Saturday, January 12, 2008

Decision Time For Fans Is Right Now (Updated 1/2/08) Wow!


Update 1/2/08 - Due to the incredible reaction to this column, we are leaving the COMMENTS section open. After you review the column, please take a moment to read the thoughts of the other NASCAR fans on this issue. As usual, please feel free to add your own. Thank you for the encouragement to return for next season, we will keep you posted on our decision.

There are a lot more important things to ponder on this New Year's holiday than NASCAR. After we reflect on our personal and professional lives, we create a list of things that we would like to improve in 2008. That is the priority.

But, sooner or later the big question of this off-season rears its ugly head. It is the question that is sent to me every day by email. It is the question asked in The Daly Planet comments, and on websites and blogs all around the Internet.

Many of us have been NASCAR fans for decades. I watched Ned Jarrett and Inside Winston Cup Racing from my VCU dorm with my friends every weekend during the season. I had the chance to work on the NASCAR races with ESPN. I had the chance to put together This Week In NASCAR with Eli Gold for Prime Network. I even had the chance to work at Sunbelt Video and coordinate the production of NASCAR TV programs.

While all of that created the foundation for my enjoyment of the sport, these are very different times. This past season on TV for the NEXTEL Cup Series started with so much promise and ended in complete chaos. There is just no other way to put it.

The way that I "consume" NASCAR racing is television. The fact that 2007 was the first year of a new TV contract with a new line-up of TV partners is the reason we started this blog. We wanted to find out how Fox Sports, TNT, and ESPN/ABC would do producing our favorite sport.

Put aside the Truck and Nationwide Series for the moment. Put aside the support programs like RaceDay and NASCAR Now and Trackside. The question on the mind of many veteran NASCAR fans only has to do with the 2008 Sprint Cup Series. It is a simple question that has been phrased many ways by fans across the Internet. Here it is:

"Considering the way I felt after this season, should I come back and watch the races next year?"

While some fans on other websites complained about the switch to the COT and the quality of the racing, they usually included something else. That was the TV coverage. Other fans pointed specifically to the TV issues as the reason they might not return.

Since we deal with TV on this site, I would just join those fans in saying that I never thought it would be a tough decision whether or not to return. But...it is.

Not returning and spending ten months of my life watching races on TV for thirty-nine weeks now seems like a realistic option. That is the fall-out from the lousy job the NASCAR TV networks did this season. Check the Internet, this refrain is everywhere from NASCAR.com to SceneDaily to SPEEDtv. I am certainly not alone.

The memory of the Daytona 500 finish is great. It is blunted by the fact that Fox only showed the winner finish in the rest of the races. Unforgivable, and yet never changed by Fox's David Hill or Ed Goren who profess to be "NASCAR friendly" TV executives. A great TV crew, great pictures, and then no one finished but the winner. Frankly, I do not want to see that again.

TNT's promotional announcements were only interrupted by advertising and occasional glimpses of a NASCAR race that was running in the background. Bill Weber and Marc Fein looked like they were going to duke-it-out during the pre-race show, and Weber's condescending and arrogant on-air attitude made him impossible to watch. Only the hard work of Larry McReynolds, Kyle Petty and the pit reporters gave the TNT broadcasts some credibility.

It was during this six race stretch that many fans discovered their local MRN or PRN radio outlet, or decided it might be a good time to pay for that Sirius contract. Even the public relations stunt of moving commercials around at Daytona could not save this mess. The anger of the fans still smarting about the Fox problems grew a notch. But, the hope of ESPN returning to the NASCAR trail was on the horizon.

The first race back for ESPN was the Brickyard 400 from Indy. This is a portion of the column from The Daly Planet that ran after the race broadcast:

The email started pouring in minutes after Tony Stewart crossed the finish line of The Brickyard 400. It came from many different locations around the country, and represented fans of many teams in the sport, except one. Not one email was from a Tony Stewart fan, and that was for one reason. He was the only driver who fans saw cross the finish line at Indy.

In what may be the most colossal sports blunder since the Heidi Bowl, ESPN welcomed themselves back to NASCAR by failing to show anyone other than the winner of The Brickyard 400 finish the race. ESPN had asked fans to join them for a one hour pre-race show, and then a three hour race. Unless you were a Tony Stewart fan, the reward for your efforts was...nothing.

If your driver was fighting it out for a top ten, or struggling for a top twenty finish, it did not matter to ESPN. All the stories they had been following for three hours suddenly did not matter. The fundamental fact that race fans want to see the battle to the line by the field did not matter. Even basic knowledge that people get passed in the final straightaway could not change ESPN's idea that what fans wanted was drama and not racing.


This was the start of perhaps ESPN's biggest struggle for credibility in a professional sport in the 25 plus years of the network's existence. Hip-hop blaring, Brent Musburger talking and Draft Lock "smoking" will always be in the minds of the fans.

Then, strange things started to happen. ESPN refused to reset the field before a restart. They refused to talk to the drivers coming out of the Infield Medical Center. Once, they left my driver Dale Jarrett sitting in the middle of the track in a crashed car...and never mentioned him again. I wasn't upset, I was livid.

What ESPN failed to understand was that we were not watching who was leading. We all had our favorites, and we were trying to watch...the race. I have been following Dale Jarrett for his entire career. It was only Kyle Petty's later apology that informed ESPN viewers of what had happened. We never were told if Jarrett was injured.

The last straw for many viewers was Mike Massaro being forced to continue to pound Dale Earnhardt Junior with questions after he fell out of a race, and missed The Chase. Remember that? In a scenario that is still tough to watch, ESPN threw aside the kind of dignity and respect that is the hallmark of the sport, and shot themselves in the foot on national TV with the most popular driver in NASCAR.

What part of this makes us want to return? Where are the NASCAR executives who are going to step-up and say this is not going to happen again? In a November column, we mentioned Brian France as saying ESPN was in the middle of a "learning curve." He then went on to say the following:

"The production and fan expectation they (ESPN) have to be at is much higher than before," said France. "They are finding that out."

So, here we sit pondering our return to NASCAR. Everyone will be in the COT, Gibbs will be Toyota powered, Junior will be at Hendrick and Kyle Busch will have something to prove. On one hand, it should be interesting. On the other hand, will we be able to see it?

Since we are on the fence, it would really help if you told us your thought process as you make or break the commitment to NASCAR for 2008. Ten months of your life and over one hundred hours of live TV is what is on the table.

The countdown clock over at Jayski.com is now under 49 days to the Daytona 500. Are you planning on the TV networks learning from their mistakes and making sweeping changes for 2008, or are you going to step-away from the sport because of this season's problems?

Take a moment to tell us your New Year's NASCAR TV resolution.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below, and follow the simple instructions. We do not want your email address, and there is nothing to join. We just want to know if you will be coming back to NASCAR in 2008?

231 comments:

1 – 200 of 231   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Could you give up the complaining about the "blaring hip-hop" music? I've seen it in too many of your columns, and it just makes you look out of touch, especially since 1) most of the music ESPN played at the beginning of the season wasn't hip-hop, it was R&B/pop music. Repeat after me, Rihanna, the singer of "Shut Up and Drive", is an R&B/pop music artist, not a "hip-hop" artist. Other music used by ESPN was not hip-hop. ****There is a difference between hip-hop and R&B/pop music, you guys need to look it up on Wikipedia or something.****

Look up any year -end top 10 music critic's choice list in a newspaper this year and you'll see one of Rihanna's songs, "Umbrella" made the *POP* music top 10 list. You and other's use of "hip-hop" in a derogatory manner sounds like a code for something else to me. Maybe you don't mean it that way, but it's definitely the way it comes across and it never ceases to be offensive.

2) You also miss this point: after all the complaints here and elsewhere on NASCAR boards about the "hip-hop" music, ESPN/ABC adjusted and played mostly classic rock music and gasp, even a couple of country songs all during the Chase. Yet no one seems to acknowledge that. Please get a grip, people.

Other than the repeatedly overdone hip-hop reference that needs to be lost forever, your column was spot-on.

In regards to your question, I was so disgusted by the coverage last year that this year I'll probably TiVo the races instead of watching them live, so I have the option to fast forward. I won't be watching NASCAR NOW or the TNT and ABC countdown shows unless drastic changes are made to the content of both of those shows -they need meatier content and less repetition.

Matt said...

I will be back for NASCAR in 08. I have been a fan for 15 years and no matter how lousy the coverage, I will be back. However, I will be investing in a Sirius radio so that I may listen to the MRN/PRN broadcasts of the races, in case any of the networks get on my nerves. NASCAR is my passion and I will not leave them over lousy coverage. Now...bad racing, thats another story...

Dan said...

I'd really have to chalk up 2007 as a disappointment for NASCAR Media coverage as a whole, and it's going to impact how much I'm tuning into broadcasts next year. In the many years I've followed NASCAR, never have I been so inclined to miss parts of, or entire races and related NASCAR programming.

The turning point came for me toward the later end of the season when I finally broke down and starting watching the tv muted with MRN/PRN providing the commentary. I'm not really sure I want to go through 2008 having to do that, so it makes it tough to say I'll watch much. I really feel like NASCAR has also "watered down" the sport's personalities a bit. Drivers shouldn't have to hold emotion in because they fear getting penalties levied against them- although I do give some props to NASCAR for letting Harvick and Montoya air their anger without punishment at the Glen.

After looking at the 2008 racing season as a whole, I'm starting to think that F1, ALMS, and the like might get more attention from me than NASCAR though.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 10:44PM,

I completely understand your point. There is no doubt that a 45+ male like me has issues with Rihanna and the other artists featured on NASCAR this season. It is somewhat ironic that I chose to leave Aerosmith out of this column. Fortunately, I have blocked that one song out of my mind forever.

I meant absolutely no offense, and I even think she is very talented. We were trying to make the point that her music video and her music used endlessly at the Pocono race was ridiculous.

If you have some other suggestions or see any other issues like that, please just drop me a line by email and fill me in. Thanks.

JD

Ken said...

I won't stop watching but I will change the way I watch. My HD DVR from Dish Network is already set. It records all of the races whenever they are shown (amazing machine). I will watch the race in 30-45 minutes when it is convenient for me. It's far easier to not know who won a race now than it used to be. The race once was talked about frequently but I rarely hear it mentioned any more.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'll keep watching as long as my favorite driver, Jeff Burton, is driving.

Once he retires, I'll still watch the big races like Daytona and Bristol, and good night races like Richmond, but I'll no longer block out time in my schedule for Pocono, California, Kansas, Chicago, etc. I may zap through them on DVR, but they won't be a priority.

Anonymous said...

I like to look at the sport itself..We get to see out "Team"-driver, in every "Game"-Race. Heck we even get every minor leauge game-"Nationwide & Trucks". Watch and be happy, You can keep complaining and looking for the perfect world or enjoy what we have now. You will go crazy harping back about how good it was back in the 90's, sports and media have changed soo much since then.

Anonymous said...

"Considering the way I felt after this season, should I come back and watch the races next year?"
On Fox, yes.

TNT and ESPN, I'll give them a chance, and if it looks the same, radio is going to get my business in 2008.

And I agree with JD about the blaring hip-hop/r&b/whatever-the-brand Rhianna-style music: It has to go.

Or I will. And I'm far from alone, advertisers.

Anonymous said...

We get to see out "Team"-driver, in every "Game"-Race.
Tell that to anyone whose driver was NOT in the top 12 in 2007.

They rarely saw their drivers on ESPN. Unless they wrecked.

fan since 1957 said...

If you're a race fan, you watch.

If you're a wannabe race fan, you mow the grass.

mb2u said...

I resolved to watch every Nextel Cup race last year. I watched maybe half, realizing that most of the time, I paid more attention to my laptop than the television during a race.

Everyone had their faults, but Fox did the best of the lot. ESPN's coverage was a disappointment. I had expected so much more from them, but they seemed more interested in flash than in reporting...

Now, the actual racing? Boring. More reliable cars and NASCAR's "parity" means most of the real racing takes place at the beginning and end, with very long middle sections. Dale Jr.'s pushed for cutting 100 miles out of most races, to make them more competitive, and this would keep me interested.

I plan on watching what I consider the important races of the year live-Daytona 500, Coca-Cola 600, Brickyard 400, Homestead, Bristol, and the road races. The rest I will watch if I have time but if I miss one I won't feel much of a loss.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
We get to see out "Team"-driver, in every "Game"-Race.
Tell that to anyone whose driver was NOT in the top 12 in 2007.

They rarely saw their drivers on ESPN. Unless they wrecked.

December 31, 2007 7:37 AM

Come On! If your favorite player is the left tackle on AZ Cardinals
and you life in NJ, how often do you see him even if you have NFL package??? It's like QB vs LT in TV time on games. A top 12 driver vs 30-43rd!!! We still have it so much better than other sports. We just can't expect everything to be perfect! The main thought for those here should be ENJOY, what our sport has with it's coverage.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
And I agree with JD about the blaring hip-hop/r&b/whatever-the-brand Rhianna-style music: It has to go.
Or I will. And I'm far from alone, advertisers.

December 31, 2007 7:35 AM

This is crazy...you would stop watching your sport for music that plays for 10 seconds at a time for a total of what,maybe 3 minutes of a 4 hour event. All I can say is WOW, music is played at almost all sporting events and most TV programs are now putting it into dramas and to all sports, from Country-Hiphop. And the advertisers are leading the charge.

Anonymous said...

We just can't expect everything to be perfect!

Doesn't have to be perfect.

But whedn Fox does such a good job over covering the whole race, not just the top 12 drivers, you have to wonder why The Worldwide Leader in Sports can't do the same.

Anonymous said...

I will watch again in 2008. I am a huge fan of Dale Jr.'s, but I do like to watch most of the drivers. I know that FOX will be good, hopefully TNT and ESPN2 have learned a lot and will improve. I will also give NASCAR NOW another chance. Sure would be good to see Alan Bestwick hosting that show every day as well as hosting at least the Nationwide Series.

Thanks for what you do, Mr. Daly

Marilyn

Rich in MA said...

I'm a race fan. Nascar is only one of several series I follow.

If the networks decide to actually show the Nascar races, I'll watch them. But they have to show the whole race -- not just the top 5, not just Junior. I want to be able to keep track of what's going on in the top 20. I want to be able to follow some of the back-markers as they try to pull themselves out of the mud.

If the broadcasts don't offer that level of coverage then I'll let the race go to Tivo, listen instead to MRN.

And if ESPN brings back the draft-tracker I may have to drive to Connecticutt and fire-bomb their offices.

Anonymous said...

And I agree with JD about the blaring hip-hop/r&b/whatever-the-brand Rhianna-style music: It has to go.

It already went. As anon@10:44 commented, ESPN (actually and ABC) started using other types of songs after Rihanna got blasted. Post-Rihanna, I remember hearing the oldie groups Boston and The Cars as the races went to commercial, those are the couple I remember.

This is crazy...you would stop watching your sport for music that plays for 10 seconds at a time for a total of what,maybe 3 minutes of a 4 hour event. All I can say is WOW

Amen to that! It's amazing to see what people get riled up about and still are riled up about months after....We're giving all the networks another chance in 2008 mainly because of hoping to have good coverage changes in the race broadcasts. If not, watching races is going to be low-priority. We've got the radio and the PC.

Anonymous said...

I have a problem with this quote.
"The production and fan expectation they (ESPN) have to be at is much higher than before," said France. "They are finding that out."

No, sir, our expectation for ESPN is not much higher than before - almost to a man, NASCAR fans would be THRILLED if the production of ESPN matched the ESPN of old. We're not looking for higher than that. And I'm talking getting Bob Jenkins involved, yes. But beyond that, treat the races the same way as in the old days. We're not looking for anything more than that - because when they try for that, everything seems to be in the way.

Anonymous said...

Amen to that! It's amazing to see what people get riled up about and still are riled up about months after....
Given that very few--if ANY--has said they'd watch ESPN/ABC's coverage because of its choice of bump/montage music but that MANY have said they disliked it--I'd say the network ought to just accept that it made a mistake and do what the viewers want.

Busch Series Fan! said...

I just want the networks to show the race cars - all the race cars in the race - not just the top 5. I want to see and hear the drivers who have wrecked in the race after they come out of the infield care center. How hard could my wants be? I'm just a simple person from Houston. I have actually found the Grand American racing to be satisfying to watch I'll make sure I tune in to all of them in 2008.

Anonymous said...

I have noticed that the races are not watched as much as they have been. Point in case, local bars used to run the race on a big screen and have food and drink specials. Now it’s not even on. I can't watch it because the coverage is bad. It’s not even close to what it used to be like.
Opted out last year. I will still follow the sport and would love to attend a race but I wont watch on TV.

Charles B said...

Much as I hate to say it, I am not surprised at all by the decreasing quality of the racing coverage. The four-letter network (ESPN) has gotten more and more arrogant over the past decade and now seem to have a "you'll like it because we said so" attitude that's beyond annoying.

NASCAR as a whole needs to reclaim its soul -- bring back the drivers with "big" personalities, bring back real racing at Daytona and Talladega, modify the cookie-cutter "McTracks" that all seem to be just like Lowe's Motor Speedway and for goodness sakes alike quit managing the competition to the point where there is more difference between the cars in an IROC field than the top division of NASCAR.

I've been a racing fan for as long as I can remember -- and I was there at trackside to see in person a lot of the classic momets of the sport...but these days, NASCAR has done everything in its power to kill off the kind of races I went to in order to make for events that are "corporate friendly."

JHD said...

I'm a fan of NASCAR. I'll be watching every race in 2008 because I love the sport.

I'm not a fan of the networks. So how I'll be watching is different than the TV executives probably intended.

I don't watch or tape the pre-race show, with the exception of RaceDay. I don't watch or tape the post-race show...because there aren't any. SPEED's Victory Lane comes on so far after the race in most cases that I forget it's even on.

I watch the race in real time, but on MUTE. I listen to the simultaneous broadcast of my driver's scanner on Trackpass instead. I don't think I miss anything - in some cases I know more of what's happening because the driver/CC are discussing ontrack activity while the broadcast ignores it. If I can ever get the antiquted piece of junk computer I call my home computer to work properly, I could figure out how to record the scanner, then listen/watch on my own time.

In some respects doing it my way is just like being at the race. Although at the race I get to see my driver the entire race, and I get to see umimportant things like restarts and finishes.

