Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Here We Go: Ask Your TV Questions And Get An Answer


We certainly have been having fun with this new feature of The Daly Planet. The way it works is that you get to ask us any question about the NASCAR TV partners, the TV coverage, or anything that has to do with what you have been seeing this season, and we will try to answer it right away.

This post will go up Tuesday, and we will begin answering your questions between 8AM and 8PM all day Wednesday. If we have some left-over issues, we will sort them out on Thursday and Friday until everything is done.

You have shown some great interest in having the "TV stuff" talked about and we have really been having fun trying our best to get you answers. We have several TV types who have been helping us out, and all we ask is that you do not attempt to answer any questions in this post as it gets the discussion off-track. If you would like to help, just drop an email to editor@thedalyplanet.tv and we can talk about it.

So, here we go. To ask your NASCAR TV question, simply click on the COMMENTS button below and then follow the easy instructions. There is nothing to join, and we do not even require your email address. All we want is your questions. Thanks for helping us with this fun project.

111 comments:

Anonymous said...

John,

Fans have been posting many solutions for ESPN to implement to improve Nascar coverage. To date, very few (if any) have been implemented. What kinds of technical obstacles stop ESPN from doing the following:

1. Remove the Aerosmith video? Is it contractual that they show it?
2. Timing the return from a commercial to leave enough time to reset the field?
3. Having the "on the road gang" prep the "in studio gang" to follow up on things that happened on the track?
4. Assigning pit reporters to certain pits to follow the action in the pits assigned?
5. Re-assigning a host, analyst, or pit reporter to a non-Nascar telecast?
6. Hiring a Nascar researcher to provide stats to the fans?

Richard in N.C. said...

JD- How much power - if any - does NASCAR have over the way its races are carried on TNT and ESPN? Does NASCAR have any power to affect NASCAR NOW, and in particular who the host is? Thanks for all your efforts.

Kevin said...

I guess pretty basic, but how much do the powers that be at Espn, FOX, Tnt, etc really listen? Are there focus groups or anything or is this site the primary driver of any or all changes/tweaks for the TV partners?

Secondly, and this may be a little off topic, how much discussion is there in Daytona to bring the benefits of HotPass to those of us who cannot get DirecTV?

Anonymous said...

ESPN recently used footage provided by Speed on Nascar Now. Was this an isolated incident or can we expect more crossover from networks?

And, to add To Richard in N.C.'s question: How much influence do team sponsors have over the coverage provided?

Anonymous said...

I have been following with interest the Q&As about the Nextel Cup banquet. I asked once about the tape-delay reasoning because I really don't think most fans realize the banquet is scheduled to air on tape-delay at midnight on ESPN2 instead of primetime.

I was looking for information on something else about ESPN and I saw yesterday on an cable advertising media sales site that in a new sales listing as of 10/29, ESPN Classic has scheduled to air the banquet Nov. 30 from 9 PM to 12 AM Eastern.

That addition/change is great news, and hopefully it came from being mentioned as an issue in (I believe) every Q&A you've had so far. If so, thanks to you and the ESPN folks for that.

My question is, if the banquet is airing on ESPN Classic, is it still replaying on ESPN2 that evening? I ask because a lot of people don't have Classic (we do). The media sales site said Classic was available in 58% of households and ESPN2 is available in 82% - and I'm sure availability doesn't actually count whether people subscribe to it on their digitial tier or not.

Also would like to know SPEED's championship week plans. The ads for Championship week have been airing frequently on ABC, ESPN2, and SPEED, and I can't tell if those ads are aimed at TV viewers because there are programs for us to watch or at NYC residents so they can attend events. Can you clarify? Thank you.

Brett said...

Since SPEED is adding an HD Channel next season, what is the chances of adding SPEED2 soon after? SPEED is one of the fastest growing television channels and I have noticed the last couple of months SPEED has been having trouble with racing events over lapping. Also sometimes they have a lack of coverage of some races (LIke ALMS)

haus20 said...

Do you have any insight as to why Mike and Mike will be broadcasting from TMS this Friday morning? I find it odd that they would be at a race venue now.

I heard that on the show last week and it is also listed on Greenbergs official website.

slithybill said...

Mr. Daly--

At the end of the Martinsville race ABC ran a credit at the bottom of the screen that read: "The preceding program has been paid for by ESPN, Inc."

Does this mean ESPN paid ABC for the right to use their network or that ESPN paid NASCAR? Do they have to disclose this since Disney owns both ABC and ESPN?

Also, what happened to ESPN's Full Circle coverage of NASCAR? They've only used it for the Mexico City Busch race. Will they use it for Homestead? Or has ESPN Full Circle gone away for good?

Thanks!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Hey Folks,

Anon 8:05PM -
1 - The Aerosmith song and video are the ESPN music "theme" for their NASCAR telecasts. It is not contractual, it is what the network chose. By the way, the song is actually about motorcycles...back in the saddle again.

2 - The TV networks set their timers to one entire pace car lap under caution. This is the working time they have to deal with. When NASCAR knocks out the lights on the pace car, they know exactly how much time until the field goes green. NASCAR does not warn, or work with, the TV network in any way. So, timing pit stops, a commercial, and a field reset is very different from track to track. As you may have guessed from this first season of ESPN coverage...it also comes with experience.

3 - Talking between the group that produces the race and the group that produces the news and other studio shows on ESPN is the responsibility of the Coordinating Producer of NASCAR for ESPN. He is the one who oversees all facets of the coverage.

4 - This is done at every race. The pit reporters have "grids" they work so they can focus on a designated number of teams. They do not wander around, they stay in the assigned areas.

5 - ESPN often uses "on-air talent" on multiple sports, and especially their own special events like the X Games. I think we will see talent moved on and off the NASCAR package by several networks once the season is officially over.

6 - Each Network has a designated person who fills the role of researcher.

Daly Planet Editor said...

richard,

NASCAR was the last major professional sport to gather and control its own TV rights.

At this time, in the first year of this new TV contract, the sport is also dealing with the untimely passing of Bill France Jr. and the departure of NASCAR exec. George Pyne to IMG in New York City.

This left a bit of a void that has been filled by Paul Brooks of NASCAR, but let us not forget. There is a reason this is the first year back for NASCAR with ESPN...they wound up hating each other. The ESPN/NASCAR break-up a while back was ugly.

I think NASCAR is letting ESPN get through this season, and will then have "the talk" about some of this utterly ridiculous TV stuff that has gone on this year.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Kevin,

There are no focus groups, and that is one of the key reasons that I created this site specifically for this season.

I knew this was the first year of a brand new NASCAR TV package, and I wanted to create a place where fans, TV folks, and NASCAR industry types could come and get a feel for how things were going.

About Hot Pass, there is no bigger topic right now for all the TV parties than the fact that Hot Pass and the NASCAR.com InternetTV offerings are putting a hurting on the big ABC TV package during The Chase.

