Friday, August 24, 2007

Bristol Busch Race: In-Progress Comments


Tonight ESPN will present NASCAR Countdown and the Busch Series Race from the Bristol Motor Speedway. This is the place for comments about these two programs from a TV perspective.

Allen Bestwick will host NASCAR Countdown from the Infield Studio along with Brad Daugherty.

Dr. Jerry Punch, Rusty Wallace, and Andy Petree will call the race from the booth. Pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, and Mike Massaro.

Yes, the Tech Center will be open for both NASCAR Countdown and the race with Tim Brewer.

Please feel free to leave TV-related comments about the announcers, the camera coverage, or any of the positives and negatives of this big night for ESPN.

The Daly Planet will also host a live in-progress comment board Saturday night for the NEXTEL Cup race.

To leave a comment, simply click on the COMMENTS button below. Thanks again for taking the time to stop-by and participate with all of us at The Daly Planet.

111 comments:

Matt said...

OK, now how great was it to see Jack Ingram interviewed on Countdown? Kudos to ESPN for introducing new fans to one of the legends of NASCAR and kudos to Jack for acknowleding the contributions that the old ESPN had to the growth of the Busch Series. I'd love to see a lend of the series interviewed every week on Countdown.

SophiaZ123 said...

Leave it to me to MISS a good countdown. Rats.

Happy to hear they honored a legend. I am still learning about many of the older guys and just caught the very end of this one...am personally not familiar with Jack.

As somebody new to the sport (Only been watching since 2004, which makes me a 3 yr old :-) ) I think one of the BIGGEST insults I have noticed is the focus on the young guns/drivers at the expense of remembering the guys that drove in days gone by....NASCAR would do well to REMEMBER their roots and when drivers raced for the LOVE of the sport and not multi million dollar endorsements.

Kudos indeed for ESPN having Mr. Ingram on.

That'll teach me not to at least TAPE the pre race shows. .

Anonymous said...

The following may not seem like a big deal to ESPN, but it is a big deal to many female viewers: Unlike the other networks that cover NASCAR, ESPN is minimizing coverage of the various drivers' wives, girlfriends and families during the invocation and the anthem. What happens (like tonight in the Busch race) is either:
*They show one family or driver and then a bunch of aerial shots of the crowd.
*They show a bunch of crew members.
*They show too long,never-ending shots of the flyover planes approaching.
*They only show Dale Earnhardt Jr, jeff Gordon or Tony stewart.

You may be laughing already, Mr. Daly, but this is a big deal! My friends and I want to see the different drivers and who they are with -sometimes you can see what their wives and girlfriends are wearing - or if their kids are with them trackside that weekend. Note that we DO NOT want to see split-screen views of wives and moms during the last laps of the race -that is not the appropriate time to see these people and we scream at the TV when that happens.

But we do want to see these women pre-race. FOX, TNT, and NBC had this down to a science, showing different drivers and signficant others every week, and I don't know why ESPN doesn't get it. It was so ingrained in the coverage that it's very obvious now that it is not there.

If ESPN ruins the Cup race anthem tomorrow (sung each year by the drivers' kids, many who come that weekend just to sing), there will be you-know- what to pay! With their track record so far, there will be long shots of the flag and some random people instead of closeups of the kids and their parents reactions, as we have become accustomed to.

Sorry for the long comment, we all talk about the ESPN races each week and keep noticing this.

Matt said...

So let's see, ESPN not only misses a restart, but comes back to a split-screen multi-in car camera shot instead of telling us who did or did not pit or even mention why someone would pit now or if they could make it on fuel. Once again, the announcers just "talk."

SophiaZ123 said...

I think somebody mentioned this before about the "race announcers."

Do they not just blather on like hens in a hen house w/o being aware, um. they are supposed to fill us in on what is happening out in TVLAND?????

Oh, and personally, I do not care what the wives are WEARING.

But I DO LOVE THE FLYOVERS and think we need to see MORE OF THAT! I realize sometimes the timing is off with the singing and the fly by but sometimes, that's a really cool deal and it is supposed to honor our military.

I also agree seeing the split screen at the end of wives/family/etc is over DONE. Just show us the CARS, please nice.

:-)

Anonymous said...

When is ESPN going to swallow its pride and formally announce Allen Bestwick is the permanent host of the Busch Series Countdown? They may have him in the role every week, but have they ever announced it? Has anybody seen Suzy Kolber near the Busch Series lately?

Allen has been doing a great job in this role and should be recognized for it.

SophiaZ123 said...

If this were fox, I DO BELIEVE the camera would've CAUGHT GILLILANDS wreck.

HOW DOES ESPN MISS THE ACTION?

&^%$#@!(*&@^#

David said...

The camera work and attention to what is going on around the entire track is poor at best. Everything else appears to be in order.

Matt said...

Is anyone directing this thing? Why in the world would you go FULL-SCREEN for the tech center during GREEN FLAG racing at Bristol?? They totally missed the wreck and the announcers haven't even figured out that there were like 8 cars in that wreck! I've let a lot go with ESPN, but this is getting rediculous.

