Monday, August 13, 2007

Monday's "NASCAR Now" Is A Greater Southeastern Affair (Updated Even)

Taking a look back at the racing activity of the weekend is certainly a good idea. Several shows like the SPEED Report, Victory Lane, and even Wind Tunnel focus their energy on reviewing the motorsports happenings on Sunday night. ESPN continues its NASCAR commitment by offering a one hour review show on Monday evening.

NASCAR Now on Monday is a chaotic affair. It has been hosted by several on-air announcers, and has had all different kinds of analysts on-and-off the studio set. This Monday, host Erik Kuselias was alone on the set and voiced the highlights of the NEXTEL Cup race. He led to sound from the winner, which was "pool feed" video of Tony Stewart speaking in the Media Center to all the reporters.

Shannon Spake followed-up with a feature report on the Harvick vs. Montoya bump, and basically re-used footage from the race itself that aired on ESPN. Spake was reporting from...North Carolina.

Analyst Stacy Compton was on a liveshot in...(updated) Virginia and suggested some common sense in the Montoya hysteria. The very strange Tim Cowlishaw was also on-hand to state the obvious, and add absolutely nothing. It was never mentioned where Cowlishaw was located, but it was not Connecticut.

Kuselias asked Compton about Jeff Gordon spinning in the last couple of laps. Compton gently helped Kuselias to understand that what these guys were doing...was racing. This is a fundamental issue that is often lost on Kuselias and Cowlishaw, both of whom have absolutely no experience or interest in NASCAR racing.

Spake returned from North Carolina to wrap-up her story about The Chase contenders and how they fared on Sunday. She again used sound bites from Sunday at the track to fill-in the content on her report. Both her efforts were little more than fluff.

Kuselias read the script that summed-up the day for other key contenders, and also used the footage from the track for interview sound. This recap used a carefully prepared text to review the cars that might or might not get in The Chase.

As The Daly Planet mentioned several times, ESPN loves to make people pick things, because later it can be used against them. Compton and Cowlishaw returned to guess who would be in and who would be out of The Chase, as if their answers had anything to do with the sport or offered any new information. It once again allowed time to be filled in this hour, and absolutely nothing else.

A long recap that featured a re-edit of the footage used on SportsCenter was next, tagged with some additional sound bites from various drivers recorded after the race. ESPN's post-production is always great, and fans like the video tricks and slick editing. Kuselias voices the "bridges" between the sound, and this report featured lots of re-airing of post-race interviews.

Reporter Mike Massaro, whom many believe should be hosting this program, was then featured in a disjointed report talking about Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, and generally answering questions from Kuselias about the NEXTEL Cup race. The location of Massaro was never disclosed, but he was not on the NASCAR Now set. Since most of the NASCAR production group lives in the Charlotte area, we can guess it was maybe...North Carolina? Nope. Update: Daly Planet reader Matt says Massaro was on a different set inside ESPN, because he was on ESPN News earlier that day.

Now over thirty minutes into the show, viewers have never seen Dr. Jerry Punch, Rusty Wallace, Andy Petree, or Brad Daugherty anywhere in the program. There has been no glint of the presence of on-air personalities that both ESPN and NASCAR have put their weight behind to bring the NEXTEL Cup Series through The Chase.

Despite all the footage and sound bites used from the race track, none of the ESPN on-air announce team has been included. This is a fundamental TV error of the highest order. In my time at ESPN, it would have resulted in employees being terminated. ESPN announcers on-site should have provided wrap packages for both the Busch and Cup races, especially since they know NASCAR Now often treats the Busch Series with complete disdain.

NASCAR Now's Insiders Marty Smith and Angelique Chengelis stopped-by to update the AT&T lawsuit, Kyle Busch's sponsorship, Gibbs to Toyota, and RCR rumors about Rusty returning to a part-time driver role. While Chengelis reports and lives in Detroit, Marty Smith reports from...(update) he was apparently in Tennessee this time, not his normal NC.

Jeff Burton was the featured live guest this Monday, and he joined Kuselias by telephone from...North Carolina. He re-hashed the entire Harvick vs. Montoya incident again, and then put things into perspective as a veteran about his season and his team. Interviewing drivers by phone continues to be a minor-league technique for this major-league network.