While NASCAR controls the DirecTV package really well, the NASCAR.com site is owned and operated by Turner Interactive and is run out of an office building in Atlanta, GA. The ultimate irony for this sport is that they sold the rights to their own official website to Turner.

Once the NASCAR Hall of Fame is built in Charlotte, look for the video, Internet, radio, and all other media rights to become consolidated under the direct NASCAR umbrella in Charlotte.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 8:26PM,

Depending on who is producing and who is announcing NASCAR Now on ESPN2, the footage from SPEED is either used freely or not at all.

This show is truly bi-polar on almost a daily basis.

Team sponsors have very little influence over the coverage because what happens in a race is determined by the reality of the action, not the sponsor of the car. They might push for a plug or a mention of something specific, but it does not affect the coverage.

Anonymous said...

JD, During an episode of "Survival of the fastest" with roush racing, Greg Biffle was followed to his regular appearance on Inside Nextel Cup. Before they started this segment they used an establishing shot of the NASCAR Images office. I thought INC was shot at SPEED. Where is INC shot and if it is at SPEED, why would they use an establishing shot of the NASCAR Images offices?

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't ABC/ESPN provide adequate post-race coverage? Do they just not care to? I understand they feel that the race ratings are impacted negatively when they “hang around” after the checkered flag. Wouldn’t that “problem” be easily solved by having a separate post-race show? Shouldn't they have a formal post-race show for the 10 Chase races, at the very least?

Is a post-race show (or at least some post-race coverage) something that would/could have been part of their contract with NASCAR? Did NASCAR just expect/assume that ESPN would follow up with a post-race wrap-up that included full results, interviews, analysis, etc? Sure, ESPN has their after-midnight airing of NASCAR Now on Sunday nights (early Monday morning, really!), but I don’t think this is what NASCAR had in mind, especially during their precious CHASE~!!!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 8:45PM,

Stick a fork in the banquet, because it is done. Every network wants nothing more than to flee from a three hour sponsor-fest.

NASCAR has tried everthing, but the banquet has become nothing more than a politically correct script reading contest.

The TV ratings are zero, and if anyone can tell me they watched the whole thing last season I want to know why!

There are some great ideas out there to spruce-up the format and create some interactive and entertaining fun for the fans, but for right now....its a mess.

It has been suggested to me that the ESPN Classic airing was added after (somehow) NASCAR became aware of the original midnight tape delayed airing. Hmmm..I wonder where they might have heard that?

Daly Planet Editor said...

brett,

I think SPEED2 is only a matter of time, and I think we need to let them get through this big transition to HD in 2008. This network has really hit its stride under the new President and current senior management. It is still the fastest-growing cable network in North America. Nothing to sneeze about.

Daly Planet Editor said...

haus,

I dropped my ESPN contact a line about why Mike and Mike are at TMS, but the World Series is over, the NFL playoffs have not started, and they just might be forced to talk about NASCAR for one show....that should be fun.

Daly Planet Editor said...

bill,

Both ESPN and NASCAR "mark" each race they do with a copyright. You may have seen the one from NASCAR, which says NASCAR Digital Entertainment. ESPN gets one in the show as well to cover its end of the legal contract stuff.

All of that is just standard, and does not reflect anything fishy going-on.

No idea about the old "full circle" thing. It seems to have died a slow and painful death, because it really did not make too much sense for this sport.

The big fun at Homestead is going to be ESPN vs. SPEED. That could get ugly.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 11:07PM,

NASCAR Images has a small studio where INC used to be done. I was told a while back they switched to SPEED because of space issues. That was why we do not hear the trash truck any longer.

I was the VP of Production for that company, and NASCAR Images is located in a small commercial business park in Charlotte right next to the main highway. When the new NASCAR Hall of Fame is done, the entire NASCAR Images company will be moving into a new digital HD and Internet facility in downtown Charlotte. That should be cool to see when it is built.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 11:08PM,

The post-race problem has taken the ESPN on ABC and the ESPN2 gang by surprise.

The ABC issue is simple. Sports has the network until 6PM and then they are gone...period. Since the start times were cheated back a bit, the result was no time left to any post-race. When the race is over and it is after 6PM, say goodbye Gertrude...its News time.

On ESPN2, the college football and other live event commitments of the network have killed the Busch post-race interviews. Never was that more clear than this weekend when David Reutimann won for the first time in the Busch Series while driving a car whose paint scheme was designed by a child for charity.

It was the first for Toyota and MWR, and amid all that the network switched to a college football game with the kick-off still a long way off. Never heard from David. ESPN never coordinated continuing coverage on ESPN News and never interviewed the winner on SportsCenter.

This entire issue is a mess for ESPN and NASCAR.

Mr. Vocabulary said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Marty Reid is hosting NASCAR Now. What could this mean? Could this have anything to do with his decent proficiency at the busch race? Marty seems to be doing a good job with the show so far. It seems less scripted.

Matt said...

Hey John, a few more ESPN questions for you.

Is ESPN giving any thought into moving NASCAR Now to NC or sending the show to the track every Sunday?

Is the "ESPN Garage" that ESPN was promoting earlier this year going to expand next year with more racing-themed shows, instead of "car themed" shows? Maybe an addition of another motorsports news show or even an opinion show?

Alex said...

Is there any way Nascar can opt out of the current TV contract if they're unhappy with the situation? It seems like athletes in all kinds of sports aren't remaining with one team for the length of their contract. For example, Alex Rodriguez just left the Yankees with three years left in his contract. Do you know if Nascar might have a similar clause in their contract? If the Nascar executives are reading this site and agree with your spot-on observations, maybe they can choose to tell the networks to improve or they will leave.

Anonymous said...

If not ABC, then who? CBS, NBC and FOX have football. I don't think the CW or MY Network TV can afford it. How would NASCAR keep races on broadcast TV if they choose to "opt-out" as some suggest?

Anonymous said...

My Question: Any chance that SPEED Victory Lane might start broadcasting immediately after races live instead of on tape to counter the lack of post-race programming?

John, you said: "NASCAR has tried everthing, but the banquet has become nothing more than a politically correct script reading contest. The TV ratings are zero, and if anyone can tell me they watched the whole thing last season I want to know why!"

John, you have to remember that 40-45 percent of NASCAR fans are female. This is practically the only time we see the drivers and their families dressed up. We like seeing this stuff. We like watching the Speed preshow with JR, Kenny, and Jimmy in tuxes. We like hearing what the drivers have been doing in New York all week in interviews with Wendy.