SophiaZ123 said...

That was interesting Brad didnt want to use his AC ??? They started to say he thought it felt weird, then stopped for a crash.

I can NOT BELIEVE THE LUCK of Labonte...Man...broken wheel? And not from missing lug nuts?

WTH?


WHY DO THEY KEEP MISSING THE WRECK?

COULD WE just have the race being shown and ONLY let the announcers talk to EXPLAIN what happens....once again another MISsED RESTART from PEESPN.

I know missed restarts can happen more at short tracks but how do you explain the OTHER HORRIBLE CAMERA PRODUCTION.

WHY IS NOBODY ADDRESSING THESE PROBLEMS?? Does everybody SECRETLY work for ESP U ????

Anonymous said...

Anyone else notice not a single word about the truck race Wednesday night?

I mean whats the big deal? Its on Speed 5 people watched it, but ignoring it makes them look like fools.

Rusty's blathering on about tires and how important they are. Would have been a great time to mention Mark Martin ran 200 laps of the race with the same tires he qualified on in the truck race Wednesday.

I understand its the first race for the Bush guys, but the trucks showed what was going to happen tonight. Pretending it did not happen is just sill, if not petty.


Not too sure if I am just so anti Rusty that any little thing ESPN does wrong makes me wish the race was on radio. Oh well at least I get to mute it tomorrow!!!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Hey Guys,

To Anonymous, I am not laughing at you...I promise. The understanding of the family unit, including the girlfriend/wife, kids, and even parents when we are talking the Busch Series is very important.

SPEED does this very well on the Truck Series, and it just makes the viewers feel like they are part of the scene. They took the time on Wednesday to show wedding photos of Brendan Gaughan and then interviewed him live with his new wife alongside on the starting grid. It was nice, and you made a great point.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR and the networks need to get together on handling restarts. In all other televised sports, the officials and TV coordinate with each other such that play doesn't resume until TV is back from commercial.

I don't see why NASCAR can't just wave off a restart for one additional caution lap so the millions watching on TV can see the action. Its really a simple thing to do and doesn't interfere too much at all if we're only talking about one more lap.

Better yet, continue with what TNT did at Daytona. I'd rather have part of the screen filled with ads then missing everyting.

The networks paid NASCAR billions. NASCAR owes the networks and all the fans watching at home some consideration.

SophiaZ123 said...

I also enjoyed the story about Brendan G getting married...i am just getting to know the truck drivers and I have heard BG name often.

It was fun to see some personal things about him...I like how NASCAR does this as well. It helps us decide who to pick as our driver sometimes.

Course, some of us like drivers that are kind of bipolar...one guy on the field and another one with fam...but that can happen :-)

On another note..I notice Harvick is drivng for himself tonight...and Steward is not driving for him next year...does anybody know if those two ever made up on a personal level...after their fallout a few weeks back?

Just curious...ok. nosey.

WOW!! Ambrose out again. RATS!! That was fast.

Fluid...ugh

SophiaZ123 said...

Anon 9.24

I SECOND your comments!!!!1

bevo said...

Do Rusty and Andy actually watch the race or do they just watch the monitor? Somebody needs to watch the track.

One thing I've always wondered is why tv has everyone in the same booth. Why not have Rusty in one turn and Andy in the other like MRN and PRN do for radio?

Anonymous said...

AGAIN, another missed restart!!! ARRGH!!! This is something so easy to fix.

SophiaZ123 said...

Bevo

GREAT QUESTION!

In fox's case (and other sports) I think they like to make entertainers or comedians out of the talking heads.

Or the three stooges as the case may be. >:-o

There used to be a free website WASP or something to listen to the races online....I did a PRN search and could not find it...I am reclined with my laptop...anybody know ? a free radio stream?

SophiaZ123 said...

Ok..who is that person that takes notes during the race...are they catching how many MISSED RESTARTS ESPN has done.

MY WORD.

SophiaZ123 said...

I am sorry to say this...but can Steven Wallace every finish more than one race a season w/o crashing.

I DO hope that boy WANTS to race and is not pressured to do so....not sure his mild Tourette syndrome is a good fit with his racing moods. poor kid.

What?? NASCAR made a mistake?

Man oh man. This year is just getting stupider and weirder

Anonymous said...

Live Leaderboard on nascar.com I believe is free. Launch it and there is a button to listen to the radio broadcast.

OMG! Narscar just admitted they made a bad call. Is that a first....

Greenflag is back out....and we are at commercial again....

bevo said...

SophiaZ123-

Don't know about a radio stream, I think the only one is the one you pay for on NASCAR. I'm watching on my laptop (ESPN360) in the backyard enjoying a cigar and an adult beverage or two :)

SophiaZ123 said...

Missed a restart and was back to caution before commercial ends?? WTH?

Well, Bevo, ain't you special??
Rub it in to those of us at the mercy of ESPN.

:-)

Anonymous said...

Why do you run a promo on the wway out to a commercial (do I need to see the pretty boy acting in the garage)?

