Monday, November 12, 2007

Tuesday: ESPN vs. SPEED Gets Exciting

Tuesday will feature one new program, and one expanded program on the NASCAR TV menu. ESPN2 has expanded NASCAR Now from thirty minutes to one hour in length, and SPEED is offering a one hour special later that night.

NASCAR Now on Tuesday will be hosted by Erik Kuselias, and will feature content from the ESPN on ABC crew of Jerry Punch, Rusty Wallace, and Andy Petree. The ESPN media release about this expanded show indicated that all the pit reporters, NASCAR Now "Insiders" and all the remaining NASCAR analysts and commentators will be contributing to this program. It airs at 6PM Eastern Time.

SPEED created a one hour Championship Week Preview, which will air at 8PM Eastern Time. Krista Voda will host this program from Homestead, alongside of John Roberts and all the rest of the SPEED crew that viewers know so well. The Tuesday show will begin a two day review of the previous three NEXTEL Cup Championships.

SPEED has been in Homestead since Sunday night, and Voda will continue to be the network's "presence" during the week. She has served as the host of the Craftsman Truck Series pre-race show called The Set-Up on SPEED this season, but is an accomplished host with several TV series under her belt.

Tuesday is the first day that SPEED and ESPN2 are out there in un-charted territory, as this is the first season of NASCAR Now, and SPEED has created this preview program specifically for Tuesday evening.

Viewers should watch for the difference between these two networks as they both focus on reviewing the past and previewing the Championship Week leading-up to the Sunday race. SPEED has been a relaxed and friendly partner to NASCAR, with a wide variety of personalities that are involved with the sport as on-air announcers.

ESPN has taken a more formal approach, using a "non-racing experienced" anchor for NASCAR Now this season. The formal "suit and tie" approach that ESPN uses across the board has been very different, and their hunt for hard news has upset several drivers this season.

The network is currently run by an ESPN veteran with a studio production background, so NASCAR Now puts almost all its resources into studio-based content. Both the NASCAR tracks and the Mooresville, NC area where the teams live are treated as being locations from which to "file reports."

SPEED is located in Charlotte, and has the advantage of being right in the NASCAR backyard. Both the NASCAR Images and SPEED studios are within easy driving distance for the NASCAR teams and officials.

Both networks have the people and resources to originate good NASCAR programming, so it should be interesting to see what they create for Tuesday.

Please give us your opinion of the Tuesday offerings by both of these networks. To add your comment to The Daly Planet, simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the instructions. There is nothing to join, and we do not want your email address. What we want is your opinion of how your experience has been with the NASCAR TV partners. Thanks for stopping-by.


Anonymous said...

It's not really head to head. The programs are airing at different times. Not everything has to be "epic" in nature.

Anonymous said...

JD, will there be a review of this weekends race coverage?

drh277 said...

PTI talked Nascar today. Let me say that again, Pardon the Interuption talked about Nascar today!!! And get this- Wilbon said that he was at the race in Arizona. ESPN must have paid him a boatload to appear in Arizona.

This is getting disgusting in a hurry.

Anonymous said...

drh277 said...
This is getting disgusting in a hurry.

November 12, 2007 11:25 PM

I don't understand why you would say that. Those whose you say don't understand the sport, tried to understand it by going to a race.

drh277 said...

The reason I say "this is getting disgusting in a hurry" is because PTI did not give a Rat's a** last week or last month or last year about Nascar.
Now all of the sudden Wilbon is showing up at a race?
What's that old saying? I was born at night but it wasn't last... I think you know where i'm going with this.

drh277 said...

Here's more proof of ESPN's disgustingness, in an article by Phil Mushnick of The New York Post from yesterday;

ESPN's and ABC's college football telecasts, starting with Rutgers-Army, Friday night, through a dozen more games well into Saturday night, came welded to the same, relentlessly recurring - pounded - theme: Big NASCAR events were coming on ESPN and ABC. This weekend, next weekend, NASCAR!

Made no difference that not one viewer previously disinclined to watch auto racing was going to watch. Or that NASCAR fans who intended to watch were, at those times, watching football to watch football.

Heck, a fat, over-the-field graphic that at first looked like a starting offensive line in Kansas-Oklahoma State, Saturday, turned out to be NASCAR points leaders. And no one seemed more eager or suited to bang the drums than Brent Musburger, who has been a network shill for even longer than ESPN/ABC has been a shill network.

