Earlier this week, the American Le Mans Series announced a multi-year television package with ABC/ESPN. For 2011, ABC is expected to air coverage of the races at Sebring, Road America, Baltimore and Petit Le Mans. These races will also be re-aired on ESPN2. ESPN2 will feature 2-hour telecasts of races at Long Beach, Lime Rock, Mosport, Mid Ohio and Monterey. All the races will stream live in their entirety on ESPN3.com but there lies the rub: ESPN3.com is only available if you get your television/internet through one of their approved carriers.
Here is my situation: I’m a DirecTV subscriber that gets internet through Time-Warner’s Road Runner. Although Time-Warner is an approved cable provider, because I don’t subscribe to their digital TV package, I don’t get ESPN3.
I see a lot of people are not happy with this deal because of the ESPN3 component. Although ESPN may be considered an upgrade to SPEED in terms of viewers, the problem is that there are just not that many options avaialble that will suit the needs of the series AND network as well as keep the fans happy.
ALMS President Scott Atherton held a teleconference with media to discuss the new deal. It was tweeted that Atherton admits the mixed fan response to the new deal and confirmed that the live race stream will be available on AmericanLemans.com. He also said that Canada will have access to the broadcast as well. ”