Kuselias voiced-over again another feature about The Chase and how drivers on the bubble might do at Michigan. Unfortunately, ESPN forgets about things like the COT, new fuel cells, and driver changes. This scripted feature really needed a veteran voice to add-in the slice of reality that Kuselias cannot represent.

In the final segment of this show, Compton and Cowlishaw appeared to add final comments. Compton politely described the Watkins Glen action as excellent with the COT running on a road course. Cowlishaw agreed. End of show.

Let's calmly ask the questions that NASCAR fans might ask, shall we?

ESPN was on-the-air for over seven hours on Saturday, and telecast a great Busch Series race. In this show,there were no highlights, no standings, no winner interview, and no wrap package from the announcers who called the race. Once again, the Busch race was actually on ESPN.

SPEED covered an exciting Craftsman Truck Series race from Nashville, with Travis Kvapil taking the victory. There were no highlights, no standings, and no sound from the winner. This was NASCAR's featured Friday night show for one of their three national touring series. Not a word was said.

The Harvick and Montoya incident was called "two men talking with hand signals" by NASCAR officials, but to ESPN it was everything. Earlier this season, David Ruetimann crashed his car hard into the wall at full speed. The in-car camera captured him dazed and trying to catch his breath. NASCAR Now played the footage fifteen times in a one hour show. They could not get enough.

Monday, NASCAR Now played the Harvick and Montoya "slap-fight" fourteen times in one hour. With commercials out, that is about forty-four minutes of content. Fourteen times in forty-four minutes viewers saw two upset drivers tugging on each other. Does that make any sense?

So, what viewers got was Watkins Glen NEXTEL Cup highlights, a brief news report, and a whole lot of talking about the same thing over-and-over again. Among the many things they they did not get were Busch highlights, Truck highlights, or reaction from the ESPN announcers who called both Watkins Glen events.

This show had the potential to be chocked-full of content from a weekend rich in racing from all three national series. What viewers got was a single host in the studio relying on people in (update) the greater Southeast to provide the information and latest news about a sport totally located in...North Carolina.

Had ESPN invested in a Mooresville, NC studio they would have been able to gather all these reporters, drivers, and anyone else they needed in one location and create a dynamic and exciting show for fans.

Instead, the acerbic lawyer spent another hour "talking down" to those legally required to provide content for this show, and then summarily dismissed each one without as much as a goodbye.

This is the on-going ESPN saga of NASCAR Now, the bi-polar TV son of RPM2Night and SpeedWeek.

Luckily, both mom and dad have gone to a better place, because Junior has taken the family business and driven it...right into the ground.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below, or email if you wish not to be published. All email is confidential, and will never be used or referenced in any column. Thanks again for taking the time to stop-by, and leave your opinion.


Matt said...

First, Mike Maasaro was reporting from Bristol, CT, I saw him on the ESPNEWS set earlier today. Why he was not on the same stage with Eric K is beyond me. Maybe ESPN paid the graphics people so much money, they want to show off their split screen graphics.

Second, you get the feeling that the people who produce and direct the Ryan Burr telecasts are different from the people who produce and direct the Eric K telecasts. I can't believe that the same people who direct a Ryan Burr show produces the same junk we saw today.

Finally, tonight's show is another example of why ESPN's scripted format and clueless host is detrimental to their credibility. Eric couldn't even say the words "Our Jeff Burton interview was taped before the news about the AT&T decision broke" without getting flustered. And he clearly had no idea what follow-up questions to ask Marty Smith.

Daly Planet Editor said...


Thanks for the scoop on Massaro. How weird he was on a different set, and they never even mentioned where he was. Strange.

Anonymous said...

I love your comment, "Had ESPN invested in a Mooresville, NC studio," as if that's just an easy thing to do. Regardless of how much money ESPN has, it takes time and resources to build a studio. Also, why would they build a studio specifically for NASCAR when they've never done that for your so-called "stick and ball sports." I know your answer will be something along the lines of how NASCAR is based in NC and NASCAR fans expect more. Well, I was at my first race two weeks ago and the only thing it appears NASCAR fans expect is for the Civil War to be started up again sometime in the near future.

