Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Ask Your NASCAR TV Questions: Get An Answer


Lots of emailers are saying there is no place to get a straight answer about NASCAR's TV partners and some of the issues that have been going on for the last couple of weeks. These range from Tony Stewart's profanity to ABC switching over to ESPN2. Some folks are asking if TNT is going to be back, and other are wondering if Stacy Compton got fired from NASCAR Now?

This is a good time to ask your questions. Take a moment, compose a short and concise question that is to the point, and ask. We will take the next couple of days to answer these questions, and then next week in mid-week we will do it again.

To post your question, simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the simple instructions. There is nothing to join, and you do not have to leave your email address. This is your chance to be totally anonymous, ask the NASCAR TV question you always wanted to ask, and actually get an answer.

Let's see how it goes....ask away.

UPDATE: I am going to leave this post up through Friday, since the questions are so good and thought provoking. There are some smart people out there, and I appreciate you taking the time to express your views. Some big TV folks are reading them, and their emails are proving that you can make a difference. Keep it up.

67 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Sorry, I forgot to say I saw Edwards standings on NASCAR Now today, October 2.

Batchief said...

John, within the last week you have dropped subtle hints of changes at Fox and Speed for next year. What can you say that would enlighten all of us before the rumors start to run rampant?

Steve L said...

Fans have been complaining all season about ESPN using the 'Full Throttle' on the telecasts. If the powers that be, do in fact read these posts, why do you think they are still doing it. I have not heard of a single viewer that likes hearing 43 radios going all at the same time. We have begged them to stop all year!

Anonymous said...

My question is the same as batchiefs!!

Anonymous said...

Just curious as to why the feed from "SPEED" shows seems, for lack of a better word, delayed during "NASCAR Raceday" On my end, in Myrtle Beach, SC it seems that the signal is "digitized/pixialated" (best I can describe it) during the course of the show. Any ideas?

Busch Series Fan! said...
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Anonymous said...

Why does ESPN/ABC keep SPEED from airing practices that ESPN/ABC doesn't air itself?

Anonymous said...

I must be in the minority but I really enjoy full throttle. I hear what the drivers are hearing at the beginning of the races I find it fascinating since I don't listen to the radio at the races.

Wow, I listen to scanners for a living, but if you can understand 43 radio transmissions simultaneously, you're better than I.

Other networks would typically choose one or two so they could be understood.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Does any one know why Edwards was shown 10th on the standings with 192 points?

October 2, 2007 8:02 PM

I thought he crashed and finished below 30th. With 2 chasers finishing in the top 3, he fell behind in points.

Anonymous said...

Steve L said...
Fans have been complaining all season about ESPN using the 'Full Throttle' on the telecasts. If the powers that be, do in fact read these posts, why do you think they are still doing it. I have not heard of a single viewer that likes hearing 43 radios going all at the same time. We have begged them to stop all year!

October 2, 2007 8:42 PM

I do not have a problem with it, as long as you can hear what they are saying.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Wow, I listen to scanners for a living, but if you can understand 43 radio transmissions simultaneously, you're better than I.

Other networks would typically choose one or two so they could be understood.

October 2, 2007 9:09 PM

They have not had all 43 in a while. they usually have only a few, with one being louder so it is possible to understand it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Just curious as to why the feed from "SPEED" shows seems, for lack of a better word, delayed during "NASCAR Raceday" On my end, in Myrtle Beach, SC it seems that the signal is "digitized/pixialated" (best I can describe it) during the course of the show. Any ideas?

October 2, 2007 8:51 PM

If it was all the way though the show, it might have been your cable/sat operator.

Daly Planet Editor said...

batchief,

When things begin to shake-out I will certainly be the first to say what I know. In this biz, you have to make sure that things get verified before you tell them, even if some websites and internet chat rooms do not.

There should be some news soon about what is going to be going on next February.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Steve,

I asked about the Full Throttle. We may see some changes, and apparently we did without knowing it. I guess not all cars were turned on in the last NEXTEL Cup race according to one crew member.

I know ESPN likes it, and they are going to tinker with it. I guess fans go both ways.

