NBC Trying to Develop an Action Sports Tour Along the Lines of Golf and Auto Racing

Last week The Washington Post published an article that talked about NBC's effort to start an action sports tour as a source of programming to intrigue a younger audience. The Dew Action Sports Tour is in its second year of existence. It's co-owned by NBC and Live Nation, Clear Channel Communication's event production subsidiary.

Believe it or not, the organizers have sunk an estimated $30 to 50 million into its success. I hope it works out for them.

This weekend, the tour stopped in Louisville, KY for The Panasonic Open, where Bob Burnquist won the skateboard vert competition and Simon Tabron took the BMX vert honors.

The tour will continue on to:

I can't really get into these sports myself. What interests me about these competitions is the fact that television networks are taking such a big stake in trying to get them off the ground.

One thing that's certain is they're trying to make these events spectator-friendly and not just made-for-TV spectacles. The tour drew an estimated 36,000 fans last year in Louisville over four days. The finale in Orlando five months later drew almost 60,000.

If it was all about local turnout for the event, however, NBC would do better to get behind something like the Commerce Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship or the Boston or New York Marathons, which draw hundreds of thousands of spectators to one-day events.

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