Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Big NASCAR TV Weekend For Fans


This is a triple-header weekend for NASCAR fans with all three of NASCAR's national touring series underway. It should be very interesting for TV viewers.

SPEED handles the Craftsman Trucks from Atlanta early on Saturday afternoon while ESPN2 telecasts the Busch Series from Memphis later on Saturday. Finally, ABC hosts the NEXTEL Cup Series from Atlanta on Sunday afternoon.

There is live Truck Series practice on Friday featured on SPEED, and ESPN2 shows NEXTEL Cup qualifying in primetime Friday night.

Saturday morning SPEED handles live Truck qualifying, and then returns for the race in the early afternoon. ESPN2 has the live Busch Series from Memphis once the Trucks are done, if things go as planned.

The big race is Sunday afternoon for the NEXTEL Cup Series and it will feature the royal treatment from the ESPN on ABC gang. Brent Musburger will host the telecast which features the usual cast of characters.

For readers of The Daly Planet, this is a great opportunity to watch the way two very different networks cover the same sport. SPEED and ESPN are as different as night and day. One has a casual and friendly approach to the race viewers, while ESPN offers the more formal and grandiose approach of covering a race. The ESPN way is called "big event coverage."

The network uses tons of equipment, lots of announcers, and has news updates and features and walks the fine line of actually overwhelming the event itself. This has been the challenge of ESPN this season, how to "tone it down" when the ESPN executives are still wanting to "turn it up."

ESPN is "breaking off" a second crew to produce the Memphis Busch telecast. Both Rusty Wallace and Allen Bestwick are going to fly to Memphis from Atlanta for the race, but several other cast members are new.

Marty Reid steps over from both NHRA and IndyCar coverage to host, and he is going to be joined by the outspoken Randy LaJoie. It should be fascinating to watch the "booth dynamic" of Reid, LaJoie, and Rusty Wallace unfold.

The Daly Planet will have live event comment pages for every race and major program of the weekend. Please stop-by and leave your opinion about the performance of these NASCAR TV partners. Hopefully, with good weather, this should be a great weekend of NASCAR racing.

We welcome comments from readers. To add your comment to this column, simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the instructions. Thanks again for stopping-by.

19 comments:

Erik said...

Saturday is going to be a busy day for the ESPN family of networks. Of course, the Busch series race is at 3:30 Eastern, with the prerace at 3 on ESPN2. As usual, college football preceeds the race coverage, in a 3 hour window from 12-3pm. And as usual, 3 hours probably isn't enough time for a college football game.

ESPN is showing the Breeders Cup horse racing live from 12-5pm, so ESPN will be unavailable to handle NASCAR coverage if football runs long.

Also, because ESPN is showing horse racing, ESPN Classic, which usually is open to handle events running over is picking up LIVE college football from 3:30-6:30.

This all means, other than possibly the pre-race, there isn't a place to put the Busch Series race, if the football game runs long.

After the Busch Series race, ESPN2 has 1 hour of Nextel Cup practice, followed by another live football game. You can only guess what happens if the Busch race runs long.

This will be alot of things to juggle, though luckily there is always online coverage at espn360.com no matter what happens. It will be interesting to see how Saturday plays out.

haus20 said...

Erik, thanks for the schedule of events...I seem to have lost my tv guide. Also, when you get a chance, could you ask your bosses when 360 will be carried by an ISP that people actually have? I don't know anyone who can actually watch 360. It isn't carried by many internet providers. Please pass that along.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

haus20 - Verizon carries Espn360.com on their broadband service ... I get it, but I had to install a special espn media player to watch it (You can't use Window / Real / Quicktime) ... Sadly, the dsl speed is not fast enough to carry it w/o the herky jerky disease ... Last time the pre-race was thrown to 360, it was behind what was being shown on tv as well as on the radio (I felt like I was in some weird time warp) ...