Daly Planet Editor said...

The SPEED signal is a feed from Los Angeles up to a satellite, and then directly down to your cable system. It should be fine.

SPEED says contact your cable operator and then let them know if there is a problem. Their digital signal is usually without any problem (other than no HD).

You may have read on The Daly Planet that SPEED has just committed to use 2008 as a transition year to all HD. This is a great move welcomed by all.

Steve in Indiana said...

I'd like to know if there is a snowballs chances in heck that NASCAR will ever move the start times back to an earlier timeframe. I know they like the later starts for tv purposes, but with earlier start times races like this past weekends would not have been cut short. I think they could have probably finished Pocono earlier in the season as well since the rain stopped shortly after they called the race.

Vince said...

Do ESPN, Speed, Fox, etc. actually do focus groups with real NASCAR fans to find out what we'd like to see and hear on their broadcasts? I mean real fans, not just some bozo off the street.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR page is showing Edwards 7th in points at 142 behind. Iwas just wondering if they (NN) made a error on their stats.

Anonymous said...

Vince said...
Do ESPN, Speed, Fox, etc. actually do focus groups with real NASCAR fans to find out what we'd like to see and hear on their broadcasts? I mean real fans, not just some bozo off the street.

October 2, 2007 10:45 PM

To my knowledge, most sports networks and news stations sometimes use what are called consultants to determine what makes a broadcast better. These media experts can decide what goes in to a broadcast. Some of their decisions can help a broadcast, others can hurt it. JD might be able to correct me if I am wrong. JD, don't you run a consulting firm?

Anonymous said...

JD, when the ARCA series comes to a NASCAR track on a NASCAR weekend, who operates the cameras during the ARCA race? NASCAR Images or someone else?

Anonymous said...

Does espn know how TiVo works?

Do they care that when I go to work (out of town) and set up the recording for espn2 and they change it to something else that I get screwed?

I come home to find some boys playing with a ball wraped in pigskin?

Anonymous said...

I'm with Anonymous at October 2, 2007 9:07 PM ...

Why doesn't Disney let News Corp air the practices & qualifying on SPEED that Disney doesn't want to air??

I looked at the tv listings for Friday morning expecting to see the morning Cup practice, but some other junk was listed ... We got two Busch practices and several editions of NASCAR Live! (during Cup practice) on Friday on Speed ...

On Saturday, Espn showed the first practice in the morning ... but chose to air Happy Hour on tape delay after the Busch race ...

Having to keep an a browser window open all day so that I can see WHO is gonna have which shows is annoying ... But, having to constantly change the channel back & for all day from Speed to Espn2 & back is beyond frustrating ...

TNT/NBC got to the point where they would just bring their guys in for the races and let Speed handle the practices & qualifying broadcasts ...

I know Disney paid a pirate's booty to be part of the NASCAR tv package ...

BUT

WHY can't Disney be like Time Warner and just let News Corp show the practices & qualifying??



Oh yeah ... Why doesn't Speed rehire or Espn hire Lindsay Czarniak?? She's one of the three best females that cover NASCAR (the other two are Wendy Venturini and Krista Voda) ... It's a bloody shame that she's only used the six weeks that TNT covers the races ... She knows NASCAR as well as stick & ball stuff as she proved her knowledge as co-host of the "George Michael Sports Machine" ... The guys on Pit Road like her & they're not scared of her like they are of Jamie Little & Shannon Spake ...

Anonymous said...

I forgot this one ...

WHY did Brian France decide to make Talladega in the Chase with the COT with GoGHers as well as unproven Rookies into an IMPOUND race??

This is probably the ultimate recipe for disaster ... How many "Big Ones" will there be?? How many cars will be in the first "Big One"?? Will it be like a few yrs ago when half of the field was in the first "Big One"?? How many cars will escape Dega with no damage??

This has got to be his biggest & stupidest thing he's done to date ... Waitaminute, it just adds to his list of big stupid things that he's done ...

Anonymous said...

