Sunday, May 26, 2013

KPRC 2 yanks the Monaco Grand Prix for news; racing fans revolt

UPDATE 5/28/2013 1:30PM
KPRC apologizes for Formula One Monaco Grand Prix dump

Here is a new thing for a TV station to have to deal with.

KPRC 2 did not air Formula One’s most prestigious race, the Monaco Grand Prix Sunday morning. From the complaints I'm reading on Facebook, the station aired its usual Sunday morning newscast and other regular programming instead (UPDATE: In place of Today and Meet the Press, viewers say infomercials ran since NBC was broadcasting the race and did not produce those shows this week).

Houston viewers are so revved up, because there have been commercials running on NBC (and KPRC) advertising the race for weeks apparently. In fact, this broadcast is considered special, because according to Autoweek, the race marks the first time this season that an F1 race was to be broadcast live on American network TV.

As I said in the first sentence, the social media thing is a new kind of PR crisis issue for a TV station to have to address. In the past, all viewers could do is burn out the station's telephone switchboard or fill up its email boxes.  Before that it would have been a sternly written letter!  Now viewers can publicly hijack the station's Facebook page.

For example, KPRC posted "What does Memorial Day mean to you?" on Facebook and answers like "In Houston it means no F1 race. Thank you KPRC!!!!!!" or "Boycott KPRC, watch ABC and FOX - they understand the racing community! thanks for messing up the greatest day in racing KPRC!" are coming in.

In fact almost every single post on the top of the KPRC Facebook page has angry comments concerning Formula One racing not airing.

To its credit, KPRC did the right thing and addressed the issue on Facebook with a link to watch online:

The decision was made not to air the Monaco Grand Prix on KPRC. We apologize to anyone who is missing the race. Here is a link to watch it online. It will also replay on NBC Sports.

Not sure this will put the brakes on the angry racing comments though.

Apparently channel 2 has pulled racing from Houston TV in the past. Reader Michael Galindo told that it happened with NASCAR back in 2001.

In case you missed it, Nico Rosberg won the race according to the New York Times.

Did Fox 26 KRIV take a swipe at KPRC later in the day on Facebook after all the morning controversy?:

Just an FYI. We will be showing the NASCAR Sprint Cup race LIVE at 5pm (the green flag drops around 5:15pm). Fox 26 News at 9 will be shown after the race. We've been promoting the race as live, and we'll show it live.

UPDATE 5/28/2013 1:30PM
KPRC apologizes for Formula One Monaco Grand Prix dump COMMENT: Click to leave your thoughts on this post here