Traditionally if you wanted to watch the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, you would have to wake up around 3am in the morning, freeze your butt off in your car for a couple hours while you waited in line at the gates, and then jockey for position somewhere reasonably unsafe on the race course to watch the cars and bikes fly past.
With poor cellphone reception, spotty video coverage, and no strong media deals, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has floundered when it comes to engaging race fans in the digital age. Add into it more restrictive fan zones, and the viewing experience has certainly diminished, thus taking away from this once iconic race.
However for the 95th running of the “Race to the Clouds”, America’s only true road race has a new media partner, Matchsports, who will live-stream the event with 22 cameras, for racing fans. This has the potential to be a huge win for the struggling series…assuming it works this time.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb rose to fame during a time when video wasn’t on-demand, and the internet wasn’t able to scoop TV broadcasts with results, photos, and video footage.
The race hasn’t kept up with media trends though, and it has thus suffered in popularity for it. Now looking to enter a new generation of racing, having a live video package is a windfall for the Pikes Peak organizers.
This is because it will allow Pikes Peak fans from around the world to follow the race, and the deal also sets the stage for future TV video packages, that can be broadcast in a timely fashion from Sunday’s running up the mountain – similar to how the Isle of Man TT works with its nightly broadcasts on ITV4.
Hopefully this means more fans tuning in, and thus raises the series’ profile both domestically and abroad. If you want to watch the live stream, you will have to sign-up first with Matchsports. The action starts at 8am MDT on Sunday, June 25th.