SophiaZ123 said...

Ok..>ONCE AGAIN MY TW CUTS OFF the race AS they go to commercial.,,

It is a mark your calendar day though...NASCAR ADMITS MISTAKE!! That lame call to kyle.

ok..suddenly this word veri thing is longer than my post!?

j/k

not really

Anonymous said...

ESPN needs to learn a lot about covering nascar. This has been the worst race yet. Their coverage is always bad but tonight, this is awful.

Anonymous said...

BLACK WITH 3 TO GO!!!

SophiaZ123 said...

WTF!!! ESPN LOST THE SIGNAL WITH A FEW LAPS AT BRISTOL?????????????????????????????

Anonymous said...

They lost the bird and we get jobbed....

Anonymous said...

WTF!!!!!! WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED!!

SophiaZ123 said...

I DID NOT GET TO SEE THE END IN OHIO...did the rest of you see it?^!&*#^!(*#^!*($#^!*&#^!(^$*!^$!*($^!*^!*&$^!(^

Anonymous said...

HAHAHA
3 to go lets got to a nifty Geico commercial.

Loving ESPN

bevo said...

Good lord! Some idiot hit the wrong switch!!

Anonymous said...

At least they gave us a great look at the end.....

Anonymous said...

John,
Let 'err rip! ESPN is bush league. No excuse for what happened.

SophiaZ123 said...

Of course it's a SATELLITE ISSUE.

Geezus...Guess that will teach us to bitch about MISSED RESTARTS.

Black screen with the end of BRISTOL?

THIS BETTER GET PUBLICITY, DAMMIT.

Anonymous said...

WOW - the last 20 laps was EXCELLENT (per the radio). Too bad we didn't see most of it...

I agree this has not been a good broadcast effort. I feel like I have been eavesdropping on bits/pieces of a race with no guidance by the talking heads.

bevo said...

Great race... too bad ESPN has a TNT-like broadcast.

Matt said...

I think we can all safely say that this is ESPN's worst broadcast of the year.

Anonymous said...

I guess Kasey ain't getting the Bud deal...he's got the Vitaminwater and not a can of busch...

Anonymous said...

I don't think its ESPN's fault. It just looked like they lost the remote feed from Bristol and you have to cover black or a still graphic with something...like a commercial.

Anonymous said...

VitaminWater is a sponsor of his THIS year, but we don't know about next year

Skeet said...

They sure know how to ruin a great party....

SophiaZ123 said...

I do hope our Fearless Moderator has something to say about TONIGHTS ENDING or lack there of.

CRIPES!

John, you think they were teaching us about bitching about how they don't show all the cars at the finish line.

What happened? Somebody switch to a ballgame while eatin' his twinkie at the board?

bevo said...

Punch better hope it's not a preview of what we'll see tomorrow night!

Time for another drink...

Kinsta said...

Wow, worst television coverage ever! Again, I am thrilled beyond belief that I'm listening to MRN on Sirius Satellite Radio.

Anonymous said...

First of all, before you all get your panties in a bunch, it obviously was not a mispunch in the truck. The signal fizzed out, no one actually "punched" to black. Most likely, it was a satellite issue. Look, people, it happens. However, this is what I'm expecting any minute now:

John writes a blog about this being another way ESPN has shorted NASCAR this year. Clearly, they probably spent less on the NASCAR satellite than they do on Monday Night Football. If this were a stick and ball sport, this never would've happened! This is part of the great conspiracy for ESPN to ruin NASCAR on TV.

The bottom line is, it happens. You want it to get publicity? For what? So people can know that electronic equipment fails from time to time. Holy cow is that news! I thought all electronics are perfect. Someone else said there's no excuse for what happened? No excuse for what? Mother nature zapping a little sun flare at a satellites? Or a satellite feed going down and it taking 30 seconds or so to switch birds? ESPN has the race coming down from multiple positions. It takes a few seconds for program integration to make the switch. It's not just a matter of pushing a button.

bevo said...

I call bs on "satellite problem". Someone had happy hands.

Matt said...

It's been over 10 years since a satelite prob has affected race coverage to my knowledge. 10 YEARS!! There really is very little excuse for such an issue during this age of "modern technology."

Anonymous said...

You're right Bevo, someone had "happy hands." So happy, in fact, that instead of just pushing the right button on the Kalypso in the truck, they had to put up a slate to see what went wrong. Sorry, this did not happen. I know you want that to be the case. But that's not what happened. If someone simply "mispunched," it wouldn't have taken so long to get back. Think about it, they were able to put up a slate, and have Bristol roll a commercial. Sorry, not a mispunch. It takes more than a mispunch for what happened to happen.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 10:18 said...
" If this were a stick and ball sport, this never would've happened!"

I disagree. During one baseball game a few weeks ago espn lost all sound and then lost all video. The video came back but the audio did not and espn had to use a radio broadcast over video that was still going in and out.

Skeet said...

What happened to the graphic across the top with the running order? But that darn ticker across the bottom ran when nothing else was....