In my ideal fantasy world, I'd attend every race live, so that I could support my sport without having to deal with broadcast TV. Until then, I'll just have to continue to hope I win the lottery and fire up Trackpass every weekend.

Anonymous said...

For me watching NASCAR last season felt like a job, not something I do to relax and have fun b/c I was so caught up in the mistakes. TV not following up on crashes and only showing one car coming across the finish line or the last few laps were the worst. I don't want to feel that way this season.

anonymous said:
"Given that very few--if ANY--has said they'd watch ESPN/ABC's coverage because of its choice of bump/montage music but that MANY have said they disliked it--I'd say the network ought to just accept that it made a mistake and do what the viewers want."

Read the posts above yours. That's exactly what ESPN did. So maybe people should quit whining about it. Shame that something so minor caused such an uproar. It doesn't make NASCAR fans look very good at all; makes us look closeminded and a little petty.

Anonymous said...

I will watch races this year like I did last year. With the help of my DVR. Either record the race and zip through it later, or start watching several hours into it if I am home. I don't miss not seeing the endless commercials or listening to the inane commentary. I do a slow fast forward looking for interesting action on the track or in the pits. I can usually watch a race in 30-40 minutes, not 4-5 hours. The exception are the road races, I don't fast forward those, except to skip the commercials.

Don V. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
SallyB said...

I am continually amazed that, once ESPN/ABC started broadcasting races that suddenly Fox became the 'gold standard' for race coverage. I am personally dreading having to listen to the 'babble from the booth' at Fox for every Daytona 500 for the next several years. tehy only look good in comparison to how badly the other networks have done. I don' know whether I will survive very long into the Nascar season unless there are some substantial changes...not just to the coverage. Nascar itself has become so...mundane. Most of what used to make it exciting...even IF one driver was running away with the lead...has been drained out of it. I will probably watch the 500. After that, probably just tape races to FF through for the rest of the season.

Daly Planet Editor said...

don v,

If you have a chance, will you drop me an email at editor@thedalyplanet.tv please?

Thanks,

JD

Anonymous said...

I told my family going into this season that Nascar (both TV and the series) had this year to "prove" to me that they were still worth watching after 15+ years. Well,the season is over and verdict is in for me. C-ya TV. I may catch a race on radio every now and again.

Anonymous said...

I have been a Nascar fan since 1984, I got into many fights over the tv when was in the Navy defending my sport. I have thrown more stuff at my Tv in the last year due to coverage...missed restarts... bad coverage...The only thing that has kept me going is the Driver Audio channel in Hotpass. I surf the five channels and watch timing and scoring on the Fox internet site. The money spent on Hotpass is the best I can spend. I just hope next year they dont raise the price. I do hope that Rusty listens to the critisism he has gotten and gets rid of the "aero loose" comments. I will still be there watching starting at Daytona.

old nascar said...

I been a NASCAR fan snice the 60's
I am not impressed with any of the TV coverage.

there are 43 cars in the race. they seem to only to cover certain drivers no matter what position they are in.
Give more coverage to the rest of the flied. fans say the race is boreing it might be for the top 5 cars, so cars battling it out for 15 spot.
give a reason why a car dropped out or why it lost laps. AGAIN if u are not one of top drivers u are forgotten.

Plus there is to much chatting going between the TV commontators

Pearson & Kulwicki fan said...

As a Nascar fan who has been watching since the days of seeing 3 or 4 15 minute snipets on Wide World of Sports (a month after the race), I'm still thankful for all the races being shown live.

My first thought on the current TV coverage is: Quit wasting my time!! How about Noon starts again?? My entire Sunday is consumed with watching the race. Perhaps I should record and skip the commercials later.

Maybe its Nascar's fault for caving to the networks on starting times. But think of Kansas this year. Another hour of racing before the rain would have made a world of difference.

Oh, and Nascar, how about some restraint on throwing the red flag?

And possibly keeping 43 cars on the lead lap forever - compiments of the "lucky dog" - might allow more racing and less wrecking.

Oh yeah, I forgot. TV likes those things. Every fan's driver still has a chance to win for all 4 or 5 hours of coverage.

A couple of hour's investment on Sunday evening spent with the Fast Forward button is sounding more and more appealing. Sorry Homer and Marge - you might have to wait until Monday.

Racemaster said...

Hey anonymous: Quit whining about "dissing" the "music-hip hop or whatever". This is about racing.
2007's coverage TV coverage sucked regardless of your musical inclinations.

I will watch again in 2008 just as i did years before you were able to define your musical desires. I will continue to gripe about poor TV coverage unless it squares up and I will do the same about some of the squalling and banging you call music!!!

thomas said...

It seems pretty obvious to me that NASCAR and the networks are going to jam what they want down the throats of the viewers.

It screams of catering to the coveted whatever to 35 demographic.

All Brian does is give a bunch of lip service that anybody over the age of 10 can see right through. The fact that Brian mentioned the production expectations tell me the race is secondary to furthering the agenda of the networks and or NASCAR.

Do I really need 10 reminders of Monday night football. I think 99% of the people who might watch know where and when to find Monday night football.

I would be very surprised of much of anything changes next year. Like somebody else said it's sad when Fox gets held up as the gold standard.

I will continue to record the races on Tivo and fast forward through them in about 15 minutes. I will do that until I think NASCAR and the networks are turning around this run away train.

I cannot imagine what the spin will be if the ratings go down again this year? A housing crisis and people just can't afford cable like the did in the past? Nothing that comes out of Brian's mouth surprises me. I would like to see Brain step and make some changes in the right direction and not merely give lip service and pat himself on the back while telling everybody how great the sport is doing.

Dan said...

Mr. Daly, thanks once again for an outstanding column. This is my first comment although i've been reading for quite some time now. Started watching Nascar in the mid-late 90's and have watched both the racing and the tv coverage go steadily downhill.

I agree with Sally B. that the FOX coverage was not very good; yet compared to TNT and ESPN, it was the best of the bunch. All 3 networks never did grasp the simple fact that race fans want to see the finishing order......that means ALL of the cars (on the lead lap).

As for my viewing plans for this year....right now i will be taping the races on a vcr (yes, they do still exist) and using ff a lot. The only races i really care about any more are the road courses. Those i would actually watch if the coverage was better. I will tape, and at least ff through, all the Cup and Nationwide road course races; love to see the trucks on a road course as well.

I don't hold out much hope for improved coverage, although i'll give Daytona a shot to see if FOX listened/learned anything. The TV coverage though, is just one of the four or five major things wrong with Nascar, imo. Since the brass at Nascar seem happy with things as they are, i just don't see much hope for improvement. And by the time the brass do realize that there's something wrong, it will be too late; they seem to be reactive rather than proactive. Once you drive someone away, it's much, much harder to get them back again.

Anonymous said...

I've been a NASCAR fan for over 20 years but the last couple of years TV coverage has caused me to not watch very many races. The races are too long, the TV coverage isn't good, and the racing itself leaves a lot to be desired. I will watch a truck race though. I get my Cup fix through the support shows and internet nowadays... that's sad because I use to really enjoy watching the races. Hopefully they will return to their greatness before I move on to something else.

jibba said...

JD....The coverage is lousy these days. Too much everything but racing. It seems that racing gets in the way of the commercials and new gadgets. 30 + years as a fan, And I step back in time and listen to the radio. Can't believe they still won't show the field taking the checkers. That puts me over the edge........

Daly Planet Editor said...

I would just like to apologize again for the bad music reference to "hip-hop." I have all kinds of music on my iPod, and enjoy a variety in my personal life.

The only example we were trying to mention was the over-use of the music theme in the last part of the year, specifically at Pocono.

Let's try to return this discussion to the core issue, and that is whether you are going to watch all of the Sprint Cup races live in 2008?

Many people have made some very valid points that I never even considered, what is your opinion?

JD

Karen said...

Fortunately for me, The Daly Planet has made watching ESPN's and TNT's coverage go down a little smoother.
I still love the Fox boys, no matter what; even the boogity, etc., etc. Heck, there's only 2-3 seconds of it. Watched the NFL game Saturday night simulcast on ABC and CBS. That NFL channel was great. If Speed could do that, wow. Or a Nascar channel, but we'd probably not get it for 2-3 years. Thankfully, the commissioner saw the light for that particular game and we all got a taste of what it would be like.

I'll be watching Nascar, however I have to do it. Mostly in commercials, I read more comments on this blog.

JD, are you really having second thoughts about not watching, especially since you seem so passionate about the sport? Just hope this blog is around for 2008 to get me through the season.

Happy New Year to you and yours.

Prospector said...

I have to agree with SallyB in that Fox looks so good because the others are so bad. Kind of like forgetting about your toothache because you just broke your leg.

I always tivo even if I am home. I now find that for a four race I have to wait more than an hour before starting to watch and ff through the commercials and other nonsence or I catch up with live at about the 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 hour point.

I will continue to do this in 2008 The downside is that I cannot tune in MRN or PRN and tune out DW or Weber or Rusty et al.

I havn't missed watching at least the last 1/3 of a race in the last several years. I probably won't be able to say that a year from now.

Anonymous said...

JD, you hit it on the head again.

As to the coverage, we've got a choice of bad (Fox), horrible (ESPN)or absolutely rotten (TNT). All are bad, it's just the degree of how bad they are. Bring back the old TNN crew or the ESPN crew of old. That would be a major impovement for starters.

As to the music personalities, all I ask is that they just get the National Anthem right. It's written a certain way, has certain notes and words, and should be done that way. Not having every tone deaf, crackpot, musical wanna-be trying to make it their own would be a nice change.It's ours, not theirs.It wasn't written to sound like two cats fighting in a burlap sack. It's supposed to be reverant and dignified, not some flash-in-the-pan Top 40 tune.

I'll be attending a few races, but the rest of the year I'll be watching it on TV except for the second Fontana race.I'll miss that race intentionally. It belongs in Darlington, but Rockingham would be nice too. At least fans don't leave early or fall asleep during the races there.

I'll be curious to see who this coming year's scapegoat will be for falling TV ratings and track attendance. If Dale Jr. has a bad year or even a mediocre year, he'll get blamed once again by the powers that be in Daytona. They won't blame the networks or the poor coverage.

I've been a fan for what will be 45 years this coming February and have seen the coverage go from radio and replays on Wide World of Sports to what we have today with the live coverage. The changes in the coverage reflect what's happening on the track and in the head offices at Daytona. The good old boys and bootleggers who were opinionated are gone and what we have now is vanilla-flavored drivers being told what to do and say in an effort to appeal to everyone instead of the fan base that made it what it was. It's going from racing to "rasslin". The boys down in Daytona need to quit dictating the coverage and let the networks actually do what they're supposed to do. Maybe then, we'd get back to some coverage that was worth a hoot.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Karen,

I will be making a decision by February 1st on whether or not to continue this effort. This discussion will go a long way toward helping in that decision-making process.

There are lots of nice sponsors and even more nice fans who would like this to continue, but what is the point if NASCAR becomes no more than a TiVo or DVR sport?

There will be another column up later this week about the other NASCAR series, and the TV network support programming. But, for right now I am looking for opinions on the Sprint Cup for 2008.

If you are coming back, why? If you are recording the races, why did you make that decision? If you are walking away to the NHRA or Sports Cars or taking up tennis, what made you leave?

This is a good two day stretch to get opinions from folks home for the holidays and thinking about the upcoming season. Thanks.

JD

Anonymous said...

JD -- How 'bout we start putting names and faces on these issues. The way we're talking it's like ESPN, FOX, ABC, etc., are all a big impersonal moster ruining our NASCAR. Each of these networks has people in charge of making the decisions hindering our enjoyment of a televised NASCAR event.

Who are these people? We know DW, Larry Mac, Mike and the other "talent." If you know, and I'm sure you do, let us know who is making these decisions.

In fact, this might be a perfect time (the "off-season") for you to give us a little "Sports Television Producing 101." Tell us the function/responsibility of a Senior Producer -v- a Producer of a race....let us know what the difference between Producer and Director is....what does a Pit Producer do and who is this person....

Right now, and I'm only guessing here, all these people within the different networks are ready your blog. And I'm guessing, because no one is named, even just by title, that each one is pointing his or her finger at another "level" of his own network. My point is that unless some of these issues start have a "face" then nothing will change.

If you, for instance, would say that "Joe Shmoe" is responsible for all music selected to be played during the FOX broadcast and the music sucked, then Joe Shmoe might be willing to step up his game, or his superiors might find someone to do it for him.

All very interesting stuff. I think the thing that amazes me most is that NASCAR television was BEST back when nobody knew much about how to produce a race. It was great because all they knew was "follow the action on the track." That's all we want. That's the entertainment. We don't need entertainment within the entertainment.

Now, the networks have it made. As opposed to not so many years ago, they have the same crew traveling to each race week after week. They could, should they so choose, follow story lines for months. Instead, they follow no story unless it's happening to a Hendrick team or to Jr. It's so sad because there are so many other talented and entertaining drivers in the field who rarely get the chance to shine.

Whew! now that I've gotten that off my chest....

Thanks JD for giving us a voice!

Anonymous said...

I like the comments from the fan who will auto record all the races and watch in an on demand fashion.

That's a great concept, the only problem is -- you never know what channel or time for that matter the race will appear, or if it will appear at all.

2007 was a huge flop for NASCAR broadcasting, but you wouldnt know it from all the awards and pats on the back the media gives themselves -- in an attempt to mask the problem.

The person or persons with the biggest soap-box win in this business, and the true points of matter and fact go unseen and unheard.

The NASCAR media machine runs a version of socialist control on nearly every topic that paints them or NASCAR in a bad light.

They believe if you hear the words coming from a Rusty Wallace, Darrell Waltrip or Steve Burns, in some way you are expected to believe the masking of truth and substance.

That is the main problem with NASCAR. Its controlled to the point of being as phoney example of real life.

Take the example of fans throwing items onto the track at Talladega.

The media used their giant soap-box to proclaim those fans are lower than scum, and if you see this happening you should point them out like narcs.

The real problem of giving the win to Jeff Gordon under bazzar circumstances and the questionable actions of NASCAR and the yellow flag incident was never an issue, it was always the low-ball fans fault.

The fall race at Talladega displayed many empty seats, and they blamed that on the hunting season -- but in my opinion they continue to look the other way on real issues.

Thats why the ratings are dropping. The real issues that mean something to the guy in the stands, and people watching from home are masked in a very strange but typical way for NASCAR.

No Darrell you dont work for NASCAR (his latest rambling and written by someone else article) but you are controlled by NASCAR with that Hard Card you carry -- which can be yanked at any point if NASCAR thinks you arent playing the game.

So, in conclusion the fans can look for more of the same in 2008. Additional under-educated stick-and-ball reporters trying to educate themself to NASCAR at the expense of true race fans.

It will take more than HD and robot cameras to save this sinking ship.

Joseph Foster

Shawn in Indy said...

As a fan for over 20 years I'm sad to admit it's becoming easier to not watch the races. Between the bad coverage from all 3 networks, the constant changes by NASCAR and the total inconsistency in abiding by the so called rules I no longer set my schedule to line up with the races. In the past all plans revolved around them, in 07 I doubt I watched a dozen complete races. I'm not giving up on NASCAR and I'm not about to give up my Brickyard tickets just yet.I am keeping a close eye on whether or not NASCAR is paying attention. So far I don't think they are. Surely the decline in ratings and falling attendance at the tracks must be obvious to more than me. NASCAR will never surpass the NFL no matter how hard they try. It's time that they remember how they got as big as they are (THE FANS!!!!) and get back to giving us the best quality coverage they can and forget about all this flashy stuff. My Grandfather (rest his soul) was as die hard a fan as there ever was. From the 60's into the 90's for a 30 year stretch, him and his buddies made the trek from NY to Daytona every year for the 500. He would turn off his set in disgust today at the product they are handing us.....

Anonymous said...

Except for the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400. I stopped watching the rest of the races live last year. I record them on the DVD and play them at my convience. There is just so much of R. Wallace I can stand. The announcers seem to talk on and on about so many other things than the race. I used to go to 1 race a year but due to rising prices of everything and being downsized and now working for a lot less, I stopped doing that also. There is a lot more important things in life than NASCAR!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Daly:
Of course I'll continue to follow auto racing in 2008, but how I do it is still up for grabs.
Outside of attending races at Indy, Michigan and Charlotte (three cheers for the Speedway Club!!), I'll be employing some medium to follow the balance of the races.
I see 2008 as the make-or-break year for the TV networks however. There has been so much comment on internet blogs and columns as well as in print that highlight the TV problems and the deline in ratings steming partly from those problems.
Declining ratings translates to falling revenue and the networks have to take notice of that!
Regardless of all the different ways to find race coverage, you can't beat the visual, but if the networks don't present the visual in a manner acceptable to at least a majority of the fans, then we'll find other ways .
I'll watch TV as usual this year, DVRing as usual. If the "on-air" is the same or worse the latter half of the season, I'll revert to Sirius and the internet and only key up the DVR to see key portions of the race.
BTW: to some of the other posters here - FOX has its issues, but the "talent" genuinely enjoys being there and being together, and conveys that to the fans. Makes the broadcast bearable in my mind.
BTW2: To Anon at 1:51pm - your suggestions to JD are excellent! I've been jotting down many of the same ideas to ask him to consider teaching us in coming weeks. Thanks for expressing them!
Let's all have a better 2008!
Tom in Dayton, OH.

Anonymous said...

I've watched NASCAR virtually all of my life (it hasn't been but 18 years, but you get the point), but this year, I may have watched a combined 15 minutes of "the exciting Chase." There aere many things to blame: COT, boring cookie cutter tracks, less personalities, contrived Chase format, and last but not least, horrid tv coverage.

ESPN has a medical doctor known for injury updates, as well as solid pit/sideline reporting... in the the booth. They also have a popular play-by-play commentator who worked in radio for many years... in the pits.

How many diehard fans can NASCAR afford to lose? NASCAR has lost 20% of its TV audience in the last two years. The on-track action, especially towards the end of the year, was like watching paint dry. I'd rather watch the 2000 Daytona 500 ten times.

I honestly think that, and no offense, people who celebrate Fox's coverage aren't long time fans. I was watching a tape of a Talledega race from 1999, and during the tenth lap, they gave a report on ED BERRIER. That would never happen today.

I only watched as much as I did last year to see Montoya. This year, I'll watch to see Villeneuve, Carpentier, Hornish, and Franchitti.

Formula One had a spying scandal, but otherwise had a fantastic year, without a stupid Chase. ALMS, F1, V8 Supercars, IRL, CCWS, and WoO all had better racing as opposed to NASCAR.

I'll watch Speedweeks (well, what I can, my dorm doesn't have Speed), and the first few races, If it doesn't improve, there's always Kimi...

Anonymous said...

I'll be recording the races because the start times are so inconsistent. One week the race starts at 4pm, then the next week 3pm, then the next week 3:30pm. Not counting the night races or the West Coast night races.

The big races I would normally watch live, I'm unsure of with the CoT. Fall 'Dega wasn't good. Jeff Gordon and other drivers hung back all race, smart but not good to watch. I didn't think Bristol could be made boring, but they managed it with the new surface.

To Joseph Foster, the NASCAR media control with their hard cards is disappointing to a normal fan like me. David Poole blogged during Banquet week that NASCAR PR representatives were finding certain reporters who were in NYC for the banquet to tell them some of their recent coverage of the season was too negative. Perhaps I'm naive, but I can't imagine another sport doing this. I think some of those big time reporters would laugh in the PR rep's faces.

So thank goodness for blogs like this and bloggers like Mr. Daly who have more latitude to express his opinions. I hope this blog continues because I think it's very educational and it doesn't seem negative, it is more like constructive criticism. I'll still probably be watching most races in some fashion - just delayed - and would still like to see Mr. Daly's comments.

Anonymous said...

What "Fan since 1957" said hit the nail right on the head. You watch because of the racing, not the TV coverage.

Will you stop watching your favorite football team because the coverage stinks or if a particular game is boring? Probably not. You watch to see your favorite team/driver win and to see good racing, but that doesn't always happen. I'm not gonna abandon one of my favorite sports for that reason.

Now if you don't like the racing with all the changes NASCAR has put upon us, then you have legitimate beef.

With that said, the TNT and ESPN coverage was pretty lousy but I'm gonna give ESPN a pass because it's their first year and they do a good job with other sports.

Some changes in their announcing staff is needed and they need to have Bestwick calling races. He's a pro and know's more about NASCAR than almost anyone.

As far as the ratings go, I think the "NASCAR Dad" phenom is winding down. Alot of those newbies who came in are going back to their holes. In fairness, maybe they gave racing a shot and it wasn't their thing. I can accept that. But the one's that remain will be true fans. Next year I think the ratings will stabilize.

So here's hoping that 2008 brings better racing and better coverage - but remember this, this is "our" sport so think twice before you kick it to the curb. I could be ALOT worse!!!

RC from Long Island, NY.

Fran Wilson said...

My TV experience goes back to
hoping to find a segment on Wide
World of Sports, so complaining
now seems a bit silly....
However I will admit that the
fun of the Jayski Clock countdown
is truely gone...my current
reaction is no, no I am not
in the right frame of mind yet!

The problems are in part the
100 hours plus just wasted watching...but the real problems are pure mid-race boredom..
the need to be shortened....and
the lack of different winners or even placers.....can anyone
remember Richie Bickle Jr, crying
with the emotion of finishing..what ? 4th!.....Mark Martin wins 0
and of course we need Junior to
win!.....ever been to Taledaga
and try to cheer for someone else??

This may be the last chance year,

or the slide will accelerate!

Anonymous said...

I've been watching Nascar on TV since it was on tv only a few minutes at a time about once a month. I am normally a mild mannered, easy going person. About halfway thru the 2007 season, I found myself screaming at the television by about lap 25 because of what they were not showing me (racing). I went to Sirius, listening with the tv muted. I found myself not looking at the tv at all most of the time because they were never showing what the radio was talking about (cars racing each other). I watched Victory Lane and INC on Speed and saw everything I needed to see. I'll probably watch some of the races, but if the coverage is as bad as this year's, I'll stick with the radio, which is how I got racing (if I lived at the time in a place where it was broadcasted)when I was a kid in the 50's. I also have been a person to buy a product that I see advertised on race broadcasts over another brand. I know there are others like me, and eventually I believe that is what will kill the sport, because the sponsors will go away.

Anonymous said...

I will not be watching all the races will pick and choose. I don't like the COT the covrage or lack of coverage, and i can do away with 10 minutes of racing and 20 minutes of commericals

Anonymous said...

for the diehard nascar fan there is only one option if you want to actualy see racing in 08...dump cable, get directv and order hotpass...don't think i would have made it through last season without it....it seems i overpay for everything but hotpass is the one product that is worth its weight in gold..Wendy in the booth....nuff said..

GinaV24 said...

I've watched the races for a long time and was disappointed with the coverage by all of the networks for various reasons. Fox because they didn't show the field crossing the finish line and I wanted to know without having to follow the ticker, TNT because the coverage was so terrible it was unwatchable, and ESPN because they were so incredibly dense and wanted to make OUR sport become just another stick and ball. It was an insult to put so many no nothings around the sport's presentation on ESPN. I don't like having the American idol winners shoved down my throat by Fox either. I'd really like it if they'd make sure that whoever sings the National Anthem can actually do it and do it properly. Its not something that is supposed to be someone's audition piece. That's disrespectful and painful to me -- whether it's on TV or on the race. Also, NASCAR is to blame for a lot of these problems -- bad racing is the sanctioning bodies responsibility and they have chosen to pretend it doesn't exist. Now, we have an IROC car, cookie cutter tracks, a bunch of "personalities" in driver's who aren't allowed to have any personality or they'll be punished for it, and a 10 race crapshoot that negates everything that's been done for 26 races and instead decides the championship on how good a driver is on the cookie cutter tracks. My feeling is that the racing has to improve, along with the coverage, for me to continue to follow the sport with as much passion as I have in the past. 2007 was a disappointment from both the racing == a high speed parade is NOT racing. One of the best races I saw was the PPV of the dirt race at Eldora that Stewart setup. I have tickets for Daytona. I'm very concerned right now as to whether or not I am wasting a lot of money and precious vacation time to watch a repeat of the Fall Dega race. Now, I don't blame the drivers for their decision to sit back and wait for the end of the race in RP races--it's smart, but boring as heck to watch. And I don't watch racing for the crashes. As John said, I want to watch the race, not just the leader, I want to see the field cross the finish line, I want to know WHY a car is out of the race and especially if a driver is OK when he or she has been in a wreck. I DON'T want to listen to the booth personalities waste my time or the producer of the race who doesn't seem to know what the heck is going on. 2008 will be another opportunity for NASCAR to get it right -- I hope they will, for the sake of the fans and the sport.

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

Since the only I can learn what happens in the race is by reading the recaps Monday morning in the online versions of the nation's newspapers, I think I will be on the river in my motorboat or sea-doo on Sundays. Come football season, I'll be a NCAA and NFL fan again. But I won't squander another 36 weekends waiting on some idiot somewhere to relearn what a race broadcast is and I don't believe I can be faulted for my attitude. I can recall Mike Joy calling Raycom and Jefferson-Pilot syndicated NASCAR races on television broadcasts in the early '80's and when the broadcasts return to that level of excitment for what occurs on the racetrack, I may return to my recliner. But until those days return, neither will I.

QueenB said...

As big of a pain as it was to have to research the results of races, and flip channels hoping coverage was on somewhere else....

like Fan since 1957 said
"If you're a race fan you watch... if you're a wanna be fan you mow the grass"

I'm sure we've all spent time cursing our tv because we lost signal, or the station did a piss poor job of broadcasting that big game we wanted to see. For me it's that ESPN loves to game hop in the middle of crucial moments but hey at least it's on right?

I do hope that ESPN gets it together to provide the kind of broadcasting that we used to know and love, and for God's sake stop badgering drivers after bad race days. Definately some things to be learned from 2007. NASCAR is constantly evolving and I think that you either have the patience to be a race fan and grow with the sport or maybe you should just start watching hockey.

Ken said...

Anonymous said:

"I like the comments from the fan who will auto record all the races and watch in an on demand fashion.

That's a great concept, the only problem is -- you never know what channel or time for that matter the race will appear, or if it will appear at all."

I was the fan who said I auto record the races. With the Dish HD DVR (622 or 722), you don't have to know once you have gone through one season and set it up. The DVR will automatically find and record it unless it is a last minute change. It also has a DishPass feature where you can enter NASCAR and it will record everything with NASCAR in the title regardless of which one of the 250+ channels it is on.

SophiaZ123 said...

Well, I know we can'
t go back and get NASCAR pre 2001..when it was more basic and LESS HOLLYWOOD GLITZ. I got into NASCAR in 2004..and fell in love with the sport..the races are too long and the commercials too frequent. But ESPN just put me over the edge with HORRID coverage. PUTRID.

And to those bragging to TIVO or taping the race: How the hello can you DO THAT when ESPU would change the channels two and THREE TIMES for one race? That will work for us on FOX (taping) but Unless you can call home for somebody to change the stations for PeeSPN, you will NOT be able to watch the racin'

And for those PROCLAIMING how wonderful the HOTPASS is..isn't following only 5 drivers what we gripe about here? We never hear of the other 38.

Between the PLETHORA Of commercials, jammed into a show with bits of racing in between, the cross promotions, the CLUTTER on the screen, tne video shown OVER green flag racing, the undriveable COT(great car when you can TURN it..just ask the boys driving) and the cut offs of the race with NO POST race shows, AND the CUP LITE series...I will be viewing less.

I will watch the first part of the season and see how FOX does...if they only show ONE CAR FINISHING, I am finished with FOX.

If the commercial GLUT is worse, I will be listening on radio. The NATIONWIDE series is NOT on on my local MRN/PRN station but I can catch up on reading what those races are about or the highlights on INC.

As somebody said when WATCHING the races became WORK and no longer fun, color me gone.

ESPN is a major buzzkill with DRAFTLOCK though I loathe and detested Fox's animated car thingie to tell us what happened on the track as well.
As long as GIMMICKS and GIZMO's are thrown at me, I will be watching less. For CUP races I will probably tape when I get bored and listen on radio..

The races are too damn long. PERIOD. Much like my football friends say they have RUINED football with too many time outs and commercials to make a 60 minute game 3.5 to 4 hrs. After RACE DAY on SPEED, do I REALLY want to spend 4-5 hrs watching a race on a nice day?

They drop caution flags WAY TOO QUICKLY which DRAGS out the racing...so, I can see where long time fans have many gripes. I have only been around a few years but this past season was THE WORST and most painful to sit thru. Thankfully an FM station had the CUP race on radio and did not deepsix the race for HIGH SCHOOL GAMES like AM stations in years past.

NASCAR and idiot son Brian France better wake up and STOP BLAMING the ratings on everything but the real reason; LOUSY COVERAGE and commercial glut.

Sponsors/NASCAR don't want side by side commercials? Well, better than ratings tanking and no commercials, isn't it?

The GREED has taken over NASCAR and that's the bottom line.

Real fans and Veteran fans are being snubbed again and again.
It's just sad.

Sophia Z

MariettaDawg said...

The thing I can not get my hands around is how the idiot box is somehow going to destroy one's love of this sport. Have we become so pathetic as the human race that we form our opinions from one source? In this case the television? This is NASCAR people. This is the sport we love. Our drivers are still out there and the stories, drama, intrigue are all still there. Quit blaming nameless TV execs for your own inability to think for yourself anymore. The information is out there. Go get it and keep following the sport we all love.

Anonymous said...

MariettaDawg said...
The thing I can not get my hands around is how the idiot box is somehow going to destroy one's love of this sport. Have we become so pathetic as the human race that we form our opinions from one source? In this case the television? This is NASCAR people. This is the sport we love. Our drivers are still out there and the stories, drama, intrigue are all still there. Quit blaming nameless TV execs for your own inability to think for yourself anymore. The information is out there. Go get it and keep following the sport we all love.

December 31, 2007 5:45 PM

AMEN...Scary what walks the Earth today...

Jo from Tampa said...

I'm going to stick to the original question asked (ok I'm gonna try)

Fox has good coverage so those I will mostly watch
I will tape the races (tivo dvr or whatever it is we have) and listen on radio feed on net or with Fox track or maybe track pass - or we may break down and get sirius. TV will not be my mainstay as it was in the past. For TNT it will surely be muted, and espn too most likely.

As each new network ( I gather its another rotating network season ) comes on they will also get 1 race to prove its worth it to watch - I do not hold out much hope here.

If I have time to sit and watch a race - great- if not I can "watch" what is called race coverage in an hour span

Why should I care if Nascar doesn't ?

Daly Planet Editor said...

mariettadawg,

I think I must be missing your point. Other than going to the races to see the action, how can anyone "see" the stories, the drama and the intrigue that you are talking about if the TV networks are in break, in a feature, or showing us a talking head? That is how all this started, not with the fans but with the "new" presentation of the same sport by the NASCAR TV partners.

Are you saying that you are going to use DirecTV or NASCAR.com's InternetTV service next year? The question was, what are you going to do in 2008? Other than call us names, of course.

Dick B said...

Just want to see a race! Not the fastest tire changer, Jackman,etc.
Don't want to see someone not try to make a pass during a race because of the "Big Picture". Points racing absolutely kills real racing. Really love the idea of Kurt Bush "Giving " his points away so another celebrity can jump ahead of all the B teams and drivers. Too much Bull. Bought grandson a gokart, will now see a genuine race.Brian France will just have to get by on the zillions he has already screwed everyone out of. I'm gone!
Dick

Phathead said...

I will watch the 500 merely out of tradition. From there on I don't know what I will do. I have no interest in watching California (a sorry replacement for Rockingham) and really have no interest in watching many of the races after that.

I once went 7 years without missing a single race. 7 years. By the end of the season I would make other plans on Sundays even though I knew the race would be on.

I think 2008 will finally be the year that I essentially stop watching. I became content last year with getting my information and results online. I'm tired of being disrespected by the sport when I was one of the ones who stood by it for so long. Sad to think its come to that.

Aincient Bulldog said...

It's about six of one, and half a dozen of the other. The races that NASCAR are presenting are on the border of being lousy, so I guess the TV coverage of those races should be lousy as well. NASCAR has degenerated to the same level as professional wrestling. The only difference is, professional wrestling is sometimes entertaining. I think I'll just spend my time and money at our local race tracks. You don't have to mortgage the house to go to the local tracks, and you get to see some real automobile racing. And best of all, there are no damned commercials.

Charlie said...

I plan on watching the first group of races that Fox will be doing. From there it will be a watch and see thing. I hope coverage will be fine and I end up watching all the races.

thomas said...

MariettaDawg said...
The thing I can not get my hands around is how the idiot box is somehow going to destroy one's love of this sport. Have we become so pathetic as the human race that we form our opinions from one source? In this case the television? This is NASCAR people. This is the sport we love. Our drivers are still out there and the stories, drama, intrigue are all still there. Quit blaming nameless TV execs for your own inability to think for yourself anymore. The information is out there. Go get it and keep following the sport we all love.


Because the main point is the telecasts are not giving long time fans the product that made them love NASCAR. I don’t know very many people that went to a Cup race in person without watching several races on television first. JD asked for opinions on television coverage. Last time I checked the television is the only place to get your own opinion of the television coverage. I disagree with the “think for yourself’ comment you made. I think people posting are thinking for themselves. It would be easier to just set back and accept an inferior product. That would be not thinking for yourself. I agree that the stories are out there. But the television people need let the stories happen naturally. Not make a top 10 list of story lines in advance they are going to follow for a given race.

I would guess that most people the find JD are more then casual fans. So the unhappiness on this blog should really alarm NASCAR. It is from fans the care enough to post. Fans the desperately want the NASCAR that pulled us in as fans. I bet most people change the channel and you never hear from them again. NASCAR has definitely been in a period of transaction the last couple of years. Unfortunately the trend seems to be a downward trend and I personally don’t see anything on the horizon that is going to change that anytime soon. Get all the big name from other series you want, Montoya, Villenueve, Hornish, Franchitti etc. It will likely not help if he overall product is not what the public wants.

SophiaZ123 said...

JD

Thanks for this site and your input into the comments.

Thomas, AMEN to all you said!!

Anonymous said...

hvwhat you have here is a compound full of people who not only are not race fans but know nothing about the sport. when i say this i mean the people who are making the decisions. about what to cover,how many graphics are on the screen, how many things to sell, how many favors to honor,how many to call in. they have forgotten that there is a sporting event taking place. fox started this trend with football. filling the screen with information. showing new and exciting camera shots. with accompanying replays. so many that you miss the start of the next play or restart of the race or a wreck. it's like watching someone play a video game instead of watching cars race each other. espn was supposed to remind us of why we became fans in the first place. to show us the RACE. cars racing each other. vying for position. from the front of the line to the back. but the networks know that this is not important anymore. to show anyone in the back of the pack..they no longer have an opportunity to come from behind because nascar changes the rules so much. did no one else notice all the changes in nascar itself when the networks took over? it had to be more exciting and diverse and the favored drivers had to win. it was good for ratings. and then the teams that had more money and more drivers had to win cause that was good for ratings. and ratings mean money. and the drivers could no longer express themselves and say what they felt because it might offend someone and the networks would lose viewers and sponsors and money. growth causes change. growth for nascar meant being on networks where everyone could watch them. everyone had a chance to be a fan but somewhere along the way nascar and the networks forgot what made us fans in the first place. 43 guys going out there and racing each other. we like the bumps and bangs,we like the tempers flaring. we want them to be themselves. we don't want the field evened out for everyone. why wasn't it ok the way it was? we need mike wells back directing the race with neil producing it. unfortunately we can't have ronny mixing. we need the announcers to speak up in production meetings about what we fans want to see. if only benny could. but there are still enough people around who know what racing is. what it should look like. what it should sound like. what it, RACING ,is about. i have faith that things will get better,at least as far as coverage is concerned. but i think nascar itself has lost it's very soul.

Anonymous said...

I've watched what is now called Cup since the early 60's. I used to sit at the top of the grandstands at the end of the esses at Riverside in the 70's watching Richard Petty work his magic.

The television coverage today, IMO, sucks. Nothing but vapid hype and blatant hucksterism. The whole "racertainment" concept is going to be the death of this series. The COT will be remembered as the point that NASCAR "jumped the shark".

