USATF announced it's "record" television coverage for 2007 today.
I guess I disagree with it being called "record". The premier event of the year for distance runners, the men's Olympic Trials is going to have only a 30 minute highlight show on tv. (The trials for some reason ren't mentioned in the press release, but neither is Boulder XC. I'll double check but perhaps Boulder is being broadcast with the Tyson Invite. But it looks like distance running is somewhat of an afterthought). It just seems to me if you can get the Tyson Invite on TV for an hour or the Reebok Boston Games for an hour, anything with the words Olympic should get at least that much coverage.
You've got Meb (silver medal), Abdi (two world marathon majors top 5s), Culpepper, Dathan, RyanHall, Jorge Torres and more in the same race (basically the XC race minus Goucher and plus Khannouchi). Plus attach the name Olympics to it. The greatest collection of American talent ever in the marathon in 1 race. Yet somehow we only get a 30 minute highlight package on tv.
I don't see how they can't get this race on live tv or more same day coverage (yes i know the race is being started on the Today show at 7:30 am- i'd rather have them show the finish). The whole point of having the Trials at the non-traditional date of the Fall was supposedly to generate more coverage. Yet we have less coverage than in some past years. I remember watching the 1996 Olympic Trials marathon on TV on NBC i believe. I don't think it was live but I'm pretty sure it was more than a 30 minute show (correct me if i'm wrong).
So lets go through the years and compare this year's "record" coverage to years past.
1996 on NBC- was it 2 hours same day coverage? I think so. Maybe an hour.
2004 no national coverage