Anonymous said...

the bottom tiker comes from ESPN master control which had no problem. Everything else came from bristol and reception from bristol was lost.

Anonymous said...

Ummm, you can disagree all you want, but I was being sarcastic. I was typing what I believe will come from JD's keyboard any time now.

In the age of modern technology, there are a thousand reasons why this would happen. And I beg to differ that it's been 10 years since a satellite issue affected a race. That being said, it may not have even been a sat issue. Any piece of equipment could've failed. It happens.

bevo said...

http://www.sec.noaa.gov/SWN/index.html

No solar problems.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I misread your comment.

Sean said...

Just as many commercials in this race as TNT. Unbelievablly bad broadcast night for espn. I don't know how many wrecks they messed when they were commercial. And at one point Dr. Punch said "We'll back for the restart", and the next thing we know is that it's already yellow again. They missed 6 restarts or so. And then to top it all off, my tv screen goes black with 3 laps to go.

An obvious F for ESPN tonight.

bevo said...

That being said, it may not have even been a sat issue

So Punch just pulled that out of his rear???

Anonymous said...

It does not have to be a solar issue. It could be something as simple as a gust of wind or the company actually running the satellite.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, someone at the Worldwide Leader in Sports bought a sat window that was a little too short. Luckily, the TOC is on pseed-dial.

Anonymous said...

...or speed-dial!

Anonymous said...

I don't know what it was, I'm making suggestions. Do you honestly think the producer would explain the exact tech details to Punch to have him explain it to the audience? Come on. You want to hate on ESPN that's fine. They understand, it's the chic thing to do. You hate on them so much, you actually want things to go wrong so that you can rip them. At least John honestly wants things to go well and is just critiquing.

Everyone hates ESPN because they're the Yankees. You either love the Yankees or you hate them, but there's no in between. This is what happens when you're at the top of your industry. If ESPN were Fox Local Rag Tag Sports TV shop in Tulsa, no one would care. But because they're #1, everyone has to hate. So be it. As long as something has risen to the top, there will be someone to tear it down.

SophiaZ123 said...

Ok...I really hate to read my name here yet again but for the poster here, here is what you fail to understand.

1. If ESPN ran a flawless production race (GREAT camera works and producer paying attention to ACTION ON THE TRACK) we would cut them some slack.

2. If they had folks hosting the race WHO PAID ATTENTION TO THE RACE and explained things to VIEWER. we would cut them some slack


3. If they gave us a great Daily show that covered all the races, including the trucks fairly, we would cut them some slack.

4. If they ESPU, did not repeatedly insult fans with their inept coverage all the time, sticking us with Suzy Q who adds ZERO to the race, and had AB in the booth all the time, we could cut them some slack.

5. But since ESPN repeatedly THUMBS THEIR NOSE at established and REAL NASCAR fans, AND LOSES the satellite feed the last couple of laps, we have a right to be honked off.

William said...

The "malfunction" at the end was just the icing on the cake.

How many restarts did we miss? It really might have been ALL of them. How many in-progress crashed did they skip away from? at least three. How many penalties did they tell us about many laps after the race had restarted? At least three but likely more.

I don't even know what to say about the attempt to brush under the rug the clearly erroneous call about Kyle's missing the commitment cone.

I have NEVER seen so many commercials in a Busch race. Why the HELL did they go to commercial with 23 laps to go?

was the "Baseball Tonight" crew working the truck this evening?

When teh feed left with 3 laps to go things were so bad I laughed, I should have expected that to happen!
Apalling

Anonymous said...

I hope everyone has a good night and we all look forward to a better broadcast tommorrow.

Anonymous said...

Hey, "anonymous," stop being an ESPN apologist. As a viewer, I don't care why they lost their signal at the most critical point in the race.

Nor should I. It isn't my problem. It's ESPN's, and just like Steven Wallace, you can blame tonight's problem on someone else (or an equipment issue), but added to the big picture, it's no surprise at all.

As Dale Jr. said to the ESPN crew who forgot to push "record" when they did an interview (and asked him to do it again), "Y'all ever covered NASCAR before?

SophiaZ123 said...

Ok...John...the page cut off the lastest posts?

Last I checked it was 55 then 64 and I can't see the RECENT POSTS??

Did we crash you experiment! LOL

Thanks for arranging this by the way.

:-) But I would like to see the "lost posts" IF possible

Anonymous said...

"hate on" ESPN?

What are you, 16?

William said...

Oh, I forgot my favorite

I was flabbergasted that they cut away from LIVE RACING ACTION to show us how thick a wheel is. WTF? I was yelling at the screen the whole time only to come back to.... wait for it..... a bunch of wrecked cars.

I get the feeling over and over again that ESPN does not think the race itself is interesting.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Hey Guys,

Here is what I have so far. ESPN in Bristol, CT lost the incoming domestic satellite feed from Bristol, TN which was originating from a mobile satellite uplink truck.

Since the feed came back so quickly and in full working order, there are a couple of scenarios.

One is technical problems at the uplink itself, and the operator quickly switched to the back-up path in the uplink, fed it to CT, and it returned to the air.