If you visited various message boards (Racing One, SPEED, the member boards for the drivers) during the banquet when it was on TNT last season, you'd find several "live" threads as the telecast progressed with fans discussing the outfits, the speeches, the gaffes (Kyle Busch calling his girlfriend "Eva" - which is Kurt Busch's wife's name -instead of by her name.) People also post links to the "red carpet" pictures found on Motorsport.com or Getty Images as the event goes on. Yes, It might not be the most exciting show, but we still like to watch it.

It's like the year-end holiday party for fans and a signal that the season is really over. So it is something we would miss. Just yesterday someone on speedtv started a thread asking if Dale Jr would be sitting with the HMS folks at the banquet (I don't think he'll be there, which is going to be a huge blow to his fans once they figure that out.) Obviously NASCAR stepped in to get it on the air earlier b/c they know there is a loyal fan base-however small-for it.

If you started a live banquet telecast thread when it airs, my guess: It would get a lot of comments. (Well, since it's airing on Classic instead of TNT, maybe not.)

drh277 said...

Have you ever heard Mike and Mike talk about Nasacar? They have no idea what they are talking about. Greenberg can't even pronounce the drivers' names! My questions are;

1. How much grief are the two idiots (Greengerg & Golic) getting from their co-workers for having to do this.

2. Are the producers of the show going to feed them everything they have to say about Nascar like they do for Erik K?

3. How long do you think these two will stick around after the Friday morning show is over? I think the over under is 13 minutes.

darbar said...

John, was there any reasoning behind ESPN taking over the Nascar "support" shows such as practice, happy hour and qualifying? Seeing that ESPN seems to have no room in their schedule to show these programs live or in what was supposed to be in regular time slots, why wasn't Speed allowed to continue to do the great job they've done with those shows for many years?

photojosh said...

Okay,

I understand that ABC kicks out the sports guys for primetime causing post-race stuff to be cut. But what about those of us on the west coast? Sure, it's crucial that the east coast get to the exciting ABC Sunday night lineup. But why does the whole country have to suffer?

My post race stuff is a steady diet of "Inside the NBA" "Animal Rescue" and "Sports Bloopers" crap. The crew is already at the race, the camera guys are already standing in pit lane with the drivers, why not give the west coast 30 minutes of post race?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 12:07AM,

A new column is up on the main page about NASCAR Now and Marty Reid.

Daly Planet Editor said...

matt,

I think the creative minds at ESPN will get busy shortly on ways to "expand the brand" of NASCAR Now. Since SPEED has such a franchise at the tracks, it would be a big move for ESPN to take that show on the road for the three days of the racing weekends.

Once again, I feel that the best solution is for ESPN to invest in a small studio in Mooresville, NC where drivers could literally walk or ride a bike over to anytime. This TV contract is eight years, and ESPN needs to show NASCAR fans they are committed to the sport.

Daly Planet Editor said...

alex,

NASCAR is in for the long haul...because they already cashed the check. I do think we will see some sort of guidelines for TV coverage like the NFL and NBA have in place with NASCAR soon.

Anon 12:21AM,

Exactly...you said the key words...broadcast network. If that requirement changes, look out.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 12:22AM,

It would be impossible to just "float" Victory Lane's start time until the race was over. With SPEED having a solid Sunday night line-up, it only makes sense to keep Victory Lane on a slight delay to cover races running long.

Thanks for your reaction to the banquet issue. I had absolutely never thought about if from that angle, but it might be fascinating to add that angle to the coverage.

Most of us "guy types" just comb our hair and get in the "monkey suit" and away we go. I have been to several banquets, and they are a lot of fun down on the floor with the guys. If only TV could capture the moment, instead of demanding that they create it.

One very influential racing individual always emails me when this topic comes up and says that if the banquet was moved to Las Vegas it would be on live TV and would be a bigger hit than the VMA's or the CMA Awards. That type of entertainment flair and creative environment might be just the shot in the arm that the banquet needs. Thanks...good questions.

Anonymous said...

Daly Planet Editor said...
Exactly...you said the key words...broadcast network. If that requirement changes, look out.
October 31, 2007 12:48 AM

JD, are you expecting that to change? I know many people with limited access to a cable TV that would hate to see that. Also, I read many sponsors would be upset because less people would see a broadcast on cable.

Speaking of cable, what do you think of the complaints by some, that if NASCAR does get its own channel, many would not be able do see races or other programs because some cable companies would take forever to get such a channel.

Daly Planet Editor said...

drh277,

I think Mike and Mike at Texas might be interesting. Remember, when new fans come in and just say right up-front that they know nothing about the sport, both the real fans and the teams tend to take them under their wing.

It is only the ones who show-up and act like they know it when they don't that get the cold shoulder. If these two characters actually show-up, have fun, learn the basics, and maybe even take a lap or two, it might bring a new group of fans to the sport.

I like these guys, and I hope they just don't brush this off as something they "had to do."

Finally, if you have spent any time in Bristol, CT and have also visited Dallas, TX you may remember that there are certain sights in Dallas that are very rare in the CT area. Just pausing to take in the scenery may push that to fourteen minutes.

Daly Planet Editor said...

darbar,

It was all done in the NASCAR TV contract many months in advance of the season. NASCAR knew what would be on, what would not, and where it would be shown.

This has been the worst year for the support programming for Busch and Cup in many seasons. No early Cup practice on TV is insane.

I wish there was a solution.

Daly Planet Editor said...

photojosh,

Great question. Broadcast networks typically do not "split" live sports events. Even for a post-event show, it would be all the nation or nothing.

If they split it, the fans watching the news and missing the live post-event would just go nuts. Its a no-win for broadcast TV.

The boys at NASCAR.com keep telling me their post-race show live from the track complete with interviews is free right after the race, but I have not been there and done that quite yet. The solution might be the InternetTV coverage eventually.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 12:56AM,

I expect that all to change shortly. There is absolutely no evidence that Broadcast TV has any exclusive penetration left in the US. Are there any TV antennas in your neighborhood?

Once NASCAR wakes-up to the fact that they would be better served on a cable network that would cater to their needs, as opposed to these broadcast networks that simply "show and go," things are going to change drastically.

Right now, Neilson is working on a new rating system because the old one is shot and failing quickly. With all the toys we have today in our homes, how would it be possible to measure viewers as we all switch channels and even switch between Internet, cable, and home satellite feeds in our living rooms?

This technology dynamic will be the driving force in the next NASCAR TV contract. You can already see how only one person, David Hill from DirecTV, has change the NASCAR TV landscape with his Hot Pass idea.

Good question brother!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Hey Folks,

We will resume the Q&A around 8AM Eastern Time on Wednesday, and go right on through 8PM.

Thanks and goodnight!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this - and goodnight to you as well!

This will be a question for the AM-the New York Times says the NBA has given TNT and ESPN more digital rights. It says TNT's rights may be handled by Turner Sports, home of NASCAR.com. Does NASCAR give Nascar.com these kinds of rights? I read your above responses about nascar.com free postrace but I don't understand if the races are also free to watch there?

"ESPN and TNT will start the N.B.A. season with a slew of new digital rights that will, among other things, let them stream their games live on their broadband outlets."

"TNT has the same rights as ESPN. Its broadband service, TNT Overtime (which is available on TNT.tv and NBA.com) will stream its games, highlights and other programming, in addition to “Inside the NBA,” which has been available. It will also have the rights to stream its games to cellphones, offer N.B.A. podcasts and expand league content into areas like fantasy games. The league also granted the networks digital rights to place its content on digital platforms not yet created.

“Although they have the same basket of rights,” Silver said, “TNT will express them differently because they don’t have a sports portal like ESPN.” He said the league and TNT are in negotiations on a deal that could make Turner Sports, the parent of TNT, the production partner of NBA.com."

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/30/sports/basketball/30espn.html?ref=sports

Anonymous said...

Really appreciate you taking the time for the Q&A. I would like to know if the TV types you're in touch with have any reservations about the open-wheel/foreign contingent we will have in Cup next year and any concern it negatively will affect the ratings.

I don't have any problem with them(including Hornish there's only five of them, not 40) but I know other fans do. I do agree with what Ray Evernham said last week: it's great they're coming, but they (and their owners) should realize that Montoya is an unusually talented driver and that his talent shouldn't be underestimated. And eventually Montoya may be the one left standing while the others struggle. Then the owners will move on to the new fad of finding drivers. But will fans have been alienated by then?

Normally I wouldn't ask if the TV types have concern about this, but with the ratings dropping every week, I could see how they might consider every little issue as one that might drive away fans.

Anonymous said...

Why does the ESPN talent seem to have such difficulty in actually watching the race? Over and over, we see a car hit the wall, and hear silence, while the talent (apparently) sees it with us, then has to figure out what's happened.

But on Fox (and even on NBC), the talent would say, "Trouble! Turn four!" before we could see it on TV and then the shot would appear.

Is it simply a case of ESPN's guys having their eyes glued to a monitor and not looking at the track itself? Are they situated such that they can't see the track?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Daly, could you find out if SPEED going to have its banquet preshow this year since the banquet is going to be on at a regular time now? I really like it and it was probably more entertaining than the banquet! I don't want to see wives and girlfriends interviewed during a race, but it's cool to see them interviewed or shown on the banquet preshow. All of them did a good job in their interviews last year and Wendy was really sweet to them, especially the shyer ones.

They don't need Melissa Rivers to come back- even though she's a fan and she wasn't mean, she mispronounced some names and things like that. The SPEED folks can handle it on their own if they do it this year. (Please don't invite Rikki or Rutledge, we didn't miss them not being there last year.) Thanks for taking questions! --- Vanessa

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 1:42AM,

Internet rights for NASCAR were given to Turner Sports Interactive in Atlanta many years ago.

That is why we do not see a lot of Internet NASCAR applications from other sources.

NASCAR.com is actually a private company of Turner that broadcasts the races on a series of pay services that you get through your Internet connection.

They include audio, graphic, and video selections. NASCAR.com has been making the Busch Series telecasts available free, but they are charging to view the Cup telecasts on-line, which I believe is a mistake.

If they switched to an advertiser based sponsorship, ran their own commercials, and created their own sweepstakes and contests they might attract more of the casual Internet users.

Try NASCAR.com for the next Busch race and you can have the InternetTV experience.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 3:43AM,

No my friend, it is exactly the opposite. The influx of open wheel folks has been one of the best things that has happened for the TV networks in a long time.

There was only so many fans who could continue to follow a series of male drivers from one demographic. Old or young, and from across the nation only gets so many viewers.

Adding a Columbian, a Scottish guy, a Canadian, and maybe soon a female might just kick start the TV ratings. You can only go so far with a group that looks exactly the same. Its just reality.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 8:00AM,

You are exactly right. One thing that the Fox and TNT guys did not have to deal with are all the incredible in-show production elements that ESPN uses.

In the announce booth, there are two types of monitors. One has the "program" feed on it, which follows the race.

The other is a "preview" monitor. This is the way that ESPN plays for the announcers the next element, like Draft Tracker or a video replay or anything else before it appears on the air.

The announcers have to know what is coming up, so they must use this preview monitor to watch things before we see them on the air.

This season, the announcers in the booth have been caught many times watching one of these two monitors. That means that unless the "program" monitor has a crash or pass on it, they will not see it. If they are setting-up a program element like Draft Tracker, they will try to split their focus between the two monitors.

This has really left the broadcast off-base and has often times made them appear to be simply not watching the race. Mike Joy is the best at this, and the Fox gang have had years to practice.

Jerry Punch is having a tough season, and the multi-hour live broadcasts just do not appear to be his thing as the main play-by-play announcer. Good question!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 9:30AM,

I asked SPEED and they will be responding shortly about the banquet pre-show. I will get back to you shortly.

David said...

I have a question about time-outs/s slash caution flags. I know in football they have tv guys and tv timeouts. During cautions could there not be more working together on commercials to have it work out. Especially on all the 1.5 mile and larger tracks. These supposedly are extremely smart people trying to run a marketing company that races cars and a TV network that disguises marketing as an auto race. I have hear over and over that we will not add length the race by adding caution laps to it. They do it all the time for fake debris and such to bunch up the field. Here is what I mean. We have a caution Nascar say it looks like it would be 3 laps TV says make it 4 this is what we have going. They can slow the pace car if needed and such. They have broken so many other time honored tradtions at races and during broadcasts. I still think this could work. The .75 and .5 mile tracks would be hard to do. At some point they have to get together on this and come up with a plan to help the TV fan. NASCAR makes its money off TV more than it does the track. The empty seats prove that. At no point am I saying cautions for TV but adding one caution lap won't hurt in most cases and if it makes a better TV production lets figure it out. What do you think..

Photojosh said...

David makes a good point. Sure "TV timeouts" are stupid, but if it means that I don't miss a restart, I'm all for it.

Anonymous said...

I was listening to "Nascar Live" on the radio yesterday, with q&a session with Mike Helton. A caller mentioned the falling ratings this year & asked what was Nascar attributing this to. One of the things he mentioned was "television production problems" with the broadcasts. Do you think this means that Nascar will step in during the off season with demands, ultimatums, etc.? Thanks.

Photojosh said...

My second question:

What's the deal with Speed (and Fox?) hiring Riki Rachtman? Were they really missing the "aging rocker" demographic? I find him to be clueless and annoying. He is even higher than the stick & ball ESPN people on the list of "TV announcers that I never want to see on nascar again".

1991 is calling, it wants it's annoying Headbanger's Ball host back again. I say we let 1991 get what it wants.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 10:48AM,

That point is going to be met with laughter by NASCAR. They may slip in a caution or two during a boring race to re-group the field, but they will never affect the event by trying to coordinate on-track race activity with their TV partner.

