the sport media in Europe! Ironically, the estimates of the number of people who pin on a bib number and enter a running, cycling or triathlon race in North America each year is 50 million!! So there is sizeable market of people who, would be the first layer of interest, one would think/hope!
Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog