Streaming and filming BriSCA meetings
Articles,  Camerardery


Online streaming  ::  The Promoters’ Dilemma

Streaming of meetings is a subject that’s gathering momentum.  Inflation, the cost of living crisis and rising fuel costs mean that fans (and drivers) are more selective in what meetings they can attend without detriment to putting food on the table and keeping a roof over their heads.

Personal filming of stock car races has been a thing since cine cameras became affordable for home use.  Not surprising really as the filmmakers can get close to the action.  The opening of YouTube allowed a platform for sharing these.  As a result enthusiasts are providing a valuable archive.  One drawback of these is the occasional commentary which adds nothing to the video.  I’ve seen the odd few where the voice-over is merely a monotonous toned read out of the car numbers as they pass-by which viewers can see for themselves.

2023 BriSCA F1 world championship
The 2023 World Final was available online

Moving on, with the rising popularity of social media, Facebook and a periscope live-streaming app for smartphones made it easy for the supporter on the terrace to share the on-track action.  Not surprising this would annoy the promoters.  They took the view this would be taking away potential footfall through their gates with the corresponding loss in income.  There was also a copyright question.  Not to mention what rights Premier Sports TV held to provide highlights would be compromised by the public streaming meetings.


The past couple of years has seen a shift in attitude with promotions adopting streaming services.  Some offered free streams to gauge uptake and standard of coverage.  There was a feeling that a fee of around £5.00 for the feed provide increase revenue into the promotors pocket.  While a fair comment, to achieve that, the promotion needs to make a mighty investment to produce that streaming facility.  

One promotion has gone fully committed with Spedeworth TV. This is a subscription service with full access to all of their racing series at their tracks and promotions in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland. This covers both live and on-demand services even covering the 3 days of the 2023 world final from Northampton.

2024 and beyond

A new season is around the corner.  The fixture list has numerous weekend double-headers.  Consequently, there will be cost savings for fans and drivers.  Nevertheless, pressures remain on personal spending and disposable incomes.  As such streaming of meetings is likely to continue to rise.

So what’s to come?  I don’t know!  Some time ago someone commented on a tweet I did about Premier TV asking when there’d be live TV coverage.  At the time I thought it was a non-starter.  Apart from a potential drop in attendance and income, I considered there is too long of downtime between races for full meeting live programmes.  As technology has moved on, so streaming has become more viable and expected.  In the early days, my reservation was whether broadband infrastructure would be able to sustain the required level for streaming a quality feed. 

For the most part, the paying viewers will be looking plenty of bang for their pounds.  There will need to be some filler for the space between races.  The danger with that is that depending on what is involved the onscreen entertainment outperforms what’s available at the circuit.  For the purpose of maintaining attention there be colour commentary provided by a secondary presenter with driving experience, compare to football pundits.  While live is better is true, should the show in your warm living room at home outstrip what’s on offer at the track, there could be an adverse effect on the attendance.  Promoters will need to up the game for the terraces or face a squeeze on income.  By no means am I an aficionado of Speedway, but to my mind the Sky Sports acquisition of TV rights has undeniably created a downturn in the footfall at their stadiums. 


Unquestionably live-streaming of oval racing meetings is here to stay.  As I have shown the owners of the sport need to strike a balance with the output. On the positive side streaming opens up the sport to a wider market.  BriSCA F1 has drivers regularly appearing on the dirt tracks in the USA.  The BriSCA car builders rely on and import engines and parts from the USA.   In time the American motorsport may pick up on the UK small oval racing scene. To be sure, they love the combative nature of their sports.  See American Football and wrestling to mention just two.  Imagine their reaction if they adopt an interest in contact motorsport the is BriSCA F1.  Wouldn’t that be exciting with a vast market opening up to pay per view and the sponsorship opportunities that all this could create. 

One can but dream,,,