NASCAR also has live online TV, live radio, and live international TV. If the domestic TV partner cannot organize its own productions to allow quality coverage of the event, it should not concern the NASCAR Operations group.

I do think that NASCAR Digital Entertainment group will be talking to both TNT and ESPN about their issues during the off-season.

Good question!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 10:59,

I would give almost anything to be in that post-season meeting between Mike Helton and ESPN.

That is going to be one for the ages. Mike does not mince words when it comes to maintaining the integrity or the popularity of the sport, and he has watched ESPN self-destruct during the final seventeen Cup races of the season.

I had one meeting with Helton and that was enough for me. We were having some problems with "This Week in NASCAR with Eli Gold" and he um...helped us to straighten them out.

stricklinfan82 said...

According to my DirecTV programming guide it looks like ESPN2 is airing Friday morning practice at Texas, followed by a half-hour of NASCAR Now starting at 1:00 EST.

I never saw anything about this on ESPN's site that listed their NASCAR TV coverage for the year, was this is a late addition to the schedule and could this be some kind of experiment to see if morning practice sessions are actually worth broadcasting on their network?

Daly Planet Editor said...

josh,

RR on RaceDay was an extension of the other NASCAR media activities that he does. In much the same way as Brad Daugherty, RR is well-meaning and no doubt a fan, but he does not have the fundamental TV skills to translate to the viewers.

It is not an issue of tatoos, or age, or length of hair. TV skills are learned, as you have seen with the contrast between Dale Jarrett and Rusty Wallace. Jarrett went to school (literally) and learned the business. Rusty just wings it.

If RR took some time and learned how to handle the TV issues he is currently having, there is no doubt he would have some kind of future. If you have noticed, RaceDay has almost eliminated him this season as they got down to crunch time.

If not the for the on-going competition of picking race winners, I believe we might see RR get his walking papers from SPEED.

Anonymous said...

INC is still filmed Monday's at the NASCAR Images studio, not at the SPEED studios.

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Anonymous said...

John, thanks for your response to my question at 12:22 AM. You said:
"One very influential racing individual always emails me when this topic comes up and says that if the banquet was moved to Las Vegas it would be on live TV and would be a bigger hit than the VMA's or the CMA Awards. That type of entertainment flair and creative environment might be just the shot in the arm that the banquet needs. Thanks...good questions."

My question is: how would YOU personally remake the banquet if you had a chance? I know from being on the boards the night of or the weekend after the banquets for the past three years that:
1) The musical guests selected by NASCAR are almost universally disliked by the fans and bring the show to a screeching halt (they're always kind of younger but still "easy listening" genre -Jewel, Scott Stapp (his ballads) Brian McKnight, Gavin DeGraw. Kelly Clarkson is supposed to be the guest this year, but NASCAR probably wants her to sing a ballad/country song and not rock out.
2) The fans are fine with speeches from drivers/crew chiefs but don't want to hear speeches from sponsors or NASCAR execs. They also don't like that pit crews are up in the nosebleed area and when the driver thanks them we can't see them.
3) The host could be better chosen - the one that nearly everyone mentions is Jeff Foxworthy. I'm not that familiar with him except on his game show a few times and he seems fine and funny to me, but apparently many people think NASCAR believes he represents a "redneck" image for the show and won't let him host.

I would be interested in your thoughts on how to improve it. I don't think NASCAR could take it too far with glitz like the VMAs b/c NASCAR fans are such a broad audience - the VMAs and CMAs get a certain audience and can cater to them. NASCAR fans are kind of traditional and get easily offended if things are too modern IMO. If there was too much music or comedy or silliness, I think some might tune out.

David said...

I agree with PhotoJosh.
NASCAR and TV do so many things to the race to make it better for TV why not consider this?? It is ESPN's and NASCAR's lack of thinking out of the box and sometimes way to much thinking that has caused this issue. Give it a shot, the teams will have no say about it. If Jimmy Spencer can throw cause a caution and not get penalized why can't this work. The teams have no say in this whatsoever. I bet their sponosors would LOVE to have the xtra TV time.

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Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 12:26AM,

As a TV consultant, I would be happy to work with you to move the banquet to Las Vegas, and make it one of the biggest fan fests and entertainment spectacles that TV has ever seen...just as soon as your check clears.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Here is the SPEED banquet news,

There will be no live coverage of pre-banquet activity from NYC by SPEED this season. Remember, the TV contracts have changed hands.

SPEED will carry the Truck Series banquet on a tape delay basis in December.

Sorry about that folks!

Daly Planet Editor said...

david,

There is no issue of TV somehow playing a role in when NASCAR returns from a caution period...trust me.

TV networks have come and gone, and none of them have needed this kind of help before ESPN this season. I am sure the Fox guys are reading these questions and howling with laughter.

Either you can produce racing TV, or you can't. The solution is not to make the sanctioning body change the sport because ESPN wants to show you Aerosmith or video "bumpers" or do a SportsCenter update around a commercial.

SPEED has done the Craftsman Truck Series all season long without a problem on many of the same tracks and with the same TV issues. Face it, the blame lies squarely with ESPN putting ten pounds of TV in a five pound NASCAR race...it just does not fit.

Anonymous said...

"As a TV consultant, I would be happy to work with you to move the banquet to Las Vegas, and make it one of the biggest fan fests and entertainment spectacles that TV has ever seen...just as soon as your check clears."

Touche. :-) Sorry, I forgot about your real life job. Well, good idea anyway and hopefully someone will hire you. And now you have a summary of what the (internet) fans like and don't like, to boot.

I didn't ask the specific question about the SPEED preshow this morning, but I also enjoyed that show (mentioned it in the other post) and am somewhat shocked that they are not doing one. Thanks in advance so I'll know not to expect it.

If ESPN has brains at all (unlikely) they will put Shannon Spake to work on coordinating a preshow right away. She was the "Wendy" before Wendy came along on SPEED banquet stuff and did very well in that role. I believe Marty Smith also performed those host duties in the past.

Last question from me today: you mentioned on-camera reporter and anchors changes coming next season. Any chance we'll see someone new or from another racing series on the networks? I've been trying to think of anyone who was on air in a NASCAR series who might be good, but the only one I've seen this year is Lindsey Czarniak and it's been mentioned here that she is not an option for a new role. I also liked David Amber on NASCAR NOW, his news reports seemed well-prepared. I really don't think he got a fair chance before Tony laid into him as the symbol of all of ESPN's ills. Thanks again for answers yesterday and today.

Desmond said...

Some weeks ago, I predicted an all-NASCAR network and even what kind of programming it would have.

