Tuesday, October 9, 2007

We Got This Comment From A Guy Named "Erik"


Over the last several months, The Daly Planet has been getting very interesting comments from a reader who calls himself Erik. This reader has posted some ESPN information that is available only to ESPN employees.

This reader has quoted facts and figures that were not released to the public about ESPN issues. In fact, this reader speaks in authoritative terms as if he is making a statement rather than just offering his opinion.

On Sunday, October 7th, The Daly Planet published a column entitled "ABC Struggles With Multiple Storylines At Talladega." The column covered a lot of issues, but focused on a few key TV topics, which is what this media project is all about.

Unfortunately, ABC missed the winning pass by Jeff Gordon on the last lap. Then, they bypassed any post-race interviews except the winner and signed-off the air. After they left, none of the ESPN Networks or programs including ESPN News or SportsCenter followed-up on the race.

Instead of interviews from the Media Center, ESPN showed a brief race highlight package where Dale Junior asked for the Redskins score. The ESPN announcers all thought this was hilarious.

There were some other interesting issues, like the new "Draft Lock," the boring COT racing, and the fact that Jerry Punch was getting absolutely no help from his fellow announcers on the RCR engine situation.

It did not help matters that the Dale Jarrett crash was ignored by the ESPN/ABC gang and only mentioned again...by Kyle Petty. Jarrett is a current member of the NASCAR on ESPN announce team.

The Daly Planet had one hundred and seven reader comments added to this column, and countless email messages. The final comment was one from the reader named Erik. I am posting it below in its entirety to get some reaction from NASCAR fans. Here it is:

October 9th - 8:10PM

ESPN/ABC have done an outstanding job broadcasting NASCAR events, and promoting the sport through their daily NASCAR Now show.

Because of that, more people than ever before can get NASCAR coverage. As the Worldwide Leader In Sports, ESPN's distribution network is unmatched.

NASCAR fans should be thanking their lucky stars that ESPN stepped-up to the plate.

NASCAR fans seem to have bought into the hype that they host a Superbowl every weekend. This is just laughable.

ESPN doesn't air a live post-race for IRL, why should NASCAR receive special treatment? They don't even do this for college football, whose ratings crush NASCAR. This expectation just shows how out-of-touch with reality some of these fans are. The world doesn't revolve around your sport.


Normally, we would just take this comment in stride, but something about it just really punched us in the gut. This reader has been defending every ESPN action for months. Not from a standpoint of accuracy, but from a standpoint of superiority.

Its almost scary. The arrogant tone of this message echoes the arrogant tone of ESPN, who other than covering the races has only given lip service to this entire sport this year. Now, with only weeks to go in the season, the network's frustration seems to have been captured in this one comment.

If you read it and have a reaction, please take a minute and leave a comment. We welcome comments from all readers, and simply ask that you follow the rules for posting which are on the right side of the main page. There is nothing to join, and you do not have to leave your email address.

The goal of this site is to provide a platform for NASCAR fans to speak freely and without corporate interference on their feelings about the NASCAR TV partners. This year, we have dealt with Fox Sports, SPEED, TNT, and now the ESPN networks.

As the season winds-down, its time to reflect on ESPN's season-to-date, and summarize your experience as a viewer. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below to add your opinion to The Daly Planet.

NOTE: Because of this post, the "TV question and answer forum" will open Wednesday at noon and run through late Thursday night for the West Coast readers. Thanks.

56 comments:

William said...

Big Bill France created MRN because he didn't think that NASCAR was getting the quality of coverage that it deserved. If the ghost if Big Bill still walks any of the halls of NASCAR or ISC there will be big changes before ESPN starts airing races again in the spring. IF not, I fear that Brian France has taken this sport down a bad path indeed.
It's been said many times that Brian France has a hard-on for New York. Maybe he's got the same feelings for ESPN. No matter how they treat his sport. I've long thought we were ripe for some contraction(the empty seats at 'Dega indicate so)but I really hope that NASCAR can continue to prosper. I really hope that one night Brian wakes up and gets a talking to by the Ghost of NASCAR Past. It's a shame but the Dictator is our only hope for fixing this thing.

SophiaZ123 said...

I am not going to waste energy answering Erik as it is so OBVIOUS what his spin is and few of us are buying it. William makes a good point.

I have been screaming for MONTHS NASCAR should be doing SOMETHING about the lousy coverage but Brian has his money and is happy. Hell with fans. If the seats are empty, he was 1000 excuses.

The FACTS REMAIN LESS longtime fans are watching everyweek, and many tracks have made things LESS THAN FAN FRIENDLY and more costly.

Add the PeeSPN atrocious coverage and the hallucinatory 'statements' from Bristol insiders and crappy booth people, and it's just kicking more dust in the fans faces.

I wish I got MRN on radio for all the races as the PRN guys just ain't the same.

Since I have been here for the postings of "Erik", I am not sure what I am supposed to be responding to now.

This guy, and ESPN sees the world thru a special pair of glasses with tunnel vision. Nothing else matters.

roxfn

Matt said...

