Monday, October 15, 2007

ABC Affiliates Pre-Empt NASCAR Coverage


This is the first season of the ESPN production crew bringing the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series to the ABC broadcast affiliates. These local stations comprise the system of TV delivery that NASCAR mandated for the "Chase For The Championship." These races must be on broadcast TV nationwide. At least, that was the idea.

Saturday night, the NEXTEL Cup broadcast from Lowe's Motor Speedway began at 7PM with a thirty minute edition of NASCAR Countdown, the pre-race show. This is not a distinctly separate program, but basically a thirty minute lead-in to the event where interviews and features are added from the Infield Studio by Suzy Kolber and her team. Brent Musburger was on-hand to "host" the festivities.

This race has been on the 2007 NASCAR schedule since it was released in late 2006. The ABC Sports schedule had been out for months. The ESPN on ABC production team had a beautiful night in the greater Charlotte area with absolutely no rain in sight.

Musburger's familiar refrain of "you are looking live" came across right on time as the flashy opening of the program recapped The NEXTEL Chase for the Championship to this point. It was going to be a big night in NASCAR, and a big night for ABC.

Kolber welcomed ESPN's analyst Rusty Wallace and commentator Brad Daugherty to the Infield Studio. After race highlights from Talladega, both Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon were interviewed live. Over the next thirty minutes the top drivers talked about their cars, the analysts talked about the race, and even Bank of America President appeared to back-up their multi-million dollar commitment to this event.

But, things were very different for one key area of the nation. Broadcast TV stations are talked about by their DMA's. That stands for Designated Market Area, and represents their ranking in the country among the one hundred and fifty markets.

Los Angeles is number two. Slightly behind New York, the LA market is key for both advertisers and TV ratings. With slightly over 5.6 million households, this area is a heavy hitter for both the local TV stations and the broadcast TV networks.

Saturday night, as the ESPN on ABC gang talked about the upcoming race and reviewed the happenings at Talladega, the Los Angeles ABC affiliate KABC pre-empted this telecast. It was time for Eyewitness News. Trapped between a college football game and a NASCAR race, the Program Director decided to drop Los Angeles out of the thirty minute NASCAR pre-race show and do the news.

The only thing was, this executive apparently did not tell ESPN or ABC or anyone else who really mattered. When the full newscast was over, KABC ran several minutes of commercials, and then just "slammed" into the live network telecast. They actually joined it right as the command to start engines was given.

Normally, when a local station is joining an event in-progress, there is a coordinated effort by the network to provide what is called a "scene set." This is when the announcer says "for those of you just joining us in Los Angeles, welcome to Lowe's Motor Speedway for a great night of NASCAR racing." This provides the station a transition into the network telecast without an awkward moment for the viewers.

The fact that there was no such cooperation between KABC and the ESPN on ABC crew producing the NASCAR race pretty much proves they did not know Los Angeles was gone for the entire show. As the second biggest TV market in the nation, you would think that the ESPN on ABC crew would want to make sure those folks were welcomed in to the telecast. Instead, LA viewers got the command to start engines in mid-sentence right out of a commercial.

This is not the sort of smooth ABC network telecast that ESPN wanted when they began the process of mending the fences between the cable TV production crews and the hardcore union crews of the ABC television network. Bad blood has existed between these two groups for over twenty years. If the union boys knew that LA was "dark," it seemed that no one told the "cable guys" producing the telecast at the track.

Email to The Daly Planet reports that the ABC affiliate in Oklahoma City, OK also decided that news would be better than the pre-race show, and that in San Antonio, TX the local station actually inserted a five minute news break during the red flag period of the race. The bottom line is, who knows what other stations in the ABC network went their own way during the NASCAR event?

The ultimate irony is that the LA station, KABC, is wholly owned by the ABC corporation, and refers to itself as "the West Coast flagship of the ABC Network." Well, for the NASCAR fans who deserved a full telecast during the height of the championship chase, this KABC decision seems to be based on dollars and not content. Local news is the money-maker for this station, and to lose a thirty minute broadcast would mean a little less to the station's bottom line.