That's correct, THE NEW YORK POST!!

Illpolo said...

I think this is a rather tough spot for everyone involved; we have been complaining about more coverage and better coverage from ESPN for the last few months, so now that they have dramatically started talking about it and showing it all the time on the channel with one week remaining, the fans have to figure out whether the coverage is genuine or if they are being forced to do it (We know they are being forced, but there is still a way to do things without shoving it down our throats).

I think we are past the point of thinking that ESPN will get things right within the next week, so the only glimmer of hope with this onslaught of Nascar coverage this week is that maybe ESPN can convince us fans to give them one more chance when it's their turn next season.

Anonymous said...

drh277 said...
The reason I say "this is getting disgusting in a hurry" is because PTI did not give a Rat's a** last week or last month or last year about Nascar.
Now all of the sudden Wilbon is showing up at a race?
What's that old saying? I was born at night but it wasn't last... I think you know where i'm going with this.

Wilbon has a home in AZ, and spends alot of time there. I beleive it is YOU, who is getting disgusting in a hurry!

Bill H said...


APC/ESPN did do a Spanish SAP last weekend. I listened for awhile. Though I could only understand a little of it, the 2 announcers wer very enthusiastic and there was no
"dead air". Do you know who they were? Do they have any race broadcasting experience or are they just stand in's?


Anonymous said...

Made no difference that not one viewer previously disinclined to watch auto racing was going to watch. Or that NASCAR fans who intended to watch were, at those times, watching football to watch football.

This is exactly what we have been saying about ESPN's relentless promotion of football during races.

Ritchie said...

Of all the things everyone complains about with regards to ESPN, I don't see how we can say that they don't promote the races. Now, maybe the quality of the promotion is lacking, and the enthusiasm shown may leave something to be desired, but they do promote the actual races.

Personally, I don't care whether the ESPN personalities like NASCAR or not. I'm sure that if you work at ESPN, there will always be a sport that you don't like. The thing that bothers me is when they mock a sport (regardless of the sport). As a professional sports host, that should never happen.

For that reason, I applaud Mr. Wilbon if he went to a race. I know for a fact that his sport of preference is NBA basketball, so if he made an effort to go to Sunday's race, I think that is a great. It is an example of profesional sportscaster attempting to become more proficient with his PTI duties.

Ron P said...

ESPN???? Exciting??? Just more of the same garbage we have had to deal with. No thank you, I'll just pass.

Kevin in Indy said...

I'm skipping NASCAR Now w/ Eri(k) Kluelessias and anxiously await SPEED's show.

Lisa Hogan said...

I will test drive the SPEED shows.

JD - Inquiring minds still want to know who lowered the hammer on Friday. Was it NASCAR or Disney??

Anonymous said...

Did anybody see Jeff and Jimmie on Monday Night Football? (since the talk is about cross-promoting) has a video but it's only a minute and a half. It looks like the interview is joined in progress instead of a capture of the entire interview.

The NASCAR Now Minute video says they'll have an interview with Kurt Busch on Tuesday's show and that they're going to show an "all access" look at what his week is like.

Anonymous said...

'Junk Car' race needs a light
Column by Dave Del Grande

NASCAR HAD ITS equivalent of the Final Four on Sunday — the event leading into "the event."
Only in this case, nobody watched. I mean, nobody.

That's not to say nobody cared. It's just that nobody watched.

OK, somebody watched. According to the raters, 50,849 of the approximately 7.2 million people in the Bay Area — fewer than 1 in every 100 — were tuned into Channel 11 Sunday afternoon as Jimmie Johnson zoomed closer to the Nextel Cup championship.

There's something wrong with that.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, the fact that people in San Francisco are not watching, is not real proof that NASCAR is going to the dogs. USF is my alma mater, and I don't think I ever ran into a single person who even new the name of a single driver. They may now know about Jeff since he owns/sell a line of wines.

Desmond said...

Michael Wilbon has been interested in NASCAR for quite some time. In 2001, he wrote a column for the Washington Post about the investigation into the death of Dale Earnhardt. (I wish I had the link.)

Add to the fact that he lives in the area and you can see why he might have wanted to attend.