This argument is really getting old. I am so sick of hearing "be happy you have any NASCAR on TV." Guess what Erik? If ESPN or every other network didn't want NASCAR, we would always have SPEED. So don't play that "be happy or else" card with us. We are smarter than that. Secondly, we are no longer living in the 1980s or 1990s. We just came off a 6-year broadcast deal where there were qualifying, practice, pre and POST race shows, and the ACTUAL race. So after 6 years of this, we all expected "the worldwide leader in sports" to not only deliver that, but even more than we had ever seen. But that's not what we got. We got a parade of clueless ESPNers hosting the ONLY NASCAR news show and the Cup pre-race shows and broadcasters doing the races that seem so inexperienced and disinterested in the event they supposedely love.

Fianlly, since you (Erik) are comparing NASCAR to college football, would ESPN ever consider replacing Chris Fowler on College Gameday with Dave Burns or Allen Bestwick? Would you put Steven A. Smith from ESPN Radio as host of College Football Live? Would ABC return late from commercial and miss kickoff or a punt return? I think we all know the answers to those questions....

Anonymous said...

This is getting out of hand, you cant really enjoy the races any more, ESPN for almost everything but NASCAR is good, their baseball coverage is outstanding, there football is good. Their NASCAR coverage stinks!.

Please someone get Rusty some glasses, he is oviously missing half of the race, as he cant figuere out what happening on the track. Jerry Punch, I remember him from the old NASCAR races, as a pit reporter, he was good. Please put Allan Bestwick in the booth, he is the best ESPN has.

Fox/Speed's coverage of the race is not only more knowledgable, and they follow what actually happend in the race, but its more laid back and more fun to watch and listen to.

Hey, what can we do to get this coverage of the races fixed?

Vince said...

I'd seen some of Erik's postings and I'd wondered if it was our beloved Erik the Klueless from NascarNotNow. If it indeed is Erik who has been posting on this blog the last post that John reprinted in todays blog says it all. Erik is arrogant, ESPN is arrogant. And if Nascar is going to put up with the lousy coverage we've gotten from ESPN, they too are arrogant. Nascar, take it from a long time fan, you're slipping.

Nascar you no longer seem to care about the loyal long time fans. Instead of trying to get the 18-35 male fan base you should be trying to keep the fans you already have who have supported you for all of these years. Because I have a feeling in my gut that you are about to see a backlash from us fans that is going to hit you where it hurts. In your big fat wallet.

Erik, continue your posts. We welcome all views here. It just lets us here know how you and your cohorts at ESPN view us, the loyal Nascar fans.

John, keep digging into this. I'm sure there's more you haven't told us. I'm all ears....... :)

stricklinfan82 said...

One of two things is true about "Erik":

a.) He's an ESPN employee that goes on this site for the sole reason of defending EVERYTHING that ESPN does.

or

b.) He's a non-NASCAR fan that's just here to get attention for himself by arguing with everything that everyone else says and putting down NASCAR and its fans.

If neither of these are true I have no idea why someone would come to this site that critiques NASCAR television coverage.

Look at his posts during the Talladega race (paraphrasing):

"outstanding coverage so far by ABC"

"this was a great time for a Sportscenter minute"

"ABC should just televise the 2nd half of these races to make NASCAR provide better racing"

"How can you criticize ABC for missing a blown engine while showing draft tracks?"

"There's nothing wrong with too many commercials, ABC has to pay their bills"

"If NASCAR's ratings were better there would be post-race coverage"

"another great job by ABC"

He's probably the same "anonymous" that spoiled the qualifying results on this site during the in-progress blog during the tape-delayed qualifying coverage on Saturday.

If he's just an attenion seeker he got exactly what he wanted though because Mr. Daly and everyone else is talking about him now.

Phathead said...

could be Erik Kuselias..... hmmm.... someone's bitter that they suck at their job.

stricklinfan82 said...

It's not Erik Kuselias because he would be watching football or baseball on Sundays, as most general sports fans would be. He has a script to read from during NASCAR Now so why would he need to watch the race live?

Phathead said...

what I would really like to know is how can ESPN be bring NASCAR to many more households when they have taken more races off broadcast TV and put them on cable... kind of sounds like its the other way around does it not?

Anonymous said...

Assuming that "Erik" is a real person rather than someone who simply enjoys baiting you, his message reflects a mindset that is shared in the executive suites of most major media organizations. Condescending to educate viewers starts at the top and trickles downward. Catering to the ungrateful masses is weary work, enough to add a third drink to the two martini lunch. I feel sympathy for those network employees who, at the program level, are really trying to do a good job.

Who knew that the original viewers of ESPN's Sportscenter were seeing the upstart network at its ultimate best. It has been painful to go from Berman, Gardner, Ley et al to the sneering, snickering clones that now populate ESPN's sets. It is like watching the NY Times become the National Enquirer. CGI graphics, high energy music bumps and quick cut editing should not replace quality reporting, but it has. Adolescent humor has taken priority over actual sports journalism.

I should hasten to say that ESPN is not alone. It is just their turn in the barrel right now. TNT and NBC were similar, and Fox has given us Chris "I'll do the jokes" Meyers. Until SPEED is more widely available, we are stuck with the status quo.

In my opinion, the mediocrity of NASCAR broadcasts conforms to the long term business plan of the current generation of NASCAR executives. Bear in mind that the current generation was raised as part of the economically privileged class. They belong to the same country clubs as the network executives.

sean424 said...

It's all well and good that ESPN has such a large distribution platform and yada yada yada whatever else... but their broadcast team and direction is absolutely embarrassing. It's amazing the difference in quality their broadcasts have from the late 90s/2000 to when they took back over this year. Rusty Wallace is a terrible speaker and often seems completely ignorant to what's going on the race track, the pit reporters aren't ever on their marks (with the exception of Bestwik, who is excellent), and Jerry Punch seems completely aloof the majority of the time, but giving him the benefit of the doubt because he used to be so fantastic... I'm guessing it's because he's just tripping over all of the screw-ups that surround him. Meanwhile, Andy Petree has been the pleasant surprise of the group, doing low-key, but Emmy-worthy work.

Seiko said...

John I love your site, and agree with 90% of your comments and articles.

However singling out a specific user without absolute verification of his identity is wrong. I hope you rethink this entry in your blog.

I'd hate for any random drunken during race comment of mine to rate an entire article :)

SophiaZ123 said...

Aside from bitching about all the commercials on all stations, including Fox, I just wanted to add that I HATED the stewpid STUPID animation car thing that FOX used this year. Can't remember what they called it.

More high tech junk that somebody thunk up to annoy us during GREEN FLAG racing.

Notice the truck or even ARCA racers are MORE ENJOYABLE. SPEED has plenty of graphics and logos, but they know how to keep them to a minimum.

I agree, the condescending attitude of ALL POWERS THAT BE in NASCAR are ruining the sport.

I will say this for the last time...(ok, the last time tonight, LOL) as much as we all SCREAM about the HORRIBLE ESPN COVERAGE, we must place blame on NASCAR.

They are JUST as guilty in this IMO. They sold out and like the other savvy poster said, the long term fans are maybe about to teach NASCAR a lesson by hitting them in the wallet.

Brian France must read this blog and just laugh all the way to the bank.

I DETEST what he has done to the sport and I say that as somebody only viewing it 3.5 years...but I have read and SEEN the older races on tape or CLASSIC.

p.s. As much as the France family has always ruled with an iron fist, I have read many sources that said Bill France, Jr was disappointed with the direction Brian was taking the sport. with Bill gone, I think it will get worse.

And the fans will leave a little at a time. As it is, I am rethinking my viewing habits already to skip the tracks I am not a fan of and just listen to MRN and run errands on nice afternoons.

Without the background of daddy, Brian France will wh*re out this sport even MORE.


If that is possible. Shame. :(

Anonymous said...

John, are you suggesting it's Erik Kuselias? The language certainly makes you think it could be. Although, I think it's a stick and ball sports fan who loves ESPN and is trying to defend them and also make us think he's the host of NASCAR No...I mean Now. Lot's of people come on here and defend ESPN. Most of the time we brand them employees, but they have a very cultish following. That's why I'm always skeptical that it's an employee. Probably just one of those people who work 8 hours, sleep 8 hours, and watch 8 reruns of Sportscenter and take what they say as gospel.

The guy does have one point. We, as NASCAR fans, expect wall-to-wall coverage before and after every race. And sure, ESPN doesn't do that for college football, or baseball, but they do it in some capacity. I caught ESPNews today and they were doing their typical Tuesday college press conference coverage for like 3 hours. They do a killer post game show for Monday Night Football on both ESPN and ESPNews. On Sunday night, Sportscenter does their "Blitz" show with Berman and Tom Jackson. And finally during playoffs for Basketball and Baseball, they stay on for a long time on ESPNews just doing press conferences. They do this for football as well. Why not NASCAR? I'm not saying ABC should stay with the post race for two hours. Heck, I don't even expect a post race "show." But couldn't ESPNews give us a few press conferences?

Bill H said...

It has been mentioned before that it appears that the announcers are watching monitors and not watching the race.

If this is the case, could ESPN's problems be more of a technical issue?

It has been admitted that ESPN probably has the best "stick & ball" coverage.

In these sports all the action could easily be shown on one or 2 monitors and a quick peek out the window would let the announcers see the whole game in one glance. In the control room you could display the whole game on maybe 6 monitors, again making it easy for the production crew to monitor the whole game and quickly switch cameras.

For a typical NASCAR race I would think you would need at a minimum of one static camera for each straight away, one for each turn, one for the pit road and a mobile one for each of these positions, for a total of 14 cameras. I recall seeing the FOX control booth during their broadcast and there was at least 20 monitors in that room if not more.

So the question is; Does ESPN have the right equipment to properly handle the races?

It has been 8 years since they last covered a NASCAR race and the bar has been raised by FOX, SPEED, NBC and TNT.

Charisma aside, could the problem with the ESPN announcers be that they are suffering from lack of coverage in their booth?

Anonymous said...

Ah, the last refuge of those who provide inferior service--the old "be glad you have anything at all" defense.

Note to Erik: This never works, especially when, in this case, we get excellent service from Fox for the first half of the year and can compare ESPN/ABC's poor product to that.

Joe from Philly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe from Philly said...

That comment really does speak to the arrogance that is ESPN. They really believe their own press.

More people can get the events? Just because they happen to be one of the biggest cable networks, in terms of households and rights fees, doesn't change the fact that they are still only cable.
Last I checked, most of the events Fox covered were on their over the air Network. So basically the 'ever' in "ever before" means "more than while those silly FX and TNT networks had it". Oh. I'm so impressed. Let me bow to the almighty ESPN.



You don't do interviews after NCAA football games.


hmmm, maybe because the NCAA doesn't afford you that opportunity?


Drivers are made available to the networks for post race comments. The open access we get to the drivers before and after an event is one of the major charms of the sport. In that way, it really isn't like other sports.