I know it sounds terrible, but when that plane went down in Sanford this fall, my first thought when the news broke that it was a NASCAR plane was, "Man, I hope Brian France was on it." NASCAR isn't the NFL and it never will be, no matter how infatuated with the NFL and himself Brian may be.

I really don't care about the Cup series anymore. I'll watch couple, but I'll wager that I'll find other things to do.

And to the the smartass who probably hasn't been alive as long as I've watched NASCAR who commented that "wannabe fans go mow the lawn", bite me. You don't have a clue about just how good it could be.

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

Anon 9:29PM,

If you get a chance, drop me a line about that situation sometime. Right now, I am focusing on the 2008 season and asking fans about their race viewing habits.

If you think I could help with the other situation, just drop me a line anytime. I did my time on Stuart Andrew Blvd.

w17scott said...

Mr. Editor -
I'll be back in 2008, but I'll give NASCAR's broadcast partners only 5 'past fan provisionals' to get it right ...when they are used up, I'm outta here ...if broadcast quality and racing exitement are back, I'll stay ...F1, IRL, WOO and NHRA reflect professionals who work hard to serve the viewing public - I know full well where to find those broadcasts.
And John, thanks for your commitment to quality programming and offering this opportunity to serious viewers seeking to enjoy a great sport ...may you have a blessed New Year and thanks for the gift of The Daly Planet under my tree for the past year.
Walter

AFMSgt said...

JD, et al,

I will be back - I can't help it. Stock car racing is in my soul and it is there to stay. It's like a smooth addiction - always waiting for my next fix. Had I never gone to my first race - that Southern 500 weekend in '97 - I would probably have left racing due to the crappy coverage. But at the end of the day, I can always remember how the hair on the back of my neck stood up when I first heard 43 cars nailing the gas to take the green flag at Darlington. Good times, man...

I will come back, but I certainly hope that the coverage changes dramatically. I would love to get back to the level of coverage that ESPN's Bob Jenkins, Ned Jarret, and BP (we miss ya!) brought us in the 90s. SpeedTv is going to HD this year - that will help make things somewhat better!

NASCAR has been riding a tremendous wave that probably peaked in 2004 and has continuously lost strength every year since. The big networks and NASCAR need to start paying attention: Falling ratings means decreasing ad revenues - and eventually decreasing value of the NASCAR brand. The core fan is losing interest and the new fans don't have enough connection to stay. Time for change...

At the end of the day, I'll be one of those watching in 2008, hoping that The Daly Planet is watching with us. I have been an avid reader of your blog since its start and truly hope that other NASCAR and network decision makers read it as well and start learning the lessons presented instead of just observing them.

Come on, JD... it'll be fun!

Hope to see you around the turn... Happy New Year!

AFMSgt

thomas said...
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Rich said...

unfortunately no matter how bad the tv coverage is..I will always be a racing fan..and that's why I will continue to watch in 2008. The choice whether or not to return to watching NASCAR racing is an easy one..for me at least.

Here's to continue success for the Daly Planet in 2008 and beyond!

Anonymous said...

Quit blaming nameless TV execs for your own inability to think for yourself anymore. The information is out there. Go get it and keep following the sport we all love.

That's the point.

With the excellent radio coverage and internet telemetry these days, it is easy to follow a race WITHOUT watching it on ESPN, if they make it unwatchable.

Bill H said...

Over the last 10 years or so, once NASCAR season ended I would then turn to football. One thing I do not understand, in those 10+ years, no matter what channel I watch the football game on, it is always the same. Yes some channels may have the over head crane, some may have a few extra graphics, but the "story" in the game is always told the same.

With NASCAR, depending on who is broadcasting the race, the "story" is told different. Does the NFL tell these broadcasters how to broadcast the game, or have the broadcasters figured out "this is the best way to do it"?

In either case, I wish that FOX/TNT/ESPN would "figure it out" and show a consistant race through out the year. The current season is like a 3 part movie, with each part being directed by a different director. Part one is shown from the antagonists point of view, part 2, just to be different, is in B&W with subtitles, and part 3 focus's on special effects. Very hard to follow the story.

Many people claim there is a "conspiracy" in NASCAR, where they choose who is gonna win or loose by throwing the yellow when they want. Personally I wish NASCAR did involve itself more in the race, not in choosing the winners, but in telling the networks, "This is how we want the race shown, this is the story we want you to follow..." etc.

BillWebz

Anonymous said...

We will watch in 2008 because we are NASCAR fans no matter what!!
It's that simple. Do we wish for changes? Of course. Will we see any? Hopefully.

We enjoy Fox's crew as they seem to totally enjoy their jobs and it comes through in their broadcast. ESPN just didn't get it but we'll hope that changes were made during the off season.

John, you have done an excellant job this past year providing all of us very informative thoughts and observations. We hope you will continue with your blog. It has been a very interesting and flustrating year and hopefully all your hard work has been read and suggestions taken by the higher ups!

We want to see good racing and hope that the TV coverage people learned that the fans want it all. We most want to see all the racing, see what's going on throughout the whole field and we'd loved to see them all cross the finish line. Wouldn't that be a wonderful concept????

Changes we'd love to see:
*not as many cautions..let them race
*shorter races (they are way tooooo long)
*let the drivers show their emotions.....I hate that NASCAR has taken that away from them all
*show us that after a wreck the driver is alright
*let it NOT all be about Jeff G, Jimmie J and Jr. There are 43 cars out there, we want to know about them all. Every team and driver has fans and they deserve to see them racing.

Happy and a safe 2008 to all, may we have a wonderful NASCAR year.....can't wait.

Keep up the great work John, we'd miss you if you go away so please take that into consideration when you're making your decision.

MW Fan or Linda from FL

4evrfan said...

It's good to see I'm not alone with the bad coverage. I , too, love NASCAR but am getting frustrated with the coverage. It IS terrible. I miss the good ol days when a race was a race. Not who pays the most for the coverage time. I miss Benny Parsons and Allen Beswick coverage. That was informative. I do not care for Dave Despaine and his coverage. It isn't the same.
I also agree that NASCAR should let the drivers be drivers. If they get mad so be it. Stop treating them like children. Fined if they say a curse word, fines if they look like they may hit someone or bump them. They are people too and have emotions. If that's all NASCAR can do then they need to take a look at themselves also. There's worse things on tv than that.
I do hope NASCAR realizes the empty seats at the races aren't the only things we notice and they are emtpy for a reason. I saw a LOT of empty sections at the races I go to as well as the races on tv. Wake up NASCAR! You have a problem here.

Ken said...

JD

We need you back next year! As bad as the TV coverage was last year, can you imagine how much worse it would have been without you and the attention you brought to the problems? Your blog is our voice to the networks. I feel you were responsible for many of the changes (most for the better) the networks made as the year progressed.

TexasRaceLady said...

First, I'll be watching the '08 season. Why? --- because as miserable as the coverage can be, it is still the sport I love. I may not get to see everything I could wish for, but I still get to see cars going fast.

Second, JD, thank you for your insight into the back areas of TV production. Your articles have really opened my eyes.

My wish for the New Year --- may all our drivers stay safe.

dawn4tony said...

The 2007 was a huge disappointment for myself and many of my friends.

Overall, the coverage was horrible. The only team(s) covered with any regularity were the HMS teams. It didn't matter if your driver was in the top ten or not - Jimmie/Chad and Jeff/Steve were the only driver and crew chief combinations that seemed to warrant any coverage.

On top of it all, the race seemed to be "pieced in" between nonstop commercials. It's like watching 5 hours of infomercials......

Will I return to the sport? Yes, in a more limited fashion as compared to previous years. I will depend more on written accounts and radio coverage of the races. There's no sense in depending on adequate TV coverage - it just isn't there!

Ginridge said...

I have been a fan for 40 years. When it finally got so the races were on every week I was thrilled. I used to plan around the race. Within the last 4 or 5 years this is no longer happening. I still catch races when I can, but lets face it, the TV coverage last year was terrible and seems to be on a downward spiral over the last few years. I know I will watch at least part of most of the races this year, hut I won't be planning around them. I am positive the best "TV" coverage I will see this year will be on the Jumbo screens @ the 600, Richmond and Atlanta while I'm at thos races.

Patrick said...

JD,
I will be watching. and logging in here. and logging into Live Leaderboard/Scanner. and would be logging into Jayski's semi-live race page (if only he were continuing it). I'm a Nascar junkie that 'goes out and gets all the info i can find'.
I can't DVR the races. Not because I don't have a DVR (I actually have a dual DVR), but because when something is broadcast live and there are multiple outlets (TV, radio, internet), I want all the information to stream to me at once. You just can't simulate any other way other than tuning in.
I, too, was especially disappointed in ESPN's coverage. I was anticipating something dynamic and fresh from the World Wide Leader in Sports and got a Trojan Horse. Maybe, it'll evolve. Maybe, it'll be something worth praise someday. Time will tell. I'm aggravated, yet patient enough to give it a chance. I used to loathe hearing DW, but as I payed attention to the things he said, I realized his intuition is usually spot-on. I can hear the passion of the fox guys. They (whole production) made mistakes. They (Fox, TNT, ESPN) all did. I am enough of a fan of the sport to continue to tune in live.
JD, please continue this blog. It made this past season's frustrations somehow more palatable. Your insight and commentary are well-thoughtout, deliberate and well-spoken.

elena said...

Happy New Year!
JD, thanks for your work and effort on this blog.

Will I watch NASCAR? You bet I will. I love NASCAR and racing. Nothing will stop me from following the sport in whatever manner it is delivered to me.

Some of the coverage was good, fair, bad and horrible. But I remember when there was nothing. No tv coverage, no radio coverage where I lived, no Internet, no newspaper coverage,etc. So you all can imagine how grateful and happy I am to get the crumbs I get now.

I love racing and like in football, my favorite is not always caught on camera. Some of my favorite players have been out for most of the year, due to poor play or injuries. Will I stop watching football? No way Jose! It's the love of the game/race.

About the commercials-- I hate them, but I remember when we first got HBO and there were no commercials. When do you get food, go potty, do quick chores, etc? I've learned to live with commercials. We've always had sports on for about 10 hours a day on the weekends. I get a lot done while still enjoying my games and races. Like today, we get like 11 hours of football. Fun!

I hope the networks improve, but bottom line--I will follow NASCAR even if they don't improve much.

elena said...

I too love the Fox crew. I especially love DW. The tv coverage needs to improve, but I love them just the same. (Funny, because I hated DW as a driver!)

Newracefan said...

Happy New Year to all and yes JD I will watch the races and everything else I can find in 2008. My hope is that the coverage is better so I can watch the TV and listen to my driver’s incar and know everything that is going on both on and off the track (or at least close to everything). I follow many drivers both in the top 10 and outside the top 35. If the coverage doesn't improve I will take up the JOB of watching a race and add internet sites and getting my stereo fixed to find the MRN/PRN coverage so I don't have to give up the incar. I will resort to DVR/VCR if I cannot watch the race live but that is not my preferred method since I lose the incar and other options. I agree with the poster who said watching on TV is what made me want to attend (I went to Dover last year and am trying to go again this year) and poor TV coverage along with increasing costs are making attendance at races less of incentive for the average fan. I read the posters comments about the music and I think many of our complaints were really not about the actual music, I have a mute button if I don't like it I mute it, but that we knew it was taking the place of seeing actual racing or needed info like field resets or follow up on a crash etc. This applies to all those extras like draft track and cut away cars etc. etc. JD I hope that you continue this blog into the 2008 season if only to give us a place to voice our opinions of the coverage and what changes are still needed, we know people that can change things do read this blog and maybe we can make a difference. PS here’s my vote for info on who does what and where at the races (I don’t mind if you leave out actual names) I still don’t quite understand what the producers, directors, etc are actually responsible for during a race. I guess I am too visual and need a chart or something. Thanks for giving me a place to voice my opinion and read the opinion of other fans without all the crazies you can get on some other sites.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Personally I wish NASCAR did involve itself more in the race, not in choosing the winners, but in telling the networks, "This is how we want the race shown, this is the story we want you to follow..." etc.

I think that would be a horrible situation.

On the other hand, ESPN ought to be embarrassed that they're so bad, people are actually saying this.

Anonymous said...

You just can't simulate any other way other than tuning in.
DirecTV's Hotpass +

MRN/PRN +

NASCAR.com's Raceview =

No need to watch ESPN anymore.

Patrick said...

Anonymous @1:16 PM said...

DirecTV's Hotpass +

MRN/PRN +

NASCAR.com's Raceview =

No need to watch ESPN anymore.

Hotpass costs $$$ and only available on DirecTV, not Dish or most/all cable providers.
MRN/PRN not available where I am
Raceview costs $$$

Maybe, this works for you, but not everyone has disposible income for the extras.
PitCommand used to be free for Time Warner RoadRunner subscribers, but not last year. Only the scaled-down Scanner was, along with LiveLeaderboard. And I couldn't scan a radio and listen to MRN/PRN at the same time.
For me, I would still want to see live action, not a video game simulation of the action.

On another note I failed to mention earlier. I'm one of those that if you advertise your broadcast as live, then show it live. I don't like the Tivo version of qualifying. I want the action on the tube to match the statistics available online. They don't always provide every single run with this method anyway. If time gets short, they'll skip over the also-rans during the commercials. So, either show them all or skip the also-rans or run shorter commercial breaks to at least give the missed run's time. I'm not sure I'm articulating this well enough, but some may get my point.

Brian said...

Thanks John for everything you do, that was a heck of an article.

My favorite driver is Michael Waltrip, and as long as he still races I will always watch. You know being a Dale Jarrett fan, the type of year they have all had.

With the year he had, I know many would back away, but I always stayed and watched every race. Without him racing, it was painful to watch. The FOX races were fine to watch, they do a job, and of course I will NEVER miss a truck race on SPEED.

Once we got into the TNT and ESPN part of the year though, when my favorite driver wasn't in the race, I had nothing to look forward to, as TNT and ESPN were pure crap. At least when FOX was on, the races were still fun to watch, so it was fine. When Mikey wasn't in the races, I just turned into a supporter of Reutimann and DJ if they were in it.

Phoenix was the worst race in Nov., when they were 0 for 3 for making that race, I questioned myself many times in that race, why am I even watching? The coverage sucks, I have no one to pull for, what am I doing here?

In the case of DJ, Mikey was very similar as well. Even if he made the race, all I did was follow him on TrackPass, because it's like not ESPN would ever show him, even though he ran well in quite a few of the races he was in.

Thanks for everything you do John, hopefully MWR will do better so I can have fun listening to the scanner and scoring on TrackPass. I'll enjoy the FOX races, then after that... It's all up in the air.

Delenn said...

JD.
I live in the UK, and we have only got live Nascar in the last 5 years. We do not have access to MRN/PRN or Hotpass (although I would pay up if I could).

Poor TV coverage will not drive me away from Nascar. Poor racing might do that (I hope they sort the CoT).

However, poor TV coverage already has pushed me into the DVR viewing model. I am lucky in that all Cup races are on NASN2, and will not switch stations, so I can just leave it recording. We get live in car in most of the commercial breaks, so we do at least get more action. However, I record as I virtually never watch much from the pre-race shows (unless Bestwick and DJ are on), and I skipped all music, draft-track, race recaps etc. I envisage this happening again this year.

We do not get any of the Speed stuff either, so Nascar Now is it for TV. One sniff of Erik and that's off too. He is not much better presenting College Football Live.
I hope they listen to us. I am not expecting them to.

Every year on Labor Day Sunday (which we do not have here in the UK), a group of friends and I have a party (a barbeque if it is not raining) and watch an old Southern 500 from Darlington a friend sends over from the US. Watch the old telecasts gentlemen - see how it used to be done. That's what we want.

Finally JD, I would like you to understand how good this blog was for my health! I was getting so frustrated with TNT (first, then ESPN), but this was eased knowing this forum was available for us all, and that you might at least get our comments viewed. It is noticable that the big names who appear on this site (Wendy, Mike etc.) are the ones we love and want more of. The people who need to answer of this stuff are nowhere to be seen. What a shock.

I hope I don't need to be here through 2008. I hope everything is great. So, if JD carries on, I'll see you all at least twice a week then.

Happy New Year to all, apart from TNT and ESPN execs of course - they have to earn theirs.

Richard in N.C. said...

JD- I have been a NASCAR & Cup fan since the 1960's and I will not stop being a fan because TNT and/or ESPN does a poor coverage job. After the FOX part of the season, how much I utilize regular cable to satisfy my interest depends on the quality of what the provide.
I stopped watching the NBC pre-race show when I Discovered Bill Weber was the host and stopped watching races on NBC (at least with sound) a couple of weeks after he took Allen B.'s place. In 2007 I saw about 10 minutes of TNT's coverage. If Bull Weber is the lead TNT announcer again in 2008, I'll just rely on Barney Hall for those few races. As poor as EXPN was in 2007, it was similar to what I have been noticing in other EXPN programming & still better than TNT - and often even tolerable, not counting the N-NOW disaster.

Anonymous said...

John-
I'll continue to watch and listen to the Fox races. (yes, including DW's BBB) The TNT and ESPN races are hard to listen to. This die-hard fan of 30 years found it was better to "keep an eye" on the races than it was to actually sit and listen to them. I would also like to see more NASCAR programming on during the week. If Totally NASCAR or RPM Tonight come back I could see myself getting more excited about racing again. JD- Do you have any info on the shows? Please e-mail me up here at the old gwns in Stamford
On top of that Mr. France has "dumbed down" the sport. Gone are the days of needing a great deal of "seat time" in order to be a good driver. The COT (Today or tomorrow)
has further dumbed down the sport. Once more, the progressive banking at some of the tracks has made the cars drive like something you or I could drive like a pro.
This is partly why I would rather watch a Truck race on SPEED (the tv channel) than a Cup race on TNT or ESPN. There are more and more veteran (Southern as in South East USA)drivers in the trucks now and the racing is much better. Yes, I like the old scholl racing much better and maybe some day we can get the STOCK back in naScar.

Anonymous said...

All sports have their TV issues. Even NFL fans are fed up with some of their coverage. The bottom line is we all think if we ran TV we could do better. Everything is not always going to be how WE like it. It is just something we have to live with and move on.

Bottom line is REAL NASCAR fans will continue to watch and demand for change.