I'll go one step further on Massarro. I watch outside the lines everyday. He wasn't just at ESPN, he was 20 feet from Kuselias on the Outside the Lines set. If it's not important where the person is, why should it be mentioned? Would Massaro's report have been improved had they said where he was? Cowlishaw was in Dallas near his home.

w17scott said...

Dear Anonymous - If you're so in on details of the show, why don't you make some suggestions to your fellow ESPNers's show is a classic example of how 'suits' at ESPN get to be 'suits' ...they keep shuffling them around until they land in the staff slot where the 'suits' don't have to look at them too much ...from John's description, I had a better spent hour fixing supper and catching up with local news ...bring back RPM2 Night

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, your "Civil War" comment is simply ignorant. Chck out the actual demographics and you'll find your cutesy characterization is just stupid.

As for ESPN, there's an old line that, "If you're not going to do something right, don't do it at all."

They should apply that to "NASCAR Now."

Anonymous said...

John please. If you're going to put a headline on your "column" about Carolina, get your facts straight. You call yourself a journalist? You're a guy with a computer. Marty Smith was in Memphis....that is in Tennessee in case you didn't know and Stacy Compton came from that is in Virginia. Get your facts straight.

Matt said...

If ESPN would have invested all the money they spent on these "mini-studios" in at least 6 states into one large studio in the Charlottle/Mooresville area, maybe we'd get a better program.

Daly Planet Editor said...

My friends,

Let me respond. The reason no one knows where the outlying talent are located on NASCAR Now is because they are the only ESPN show that does not identify their location.

How is it possible that anyone would know the information you put on your post? If you work on the show, please help us understand why NASCAR Now never tells us where the reporters and interviews are coming from. That would be a great help.

I hope you understand that the theme of my post was that nothing to do with this sport comes from Connecticut, ever. While you may be new to ESPN and NASCAR, the network went through this exact same problem many years ago when they had the NASCAR contract.

They wound-up putting together a Carolina studio that was used for the daily NASCAR show, and to prepare NASCAR reports for SportsCenter and the like.

Over the next eight years, NASCAR is not going to move to CT. It just might be a good idea (again) for ESPN to move to NASCAR.


Anonymous said...

Ok John, well, Connecticut doesn't have an NFL football team or an MLB baseball team yet they seem to cover those sports just fine. Sure, NASCAR may never come to CT, but you know what? Neither will MLB or the NFL. The NHL even left for the south.

And I apologize for the civil war comment. I just figured that when you see more stars and bars than stars and stripes, you know, people are longing for a time when they might overthrow the north.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thanks for your comment. By continuing to draw comparisons to stick and ball sports, you are proving my point. NASCAR is, and always has been, unique.

The other professional sports leagues are spread out across the nation. They have shorter seasons, and never all play at once on the same day and then take four days off.

NASCAR is a "show" that goes out to a city, races for three days, and then returns to one small area of the country. Instead of continuing to compare it to baseball and football, think of it just the way it is.

What if you had a league that played from Feb through Nov almost every week, you were in the first year of an eight year TV contract, and every player, coach, and owner lived in the same town? I think you might be able to justify a small TV studio. Especially when you consider serving ESPN News Network, SportsCenter, and feeding NASCAR Now back daily to headquarters.

As a person who was in on the first go-round, it just seems strange that this new bunch does not get it. That's just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

Just to correct one tiny thing, Texas Tim Cowlishaw is actually a real live NASCAR follower (you can put him down as Junior fan) for ESPNs coverage of NASCAR, while it ain't great, it could be worse--NASCAR could all be on ABC which would really suck, they've practically ruined all their motor sports coverage. And let's remember ESPN is still in their learning curve.

Let's face it though, NASCAR didn't really think about the viewing fan when they took ESPNs money (and to be kind, for all their carping about "the fan" have they done anything lately that shows they really give a damn about their fan base?), if they did we'd still be watching NASCAR on CBS (though FOX/NBC/TNT do good work)...

Give ESPN a chance, they'll hire some real race car people and the coverage will improve.