"ESPN stepped-up to the plate"


OK. We get it. Nascar thought they could get NFL dollars are found out the reality during negotiations. Fine. We get it. Do you have to remind US of that fact every week? Leave your gloating for the board room.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Seiko,

I don't understand what you mean. I re-posted a public post that was put on the Talladega comments.

I did not indicate that I believe this is the NASCAR Now host, and have never indicated in this post that this person is an ESPN employee.

That is for readers to judge. I have removed several posts from this reader that contained information about things like viewer feedback to NASCAR Now that was never released to the public.

If someone wants to step-up and speak to the NASCAR TV issues, they can take any side they would like on any issue.

As I stated in my post, this letter sums up for many of us the problems with ESPN and NASCAR this season. I don't really care who sent it or why.

With only several weeks left, there are strong feelings about a full season of Busch Coverage, and an interesting Chase season of Cup coverage by this network.

JD

David said...

I guess he is right we should be thankful ESPN is broadcasting NASCAR because noone wants to do it. We are sorry for taking ESPN's incredible coverage for granted, because we all know that noone else can do it or would want to. So in Febuary when I am watching the Daytone 500 on ESPN I will be quiet. Oh wait that is on FOX... my bad.. he needs to be quiet, if NASCAR wasn't getting ratings they wouldn't have bought it. That is why the NHL is no longer on ESPN...

Anonymous said...

At least we're not alone. Fans of other sports have their issues with ESPN as well. I found this on another blog.

http://deadspin.com/sports/espn-memo/espn-listens-closely-to-its-viewers-307063.php

Ryan said...

Do not compare NASCAR to the IRL.

ABC, owner of ESPN family of networks, pays NASCAR to have the right to host the races on its networks. In stark contrast, the IRL pays ABC for air time so that they can show their events on the ESPN family of networks. I seem to recall a live event of the IRL's on ESPN Classic this year. Would ABC ever think of doing such a thing with a NASCAR event? No! Why? Because ABC is spending its own money to show these events, so they want to get the most demographic return. Not the case with the IRL.

I can understand not holding a number of post-race interviews if the race ends before 10 minutes of the hour. After that, when it is quite possible that two or three interviews as well as the announcer's signoff would run over, I fully expect ABC to do what they would do when an NFL game runs over - "and now we join our regularly scheduled programming already in progress."

Kathy said...

I spend as much time shouting at the poor television coverage and ridiculous remarks from Rusty and the gang as I do watching the race. Get real...the anchors are awful, the cameras either miss the action completely or get such poor shots that they are useless, the commercials are poorly placed, and you have to be a true NASCAR fan to search out which venue will be hosting the qualifications, Busch, and truck races. I totally missed the fact that the Kansas race had restarted since it was moved from ABC. I'm just sick of it and wish everything was on Speed...at least, I would know where to turn for race coverage!!!

Anonymous said...

this Eric character is a perfect example of the disney kool-aid drinking. (google kool aid + cult)

Disney thinks it can hypnotize or brain wash people. Hell they are Disney and own ESPN so why do they have to put on a post race show.

Remember a couple of years ago when NBC cut away from Charlotte fall race cause of SNL? They got heck for thagt but ESPN gets a free pass on this one.

Didn't Fox have the Nextel Post Race report or something like that. Wouldn't the title sponsor be a bit offended with not having any interviews on the network that carried the race.

Ironic that the ONLY place to get driver interviews was on SPEED Victory Lane Show.

So the answer is sorry Erik - ESPN does a crappy job at covering NASCAR and I don't watch IRL so I don't care if there is a post race show or not. There has been a post race show since 2001 when Fox/TNT took over coverage from who? Think about that one Erik - Oh Yeah - Fox took the (mostly) CBS portion and kept it pretty much the same with the same announcers while TNT/NBC took over from ABC/ESPN and did a better job.

bevo said...

John,

Back when "Erik" first started posting I responded to his comments. I told him to check on the posts about TNT's coverage if he thought we were being too harsh on ESPN. "Erik" never responded to direct comments except for a couple of weeks later when I told him to check some business case studies about industry leaders who are no longer with us. My point was that ESPN provides a service and if the customer is not happy with the service the company will feel the effects. Several other posters agreed. "Erik" responded that ESPN was not like any other company, they are so far above any other media outlet that they are immune from this type of thing.

My personal belief is that "Erik" is either a very low level ESPN employee who posts comments when he can sneak away from his work or he is someone with an ax to grind with you who is trying to lure you into some kind of confrontation to try to discredit you.

Chrissy said...

Erik obviously isn't a NASCAR fan to begin with. I'll be sticking to the pre-race coverage on SPEED and listing to the race on Sirius from now on.

Lisa Hogan said...

I’ve gone back and forth with Erik a couple of times. Just couldn’t resist.
I think that Erik is either an ESPN employee who is looking for brownie points or
Erik is a troll who just wants to cause trouble. If Erik were just a fan, who had a positive view of the ESPN coverage, his posts would not sound like a PR release.

Daly Planet Editor said...

bevo,

I still have a bunch of friends up there in ESPN land and all over the place in TV. Since I have been gone from ESPN since 1989 most of the "under 45" employees never even heard of me.

Rather than focus on the person, I just wanted reaction to the feeling that this type of comment brings. Its such an interesting and new perspective for me as a TV veteran that I find it amazing.

Anonymous said...