Second is a router was accidentally punched either out of the production truck or in the satellite truck. A router sends the finished program feed from the production truck to the uplink.

Finally, someone did not order enough satellite time. Instead of going until 10:30 Eastern, they only ordered a path through 10:15PM.

I am waiting on a phone call to help me with this issue. In the meantime, if anyone at ESPN has the straight scoop, we sure would appreciate it.

Thanks, a full column on the Bristol Busch Series race will be online shortly. Awesome comments!

Anonymous said...

Remember when NBC would dump out of a break for a wreck?

Those days are long gone, unfortunately.

SophiaZ123 said...

Gosh, john, I must have mis read my computer or it needing burping.

I can see everything fine now.

Sorry.

oh, and thanks again for setting this up for us!!!!

Anonymous said...

sohpiaz, you are entitled to your opinion, but if you know nothing about TV, I can't take it seriously.

1. The producer has nothing to do with what cameras the DIRECTOR chooses to use. That being said, I challenge anyone on this board to sit in a production truck with 65 monitors in front of you and pick exactly which one to use at which time. NASCAR is not a sport where everything happens in one place. As soon as something happens the director finds what camera has it, and takes it. That's how remote TV production works.

2. Missing restarts is going to continue to happen unless NASCAR chooses to enter into the 21st century. In every other sport, stations are given a "window" by the sport in which to take their required break. The referee/official/umpire is in contact with someone who tells him/her when the channel is back from commercial at which point they say, "play ball"/hand off the basketball. NASCAR, on yellow flags needs to coordinate with the truck. What's one extra lap on a caution? If NASCAR cared about the TV audience they would implement this.

3. Commercials are aired in "blocks." Meaning, a break is a specific time, let's say 2 minutes 30 seconds. In that time, 5 commercials air. Just because the race restarts, doesn't mean ESPN can pull out of that break. By the way, someone in "master control" in Bristol, CT does what's called "rolling" a break. That means they hit a button that runs all 5 commercials along the network. As the last commercial is running, the master control operator will count the director in the truck in Bristol, TN. They come back up when Master Control says "you're live." No sooner, no later. The producer can't just call master control and tell him to punch them back up. It doesn't work that way. A producer can get breaks shortened or lengthened, but this has to be done long in advance, not on the fly.

Anonymous said...

I used to hear criticism when NBC would do that. Some said it brought the fans back to nothing but confusion.

Anonymous said...

Oddly, NBC, TNT and Fox had very little trouble timing their breaks so they missed very few restarts.

bevo said...

Boy the siege mentality is in full force in ESPNland. Paranoid much??? I don't care about the inner workings there, it's not my problem. Read back about TNT's coverage if you think we are picking on you.

Remember all you provide is a service - and when you provide service your number one priority should be the customer. Read some business case studies about companies who were number one in their field and got lazy.

wickedj said...

how many restarts can you miss
how many yellows can you miss
how many times can you talk about how big of a failure the two racing wallace's are

SHUT UP RUSTY

bring back fox :(

Anonymous said...

Here is the link to an AP article posted on espn.com recapping the race. http://sports.espn.go.com/rpm/news/story?seriesId=3&id=2990462

Here is the last paragraph:
"It was a wild finish to a competitive race on Bristol's repaved surface, which has developed several racing lines because of its smooth new concrete. But television viewers missed it because ESPN lost its satellite feed with three laps to go in the event."

haha! Kinda funny!

Steve in Indiana said...

What a crappy time for them to lose their signal. I thought it was my TV at first until the ESPN2 graphic came back up. At least they went back and showed the last few laps. TNT would probably have just signed off.

Anonymous said...

I never heard an actual race viewer complaint about NBC returning to the race during a break if there was a wreck.

Only TV people say crap like "that's confusing to the viewer."

Anonymous said...

I did hear it from people in the business...

John Paul(not the ex-pope) said...

John, thanks for the update. Was a crazy night. I come on here while watching the Red Sox game and I see 73 comments! These in-race comment sections are great. A lackluster effort from ESPN tonight topped off by the satellite fart at the end. Anyway, I have friends up in Bristol, CT and thought I'd update you.

I just got a call from my friend in remote ops in Bristol, CT. Turns out it was an uplink issue. No one hit any crazy buttons. No one booked the wrong window. It was just an uplink issue.

John, someone did switch to the backup path but it did not work properly. That's when they went to commercial. The slate was up for the time it was going to take to switch paths. When it didn't work they needed to go somewhere and commercial from Bristol, CT was the only place to go. The rest of the race when they came out of break was from path 1. Path 2 was never used. You would've noticed, apparently path 2 wasn't an HD feed.

Brink said...

So you're saying the back-up path had never been set up or checked?

bevo said...

John Paul(not the ex-pope) -

Like the name! :)

A question. I was watching on ESPN360. It's not HD. The same thing happened. Can you explain please?

Anonymous said...

