Friday's announcement that the final DMG Superbike race of the season, scheduled to co-exist with the World Superbike championship at Laguna Seca on the weekend of September 29, won't have any television coverage was an embarrassing admission for the series.
The press release announcing that fans won't be able to see the final race on television stated the reason for the lack of TV was "due to unresolvable complications in the production arrangements for the event".
Longtime television producer Chet Burks was quoted in the same press release, stating, "Despite the best efforts of all involved, the unexpected contractual and financial elements that have arisen for this event aren't feasible. We really regret that this is happening but we simply can't come up with the funds we need to purchase production for this event."
A complete lack of television coverage at the final event of the season is not how any professional race series wants to go into a long off-season as it does nothing for the credibility of the series. While officials,
series cheerleaders its remaining fans and teams may laugh off suggestions that the series is broken, in dire straights or even unfixable while DMG is in control, having no television at the final round of a national championship may well be an "actions louder than words" situation. Clearly DMG does not have the funds, or Jim France and co will not spend the funds, to adequately support the series he and his partners paid the AMA $12 million dollars for and were thereby entrusted with shepherding into a new era of success that the AMA was ostensibly incapable of achieving. Instead, situations like this make the AMA Pro Racing regimes of Scott Hollingsworth and others look hugely credible.
Troy Corser battled Jamie James for the AMA Superbike title in the final round of the championship at Road Atlanta in 1994. That race had television coverage. Not live, but it was shown on TV. That was nineteen years ago.
Any criticism of the series gets an almost immediate recoil from some corners, but it's indisputable that DMG Superbike must have set some kind of a record when it lost four rounds of the championship for 2013. This happened when M1 promotions group decided not to promote rounds at Homestead, Road Atlanta and NOLA, and the series also lost the longstanding round at Sears Point Raceway. The series lost four rounds in one season. Can it afford to lose more and remain sustainable? It is heavily rumored that Laguna Seca's 2014 MotoGP event will have as a support card Moto2 and Moto3, not DMG.
In some corners, criticizing the DMG series and how it operates and "promotes" AMA Pro Roadracing is essentially kicking a dead horse. That as it may be, a lack of TV at the final event of the season, coupled with rumors of more rounds dropping from the '14 schedule, is a scary new low for the championship.
Jim France and DMG were supposed to take the AMA Superbike series to levels that mere workaday AMA Pro Racing goons were incapable of achieving. No TV at the pivitol final round of the championship because of a lack of funds is an outcome that no one would have ever predicted when AMA sold roadracing to Daytona Motorsports Group.