Remember, when your customers complain about your product, the best way to deal with it is to tellt hem they're wrong!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Daly:
I've gone back into other postings by "Erik" and it appears that they just keep getting more smug and increasingly arrogant culminating in the entry you boldfaced in your column today. Who cares who this person is, except they do seem to post as if they know what they're talking about in your industry. I've also looked at that other blog where the ESPN memos are listed and their content is truely amazing, not simply where NASCAR is mentioned but also other ESPN programming! It amazes me that if ESPN is getting this type of viewer response and then sending out this "Erik" flack to post such a pompous comment in public. I understant that ESPN's longterm viability is to attract and keep viewers in order to attract advertisers and produce a profit after expenses, but to do that they must produce good content at the least! Very frightening and very sad to say the least.
Tom in Dayton, OH.

bowlalpo said...

I think this Erik is only being "Mr. Sarcasm"; his rant is written in such a way that we THINK he'e Eric the Silliest, but he's actually saying the exact opposite of what he really thinks. This "Erik" is probably just as upset as many of the other posters but disgusing it well enough to "punk" all of us.

Eric (with a C, not a K) said...

If that is Kuselias, they he reminds me of Disney World employees that I know. They always say great things and refuse to believe anything bad about the company. We term it "sprinkled with pixie dust". ABC is part of the Disney empire so maybe he swallowed a bunch of the dust.

On the other hand, what we all need is NASCAR's email addresses, their corprate ones, not the ones on NASCAR.com. I have searched for them and cannot find them anywhere. What we really need to do is start filling Brian France's email inbox with thousands of complaints about the piss poor race coverage ABC/ESPN is providing. That is really the only way we might see change.

Anonymous said...

John. I think it is wrong to single out a poster. As much as his comments may seem like insider information, I would not buy it. They may be playing mind tricks on you. Also, I think you gave them what you want. "Erik" has been noticed and now has a blog post about himself. He sounds like someone thats wants attention. I would not buy a single thing he says without verification from ESPN. This day and age anyone can hope online and claim just about anything. I love your site, but I am pretty disappointed you feel for this "Erik" guys trick. It sounds to me like this is a person who loves ESPN, and is just sick of all the negative comments. Even though some are warranted.

Richard in N.C. said...

JOHN, It would appear clear that Erik is not a NASCAR fan - or very familiar with ESPN for that matter. I am certain it is Saturday evening that ESPN (or maybe ESPN2) carries an end of the day college football round-up with Lou Holtz and (as I recall) Mark May. It appears quite clear to me that NASCAR ratings have declined because of the poor attention given to NASCAR first by NBC and now ESPN, especially pre- and post-race in ESPN's case. One would of course hope that this is not THE Erik, since this Erik obviously has no respect for NASCAR, its fans, or the ESPN management personnel who made the decision to get back into NASCAR coverage.

Steve from MD said...

John, at first I thought the author Erik was Erik K. but I cannot believe that he would even bother taking the time to write on your blog. His big ego would never allow himself to stoop that low as to take the time to talk with us. Whoever wrote your example posting sure has his bones to pick, as well as the Erik K. attitude, demeaner and lawyer speak down pat. Quite a mystery?
It is "bizzaro Erik"

Excuse me while I bow down to the ESPN/Disney folks for allowing us the pleasure of viewing NASCAR on their network.

If you can speak to bizzaro Erik tell him to stay off the radio!

Busch Series Fan! said...

I also could not believe those comments by Erik (Clueless) - no that's too obvious even for ESPN. I hear that Randy LaJoie will be doing the Busch race in Memphis in a couple of weeks so that will give us some relief from Rusty and all. Maybe ESPN will get better after the season and go into 2008 with big improvements. But we all thought it would be better than this!

Daly Planet Editor said...

If this person had not posted confidential ESPN information on this site, I would have passed on it, but this was too much.

My prediction is that before the end of the season, the you know what is going to hit the you know what between NASCAR and the network.

When they left the national airwaves without talking to anyone but the winner in the heart of The Chase, that really bent some NASCAR execs out of shape.

Then, the lack of any kind of coordinated follow-up on any of the ESPN networks was mind blowing. This is the heart of the baseball and NFL seasons, and NASCAR has been pushed back beyond the rear burner on the ESPN stove.

Anonymous said...

I started actually watching races a few years ago and learned much of what I know from DW, Larry Mac, Jeff Hammond, etc. They made the races fun to watch because they obviously watched the race. I can't remember how many times one of them would say I've been watching....... with an explaination of why something happened. DJ also seemed to do this when he was in the booth (perhaps Ned taught him). Instead of defending the current poor coverage they might try making it better. I can tell you right now that if I just started watching Nascar I would have stopped because I wouldn't have Foxtrack and Trackpass running to fill in all the blanks. Stop defending and start fixing.

Eric said...

"When they left the national airwaves without talking to anyone but the winner in the heart of The Chase, that really bent some NASCAR execs out of shape."

How do you know that or are you speculating. I agree with what you said in your comments at 7:04 and I hope it is true.

Daly Planet Editor said...

When the NASCAR PR people realized that ABC was gone...it got their attention.

Erik said...

Hi John,
Now that you've called out a lowly poster, I feel obligated to respond. As you've made painfully obvious, you don't really care for my comments. Though, I'm happy you've found some use for them by doing an entire writeup on them. Hopefully, it achieves your objective of drawing more hits to your blog. And just maybe, more viewers would tune into NASCAR Now, and other ESPN/ABC NASCAR programming to see what the whole hub-bub is about.

