Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dale Junior's Press Conference In-Progress Comments


Wednesday at 1:30PM Eastern Daylight Time, both SPEED and the ESPN News Network will carry live the Dale Earnhardt Junior press conference from Dallas, TX.

Junior is expected to announce his new sponsorship package for 2008, as well as which number his car will carry when he moves to Hendrick Racing next season.

While SPEED has been covering NASCAR-related events live for several years, this is ESPN's first season of dealing with such issues.

The ESPN News Network will devote its time to live coverage of the entire series of announcements, and will stop their normal thirty minute "wheel" of sports news.

Over at SPEED, Steve Byrnes will host that network's coverage from the SPEED Studios in Charlotte, NC.

Please feel free to post your TV-related comments about this live coverage on this page, bearing in mind that comments not addressing the TV issues will be deleted.

It should be interesting for many people not into the NASCAR scene that a press conference about a sponsor and a number will be carried live on two national cable TV networks. There is no word on how long the press conference itself should take.


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29 comments:

Anonymous said...

I see that Jayski, who claims no ESPN bias, despite the fact that the network owns his site, says in his top story that ESPN and ESPN360 will carry the press conference.

He fails to mention that SPEED wll carry it as well.

Nope, no ESPN-ownership influence there.

William said...

Unfortunately I see this as the beginning of a slowdown in NASCAR. I do hope Junior is happy with this move but this represents the loss of one of the major popularity surges in sports history.
NASCAR had lightning in a bottle with Dale JR driving for his fathers team, after his fathers death on the track, and in the red Budweiser car.
Dale Jr has been the most popular driver in NASCAR for six years now. Not by a little but by nearly double the fans of next in line. Ask anyone that has watched the backstretch at 'Dega empty after JR has crashed out of the race.

I believe that Jr's slump over the last couple of years has directly led to the TV ratings drop we are seeing as well as the resurrection of empty seats at races. I sincerely hope that NASCAR stays healthy over the next few years with increased costs of putting a car in the filed and the increasing difficulty of finding sponsorship. I think things are going to get worse before they get better. Dale Jr has killed the golden goose by leaving DEI and switching sponsors.

Anonymous said...

Dale Jr has killed the golden goose by leaving DEI and switching sponsors.

Ratings will only drop if you believe people who watched Junior did so because of the team he drove for, not who he is.

I don't agree with that. Anyone who is a legit Junior fan is happy to see him get a quality ride and management that cares enough to show up at the track.

They'll watch.

Anonymous said...

William, I disagree.

My NASCAR viewership hasn't declined because Junior isn't winning. My NASCAR viewership has declined because Junior isn't winning, AND ESPN STILL ACTS LIKE HE'S THE ONLY EFFING GUY ON THE TRACK.

If ESPN would stop sucking up to Junior Nation and spread its coverage around a little more to drivers who actually deserve the attention, I'd watch again. And live coverage of Junior's press conference only reaffirms my deepest fears.

I haven't been paying attention, but did ESPN go live to the Kyle Busch press conference, or the Gibbs/Toyota press conference? I'm suspecting not, but Junior speaks and the world stops.

SophiaZ123 said...

Wow...I do not believe because Jr felt he had to move on and be his own person, after years of behind the scenes struggles, is the blame for the downfall of NASCAR. I like and support Jr and he needs to make the changes to live his life.

He cannot HELP he is so popular with fans but if they give up and stop watching, they were simply casual fans anyway.

Much like apparently Tiger Woods has made the ratings in golf go up. Really? I have watched golf tournaments on tv since I was a child coming from a family of golfers.

But to lay all the blame on Jr is a bit harsh. This guy gets much more attention than he ever wanted? You can see it in recent interviews where the mic is SHOVED in his face as soon as he gets out of the car.

He cannot help it his dad was a legend.

He cannot help his father is dead.

He cannot help it if fans of his dad latched on to him and expect MORE out of the boy.

From what I have read over the last 4 years or so, the reasons for NASCARS slump and fan displeasure is much deeper and complicated than Jr switching teams?

Ticket prices, tracks making more rules,moving races, campground prices skyrocketing, the "Hollywoodization" of the sport from Brian..too many cautions, too many commercials, THE CHASE (OVER Hype)...and now such HORRIBLE ESPN coverage a handful of writers are writing about it on their columns. These are just a few reasons off the top of my head.

Years ago from what I have read, races started around noon and were over by dinner. Now with all the pre race and LONG races (should shorten some of the 500 mile races) Watching NASCAR is an endurance contest.

AND with folks wanting to tape or DVR the race, no easy feat with ESPN channel hopping THREE times during one race.

