Allan Holland
Allan Holland

HOLLAND: Streaming Options

There are an amazing number of races available to watch in one’s living room with live streaming via the internet.

Every year there seems to be more and more sprint car tracks becoming available and this year has the most. I’m only using two of the streaming services and still can’t keep up with it. I even find myself watching some of the super late model shows and there are plenty of those as well.

The streaming services have been around a few years, but I only started watching them the last year. My internet service in both Florida and Pennsylvania has never been the quickest. Both locations are in a rural areas and buffering can be a problem. Recently both services have become much better, which allows for more efficient video streaming.

Just about every sprint car track and sanctioning body offers some sort of live streaming option. Many are grouped in with a monthly or yearly plan but some require paying directly to the track for a one-night purchase, similar to a race ticket.

I use two services but there are others out there covering almost every sprint car track and sanctioning body one can think of. SpeedSportTV probably covers the most amount of racing with tracks all over the country and with every type of race car imaginable. They also allow the tracks or websites using the service to put their own name on the broadcasts.

When I come home from a race on the weekend, I enjoy watching the West Coast sprint car tracks while I am doing some work. The California tracks are usually still running after midnight East Coast time and that works out nicely for me.

I also enjoy watching Huset’s Speedway in South Dakota on Sunday nights. I’ve been there a few times and it’s a long drive from Pennsylvania. It’s much easier to watch it right in my living room. I also find myself watching other features from around the country the next day that I missed the night before.

When I’m in South Florida, there are no races to go to and I switch between many races looking for the one running heats or features. I follow along with online scoring applications to see which track has heats or a feature coming up next. I imagine a lot of fans do the same thing. It is also much easier with two televisions set up, and I just switch the sound back and forth.

In one night, one is able to witness many different tracks, surfaces and announcers. There are many dusty tracks out there and announcers who don’t look at the monitor. Some announcers are talking about one thing while the video is showing something else. Broadcasting everything live shows all of the mistakes.

Something else that happens in other states is they have many divisions besides sprint cars. In Central Pennsylvania, we are spoiled with usually just one other division and many times it’s another sprint car class.

Many tracks make viewers wait through all of the back-up divisions and run the sprint car feature last. The sprint car feature is always run first in Central PA with the second division last.

One thing missing when watching races on streaming video is the fact that the atmosphere of the event doesn’t translate to video. We also can’t experience the people or the different types of track food while sitting in our living rooms. I still want to get out there and witness it live.

The streaming just makes it nice when you can’t get to a track. Hopefully, all of this streaming video of races helps to invoke fans to get out to some of these tracks that they have never visited.

I just wonder how all of this is working out financially for the tracks as this streaming really took off quickly. Hopefully, they are all making some money from this on those nights when the weather isn’t so good and the stands look empty.

If not, there is going to be a lot of streaming rights negotiating taking place when contracts run out.End Bug

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