I'd like to clear up a couple of points brought up by yourself, and the numerous readers of your blog.

First off, any and all information posted is publicly available. Anybody that can use Google can find the same information. I object to your accusation otherwise.

Secondly, yes, I am a NASCAR fan. I've been a casual follower for some time, and since the advent of the Chase, only have missed a handful of races. Quite a few of my previous posts have been during the race broadcasts.

I am also a fan of traditional "stick and ball" sports. I watch and attend those as well. Yes, you can be a fan of both.

The biggest issue I have is some people have elevated NASCAR to such a level it hasn't acheived as of yet in the national sports scene. Its not the NFL, NBA, or MLB. Its more along the lines of the NHL and MLS, a minor sport.

Its not going to get the same level of coverage as the big boys. Here is where other niche networks, such as SPEED can fill in the gap.

Also, if NASCAR wants to get to the next level, it needs to change to help it fit in more with the way sports are aired on TV. One complaint is the number of missed restarts, though, ESPN never misses a snap in a college football game. Well, there is a very good reason. TV works with the game officials such that play isn't resumed until TV returns from commercial. The referee would get an indication with 30 seconds left in the break, such that play can resume right on time. This should be a "no brainer" for NASCAR to just run an additional caution lap.

I know people probably would pick Fox's coverage over anyone else. Though, unfortunatly, they're not an option. They're happy with their NFL contracts. CBS has the NFL as well, and NBC spent big bucks picking up the NFL as well. So, yes, ABC/ESPN is the ONLY option for a national broadcast network. Otherwise, races would be banished to cable only. Nobody wants that.


And with respect to the play-by-play and color commentators, well, I don't like the guys ESPN has for Monday Night Football. Welcome to the club. You're not alone.

Other complaints are races being pre-empted due to college football. This just goes with the territory of being on such a diverse network. Auto racing isn't the only sport under the sun. I'm sure the start times of races can be pushed back a bit to help out. Get real, football isn't going to move.

We'll see what happens this weekend. ABC has regional college football coverage starting at 3:30. There are 4 games divided up across the nation. In all likelyhood, viewers will get 'bonus coverage' of another game, once when their scheduled game ends. Hopefully everything gets wrapped up before race coverage is scheduled to begin. If not, then ESPN's family of networks will come in handy. Coverage can begin on one of them, and get picked back up on ABC when the games are over. Something like this wouldn't be possible with anyone else.

Anonymous said...

I know people probably would pick Fox's coverage over anyone else.

And ESPN/ABC would do well to emulate it. They, like the coverage provided by NBC a few years back, show that it can be done in such a way that fans will be satisfied (mostly--you can't please everyone).

Nice to see a well-reasoned post, Erik, instead of your previous cheerleading for the network.

Anonymous said...

How exactly can you add an extra caution lap due to a commercial?

The field gets one to go but as they round turn four EFOXPNTNT is still in a commercial so they wave off the restart at the last possible second. Won't work. No way. Fans complain about too many laps under caution as it is now and there are too many as it is.

Its simple math. It takes 40 seconds under yellow to make a lap and you have three laps until green so you can have a 120 second commercial or in other words - 2 minutes. This is not rocket science.

Anonymous said...

Eric said
ESPN's family of networks will come in handy. Coverage can begin on one of them, and get picked back up on ABC when the games are over. Something like this wouldn't be possible with anyone else.

--------------------

Lets see - this can't happen with any other network

TNT has TBS
NBC had USA, MSNBC, Bravo
Fox has Speed Channel and a NASCAR TV partner too

Best part is that NO RACES are pre-empted bacause of football. Its that college football runs long. Another error by Eric.

Eric where do you come up with all the crap you write.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Erik is pathetic but it really isn't his fault. Like most stick and ball fans, Erik thinks that what he gets on ESPN is high quality coverage. It is really the same disjointed; cross-promoting, factually inaccurate coverage as we race fans get from ESPN. The difference is we know better. We recognize garbage. However, if ESPN keeps the contract for a while this will change. People have short memories.

Just as our kids think McDonalds is actual food because they know no better, new fans will think that NASCAR is like the WWF because ESPN covers it that way and that is how they will be exposed to the sport. Most old fans will become accustomed to this over time and drink the ESPN Kool-Aid.

Lest you doubt me, if you are old enough to remember Frank, Dandy Don and Howard on Monday night football you know what football coverage can be. Try watching what passes for MNF coverage today. Yet, this wretched excuse for sports broadcasting continues to draw millions.

If you think NASCAR cares, get a clue, they don’t. The new chardonnay drinking, BMW driving generation of Frances love the money but could careless about racing. It IS or at least might as well be the WWF to them. It’s all about the money.

Look folks, it was a great fifty years. I loved and lived most of it. So cherish those memories of North Wilkesboro and Bowman Grey, smile when you think of Flock and Goldsmith, Petty and Pearson, Earnhardt and Wallace. This was great stuff. All good things come to an end. Midgets and air racing were the rage 70 years ago but times change. So it is with NASCAR.

Get out to your local track and enjoy racing. There is no going back. Time to move on.

