The Kart Show: Behind the scenes

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Just before the New Year Alan Taddei from TDi Media announced he would be launching ‘The Kart Show Live’ it was a proposed six episodes which would stream live on Facebook with Alan being joined by different guests each show Alan, who films, produces and commentates on various Motorsport programmes including Super One, talked to us earlier this week to tell us more about ‘The Kart Show’ it’s concept and how it has all come around. 

“The show has come about as a consequence of me investigating livestreaming for the minibikes championship we film, who are after that for their race meetings alongside, or even instead of the TV coverage. I have spent the last three months looking at the various kit needed to do it professionally, including the ability to incorporate video clips (maybe to demonstrate the replay of an incident) graphics, and even have guests in the livestream via Skype, as we did in the first episode when Jake Sanson was on the show from Essex, with me in North Wales.”

Alan filming at a Bike event
Alan filming at a Bike event

So effectively this is where ‘The Kart Show’ was born. When I first saw Alan’s promo video of ‘The Kart Show’ I was under the impression it was a project he was working on with Super One and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who thought that! However, this is not the case with Alan investing a lot of his money to start this new project on his own. The shows have been a hit so far, but that’s no with one or two teething problems.

“The learning curve has been huge: the first show livestreamed okay but the computer used to run the specialist software locked up in the last ten minutes of the show, and as a consequence whilst the show could be viewed live, it failed to save to Facebook so it could be watched after the stream ended. As a consequence of that I am now using by Mac Pro I use for video editing, which is proving capable without similar cpu issues. This week another disappointment: having spent the whole day packing, unloading and setting up to film on location at the Super 1 HQ…. we find that the internet connection was simply not capable of handling the stream. Day spent all for nothing…. although it was a big lesson learned and we will ensure that we don’t do that again!……..We are going to re-do the show one day next week from my place.”

The TDi Media Crew
The TDi Media Crew

A lot of karters were certainly disappointed the live stream couldn’t go ahead last night with John Hoyle from Super One. The good news is that it will happen next week at TDi Media where both shows have been broadcast from so far. I’m sure most people involved with UK Karting would love to see ‘The Kart Show’ continue on a regular basis, but for that to happen Alan will need help with the costs of the production.

“Ultimately I would like to make the Kart Show Live a regular weekly show, but that depends on support from Sponsors and the trade, and I am not convinced the support will be there, however popular the shows are. At the moment I have planned another four shows including the one we now have to do again. The effort going into each show is significant. There’s a lot of pre-planning required, and some shows could involve filming interviews on location for playing back during a show for example. That in itself would involve travelling and time, all of which has to be funded. The response so far from those watching has been extremely positive, but the response from the trade has been zero. Even when posting requests for kart clubs to send in their news, information on race meetings etc., I have had precisely nothing back whatsoever.”

Show 1 Poster
Show 1 Poster

Realising the potential of the live stream Alan immediatley started to get other ideas of how this could incorporated into Karting in the UK in more ways. Live streaming exist in various Karting events around the World including the Rotax Max Euro Challenge, CIK-FIA European Championships and X30 Euro Series. But what does it actually take to be able to do this? And how does the cost compare to televising events?

“It would be great to do some livestreaming of race meetings, but the logistics and costs are arguably as much if not greater than doing a post production edit for TV. Whilst you can hire in or buy kit capable of generating a dedicated 4G wifi signal for streaming, you have to pay for the bandwidth used in that case. if you had, say, 2,500 people view the stream live for an hour each, the bandwidth costs for 2500 viewing hours would not be cheap.”

“I would love to see the “Kart Show Live” concept continue as a regular news show about the sport, driven by questions and engagement from viewers, but it needs to be funded sensibly if it is to continue. We could consider doing video on demand with a small fee (£3.99 maybe) for race meetings, but I am not convinced that would be popular enough to pay a crew for filming it and fund the kit we need to acquire to do it properly, especially if a decent internet connection is not available and we need to use a 4G wifi solution.”

It’s clear Alan is already trying to think a long way ahead on how to keep ‘The Kart Show’ going, I think for now the karting community should get behind the show and enjoy it, if it has enough demand I think it’ll find a way to continue.

Written by Chris McCarthy

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