NASCAR is getting a rude awakening to the reality of the ABC broadcast network after being chased off the air after Talladega, doing only two short post-race interviews after Charlotte, and now discovering that the second biggest market in the nation decided to dump the entire pre-race show for Eyewitness News. It kind of makes you wonder what they would have done during a classic LA freeway police chase?

Update: A reader writes in to inform us to add WPLG, the Miami, FL ABC affiliate to the list of stations that pre-empted NASCAR Countdown for local news. He also says this station did the same thing for the Richmond night race.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS section below, or email editor@thedalyplanet.tv if you wish not to be published. Thanks again for taking the time to stop-by and leave your opinion.

68 comments:

Anonymous said...

JD, If the ABC affiliates don't seem to respect ESPN, why should ESPN show respect and cut the post-race show for the affiliates?

Cire said...

One could only hope Brian France or some other high up NASCAR exec. was out in LA at some hotel watching....priceless.

Anonymous said...

I guess Fox doesn't have this problem since their affiliates generally have weak news divisions, but JD a question . . .

Is this a different way of operating than the now defunct programming that led off with Jim McCay's recorded "ABC's Wide World of Sports" announcement? And is the "ESPN on ABC" a broader consolidation between New York and Bristol than just a marketing change?

Anonymous said...

ABC and ESPN has been the worst coverage of Nascar ever. All of the fans that I speak to agree with me. They just don't seem to care about the racing although they try to act like it, maybe a little too hard, it looks fake. Plus, why do they continue to compare Football, Baseball to stock car racing? Please, we love our racing, talk about it.

haus20 said...

This season just seems to be one black eye after another for ABC/ESPN...ESPN has put everything but the kitchen sink into the production of these races, they haven't found their rhythm with the on air talent, they have had various technical glitches and now they have their west coast flagship station go AWOL...what else could go wrong???

Anonymous said...

The LA station's decision is pretty much the way I do it myself. The pre-race show doesn't tell me anything I don't already know and any decision that will help avoid seeing or hearing Brent Musberger is a good decision. I don't know what I would do without my DVR. If I wait until the midpoint of the race to start watching the race on my DVR, I can see the entire race, avoid commercials and the unpleasant parts of the race (cautions, Tim Brewer, draft lock, etc) and still see the last part of the race live.

Glenn Klima said...

Is it coincidence that Fontana (LA Speedway) has difficulty in selling out it's tickets. Or are there far fewer NASCAR fans in the LA area than the NASCAR "powers that be" are willing to admit? This is yet another reason to move the second NASCAR event at Fontana...to Las Vegas!! The race will sell out, and I'll betcha that the ABC affiliate in Las Vegas aired the whole ESPN/NASCAR package!!

SS in Miami said...

Add the Miami, FL affiliate WPLG to your list. They joined the coverage at the command to start engines as well after airing 30 minutes of news plus a ton of commercials between the end of the news and start engine command. They did the same thing to the pre-race show before Richmond.

Here is the email I received after complaining about the missing pre-race show before Richmond.

"Thanks for taking time to let me know how you feel about
our programming. Yes, we did decide to air our local news instead of
airing the pre-race show. I know that did not fare well with you but
that was the only time to air our local news between half hour we had
between the football game and the race. Our goal was to serve the news
viewer and the NASCAR viewer by showing the race.

Dave Boylan
VP and GM"

Anonymous said...

JD, correct me if I am wrong, but locals are not allowed to premept network programming without permission, are they?

Anonymous said...

mmqurA serious NASCAR fan would not know anyway because they would be watching Raceday on SPEED until the start.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 12:13 AM - It not a matter of respect, sports have a scheduled "window" on broadcast TV and if the event itself is still not in-progress, the show is over.

On Broadcast TV, the network schedules their "national" time and the rest belongs to the station.

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 7:21AM - The ESPN PR guys told me that the ABC stations make their own programming decisions about what national ABC network programming to carry. That was a new one on me.

JD

Anonymous said...

It's new to me, too, and I don't think it's 100% correct. The network loses money when its commercials don't run in the 2nd market.

