Introducing the Chamberlain Chronicles

Posted by Iannucci | 4/13/2009 | 7 comments »
Bookmark and Share

It's been a few days now since the .3 rating for the VERSUS debut at St Pete was dropped on us all. I still haven't figured out what exactly that means (I think we;re at 233 thousand households which, if they all happen to be like The Bradfords, is probably an acceptable number for now.

And even if the households aren't as populous, it seems this whole getting over leaving ESPN is now expected to take some time, and that's why there's a 10-year deal with the still-growing network. So maybe this isn't such a big deal after all.

Then again, DOWN 79%!!! *reaching again for paper bag*

However, shocked as your humble host continues to be at this ratings result, all the belly-aching in the world won't help make that number go any higher. VERSUS certainly put together a fabulous broadcast, and they had the most visible advertising plan we've ever seen, so they really did their part. They're trying.

Well, I've decided that instead of complaining about this ad nauseum I will do the same thing as VERSUS, which is to put a little personal effort into increasing this number. When the going gets tough, the tough get going, right? WRONG! The tough call their friends!

And that's exactly what I have in the last few days set out to do. The first person I called was my old neighbor Jennifer. She's an F1 fan, so I figured she might be willing to take a stab at watching some IndyCar on VERSUS. After hearing my request she said she "What's VERSUS?" Problem number one there. I told her what it was and she got back to me and said she could get it, but she had to pay extra, and with times being what they are she wasn't going to pay the extra $10 per month.

Next up was my current neighbor Jimmy, who's a fan of N-Word racing. He's admitted to watching the Indy 500, so I thought I'd ask him if he would kindly consider watching the next few VERSUS broadcasts and letting me know what he thought. "What's VERSUS?" he asked in a bit of deja vu. I let him know and he said he doesn't get that and with times being what they are...well, you get the idea. It's officially a trend now.

Lastly, in my desperation I went to my old friend Chamberlain, who's as big of a sports fan as you will find. He watches some auto racing, but not much, so I asked if he'd consider helping a friend out by watching some IndyCar on VERSUS. Now I know Chamberlain knows what VERSUS is because he's a huge hockey fan, so I asked if he wouldn't mind watching a few races and giving me some feedback.

"Sorry, I gotta work weekends" he tells me. But you can record them, right? "Oh, sure," he says. All I can think about is the clammy palms I get just thinking about ".3", so I told him "Do that and get back to me after each race." Tada! It's a deal, and I've snagged my first recruit.

So not only have I locked Chamberlain into watching, but he's promised to give a little feedback as well. It might be related to horse racing, but I don't care so long as he watches. In fact, feel free to try to proactively recruit some friends yourself to see if they can just devote a few hours on the weekend to watching, what with "times being what they are".

And if we can somehow get them all somehow factored into the Nielsen ratings, all the better.


  1. Matt Chamois // April 13, 2009 6:37 AM  

    The best way of us getting Indycars seen is by going to a sports bar or pub, either on nascab off weekends or when IRL races saturday nights/nascab on sundays. Ask to throw on the race, and if they decline, tell them you and your posse are leaving. Just don't let them see you walk out alone.

  2. Anonymous // April 13, 2009 7:10 AM  

    Heres my problem. I live in Canada, and I know all about Versus. Problem is, Canadian TV doesn't have Versus, and the races are broadcast on one of our national sports channel on delay at 3 am in the morning. And not only that, the cut out segments, so we don't even see the entire race! Oh I know all about Versu and would do anything to get it, but being Canadian, I am stuck with what I got. How do you like them apples? Add me to the .5.

  3. R.A. Porter // April 13, 2009 8:34 AM  

    If your friend Chamberlain is recording on a DVR, as long as he watches in the first 72 hours after broadcast his numbers will be incorporated into Nielsen's Live Plus-3 rating. That's the big one.

    Even if he's busy and can't watch, as long as he *plays* the recording in that time frame it'll count. I sometimes do that if I can't get to a recording for a few days: record then play it later that night with my television turned off. Then I can catch up to it whenever without worrying about my impact on the ratings.

  4. vitorfan // April 13, 2009 12:20 PM  

    I don't think it was wise for IRL to start the season off with a roadcourse. Vs did a good job of promoting the season opener, but if we want to gain more of a fanbase, a roadcourse is not the way to do it. Don't get me wrong, the coverage was good and it made for an decent race, but IMHO, ovals are a helluva lot more exciting. There's nothing like seeing open wheelers go 220mph, 3 wide, inches apart. Just my $.02

  5. Anonymous // April 13, 2009 2:28 PM  

    Ya every IndyCar fan on, myspace, facebook, etc. should just post that VERSUS has amazing coverage and go to to find the channel number in your area!

    Hopefully, VERSUS promotes the heck out of their station during the Month of May and the Indianapolis 500 when millions and millions from all over the world are watching!

  6. Anonymous // April 13, 2009 11:00 PM  

    Dude, you know what those ratings mean! People have spoken loud and clear by not watching that the IRL product stinks. People watched last year because the "merger" provide hope for AOWR. But, the capitulation leaves us one year later without races at Road America, Cleveland, Australia and Laguna Seca. We don't have turbo charged engines. The performance of the car is laughable and the look even worse. And, 1/2 the field has no business driving at "the pinacle" of open wheel racing.

  7. Chuck // April 17, 2009 1:10 PM  

    "The performance of the car is laughable and the look even worse. And, 1/2 the field has no business driving at "the pinacle" of open wheel racing."

    Um... this isn't a Formula One blog....

    *ba ZING!*