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Between the Motos: Feld Motor Sports' Linda Ardehali

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Supercross fans were lucky this past weekend to have Anaheim 1 broadcast live on Speed, but this weekend in Phoenix it’ll go back to its normal next-day broadcast. For fans who can’t make it to the race but want to follow all the action in real time, the Supercross LIVE! webcast is just the ticket. It’s been a part of AMA Supercross for over ten years, and although it’s not free anymore, the entertainment and race coverage is well worth the subscription price. For more information on the webcast, we spoke to Feld Motor Sports’ Linda Ardehali for today’s Between the Motos.

  • Linda Ardehali is always hard at work.
Racer X: Linda, first of all, you’re the woman behind the scenes at Feld Motor Sports responsible for the Supercross LIVE! webcast. How long have you been involved with that program?
Linda Ardehali: I’ve been with the company for ten years now, and I believe this is our eleventh season with Supercross LIVE! as we know it today. Alan Selk, our sound engineer, and Jim Holley are still a part of the team, but back then I also worked with Chad Damiani, Art Eckman, and a few other names that some of our longtime listeners will recognize. Producing the Supercross LIVE! broadcast is just one part of my job, but as the listeners can tell, it’s nothing but good times.

You’ve been working with hosts Jason Weigandt and the aforementioned Jim Holley for several years now. You have to consider yourself pretty lucky to work with those two.
Absolutely! Jim and Jason are both great guys that are fun to work with, but they also know their stuff. They are both very talented. They make it seem simple to everyone at home, but it’s not an easy task to talk nonstop for more than four hours.

As you know, I work in the same office as Jason, and he has no problem talking for more than four hours.
[Laughs] I can only imagine. They’re both so passionate about the sport that when something wild happens on the track, the listener can almost feel their excitement through the microphone.

Well, prior to last year’s supercross season, a shocking announcement was made that the webcast was done, but at the last minute you guys managed to salvage it. What happened?
Yeah, last year was really crazy. The economy has been in bad shape for a while now, so we’ve seen a lot of changes everywhere as a result. We were forced to try to reduce some expenses as well and the Supercross LIVE! broadcast made the final cut list. We didn’t know until just before the first Anaheim last year. When the announcement was made, the entire industry was in an uproar. The cancellation of the broadcast was affecting so many people that everyone was complaining. I guess we just don’t realize how many people all around the world want to tune in and feel like they’re really there at the start gate every Saturday night, whether it’s riders’ families and friends or fans.
       As a result, we started looking at some possible options on what we could do – mind you, this was all between Anaheim and Phoenix. Anyway, a lot of fans said that if we offered a pay-to-listen option, they would be interested and would support it. Even though that was something that we didn’t want to ever have to do, we decided to try it out. In addition, Parts Unlimited also joined us as a sponsor of the broadcast, and within a few days, we were back on the air. It was a roller-coaster ride.

{LINKS}Hey, nothing is free these days.
I know, and I really believe it’s very well worth it. At $39.99 for the season subscription, it averages out to only $2.50 per race, and you get unlimited access to all the archives too. You can barely get a cup of coffee for $2.50 these days. To be real honest, this is not something that we’re trying to make money on. We just want to continue to provide the broadcast for as long as the fans are interested in having it and cover expenses as much as possible. Offering the broadcast for free so many years was extremely expensive and is just not something we can do as a business in these tough times anymore. Unfortunately, for 2010, we’ve been unsuccessful in finding a sponsor as of yet. So the future of the Supercross LIVE! broadcast remains up in the air unless everyone gets behind it or a new sponsor helps to support it.

Hopefully, someone reading this will step up as a sponsor. They’ll definitely get a ton of mentions from Jason and Jim. Beyond that, what’s the easiest way to sign up?
Just go to www.supercrossonline.com/supercrosslive.

  • Supercross Live! hosts Jason Weigandt and Jim Holley
In addition to getting to hear the race live, at the end of the show you always have some trivia and give swag away.
Yes, we always do a post-show call-in where we give out prizes for answering a question on the air with Jim and Jason. It’s a fun part of the show for the fans, because not only do they have a chance to win free stuff, but they also get an opportunity to banter back and forth about the racing that night and about the season with Jim and Jason.

Any parting words, Linda?
The only parting words I have are that it’s important for the industry and Monster Energy Supercross fans to continue to stay behind the Supercross LIVE! webcast and support it. Without that support, we won’t be able to continue to bring the broadcasts to everyone at home every week the way we have for the last ten-plus years. At only $2.50 per race for over four hours of entertainment, you can’t beat it!

For more information on the webcast or to sign up for a subscription, click here.
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