Bobb said...

in my opinion even though NYC is the largest marked ABC/DIsney has little or no network operations in Manhattan. I believe they moved everything to Los Angeles when Bob Iger replaced Eisner in 2005 effectively making KABC the flagship station of the ABC television network.

WABC ran the countdown show but from by observations NYC television (and sports radio- including ESPN radio) stations do not like or promote NASCAR as they believe people in the New York market do not watch NASCAR. This thinking may also be applied to Los Angeles which may be why they pre-empted the countdown show.

The weird part is that KABC is an O&O (owned and operated) which means that ABC/Disney owns that station. Its employees work for disney corp. They are, I believe, expected to carry all network programs.

The reference to Wide World of Sports is interesting. Back in the day ABC was the true "Worldwide Leader in Sports". Affiliates or O&O's didn't join Wide world in progress. As mentioned Wide World had a start theme and ended with credits or such. In modern era starting themes are gone replaced with a Musberger type opening "You are looking at". NASCAR TV really has no common opening among the networks like the NFL has (The XYZ network welcomes you to the following NFL telecast) but NASCAR does have a closing (NASCAR would like to thank our loyal viewers and we hope you have enjoyed todays broadcast)which is seen on SPEED,ESPN,FOX and TNT. All four of those networks telecasts are also copyright NASCAR digital entertainment.

I thought when this whole ESPN on ABC branding started it was an effort to get ABC back in the sports business but apparently they are not taking it all that serious.

Anonymous said...

All I know is they have not been showing much post race,we barely get to see the winner climb out of his car in victory lane. Let alone any interviews with other drivers.

Anonymous said...

Having worked at a CBS affil, I can tell you we were NEVER allowed to override network sports programming, and had to get special clearance for primetime shows (think "Billy Graham").

I don't understand why ABC is letting the stations do this.

PKRWUD said...

I never expected to see the prerace show on Saturday because KABC was showing the USC football game all afternoon, and USC games always seem to run long. But when the game ended a few minutes before the prerace show was scheduled to start, I thought to myself that KABC actually planned things out well for a change. When Eyewitless News came on instead, I figured there must be some breaking news story, and that it would only be on for a minute or two. When they started repeating the same local news stories that were on their 7am broadcast earlier that day, I decided it must be raining in Charlotte, and KABC was just sneaking in some local news instead of showing the on-air guys at the track dodging the rain by zipping in and out of the Chase driver's motorcoaches asking each one if they felt the rain would affect their abilities that night.

When I turned on Speed, and saw that it wasn't raining in Charlotte, I started to get irked. In the back of my mind, always the optimist, I thought maybe the channel was being switched for some reason, and turned to ESPN Classic just to see if the pre-race show was on there instead, but it wasn't.

After a full 30 minutes of Eyewitless News, they said they were now going to send us to the race, which was the only time between the end of the USC game and the end of Eyewitless News that the race was even mentioned, and BAM! There we were.

It wasn't during the start your engines announcement, though, it was halfway through the national anthem. I remember thinking how cool it was to see the afterburners from the jets doing the flyover as the Star Spangled Banner was ending.

In closing, I'm going to say something I never thought I'd say; I can't wait to see Darrell Waltrip in the broadcast booth again!

Also, why can't Rusty do golf or fishing shows instead of the races? I'll buy him a set of clubs and a rod and reel, just to get rid of him.

End Rant

C. Turner said...

I find it very interesting that NA$CAR's "Biggest Market" (their Definition not ours) got bumbed and nobody told NA$CAR. King Brian needs to wake up. TV Rating again this week are in the TANK! Why? hmmmm, COT?, Poor TV COverage?, BS Chase Format?.... Could be! Hey Brain you forgot to listen to your Father and Grand Fathers advice while you were busy shoveling the dirt into old Bill jr.'s grave. "Son what ever you do, DON'T MESS WITH THE RACING!!" Well you did and now your paying for it. I wish Bill Jr, would have left NA$CAR to your Sister, I'm sure she would not have screwed it up this much. Perhpas the Fances' will look at the "bottom line" at the end of the yaer and vote you out. ..... Hmm I wonder if more planes will mysteriously crash and burn before the year is up. If I were related to King Brain or the France Family, I'd walk, or take an armored car right now.
CT

Anonymous said...