Also, I don't think that he was paid at all, as drh277 alleged. He merely came as a fan and he was not shown on camera during the telecast, and he easily could have been.

Anonymous said...

What??? Nothing about INC with Mikey not there last night???????
I didn't watch because he wasn't.

Grani Girl

Illpolo said...

I think it's obvious that there will be certain segments of the population that follow auto racing and a few other areas where barely anyone seems to care about it.

I teach at a high school in the suburbs of Illinois and rarely does anyone mention anything when I wear a Jimmie Johnson shirt or jacket. There are nearly 4,000 students and I can only remember 3-4 of them who have ever said anything about Nascar. But when I go about 30 miles West towards the country, I can't go anywhere without someone making a comment about what I'm wearing, pointing to the sticker of whatever decal they have on their car, or mentioning something about the latest race.

As for Wilbon, I don't think he would mention much about Nascar on PTI because both the producers and/or Tony Kornheiser wouldn't want to talk about it on the show.

Nascar doesn't need the limelight or have to be accepted by everyone. All Nascar fans would want is serious coverage from the network that covers it once in awhile without the mocking of it.

Anonymous said...

'Nascar doesn't need the limelight or have to be accepted by everyone.'

Tell that to Brian France, Lesa France Kennedy, and the stockholders of ISC. That's EXACTLY what they want.

I sure wish I could remember the exact wording or who said it, but it goes something like this: Stock-car racing is a culture...NASCAR is not a culture. NASCAR is a business designed to sell the culture of stock-car racing.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Please tell me you're kidding. Wilbon is the only reason NASCAR ever gets mentioned on PTI (admittedly not often, and most times it gets mentioned when Kornheiser is gone, actually). I won't even bother with your other ridiculous statements. Kornheiser and Wilbon are equal opportunity bashers (and praisers) of everybody.

Wilbon went to the race and I didn't hear him saying any of the things you just said. All I heard yesterday was him insisting to Kornheiser that Jimmie Johnson winning four races in a row and winning 10 in a year was a really exciting and impressive deal.

Kornheiser didn't care of course - and this dicussion was in the last minute of the show - but at least Wilbon's trying. Please don't try to alienate viewers from Wilbon (who is NASCAR's only supporter on ESPN's most popular program) by spreading misinformation.

Illpolo said...

Wilbon shouldn't be compared to Jason Whitlock or a few of the other columnists that have at one point worked for ESPN. As far as I know, Wilbon is normally the voice of reason, while Kornheiser is more of a dolt who sticks to his point-of-view regardless of how backwards it might be. We probably should also consider that they are speaking to a target audience, so strictly Nascar fans probably don't watch PTI anyways.

For general sports fans who watch the show, it would be most informative if they included all sports and not just the major ones (NFL, NBA, and MLB) in their discussions. Fans of other "minor" sports either get no coverage or any mention is usually an uninformed opinion or a joke that puts the sport down.

As for the comment about Brian France wanting Nascar in the limelight, what I meant to say was that many fans don't care if Nascar is in the limelight, we just want to watch high-quality racing and hope that any coverage of the sport will be positive.

As for what Brian France wants...a whole other discussion is probably necessary for that one.

Matt said...

PTI did do a "5 Good Minutes" interview with Mike Massaro on the day that Jr announced he was leaving DEI, and with Jr himself and has had Dario on many, many times this year. PTI, unlike most other ESPN shows does not regard Auto Racing as some sideshow equal with rugby. They actually acknowledge it's existance, and that's it's an actual sport. And I say good for them!!

Anonymous said...

Heads up: there is no late-night repeat of the NASCAR Now show airing tonight at 6 Eastern/5 Central. Basketball will be on through late night instead.

There is a late-night repeat NASCAR Now Wednesday night 12:30am Eastern/ 11:30pm Central, but NIT basketball is on before it, so it may run late. A late-night version at 12:30am Eastern on Thursday doesn't have a live event before it.

Richard in N.C. said...

JD- Isn't The New York Post a News Corp. holding - as is the FOX Network?

Anonymous said...

This is slightly off topic. I wrote on sunday that I was in the hospital watching the race. The Miami VA ward I am on doesn't have cable so the race on ABC is all the NASCAR that I get. No Speed or ESPN so, I am missing all the fun this week it kinda sucks. Now that is disgusting.

