According to the US magazine RoadRacerX, MTV's reality TV show based around Nicky Hayden got one step closer to reality this week. The pilot episode has been finished, and is due to be screened to focus groups, before MTV executives finally make the go-no go decision on whether to put the series into production. If the series does receive the go-ahead, then it is unlikely to be aired until the end of this year.
The idea of a show on MTV has not been well received by hardcore racing fans, as they fear it will trivialize MotoGP, and reduce the richness and complexity of motorcycle racing down to a matter of personalities. Their biggest fear is that their beloved sport will be buried under a wave of teenyboppers only interested in Hayden's cheeky smile, rather than his racing skills.
On the other hand, an influx of young fans would be excellent news for the series, and for motorcycle racing in general. Even though MotoGP audiences have been steadily rising over the past few years, the difficulties several teams have had in obtaining sponsorship point to a perceived weakness in its popularity. A show on MTV would open up a new and highly valuable audience to MotoGP, and help attract sponsors targeting the youth market.
The only downside of the show is the timing: if the show goes ahead, and is aired at the end of the year, the season will already be over, and MotoGP's new-found fans will not be able to hook right in to a season of great racing. Hopefully, the show will run until late March 2008, and finish around the time the new season starts.