Although it sounds tempting, I would not start it immediately. Carriage will be a problem with some providers. I remember when I had Comcast as a cable provider here (Lakewood, CA) and it had NFL Network. One day, due to a convoluted change of assets, it was assumed by Time Warner. TWC has no agreement with NFLN and NFLN was removed immediately from the local cable lineup. It has still not returned.

Those without NFLN miss eight live games, a nightly news show, some documentaries, and other programs. They are no doubt angry about it. I'm sure NASCAR fans would feel the same way.

Also, given that ESPN Classic has picked up some last-minute pre-race shows and will air the New York awards ceremony, why not increase its schedule of NASCAR programs in 2008? More practices, some qualifying, perhaps even at least one Nationwide Series race at the end of the season?

stricklinfan82 said...

JD,

I know this isn't exactly NASCAR-related but since you are plugged-in with a lot of TV guys I figured I'd throw this out there to see if you had any insights...

Is there any chance we could see the entire ARCA schedule return to television next year? These days we pretty much only get to see the Cup-companion races on TV, mixed in with a couple random "stand-alone" events.

I would like to see Speed step up and televise every race next year. If Speed decides not to, do you think there's any prayer ESPN might air some ARCA races, particularly those races that are companion races to the stand-alone Busch & ARCA weekends? In April at Nashville for instance ARCA and Busch ran on the same day. ESPN aired Busch qualifying in the morning, then disappeared for 2 hours during the ARCA race (leaving no TV coverage of the event), then came back on the air for the Busch race. It seems to me that it wouldn't be hard at all to televise ARCA races on weekends their equipment is already set up at the track.

I think it would be a nice touch for ESPN to add some ARCA races to their network next year, particularly the dirt track races that Speed seems to have no interest in covering any more. They already cover Cup, Busch, IRL, CART, NHRA, and I think now some World of Outlaws races so do you think there's any chance they might add ARCA to that mix in 2008 or beyond?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 1:33PM,

We should see changes coming across the board for ESPN. When a guy like Dale Jarrett retires, he does not make that move simply to cut the grass.

We all know Suzy Kolber is interim, and Brad Daugherty was an experiment that has run its course. Mr. Kuselias has said many times he is not a racing fan, and this season it is clear he still does not watch the races or keep up on the news.

This was also a tough year for Jerry Punch, who was awesome on post-produced shows like Ultimate NASCAR but horrible on multi-hour play-by-play. Changing his role could save his career.

Rusty is a team owner, and this first season he worked every Busch and Cup race. Maybe ESPN will create a stand-alone Busch announce team, as both Wallace and Punch appeared to be burnt toast after about six months of the season.

It should be a fascinating off-season for all the networks, keep checking back and we will keep you updated.

Lisa Hogan said...

Thanks for having the Q & A again. I really enjoy this feature.

Questions:
1. ESPN2 will carry the Cup banquet tape delayed. SPEED will carry the Truck banquet tape delayed. Busch banquet?

2. Who decides how much advertising time is sold for a Cup race?

3. Who decides where these advertisements are placed during a Cup race?

4. Who decides which pit reporter has which duty?

5. Who writes the questions for the pit reporters?

6. Who is pushing the pit reporter for that extra question during interviews?

Kevin in SoCal said...

You wanted to know who watches the Cup Banquet? Well count me as one who has watched them since I started watching NASCAR full time in 2003. And I'm one who cant stand other awards shows from Hollywood.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Lisa,

1 - The Busch Series banquet is at the Portofino Bay Hotel at Disney World in Orlando, FL on Dec. 7th.

I cannot find anything on ESPN2 that mentions it airing.

2 - The TV network does the Ad Sales for racing, and once they purchase the rights they can do what they want. Supposedly, NASCAR has some sort of limit on TV ad time, but we know from the TNT package that does not include network promos and other elements. The networks bought it, now they have to pay for it.

3 - In the production truck, the Associate Director is in charge of coordinating the commercial format for the race, which was discussed and planned well in advance. The format is a list of commercial breaks and sponsored elements like billboards (brought to you by) that must be inserted in the right order.

This Remote Productions AD is on the phone with an in-house AD back at ESPN. They manually count into and out of commercial breaks, and handle all the elements like SC updates and breaking news.

This system is in place for all live TV sporting events, and AD's travel freelance and make a good living by keeping the money on track in the programs.

Games like college football and baseball are more complicated than racing, because football is slaved to a clock, and baseball is slaved to a structure of innings. In racing, the next commercial is just the next commercial. The producer is the one who must get them in, and get them in without missing the action.

Each sport has a totally different dynamic for commercial insertion, and that is why it is so hard.

4/5/6 - The pit reporters work for the show producer, and he works for the coordinating producer, who is in charge of the entire sport. Pit reporters are assigned pit areas once the qualifying shakes out, and it often has to do with personal dynamics.

No one writes anything for pit reporters, because they have an direct headset communication with the pit producer and the show producer at all times.

If either of these producers wants to add a question, or push a reporter for more, they simply talk directly into their ear. I think we all saw that in action with poor old Mike Massaro and Dale Junior after he missed the chase. I don't know who was more embarrassed by it, Junior or Mike.

btw - TV folks refer to this type of communication as...the voices in my head...told me to do it.

Daly Planet Editor said...

stricklinfan,

If you could dip into your checking account and loan ARCA a few million dollars, I do believe that we would see every single race live on SPEED. They have the same issue they have always had...the almighty dollar.

Back when I ran the motorsports at Prime Network, I tried to do a deal with ARCA for their live races, but they had still not gotten themselves up to the point of being professional about TV. They were all about racing, with no TV help. Hey...I tried!

stricklinfan82 said...

JD,

Thanks for the reply. I've always enjoyed watching the ARCA Series. It seems that every time they're on a short track or dirt track they put on a fantastic show. In fact I've seen 3 of them in person when they used to run at my hometown Lake Erie Speedway (a 3/8 mile paved short track in Erie, PA). All three were fantastic races with great finishes.

I've always been disappointed that the only races I can see on TV are the usually eneventful superspeedway races where 1 or 2 Cup developmental drivers run away from the field, and was hoping that would change next year.

Hopefully ARCA can get with the program and realize the advantages of having a full TV contract. Thanks again for the insights on how ARCA does business.

Lisa Hogan said...

JD, thanks so much for taking the time with my questions. I know a little about all of this, just not in depth or the titles of the people who make the decisions.

See if I have this straight- - -
1. ESPN2 will carry the Cup banquet tape delayed. SPEED will carry the Truck banquet tape delayed. Busch banquet?
( no news, probably no coverage)

2. Who decides how much advertising time is sold for a Cup race?
(ESPN Advertising Dept. sets the amount of advertising time to sell for each race.)

3. Who decides where these advertisements are placed during a Cup race?
(The on-site ESPN Associate Director sets the commercial line up and the on-site ESPN Producer decides when they are placed during the race.)