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

As we continue to move this discussion forward, I think it is important to keep it on course.

The question is, are you personally going to watch all the Sprint Cup races live in 2008? If not, what are you going to do, and why did you make that decision?

Thanks again for all the tremendous comments, I have been getting email from NASCAR owners, TV personalities, NASCAR journalists, and many other folks who are absolutely floored by the comments of the veteran fans.

By all means, keep them coming. There is only one way to affect change, and that is to express your honest opinion.

JD

LuckyForward said...

After the annoying "Boogity, boogity, boogity", I plan to watch during the Fox portion of the season without MRN or PRN. I did get Sirius radio for Christmas, and will see the offerings there. I DREAD TNT coverage and will definitely listen to someone else for calling the race when ESPN begins their portion of the season. I've had about all the Rusty I can stand . . .

Aven said...

The comment that King Brian has dumbed down NASCAR is valid. However, the TV networks have dumbed down the race coverage even more. It seems that every week, the commentators feel the need to explain racing terms, car parts and other things most of us have known for many years instead of showing us the race. Most of the loyal viewers know more about racing than many of the talking heads. Give the new viewers a link to a website that will give definitions of terms and other information that is common knowledge to the normal viewer. It could be a page on Nascar.com, ESPN.com, etc. After a while, it feels like I am repeating the first grade every week. We don't get an explanation of professional football, basketball or baseball rules every time we watch a game.

Please keep this going so we have a place to vent.

Richard in N.C. said...

JD- I do hope you have a happy & prosperous New Year - and that The Daly Planet will continue. I do not know how to adequately express how much I value reading your wise insight. Thank you!

Newracefan said...

Aven talked about new fans going to the internet to look up terms they didn't understand. That is exactly what I did when I starting watching a few years ago (Nascar.com, see Nascar101) and now I even watch Nascar Performance although I usually get lost at least once during the show. Most people have information at their fingertips and the dumbing down of Nascar has turned off some of my close friends (a few have actually stopped watching and even sold their Daytona 500 season tickets). If things change I'll pass on the news and hopefully they'll return.

mergie21 said...
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Daly Planet Editor said...

Friends,

On the front page of the site on the right hand side are the simple rules we ask that you follow when posting on this TV blog.

We do not discuss teams, drivers, or races. The question on the table is whether or not you are going to watch the Sprint Cup races in 2008?

Anonymous said...

I,too, remember the taped highlights on "Wide World". That was many technological eras ago and fans should now receive the best possible coverage of Cup races.
FOX:
I will watch, and enjoy, all their Cup coverage. I just hope we get to see the entire last lap.
TNT:
I will not allow Bill Weber in my home. I will not watch TNT's endless promos for shows I would never watch. I will use those days to catch up on projects I let slide while watching Fox, and tune in Victory Lane.
ESPN:
Wacthing ESPN will depend on what ESPN does. If Bestwick is the announcer, if they ditch the annoying draft tracker, if, if, if.....I will consider tuning in. If programming remains the same, however, I will remind ESPN Cup advertisers why I won't be spending my disposable income on their goods and services.
SPEED:
I will continue watch their Cup programming except INC if Despain and Waltrip's ego remain on the program.
I may not be the viewer NASCAR wants anymore. I don't care what NASCAR wants. I will continue to be a fan, my way.

Makiki

Anonymous said...

I'll watch, but with only one eye on the TV. I follow the races on my PC more than the TV thanks to PitCommand and Raceview. I can listen to my driver's radio. I can follow his car in the simulated Raceview. I can see exactly where every driver is in the field and where they are on the track. I can even see how many seconds behind the car in front them is and watch it to see I they are gaining or losing ground, assuming they are the lead lap.

Especially since my guy is not in a top ride or the top 12 and gets no TV coverage. The TV is usually on with the volume low just for me to watch the replays to see exactly what caused a caution. Although even that basic type of coverage seemed to suffer this last year.

AndyPandy said...

After all of the yelling and screaming by folks here, including me, I can honestly say that I will watch every lap that I can in 2008, even on the World Wide Leader. For me, the only way to experience a race is on live TV, and bad race coverage beats no race coverage.

I look at this like I look at politics. I disagree with almost everything that my Governor and state legislature does, but I do not plan to move out of Maryland. I will continue to complain, offer suggestions, and hope for change, just as I do with TNT and ESP-U.

SophiaZ123 said...

Well @&$##&*$^@* just wrote a long post and lost it. SIGH.

JD, why are NASCAR folks emailing you and surprised now?

We have all been griping and kvetching the same thing all year...turning off the tv and listening to radio..or many times, once we THINK the station is going to carry the rest of the race, put in a tape and just NOT pay attention to ESP U. They do NOT tell us what happens to drivers that wreck, go behind the wall or end up 33 laps down. And they gotta run to the next football game so NO POST RACE show.

I will not give a nickel to get INTERNET access or Satellite. Why should WATCHING the race be a multi tasking JOB??? I want to lie on the couch or recliner and watch the race OR LISTEN on radio.

It's bad enough to be addicted to this site and have to log online to post during the race about how totally IRRITATED I AM at the coverage. If it was early in the race and I logged on and 50 or more folks had already posted, I knew it was going to be a long race of bad coverage!

This years NASCAR brought out the BEAST in me and I did NOT like it. :(

I have a new digital SLR for Christmas..it autofocuses since my bad vision can not, and I plan to be out on NICE DAYS this summer when it's cool enough.

I am NOT going to waste 4-5 hrs of race viewing for a PLETHORA of commercials, unnecessary cautions, the the STILL NEEDS TWEAKING so it can TURN COT !!, a bunch of animated grpahics and draft tracker rubbish, pre taped VIDEO over green flag racing, some cross promotion interview OVER the race, or YELL at camera men they SWITCHED cameras TOO SOON or never find the spin outs.

I STILL can't believe how when Jimmie johnson's tired blew earlier in the year, the CAMERA was fixed on it and I saw the tire GOING and the CAMERA GUYS CHANGED CAMERAS and bang, jj crashed.

It was basic PAY ATTENTION 101 for producers/directors.

The fact I can remember all this aggravation so late after the season is sad.

Or course folks love the sport..but to be FORCED to sit thru ENDLESS COMMERCIALS and have POP UP COMMERCIALS promoting OTHER THINGS on FOX, TNT, ESPN DURING THE RACE....well it kind of spoils the mood.

I would rather listen on RADIO, do other things and allow the sweet voice of MRN paint the visuals in my head.

JD, with all the deletions you have to do, I can see it's a buzzkill to have to play police at this site.

It's still the best place to post without idiots TAKING OVER so I no longer go other places.

but if you stop here, I am opening up a Message board for NASCAR and races...I don't know what I will call it...I know one can not use ESPNSTINKS as a web link, but I will think of something if necessary. NASCARFANSFULLOFANST maybe? Nah, too long. NASCARSGROUNDHOGDAY? Since like the movie, it's the same old lousy coverage each week with NO GOOD CHANGES!

;-0

Brian France can tap dance all the way to the bank and laugh at all his millions, but I will not continue to watch the sinking ship of a sport that IS sadly, becoming a shadow of it's former self. Tony Stewart was RIGHT. They do treat NASCAR like fake wrestling.

Anonymous said...

ESPN needs an education in Nascar and the fans that watch it on TV and attend races regularly. We want to watch the race without listening to commentators who act like they don't want to be there. I'm sure these are great people and well polished for other events. ESPN clean house and start with some personality!! I for one will be watching the FOX coverage and will tune in through online media outlets for the remaining months.

California Woodsman said...

I started not watching every race last year...And quite frankly, I can't say for sure if I will be back or not. I have been a fan for over 40 years, but the race coverage makes it not fun to watch. I did listen to a few races on Sirius, and enjoyed the coverage there. Bottom line...I can't hardly wait 'till The Daytona 500, but depending on how it goea after that, I may be one that something else to do on the weekends. And one last thing....The music they are trying to jam down our colective throats is TERRIBLE!!

Big Henry said...

Nope, done with Tv. Not even going to bother wasting space in the DVR.
16 F1 races with professional announcers will fill all my needs.

Terra, Illinois said...

As a more recent fan/addict (since2004) I guess I would fall into a category that France is trying to 'win' & 'keep', but I'm pretty sure he would be suprised to know I align with most veterans on many of the coverage issues.

MY 2008 Sprint Cup Plans:
I will watch all of the FOX portion of the season, live. I enjoy the entire broadcast when FOX is covering. I can't detail why, but I just like it better. I will TiVo the NBC/TNT & ABC/ESPN portions of the season. It is hit or miss if I enjoy their 'color' spots, but always a miss on the race coverage. Between Bill Weber and Rusty Wallace, I would have to say it's a close call who I'd choose to ever hear another syllable of coverage from. Both seem extremely 'toolish' and not genuine at all. Too forced.

My NASCAR family and I began discussions throughout much of the season about how exciting the PRN coverage is, and how we seem to enjoy the race more if we're 'forced' to listen to it while traveling. Toward the end of the season we would be calling eachother during the race advising one another to "Run to the car. You have to hear this!" No kidding, we would be on our cell phones, sitting in the garage, discussing the race.....on many occasions.

As far as other NASCAR programming...All FOX and Speed programs I love. RaceDay, VictoryLane, and Trackside are all never miss shows for me. I TiVo INC, but don't always get to it. I deleted all NBC/TNT Countdown programing and the ESPN Pre-Race shows after a few tries each....I will try each program one time in 2008, but if it looks and feels similar to 07....they won't make the live viewing cut, not even the TiVo cut. I tried the bizarre Nascar Now several times and only liked it when Burr was on, and it was not nearly enough for me to even waste TiVo space for it.

Anonymous said...

Nope!! Done!! Gone to Sirius!! BYE BYE BYE!! Thanks JD..I'll always read you

DB1 said...

Because of the lousy coverage (first on TNT and later ESPN/ABC) I started taping the races & watching the tapes later so I could FF thru the garbage (and I DON'T mean just commercials). In all actuality, that is probably what will happen again this year.

But, JD..... don't go away!

Dave B
St Louis

bob up said...

I guess I'm in the minority. I've never liked FOX's overly-boisterous NASCAR coverage, and I'm a fan of the COT. For the record, I've been a fan since the days of Roberts and Lorenzen...making me old enough to dislike the pop music JD is complaining about. But that isn't what spoils it for me...that is down to the "talent", both behind the mikes and in the control booth.

If someone would put together a team that can present a race in a calmer and informative format, I would be a big fan of it. The original crew of NBC's recent broadcast run (Bestwick, Dallenbach and Benny) is a good example. Sadly, Benny is gone, but currently available is smooth-talking Dale Jarrett, who could fill Benny's role when he retires from driving in a couple of months.

Keep up the good work, JD

Anonymous said...

I have been watching Nascar on TV for over twenty years and I am not excited at all to see the 2008 races, There is to much pre-race garbage, all the networks seem to do is tell everyone how great they are and the networks fail to show the entire field. More importantly I also own a small business and have had commercials on local TV for the past 8 years, this year none of my advertising budget will go to Nascar races on TV. I will continue to advertise during radio broadcasts but television has lost my business. To expensive for what they claim Nascar is and NASCAR needs to pick one TV network and stick with them, it is hard enough to figure out what station the races will be aired yet alone listen to these terrible race reporters,(Rusty, Bill Weber,) Gone are the days when I respected the reporters for their honest opinion. Now they are told what they can say and how they should say it. Nascar needs guys like Bill Elliott who made his mark by doing it on his own without a mega team. I also feel anyone could get in a Hendrick car and win, the true talent is not there any longer, Both with drivers and Race reporters. IRL here I come!

racemama1588 said...

Fox has the better coverage which surprises me, since ESPN is the leader in the sports televsion industry. It's only been a few years since they really paid close attention to the happenings in NASCAR, but judging from this past season, it was as if they never covered the sport at all. Their first order of business is to make some personnel shake-ups. Suzy Kolber ( whom I respect) has to go, Brad Daughtery and Brent Musberger are out as well. Allen Bestwick, Jamie Little, and even Mike Massaro should stay put. But put Bestwick in a larger role. He is one of the best.

I will continue to watch, because I write about the sport. But I will watch in other means if possible. The Speed coverage is the best and I will catch what I miss there or go online. I am a bit hesitant to watch when ESPN takes over in mid-season

Speedcouch said...

One of the many anonymous posters said NASCAR television was BEST back when nobody knew much about how to produce a race. It was great because all they knew was "follow the action on the track." That's all we want. That's the entertainment. We don't need entertainment within the entertainment.

Amen! Truer words were never spoken!

I will watch most of the races because I'm a race fan first and foremost. I won't let bad coverage drive me away from a sport that I love. I will not watch the race on Labor Day as I have boycotted it since it left Darlington. But, I'll watch most of the rest of the races (unless we are travelling back from a USAR race, then we'll listen on MRN).

As Sally and so many have pointed out, I am always amazed at the short memories of so many on this site who are actually looking forward to the return of Fox. Ugh...Mike Joy is great, but the rest of the Fox coverage set a bad precedence for the "entertainment" factor, music videos, lack of coverage of the entire field and a former driver who thinks he's more important than the race.

Chris in Alabama said...

I have been a fan for over 20 years and I officially announce that I will be running a partial schedule for the 2008 season. I will watch the Daytona 500 and a then a select few races prior to ESPN taking the reins again. This decision to run a partial scheduler was made a lot easier than it should have been. I would like to thank Brian France for his “vision”. Everything from forgetting the roots of NASCAR, to the Chase, to completely taking anything remotely resembling a personality away from the driver and teams. Your desire to be like the NFL has been a total and complete failure and I want to thank you for that. I need to take a moment and give ESPN my thanks as well for making this decision easy. Thanks for all the “flash” and “bling” that long time fans were missing. It made us clamor for more. Thanks for the missed restarts, the many commercial breaks, the personalities that know absolutely zero about NASCAR and most importantly Rusty Wallace. Without Rusty I would never have known what “draft lock” is. There are many more to thank but these are just some of the reasons for my decision.

chase said...

In all the years I've watched NASCAR on the various networks which covered it, as well as many years ago when one would get bits and pieces of a race here and there, I was absolutely appalled at the coverage in 2007 by ESPN. It was as if ESPN had turned over their contract with NASCAR to kids in high school (although I'm sure they could in reality do a much better job) and analysis to Rusty Whiner (a HUGE MISTAKE). Also, did Massaro really have to ask that now infamous anal question to Jr? Was someone at ESPN holding a gun to his head? Do these reporters think independently at all???? I was horrified that such a stupid question would be put to Dale Jr. It was bad from the start: the strange music which did nothing to add to the package, the graphics which became tired real fast, the lack of follow through coverage, the lack of re-starting the field, I could go on and on ad nauseum. My bottom line is that I will 'watch' and listen to MRN or do Sirius once ESPN takes over. I think it is up to NASCAR to make sure that ESPN is 'on their game' and breathe down their necks until its fixed correctly. The fans make or break NASCAR and unless NASCAR steps up to the plate and gives us what we deserve to have NASCAR will continue its downward slide. After all, we all understand that 'greed is good' BUT it must stop somewhere and that 'somewhere' is at NASCAR's feet. John, you are the best, and without you and your columns to save our sanity, God only knows where we would be. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

I cannot begin to count the number of times that I used my MUTE button on the remote in 2007. Just couldn't stomach listening to some of the so-called announcers, such as Brad, Brent, Suzy, and a Dr. Jerry Punch just to name a few.

It's not exciting or fun to sit through over half of the race, and to never have one of your favorite drivers shown or talked about. And, to only know where they are, by the ticker running on the top of the TV screen (or by checking on nascar.com). Good announcing should cover all 43 drivers in the race (and that includes the finish too)!

Many times this last year, what is shown on TV, just doesn't appear to be a "live shot" at racing. It's taped, scripted, and played back, and is "aired" as if it were live.

The overwhelming number of commercials, promos, and ads is quite distracting. A huge turnoff! I remember with fondness, the Wide Open Coverage that TNT aired. Without the distractions, the race became exciting, and I even found myself watching the commercials shown in the split screen. Of course, I could easily "see" the racing, on the split screen, so felt so much better about the advertising. Those advertisers allowed me to "view" the entire race, and I felt so much better about them for it.

Start times for Sunday races need to be somewhat consistant, and start no later than 2 ET. Sunday afternoons need to be dedicated to racing. Too many times, I fail to watch the ending of the races, simply because they end too late on a Sunday.

David said...

John,

First let me thank you for your great coverage. I think it has been a welcome insight to the Television Sports Broadcasting not just Race Broadcasting. Fans of other sports could learn a lot about TV from reading this about racing coverage.

Will I be watching NASCAR this season on TV?? I will watch the start of the season with enthusiasm . As the season wears on and the chase approaches and we go back to Daytona. Not as much.

I am borderline not renewing my Hot Pass Account. 89.95 sometimes is not worth it. This year there are only 4 drivers per race, unlike 5 for last year and an Audio Channel for all drivers you choose if you have one of DirecTv's new Active boxes. I get tired of seing Junior, Jeff, Jimmy and Tony over and over again like last year. It will probably be free for the 500 like last year so it is not a big deal.

I have so many other things to do anymore that the coverage is not compelling enough to make me watch. Then when ESPN takes over they try to shove the story line down throat no matter if it is relavent or not. If ESPN picks it up a lot I will watch more but ESPN honestly has killed it for me.

Thanks again for a great job!!

Bill B said...

I will continue to watch the races out of respect for my driver, once he retires I will re-evaluate because I feel I have had the old "bait ans switch" scam pulled on me.
KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid would be good advice to the networks. All they have to do is show us as much green flag racing as possible and we're happy. I don't want to see "draft track", or "move of the race", or polls, or technical explanations until caution laps. If the race is green show it. PERIOD. I can live with the sucky commentators as long as they show us as much of the race as possible.

Now as for NASCAR the larger entity they have made so many radical changes so fast that it no longer resembles the sport I fell in love with 10+ years ago. The Chase is contrived, the COT has turned it into an IROC series, the old provisional system was much fairer than the top 35 rule, and the drivers worry too much about losing points for anything they do.
Brian France has made way too many changes way too fast. These changes should have been phased in over a decade and each evaluated before the next one.
I am hoping to watch the tv and listen to the MRN broadcast for audio. Not because I can't stand the announcers (even though that would be reason enough) but because I am tired of not being told what is happening with the other 38 cars on the track (the one's not in the top 5).
Mr. Daly I appreciate this website, the articles you post and the comments that result and I hope you continue.

