Athletics News

The Sorry State of Running Television Coverage, by Peter Abraham, (From RunBlogRun Archives, July 2011)

geneti rain, by rich cruse-large.jpg

This is from the archives. We originally published this piece in 2011. Peter Abraham, one of the savviest media specialists in sports, explained in complete sentences what we are missing in modern sports coverage. Some of it has changed in the past twelve years, but much has not. Our goal in print, digital podcast, social, TV, and streaming broadcasting is to tell stories! Reread this piece by Peter Abraham and put a copy in your wallet or on your iPhone, book, or iPad to remind you what we are here to do! 

I met Peter Abraham while he was the creative director at the LA Marathon. I spent the Honda La Marathon watching the coverage and updating the marathon live via Twitter. I was very impressed with the coverage and the level of interest from the running community in every part of the Honda LA Marathon digital experience. The actual marathon coverage and the storytelling were excellent, and Toni Reavis was in rare form. In truth, the coverage grabbed the interest of the viewer because they remembered Peter Abraham’s mantra: TV is trying to tell a story.I asked Peter to opine on the state of TV for our sport, and here is what he sent. I would love to hear your comments; please use the contact form on

Markus Geneti, 2011 Honda LA Marathon, photo by Rich Cruse/LA Marathon

RunBlogRun Editorial

The Sorry State of Running Television Coverage

As someone who lives at the intersection of running and media, I’m always interested to see how the sport of competitive running is communicated to the world.  I’ve recently taken in running races as a spectator, organizer, and participant. Over my three years as Creative Director at the Los Angeles Marathon, I developed an acute sensitivity to the storytelling IQ of the running business.  I worked hard to up our communications game and get our community engaged with the event.  Let’s face it, storytelling is the single most important aspect of event communications.  Whether it’s the Super Bowl, the Olympics, or a televised marathon, it’s all about creating compelling stories.

I’m consistently disappointed at the level of storytelling when I watch televised running events.   It’s analogous to the time I spend with young professional athletes I mentor on branding and media.  Most athletes mistakenly believe that their results will “speak for themselves.”  Nothing could be further from the truth.  It’s up to me to break it to them that the public…

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