Saturday, October 20, 2007

TV Notes For Martinsville: RaceDay vs. Countdown

The battle of the NASCAR pre-race shows is going to be shaken-up this Sunday at Martinsville.

RaceDay fans should note that this weekend SPEED has been forced to shift the program away from its normal start time of two hours before the event.

The Brazilian Grand Prix is is the final Formula-1 race of the season on SPEED, and it starts live at 11:30AM. This means no RaceDay, as there is no SPEED2 for simultaneous distribution of two different TV programs.

It is a shame that the Fox family did not simply move RaceDay to the Fox-owned FX Cable Network and let it air at its normal time.

So, an earlier edition of RaceDay is going to be on the air from 9:30 to 11:30AM on Sunday. It could make for a very different show with absolutely nothing going-on at the track during those two hours. This move is a huge impact to a major show on SPEED at a crucial time in the NEXTEL Cup "Chase for the Championship."

This change benefits the struggling NASCAR Countdown show on ABC, which hits the air at 1PM Eastern Time for a thirty minute program. If ESPN had been pro-active, this would have been a great day to have the full one hour edition of this show with no NASCAR TV competition. It will be interesting to see how all this plays-out.


Anonymous said...

I was wondering if they had the legal option to move it to FX. It sure would have made more sense.

I can't imagine a two hour pre-race show with nobody around...

It really is a shame since RaceDay is one of the best programs on the air.

Anonymous said...

I guess we should be greatful that they are even going to air RaceDay at all. That show is also one of my favorites. I'm already pissed that the Countdown overlays RaceDay. I can not watch 2 shows at the same time! My heart is always with SPEEDtv, but I don't want to miss the chance that ESPN/ABC might happen to interview Sadler. Uhm, isn't Raceday supposed to be all about the drivers? I'd think that most of them are going to be in their motorhomes sleeping or just trying to chill out and get mentally prepared for the race. I'm sorry, but I don't want to see Formula 1. Why don't they re-air that later like they do with any other show? This is absolutely crazy!!

We just need to get rid of ESPN/ABC all together. They suck!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm still going to DVR RaceDay. They'll probably corral a driver or two, especially in the second hour when it's getting close to driver's meeting time.

FX isn't in the sports business anymore since it was cut out of the NASCAR deal after 2006. FX is original dramas (the focus) and old movies and sitcoms. FOX has shifted all its sports programming to the FOX, FCS and FSN regional networks. All the rain-delayed races have aired on FOX this year, not FX.

FOX does own the cable network FUEL TV and theoretically SPEED overflow could go there, but that's more of a action sports audience.

As much as I enjoy RaceDay, I don't know if it is prominent enough or garners enough viewers to justify moving it to another network. The movies scheduled to air tomorrow on FX probably will have just as many or more viewers as RaceDay would - I'd have to consider RaceDay niche programming. Several of our friends always watch the race but rarely watch RaceDay or NASCAR countdown.

Andy Pandy said...


I have no comment on the topic, but thanks for the pic!

Daly Planet Editor said...

FX routinely "sells" time on its network just as most cable networks do in non-prime hours. SPEED could have made arrangements months in advance to have aired this program on FX, FUEL, Fox Reality, or even on FoxSportsNet by using the Fox Regional Sports Networks as the distribution source.

I think that in many ways this program is higher-profile in the US than F-1. I understand that appeal of live F-1 having worked on hundreds of races for ESPN, but this is a tough call.

RaceDay is created by SPEED, and is a partner to the on-going NEXTEL Cup Series. F-1 is simply a rights fee deal that could find F-1 moving to another network in the next TV contract.

haus20 said...

I guess I will be watching F1 until the race starts.

Anonymous said...

I have only watched two entire F1 races all season, but I'll be watching tomorrow's race all the way through, even as it bleeds into the beginning of the Martinsville race.

Tomorrow is the F1 championship. It's not just a race, it's the CHAMPIONSHIP. Three drivers, including a rookie, the defending world champion, and a two-time runner up, can win. It's great that SPEED is airing it live. I'd think many race fans like me are interested in seeing an elite-level championship race coming down to the wire, just like so many watched Franchitti at the 500 and beating Dixon in the last race this season.

I can't believe that RaceDay airing early because of this is even an issue, especially considering those poor F1 fans who normally have to get up at 5 or 6 a.m. to see the race live - and if they don't, they have to watch Jimmy Spencer mangle the driver's names as he spoils the results on RaceDay before the taped replay (an actual comedy feature for several weeks on RaceDay last year).

You can bet your bottom dollar that Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, and many other drivers are going to be watching F1 until they are physically dragged to their race responsibilities.

Edwards Fan said...

I personally wouldn't want Raceday moved to another FOX affiliate like FX or to Fuel TV as neither are available in Canada. We have the same problem with any of the qualifying shows if ESPN is broadcasting them. Our sports network here is TSN, and they rarely show the qualifying. The joke is that TSN holds all the NASCAR rights for Canadian distribution! And most of the time, TSN treats Canadian NASCAR fans with contempt.

Anonymous said...

I am a big NASCAR fan, but I am also a big F1 fan and Sunday's F1 race is the last race of the year and the driver's championship is on the line. Thus, moving the Brazilian F1 race is not reasonable , when it can be broadcast live at a reasonable time in the US. SPEED has announced it will have F1 next year and several, large US corporations have large F1 sponsorships - i.e., desirable demographics. As a NASCAR and F1 fan, I am looking forward to watching RaceDay and then the F1 race. ESPN's coverage of NASCAR has been so poor this year that I have not watched any ESPN pre-race shows, regardless of whether they ovelapped with RaceDay or not.

Anonymous said...

Like many of the more popular cable networks, FX usually offers paid programming only from approximately 3 AM - 7 AM EST. It now has enough of its own programming (including programs running in syndication) to fill the remaining hours. It used to be a "jack of all trades" network years ago - no longer.

FOX REALITY probably wouldn't accept RaceDay because they run TV series marathons every Saturday and Sunday,running from mid-morning (after paid programming) to late evening. Those viewers would pitch a fit if the reality series episodes they've settled in to watch continuously on a Sunday was interrupted by a 2-hour racing entertainment show. As with FX, RaceDay doesn't fit the brand.

FUEL TV (a somewhat logical choice) might accept payment to air Raceday in the early afternoon, but the average NASCAR viewer won't have this new channel (or FOX REALITY) available on their digital tier or satellite subscription.

My prediction is that most fans will be very accepting of RaceDay airing once at an unusual time. It's a fun show, but the world won't stop tomorrow because (for one week) Wendy can't interview drivers by their cars. Maybe ABC will surprise the fans who do want to tune into a prerace with a good program. (Me? I'll also be watching F1, glad to see other race fans doing the same)

Cire said...

"I think that in many ways this program is higher-profile in the US than F-1. I understand that appeal of live F-1 having worked on hundreds of races for ESPN, but this is a tough call."
You need to broaden your horizons. There is a 3-way race for the F1 championship. SPEED is for sure doing the right thing. Carry live the finale of the F1 season with 3 drivers vying for the championship or a pre-race show? Come on John, NASCAR is good but its not the only game in town. If your a true race fan, you would understand. Your "tough call" comment is ridiculous.

Cire said...

Forgot to add, to anyone wanting a real good laugh and wanting to hear what "booth chemistry" is all about, listen in on SPEED's F1 broadcast tomorrow. Bob, David and Steve are the best. Its like listening to three guys at a bar talking about the race. I laugh every race at some of the things they say. David Hobb's is one hell of a character to listen too!

SophiaZ123 said...

I also do not understand why this is such a huge deal. I have watched many F1 races on tape, usually FForwarding, as I think it can be less exciting than NASCAR but appreciate it for the type of racing it is.

INDEED, considering it is one of the FEW LIVE F1 RACES in a DECENT hour to air LIVE, THOSE FANS DESERVE to see the CHAMPIONSHIP wrapped up!! It will be a big race day in this house.

Raceday used to be a NASCAR this AM show years ago. Frankly, I think this version should only be an hour. I mean, Tony Stewart will be sleeping late as possible as he is NOT a morning person. So with few drivers coherent, what will they yap about for 2 hours?

One hour would be enough unless they are going to show some video bits or something.

Anyway, I think this is a GOOD CALL for SPEED as I read on some forums F1 fans have SPEED JUST for Formula 1 races!1

and considering how much of PRIMETIME SHOWS on SPEED are total CRAP ANYMORE (UNique Whips, Pinks, and those NOPI shows) GOOD RACING SHOWS should always be shown LIVE when possible. There are far fewer F1 races in the season.

I happily share a good time slot to the major F1 fans!

Just my two cents.


Anonymous said...

@anonymous 6:56--they've managed before. When it was previously on FSN as "NA$CAR This Morning" they ran it at 8 am PST/11 am EST *regardless* of what track they were at (there were a few schedule changes to accommodate other FSN programming). So most races as long as they were mid-west or east coast it worked, but west coast and night races of course there's your pickle. When it moved to SPEED, they moved it to work with the race schedule and eventually renamed it, since sometimes it comes on in the afternoons. But in the FSN days when it was a later starting race, it was mostly filler but they'd schedule guys to interview ahead of time.

@anonymous 7:38--the pure OW fans (some NA$CAR fans like me are of both; but the pure ones don't understand) have enough of a hissy as it is. IF anything NA$CAR preempts any event, they're on the boards complaining. Even just looking at the schedule they feel their events are overlooked compared to NA$CAR (of course with ESPN some of that is changing). They feel that their shows get the back seat. And there *have* been some qualifying/races preempted to re-air later in the day due to NA$CAR. And when Chip made the announcement of Juan Pablo coming over, I forget what event was on, but the fans were TICKED that their event was interrupted for the news conference. Also, for the most part the majority of races are ran to where it's aired here at 4 or 5 am. So the fans have to get up early to watch or record and not watch/read anything that may give the results away before they can see it. So an 11:30 am race is HEAVEN to the fans, even the west coast fans can get up at a decent hour to watch. Now I'm an F1 fan and am looking forward to the race tomorrow and know the Race Day folks will do a good job :).

@anonymous 9:08--same here! I have a dual tuner DVR so I can record both. I *should* be up, but have it set to record just in case. And countdown and the race will be recording and whenever F1 ends, I'll join it. It truly is MORE than a race...3 guys with an equal chance and 1 to make history!

Yes they will! I recall a rain delay a few months back and pretty much all of them was watching the F1 race.

Daly Planet Editor said...


You misunderstand my comment. F-1 vs. NASCAR in terms of this race being for the championship is not the issue.

SPEED has been locked in their biggest programming battle with ESPN with RaceDay. It is their highest profile NASCAR program including Victory Lane and Trackside.

The network made the commitment to move this show boldly into the ESPN turf of NASCAR and they have pretty much wiped ESPN's NASCAR Countdown off the map.

To move this one program into a live timeslot that renders it almost useless is ridiculous. It has nothing to do with the quality of the F-1 broadcasts.

The size and scope of the Fox Cable Networks is huge. SPEED should have made arrangements to put RaceDay on another Fox Cable Network in its regular two hour timeslot.

As for your comments about broadening my horizons. I don't know if you remember the ESPN Formula-1 days with David Hobbs on color and good old John Bisignano on pit road. Those would be the telecasts that I did for many years early on Sunday mornings at ESPN. But, thanks for your comments.


Anonymous said...

As others have pointed out, "NASCAR This Morning" was a morning staple until about a year and a half ago. I don't see how it could be rendered useless by airing two hours early, once.

John, I've read through these comments and think the majority (although we respect you) so far isn't with you on this one. We can all agree to disagree, though.

And somehow I think the ratings for the F1 race -just this one time- will outpace Raceday's normal rating in this timeslot. SPEED wins, no matter what, and we should be happy for them.

Daly Planet Editor said...

I am not really sure what we are disagreeing about. Airing RaceDay two hours early is going to change the entire show. I am not saying anything about the F-1 race, only that SPEED should simulcast on another Fox Cable Network.

The content that they use for the live RaceDay show will simply not be available at 9:30AM. It does not exist.

If you have been to a NASCAR race with a 1PM Sunday afternoon start, you know exactly what is going on and who is around at 9:30AM. Not a doggone thing..and no one.

With the DVR's and TiVo's in today's cable homes, viewers would have the ability to pick which SPEED show to watch. NASCAR folks could do RaceDay live and enjoy the F-1 race later in the day.