This is the weekend that 90% of the time the fans get screwed over one way or another ... This is all the fault of Brian France ... No pre-qualifying practice for Cup, no practice and qualifying for Busch and the Busch race is stuck in an extremely tight time slot ...

Based of the on-track chaos & mayhem the last 2 months as well as recent history ... I predict the Truck & Busch races will run long as well as the football game ... Viewers will be scrambling to find any coverage whatsoever ... Ratings will be down (unless people are going to tune into the Busch race to see if Carl will wreck) ... Fan satisfaction will drop ...


West Coast fans of the Truck Series will be really screwed ... How sad is it that the championship is being fought between to guys from Cali and their friends/family will be up before the crack of dawn to watch qualifying ...


It'll be a normal weekend ... Brian France gets the money and the fans get the shaft ...

haus20 said...

I looked at 360.com...it is interesting in the entire country, there are 23 ISP's that carry 360...23 out of hundreds.

SophiaZ123 said...

Well, as somebody astutely put it, we can thank Brian France for this mess.

Also, i am already missing the MRN guys the next two cup races!!

Anonymous said...

I'm also disappointed by the lack of Cup practice and Busch qualifying on TV. Even those of us who can't watch it live often like to record it, especially at a track like Atlanta.

Good to see that Trading Paint and NASCAR Peformance will be on a couple of times this weekend, I think they were on once early Sunday and that was it. We watched Survival of the Fastest tonight. It was pretty good and since it was Roush Racing, it was interesting timing because of the events last Sunday.

But I have to add to the thoughts here about repeated clips from other NASCAR programming on the NASCAR shows lately. My wife thought some of Carl Edwards clips when he visits the record company were from the NASCAR Nation show (the one with LeAnn).She said that was summer 2005. That's awfully old to be showing, you'd think.

She wasn't sure about which show the other clip of Carl in the motorhome came from but she'd seen it before. Little bit of like false advertising to show the Martinsville track sign and then go right to old clips in a motorhome at the track.

Busch Series Fan! said...

Anybody check the radar in Memphis and Atlanta to see if there will be weather issues in either place this weekend? Football will be the king again on ESPN2 instead of the Busch race. Bummer! Can't wait to hear Randy & Rusty go at it.

Anonymous said...

luckily there is always online coverage at espn360.com no matter what happens.

Yep. Too bad virtually no one can get ESPN360.

Now head back to your edit bay. Another highlight cut sheet awaits you1

jfs-va said...

I'm so glad Brent will be back to host the cup race. It's just not the same without him. :>)

Anonymous said...

I suppose it's entertaining to some to continue to make jokes about erik and ESPN, but can we all give it up someday? it adds nothing to the Daly Planet column comments and he actually provided good information today. When I don't like something he writes, I just start reading the next comment.

Apparently everybody thought (thinks) he works at ESPN b/c he posted some confidential information. He denied that and said you can get that information with Google. He's right. I was browsing the Deadspin site (check under Sports Media Links on the Daly Planet main page) and saw the exact same info that Erik posted way back when.

Deadspin got its hands on a very detailed ESPN memo (from an employee) where they broke down viewer complaints by sport for the week of Sept 24-30. Erik posted the Motorsports viewer complaint info from that memo. At the time, he did not say it was from Deadspin, he just posted the info with no explanation and that's where this drama arose. That's all.

Anonymous said...

Apparently everybody thought (thinks) he works at ESPN b/c he posted some confidential information.

No, we know he works at ESPN because he is unrelenting in his praise for the network, not to mention full of excuses for its performance when it is fails.

No one looking at the ESPN poduct objectively would be as effusive in his support for it.

There is a difference between saying, "Come on, ESPN's not so bad," and Erik's comments, which go far beyond that into territory usually reserved for paid PR flacks.

Anonymous said...

