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May 6, 2002

Speed Channel Programming VP Calls Interruption Of Live AMA Supersport Broadcast An Anomoly

<BR>Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By David Swarts<BR><BR>Speed Channel Vice President of Programming/Production Rick Miner said that the interruption of the live broadcast of the May 5 AMA Supersport race from Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, California was "an anomaly".<BR><BR>"It was an anomaly because of the rain-out the night before," said Miner via telephone from his Charlotte, North Carolina office Monday. "It was a live show that it was interrupted for. It was a live post-race show that we do after every Winston Cup race. The (Winston) Cup event was originally scheduled for Saturday night, and the race was rained out and was re-started on Sunday, which is what caused the entire thing to happen."<BR><BR>The Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia was stopped on lap 66 of a scheduled 400 Saturday, May 4 for rain. The race was re-started at noon Eastern Time on Sunday, May 5.<BR><BR>"It's not something that will ordinarily happen," continued Miner. "In fact, I don't think there's another conflict all season. I guess if there's a rain-out, but I think there's only one more Saturday night race. Generally, if there's a NASCAR rain-out, the race goes to Monday. So it's a moot point. But this is something that we do in concert with Fox. It's the Fox. We use the Fox reporters on site. And it's a live show immediately following the race."<BR><BR>When told that AMA road racing fans were very disappointed about the interruption of the race, Miner said, "Understandably. We did make the effort to tell everyone that the race would be on in its entirety at 9:00 p.m. that evening, which it was and had originally scheduled to be. I understand the live race was interrupted and people don't like that."<BR><BR>Asked about the concern on the part of motorcycle racing fans that motorcycle programming has taken a backseat to NASCAR programming, Miner said, "I understand why they feel that way and they're not wrong. Everything they are feeling is correct. (But) it's one of those things that can't be planned for, which is, it's very unusual that there is a Saturday night race that's rained into Sunday."<BR><BR>Miner said that Speed Channel executives are getting and reading e-mails from angry viewers. "Absolutely. I've gotten some that are very interestingly worded. I can accept that. I understand their point."<BR><BR>When asked if he got to watch the AMA Supersport race from Sears Point, Miner said, "I got to watch the same amount you did." Miner then said that he planned to watch a tape of the race.<BR>