Has any driver ever been further penalized after being placed on "probation" by NASCAR for some unacceptable action?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Here are some more answers:

Steve: as you can see from next season's schedule, things are going to be pretty much the same as start times go.

Vince: I am going to officially ask about focus groups, but that is not a big thing in cable sports event production. There are, however, lots of good designers and tons of other creative people who give their input on everything from graphics to music to even what the announcers should wear on-camera.

Anon 12:01 AM: Its NASCAR Images all weekend at a NASCAR track for on-track activity.

Anon 4:23AM: That is a key topic under discussion. How much does shifting networks and moving times of shows like NASCAR Now around impact the viewers? So many of us rely on DVRs and TiVo that it has changed TV viewing forever. I have always been in favor of the network putting any show that was time or network shifted on their website for 24 hours. That way we could all go and view it becuase we missed it when it aired.

Anon 4:52 AM: I personally feel ESPN underestimated the demand for the practice sessions. The arrangements and scheduling of all the practice and qualifying was done in the TV contract. NASCAR knew this was not going to be on TV. Also, Lindsay has a fulltime job and moving into NASCAR for a big TV package is quite a personal and professional commitment.

Anon 5:56 AM: If you are Chip Ganassi, this is the best publicity you are going to get during The Chase. These guys are not dumb.

Daly Planet Editor said...

oops...Sorry about that, I meant to say Bill Davis. But, an owner is an owner! (Sorry RC)

Anonymous said...

I don't recall any of those mandatory hard local cable commercial breaks during Kansas when it was moved to ESPN2. How were they able to get aound that? During TNT's coverage of the Pepsi 400, they seemed to act as if they couldn't do anything about those local commercials.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 9:53AM:

ESPN is a sports network, and does not have the type of timed affiliate breaks that a CNN Headline News does. ESPN must simply finish all of the alloted cable affiliate breaks in the full time period of the program. They do not even have to worry about thirty or sixty minute blocks. As long as everything gets done in the full length of the show, its all ok.

As far as Bill Weber making a big deal about hard breaks, what he was trying to say (I believe) was that once a one minute cable affilate break is triggered, the network cannot break back in if something happens on the track. That is true for cable networks because the local cable systems roll their local breaks automatically. That is why it sometimes look sloppy when the local car dealer commercial comes on the ESPN networks. Good questions!

Anonymous said...

Someone asked in your Updates piece on Sunday and I would also like to know: which channel is airing the championship banquet in December?

Anonymous said...

JD ....it seems to me that ESPN/ABC leads the on-air guys much more thru the director/truck than does FOX/SPEED, making the broadcast look more sloppy & erractic ,making it appear they have no more confidence in the on air guys than we do.... your opinion ?

Steve L said...

John, it was very obvious that Suzi Kobler was reading from a script with Brad in the pre-race so my question is, just how scripted is all this stuff? Is it ignorance of the sport on her part or is it actually that black and white on what all they have to talk about? How far outside of the script can they go? It didn't look like Brad was reading everything he said.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Neil Goldman the producer of the ESPN/ABC telecasts these days? If so, what is your opinion on why the Fox broadcasts last year tend to be percieved much better than the ESPN/ABC telecasts this year?

Alex said...

I've not quite understood the rationale for having Suzy Kolber yet. She is an expert in football, same for Musberger. What was the decision based on by ESPN to have her as the host?

Also, what was the bigger determinant for late start times? West coast viewers having a later-morning telecast, or networks being able to lead directly into primetime programming?

SophiaZ123 said...

Ok...I know old timers are all yelling for earlier starting times while those on west coast like the later times...well, some do.

HERE is my two cents. If the track has NO LIGHTS, why not start the races as EARLY in the DAY as possible?? That way, rain delays would not be as big an issue.

Also, why not just cancel the Pre RACE BS when a storm is on the way? Last weeks race could've been started at 1.10 and gotten LOTS more in before the two red flags.

How challenging would it be to go by tracks with lights versus no lights?

Also I think whatever USED TO WORK for the NASCAR schedule should be thought about. The ratings last weekend were allegedly down 17 percent.

How much of THAT was due to fans MISSING the ending.