I watched Survival of the Fastest too. My disappointment in NASCAR Images is growing each week. At least Survival of the Fastest is a watchable show. Its other current program, NASCAR:Chasing Glory on ESPN, is (in my opinion) a mess -it jumps back and forth with footage with no real point or coherent message. While I get the point of Survival of the Fastest, I don't get the point of what I'm supposed to get out of watching Chasing Glory. I've fast forwarded through most of the last two episodes and don't plan to watch next week.

And using this old footage of drivers is the most disappointing thing of all. At least label the Carl Edwards footage as being from 2005 by putting a "2005" graphic in the corner - or don't include it at all. Since the footage was from Atlanta, it's almost like they were trying to make us believe Edwards had gotten in his plane (they showed him getting into the plane) and made a side trip over to Atlanta in preparation for this week's race.

Are there some sort of budget cuts in place at NASCAR Images this year? The previous programming over the past few years has been, without exception,top-notch. This year is completely different.

Cutting corners is affecting the product. I hope this isn't a sign of NASCAR Images productions to come, or they will have lost a consistent viewer of its programs.

Anonymous said...

Marty Smith hair update in his column on ESPN.com. Someone asked who cuts his hair and he said Great Clips for $4.99 with a coupon.

However, that doesn't explain the bad hair styling, which is the crux of the matter when he's on TV.

But his column today is worth reading. Jamie McMurray's's comments on Carl sound a little high-school cliquish if you ask me. Which is surprising because a few years ago Kenseth couldn't stand McMurray and now supposedly they plus Biffle are the Roush Buddies and Jamie says Carl is never going to be included. They just need to settle this and stop talking to the media. Angelique Chengelis said Greg Biffle needs to be the leader on this.

But Carl is supposed to be on Trackside tonight, so I guess not talking to the media is out. (Only Tony Stewart can get away with that!)

NeverHector said...

I hope I'll get to catch the end of the Nextel Cup race in Atlanta. I'm suppose to go to the Marine Corps marathon with my family. I really hope Kurt Busch runs well this week. He's had enough bad luck lately. Hopefully his Dodge runs as well as Newman's did last week and he moves up a few points in the cup standings.

Anonymous said...

On NASCAR Live, Steve Byrnes defended Carl Edwards. He said that he wasn't condoning Carl's actions but that this stuff happens all the time and the viewers need to know that. He said the difference is that it was caught on camera.

Yes, Steve, it was caught on camera because Carl jumped into a filmed interview to drag Matt away. It's not like we as viewers don't know that drivers get into it, they just are smart enough to do it away from cameras.

I wonder if Steve working with Carl so closely on Chase is On is affecting his ability to be objective in this situation.

At least Larry Mac gave a good viewpoint-this needs to be settled between Jack Roush -not his underlings - and Carl and Matt. He told a good story about something similar happening at RCR and Childress took care of it pronto.

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of ESPN360 online until it was mentioned here. IT CERTAINLY is no option for broadcasting in my book. NOBODY HAS IT and I am not giving ESPN any more money than they get and don't deliver, on my cable.

I wish folks would ignore the trolls. PLEASE.

Sandie said...

@anonymous 3:40--Yes they usually repeat TP and NP, there have only been a few times that they have only had one replay. The one that I wish they had repeated was about a month ago when Junior Johnson was on NP. I really hope they do that again and bring some of the Old Schoolers on! It not only shows new fans who they are but also helps to point out some of the differences/similarities.

Busch Series Fan! said...

Here in our little cave in Houston we have ESPN360 on DirectTV. I was really surprised to see it as I never heard of it before. Hopefully we won't have to access it today . . . .

Newracefan said...

I actually have a negative about Speed. I just watched Nascar live(between truck qualifying and race). They talked about cup which is to be expected since it was done during happy hour and trucks. Not one mention about the Busch race, not even about guys rushing to get there after cup practice. Granted they prob don't have many assests there, (maybe 1 guy + camera for Speed report interviews after race) but they could have at least given the race line up, I'm still trying to figure out if Reut qualified his own car since he won't be in the cup race :( Speed don't be like ESPN and pretend the other race doesn't exist