You're right, there are hundreds of business cases in which the number one got lazy and ultimately failed. Unfortunately for you, it will never happen to ESPN. TV is a land of contracts and money and ESPN has both. Not to mention, they offer sports something no one else can, a NETWORK on which to air high profile events. Other networks(cbs, nbc, fox) can't air lesser events for one sport because they wouldn't get good ratings. ESPN offers ESPN and ESPN2 for games that would normally get good regional ratings, and then uses ABC for big time national events, such as major bowl games.

And in all honesty, they are not falling apart as many of you wold believe. Their coverage is solid all over with the exception of NASCAR. I'm sure no one up there remains from the RPM2Nite days. So they're back to the learning curve for NASCAR. As with everything on ESPN, once they get into their groove, they'll be great.

Matt said...

To the ESPN-Defender, I have two problems with your arguments.

1)The directors over at FOX, TNT and NBC rarely seem to have problems figuring out what camera shots to use.

2) Those same networks seem to not have a problem cutting into a commercial if something important happens.

And the big problem here is that ESPN has been covering NASCAR since FEBRUARY!! You'd think by now they'd have their act together.

john paul (still not the ex pope) said...

I can't explain, but I'm sure that the HD feed is "compressed" and shown on 360. The HD feed is digital, so all it requires is compression to get it on 360. Well, that and a broadband line. I'm not saying that's what happened, but as I said, my friend told me neither feed worked. They tried to get to path 2, and failed, hence the commercial. So there's a good chance that if I'm wrong, and 360 was on path 2, which was the SD feed, it went down as well.

Kinsta said...

Great comments! Perhaps Daly Planet needs an IRC channel on Freenode?

Anonymous said...

there are hundreds of business cases in which the number one got lazy and ultimately failed. Unfortunately for you, it will never happen to ESPN.

...which is exactly what every one of those hudnreds of companies thought until they failed.

ESPN is a business, not some sort of God-Given Almighty Power. It can fail just like any other business. And if your attitude is typical of the hubris of the network's employees, it will.

Anonymous said...

How much longer until ESPN "gets into the groove" of which you speak? The season's just about over.

Will it be Year Two or Three before the Worldwide Leading in Sports figures this out?

John Paul said...

Hey, at least we're not staying up to watch the Yankees. 4 HOUR RAIN DELAY! Could you imagine having tickets to that? Oh wait, you did if you went to Michigan this week. Imagine bringing your kid to this game tonight and it's 11:00 and they haven't started. Talk about a kid off his schedule!

Just talked to my friend again. Apparently a bunch of people in CT read this site. He just heard someone say, "The people on Daly's blog are going nuts." I LOVE IT! Maybe someone important is reading! You hear that Norby Williamson? JOHN SKIPPER!?!? GEORGE BODENHEIMER!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry if I seem like an apologist, but it just seems to me like people come on here intent on ripping ESPN. It doesn't seem like anyone on here is unbiased. Even John is biased against E Kuselias. He even goes out of his way to rip him when he's on Mike and Mike. This is a blog about NASCAR TV, unless EK is on Mike and Mike, in which case, it's about ripping Kuselias.

Fret not, ESPN isn't going anywhere. They just spend $1.2 billion on MNF and $760 million on NASCAR. So in our lifetimes, they will be here. And last time I checked, their one MNF Dallas/Philly coverage beat out the Perot debate to be the #1 rated show on cable EVER. Clearly they're doing a lot of things right.

Anonymous said...

Lap 21:
On track - Restart
On TV - Restart
Lap ?:
On Track - Restart
On TV - Captain Morgan commercial
Lap 83:
On track - Restart
On TV - Restart
Lap 106:
On track - Restart
On TV - Aaron's commercial
Lap 125:
On track - Restart
On TV - Restart
Lap ?:
On track - Restart
On TV - Little League World Series promo
Lap 148:
On track - Restart
On TV - Circuit City commercial
Lap 157:
On track - Restart
On TV - Restart
Lap 179:
On track - Restart and Caution
On TV - Just for Men commercial
Lap ?:
On track - Restart and Caution again
On TV - Cingular/AT&T commercial
Lap 218:
On track - Restart
On TV - Restart

We got to see 5 restarts out of 11

bevo said...

You're right, there are hundreds of business cases in which the number one got lazy and ultimately failed. Unfortunately for you, it will never happen to ESPN.

I fail to understand wht you think I have something personal about ESPN. It doesn't matter one bit to me if a business succeeds or not. I don't own stock in it or any other communications company. All I do is pay for ESPN every month. I have GamePlan, CenterIce and FullCourt. ESPN does a fine job with college football and basketball. I love Joe Morgan and Jon Miller doing baseball. Ron Franklin is hands down the best college football announcer in the business.

I just want the same level of effort with NASCAR coverage.

OK?????

SophiaZ123 said...

To the ESPN APOLOGIST.

Gee, I had no idea racing took so many cameras (Boy you must really think I am stupid)

Funny ESPN has been the BIG DOG In sports but other stations covered ESPN the last few years and did LOT BETTER!! NBC often broke in DURING COMMERCIALS For a crash. ESPN is not CAPABLE of this for CUP races or during the chase I guess.