Sorry, Jr has nothing to do with that. And I personally feel it unfair to blame this young man for the "downfall" of NASCAR.

NASCAR has nobody to blame but themselves. And they can thank ESPN for the continuing disenchantment of ALL the fans.

Anonymous said...

I'm the one who wrote the disagreement with William.

Junior is partly the problem, but ESPN is the problem. Just like ESPN is the problem with sports as a whole.

I compare Junior to Alex Rodriguez. When A-Rod is winning and hitting home run after home run, ESPN shoves it down our throat. He's the greatest ever, he's gonna break the home run record, he's the Tiger Woods of baseball.

And then, 24 hours later, he makes a throwing error, he strikes out with the bases loaded, he's caught with a stripper, his wife wears a shirt to the stadium with an f-bomb on it. And then all of the sudden, ESPN says he's the most overrated player of all time, "he's not a real Yankee," he hasn't "earned his Pinstripes," he's not worth his ridiculous salary, and so on.

But either way, A-Rod is the story. And so is Junior.

ESPN is nothing but a bunch of sycophants who talk out of both sides of their mouth, just to get a rise out of its audience. It's time to see them for what they are and call them out on it.

I wish that ESPN would just realize that we would still watch their programs, even if they didn't make it all about the "celebrity athletes" and the big-name teams.

Daly Planet Editor said...

The ESPN News Network has a Program Alert graphic up that promotes the 1:30PM coverage of the press conference.

SPEED is showing the NASCAR Modifieds race at Martinsville, but has no graphics promoting the coverage, and no promos in the show so far.

The cable news networks are all caught-up in the OJ Simpson coverage, and have not mentioned this press announcement.

Daly Planet Editor said...

SPEED crawls the promo for the press conference about ten minutes after our post. Makes you wonder who is reading The Daly Planet at work!

Anonymous said...

ESPN is nothing but a bunch of sycophants who talk out of both sides of their mouth, just to get a rise out of its audience.

This is pretty typical of sports "reporters," especially those on TV. They got into the job becuae they were fans, not journalists.

So it's no surprise that they act like fans first...or that they are afraid to ask the hard questions of their heroes. Standard response: We can't make them angry--we need them later. Yeah, that's journalism.

Anonymous said...

Lots of other more important sports "news" on ESPN, I guess, since they dumped out early.

Once again, only SPEED covers the story completely.

Anonymous said...

In ESPN's defense, they probably haven't given us our daily dose of news about the COMPLETELY WORTHLESS 0-3 Notre Dame football team.

Notre Dame, the Junior of college football.

(It's an ESPN coverage analogy, not a cheap shot on Junior)

Anonymous said...

ESPN: The Worldwide Leader in Stick and Ball Sports

SophiaZ123 said...

OK, I love Jr but they are really dragging...I had to do some cleaning. BUT I JUST NOW clicked to ESPN and was HORRIFIED to see them covering OJ!! WHY GIVE THAT CREEP ANYMORE TV TIME..sheesh.

I was hoping to see the new car paint scheme..I pretty much knew the other stuff.

:-)

William said...

Hmm, I didn't think what I said would be taken that way.

I'm not against any of what is going on. I'm stating what I believe to be the truth. I don't think that Junior should have stayed where he was or that the actions of his stepmother should have been condoned.

Can anyone tell me that the combination of Junior at DEI, driving the red eight, sponsored by Budweiser is as compelling as Junior at Hendrick motorsports, wearing a pressed polo shirt, Driving Dale JARRET'S number, in a Mountain Dew car? Are the fans gonna get jacked up on Mountain Dew now?
I just don't see this combination drawing new fans or keeping some of the casual Younior! fans. Understand?

Anonymous said...

OK, I love Jr but they are really dragging

This is why most press conferences are not shown live. They are for the press, not people at home--and every time someone runs one live, somebody someplace complains that it's dull...or they ask dumb questions...or whatever.

That's why you only see a soundbite when you watch the news.

You wouldn't want to see sausage being made, either.

Anonymous said...

Oh, no, look at that hair. Did they make him go to Jeff Gordon's barber--er, stylist? I hope to God that they don't turn Jr. into some clean-cut Hendrick clone. That is my only fear about his changing teams.

Anonymous said...

wearing a pressed polo shirt,

He wore a untucked button-down today.

I think Junior's image is well-established and will do just fine.

Anonymous said...

Are the fans gonna get jacked up on Mountain Dew now?

I know plenty of Junior fans who can't stand to drink Bud.

They follow the man, not the sponsor. Or the car number.