Anonymous said...

I haven't decided if I will be watching NASCAR this year. ESPN was just bad last year, and FOX and TNT have gone down the tubes since 2004. I'll probably just listen to the races on Sirius and listen to TrackPass online.

The Professor said...

I'll still be watching, John--on HotPass with the MRN or PRN feed coming over the radio and the telemetry up on my computer. Forget the TV networks--they're just not worth it. It's not because I love watching TV--it's because I love racing and I can't afford to go to more than one or two races in a year.

And what else is there to watch? Steroid ball? Poker? Open-wheel racing? Gag!

Anonymous said...

Dr Jerry punch may be a good Dr, but he is a lousy NASCAR commentator.

In a country that likes to root for the underdog, NASCAR is one of the few prof sports that does not give it's underdogs a fair chance. The whole top 35 thing is silly. Give everyone a equal chance to qualify, then run the top 43 qualifyers that week.

GinaV24 said...

John, thanks very much for providing this forum for our comments and I really do hope that you come back in 2008 because I'll miss what I feel is the only true place where fans can express their concerns about NASCAR and the TV coverage. The question was "are you going to watch all the races in 2008?" My answer is a qualified yes because I will have the TV on for at least the Fox races but I always augment that with NASCAR trackpass and my Sirius radio. Once the coverage switches from Fox and on to TNT/ESPN, well, that may be another story. Both TNT and ESPN have to prove to me that it will be worth my spending my summer sunday's inside WATCHING the race, rather than using another means to follow the race. I know one of the posters earlier said you weren't a real fan unless you watched all the races, but unless the coverage meets a minimum level of expectation, then why should I waste precious time out of my life in front of the TV set. When the 2001 season began, I set my schedule around the TV race schedule and I did that all the way through 2007 until TNT took over and I went -- what the heck is THAT supposed to be? It was summer time and there were other things to do on a sunny summer sunday and I did them because I could follow the race much better on the radio without being mad at what I was seeing and hearing on TV. I had better expectations for ESPN (although after seeing NASCAR Now, I was a little worried) and unfortunately, those fears were realized. I gave ESPN a chance even though I was unhappy with the Suzy Kolber, Brad Daugherty, Rusty Wallace thing. After the Brickyard fiasco and seeing only 1 driver cross the finish line and having the check NASCAR.com to see where my driver finished, with too much hype and not enough good solid post-race coverage from ESPN, well, I started watching the start of the race (when I could figure out when exactly that was supposed to be), letting the DVR run for the majority of the race and come back for the last 20 laps. Even then, with all of the commerical interruptions, it was still annoying to watch what was supposed to be a race on TV. I love NASCAR racing, but the passion is waning because the racing has become mundane on top of bad coverage. I will be back for 2008 but I definitely be using the DVR as well as alternate means to follow the race.

John, thanks very much for giving us this place to express our views. I'm glad to hear that the owners are concerned, too. I wrote a long letter at the end of the 2007 season with concerns I had about the state of NASCAR racing and sent it to all of the major owners in NASCAR. Brian France is lost in his own fantasy land and is certainly not even a pale shadow of this father and grandfather. As someone else mentioned, it is harder to get people back when they have turned off than it is to keep them interested in the first place.

Shawn in Indy said...

To Mariettadawg and any others who think we are mindless for voicing our opinions or are not true fans for not wanting to accept mediocrity when viewing our favorite sport.
THINK AGAIN!!!!!!!
Those who accept inferior product and pat themselves on the backs for doing so are the mindless ones in my opinion.
What people fail to realize is that we the fans truly have the power, we just don't use it correctly. Without us they are nothing, they cease to exist.
If everyone would just tune out for a race or two, don't you think they might just get the point???
You bet your sweet patootie they would. If everyone picked a race and did not show up and they ran it in front of empty grandstands, do you think they might figure it out????? They don't pay you to view their events, we pay them. Even if you never go to a race in person you pay. Fx, TNT and ESPN are not free so you are paying for the privilege to watch their inferior product.
Still think I'm mindles???? Probably but that's okay with me.
The owners of any sports we love only have power over us because we give it to them. Someday we'll get smart and get things the way we want it, not the way they force feed it to us.

Aven said...

I wonder how much TV coverage will impact sponsorship of the race cars. Sponsors spend their money for exposure to sell their product. They count the time on camera and calculate how much value they received for the money spent. If their car is not shown on TV and is not mentioned by the commentators in the booth, they are getting a poor return on their sponsorship dollars. I can easily see the accountants doing a cost/benefit analysis of the money spent and determining the sponsorship money could be spent more effectively elsewhere.

If the car is in the top 35 and not getting exposure, sponsorship for those outside the top 35 will be even more difficult to get and retain. I can see sponsors dropping sponsorship of those outside the top 35 to sponsor a car in the top 35 before they realize that being in the top 35 only gives them exposure to the people attending the race.

Anonymous said...

I went to my first race in 1986, in the next 13 years traveled to Michigan, Pocono, Bristol, Richmond, Talladega, Indianapolis, Charlotte, and Las Vegas (not to mention Busch & Truck races in Louisville & IRP). I have only attended races in this decade when the tickets were free or were attending in a suite.

After Daytona – where we throw a party for 25+ friends – most who are attending for the party, the answer is NO. I may watch part of a race until the weather clears – I would rather play with my children than be bored for 3-4 hours. A few exceptions would be Saturday Night Races (after the children go to bed), Spring Bristol, and Talladega. Bad coverage, bad racing, no personality in drivers, and BAD MANAGEMENT BY NASCAR has totally driven me away from the sport.

You web site / blog is great – it is 100% more entertaining than what takes place on race day.

I also agree with your assessment of the train wreck called IWC….my wife & I used to watch JB, Kenny, and Allen together….she is still a fan of all 3…yet she openly mocks what the show has become

Please keep the site going!!!!!!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Your posts are fantastic! There are a lot of TV and NASCAR execs right now on the phone talking about what you are saying...trust me on that one!

In every post, please make sure to tell us if you are going to return, and if not...why?

It works best when you tell us your opinion, and just let others judge the comments on their own.

What are your NASCAR TV plans for 2008?

Bill H said...

To answer JD's original question, will I be watching the races this year (08). A conditional "Yes". Prior to last year I would watch every Busch (Nationwide) and Cup race to get my NASCAR "fix" and throw in a Truck race if I had the time. With the horiible coverage I stopped watching the Busch series if I had somethign better to do (Like go shopping for dinner at walmart) and actually watched every Truck race. This year, I may be doing my shopping on Sunday during the Cup race if it is anything like last year.

BillWebz

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:33 said it all "Bad coverage, bad racing, no personality in drivers, and BAD MANAGEMENT BY NASCAR has totally driven me away from the sport."

I'll not be watching this year.

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

Wow..........it's been very interesting reading these past 2 days. I for one am thrilled to see so many opinions. Some I agree with, others not so much, but think it's a huge tribute to you John for providing us all a place to vent.

I sincerely hope that you are correct in saying that the 'ones in the know and those that can make changes' are reading this. We'll never know if these 136 comments (so far) have made any impact, but we can hope!!!

John, you should be proud of yourself for providing this format and your insight. Your a great writer and I've enjoyed this past year and all your columns. Thank you.

MW Fan or Linda from FL

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

I'll be back but I've definitely changed my viewing habits for good. I've been a DVR fan for many years now. I was an early adopter of Tivo and Nascar was the primary reason for the purchase. Up until last year, my DVR was used for races simply for convenience and commercial skipping but now it has evolved into content avoidance . The DVR became my savior from the nonsense that all three networks (TNT & ESPN mostly though) threw at us last year. Fox with it's the Hollywood hotel, TNT with everything it did and ESPN with it's million talking heads and lack of concern about the actual race taking place.

I plan to "watch" most of the races this year in the same 45-60 minute timeframe I watched most of the second half last year. TNT ruined my 'mood' and ESPN did nothing to improve it so I'm resigned to the fact that I can't actually watch the races anymore. If I didn't still love the sport, I'd walk away completely.

I only watched 2 TNT races last year. I completely skipped 3 of the other 4 with the 4th being the pocono race I attended so was saved from that as well. I watched Daytona and the infamous road course race. They screwed that up so badly that I'll probably only attempt to watch the Daytona race this year during their 6 week rein of terror.

That's where this site comes in! Since I won't actually give TNT a shot, I will only know if they're worth a damn this year by coming here and reading your articles!

Here's hoping you keep it up JD!

Thanks for all of your efforts!

Anonymous said...

I just wonder who is making the decisions for the NASCAR TV stations. Seems like NASCAR is dictating so much in the past 4-5 years. They might be so controlling and pompous that they are telling the TV stations how to do their jobs if they want the TV rights. How could ESPN "forget" how to cover a race. We didn't.

Cookie-cutter tracks, cookie-cutter drivers, cookie-cutter TV coverage. I've been following NASCAR for 35 years. I was as entertained by the drivers personalities shown on TV as I was by the race itself. That is all gone now and I just don't have the time and money to invest in it anymore. NASCAR was a family. Now, its a big business monopoly. They know nobody will compete with them. Maybe Tony George will do to NASCAR what he did to Indycar. If he does, we won't have to worry about any of this for too much longer.

Maybe all this poor TV coverage is NASCAR's way to get you to pay $150 for a ticket so you can get to see more than the lead car. And everyone else makes you pay up also. Come-on, $250 for an EconoLodge. You got to be kidding.

As for the hip-hop influx: Pop culture fades quickly, I hope for NASCAR's sake that their new found fan base doesn't.

Anonymous said...

I am very close to being finished with the sport.

It is not just the abominable coverage. It is the Chase, the CoT, the inconsistent rule enforcement, etc.

What irks me the most is that NASCAR has been outright insulting their customers...their intelligence, their loyalty, and their money. They don't deserve to have fans stick around the way that they have been treated.

Every time I sit through a horrible broadcast, I get more angry at myself for tolerating that NASCAR thumbs their nose at loyal fans like me. So I will be taping the races this year. If nothing improves, I think that will be it for me.

Thanks for speaking for us JD.

Kurt Smith

josborne2382 said...

Unless something changes with the ESPN coverage of the back half of the year, I think I am going to stick with Fox in the first half and then maybe listen to the races on the radio. I may even order the DirecTv Hot Pass as I have been hearing great things about that. I have been watching NASCAR for a long time and I don't see myself changing that now. But, I believe there are MANY things that need improvement and I am only going to address a few of them here.

Let me start out by saying that ESPN really let me down last year. ESPN taking over coverage was the thing I was most anticipating for 2007! After seeing how they have innovated coverage of all sports since their creation, I was hoping that NASCAR would be thier next shining star. Instead I felt ripped off! It felt like they treated the sport like the cousin nobody wants around but they deal with because they have to! I mean they spend millions on the TV contract to just disappoint and let down. It's not right! From the musical chair announce team to the camera inconsistencies, it was enough to pull your hair out!!! Here are some of the things that made me not want to watch the back half of the season in 2008 on ESPN:

1.) Listen to feedback from fans and adjust your race cast accordingly! All of the the other problems that will follow spurn from this number on problem and many of these problems can be fixed by just doing this small task.

2.) The ANNOUNCE TEAM IS NOT WORKING!!! There is no chemistry and I get the feeling that they don't even want to be there and are just doing it for the paycheck. I understand it is your first year back and are still looking for a broadcast team that will fit together, but at least you can find a play by play guy who can last all 500 laps! By lap 450 Dr. Punch (whom I have the utmost respect for as a pit reporter) has used all his gas up and sounds so tired by the most exciting part of the race that he gets me uninterested in watching it. Oh, and while I am on the topic of announcers, why would any company offer a multi-year contract to someone who has never called a NASCAR race in his life? That is just plain stupid and didn't even enjoy him one bit. I loved him as a racer, but as an announcer, he sucks. Now here we are with a problem...most people don't like him but he has a multi-year contract...what to do? Use him elsewhere and sign DJ after he retires! DJ was PERFECT the few races this year and could be a real asset to any team they put him with. I guess in a perfect world the announce team for ESPN would be: Allen Bestwick as play by play with DJ and an unnamed Crew Chief. Allen is AWESOME, give him a real chance!

2.) Who the heck is Brad Daugherty? Last I remember he was a retired basketball player. Oh yeah, that's right, he owned a Truck Team for a while. Wait! I manage my son's League team, can I be an ESPN baseball analyst? I don't respect the decision to use him at all. What can he contribute that a champion cup driver and crew chief cannot? How to lay in a jumper from 15 feet? What does that have to do with NASCAR?

3.) Commercials, commercials, commercials! I understand the Disney company must make money, at at the expense of us fans? What happened to the indycar innovation of in-race commercials with the race still being broadcast in the corner of the screen? That was a GREAT way for fans to still watch the action and for advertisers to still sell their products. ESPN could also have a part of the show where the announcers say "this portion of the race brought to you by A product" with a picture of the logo somewhere on the screen and the race go commercial free for a certain length of time. This would also give you a chance to do...

4.) Reset the field and run through the field. Please let me know where my favorite driver is and how he is doing if he is not leading or Dale Jr. I understand Jr. has a HUGE following, but this is NOT the NASCAR Earnhardt Cup series or ESPN Jr. COVER THE OTHER DRIVERS!!!!!!!

5.) Please come up with ACTUAL USEABLE innovations! I love the camera that flies across the infield, that was a great innovation. If you are trying to make NASCAR more watchable for the "average" fan then create things the "average" fan would like. One of my favorite innovations of the last couple of years is FOX's Crank it up segment where the announcers shut up and the awesome Dolby surround takes over. For those of us not able to get to a track, it gives us an idea of what it's like to be there. Come up with new camera angles especially for the Daytona type tracks that really gives us a sense of how close and fast these drivers are running. The bumper cam and door cam are even better now in HD so use them! That leads me to my last complaint (there are more, but I don't want to make my comment longer than it already is)...

5.) I would love to see the ENTIRE finish of the race! ESPN shows the 1st place finish and then cuts to a crew chief or wife or mom or some other shot, and we miss the great jockying behind them (although they are getting better at it).

There are many more, but these are the many more points to be made. Unless I hear of some major changes or see some major changes to the coverage, I may boycott ESPN altogether (and I watch it a lot too!). Why should they shove the 2nd most watched sport in the US to the bottom of the heap for a spelling bee? It;s not right! And if the only way to get them to listen and improve is to not watch them, then so be it!

Thanks, JD, for the opportunity to vent! Happy New Year!

Jason--Hammond, IN.

red said...

tough call for me and one that i, too, have been pondering through the off-season. i became addicted to nascar b/c of the competition, pure and simple. when i started watching, it wasn't manipulated, it wasn't scripted, it wasn't "entertainment." it was racing and drivers raced hard, got angry, said and did stuff that make today's fine-able offenses look like kindergarden name-calling spats.
like many others, i have taken to listening to mrn instead of the commentators on any of the broadcasts b/c i just want to know what's going on and i simply can't get that from the tv coverage.
i love the sport at its best and that's when men and women race hard for position, run clean and pull off some amazing finishes. i detest all the crap that has gotten in the way of that, including the arca-mentality, undriveable, god-awful ugly cot! surely there must be another way to make the cars safer and still make the races exciting to watch?
i truly believe that nascar would be better served to move away from its current strategy of making everyone drive the same piece of crap and act the same and talk the same and return a bit closer to televising -- and racing! -- like they did "back in the day." if you're gonna jam a mic in a driver's face after a bad moment, expect (and allow) for his humanity to come screaming out at you and don't penalize him. if you want to make the racing exciting, make the cars stable enough for door to door racing to happen. otherwise, they truly are just turning left for 250 miles while the casual viewer waits for the wreck.
so. will i watch this season? of course, b/c there are still 50-some drivers who deserve that, who are professionals and who give it everything they have every time they strap in. out of respect for them and for the sport it was, i know i'll watch. but it won't be pretty or fun.
and i'll spend more time and $$ at my local dirt track, watching pure racing at its best. if you don't know where your local dirt racers are, shame on you and make it your alternative to the sterility of nascar. go eat some dirt this season!
jd, you'll make your choice for your reasons. i can only hope that the folks who make the decisions, both at the broadcast end as well as the organizational end, are listening to the answers when fans are moved to even ask the question 'will i watch nascar this season?'

Anonymous said...

I'm really tired of the inconsistancy with the rules. The only thing that keeps me watching Nascar racing is the Fantasy Leagues. If it wasn't for that I probably wouldn't watch at all. I really miss the days of Cale, Pearson, Baker, Bonnett, Allison etc. That was the best!
My resolution this year is to tape most of the races and watch them later so I can fast forward through the million commercials and just watch the race. If I do watch the race live I will probably mute the TV and turn on MRN radio and listen to them while I watch. I am just about done with Nascar!

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

I will watch every Truck race because the coverage is sooo much better on the Truck races than with any of the other series. They cover all the drivers and reset the field as often as possible.

As for the Cup and Nationwide series ? I will give the networks the benefit of the doubt and watch the races with a critical eye. If the networks are reading these comments and DO NOT make any changes to their coverage then I will only watch the first few races on each network before I give up and listen to it on MRN.

I listen to the MRN guys on my scanner at every race I go to and they have alot more fun during commercial breaks than they do during the race and they have alot of fun during the race. They make it like abunch of friends just watching the race and thats where the T.V. networks need to get to.

Shorebilly said...

I'll watch....I probably won't like it, but I'll watch. That said, if I tune in ESPN X at the published time slot, and find tennis, or some other drivel, I will not look further...I will tune out. If I wish to watch NASCAR Now, and it has already aired before it's published time slot, or isn't being aired...I will not seek it out....screw the arrogant a**holes at ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN Classic.....!!! I will not even attempt to watch the 2008 Sprint Cup Banquet, on any form of ESPN format. Mr. NASCAR take note, that is WILL NOT EVEN ATTEMPT TO WATCH no matter who wins the championship, even if my driver Jeff Burton wins, and I have been anxiously awaiting that for over 10 years!!!
I personally think that FOX did the best job of NASCAR coverage. TNT can loose the on screen ad changers and such.
I sincerely believe that the "powers that be" at NASCAR HQ are not stupid enough to have signed a contract with ESPN without a loophole someplace that relates to "actions detrimental to stock car racing". Thus I feel that those same "powers" should give notice to ESPN...and dump them if they do not improve their performance, air the race in its entirety, live, and on the published channel..and get rid of the Howard Cosell wanna be!!