4. Who decides which pit reporter has which duty?
(The on-site ESPN Coordinating Producer decides which pit, Victory Lane, and interview each pit reporter is assigned.)

5. Who writes the questions for the pit reporters?
(When a pit reporter asks an inappropriate question, it is either their words or those of the ESPN Pit Producer or ESPN Show Producer.)

6. Who is pushing the pit reporter for that extra question during interviews?
(The painful “one more question” comes from the pit reporter, ESPN Pit Producer or ESPN Show Producer.)
(Since Massaro seems to have a high percentage of those questions, I’ll give that to him.)

Daly Planet Editor said...

Lisa,

You are getting good at this. Bottom line is, the on-site event producer is charged with ultimately making all the decisions that are going to come back to haunt him later.

That's a fun job...huh?

Anonymous said...

How common is it that a newspaper/radio/Internet reporter can transition to a regular TV reporting role?

I've seen several of the reporters I read at Jayski on TV. Some are good on TV, some are not so good. It shouldn't really be a requirement of their job to be good on TV, but just curious to see why so many of them end up on NASCAR TV shows. Do their supervisors feel it's important for them to be on TV or is it a personal goal? (Maybe they just get asked to do it, I don't know.)

Lisa Hogan said...

JD-thanks again for taking the time for my questions. The on-site event producer, huh? Everyone is going to turn around and point at him/her at the end of the season! :)

Anonymous said...

I liked reading all these questions and answers, this site is one of the best out there.

How ironclad are TV production contracts, or do they even sign contracts? For example if someone we see working on NASCAR on ESPN has a contract, is it renewable each year, or are there "outs' or severance negotiations?

I also have read comments here today and in the past that Lindsay Czarniak (spelling?)is not able to take a job at FOX or ESPN because of a contract or obligations. Without knowing specifics of her deal, is there any leeway in contracts? I would really like to see more of her, we just instantly liked her and she was very good on pit road.

Richard in N.C. said...

JD- I am confused. Isn't the bulk of the ESPN production staff for NASCAR races the same as the group that did the same thing for NBC?

hawkeye said...

JD, You stated:
"They may slip in a caution or two during a boring race to re-group the field, but they will never affect the event by trying to coordinate on-track race activity with their TV partner."

Yet earlier this year I recall a winning driver being told not to do a burnout because ESPN did not have time for both a burnout and an interview. Also Biffle talked about how he was instructed to skip any celebration after the late Kansas finish.

I've had a sick feeling a number of times this season that NASCAR's actions are due more to their interest in TV entertainment and not track safety or enforcing series rules.

Now a bit off topic here, but did you notice that Monday's INC was done live? I thought you would have posted a comment on this show by now.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 3:53PM,

All reporters eventually want to take a shot at a TV show where they are lured because of what they know and are told they are going to be the center of attention.

Unfortunately, the skill set needed to be good on TV has nothing to do with what you know, only how you work the camera and know the cues. This often makes the best reporters look foolish.

But, its hard to reject the lure of the tiny screen....and this time in HD!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 4:07PM,

The word you are looking for is "exclusivity."

In the TV world, there are three parts and they do not meet. Broadcast network, cable network, and satellite network.

For announcers, they must negotiate carefully so they can work for a broadcast network like Fox, but later in the season they would not be able to work for ABC if their broadcast network exclusivity was to Fox. In other words, the networks do not want "their guys" on other broadcast networks in the same season.

Cable TV is the same. Work for SPEED, and you have to negotiate the fact you are going to work the pits for TNT later in the year.

Most on-air announcers have agents, who get to do all this fun stuff for them.

The freelance crew members work by day, and assignment. There is one fee to operate a camera and another to be a graphics operator. This is called "crewing" and it is the process by which networks go about assembling all the hundreds of folks who work a race.

Most contracts are for a year, and can be broken for the normal stuff. Bad work, lateness, drugs...etc. The sports TV crewing industry is huge, and its fun if you have the discipline to do it fulltime. Otherwise, its insane.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Richard,

That depends on which part of "the TV crew" you are talking about.

Announcers, producers, directors, and the AP's, AD's, and pit producers are all referred to as being on the "above the line" crew.

The camera, audio, switching, maintenance, and all the other technical, engineering, and operations part of the crew is called the "below the line" crew.

This term started simply from the spread sheets that had the budgets on them. The announcers, and the producer-directory types were listed at the top. So, they were "above the line" literally.

ESPN did a completely fresh hire, and put together a new crew for the entire season. Some freelancers did work the NBC package, but there was not a whole lot of cross-over since NASCAR Images came into the picture as the company controlling the TV compound.

Isn't TV fun? Maybe during the off-season I will get some TV types to write some articles about the reality of travel and TV on the NASCAR trail. That might be fun.

Daly Planet Editor said...

hawkeye,

Your point is well taken, but that was after the race when the TV guys told NASCAR how much time they had remaining in the broadcast.

Getting someone to pit lane is very different than affecting the gas mileage and strategy of an entire race with forty laps to go because the Jeff Gordon dirty diaper commercial is still running.

Let me say it to all of you about NASCAR coordinating with the TV networks during the race....NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

Daly Planet Editor said...

stricklinfan,

SPEED just told me they are finalizing their ARCA schedule and will send it to me when they are done.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Daly,

Do you know if Speed is planning to change their Monday night line up next year? Specifically, expand Inside Nextel Cup to 90 minutes, bring back the hot seat, give more time to the Busch and/or truck races? Replay Trading Paint, Nascar Performance, Victory Lane, and Wind Tunnel?

Also, since ESPN has botched Nascar Now all year, would Speed consider resurrecting their own daily show?

Jill

Richard in N.C. said...

JD- IF ESPN were to really commit to making NASCAR NOW a "must see" event and base it in the Charlotte area, is it possible ESPN could use space in the new NASCAR media facility in Charlotte where MRN is now and, thus, not have to make a sizeable facility investment in NC? Also, along that line, could it make sense to use a combination of Jerry Punch and John Kernan to host NASCAR NOW since I believe they both still live in western NC? Do you think ESPN hired John Kernan for its NHRA broadcasts to keep him out of FOX-SPEED's hands? Thank you VERY much.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Daly:
Two questions.
A. Could you describe what functions NASCAR Images performs at the track(are they the below-the-line people)and do they produce any programming from the venue?
B. You've mentioned the new studio at the Hall of Fame/NASCAR Plaza building in downtown Charlotte. Would the broadcast partners(FOX, TNT & ESPN as well as SPEED)be encouraged (or made) to use this studio first as a local location(studio in NC) and second for NASCAR to have more control over production and presentation?
Thanks!
Tom in Dayton.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Jill,

Right now Inside NEXTEL Cup is just sitting all alone on Monday, and that does not bode well for the future of that show.

All season long, we have been encouraging SPEED to use Victory Lane, Survival of the Fastest, and Tradin' Paint to create a Monday night NASCAR block.