Anonymous said...

Well, the NFL plays one day each week, with the exception of Monday Night Football. Then everyone goes home and comes back a few days later. Sure the NASCAR season is long, and the NASCAR industry is all in one area, but that doesn't justify ESPN setting up camp there. Not when they have ERT set up for ESPNU right in Charlotte. There's really no reason to set up another shop when everything they need is right in Charlotte.

The reason NASCAR Now doesn't specifically mention where reporters are is because again, it's not important. For NFL coverage, their reporters are at the headquarters of each team, so it's important to say that they're at those headquarters. But when Cowlishaw is coming to you from Dallas, and he's not at a NASCAR specific place, his location becomes irrelevant. The same goes for Angelique. She's in Detroit because it's where she's from. And she reports most of the week from her home city. It's pretty unimportant to mention where she's at if it doesn't have anything to do with what she's reporting on.

Anonymous said...

It's amusing that you never mention that you used to work for ESPN. In the interest of the good journalistic practice of full disclosure, I would think you would mention that you used to work for them. Would any of your readers consider your opinions unbiased if they knew this truth? Obviously you have something against ESPN, and when I found out today that you used to work for them, it made everything clear. You're bitterness towards ESPN comes from the fact that you used to work there and you think you can do things better than the current crop of employees working on NASCAR.

Anonymous said...

Forget the "NASCAR Now" programming.

I think watching ESPN's NASCAR coverage on the "Bottom Line" is even more pathetic and telling. All season, ESPN has been showing the top 12 points leaders for the Nextel Cup on its "Bottom Line." So why has ESPN now, out of the blue, started to show the top 14 points leaders over the last two weeks?

ESPN. All Junior, all the time.

bevo said...

Anonymous 12:14 a.m. -

With all due respect you're a moron. If you EVER bothered to read this blog before today you would know that Mr. Daly has stated MANY TIMES that he was a former ESPN employee. And there's this...

Daly Planet Editor
John Daly is a twenty-five year sports television veteran. He is now a media consultant and journalist.

You can find this on the right-hand margin of the blog.

If you go back and read the posts since the beginning of the season you will soon see that Fox and TNT both caught as much if not more grief for their coverage. We expected more from The Worldwide Sports Leader Don't talk the talk if you can't walk the walk.

Now instead of wasting your time on the company computer in Bristol try to make the coverage better.

Daly Planet Editor said...

My friends,

Let me respond. I had a blast working at ESPN, but I left back in 1989 to move to TX and start Prime Network, remember This Week in NASCAR with Eli Gold? That was mine. ESPN is a great place to work, and has been great with the on-track NASCAR action.

ERT, (ESPN Regional Television) is located a long way from Mooresville in the Ballantyne area of South Charlotte. They also have a very full plate. A driver or NASCAR personality would have a long drive to "show up"" for a liveshot or interview.

To say the location of the NASCAR Now reporters is irrelevant is ridiculous. This show has worked hard to hide things, and has never been up-front with viewers. Why didn't the host just say Mike Massaro was at ESPN on another set? NASCAR Now should say where the reporters are just like every single other ESPN news oriented show.

If you check my archives, I have enjoyed Jerry Punch and his gang since the beginning of the year. What viewers did not enjoy, and did not understand, was how the most sophisticated sports network on the planet could put inexperienced on-air hosts in front of a national audience and say "just accept it." That never would be done with baseball or football.

Last week, NASCAR Now was hosted by Ryan Burr and had two fantastic shows. Absolutely fantastic. Same crew, same studio, same network. Then, in the blink of an eye the hype and chaos returned. That is the problem, and that problem will continue to be discussed here until it is fixed. Thanks.

SallyB said...

Nascar Now is laughable. More time spent rehashing old news and 'picking' one driver over another? So sad. Perhaps, if they spent less time trying to create controversy whee there is none, we could get more real news. The ruling in the Nascar vs. AT&T case is a big deal...and Eric K didn't know enough aboutthe ituation to question Mary Smith on the possible ramifications of it?

PKRWUD said...