TV Rating again this week are in the TANK!
Down 2.5% from last year is not "in the tank."

Anonymous said...

Add KLTV Tyler Tx to the list as well. Not like I watch ABC prerace, but I sure don't like the decision being made for me.

C. Turner said...

anonymous (Erik K, or what ever ESPN Employee) said:
"TV Rating again this week are in the TANK!
Down 2.5% from last year is not "in the tank."."

Yes it is, when you consider 5 straight years of Plus Ratings Coverage for the Charlotte October Race, Hell the year it got rained delayed 5 hours and Jammie Mac won, they had better ratings.
Just go away! stop hiding behid "anonymous" as your name or at least have the balls to post your name. We all know that you are an employee of ESPN or Family member works there or what ever. ESPN's coverage this year is terrible, just face it.
Thank God Fox has the Daytona coverage. Could you immagane that "Cluster" if ESPN were to brodacst it. Every other word would be "Draft Lock"
I wonder how many marketting meetings were held to come up with that term?
Thank God for MRN,PRN, and NASCAR.com's Rave View. At least with those venues you get the race not the "Hype"
......Oh and while I'm on my soap box....
If I have to hear Jammie Little ask " How does that make you feel" one more freakin time I'm gonna puke. Just once I would love to hear Carl Edwards or Jimmie Johnson or someone say.. "How does it make me feel? I fell Like @#^#@! That how I feel."
Enough ranting.
Time for me to crawl back in my grave and get back to "spinning" thinking about how Bruton Smith screwed me over"
CT

mymegasuccess said...

Interesting insight into the politics of renegade affiliates and the sister sports network. seems as if both sides are acting in their own self-interest. Welcome to the world of ratings, control and money.

Denise said...

In Syracuse, NY, we came back from commercial break to see the lap one caution (coming in on lap 3!) - we didn't see the green flag start of the race. Who knows what lap they would have been on after the commercial break if there hadn't been a caution!

Andy Pandy said...

The statement from the ESPN PR guys that the ABC stations make their own programming decisions about what network programming to carry sure sounds like a lame attempt at damage control.

It reminds me of the poor spouse at a press conference standing next to her politician husband who was caught with a hooker, forcing a smile and telling us she still loves him and will work it out. We all know who did what to whom.

Anonymous said...

I do not like the pre race show. I watched football game right up to the green flag.

Anonymous said...

This Saturday, ABC has college football in prime time, as well at 3:30 eastern. According to TVguide.com, it looks like ABC gives the affiliates an hour between the end of the 3:30 game / post game window and the primetime window for local programming.

I don't know if this was the case for previous weekends where there was football in primetime on Saturday, though it would appear some the affiliates expect some window of time between an afternoon football game and an prime time sporting event rather than giving the network the entire time from the start of football to the conclusion of NASCAR.

Does anyone have an old TV guide from the Sept 8th saturday night race? I wonder if the same thing happened back then, or how they got around it.

Don said...

At least I got to see the end of the race, several fans on the Forum I was on had their local ABC station cut out the last 10 laps to go to local NEWS

IPingUPing said...

Here's the scoop on pre-emptions. Ultimately TV stations are individually licensed to serve a local market (serve the public interest as a public trustee). So that’s the station’s get out of jail free card on bumping network programming.

The network affiliation agreement recognizes the legal language in their contract, so as long as the station can prove the pre-emption is in the public interest, which news would probably qualify, there is little the network can do.

Anonymous said...

Don's comment is correct. KABC in LA not only didn't do the pre race show, they also didn't do the last 10 laps.
VERY NICE!

Kevin said...

I don't know what the others were watching as the end of the race was shown on KABC. It went past the allotted time but the end was shown. I saw it. As for the National Anthem we never saw it. As I said before the show opened with the crazy lady shouting "start your engines". Before the second Richmond race a couple of weeks ago the prerace show was pre-empted.

Anonymous said...

