Friday, November 9, 2007
"NASCAR Now" Doubles Your Pleasure
Fans have been asking a lot of questions about the lack of additional NASCAR programming on ESPN as the final ten days of the season wind-down.
NASCAR itself has been very sensitive to the fact that TV ratings were just not stacking up to what the sanctioning body had expected from the powerful combination of ESPN and ABC.
Normally, ESPN works the final draft of their program schedule about ninety days in advance. Things in sports sometimes change, and this allows for the changes in the start times of live events and the contingency planning for on-going sports series.
Friday afternoon, ESPN made an announcement about changes in their NASCAR programming. It was not for next February. It was not a Christmas special. ESPN has made programming changes on a Friday for the following Monday. That's right, only three days later.
Suddenly, ESPN has found the incentive to expand their racing news show, NASCAR Now, to one hour in length for the Monday through Thursday editions next week.
On Saturday, prior to the Busch race in Homestead, there is going to be an additional one hour NASCAR Now at 9AM. Finally, after the Cup race that weekend, there is going to be a full one hour NASCAR Now wrap-up show at 10PM Sunday night.
In what some fans may consider a surprise after the last week of shows, Erik Kuselias will host all of these programs except the Thursday show. Ryan Burr will step-in for that broadcast. Marty Reid was not mentioned in the ESPN press release.
For NASCAR fans, any additional programming from the network that is covering both the Busch and NEXTEL Cup Series is a bonus. ESPN has all the resources at their fingertips to finally get their NASCAR Now act together and send NASCAR fans off into the "eleven week vacation" with some good memories.
I just can't help but wonder who at ESPN answered the phone when NASCAR called. The one thing we know for sure...they certainly got the message loud and clear.