Whether or not the NASCAR Now reporters location would actually make their reports any better is debatable, but the viewer feels closer to the action when they see that the reporter is on location. This is especially true when it comes to any type of rumor control, or inside information. If they want viewers to come back, they should try to make them feel as close to the action as possible. It's not brain surgery.

While ESPN has clearly increased the mention of NASCAR events since their turn to cover them has arrived, their actual reporting on them stinks. At no point, before, during, or after the race, do they leave me with the feeling that they are enjoying bringing it to me. It almost feels like it's more of a chore for them. Interrupting a commercial break for a caution, or to get back to the race in time to see the green flag drop after a caution, would be a big help. Better personalities wouldn't hurt, either.

The one positive thing I'll say is that their animated graphics for explaining vehicle parts and how they operate is exceptional. Id like to borrow it for my customers!

Not much comfort, but at least I said something positive.

Kevin in Indy said...

Anyone else get the feeling that "Anonymous" is really Cowlishaw or Erik (with a K)or maybe one of their sycophants. I've been reading the Daly Planet for months and I've known all along that Mr. Daly used to work for ESPN. He's mentioned it in numerous blogs. He's worked in the media much longer than you have and has seen what works and what doesn't. It is clear that when Erik hosts he has no clue as to what he's talking about. I've looked up Timmy's columns on-line, looking for proof of his NASCAR expertise. Didn't see much. How did he get a job as an "insider"? Tim, are you and Erik (with a K) dating? Hell, my 6 year old knows more about the sport than these two hacks.

Anonymous said...

You wrote:
"ERT, (ESPN Regional Television) is located a long way from Mooresville in the Ballantyne area of South Charlotte. They also have a very full plate. A driver or NASCAR personality would have a long drive to "show up"" for a liveshot or interview."

The Speed TV studios are also in South Charlotte, not far from Ballantyne. Drivers used to show up to do interviews every week there when NASCAR Nation aired on Speed. Why can't they go to south Charlotte to go the already existing ESPN studio if they can go to the Speed studio?

I personally don't care where the reporters are reporting from, but I do dislike the phone interviews of the drivers and would rather see them on the air in person. if they can use this ERT studio, then they should.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Hey folks,

Let's keep things civil. The reason we are discussing this is only because we all care about it. That is a very positive thing.

SPEED's location is not an issue in this, but I appreciate the comparison. A small liveshot style studio in Mooresville, only a ten minute drive for most NASCAR types, would change things forever for ESPN.

The problem, as explained to me at the beginning of this year, was the network's committment to High Def. I was hoping they would take the gear from the NYC studio formerly used by Cold Pizza and Steven A. Smith and transfer that to Mooresville, but that did not happen.

We all want ESPN and SPEED to deliver to us a high quality product, and we will encourage them all the way. Thanks again for all your input.

Anonymous said...

Not sure why ESPN bothered to buy the rights to NASCAR racing at all. They treat producing it like an obligation, refuse to assign the reporters and hosts who know something about the subject to their nightly show, play games with swapping hosts from Erik (who needs to learn the topic first) to Bestwick (who knows it inside-out).

Can you imagine ESPN treating a stick-and-ball show this way? Assigning Jerry Punch to cover football? No. Why?

Because they actually care about stick-and-ball sports.

Which leads back to the original question--

If they didn't want to deal with NASCAR, why did they buy the rights to it?

Anonymous said...

Kevin in Indy:

Here's how I know Cowlishaw is a NASCAR fan: 1. He says he is (which he has done often on ESPNs Around the Horn and elsewhere), 2. He actually knows the names of the people in the sport, 3. He covers NASCAR for his newspaper (you cn read, right?), and 4. He actually goes to races (I know because I've seen Tim at a few)...

Yeah, ESPN is a little rough around the edges when it comes to covering NASCAR (yes, they prefer stick and ball sports), but they're still covering it, right? Unless you live in NASCAR land, ask yourself when was the last time you read any coverage in your local newspaper or watched it on the nightly news--I bet it's close to not at all.

Give ESPN a chance they'll come around. Besides, what they're doing is still better than that goofy Inside Nextel Cup on Speed.

Kevin in Indy said...