Unfortunately, with the solid block of racing shows that appear on Sunday, I personally think SPEED is going to surrender Monday to more "lifestyle" programming like PINKS and Payback and U. Whips.

If INC survives to 2008, I will be very surprised.

Daly Planet Editor said...
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Daly Planet Editor said...

Richard,

The hot rumor is that ESPN is going to put live cams in every Cup shop and keep NASCAR Now in CT.

That network has been avoiding Charlotte like the plague, even though they already have ESPN Regional Television located in south Charlotte that is huge and has the TV facilities of ESPNU already on-site.

Kernan is a mystery. Both he and Bob Jenkins have slowly come back into the ESPN fold, and it has not been un-noticed by the fans. Shhh...

Daly Planet Editor said...

Tom,

NASCAR Images is a company like PGA Tour Productions or NBA Entertainment. They are the official keeper of the video and creator of programming featuring that content.

This season, because of the shared dynamic of the TV equipment and the NASCAR content, they needed a neutral party to be in control of the TV compound

Even if ESPN is doing both the Busch and Cup races, there is still DirecTV Hot Pass, NASCAR.com, and plenty of other demands on the TV equipment.

Most weekends, the practice, qualifying, and races are split between at least two networks.

In addition to being the peace-keeper, Images also assembles all their own content that will return to Charlotte to serve both their post-produced programs and their corporate clients.

According to the parties I spoke with, things went very well this season and next year should also prove to be a good HD tech exercise.

Daly Planet Editor said...

It is too early to determine what will happen with the new TV facility at the Hall of Fame building in Charlotte.

The one thing we do know is that the entire NASCAR Images company will move in to that location, and that it will all be HD and Internet friendly.

It should be fun to see when it is done.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Got about thirty minutes left before we close the door on this session.

Anonymous said...

I have the same question as desmond...

Desmond said...
Some weeks ago, I predicted an all-NASCAR network and even what kind of programming it would have.

Although it sounds tempting, I would not start it immediately. Carriage will be a problem with some providers. I remember when I had Comcast as a cable provider here (Lakewood, CA) and it had NFL Network. One day, due to a convoluted change of assets, it was assumed by Time Warner. TWC has no agreement with NFLN and NFLN was removed immediately from the local cable lineup. It has still not returned.

Those without NFLN miss eight live games, a nightly news show, some documentaries, and other programs. They are no doubt angry about it. I'm sure NASCAR fans would feel the same way.

Also, given that ESPN Classic has picked up some last-minute pre-race shows and will air the New York awards ceremony, why not increase its schedule of NASCAR programs in 2008? More practices, some qualifying, perhaps even at least one Nationwide Series race at the end of the season?

October 31, 2007 1:51 PM

Anonymous said...

do you know anything more about SPEED's daily NASCAR show next year?

Anonymous said...

How are the camera operators and other crew member hired? who picks them? Do they go through an application process? I have heard that directors would only pick people that have worked with them before. I this true?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Hey Guys,

Right now there is no plan for SPEED to do a daily show about NASCAR. If that changes, I will yell about it.

ESPN is full...all three networks. They have no where except Classic to put anything. Nothing will change in terms of additional progamming on ESPN in 2008.

A NASCAR Network would sail through all the cable companies as long as it did not cost them, which is the issue with the NFL Network. The cable companies do not want to increase the bill to the consumer, and the NFL is pleading...but the people are missing the games. What a joke.

A NASCAR Network modeled after the Golf Channel, which supported the races on the other channels and originated long form programs that the fans want would be a huge success in a short period of time, the only issue is controlling the front end start-up costs.

Rick said...

John,

Do you know if there is anything written into the current TV contracts that would prevent NASCAR from starting their own NASCAR network at this time?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Rick,

They still don't quite see the need yet, but they will in just a little bit after the reality of what happened to the sport this season hits them.

Cup is a mess with the COT, the Busch Series is dead, and the Trucks are anonymous when not racing with Cup. Sponsors are gone, teams are desperately merging, and tNASCAR is realizing the one thing they need to control is their own media...and they can't.

Check your watch...its coming.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Hey Everybody,

Thanks for a great day of questions and answers. We got over one hundred comments done and a lot of fun info exchanged.

I will try to do this again next Wednesday, and thanks again for taking time out of your day to stop-by and participate.

New columns are up about Mike and Mike and my fav series...Chasing Glory. Take care.

Anonymous said...

I fixed some typos:


How are the camera operators and other crew members hired? who picks them? Do they go through an application process? I have heard that directors would only pick people that have worked with them before. Is this true?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 7:45PM,

You slipped one in on me. Most crew members began working in their local area on regional sports. All the NBA, MLB, NHL, and college games fill the Regional Sports Networks every night.

Once someone finds what they are good at regionally, they are often seen by producers and directors who travel with the teams or networks doing the games.

Its the same as any business, do a good job and get noticed. The TV crew world is tough, and it is a fulltime lifestyle complete with lifelong friends and great travel stories.

It is also full of alcohol, drugs, and the same types of problems you find in any job that takes people away from home all the time.

While some networks like ESPN do their own crewing on high-profile events, most regional sports networks coordinate their hires with the companies that provide the TV production trucks.

Often times, TV crew members also work non-sports events like parades, festivals, and for national TV shows that come to town for live or taped production.

If you are interested, ask the regional sports network in your area to hire you to pull cable or hold a nat sound mic sometime. These positions are unskilled, and are called local hires. Its a good way to get your face seen and get yourself a taste of the reality of five hours on a hot football field with nothing to drink and no bathroom break.

As a fulltime employee of ESPN, I traveled alongside of many experienced crew members and they loved it. If you want to know more about it, just email me.

JD

Barry said...

It seems to me that the powers that be at ESPN have returned to their old ways of moving on to the next telecast, without allowing fans to hear the driver's and comments after the race. Also not to mention the lack of showing the celebration in Victory Lane. Nascar Now could be a great show, if it had either Alan Bestwick or Marty Reid hosting. As a fan of the old RPM Tonight with John Kernan, I had hoped this show would be in a similar vane. I really have come to believe that money is the ruler of all decisions in entertainment and news, and the fans who matter are ignored and their opinions left out. Obviously, ESPN really does not care what the Nascar fans want or think.

Kevin said...

Forgive me for jumping in with an answer but since John's time has passed one theory might present itself:

On most games that ESPN televises, they wrap at the site quickly and start SportsCenter or some other highlight show that invariably throws it right back to the announcers for interviews and wrap packages - a great time to do Victory Lane, pit road interviews, etc.

For NASCAR, they just don't throw it back to the event site in part because the PTB's in Bristol CT which run SportsCenter don't understand it well enough to build appropriate highlight packages or have the on-set anchors ask questions of the broadcast hosts.