IndyCar Series: Versus and DirecTV Need to Get This Figured Out

No NameAnalyst IJanuary 11, 2010

This dispute has gone on long enough, and with the Izod IndyCar Series beginning in March, it needs to end soon.

DirecTV pays Versus about 30 cents per subscriber, which is less than a tenth of what ESPN charges some distributors. Versus says it wants DirecTV to keep its distribution "comparable" to what it had.

Versus, which is owned by cable operator Comcast, has fallen to about 62 million homes with DirecTV's exit. Versus says it just wanted DirecTV to carry it "at the same market price" other distributors pay.

The real problem we have with this is that while it is still available to 62 million homes, there are still millions of homes that it's NOT available in. I previously had DISH Network, but after getting married and moving, we were left with DirecTV.

After being able to watch most all of the IndyCar races last year, I fear that I won't be able to watch many this year.

Thankfully, there are some races on ABC this year, but the majority of the races will still be shown on Versus. Even the races that are broadcast on ABC this season will still have the pre-race and qualifying events on the Versus network.

For a sport that is still trying to grow back into the mainstream of sports fans around the globe, not allowing Versus on DirecTV will do nothing but hurt it.

There were some websites where people could stream channels from their TV to the Internet for people to watch for free, but after awhile, the networks would find out about it, and it would be taken down.

As a big IndyCar Series fan, I want as much of the sport as I can get, which includes all of the pre-race activities, as well as the practices and qualifying each weekend.

If these two are unable to reach a deal by the start of the IndyCar Series season, I feel I won't be the only fan upset about this.

I understand money and business is a major priority, especially in these times, but people are switching from DirecTV to other providers because of this. If I had the choice, I would probably do the same.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.