1. Just because someone says that they are a fan, doesn't mean they are. 2. Because he knows some of the names doesn't make him an expert. 3. Running a check for Timmy's coulmns at the Dallas Morning News, the most recent 29 columns come up. Of those 29, only 2 had to do with NASCAR (You can count, can't you?). Five columns were dedicated to the Mavs/NBA, Eight were about the Cowboys/NFL, Two were about Tiger Woods /PGA /golf, Ten were about the Rangers/MLB, and two were about the Dallas Stars NHL team. Memo to Tim, don't wear yourself out writing all those NASCAR columns. You know, anonymous, I go to quite a few races myself and I have not seen him at any of them (Brickyard, Michigan, Chicago, Bristol). I live in Indianapolis, it's a city in Indiana, and is famous for hosting motorsports events. We even have a newspaper that is printed daily! On Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays there are locally written stories about NASCAR, IRL, and Chump Car. I will agree with you that Inside Nextel Cup reeks. That subject has been brought up before at The Daly Planet. It used to be a must see show. Now it's the same as NASCAR Now, a must avoid show.

Anonymous said...

Good shot at INC, but the problem with your comparison is that SPEED does many other good NASCAR-related shows.

ESPN does not.

Anonymous said...

It's getting alittle rough in here. It has been suggested that we give ESPN alittle time and they will get better. Let me point out that they've had almost a year since they signed the contract to get ready. Also they have been covering the Busch series for the entire season. How much more time do they need?

Nascar Now is terrible with Erik as host. He reads from a script and isn't a Nascar fan.I don't even think he's a good lawyer. If he was he would have been able to give the viewers a better answer than Marty Smith about how the LEGAL ruling in the Nascar vs AT&T drama actually affect Nascar. Marty Smith is a good reporter but he is not a lawyer yet the lawyer asked him to tell the viewers the impact. All Erik could say was "Nascar 1 AT&T 0 now let's move on".

With Nascar Now not saying anything about the Busch or Truck race they should just be called Nextel Cup Now.As far as Cowlishaw being a "real Nascar follower" let me just say this. He never ever sounds like he knows what he's talking about when it comes to Nascar. If he attends reces is it because he wants to or because he is being paid to?

Daly Planet Editor said...

My friends,

Let's get back on track. We have worked hard here all year not to take cheap shots and if we disagreed with something to say the reason why.

Certainly, there are two sides to every story and we all have opinions. Just like Brad Daugherty, we have never seen a role exist like Tim Cowlishaw has on NASCAR Now. Its not defined, and in a thirty minute show, it takes a lot of time for him to offer opinion. I think thats a valid point. If you like him, and his style, that valid as well. I enjoy him on Around The Horn and other shows.

Tonight we will see how the network uses its resources to cover the AT&T story and how it impacts a sport in trouble with sponsors right now.

I enjoy keeping the comments as
Anonymous to encourage ESPN folks and other crew people to post, and they certainly do. If anyone has a problem with that, or any other issue, just drop me an email and I will help you out.

This season, we have all worked hard to build a place where we could go to talk about NASCAR TV and make our opinions heard. I am just the group leader, and no more important or smarter than any person leaving a comment.

Let's all keep our heads together and continue to debate this wild year in NASCAR TV. Thanks.

MemphisMojo said...

Not to burst the bubble of the Jerry Punch covering football comment..... but the doctor has covered many a college football game for ESPN in the past. Did a pretty good job as well I thought.

It does appear as though the boys in Bristol really don't care about a consistent, informative and watchable show dealing with NASCAR.

Can you imagine if Baseball Tonight went down the same confusing road as the never ending Jekyll and Hyde shows of NASCAR Now. It's mind-boggling how this continues at a network the caliber of ESPN.

Dot said...

I think I know why ESPN bought the rights to air NASCAR. A couple of years ago they were fighting with the cable companies to charge more for their channel. I believe they wanted to be on the upper tier channels and not be included on basic cable. I'm guessing that now there are more viewers due to racing, this may happen.

Anonymous said...

ESPN has a long term investment in NASCAR.

They can afford their roving mini studios so a studio in the Charlotte area should be a realistic idea.

