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Jul 7, 2014

​Don’t Expect Any TV Or Internet Video Coverage Of AMA Pro Races Running During The Laguna Seca World Superbike Event This Coming Weekend

Fans at home were not able to watch on TV as Josh Herrin (2) won the AMA Pro Superbike Championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last September, and there's no word if fans will be able to see any AMA Pro Racing action from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on any video screen anywhere again this year. Photo by Brian J. Nelson/AMA Pro Racing.


By David Swarts

Round Four of the 2014 AMA Pro Road Racing series will begin this coming Friday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, in Monterey, California. The AMA Pro races will be held in conjunction with eni FIM Superbike World Championship races, and the event is likely to be the largest of the AMA Pro Road Racing season. But as of today AMA Pro Racing hasn’t been able to confirm if there will be any TV or Internet video coverage of its races--nor even a webcast on

In contrast, the two World Superbike races at Laguna Seca will be broadcast live in America on the beIN Sports network, available on DirecTV, Dish and leading cable service suppliers.

On June 12, Roadracing World e-mailed AMA Pro Racing and asked if the AMA Pro Superbike and Daytona Sportbike races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway would be webcast on Copied on the e-mail were AMA Pro Racing’s Chief Operating Officer Michael Gentry, Director of Communications and Technology Gene Crouch, Manager of Communications Patrick Buganski and Communications Coordinator Andrew Swain.

The e-mail was not acknowledged and we received no response. We asked Buganksi and Swain again during the AMA Pro Road Race event June 21-22 at Barber Motorsports Park, but both said they didn’t know.

Last week, calls to Crouch, Buganski and Swain at AMA Pro Racing headquarters in Daytona Beach, Florida went to voicemail and were not returned. Roadracing World then re-sent the June 12 e-mail to Gentry, Crouch, Buganski and Swain, but as of post time no reply or acknowledgement of the e-mail had been received.

Despite the lack of response, fans should not count on seeing the AMA Pro road races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca unless they attend in person and watch from trackside.

Last year, AMA Pro Racing’s much-heralded TV broadcast deal with Chet Burks Productions and CBS Sports didn’t include coverage of AMA Pro races held during the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. AMA Pro Racing kept that fact secret, and didn’t even notify Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca CEO/General Manager Gill Campbell. Along with AMA Pro teams and riders, she learned about the lack of TV coverage from Roadracing World.

Dorna, which promotes both the MotoGP and World Superbike series, owns and controls all the TV rights at its events. The Spanish company brings in cameras, equipment, camera operators and a director and rents its own production facilities. Coverage of support races has to be shot and edited using Dorna’s cameras, cables, personnel and equipment, and there’s a price for doing that.

A last-minute deal was brokered at the 2013 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, and it was announced in the middle of the race weekend that the AMA Pro races would be taped and broadcast at a later date on CBS Sports, which they were.

But when Dorna returned to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in September 2013 with its eni FIM Superbike World Championship, there was no TV coverage of the AMA Pro races at that event. Campbell said she considered herself lucky that Dorna voluntarily decided to feed video of the AMA Pro races to the media center, luxury suites, pit-lane TVs set up by AMA Pro teams and the big-screen TVs around the racetrack. But the at-event feed didn’t go beyond the racetrack, and didn’t generate TV exposure for teams and sponsors.

The lack of TV coverage factored into Michael Jordan Motorsports leaving the AMA Pro series and into several series and class title sponsors pulling out as well.

According to people with knowledge of the deal, there was no TV coverage of the AMA Pro races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in September because AMA Pro Racing owed Dorna money. In short, AMA Pro Racing did not pay Dorna what it had agreed to pay to get video from the MotoGP weekend in July.

As of post time, AMA Pro Racing still had not settled its debt from last year with Dorna.

Which is why fans should not count on seeing any video of AMA Pro Racing action at Laguna Seca.

Nothing on TV.

Nothing on big screens at the track.

Nothing on TV screens in luxury suites.

Nothing on team monitors along pit lane.

Nothing on the Internet.

Nothing at all.

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