Sorry I got producer and director confused....Director or producer ESPN is still the loser.

Many stations work hard to NOT miss restarts especially at the short tracks which is more difficult than your cookie cutter or SPEEDWAY tracks. They can do two laps in a minute at the short tracks and with my Jethro Bodine double naught figgerin' that's TWO 30 second commercials in a minute, right??

Well, eventually most stations DO get the RESTARTS out to tv land.

Not only did ESPN MISS the restart but sometimes were into a CAUTION by the time the commericial is over.

You make it act as if I NEVER saw a NASCAR race before ESPN took over?

Oh, and newsflash, watch the OLD RACES ON ESPN CLASSIC to see how it "can be done when ESPN wants to show NASCAR" and not just own the competition.

HOnestly , not ANY SPORTS FAN I Know is a big fan of any sports station monster but in the real world where I live and the message boards in internet land, ESPN is the most loathed and despised. It's like WWF of sports.

Same thing can be said of what NASCAR has become since Brian France took over (Oh, he is the GRANDSON of the founder of NASCAR and has Hollywoodized the hell out of the sport)

But thank yew so much for letting me know there were so many cameras at a track. I just thought their were about 6 judging from ESPN's "Sorry we missed all the action" ENTERTAINMENT SPORTS NETWORK.

Dear John Paul,

I never made it to "Sister hood" either but I do thank you for your kind explanation of what happend without insulting these board members.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry if I seem like an apologist, but it just seems to me like people come on here intent on ripping ESPN.

Ask yourself why it's happening.

I, for example, couldn't care less who carries NASCAR races, as long as they're done well. (And if they show practice after buying the rights to it, or allow someone else to televise if if they don't want to run it.)

ESPN's not doing a good job. I wish they were.

Matt said...

The execs at ESPN and NASCAR will not be happy because in all articles I read about the race so far (about 4 or 5) all had at least one paragraph on ESPN losing the feed with 3 laps to go. Not a good way to grow ratings.

bevo said...

John Paul -

Thanks for the explanation!

Sean said...

How come ESPN is the only one who can not setup their numerous commercials right, so we can actually see the restarts. Instead we hear Dr. Punch say "We just went green", when they come back from commercial". The funniest one was when Punch said "We'll back with the restart", and we still didn't see it.

If ESPN is reading this blog, why don't they answer why Allen Bestwick is not in the booth, and Punch is not on pit road? Punch used to be one of the most respected pit road reporters, and he's much more comfortable there. Same exact thing with Allen Bestwick, but in the booth.

Anonymous said...

I think ESPN aplogists are like Star Wars fans. Follow me here. I love Star Wars(yes I'm a dork). The original 3 were amazing. Then, the new "Prequels" came out and I kept telling myself they were great because I wanted to believe that Lucas could do no wrong. I wanted to believe that these were to kids today what Star Wars was to me in my youth. In the late 80's early 90's when ESPN picked up steam and had gotten great contracts, they did what no other station could do. They covered sports perfectly. Then Disney came in, and not the Disney of Snow White, Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, and Fantasia, but the Disney of Snow White 2, Aladdin 2,3 and 4, Sleeping Beauty 2, and Fantasia 2000. And people wanted to believe that even with the Disneyfication of ESPN that it was still the original Star Wars. It's not, wake up and smell the turkey legs.(The big gross ones they sell at Disneyworld)

Anonymous said...

We're not getting much useful info out of Bracelet Man in the tech studio or whatever. He's not good on-air at all, and takes too long to say it. Why must ESPN use "their own" people when there are much better talents available?

stricklinfan82 said...

Wow, over 100 comments on the Busch race so far. If someone had just logged into this blog without seeing the race do you suppose they would have thought ESPN did an uneventfully good job, LOL?

Here are my thoughts, which are bound to be lost in the hundreds of other comments, but I'll try anway:

- As far the satellite feed going down, that happens sometimes. Longtime fans probably remember the 1981 Talladega 500 on CBS as the perfect example. You can't control that. What ESPN did wrong was cut out of commercial (to anonymous poster #2471, this practice has happened many times in the past) and show the cars live after they already crossed the finish line. They should have taken a moment to compose themselves and come back on the air with a replay of the final few laps. It was completely wrong to rush back to the live feed when the race had just ended. They already switched to commercial so it wasn't like their bad feed all of a sudden turned to good at that very second and that's why we had the finish spoiled for us.

- They also missed nearly every restart, went to commercial with 20 laps to go, and did a pathetic job keeping up with pit strategies. When half the field pits they should not come back from commercial with the "Brady Bunch" 9-box of in-car cameras. They should show the leaders and reset the field and explain where the cars that pitted are in line.

Terrible terrible terrible coverage. Almost as bad as TNT's Sonoma coverage.

bevo said...

sean -

You're right, Jerry is great in the pits, he just doesn't have the feel for play by play. Allen is fantastic in that role.

Anonymous said...

Espn has absolutely no excuse for their lousey coverage. NONE!!!

