The vast majority of the 17 race Monster Energy Supercross schedule is carried on live television by the Speed Network.
However, on five occasions in 2013, the high-flying, stadium-based series will have its events shown on a tape-delay basis by CBS. While these races which will not be shown live may frustrate hard-core fans, the added exposure provided from the more known entity offers the opportunity for a greater number of potential fans to see the action.
The second trip of the season to Anaheim this weekend will provide the first airing of Supercross on CBS in 2013. The race will be broadcast on Sunday in the early afternoon in an excellent time slot prior to the start of the NFL playoff games. Next week's event in Oakland will also be shown on CBS as well as races from St. Louis in March along with those in Minneapolis and Seattle held on back-to-back weekends in April.
CBS also produces four one-hour special shows during the season based on the sport of Supercross. A season preview, a midseason show, a year-end special and a feature on two-time champion Ryan Villopoto make up this additional programming.
The season's first two races in Anaheim and Phoenix were shown live on Speed. Due to those western locations, the start times for the events were 10:30 and 9:30 respectively in the eastern time zone.
Casual fans may not be willing to see the races through to their conclusions due to the lateness of the airings. The early afternoon showings may very well catch viewers who can watch the condensed event at a more convenient time.
As a result, those newly exposed fans may reach the point that they would be willing to set aside time for the live airings. And more importantly, they may become so enthralled that they would be willing to purchase tickets and attend a Monster Energy Supercross event in person.
For those tuning in for the first time, the 2013 season has been filled with interesting storylines. Davi Millsaps surprised almost everyone with his win in the season opener at Anaheim. Further, an injury during pre-race activities to star rider James Stewart and a disappointing performance by Villopoto added to the intrigue.
The Phoenix race proved to be a coming out party of sorts for rookie Justin Barcia. The rider, who has piled up a number of wins in Supercross Lites action over the past couple of years, earned his first victory on a 450cc bike in the stadium that serves as the home for Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks.
Barcia had won the Monster Energy Cup last year in Las Vegas but this was his first triumph in a Supercross points paying event on the big bikes.
There are plenty of reasons to watch this weekend's Monster Energy Supercross event from Anaheim. And with the race being on CBS, there are more potential viewers who might see the action, even if that action is on a tape-delay basis.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. Follow along with his Chase for the Sprint Cup series by clicking on the driver of your choice Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch.
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