Formula 1 vs the NFL
Formula 1 is, unquestionably, the most popular auto racing in the world. Unfortunately, much like soccer, it’s absolutely huge pretty much everywhere except the United States. Some American investors are trying to change that by bringing Formula 1 back to the U.S. starting in 2012. A new track is being built in Austin Texas and the FIA has officially put the American track onto the schedule for next year. The question is, will this very expensive venture actually work?
When work on the track, and the 2012 schedule, had first started they were originally planning to put the Austin race right in the middle of the hot Texas summer. This clearly wasn’t going to work though. Now Formula 1’s governing body, Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), has moved the race date to November. The weather will undoubtedly be much more enjoyable, but there are is one major problem with putting a racing event on in November, on a Sunday, in the United States: football.
No matter what old-timers might say, football is America’s past time. Nothing beats football television ratings on Sunday afternoons in the United States. Trying to get Americans to watch a race with odd-looking cars, being piloted by foreign guys with funny-sounding names, when their favorite football team is playing will be a monumental task. The other big problem is the channel that the race is likely to be on. For the last couple of years all of the F1 races in the U.S. have been split up between SPEED and Fox. SPEED carries almost all of them, with Fox picking up a small handful of them during the summer when, frankly, nothing else is on. Fox would be the perfect station to air the F1 race on then, so that it would be available to everyone. Unfortunately, Fox is one of the NFL’s partners, and it’s very unlikely that they’ll opt to show this race instead of their highly profitable football.
Everything is still open to change especially whenever the FIA is involved. I know I’ll be watching the race no matter what afternoon it ends up being on, but how about the rest of you?