A solid Charlotte host with NASCAR ties would cap it to make it successful. ie: Allen Bestwick

Richard in N.C. said...

The continued decline in ratings for NASCAR races would seem to indicate that ESPN's plan for coverage of NASCAR is not working. It would appear that upper management at ESPN presumed that real NASCAR fans are so blindly loyal that we would watch whatever they put on the air, without regard to its quality or lack thereof. I watch ESPN frequently and no recurring show for NFL, NBA, or Baseball is hosted or structured with such lack of knowledge or appreciation for the sport being covered. I assume ESPN management never counted on an inept, uninformed studio product angering NASCAR fans and driving viewership down. As a result of the poor quality of NASCAR NOW, I now pay much more attention to the quality of other ESPN shows and, accordingly, watch ESPN much less.

Vince said...

It'd be nice if some of these Anonymous posters would take the time to create an ID on here, so we could respond to some of their comments directly. Come on guys, quit hiding behind the anonymous tag.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify--so "nothing to do with this sport comes from Connecticut, ever."? Maybe you should be more specific. Fans come from Connecticut. If you mean the Bristol studios, you really should say that (and no, I don't live in CT, but I know they go to races too.) Overall, I hope you keep going at ESPN, although it doesn't seem to be doing much go so far...we still haven't gotten rid of the awful Erik. And I really don't care where the reporters are (though it would take little effort to explain), but I agree it makes things less cohesive, and also agree with the person who complained about the phone interviews. No excuse not to send someone there. I remember the old NBS 24/7; even though a particular person had left the team, SPEED sent a reporter to his house to get his response to something. I was impressed by that.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thanks for your comment, my meaning was that none of the infrastructure of NASCAR comes from CT. If you have been to Mooresville for a tour, the "stuff" all around is amazing.

Just for the record, I am a NASCAR fan who used to live in CT. I love Stafford and Thompsonville Speedways, and even saw Jimmy Spencer at Riverside in Agawam, MA.

As you may understand from the comment, SPEED moved from Stamford, CT to Charlotte and used a rented studio just to be in the area of NASCAR. I helped SPEED sign-on back in Stamford, and was amazed they made the move to NC.

Now, ESPN has literally hundreds of hours of live NASCAR on ESPN, ESPN2, and ABC Sports. Next season, they will begin to recycle this year's races on ESPN Classic. They also feature NASCAR reports on ESPN News.

As JPM continues to gain in popularity, no doubt ESPN Deportes (sports) will also begin to originate programming with a NASCAR theme.

Like it or not, ESPN needs an expanded presence in Mooresville. I will be interesting to see how long they can resist reality.

Desmond said...

I agree with whoever posted the suggestion that NASCAR Now should move to ESPN Plus. It is on the other side of town from most of the drivers and teams, but it still beats a Connecticut location and constant satellite and phone interviews.

If the show has to be in HD, why can't ESPN pay to send the HD equipment down to Charlotte? Mobile HD crews are sent to ESPN's live sporting events all the time. Why should this be any different?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clarification, John. I *really* didn't think you were trying to 'dis' CT, lol.

I hadn't realized SPEED was once in was not even a channel option here (upstate NY) until about 2001, believe it or not. I would definitely agree ESPN'd be better off with a Charlotte area studio. But then, they couldn't use their crew people & idiot anchors for other programming which would require actual money being spent--just guessing that's part of it. I've had the same thought about ESPN Deportes--maybe they can put racing on there with English subtitles...j/k.

But I think it all boils down to what you and others have said. ESPN has clearly not made a full committment to racing, which makes you wonder why they wanted it back in the first place. We were all hoping for SOOOOOOO much more, especially to get back Massaro, Kernan, Punch, etc. They had an opportunity to do something really special and they blew it. If they can't even figure out what to do with a pro like Bestwick, what hope is there?

Believe it or not, there are sports like figure skating that get even worse treatment from the ABC/ESPN folks. Funny aside here--they once sent Paul Page to cover a skating event. Fans were 'outraged' and had no idea who Paul was (quite frankly, I thought he did a professional job considering the probably last minute circumstances of his being there...) But it was sort of surreal hearing his voice on a skating show...