Does KABC also cut out of football or baseball games when they run long?

Time for NASCAR to step up and say, "Enough."

And it is past time for fans (viewers) to do the same.

Anonymous said...

We didn't miss anything in Los Angeles. The pre race show is a joke. But it is better then the dancing clown act on Speed. Bottom line we got to see 2/3 of the race and lots of nice commercials in between. Boy I miss Winston Cup racing this stuff stinks.

SS in Miami said...

Anonymous @10:12 AM:

The Miami Affiliate aired News despite the TV Guide saying that the Pre-Race Show would air on 9/8.

My brother worked at the Miami Fox affiliate when FOX aired the races for the first part of the season, they didn't care for NASCAR's endings because if the race ran over, they did not stretch until :15/:30/:45/:00 as is done in Football or Baseball, they just ended whenever they felt they were done. But they NEVER pre-empted the coverage to stick in News. Even the NBC affiliate wasn't this bad last year, despite waiting until after the commercials were over to pre-empt for whatever they thought was important.

At the very least, the ABC affiliates could air the pre-race show on their website as WTVJ(nbc affiliate in Miami) did with the Martinsville race on the day before Hurricane Wilma 2 years ago.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad they paid a zillion dollars so that their primary stations wouldn't even carry the content. Brilliant. :-P

VonBrink said...

Last year the St. Louis NBC affiliate pre-empted a good portion of a cup race to show the "World Series Champion Cardinals" parade and ballpark ceremonies. The exact same parade was being shown on the local CBS and ABC stations. My
complaining e-mail wasn't even answered for three days. I sent their "party line" answer directly back to them with detailed instructions of what to do with it.

Anonymous said...

Who can stand another 30 minutes of Rusty Wallace anyway? He is the worst announcer ever. A total loser, an idiot.

Anonymous said...

That so called show "count down to green" sucks any way, never watch it, so many stupid questions by so many stupid people.

Anonymous said...

With the way the end of the races are being pre-empted, I expect we'll end up having some fans being left with a "Heidi" incident sometime in the near future if it hasn't happened already.

Steven Wallace said...

The Speed TV pre-race show is much better.

Bobb said...

You last two posters don't get it do you?

Now some stations are pre-empting thepre-race show. If we don't put a stop to it what's to stop them from pre-empting the post race show (well if there was one in the first place on ESPN - OK for this example lets assume a fox broadcast).

Whats to stop them from cutting out a race, which may or may not have happened on Sat night at the five hour mark (with laps still to run) because they've had enough and want to put on their local news. When does it all stop.

NASCAR is expecting a lot from ABC and is not getting it. NASCAR saved the final ten races from cable and put em on free network television. The alternative was some national cable outlet or SPEED TV which is not yet seen in all cable systems.

You have to fight the small stuff to get the big stuff. Its like they say in racing - Look at the BIG PICTURE.

haus20 said...

This is not about the quality or lack thereof in ABC's prerace show. This is about the fact that NASCAR specifically wanted their Chase races on network tv and the pre-race show is being arbitraily prempted and the end of the race is being cut off.

It is conceivable that local affiliates could choose not to air the race at all because they perceive a lack of interest in the sport.

Content aside, this is not a good precedent for NASCAR programming

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

NASCAR is boring so the LA viewers did not miss a thing. Try Champ Car Saturday night on ESPN Classic. 11:30PM EST

Not helpful, and there are millions of NASCAR fans who spend money on sponsors' products who would disagree.

Lisa Hogan said...

silly little anons
insult my sport in order to entice me to watch yours. Thanks for the laugh.

Anonymous said...

The ABC Affiliate in Seattle (KOMO) pre-empted the pre-race show for a Busch race not too long ago ... I believe it was the race after Montreal ... I was upset because I wanted to see the sit-down interview that they had done with Marcos Ambrose ...

KOMO had scheduled an episode of "The Suite Life of Zach & Cody" ... It wasn't a last minute substitution because of a dropped satellite feed or anything ... They purposedly scheduled the Disney Channel show INSTEAD of the Nascar pre-race show ...