Daly Planet Editor said...

There will be an opportunity to comment on the other NASCAR programs and the individual NASCAR announcers at a later date.

This column asks for your personal decision on whether or not you are going to watch the 2008 Sprint Cup races live next season?

We have a wide mix between those hardcore fans who are going to stay, the ones who use technology to increase their viewing and listening options and the ones who are walking away from a full time commitment to the sport.

Where do you fall?

GregB said...

I am a 25 year stock car fan. What you see today is not the same sport you saw a few years ago. NASCAR racing has been converted into a TV show and they lost me. In 2007 I gave up my season tickets to MIS and Watkins Glen and walked away, feeling sad but did not feel ripped-off, either. I listen the race on MRN (Sirius) while enjoying my other hobby, toy trains. I have been attending other less prestigious racing classes, like ARCA, dirt track racing and smaller local tracks. Maybe I will meet some of the people who post comments in this great blog. See you on top row!

SallyB said...

JD, I have to tell you that the thought that you might not bring back this site for next (technically, this) race season is devastating. I'm still so ambivalent about how much of the race season I will/won't watch, that I can't give a definitive answer yet. The 500 may be the deciding factor. I do know that, with your knowledge and background, you give a focus to many of us who are so frustrated, watching a sport that we knew and loved being twisted into something unrecognizable. I still care about the sport, an that is why I won't just sit back and settle for an inferior product without fighting for it to improve. If we, as fans (who are supposedly SO important to Nascar and the networks) don't have the to right to demand competent coverage, and the respect of those who run the sport, who does? Many of the things that helped me turn people into fans of the sport are disappearing...as is their interest. The problem lies as much with the current 'powers-that-be' for the 'racertainment' that we are subjected to as with the 'Nascar for Dummies approach of the coverage. I didn't need graphics and time away from the race to understand 'loose' and 'tight'. It really isn't that hard to comprehend if you can actually watch the cars on the track.

If you can do it without mentioning any names, could you give us all here an idea what you are hearing from those actually involved in the sport? It would be heartening to know that our concerns may be shared by those whose livelihood depends on the heath of the sport.

Thank you for being here for all of us. We would miss you terrbly if you decide to give up...but I understand your frustration.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Sally,

The way this normally works is that I hear from the individual TV and media personalities first, then I get some PR folks asking me what is going on. That happened this morning.

Now, I have been trying to leave my office to go grocery shopping and I am overwhelmed by private email from a wide variety of NASCAR types. I am actually thinking of asking them for their responses to these fan posts and then making that into a column.

That would help fans to understand that there are good people listening, but change comes slowly to network TV, and it usually comes at the last possible moment.

Thanks for your nice note, we just need to keep the thoughts coming and the voices loud on this subject right now.

JD

Anonymous said...

Haven't watched any televised sporting event live since I purchased a TiVo about 3 years ago.

I watch no commercials and only racing action on the screen. Since I don't know who won, it's like watching it live without all the crap that irritates the hell out of me. I've also been known to mute the sound for long periods of the race. I also listen to no introductory music.

Basically I love racin' and hate all the crap I'm forced to put up with to watch it on TV. I realize that's the nature of the business, but it's also my nature to watch what I want and ignore the rest.

Possibly I'm a bit cynical about the money involved in the whole TV/NASCAR business, but it's born of 50 years of fandom.

An old fart from Maryland.

SW in MN said...

I will continue to watch in 2008 but I'll be a lot happier about it if the broadcasts improve in 2008. Tivo is the greatest thing ever. I feel guilty for watching the race in FF if not double speed FF when the announcers get on my nerves but at least I can still see what's happening on the track - at least in the area they decide to show us...

MRN/PRN broadcasts are all but impossible to get in MN so muting and listening to the radio braodcast isn't an option. I wish Sirius and XM would make that merger we heard about a year or so ago happen so I could get the races that way!

I love my NASCAR and have for nearly 40 years - I'd love it even more if I thought the TV folks gave us a quality, consistant product week to week, network to network!A few requests for the TV execs to make things better for the fans:
1) Give me someone who knows and cares about what they are talking about for the prerace, race, and postrace coverage. No token reporters or anchors!!
2) Do not promote or endorse other shows coming up on your channel during my race braodcast (TNT and WitchBlade nearly caused me a nervous breakdown 2 seasons ago!. Use a commercial spot if you have to force another show on us repeatedly.
3) Show me everyone as they cross the finish line - every driver, every race. If you don't spread the coverage through the field during the race you can at least let me see my guy finish the race.
4) Do a "through the field" of everyone in the field more than once or twice a race so we know what's hapening with our driver when they're not in the top 10.
5) Be sure to provide updates after EVERY driver (or crew person or official)is allowed to leave the infield care center so we know they are OK or not. It doesn't have to be an interview but at least let us know they are OK!!Even if it's not our driver we still ware about the health and safety of others.
6) Please leave the football and basketball commentators to the sports they know about. Brett Musburger is so much better at footbal commentary than anything racing related.
7) Don't give me a woman host just as a token - give me one who knows what the heck she is talking about, not just reading from a script someone wrote for her.
8) PLEEEEEEAAAAAASE take Bill Weber out of the booth and put him back on pit road!!!!! He did a much better job there. He grates every one of my nerves as an announcer who always seems to have a condescending attitude towrd everything and everyone.
9) Don't put so much crap in the ticker at the top of the screen! If I have to watch on my smaller TV I can hardly see the race for all the graphics. This is especially true for TNT who likes to promote their shows and have a huge ticker at the same time.
10) Slow the ticker down a little so I don't get motion sick from it scrolling so fast with all the colors, etc in it.
11) Don't tell me at lap 15 how the points would shape up if the race finished then. If you have to tell me this over and over (which I think we could all live without), wait until there are about 50 laps to go before you start telling me something that will change at least 10 times between then and the end of the race. Focus on what's happening, not what might happen.
12) Show me every restart every time - no exceptions!
13) No commercials when there are 15 or fewer laps to go - 25 or fewer at the short tracks like Bristol.
14) Leave enough time to interview more than the race winner after the race. If the race runs a litte long, be flexible and still give me a couple of quick interviews rather than just one with the winner.
15) Remain consistant/predictable in start times for the races. I hate late season when football begins to dictate the start time of the races. I never know when the race will start due to football's schedule. Except for the west coast races, everything should start no later than 1:30 ET.
16) Learn from what DirecTV did with HotPass last year. Even when my driver was not one of the 5 for the week I enjoyed this unique perspective and presentation.
17) Why can't NASCAR do split screen commercials in their broadcasts like the IRL does? This way I never miss a restart or other event while we're at commercial.
18) DLP is awesome! Please keep up the use of that great camera system! It provides unbelievable footage!!
19) Quit talking to the drivers during a race, even if it is during a caution. That's the only "break" these guys get so let them have it!

Thanks for giving us a chance to express our opinions. I love waht you do for the true race fan!

Shawn in Indy said...

HHHHMMMMM,
Maybe I never really answered the question correctly and just spouted off.
I'll attend the Brickyard and watch completely 6-12 races, most likely the night races. The rest I'll DVR and watch the condensed version or listen to on MRN while I'm working in the yard

Dan said...

I enjoy this sport too much to walk away from it, but I certainly won't be glued to my couch for every lap of every race. My first choice is to Tivo the race so I can skip through the ENDLESS barage of commercials and the innane commentary from the booth. That shortens up the time commitment significantly. If for some reason I don't Tivo the race, I'll have the TV coverage on in the background as I'm working around the house (or radio if I'm outside). I find it very hard to give up 4+ hours of a Sunday afternoon to watch a race on TV when I know I'll be subjected to: (1)the same handful of commercials over and over again, (2) a group of announcers that (for the most part) I don't care for and (3) a very narrow focus on what stories are shown/told. So until the TV partners provide coverage that is both watchable and interesting, my time is better spent being productive around the house while following the race from a distance.

Anonymous said...

"sports and media have changed soo much since then."

Change isn't always good, ask Coca-Cola about "New Coke"?
---------------------------------
NASCAR has done nothing but go down-hill since Brainless Brian took over and it will continue it's fall until the other members of the France family wake-up and throw his sorry butt out!!!
Bad racing, spec(IROC) cars, tempered drivers, the Chase(what a joke) and very poor TV coverage are not the answer!

Anonymous said...

JD, Great Blog!

Will I be back for TV? Yes; Truck Series, on SPEED. Great way to spend Friday nights.

Otherwise, TIVO and I get through the CUP races on mute.

Alan Bestwick, any Jarrett and Petree would be my choice of Commentators. Otherwise, lets just "Crank it up" and listen to the simulcast on MRN/PRN.

elena said...

sw in mn, good post.

I liked what you said and the only thing I would add/change from my perpective, is #11. I like to know the seconds behind the leader. I don't really care if my driver is in tenth place as much as if he is 15 seconds behind the leader. Since the cameras do not show the entire field, at least the leader strip lets me know the progress my guy is making. Maybe in the next 5 laps he may still be tenth, but now he is 13 seconds or 17 seconds behind the leader.

I posted earlier and said I would follow the races no matter what, but that did not mean I did not want improvements made by the networks. I like to watch races live because if I watch it delayed, I cannot use my computer with various sites to enhance my race viewing.

Even if the networks improve the race broadcasts, I have gotten so used to using the Internet to get additional information, so I would still continue because it adds to my viewing enjoyment.

JD, thanks so much for keeping us updated and letting us know that networks care--at least some in the networks.

glenc1 said...

whew...I will admit I skimmed some of the many comments, but it's apparently how many different kinds of race fans there are and what they're willing to put into their fandom. I take some exception to the 'real fans' comments, mostly because I don't think anyone could define that properly. I also won't dis 'new fans' because everyone was new at some point, even if you were six years old.

But this 10 year plus fan will keep following racing--probably no less, but my viewing habits will change. It's not worth it in my life to pay extra for DVR or extra Internet coverage when the networks ought to be giving us what we need, which we pay for through the ads. I am, however, a big fan of MRN. They aren't perfect but they do a good job covering the *entire* race and tend to make things sound more exciting than they really are. Simple solution is, I turn off the TV sound and listen to MRN. Picture doesn't match the talk, but I can live with that. I agree to a point with those who've said the music and hype and anthem and all that is not important to me as a viewer...I could forgive ALL of that if we simply had better coverage of the racing itself. I also agree that FOX is not the shining star, just the lesser of 3 evils. We all have our favorite personalities so I won't go on about that, but yes, I will hope for less of the ones I don't like, and more of those who are truly professionals. I also must say again, I blame the producer/director/behind the scenes people most of all because they dictate what we see. In addition, I hate that I always have the feeling that the commentators have half an eye on that 'hard card', as someone mentioned. It's not as bad as the old days, but it's not like other professional sports where they are free to criticize all they want, particularly when we've had some questionable incidents last year.

I will continue to watch most of the events live, but in the way I described, and if I have other things I need to do, sometimes I tape and sometimes not. But again, I would credit NASCAR as being part of what angers me, not just the poor coverage. Technically, I suppose not *listening* to the ads should impact the sponsors, and they need to realize that. No one else would seem to care.

Hopeless Fan said...

I'll watch every race in '08 because I love the NASCAR drivers more than I hate the TV commentators. I wish the networks would just broadcast and show what's happening on the track. I'm underimpressed with their technological bells and whistles and cut-a-way cars. Just show me the race. I heard tight and loose explained so many times last year I wanted to scream. True race fans know the difference, casual fans don't care. I always start out listening to the TV but not too far into the race, no matter which network is broadcasting, I end up getting irritated and mute the TV and turn up the radio. I wish that ESPN would have Allen Bestwick do the play by play. I know that Dr. Jerry loves NASCAR but he was a major disappointment last year in the booth. I would like to see what it would be like if he provided the color commentary alongside Allen (ditch Rusty). And in my fantasy world Bob Jenkins would be doing the pre-race (dump Suzy, Brent, & Brad). I love Mike Joy and feel sorry for him that he has to put up with the 3 Stooges-DW, Larry, and Jeff. Bill Weber annoys me. Michael Waltrip really annoys me during the truck races, that's when I appreciate my Sirius radio the most. And while I'm at it, my fantasy world also includes ESPN bringing back RPM 2 Night with John Kernan. That was the show back in the 80's that got me totally hooked on NASCAR. And then when our cable company added SPEED and I could watch Inside Winston Cup with Allen, Kenny, Michael, and Johnny, I was in NASCAR heaven. The transformation of that show has been a major disappointment and I don't watch it any more. I am, however, grateful that SPEED broadcasts everything going on during SpeedWeeks. I'm too hooked on the sport to ever give it up. My world revolves around NASCAR... I guess some would say that I should get a life!

Desmond said...

On one hand, I am tempted to leave NASCAR, because of both the television coverage and other reasons. I see nothing but further decline in 2008.

On the other hand, the season begins with the biggest deal in the sport, the Daytona 500, so I at least want to see that.

I think that the best thing the TV networks can do is to watch some old tapes of TNN, CBS, and yes even ESPN. See what they did, and do as much of it as possible, adapting to current technology and changes in the audience.

Yes, this will require hard work and a little discipline. But it can be done. In other words, "build it and they [the audience] will come."

And then, in a paraphrase of another famous line from the film, the audience may well come away thinking, "Is this heaven? No, this is NASCAR."

Anonymous said...

I am a fan of all types of racing regardless of how it's presented on TV/radio/Internet, so I will continue tuning in to the Truck Series on SPEED and the Cup series on {pick a channel} + TrackPass. I will not, however, be watching/listening to coverage of the GN series at all during 2008. It has nothing to do with the quality of coverage provided for them (which was merely OK at best). I am simply finished with watching top tier Cup veterans warm up for Sunday by squashing the GN drivers on Saturday. I realize everyone wants to make money with the GN series, but they'll have to do it without my help.

Happy New Year, JD - keep the blogs comin' in '08!

Shawnna said...

I'll watch the races and see how it goes. I may end up muting the TV and listening to the radio.

I've spent many a Sunday driving home from my family's, listening to the race. (Especially nice when they were on XM.) They do such a great job describing the action, I really never felt like I was missing anything.

This past year I got a DVR and it changed the way I watch the races. I usually start watching 30 mins to an hour into the race, so I can FF thru the commercials. I found myself forwarding thru more than the commercials, though, by the end of the year. It almost felt like a chore or an obligation to watch to the finish. Not sure how much of that was the actual racing or the commentating. Probably a combination.

I want to WANT to watch my Nascar again.

Anonymous said...

JD - I will be watching the TV coverage this year because I have to. Yes, I work in the racing world, so my job requires that I keep up with the races. But if I weren't being paid to watch, I wouldn't. I'm one of the minority that does not like FOX coverage and never have. I always thought the NBC crew did a better job and AB is the master of booth announcing. I will be changing my audio "watching" to the MRN/PRN option, because those crews know how to paint a picture of the action all over the track. I tried it some this year, but found in confusing sometimes to "hear" about racing that I couldn't "see". But I'll be giving it another shot.

I applauded NASCAR many years ago when they consolidated the TV package, but it did take some of the soul away. It has not turned out like expected. Each network needs to get knowledgeable, informed well-spoken broadcast professionals with a history with the sport. Just because someone was successful in the sport doesn't mean that they'll be good commenting on it. There are some exceptions (Ned Jarrett, BP), but they are few and far between.

So, bottom line, I don't like any of the network coverage, but will continue to watch for my job, but with MRN/PRN audio.

JD, please continue this blog in 2008. It's a valuable resource!

Anonymous said...

I've been watching less TV coverage each year for the past 5 years. Continuing that trend, I may be out this year. Too many races just aren't worth fully watching. No real racing in the middle 80% of the race due to new rule changes first and foremost the chase points system.

Don't get me wrong, in the past, drivers like Bill Elliot stunk up quite a few race when they had such dominant cars. BUT, the TV (ESPN) coverage ESPN knew enough to show the other battles. Even it was for 25th position. The commentators knew racing so they could make the coverage of a boring race interesting. Fans who like RACING appreciate a great battle for 25th over watching the leader out front by 30 seconds over 2nd place.

TV coverage needs more Benny Parsons and Ned Jarretts in the booth. DW on occasion can be very insightful. But even FOX holds him down and often relagates him to a just a catch phase. Benny and Ned used to call the race and not just be present for name recognition.

Do you think die-hard football fans would even want Richard Petty covering a Falcons game every week?

I don't watch much live race coverage anymore. I usually record and watch later and fast forward through most of the commercials. I got the racing bug from my father, but I don't see it passing down to my children (the next generation of fans) because I have become lukewarm. Also, I can't really afford $2000 (more if I fly) for a family to attend a 3-day race weekend that has a good chance to end under yellow or be a fuel mileage race.

There is only so much time to spend in front of the TV and NASCAR coverage just doesn't cut it anymore. I'm actually sad, but I have no regrets.

Anonymous said...

JD we love your site, and thanks for saying what most of us feel.
My wife and I have been nascar fans since we watched Bill Elliot win at riverside ca.on the road course. our tivo and hot pass may keep us watching this year, if not it will be only watching the TRUCK RACES this year for us.
I do have question for King
Brian. If it is not a problem to him if TV only
shows the winner at the finish line, then why do the other top 5 drivers get called to the RED trailer and fined if they go to their trailers after the race instead of hanging around victory circle for TV interviews???
nuff said.
thanks John& Roma

red said...

ok, so back to the original question: will i watch the races this season? i will make an attempt to watch each cup race but i know i will be "easily diverted" to other tasks on sundays as a consequence of the poor quality of the broadcasting and the inconvenient start times of many of the races. in addition, the sheer length of the races makes it likely that i will either tune in and out for the duration of the race or simply wait for the results to post later in the evening.
i WILL watch every night race without fail because saturday night racing is incredible. for some reason, i'm still ambivalent about road courses (altho' i watch irl and f-1) so i don't know about the glen or sonoma yet. i will not turn on any pre-or post-race shows.

despite all my reservations and frustrations with nascar, the networks, the commentators and the tracks, i respect and totally support the drivers and so will always do what i can to support them, one and all. i will never boo a driver when i go to a track, i will not cheer for a wreck or hope that a driver hits a wall -- altho' a blown engine is fine by me!

here's hoping "they" listen to "us" and at least acknowledge that our frustration with the way the sport is being managed and televised has validity and needs to be reviewed. and to that end -- thanks, jd, for being a conduit to "them" for "us"!

thebookladi said...