Yes, reality sucks but life is like that.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the start times of races can be pushed back a bit to help out. Get real, football isn't going to move.
Typical NFL game attendance = 60,000, if the home team's on a winning streak

Typical NASCAR race attendance, no matter who's hot = 100,000+

Strongest sponsor brand loyalty among sports fans (read: revenue for advertisers0 = NASCAR

Football can adjust its schedule.

Anonymous said...

Here's the deal, Erik
You say espn "stepped up" What, as though NBC was a second rate distributor??
And that college football "drubs" NASCAR ratings???
Wonder why?? Because ESPN puts knowlegable talent on their Coll Football pregames?? What do you think would happen, Erik, if you put Suzie Kolber and......oh, Brad Daughtery on Coll F'ball pre shows??? Ratings bust??? Credibility issues????

You are in the woods, son. Time to come back to reality

Anonymous said...

Eric posted at 5:03pm:
"On the other hand, what we all need is NASCAR's email addresses, their corprate ones, not the ones on NASCAR.com. I have searched for them and cannot find them anywhere. What we really need to do is start filling Brian France's email inbox with thousands of complaints about the piss poor race coverage ABC/ESPN is providing. That is really the only way we might see change."

If you want to make an impact, you must use regular mail. Public email addresses get filled up with spam so quickly that they become ignored. Send a regular letter to NASCAR's office in Daytona Beach, FL. You can find it as the first question answered here on Jayski:
http://www.jayski.com/pages/faqrace.htm
That is the best way to get yourself heard.
Kevin in SoCal

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:27: Football can adjust its schedule.

You're kidding, right? Google NFL and then Google NASCAR. Find out which is the most popular and profitable. And multiply 60,000 x 32 teams x 16 weeks and see who comes out ahead in attendance. I bet college football is more profitable for ESPN as well. (Not saying college football is as profitable as NASCAR itself, just the broadcast revenue.)

I'm a NASCAR fan and desperately want the coverage to improve. But demanding that the NFL take a backseat to NASCAR on any TV network is not the way to go.

mant2003 said...

Erik,

I have gone back and read the few post left on this blog of yours and your unprofessionalism is uncanny, this is of course if you do indeed work for ESPN. You sound like an arrogant, uncaring, manipulating son of a ... Yes, my words are based on the fact that you could be an ESPN employer, but I don’t think your that Erik rather some camera operator or I don’t know, a janitor whose loyalty to ESPN is only for the free memorabilia.

My point is if you were someone of substance at ESPN then there would be something in your contract saying don’t be this stupid and if you are this stupid then you’ll be subject disciplinary action. So you’re either stupid or not anyone that matters, anyway why contribute to a blog posting that makes you the stand out and starts conspiracy theories about who you really are? Probably because you’re a nobody trying to get a rise out of Mr. Daily.

To your most recent posting
Yes there are fans that put NASCAR on the level of the “stick and ball” sports but this is not about the fans. It’s about ESPN/ABC. They should put NASCAR on the level of all the other sports. They did it for the MLS. I do remember ESPN broadcasting a ton of MLS games when a certain person came to that sport. The MLS has been dead since it started yet ESPN chose to hype it on the level of the other “stick and ball” sports. They could do the same for NASCAR but they chose to cut interviews, rush drivers from doing post race celebration and picked inexperience hacks like Rusty Wallace or experienced “stick and ball” host like “Erik” to broadcast their product.

I say this with bias
TNT only had a few races to broadcast this season but they utilized all of their recourses to give a much better broadcast to the fans of NASCAR and we all know TNT is a bread and butter Basketball Network yet they did their best when it came to the NASCAR events they were given. I don’t think I can say the same for ESPN/ABC.

Anonymous said...

Also a proven fact that NASCAR fans have greater sponsor loyalty and will purchase an item based on commercials or sponsors seen/heard during a race as opposed to football or baseballo fans.

This translates into larger advertising revenue which translates into more money for the broadcaster and greater ratings.

What are the top sports (on tv)

1- NFL - no argument they have a strong presence in all four networks and the NFL dictates that coverage is the same on all networks. Why do you thing they have that blurb that XYZ welcomes you to the following presentation of thye NFL.

2- Major league baseball - Some are going to put NASCAR second and that is up for discussion. Same scenario. MLB retains rights to all local broadcasts so there is no draft lock graphics. All MLB telecasts look similar. except maybe ESPN's coverage but in a weird way it works for them.

3- NASCAR.


Where does College Football fit in?

Perhaps after NHL and NBA?

Erik it is time to back in the hole from whence you came. How long have you been watching sports on TV? Can you remember a time BEFORE ESPN? Can you remember when NASCAR was on a different TV network each work and the track made the deal with CBS, TNN, TBS, ESPN, etc. A time when ABC sports was the dominant network of sports and had no problem with going over their alloted time.

Basically Erik GROW UP. You are a ESPN wanna bee and its a shame that you goy your 15 minutes of fame in this thread. Go back yo your mommy already.

Anonymous said...

I hate ESPN. It is the most elitist network on TV (except for maybe CNN). Their coverage of actual sporting events (except for NASCAR) is passable, though I often watch with the sound turned off. I never watch any of their "news" programming. If it doesn't happen in the Northeast, LA, or at on of the top 10 college sports programs, it doesn't happen at all as far as ESPN is concerned. I'm not suprised at all how bad ESPN coverage has been.

Billy Delyon said...