This is exactly the same type of situation that began occurring at ESPN that forced the network to go kicking and screaming into starting an ESPN2 pathway for additional product distribution.

SPEED2 in 2009? That could be interesting.

Erik said...
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Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:10
"And somehow I think the ratings for the F1 race -just this one time- will outpace Raceday's normal rating in this timeslot. SPEED wins, no matter what, and we should be happy for them."

Google is my friend, and RaceDay looks like it averages about 750,000-800,000 households and 1.1-1.2 rating, from a quick check. RaceDay from the Daytona 500 was heavily watched, slightly over a million households.

Huge jump from 2006. But not spectactular considering SPEED is in 70 million homes. Not worth moving to another network, unless it's for the RaceDay of Daytona or Homestead.

In comparison, two weeks ago FOX NFL Sunday pregame show averaged almost 4 million viewers and a 2.7 household rating.

It's not unthinkable that the F1 finale could match the average numbers of RaceDay because of the timeslot. A regular F1 race (0.4-0.5 rating) wouldn't, but the afternoon championship could.

haus20 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

As a longtime NASCAR fan who's one of those either dreaded or desired casual TV Viewers when it comes to Formula 1 - the theoretical question is:

1)Would I watch the closest F1 driver's championship race in 21 years?

2) Or would I watch a (very well made) two-hour NASCAR prerace program moved to and simulcast on another FOX cable network for the day because it's on at the same time as F1?

To me, that's not even a question. F1 scores the win, every time.

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

I think it is a great programming/business decision for SPEED. They lock up the race fan viewership from 8 Eastern starting with NASCAR Performance thru to the end of the F1 race. This kills the pre-race edition of NASCAR Now (as is NN needed any help in killing itself), ABC's NASCAR Countdown, and the first half hour of the actual race on ABC. How can this not be good for SPEED? I'm sure they will heavily promote the F1 race during RaceDay too, if not in the show itself, but with commercials during RaceDay.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a great move, too. Lock up the race fans early. I know it works well with my schedule because I was planning to watch F1 since the Championship has come down to the last race. RaceDay, then F1, then Martinsville all back-to-back is a perfect day for me! I won't even flip to another channel until racetime.

Erik said...

I'm amazed at the comments from all the SPEED apologists. They showed what they think of NASCAR fans by bumping raceday for F1 of all things, and not even having the decency of finding another outlet for raceday to be shown at its appropriate time.

This is one thing ESPN hasn't done. If two events conflict, they'll find a place for both of them.

With SPEED getting a pass for this, it sort of shows the huge bias some people have pumping up SPEED while giving ESPN unwarranted, relentless criticism. Because of that, you can really just discount anything the ESPN critics are saying, as they clearly have an outside agenda, rather giving an honest, unbiased assessment of coverage.

Andy Pandy said...

Erik the Troll, you're getting more pathetic by the post. I'm sorry if NASCAR fans have respect for other forms of racing and their fans. It's not the end of the world if a pre-race show is moved so viewers can see a champion determined in a form of racing that is extremely popular in places other than the US. The channel's name is SPEED, not The NASCAR Channel, and either you're getting great delight in trying to pull the strings of NASCAR fans or you are even more clueless than your earlier post led us to believe.

Now finish your homework and get to bed early tonight. Middle school can be tough if you're not rested.

Rick said...

LOL Andy!!!

SophiaZ123 said...

Dittos to EVERYTHING you said another LOL!!

God, i hope we can rid this place of trolls soon.

I don't even get the fricking "FUEL" channel and never heard of it.

Correct, it is not the NASCAR channel.


I taped Race Day and will watch it AFTER Wind Tunnel. And if it's a so so show, so what.

F1 DESERVED to be shown live and RACEDAY where it's fan base could find it. And it turned out to be QUITE the race and now controversy, ended, and then announced oN WT, still allegedly continuing.

Big Day in racing.

Since most of the primetime shows on SPEED are TOTAL RUBBISH, I would rather watch a delayed race THERE than have it cut off EARLY on PeeSPN.

Thus with all the filler junk on SPEED, in most all of primetime durding the week and late night, do not understand the need for SPEED2.