2003 is the perfect year for FIRST to bust out into the glorious realm of real television broadcasting. We as the participants in the FRC need to rally for this with FIRST, and 2003 is definitely the perfect year. Why, you may ask? I’ll make a list.
No Olympics for 2003. I’ll pick up with this in a minute.
All sports except the mechanical sports - Battlebots, Robot Wars, and TLC’s Junkyard Wars - have lost ratingas for three years running.
People are demanding new reality-based programs that don’t feel like Survivor.
The big players in the broadcasting biz just lost a whole group of around a dozen shows, and they desperately are looking for new content.
Okay, so now that we have a bit of premise, lets see whose offices we flame with enough letters to swamp even the finest team of mailboys. Of course, these are not ‘begging’ letters, rather they are to be letters about how interesting and just sheer cool the FRC is. First, let’s figure out who owns what. I could be wrong with a few of these, but I’m going by memory and it’s late.
Disney: Disney Channel, ESPN Networks, ABC, ABC Family
NBC: NBC, MSNBC, CNBC
Time-Warner: WB, TBS, Discovery Networks, TLC, CNN
Fox: FOX, FOX Sports Net, FX
MTV: MTV, VH1, TNN, CBS
They’re really the big players that we should be concerned with. Of course they all have more extensive network lists, but these listed are the widest-reaching of the big players.
Now, about those individual big players.
Disney is a core sponsor of FIRST as we all know, and they have a lot of eyes that they can reach. Definitely a top priority.
NBC reaches as many or more eyes as Disney, and has no Olympics in their 2003 schedule, which may be more flexible than others, as it frequently is.
Time-Warner is definitely the most extensive media company on the planet. They have the widest audience possible, and the most programming space. Probably our best bet after Disney.
FOX lost some of its core programming across its board this year, and is really looking for fresh material, notably a new reality program. Definitely a shot at it.
MTV’s networks mainly wouldn’t want the FRC, but CBS might, as a good mechanical-sports program could boost their ratings where they want them, as they’ve recently publicly said.
We and FIRST must work hard for this. eMails with thousands of names don’t work too well, but individual team eMails and real letters would hit hard with the networks. But the FIRST organization has to move as we do. Dean, you’ve got another product to sell, and this is a surefire hit.