Kevin in Indy said...

I know this is kinda off topic but did anyone see the Kasy Kahne Budweiser annoucement yesterday? I had never seen a man hold a beer bottle that way before. Definitely not familiar with proper technique. Maybe Ray Evernham should have gotten Kasey a sponsorship from Zima or something more fitting like that.

bevo said...

Well Sirius really dropped the ball on the press conference. Can't schedule breaks even though they've promoted the coverage since it was announced. Then some smug management type comes on and says they have to pay the bills. Jackasses like him are what's wrong with the media.

I'm not a big Jr fan but that kind of stuff is irritating.

Desmond said...

Sophia, SPEED Channel showed some of the paint schemes briefly. They were from a publicity video shot at Texas Motor Speedway.

The conference itself was typical, the car owner, the driver, and the sponsors were all there.

Interestingly, Kelly Earnhardt Elledge wasn't there, or at least not on the podium. She conducted the negotiations on the new car number, according to Dale Jr.

SophiaZ123 said...

Kevin

I MISSED seeing Kasey with the beer bottle but he did not look that comfortable just RIDING on the Bud wagon imo.

Also, I like sweet kasey but he HONESTLY looks like he needs to show an I.D. to drink Budweiser?!:)

Oh, the last couple of Jr press conferences I DID watch in entirety...today I was distracted with a new comforter and drapes that were delivered at the same time...I also MISSED IT if they viewed the new car?? I just saw some quick clips of the paint scheme. THAT will take me some getting used to..

Also, I did NOT watch the Kyle Busch interview except for 5 minutes.

Also I did not watch the RGR going to Toyota racing...so Jr is NOT the only one who gets LIVE PRESS CONFERENCE for the Jr haters out there.

I really felt sad when jr said the last lap of Homestead is going to be very emotional on him as to what it represents.....I can already see the ESPN VULTURES circling his car no matter how he finishes that day. They will want to EXPLOIT his emotions to the max.

I realize sports does that in many areas but I still find it sickening and they ALL get to the drivers too quickly or even BEFORE they get out of the cars anymoe....let the guys catch their breath, collect their thoughts or emotions. I don't care who the driver is...Like the death of common sense, I do believe civility has died as well.

ESPN showing OJ instead of Jr press conference?? Nuff said.

*sigh*

Anonymous said...

Message to anonymous 10:02 - Jayski DID list SPEED's planned coverage. I read about the news conference yesterday on his site. If ESPN was totally in control at Jayski, I do not think there would be a link to Daly Planet every day.

RE: the press conference. Speed hung in there for around 50 minutes, ESPN left after 10 or 15 minutes. In ESPN's defense, they reported the germane facts about the number and sponsors. SPEED gave fans more background by covering the Q&A session. I think that both networks fulfilled their respective missions.

Anonymous said...

ESPN showing OJ instead of Jr press conference?? Nuff said.

As much as I love NASCAR, the OJ story is much bigger than Junior's number/sponsor change. And people who would say, "Junior Who?" know who OJ is.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Both networks pretty much fulfilled their obligations to NASCAR which is about all we can expect.

Man, what ugly cars. It's a shame a driver as popular as Junior is now being sponsored by a product that probably won't even be around in five years.

Of course, the new Bud car is pretty ugly too with that stupid looking Evernham 9.

Oh well, I guess the world will keep turning. 88 will still be Jarrett's number to me.

William said...

It's an ugly car too,
Has anyone noticed that? It'll be HARD to pick out of a group on the track! I'm personally liking Harvick's new yellow car there is only one car I can mix it up with. This car is different colors from the front, back and side. Not very fan friendly. Fortunately it will be smack in the middle of the TV screen nearly all the time.

Anonymous said...

"the OJ story is much bigger than Junior's number/sponsor change."

Personally, I think that neither story is newsworthy.

The OJ story is only newsworthy because it reaffirms a lot of people's opinions of him (he did it). Frankly, I've moved on, I think he's pathetic, and I would be happier if I never heard from him again. The rest of you need to get over it and ignore him.

As for Junior, it is no more newsworthy than other NASCAR-related events (Kahne and Bud, Gibbs and Busch, Gibbs and Toyota), and those were not covered live, or even halfway considered for live coverage.

If Peyton Manning was forced to change his uniform number, would it be that newsworthy? I have a Peyton Manning "18" jersey and lots of Manning memorabilia, and I don't care. And I wouldn't be happy if ESPN interrupted regular programming to tell me about it.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is now a new column up about the media coverage of this press event today in Dallas.

Thank you for all of your great comments while this live program was in-progress.

JD

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