And this is an ongoing thing as other tapers and TIVO'ers mentioned.

Lisa Hogan said...

Great idea, John.
Good reading.

Daly Planet Editor said...

More stuff:

Anonymous 11:39 AM: Still checking on the official word on the Banquet Telecast. If anyone has that info, please feel free to post it here.

Anon 11:57 AM: I think the ESPN guys are stil working out their on-air dynamics, while the Fox guys have had years of practice. Lots of the "production elements" like Draft Tracker and such require the announcer to be led-in by the Producer. I know it has that kind of jerky feel to it sometimes, but they use a lot more "gizmos" than the Fox guys.

Anon 12:18PM: Ms. Kolber is a TV pro, not a NASCAR pro. She needs the help of a script (or teleprompter) to lead into production elements in the same way the Sports Center guys do. Its just TV mechanics. She is a solid TV pro, and I give her credit for being put in a tough position and making the best of it.

Anon 12:25PM: I do not refer to off-the-air production people by name here, but assembling a huge crew, all the production pieces, and then trying to use all these toys on a simple NASCAR race has proven to be harder than originally thought. Since their mess at Pocono, they have been working on slimming down the extras and viewers can see those experiments unfolding on the Busch Series races.

Alex: The announcers that came before her in the NASCAR Countdown anchor chair were Chris Fowler, Brent Musburger, Erik Kuselias, Allen Bestwick, and Mike Massaro. Kolber was brought-in despite her Monday Night Football gig, which normally requires the reporters on-site the day prior to the game. She is a "TV pro" brought in when ESPN and ABC needed to solve a problem. I would imagine we would see a new face for 2008.

sophia: It all comes down to money, sponsorship, and contractual obligations.

TPL said...

Fox 3D and ESPN draft track... why are the networks using these viewer aggravating toys?

Why show computer generated images instead of the real deal (Fox 3D)? FOX used this repeatedly for no obvious reason.

Same with draft track... what gives? Why make the broadcast look like a cheap video game?

Thanks... great blog.

slithybill said...

Mr. Daly--

You stated earlier that all on-track activity is provided to the networks by Nascar Images. Who directs the shots, the network or Nascar Images? I assume it's the network, since (usually) the cars being shown are the cars the announcers are talking about.

Also, who are the camera operators employed by? Does each network have their own camera operators or are they provided by Nascar Images?

William said...

Do the network execs and producers really feel that the race isn't enough to get people to watch?

I'm not trying to get you to answer an impossible question but I'd like some insight to the attitudes of the people that put these programs on the air. I see things like the draft tracker, endless repetition of basic racing knowledge, stupid engine animations(repeated at EVERY race), tight and low angles that give us NO information about how teh race is going on. Time after time it seems like they are struggling for more stuff and filler instead of trying to do a better job of telling the story of the race. Intervals are GREAT, telling us who would win "if the chase were over now" during the first(second, third) race of the chase is stupid.
Do they really think that TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND people would show up on a Sunday if the race itself isn't enough to entertain for a few hours?
Do they realise that if they got rid of the fluff and just showed us the damn race with as few interruptions as possible we'd be a lot happier?

One other question.
Do the statistics show that NASCAR has a very high percentage of new viewers each week? Is it not like football where a lot of the viewers watched last week and the week before? Are those of us that watch most every race a minority? I'm sure there is data on this kind of thing. I've always been told that NASCAR has a very devoted fanbase. Maybe if half the folks watching are tuning in for the first time each week it makes sense to show the same animations and explain the same silly things each week. Do they do that in football games too?
thanks

Anonymous said...

DID Stacy Compton get fired from Nascar Now? --janel

SophiaZ123 said...

William, Your questions echo SO MANY OF US about the useless graphics and ANOTHER PEEVE OF MANY the low place cameras for the useless ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM lens that is a total waste of time.

Get me more wide shots of the track.

John, THANKS for all your answers. A prolific group we NASCAR lovers and bless you for answering them all.

Maybe you could do a syndicated column about NASCAR. Lord knows, most sites only answer one or two things a WEEk and you gave us our moneys worth in one shebang today!