On the plus side though I found that Rusty's commentary is tolerable after a couple of hits of the painkiller Vicoden.

Anonymous said...

Other than NASCAR asking for expanded coverage for the final race week, what is the use if ESPN can only show several re-run video segments? What a joke

Anonymous said...

I have just watched NN on ESPN2 and I am not impressed.

They sure are not improving!!!

Will watch speed and see what they have on.

Sirius radio gives you more what is actually happening on a day to day basis.

Newracefan said...

As I sit here watching NN I find myself looking at the time as in "is it over yet". This is something I usually do not do with Speeds programming. They saved the good stuff for last. I just watched the piece on Steven Wallace which was done very well and makes me not want to kick him off the track like I did before. They also replayed the Reutimann St Jude piece and it still gives me goose bumps. This show was actually worth watching today, talked about Cup, Busch, and Truck guess I'll try again tomorrow.

PammH said...

The COT segment was okay, fantasy has to go, replaying the St Judes piece was only right, since they missed the whole post-race that day. The segment on Steve Wallace & Kurt Busch were the kind of things we should have been seeing all year, with all 3 series. Too little, too late, imo.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Pretty hard statement by ESPN when they are re-airing old features like David Reutimann in Memphis.

Remember, the reason they did a "make good" with this feature is because they actually left the Memphis race without talking to the winner, and never did a feature on the cars that the kids had designed. Its important to put that in perspective.

I think expanding this program series to double its size has left an "info lurch" until the ESPN crew puts feet on the ground in Homestead.

There will be a column up shortly about NASCAR Images, and an open Q&A on Wednesday.

Thanks for all the great comments.

elena said...

I was multi-tasking when NN was on, so I'm not sure what day this will air. Erik announced that there will be a segment on improving the chase. I hope they have a conversation from more than one person--and it's not just someone who has an axe to grind.

They posed the rule of 35, and discussed it only for 2 minutes. While Jeff B gave his opinion, I don't think they gave enough time to develop a good arguement pro or con. I just don't think sound bites advance serious problems like the chase or the 35 rule.

Anonymous said...

I believe that Tim Cowlishaw is writing an article on how to improve the chase and it will be on; I don't think they are discussing it on the show tomorrow. It was a list of stories that will be on tomorrow when it was mentioned.

This show was OK. The main critique I'd have is the news presented at the very end of the show needs to be closer to the beginning. When they had Blount and Newton on, Newton still could have talked about the Hendrick shop, since he has a story about being at the shop for tomorrow. But then Blount should have talked about the news headlines that were instead listed at the end - like Ward Burton being out of the #4 car, etc. - and given more detail instead of talking more about Hendrick Motorsports.

Erik K has either decided that this is his last week and he's going to relax - or he's really fighting for this job, because I thought he was a fine host today. He joked around with David Newton and Marty Smith and they joked right back with him. Way back when, these guys didn't seem like they could stand each other. Maybe it's friendly since they know changes are coming.

I agree that the best parts were the new features on Kurt Busch and Steven Wallace, and the Reutimann feature. Those were all good. I liked how they pointed out all of Steven's flaws, but then sort of defended him. I feel sorry for Steven; you can tell from his comments that Rusty is just not going to accept anything less than success for him. (Hint to Rusty: Chrissy Wallace is the real deal racer in that generation of the family and the sooner you all accept that, the better.)

I wish they could cut the fantasy stuff, but that's a huge business for and they probably want their NASCAR piece to get bigger, so I won't waste my breath.

Good job overall.

SophiaZ123 said...

I did not watch this show.

Regarding Steven Wallace, I was feeling sorry for that guy LAST year when he said his dad yells at him every day over dinner about what he does WRONG.

Yea, Rusty, that's a LOVING father. Reminds me of the satirical motto "Beatings will continue until morale improves."

methinks Steven should drive for somebody else. His homelife must be hell.

Folks love to make fun of him but I ache for that young man and the IMPOSSIBLE pressure he must be under.

I hope the segment on him reflected the PRESSURE he is under thanks to his dad...though I doubt if it did.

I am trying to watch this show on SPEED but think I am going to turn it off..just a restrospect but it had one of those HORRIBLY abrupt end of segment/BANG/ there is the loud commercial after the first break.

