By Brandon Rohde
Hello to all LiveRC fans! Due to the overwhelming number of questions we are receiving in the LiveRC chat room, Facebook Messenger, and email, I wanted to post a public statement on why we are not in attendance at this years ROAR nationals. This was a very difficult decision for us to make because we love going to the races and broadcasting them.
Over the course of late 2017 and all of 2018, we have been in negotiations with ROAR about broadcasting this years nationals and renewing an agreement that was made back in 2011. In this past agreement, LiveRC was to send a representative (or full crew if we choose) to all of the ROAR nationals. We agreed to do this at no cost, pending that Internet was available at the facility, and that we had exlusive rights to the live broadcasting. Last year, ROAR was gracious enough to allow our crew member at smaller races to share a hotel room with an RMT member, and at 2 events, provide a full hotel room. We do thank them for that, as sponsorships on some of the smaller races such as nitro on-road nationals and paved on-road nationals are non-existent - we generate no revenue off those events.
In full transparency, the reason that we ask for exclusive live broadcasting rights is because it is the only way to ensure that everyone goes to LiveRC to watch live video. We provide the video for free, but we generate revenue to pay for the broadcast through banner ads, commercials that are played between races, and Bonus Lap membership fees if a user does not want commercials. In exchange, we are live for the entire event, not just select races, and we provide a moving camera for all main events as well as hundreds of high quality photos of nearly every participant so they can remember the event. At bigger viewership races such as the Nitro Off-Road Nationals, we provided full-time moving cameras with the full production, all free of charge. The costs that we need to cover for these events include, but are not limited to: airfare, rental car, fuel for the car, employee salary, liability insurance, equipment insurance, cost of equipment, server and bandwidth expenses, and more. We feel that providing all this free of charge to the viewer and at no cost to ROAR or the event organizer is a fair trade off in exchange for exclusive live broadcast rights to protect our own investment.
As we tried to negotiate a renewal of these terms this year, ROAR was unwilling to grant exclusive live broadcast rights. Since these events are owned and sanctioned by ROAR, we must respect that decision. After being told that ROAR would not continue our agreement, we did make a counter offer to continue covering these events with no exclusive media rights if ROAR would be willing to cover the travel cost and employee salary. We did not receive a response to this offer.
ROAR has been very clear that we are welcome to come to these events. Unfortunately, it is not a financially viable business option for us to continue sending someone to these events, especially in todays market with extremely limited industry marketing budgets to sponsor races. We will continue to send our crew to plenty of other events each year who are willing to work with us on these terms.
In regards to the Electric Off-Road Nationals that are going on right now, we are fully supporting ROAR by providing a live streaming platform, tools for on screen graphics, live scoring, results, etc. However, we have no affiliation with the production of the event. Unfortunately, we have had quite a number of complaints yesterday and today because people think that we are responsible for the content on the broadcast. I feel that it is in our best interest to be very transparent with what exactly is going on, and why we have not been in attendance for any of the 2018 ROAR Nationals, with the exception of the nitro off-road nationals where we honored a contract that was signed with the event organizers back in 2017.
We understand that our reasoning for not being there may cause a mix of opions on both sides. We do WANT to be there very badly, however we also need to make sure that we maintain a financially viable business model to ensure that we are able to continue broadcasting all of the other great events over the course of the year.
If you would like to send your feedback to us, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to see LiveRC back at the ROAR Nationals, you may contact the ROAR executive committee at the following URL:
We hope to see you at the races soon!