Look forward to more Q&A! thanks for offering this on top of the great blog.

Steve L said...

What are the reasons for all the missed restarts? How do they calculate and time it to get back before the green flag is waved?
I have been at the track listening to the announcers on tv with my scanner and have actually heard them say "looks like we're going to miss this one", meaning the restart. Sometimes they (the announcers) are as upset as we viewers are when this happens. (They were very upset at Bristol).

How do they calculate the duration of the break and who actually calls the shots?

Dave Despain said...
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Daly Planet Editor said...

tpl: the problem is the Internet. TV has radically changed because the computer is actively pursuing it and often beating it. NASCAR.com goes head-to-head with ESPN/ABC and the TV guys are going to throw everything but the kitchen sink at viewers to keep them. The problem is, how much is too much?

bill: With all the different networks involved in the coverage, one central group providing the core facilities makes sure that everyone gets what they needs. The networks still have their own production trucks and graphics trucks and all that fun stuff. Each network directs their own programs, and I will find out exactly who pays the cam ops. I am pretty sure the check is from NASCAR Images.

william: its an intersting mix. SPEED is up-front with its Truck coverage, with few gimmicks. ESPN2 has stripped-down its Busch Series telecasts, and even switched announcers in the booth for the last two races. Only the NEXTEL Cup Series continued to confound the TV boys. Fox added a bad animation deal, and TNT just never got on-track. ESPN as a network has become very different. They now spread everything out onto different sets with experts all over the place and lots of production things going on. They tried to bring this to NASCAR, and it did not go well. Next year this package should have a very different look.

Anon 4:21PM: Still checking on Stacy Compton and his continued presence on NASCAR Now. Bill Lester seems to have taken his place, but I will find out what's up.

steve: restarts vary wildly from track to track. The amount of time that the pace car takes to go around one time under caution is timed in advance by the TV crew. This is the only measure of how much commercial time they can get in before the field gets turned loose. On the short tracks, its just a crap shoot.

Once again, great questions!

Richard in N.C. said...

JOHN- MANY thanks for keeping up & putting up with TNT and ESPN this season. The Daly Planet does make up for a lot of what TNT & ESPN have done. NOW for the big question - given his knowledge and talent, WHY, WHY, WHY don't SPEED, TNT, & ESPN make better use of Alan Bestwick? Since Alan started at MRN, I don't understand why NASCAR lets him be treated, mistreated, the way he has been - except maybe that he is viewed as too NASCAR by the giant brains at the networks.

Daly Planet Editor said...

richard: Allen Bestwick is closely identified with networks other than ESPN and ABC. That is a big deal. It takes time to work back into the good graces of ESPN.

This season, they have tried him at play-by-play, pit reporter, nascar now studio host, feature reporter, nascar countdown host, and news reporter. He passed all of these tests with flying colors. I hope we see him in a new role next season. Thanks for asking.

Anonymous said...

Daly Planet Editor said...
bill: With all the different networks involved in the coverage, one central group providing the core facilities makes sure that everyone gets what they needs. The networks still have their own production trucks and graphics trucks and all that fun stuff. Each network directs their own programs, and I will find out exactly who pays the cam ops. I am pretty sure the check is from NASCAR Images.
October 3, 2007 6:33 PM

I also have a question. Are these camera operators freelancers, or NASCAR Images employees that go to every race.

Anonymous said...

Bestwick talks too darn much.

Anonymous said...

I have noticved over the past few years that one advertiser in particular, but a few others also, see to get a lot of tv time before a commercial set containing them and afterwards (ok - budwieser, but there have been a few others). Do the networks sell or promise in race camera time to the advertisers?

Anonymous said...

Hey, Allen Bestwick may talk too much, but no more than other commentators (i.e., Rusty). And, at least his comments add to the substance of the broadcast.
My question is this: if it takes a while to work into ESPN's good graces, how come Mike Massaro hasn't seemed to benefit? He was their sole NASCAR reporter for years, but, since the network regained the broadcast rights, he's been pushed into the background.
I don't understand it.

