TWIN FALLS, Idaho – Fox Broadcasting has pulled out of plans to televise two teams’ efforts to jump the Snake River Canyon on the 40th anniversary of Evel Knievel’s failed attempt to cross the chasm.
“Due to production timelines and budget concerns, we have decided to not move forward with the Jump of the Century,” a Fox spokeswoman told the Twin Falls Times-News.
With 46 days remaining until Knievel’s jump anniversary date in September, both jumpers – daredevil “Big Ed” Beckley and the team of Hollywood stuntman Eddie Braun– said they’ll keep looking for media sponsors.
Braun, who works with rocket builder Scott Truax, will still jump Sept. 7, said project attorney Paul Arrington. Having built significant infrastructure and with three rockets under various states of construction, the team is beyond the point of no return, he said.
Braun and his team have been filming a documentary on the project; should no broadcasters step forward, Arrington said, they will lean on that film as the jump’s main funding vessel.
Beckley spent nearly $1 million at a Boise auction last September to lease state land on the north edge of the canyon. Since then, he was convinced he’d get a broadcast deal, which would be the main funding source of the stunt. Not more than an hour after winning the auction, he said he had numerous phone messages from area codes in New York and Los Angeles and an offer “from a network with a ‘C’ on the end of it.”
The Twin Falls City Council turned down his bid to launch his rocket from Knievel’s dirt ramp, now city property, citing public safety concerns.
The daredevil told the Times-News in May that he had spent $1.6 million on the project and had not turned a wrench on a rocket-powered motorcycle.
The team pushing the Braun-Truax jump is seeking a special recreation permit from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management that would allow it to temporarily close access to public land the evening before Sept. 7 until two hours following the launch, for safety and crowd control. More information is at http://bit.ly/BLMJumpPermit
The public can comment on the proposal through Aug. 4 by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the Dealernews wires