The technical issues.. the missed wrecks and restarts.. the timing of the commercials.. they've had since Feb to work out the gliches.

The announcers in the booth, and the pit road reporters are clueless. Not only are they clueless, they have no chemistry. I suspect they actually don't much like one another.

Somebody needs to tell Jerry Punch he would have been further ahead getting current with the sport instead of getting yet another face lift and stomach liposuction.

Daly Planet Editor said...

A new Bristol Busch race column is now up. One hundred and four comments...you guys rock!

The in-progress comment board for the NEXTEL Cup race at Bristol will open tomorrow around 6PM.

I want you to know that the fantastic comments on this post are being read by the top TV sports industry executives...right now. If only you could see my email!

cwebs said...

WOW, I wasn't home earlier this evening, but I just got done watching the race on the DVR. That was, ummmm, some broadcast! It looks like there was no shortage of comments here tonight either!

Just when I was about to give up on ESPN completely, they started to grasp the developing pit strategy situation with about 80 laps to go. The stage was set for an exciting finish, and ESPN finally seemed to be on top of things. I was ready to forgive all of the earlier sins and simply enjoy the rest of race. Well by gosh if it didn't all go heck!

To me, they blew it all when they went to a full commercial break with about 22 laps to go. What does that add up to at Bristol, about 6 or 7 minutes (at the most) of green flag racing? That was, simply put, a slap in the face. With all the ESPN foolishness (well documented in the above comments, by the way!) we had to put up with to get to that point, the least they could have done was show us the last few minutes of racing un-interrupted.

I was already spitting mad by the time the satellite feed went out. To me, that was just the icing on the cake! The real travesty happened with 22 laps to go, and I won't forget it for a good long time. It looks like NASCAR has sold the fans out to ESPN, and all we can do is just sit here and take it.

Will I be back on Saturday night to be force-fed another turd sandwich by ESPN? Unfortunately, I don't have much of a choice. Then again, maybe it's time to give up on NASCAR. Life is too short to put up with this kind of nonsense...

Anonymous said...

As I was walking the dog tonight it hit me.

What was the best ESPN broadcast this year?
Montreal Bush Race. Some camera problems switching in the middle of spins and so on. But quick replays. Has to be tough on a road course, so no biggie.

What made the race good?
The announcing, Bestwickie (spelling) and Petree rocked. No Rusty telling me about AERO LOOSE!!!

ESPN needs to dump Rusty. I just cant stand him. 3 people don't work well in the booth together unless you get a good chemistry, and lets face it, they don't have it with Punch Rusty and Andy.
Keep Andy and put Allen B up there in the booth to run the race. I think you'd be forgiven for a lot of the little camera and direction problems with a decent set of announcers.

I know Aero has some effect at Bristol, but come on guys a little punched in fender there isn't going to do much. Hell they don't even run tape on most of the grills.

I was sitting there anticipating the draft tract bull pucky at the race today, thank god they didn't try that one on us.

Desmond said...

As I wrote in response to the race wrap-up post, my explanation is that ESPN experienced a power surge with the uplink to the Connecticut studios. Yesterday was very hot and humid in the Tri-Cities area of Tennessee/Virginia and there was a lot of demand for electricity. Maybe the power company goofed somehow.

Anonymous said...

WOW 108 comments as I write this. John - the column is gaining. If only ESPN would heed their audience comments.

And at the conclusion of a great race the feed goes dead and we get the proverbial Mike Wallace Geico commercial and miss the finish. Hope somebody is on the unemployment line of that snafu. It's a biggie.

Anonymous said...

I doubt the uplink truck as running on "shore power." It was most likely operating ffrom the onboard generator or a generator trailer unit.

cwebs said...

stricklinfan82 -

You said:

"They.....did a pathetic job keeping up with pit strategies. When half the field pits they should not come back from commercial with the "Brady Bunch" 9-box of in-car cameras. They should show the leaders and reset the field and explain where the cars that pitted are in line."


You are exactly right-on here!!! I've been complaining about their pit strategy coverage for weeks now! They did the same thing at the end of the Cup races at both Indianapolis and Michigan!

They don't seem to understand the concept of "resetting the field" after pitstops. Somebody needs to tell them that the viewers need this information to be able to follow along with what's happening in the race.

The FOX crew, despite their many faults, always does a great job of this. Larry Mac. and Jeff Hammond have it down to a science. Sadly, ESPN seems to be completely clueless about it.

ESPN, here's a few tips, I won't even charge you money for them:

1. Before pit road opens up under a caution, you should be anticipating possible pitstops and giving the pro's and con's of pitting at that point in the race.

2. After the pits open up, you should have your camera right on the leaders as they come down toward the commit line. It's always interesting to see who pits, who doesn't, and who might do a fake-out move either way.

3. After pitstops are done, and preferably before the restart, you need to give us a rundown of who pitted, what they did, and who stayed out. This needs to be done for at least the top-10, and any contending cars that might be outside the top-10 at that point.


There, you see? It's really simple. Can someone convey this information to ESPN, please?!?!?!

cwebs