Anonymous said...

I know this may be beating a dead horse at this point, but why do the networks push the basics on a weekly basis to their viewers. Throwing to the "Tech Center/Cut Away Car" to explain the basics every week gets annoying and repetitive very quickly. You don't see any other major sport doing this, and it makes nascar look pathetic. I know nascar is growing and attracting new fans all the time, thus having first time viewers every week but having to explain the basics week in and week out is disillusioning the veteran fans. At the rate they explain the same things, Im of the impression that you qualify for veteran status after one month of watching. As opposed to remembering when Ford ran the Thunderbird. The long winded question Im getting at is this: Are the new dollars more important than the loyal dollars? Sorry for being long winded I just needed to get that off my chest.

Anonymous said...

JD, I've got a technical question: what is the set-up in the race broadcast control room/truck? Is there a producer, technical director, replay producer, and director? Or is the system automated, with a producer and a technical director only? What is the set-up like in the NASCAR Now control room?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I know this may be beating a dead horse at this point, but why do the networks push the basics on a weekly basis to their viewers. Throwing to the "Tech Center/Cut Away Car" to explain the basics every week gets annoying and repetitive very quickly. You don't see any other major sport doing this, and it makes nascar look pathetic. I know nascar is growing and attracting new fans all the time, thus having first time viewers every week but having to explain the basics week in and week out is disillusioning the veteran fans. At the rate they explain the same things, Im of the impression that you qualify for veteran status after one month of watching. As opposed to remembering when Ford ran the Thunderbird. The long winded question Im getting at is this: Are the new dollars more important than the loyal dollars? Sorry for being long winded I just needed to get that off my chest.

October 3, 2007 9:11 PM


I agree. ESPN keeps pushing the basics when other sports broadcasts do not. The problem here is that management at ESPN appears to think most Americans do not yet know what NASCAR is about. This seems to be there way of informing us all. What ESPN does not seem to get is the fact that NASCAR already has a large veteran fan base that does not need to be reminded every week the meaning of "aero loose"

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 7:54PM: Last I knew the cam ops were freelancers, with fulltime NASCAR Images guys on the handhelds that were taping programs for later airing. That company is now like NFL Films, with tons of TV and corporate gigs going on at each race.

Anon 8:43PM: That is always a huge issue. It was back a while ago when NBC got their contract, and even gave Fox a black eye in their first year. It is so easy during a long race to just show the car of the sponsor who has bought ads for that time block its always tempting. I think the networks this season have actually been better than ever in keeping things mostly about the racing.

Anon 9:11PM: The broadcast networks believe they are getting new viewers all the time, and that learning the basics is just a part of the game. Since they have four hours to do it, I can promise you that it will always be there. The broadcast guys call those surfing fans who they catch the casual viewer. Not so sure they really exist myself.

Anon 9:12PM: It is so huge it would hurt your brain. There have been some good articles about that on the Internet, including some video of the set-up and explanations from the crew themselves. Give Google a whirl and you should find them easily.

Anonymous said...
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Lisa Hogan said...

Something I have wondered about all season. Did Erik, etc. seek the position of host on Nascar Now or were they just told they were going to host the show?

JHD said...

My question is why it's so hard for the networks to show the complete final lap of the race? I'd much rather see the end of the race than the pit road celebration, and so would many others.

I understand there are times when focusing on the winner is important like the 4 first-time winners in Cup and Stephen Leicht in Kentucky this year, but really how many times do I need to see only Jimmie Johnson or Tony Stewart cross the finish line and then cut to commercial or celebration?

The networks use side by side pictures for other things (which by the way is drastically UNDERUSED), if showing pit road or the winner is so important, can't the networks use half the screen to cover that and the other half to finish showing the race?

Anonymous said...

Does DW still plan on saying "Boogity, Boogity, Boogity" every race he calls next year? Doesn't he know that the fans hate it?

AndyPandy said...

I completely agree with jhd. I have yelled at my TV many times about the lack of side by side views when the last lap of a race is occurring and all we see is a bunch of pit guys jumping up and down, or someone is droning on about some tech issue while there's a three-wide battle for the lead.