Wow JD, reading that post, it pretty much screams “Erik Kuselias” to this reader, although it also screams of someone who want’s us all to believe he may be Erik K.. Regardless, ‘Erik the poster’ (or is that poser?), and ‘Erik the host’ have both shown a disdain for the sport that ‘Erik the host’ has been blessed enough to cover this season. I think its safe to say, MOST NASCAR fans that have had the unfortunate pleasure of viewing one of his NASCAR Now shows/ interviews, can’t friggin stand the guy. His arrogance is nauseating; it just oozes from the man. He’s always hyping anything and everything, YIKES! I do not understand why ESPN would subject him or us to his hosting NASCAR Now. That post reeks of someone (Kuselias) who after all this time STILL does not GET this sport or its fans AT ALL. He’s just not a good fit, to put it mildly.. (add Cowlishaw to the Hu? What were they thinking?? Column)

When Ryan Burr hosts, it’s a whole different ball game. While I’m sure he’s got scripted questions also, at least he gives the impression that he actually knows what he’s asking & talking about. Every show he host’s, everyone is smile’n, happy to be there. Not like the forced grins when Erik K hosts.

As you’ve commented on, and written about repeatedly, NASCAR Now rarely if ever covers anything (especially on Erik K show days) other than the big boys. Even though ESPN2 has covered the Busch series all season, we are lucky to get more than 5 minutes or less of a mention of them, much less ever hear about the Truck’s or any of the lower divisions. Once every blue moon we will get something, but rarely.

With the reputation that ESPN had with NASCAR fans coming in to this season, all they had to do was half as good as they’d done in the past to please us fans. (After the TNT coverage debacle). Instead, they have been a huge let down. NASCAR Now isn’t even a ¼ of what RPM2Night was with the esteemed John Kernan, who I’ve seen on ESPN’s NHRA coverage this season. What the heck are they thinking not having he or Bob Jenkins (Indy Pro Series?? on ESPN2, with his NACAR knowledge. mercy what waste) involved in their NASCAR package??? Seems crazy to me that these two still work for the network, but have nothing to do with NASCAR, a sport they helped make a name for in ESPN’s previous life in NASCAR coverage.

Despite Dr. Jerry sounding tired late in the season here, I’ve enjoyed him and Andy Petree in the booth. Boot Crusty and get DJ in there, I think those three would be great together. All three having grown up together, I really enjoyed the comfort level with them when they teamed up for those Busch races this season. Frankly, crusty drives me nuts. He talks over Dr. Jerry and Andy constantly, as if he’s the CENTER of attention. Which in his mind, he clearly feels he is. Draft Lock? Good Grief. Suzy and Brad, yikes again. They don’t add much.

As far as the production crew, wow, they seem to have missed a lot of restarts since they took over, at least one a race. Sometimes they’ve even missed a complete lap or two. Sitting here at home with NASCAR.com’s Raceview, its pretty frustrating to see the cars taking the green and still be in a commercial about the next college football game coming up on ESPN. I’ve enjoyed the pictures though. Hi quality there. Anyway, I’m sure I could come up with more. My main gripe though would be Crusty for sure. And Erik K has got to go. He’s the worst.

Thank you for all you’ve written about this season JD. I’ve enjoyed most all you written, I can only hope the folks in charge give your Blog a look-see. They’d only help themselves if they do.

Thanks,
Bill

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thanks for taking the time to talk about the ESPN issues this season as reflected in these comments.

I am sorry we got caught-up in the name game, but it was the content of that message that caught me flat-footed.

It is not my intent to call anyone out, or put them on the spot. That comment could have been written by anyone, but it opens a new door by painting NASCAR as now a small part of a bigger pie. The ESPN pie.

The comparisons to stick-and-ball sports that play for a couple of months. The use of ratings to defend bad on-air decisions instead of admitting possible errors, and the general belief that NASCAR fans deserve second class treatment all the time. This is very new to us all.

Your thoughts and feelings on this topic were great, and I can assure you they are being read by not only TV industry executives, but by many key NASCAR media members who email me quite regularly.

Your words have a power here and that has been the only goal of this site since February. No big ads, no political agendas, and no favoritism.

I have not made a dime from this effort, and do not intend to. What we as a group have made is a difference, and that was exactly what I had in mind. Thanks.

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Anonymous said...

With the trades and acquisitions made going into the draft, plus the bulk of the team that is carried over from last season, and the trades and draft picks made during the draft, it sure seems like the Pats are going to be the team to beat in the AFC this season, and perhaps in all of the NFL.

Considering the Pats were almost in the Superbowl last season with a pathetic receiving corps and that they've added very talented players into said receiving corps this season, barring some nasty injury(ies), they look to be the team to take it all.I say injury(ies) because I think they could survive an injury or two to some positions, but if they lost Brady they'd probably have a hard time recovering.


I wish I could say that the Redskins did well in the draft and/or in free agency but so many holes still exist that I'm not sure they'll be significantly better than last season. I suppose on face they should be if they can keep their corners healthy. With Landry (argh, hard to type that name as a Redskin!!) back there with a healthy secondary they might be able to cheat up more and put more pressure on opposing QBs. Might.

They still have what should be a lot of talent in the receiving positions, and Campbell should be better, but they don't have the quality on either line (offense or defense) that I wish they'd have, so it could be yet another year of .500 at best, or worse.

Still, the NFC East looks to be the NFC Least again this season. None of the teams there look like they'll be that good, and none really look ready to step up and take the division.

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