I tried sending an email to multiple addresses on their website, but they were all DEAD ... I even tried their parent company (Fisher Broadcasting) and got a reply of "we'll forward your email to KOMO" ... But, I never got any response ...

Anonymous said...

The TV numbers and attendace are suffering. It seems like a backlash to having NASCAR shoved down our throats. NASCAR is the biggest, but that doesn't make it the best by any means. Once people see through the marketing more sponsors will question their involvment in the series.

Anonymous said...

Well Lisa, you can watch a "race" with fake cautions so NAPCAR can claim close racing or you can watch real racing. You seem too smart to buy into the NAPCAR marketing machine.

Lisa Hogan said...

insult, then flatter
good cop,bad cop
interesting marketing ploy

Andy Pandy said...

I apologize for prolonging the off-topic chat, but the only open wheel racing I care to see happens when the pit crew takes the Sawzall to the fenders to get rid of the tire rub.

SophiaZ123 said...

Lisa

Don't feed the TROLLS! ;-)

Also, somebody mentioned the POTENTIAL for a HEIDI moment..well that's happened for NASCAR already.

Didn't somebody post here they MISSED the last 10 laps or so as their local news came on.

OUTRAGE. I don't care what the sport is THAT should not be legal.

Advertisers and sponsors pay HUGE BUCKS for tv and all. ESPN and ABC make it a scavenger hunt to FIND the shows between the channel roulette, AND DEEP SIXING the Pre race show and never allowing POST race shows. REMEMBER TWICE this year already, ABC went to a movie EARLY after a race and I think ESPN joined some dumb show in progress. I forget the races but they were SCHEDULED LATER and the networks LEFT EARLY.

It's insane.

And please do not give me this baloney to BUY NASCAR.com site stuff or DIRECT TV. FOLLOWING 5 drivers only does not sound like a good time for me *but I AM THRILLED many of you enjoy it, ok!!*

But I think average Joe and Jane American should be able to expect normal tv stations to SHOW the races in their entirety. We should NOT have to cater to those with more disposable income in order to get DECENT COVERAGE.

What's next? PAY PER VIEW FOR ALL THE RACES??? What if you live alone and all your friends think you are crazy for getting into NASCAR. That gets pricey.

But NASCAR is not listening to the fans no matter what the SPIN MACHINE tells us whether it's from HELTON, or SPEED or JEFF BURTON's interview on GLENN BECK.

NASCAR needs a frontal lobotomy to get it's racing priorities back in order.

ABC and ESPU getting by with all they do....well, it's unAmerican.

Just partially kidding there!!

Anonymous said...

All I can say is that the ESPN coverage has been atrocious thus far. I don't think I can ever remember worse. I am sick and tired of leaving the race to go to the "&%$^%*^$" whichever gimmick they are currently going to and have a lame information session during the race. ESPN has out Foxed Fox they are almost on a level with NBC

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone. I've been reading everyones complaints, so I'll add mine.
Rusty, along with ESPN/ABC, are why the ratings are dropping, and the cost of the seats as well as the costs to stay around the track (whether camping or motels)are the reasons for the empty seats at many tracks.
BILL FRANCE: WAKE THE F___K UP!!!
I don't know why it seems so hard for everyone to figure this out.

Erik said...
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SophiaZ123 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave said...

KtKa Topeka Ks also cut away from the race for news. This station is 50 miles from Clint Bowyer 07 car and I imagine that most folks in Clint's hometown of Emporia missed it. When questioned on Mon. new director told me it was an accident but could not explain to me why no apolgy on the new cast. They just flat dropped the race

Anonymous said...

Can not say much about the pre race show have not watched one all year. I just put it on speed untill the race starts and move on, they have a much better show from what I have seen anyway.

Anonymous said...

Sorry some of you folks missed the PRE-race.

KIFI, in Idaho Falls ID did not show any of the Talladega RACE live. It was shown taped delayed at 10:30 pm Sunday night.

A couple of points for other posters: Bill France is dead, Brian France couldn't care less. The current generation of Frances can't ever spend all the money their Granddad and Dad made for them so why should they?

