They've been unable to raise the $80,000 in sponsorship required to host the event in Wellington even though they have secured US television coverage to over 30 million homes.
This is a problem open water races are going to have to face head-on in 2009 and I suggest they hold events in striking locations with extraordinary water clarity. Perhaps this way television exposure could reach 100-million homes due to better network visibility rather than 30-million homes on a cable TV channel subsequently making sponsorship of the event look more attractive.
Open water looks beautiful in hi-def. Perhaps this is the carrot that pulls in a higher caliber network?
Open water swimming is very difficult to film - I almost think that all open water events for TV should be filmed in crystal blue water in the Bahamas so as to make the event look both look sexy and eventful underwater.