I understand why the commercials can't be side by side like IRL (NASCAR spots are a lot more expensive), but there are many other places where it could be used. Maybe the low tech, 1980's technology isn't flashy enough.

And I may be the only one, but I like the Boogity. It's only a couple of seconds, once per race, and it fits right in wth the relaxed, fun but still informative Fox style. Of course, I also like Larry Mac's unique syntax, so my opinion may not be worth too much. :-)

Daly Planet Editor said...

Lisa: I asked earlier this season about Erik, and did not get an answer. He was a radio guy, and being on TV with a regular series is a step-up, so I don't think he was somehow forced to do it.

jhd: the final lap is a big thing with me. Fox originally stopped showing anyone but the winner, and then relented by the time their season was about over. TNT was mixed, and we have fought hard with ESPN to get it right. They finally switched a while back, so now we get at least the top twenty or so going across the stripe.

Anon: As long as DW is making good money from his copyrighted trademark slogan, you will be hearing it until he retires.

Anonymous said...

First of all I want to thank you, John, for all the work you put in to this site. While i don't always agree with what you say I do enjoy the discussions. I also want to thank you for this forum, I think it is a great way to answer specific questions rather than just rant.

So, with that said I have some questions. First, does the person that directs the coverage at ESPN have any knowledge of NASCAR? There have been a number of times when they have been showing a couple of cars competing for a position and just when they go to pass the camera cuts away.

Do the announcers take direction from the director or should the director follow the announcers? I know that sounds odd but there have been time when the announcers are talking about one car and the director is focused on another.

Lastly, and this one seems petty but it doesn't hurt to ask, why do the announcers have to wear suits? I know NASCAR wants a professional appearance but who goes to the races in suits? Not even the owners were suits to the race. Maybe the announcers would feel more comfortable in the booth and talk like they were just watching it at home if they didn't wear suits.

Lisa Hogan said...

anon 12:57
I echo your thoughts on this opportunity for all of us to just ask questions.

I also have always wondered about the suits. This is so for just about all sporting events on TV. I think that it started way, way back when everyone "dressed up" to be on TV.

SonicAD said...

Saw it was asked... I know where to find ESPN's long-lead listings, and they show the Nextel Cup Banquet will be on ESPN2 as a same-night tape delay, at 12-3am on December 1st. The Busch Series Banquet will be shown on a few days delay, on December 11th from 7-8PM.

Been used to getting the banquet near-live in recent years, so it's disappointing, but at least they're not cutting it down to an hour. ESPN has NBA games that night, and ESPN2 has a college football game, and this is just an awards banquet, so I think the midnight time is ok.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 12:57PM: Great questions. The ESPN Director is experienced, but sometimes there are a couple of different agendas clashing. The Producer is the one who talks to the announcers in their earpiece. The director "calls" the cameras and the other effects, he steers the ship while the Producer charts the course of the journey.

As you may know, ESPN as a network has a dress code. The NASCAR guys wear shirts with no ties on practice and qualifying, but both in-studio and on "gameday" all announcers wear suits and ties.

Sonicad: Thanks for taking the time to find out and publish the banquet information. I really appreciate the help.

We will open the floor for questions again next Tuesday and answer them through Friday. This was a fun first week, and thanks again to all who took the time to stop-by and participate!

Anonymous said...

sonicAD, my thanks also for the information about the banquet. Midnight is a strange time, but you're right, at least they are broadcasting the entire show.

darbar said...

So John, what was your take on Nascar Now's program on Thursday? For the first time, I saw some very interesting segments. All I can say is WOW for the Stacy Compton segment pertaining to his feelings about open wheelers coming into Nascar. For the first time, no couched comments, but straight up honest opinion that won't sit well with the powers that be in Nascar. Finally, someone who has the guts to honestly say what he feels about the changes in Nascar. This segment was reminiscent of something you might see on Tradin' Paint. Does this mean that maybe, just maybe, someone at ESPN is finally learning what it takes to have a good show on Nascar Now?