I hate that kind of stuff so I think I do not have the patience or mood to get annoyed.

Maybe I will just wait for JD's review.

I had MUCH more fun watching INC.


Anonymous said...

They could show re-runs from Charlotte. Why bother to make a big showing in Miami to throw a warmed over sproting event at the fans?

Newracefan said...

Krists Voda was much better than Eric but talk about repurposing the video, I'm thinking this is a Beyond the Wheel stuff (wasn't that the show that was about the previous race). It was fun to watch and remember but it's not what I expected

thomas said...

Something is not right because I live in the Bay Area and channel 11 is an NBC Channel and the race was on the ABC station, Channel 7. I live in the East Bay.
OK, somebody watched. According to the raters, 50,849 of the approximately 7.2 million people in the Bay Area — fewer than 1 in every 100 — were tuned into Channel 11 Sunday afternoon as Jimmie Johnson zoomed closer to the Nextel Cup championship.

There's something wrong with that.

Anonymous said...

Well, that was a bust!

ESPN: Some good fluff pieces, but not a lot of news. I'd expect some news from them. Right before their last commerical break they said they were going to talk about the trucks. With 30 seconds to go, they showed the current top 10 points standings. Talk about a let down. BTW, did they ever ask JB about passing Skinner? Hhheeeellllloooo, ESPN.... You're the daily news show..... Why not have Marty call JB so he can report to us tomorrow?

Speed: Not at all what I expected, a retrospective of Homestead for the 2004 and 2005 race. Tommorrow they're going to do the 2006 race. What stuck in my mind is how much I miss experienced announcers calling a race.

Man, February can't come around soon enough.

batchief said...

Didn't watch ESPN but I thought the Speed show was very good. For those who say they were surprised as to its contents, John stated exactly what the Tuesday and Wednesday Speed shows would be about in the third paragraph of his article.

Illpolo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shawnna said...

I tried watching Nascar Now this summer (set the DVR to catch it) but usually ended up deleting the show within the first few minutes in. I didn't like Erik K, but I never thought he was evil incarnate either. I've been watching NN again the past few weeks and I have to say that Erik K has been steadily improving. He seems so much more friendly with the guests and reporters, and I think it's maybe because he's learned the sport and it's personalities and reporters a bit better.

I thought he did a really good job today and I enjoyed the whole hour. Shows in the past have seemed a re-hash of news/interviews we've seen or read elsewhere. Today we got some great features and finally some good interaction between Erik and those he spoke with. I was pleased.

Shawnna said...

On a separate note, I listened to the Tony Kornheiser (sp?) radio show on XM this spring/summer while I drove to work everyday. What can I say? He amused me and it was a guilty pleasure. Yes, he's a windbag and tends to blow smoke, but you have to take it as entertainment.

Incidentally, his show covered Nascar fairly regularly. He had the Nascar reporter from the Washington Post on (can't remember her name) and she did her best to educate Tony on the news of the week. He usually tried to blow things out of proportion and she'd put him in his place. Tony's radio show was pure entertainment -- just a bunch of different folks talking sports (and American Idol every Wednesday morning.) I never assumed it was trying to be anything else; therefore, didn't take offense with his limited knowledge of my favorite sport.

That's what I think about some of the other ESPN programming -- some of them are entertainment shows, not necessarily news shows. Sometimes I think we Nascar fans (myself included) take ourselves too seriously. Yes, I want the news of Nascar without the sensationalism -- hated what ESPN did earlier this year. But we can't really expect the rest of the ESPN shows to all of a sudden be experts on Nascar or even report it seriously. PTI isn't a serious news show -- it's a "show." Sometimes we need to just take a breath and let some of it go.

I'm really glad to see the tone and spirit of Nascar reporting has taken an about turn since last Friday. Hopefully, they'll keep it up and Erik K and Nascar Now will continue improving.

Lisa Hogan said...

I enjoyed the SPEED show last night and thought that Krista did a good job hosting.

RevJim said...

I can only compare Nascar Now to what I remember of RPM 2Night and NN still seems somewhat lame. The problem is that ESPN2 gets more into the personality of their broadcasters than actual racing news or recaps.
Championship Week on Speed, on the other hand was impressive, with no voiceovers on the archival footage and nothing added except drivers' interviews. Speed TV wins the Tuesday night round, in my book.