That’s when the network will follow through on an idea that was born earlier this year and televise the always exciting Lucas Oil Challenge Cup races live from Lake Elsinore (California) Motorsports Park on Sunday, October 27.
It will be the first live telecast of a motorsports event on MAVTV since Lucas Oil purchased the network in 2011. It’s also a benchmark for the future of the network.
Jason Patison, MAVTV’s programming director, said “the decision to televise the Challenge Cup live was made the middle of this year. Once SPEED transitioned to Fox Sports 1 we decided that we were going to be the new motorsports destination for automobile enthusiasts everywhere. To that end, we realized that we needed to bolster our live programming, and what better place to start than with the Lucas Oil Challenge Cup?”
The network was purchased to broaden the scope of the marketing and branding of Lucas Oil. In addition, Forrest Lucas, founder CEO of Lucas Oil, vowed to make sure that grassroots motorsports always has a place to air on national television. The company already owns and operates a production company, Lucas Oil Studios, that produces over 300 hours of original programming for 7 different networks yearly.
Production Studio manager Dave Wonser said the Challenge Cup is “an essential part of our efforts to build the network. We’re planning to start off with at least one live event per month. We’re televising the Challenge Cup, the Chili Bowl, East Bay Late Model Winternationals, the Show Me 100 (Late Model race), King of the Cage MMA events and all of the 1st Motos of the Lucas Oil Pro Motorcross Championship series. And as the network grows the goal is to have even more live programming.”
The decision to kick off its live motorsports with the Challenge Cup and focus mainly on the race between the Pro 2 and Pro 4 trucks was an easy one in many ways, because the production company has been shooting and distributing the off road races since Lucas Oil took over the series in 2009. As a result, Wonser said, “we are very familiar with the ins and outs of shooting the event, the kind of delays that can occur and so on.
“The unpredictability of off road racing can definitely present challenges with regards to timing,” Wonser said. “We’ll be building several features and stories to have on hand in case of such delays.”
Director Jeff Manhart and producer Chris Bond will be working with MAVTV’s regular off road announcing team – host Ken Stout, color commentator Cameron Steele and pit reporters Rob Klepper and Erin Bates – and with 65 production crew members, 13 cameras (8 on the track, 2 point of view, 2 Pit Cameras with the announcers and 1 Helicopter Camera) and 15 microphones. Manhart has extensive television motorsports experience and in recent years has directed both AMA Monster Energy Supercross and Lucas Oil Motocross series shows.
The ground-breaking MAVTV telecast will begin at 5 p.m. EDT/2 p.m. PDT and is scheduled to last two and a half hours.
MAVTV can be found on Direct TV on Channel 214 and on DISH on Channel 248 or by consulting your cable network’s program guide. For more information, log onto www.mavtv.com.