Anonymous said...

KIFI, in Idaho Falls ID did not show any of the Talladega RACE live. It was shown taped delayed at 10:30 pm Sunday night.
What in the world did they think was more important to run for four hours?

Anonymous said...

What was more important? The Mormon General Conference From Salt Lake City of course!

Bobb said...

When TV networks like ABC can decide what is shown and not shown on a sports broadcast it is time to complain loudly and I can't understand anyone condoning this action. What is next? Maybe you don't like nascar BUT THIS IS NOT ABOUT NASCAR! When are the trolls going to get it. What is next - probably another heidi moment. (google or wikipedia heidi football broadcast). Would ESPN or ABC ever cut in or out of a MLB, NFL or college football game? Doubt it. That is not even the point. The point is would you want them to have the power to do it.

Back to Sat night. I agree - ESPN pre-race show is awful and unwatchable but if some little kid somewhere (perhaps in LA LA land) wanted to watch it because he a NASCAR fan and wanted to see if his driver was mentioned he HAD THE (sort of) RIGHT TO WATCH IT. perhaps opportunity is a better word, and did not deserve to be shut out. The whole thing backfired - maybe Humpy heard about this, and started the pre-race ceremonies early and really messed everyone up. That was hilarious. ESPN is disgraceful.

Anonymous said...
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Desmond said...

KABC also did not show the Richmond pre-race show; that race was also on Saturday night.

Sophia: it was TNT that left a race early (Citizens Bank 400, June 2007) for a movie (Van Helsing).

Bobb: The actual address is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heidi_Game.

One final word: NASCAR is still considered a second-tier sport by many TV local station executives, as we have seen. If you want better coverage and fewer pre-emptions, you must continue to let these executives know! Something I heard from somewhere: from unity comes strength (or something like that).

Anonymous said...

Local affiliates have the right and duty to preempt a network feed. Normally, you'll see this for airing a local event, such as a political debate, a victory parade, etc. Other local interest programming is often shown, such as a Billy Gramm crusade.

Sometimes, the affiliate could find a controversal episode of prime time TV as offensive for their local market and refuse to air it. That is their right, and this has happened many times before.

Other than letting the management of local stations know you didn't like their decision to pre-empt NASCAR coverage, there is very little that can be done.

This is completely outside the control of NASCAR and ABC. The station's #1 duty is to do what they feel is best interest of the public as a whole.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if these oval races didn't last half the day or night the networks would show the entire event.

Anonymous said...

SCREW ESPN, they SUCK, period!!! Brainless Brian is/will kill NASCAR, I seen the NASCAR boom coming in the early 1990's and now I see it going away, in a very big way! It will be back to small cable channels only after this next tv contract is over!!!

Anonymous said...

Okay folks here goes. I have worked in broadcasting at network affiliates, and at independent stations. The key word in the phrase 'network affiliate' is AFFILIATE. These affiliates are paid by the networks to air certain programs at set times. An affiliate can air the program and get paid full rate by the network, not air the program and not get paid, or air the program at a different time (say at 1:30 am instead of the scheduled time of 8:00 pm) and either get a reduced payment or no payment at all. The question I have, is the prerace show considered a separate show from the race coverage by the network, or is it part of the entire race coverage 'package'.
Actually this entire situation (prempting prerace shows, leaving the race before it is over, prempting an entire race for another sporting event/show) was something I was worried about as soon as it was announced that NASCAR was leaving ESPN/TNN/TNT for the deal with FOX and NBC. I knew that some affiliate somewhere outside of the NASCAR southeast core was going to not air a race because the had a pre-existing contract to air something else during a race broadcast. The fasct that the situation being discussed/debated here has not happened (alot) before now is suprising.
There is my two cents worth. Have fun with it.

Anonymous said...

In response to an earlier comment, the Miami FOX affiliate has preempted a race. When the Dover race was delayed until Monday the station did not air the race. Instead they aired the news, Matlock, and In the Heat of the Night. In addition, they did not inform FOX of their choice. Therefore the race could not be moved to another station (Sun Sports or FSN Florida).