I haven't posted here before, but did follow the blog to see if I somehow missed a good race by not watching in 2007. I tried to watch. I really did. But it was just too painful. I've been a fan for 20 years and so much has changed. The unfortunate thing is that by keeping track of this blog it seems I missed nothing last year. I followed the races quite well on the radio and followed up online. Incidentally my sister was glued to every race and often when we discussed the races I had more knowledge about what had happened during the race having never watched it than she did having watched every minute. So a simple answer to your question JD is that no, I won't be watching this year either unless I am reading your blog and you are talking about how great the coverage is. Having something to look forward to on race day again would be wonderful. BTW-this does not make me less of a fan, just a fan who no longer feels the need to be tortured. Nascar is not as good as it used to be so I guess it's no wonder that the TV coverage isn't that good either.

Anonymous said...

I am a Kyle Petty fan (no nasty comments please!) and I had to read the newspaper to see how he finished. I have been a fan for over 30 years and I gave up in the middle of the season last year. I only watch the Craftsman Truck Races now.

PammH said...

Will I watch the Cup races? Mostly yes, altho being in MI, I would rather savor my nice weather & listen on the radio these days. I was extremely frustrated by the poor coverage last season & if it's more of the same, I will be watching VL, instead of the race, because that gives me the highlites I need. I will NOT watch the NW races this yr-Rusty just HAS TO GO! Luckily, my driver is one of the ones focused on during the programming, but I really feel for those of you that root for the "nobodies", as the networks deem them.
WAKE UP, Nascar!!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Reading these one hundred and seventy comments really helps us all to put into perspective what a turbulent year 2007 was for the sport we enjoy.

This is a testament to the love of racing by millions of fans nationwide, and even featured comments from fans in Canada, the UK, and Australia. What a collection of racing knowledge we have in these comments.

I am going to use your words to put together a column for later in the week, and will include the reactions to this "fan commentary" from some TV and media personalities.

Thanks again for all your kinds words and great thoughts on this subject, and about our work here this season. The COMMENTS section will remain open, so any new readers can add their thoughts.

JD

J said...

JD,

Thanks for giving us fans a place to voice our opinions even though I'm sure you know what they say about opinions.

I will probably follow the same watching habits that I found myself using more and more the last couple seasons. Thanks to Trackpass, I'm able to follow my favorite driver (Bobby Labonte) and tune out most of the mindless drivel that spews from my TV. I'm not happy that I've got to pay extra money for the "privledge" of actually knowing what's happening on the track, but without that I probably would have stopped watching all together last year. I can't tell you how many times I found myself wondering what the hell the director in the TV truck was watching and how did someone so oblivious to what a fan wanted to see end up running a race broadcast.
What brought me into the sport was the drivers and the idea that these were self made men who had to pay some pretty heavy dues to make it to that level. They had passion for what they did and were incredibly humble because they knew what it was like to be down and out. They also gave you the impression that nobody owned them and that they'd tell you to go to hell instead of compromise their drive to win. That's what made them blue collar, like the folks I know, grew up around, and respect.
Unfortunately, since the big money TV contracts its been a steady progression away from that. The drivers have become unabashedly corporate mouthpieces afraid to "insult" their fellow competitors lest they "turn off" their fans and thus scare away potential customers for their corporate cash cows. It's hard to watch a sport that continually reminds me that it's just another job and even though these poor saps really enjoy what they're doing, they're just slaves to the corporate honchos and thier all mighty $$$ just like the rest of us. Thanks, but I really just wanted to see drivers in a knock down, drag out competition to prove who's the best damn race car driver. So PLEASE stop reminding me that it's all about how many auto parts, soft drinks, beer, or home improvement products you can sell. Just cover the race, drive the car, and save your greed for the winners circle. I respect someone with a lust for trophies.

Anonymous said...

To watch or Not that is the question..Well I have read your blog since you did an interview on Dave Moody's radio show and can say it has been very educational and nice expirence to know I am not the only fan completely frustrated beyond words about the past years TV coverage. I will continue to watch and probably join the TV mute button crowd and listen to Sirius or I just may say the heck with it and find something less annoying to do with my precious free time. Why? every possible thing I can't stand or just about drove me to want to throw a hammer through my tv has been stated many times on the blog by you or others. Thank you for all of your time and devotion to other Nascar Fans JD I truly appreciated it.

Coffee said...

I plan on watching CUP in '08, but here is what I wish I'd see:
Pre-race: which teams are excited about being there and think they have a chance(reporters note-this is called buzz. One can NOT ask a driver on-camara as they'll all say the same thing! Ask the teams off camara and give us 'the buzz'; and one must ask MANY teams, not just a select few.)
Race covererage: Who is going forward and who isn't? Once someone has crashed or fallen off the pace, a reporter needs to go find out what they can. (Observation is good then ask questions once the dust settles.) I want to see more than the leader. If two cars(or more) get too close to each other watch them for a while, it's called racing. After a crash I want to hear from the driver(s) after (s)he comes out of the infield care center, if possible, or an informed crew member/owner.
Post race: the winner, the top ten finishers, a list of finish positions, and a show like 'victory lane' on Speed would be icing on the cake.
Is this too much to ask?

Anonymous said...

Another tip for reporters: ask each team who they think will win if not themselves.

Darrell said...

To me, it's not so much about the race coverage, it's about so many other things. First before I go on, I do wanna say I do believe in change because that's the only thing that stays the same.

Here is my beef with NA$CAR:
1) Tradation has been thrown out the window. I'm a fan of 17 years, the one thing that I love about the sport is that its the one thing my father and I found in common. We both loved racing and thanks to racing (all kinds), my father and my relationship was saved. What does that have to do with anything you ask? The first race that my father and I went to was at The Rock, I hoped that one day, my son or daughters first race with me would be at The Rock. Dont see that one happening.....

2) The Chase format is horrible and to show fans how low King Brian can go, he blames poor ratings on Dale Jr....... WTF? What about the year before?.....Enough said about that.

3) - I do want the drivers to be safe, but what they done for safety in the COT, could have been done in the "old" car. The only reason NA$CAR decided to go with the current car is because they think it'll attract more international fans.........OK, how about just some good racing. Personally, I could care less on how the car looks, I just wanna see good racing!!!!!!

4) - LET THE FASTEST 43 RACE!!!!! If my favorite driver doesnt make it in, I have a back up, if neither one makes it in, I'll root for the underdog.

5) - LOWER TICKET PRICES!!!!!

6) - START ACTING LIKE THE FANS MATTER!!!!!

7) - MEDIA FOLKS, QUIT KISSING NA$CARS ARSE!!!

8) - NA$CAR, QUIT KISSING THE MEDIA'S ARSE!!!

9) - AND FINALLY, NA$CAR, YOU ALREADY KISS THE BIG CORPORATE SPONSORS ARSE'S, START GETTING SOME MORE COVERAGE ON OTHER DRIVERS OTHER THAN THE SAME 10 OR 15 EVERYRACE!!! Areo Exhaust is just as important to the sport as Dupont, RACING FOR JESUS is just as important as LOWES and Best Buy is just as important as Budwieser.

NA$CAR has me for 08, but the time clock is ticking. All this to me can be fixed with on single thing, LET'S KEEP THE RACING GOOD. I can look past alot, but If I can watch a better race at the local dirt track, I'll go there and support a driver before I continue to waeste my time here.

Thats my 2 cents..........
srjrfan@hotmail.com if you wanna discuss this any further.

littlebling said...

I haven't reached a decision yet about next season. I can't see myself continuing to devote such a large chunk of my time to NASCAR, but I don't think I can give it up cold turkey, either. Perhaps I will pick and choose which races to watch (if so, I am done with Fontana).
My sheer disgust with the television coverage is only part of my problem with the sport. Watching races used to be a high point of my week, but no more.
I agreed with everything Joseph Foster said. Everything is so corporate and politically correct. The reason I came to love NASCAR was that no one was sanitized or polished. They were real. If the NASCAR brass really want to know what the fans are thinking, they need to get out of their luxury boxes and get into the stands. Until they do that, anything they say is hot air.
There is so much more that bothers me (cookie-cutter tracks, lack of appreciation by ESPN for the qualified racing broadcasters and reporters they already have, interminably long races, the car of tomorrow...), but others have been more eloquent than I.
Thanks so much, JD, the year you've given this blog. I selfishly want it to go on forever, but will understand if that is not best for you.

NASCARsfadingFan said...

So far it seems Brian France has yet to poisen the local Late Model series with the cookie cutter driver personalities and the cars that can't be adjusted except by those with the most money.
Crappy TV coverage and the Car of Tomorrow have made me the Winston Cup Fan of Yesterday.
That's right, I said Winston Cup.
Real Nascar racing died when Winston Left and Brian France has been piling the dirt on the grave ever since.
I was a fan since 1982, a fan of great chassis engineers, great engine builders and great drivers.
Now there just different dummies all driving the same car ( different paint schemes of course )

Visit your local short track on Saturday night before the new "NASCAR" ruins it too.

Anonymous said...

I could careless about the music , that isn't why I am a Nascar fan to start with , I watch to see racing but 2007 was a big disappointment to me . As big as Nascar is and as much as sponsors put into their teams , I got so sick of commercials and missed restarts that I quit watching and just listened on the radio , they know how to make a race exciting , maybe Nascar, Fox or ESPN should look that way for announcers . Your article was nothing but fact and I greatly apreciate you printing it for those of us that agree .

SophiaZ123 said...

I just wanted to say I am THRILLED, and saddened, to see so MANY fans on the same page with our gripes.

NASCAR and all you powers that be, do not just dismiss the voices here.

This here is THE TRUTH of what is WRONG with the SPORT of NASCAR!!!!!!!

If we see the same old junk on tv this season, fans will stop watching and ratings will worsen even more.

But of course, Brian France thinks everything is just FINE and DANDY.

To France, everything is okey dokey.

Well, we have news for you, everything is inky stinky!

Anonymous said...

I came into the sport in July of 2001. At the time, pre-race coverage included many driver interviews and they would even show cars that had special paint schemes on them. After the race, there were several more driver interviews. They would spend time talking to just about every driver who finished in the top ten or twelve.

This past season, I stopped watching RaceDay and all pre-race coverage. Same thing with post-race coverage. What's the point if every single interview is only going to consist of the race winner or the usual four or five drivers that the media is obsessed with?

For the 2008 season, I'm upgrading to a DVR only so I can record SPEED's coverage of the happenings at Daytona during the days leading up the the race. I'm going to be in Daytona for ten days of vacation and won't be around the t.v. much at all. If I like the DVR setup, I'll keep it for the rest of the season and record the races so that I can FF through them at my leisure. I will also purchase TrackPass FanView from NASCAR.com and listen to my favorite driver, Bobby Labonte, his crew chief and his spotter via the scanner while watching him on the track. This way I CAN see how he's doing and where he is out there.

Anonymous said...

I just read at racingone.com that ESPN is bringing back the same exact crew for this next season. They actually think that Kolber, Daugherty and Musburger bridge a 'gap' for new fans. ???? What????!!

I don't know if I should laugh at their stupidity or cry for us fans. Thank goodness we have PRN, MRN, Sirius and TrackPass. I tell you what, if it weren't for the above mentioned sources, I would not pay attention to the races at all.

SophiaZ123 said...

" Anonymous said...

I just read at racingone.com that ESPN is bringing back the same exact crew for this next season. They actually think that Kolber, Daugherty and Musburger bridge a 'gap' for new fans. ???? What????!!"
~~~~~~


Well this totally STINKS but is NOT surprising.

But it just dawned on me...although I want to scale back on the Busch/Nationwide series, I just REALIZED ESPU is covering ALL their races!?!?

So color me GONE. Its'
a bummer my MRN does not do their races. But I will count on the radio for CUP races for sure since PeeSPN is hissing off the fans with this announcement.

Just further PROOF what we WANT and deserve matters NOT as ESP U has their own lousy agenda.

A big THUMBS DOWN.

Nice to see France and Helton talked to the TV partners in the off season.

Sophia slams the door on her way out of the room. :(

RedDart said...

The points you make about coverage choices, on-air talent attitudes, and the whole approach to the new contract sure seem in line with how I found the coverage in 2007. The one thing I keep coming back to, though, is that I just can't totally walk away from the sport I've come to love for going on 11 years now.

With that said, there are some things I've learned in that time that I wish networks would figure out. When I started being a grown-up race fan, it was because I really loved one make of cars that competed (Pontiacs). So, I paid a lot of attention to where those guys finished, whether it was a plain white #10 car nearly pulling it off at Daytona, or a brash rookie from the open wheel ranks winning a bunch of races (sometimes by ruffling his own teammate's feathers), or a fellow Texan's run for the championship in 2000. Then, Pontiac left the series, and I focused more on some of the personalities in the sport--drivers, crew chiefs, owners, and even a few of the broadcasters. Now, I have transitioned to watching the way people race each other, and how the competition works from race to race.

The point I'm making is this: as you learn more, you get more stuck to the sport. As I found myself getting inside the relationships, rules, and reasoning behind what was going on, I got hungrier and hungrier for more of that information. My sources were the team bringing me the races, then the support shows, and then the related media (internet, publications, etc). I didn't need any contrived "conflict," because the sport's interesting enough without it. I don't just need to know who won the race, either, because there's a lot more going on in the whole season than just who won on any given Sunday.

While I won't deliberately tune away, I know that those two things (shallow coverage and contrived stories) make me less "stuck" to race coverage, and then other things can certainly take my attention.

Anonymous said...

The real tragedy is that, despite falling ratings and despite complaints like these all over the internet, ABC/ESPN is certain that it knows better and will likely change nothing.

Jay said...

There's no doubt the TV coverage sucked bigtime, not just in 2007. It's gone to hell in a handbasket the last few years. Why Brent Musburger is even on there is beyond me. I could talk forever about what I don't like, etc, but it's not going to do any good. Na$car is all about the MONEY and nothing else. They don't give a flying flip about the fans or what the fans want. Give me some more Kyle Petty type people who speak their mind. I don't need any more Rusty "I'm Na$car's puppet, listen to what I have to say" Wallace. I miss Buddy Baker, Ned Jarrett. I've been a Jeff Gordon fan since the late 80's and a race fan a lot longer than that. I follow other drivers beside Gordon. Tell me what's going on with them, show me! Is that too much to ask? I guess it is. As for what some other reader said about real fans will watch reguardless and wannabe fans will mow grass. This real fan has a choice and is not scared to say it. I can mow grass AND listen to it on the radio. At least I can get something done and not have to watch what Na$car wants us to watch.................

Anonymous said...

News I just saw: Ed Hinton, described as "the best NASCAR writer in the nation," leaves the Tribune Co. as the Orlando Sentinel sports staff is told in a memo: "With the increasing demand to produce local news, we've decided to eliminate our national NASCAR coverage and focus more on local sports coverage. Following a joint decision by the Sentinel, Chicago Tribune and the Sun-Sentinel, we won't be covering as many NASCAR races and will spend more of our budget on local news."

I'd love to see Ed on NASCAR TV as a regular commentator and a writer for a network associated website.

People should be worried about this cut as a general trend. IMO The New York Times also cut their coverage this year and relied more on wire service reports of race results instead of covering most races. The Times seemed content to have occasional NASCAR feature stories, not regular coverage and coverage of all races.

If all the newspapers stop having their own NASCAR reporters...bad news for NASCAR growth in general and we'll have to rely more on TV for news.

Anonymous said...

SUGGESTION

If a network would do a simucast with MRN and have their cameras follow the the action as they report it, it would be an instant hit.

Anonymous said...

I got my good friend into racing in 2006 and he promptly latched onto Kasey Kahne. We would watch most of the races together-especially Saturday night races. I spent most of this year apologizing to him for getting him into NASCAR because of the crappy coverage and "contrived" racing. Now I'm leaving the sport after 14 years and I'm trying to take him with me (football/hockey-here we come!)to make amends to him for my error. NASCAR/TV,hope you're happy!!

Anonymous said...

and will spend more of our budget on local news."


By the way, this NEVER happens. They pocket the savings. Every time.

Jo said...

>>Daly Planet editor said
We have a wide mix between those hardcore fans who are going to stay, the ones who use technology to increase their viewing and listening options and the ones who are walking away from a full time commitment to the sport.

Where do you fall?>>

WOW what a diverse crew we are!!
Earlier I had stated we were looking at other options to view NASCAR with. Well a day out looking at pricing for other options & our budget, we will again re - up for Track pass/MRN and do it like we did last year. So network is on the tube, trackpass, Fox track on the computer and MRN on radio locally (hopefully we live close to airforce base & some days reception is not good). Its a shame we are going to have to "multi- task" to get good coverage, it certainly is cheaper than other options & health does not permit travel for extended stays at the tracks.

After a lot of thought and conversation we have decided this isn't the NHL - we can't just walk away from something Hubby has followed since before he married me & Petty got known for his Hat! We are hopelessly and utterly addicted, and will watch no matter if Rusty comes back ( we will permanently mute him).

John I really thank you for all the work you put into this blog, your love of our sport & knowledge shine thru in each column.
Hopefully this season our suffering will be lessened, coverage will be better & all the TV shows us is The RACE!

Steve L said...

I've been a real NASCAR fan for 30 years. I loved the sport so much that I set my sights on becoming a photographer just so I could get closer to the sport I love. I shot 12 races last year which was actually my first year of being paid to do so. A real dream come true for me.

I always TIVO every Cup, Busch, Truck, and ARCA race and watch them when I return home from the track. What I started seeing was the race I saw in person wasn't even close to the same race I was seeing on television. Many of the exciting things that happened at the race wasn't even mentioned during the playback of the race on TV.

Point is, networks need to get back to covering a race from a FANS viewpoint and not a marketing viewpoint. Show us the race! Get rid of the gimmicks. Why all the commercials? The cars ARE the commercials, why do you think sponsors cover every inch of the cars with their decals. They pay big money to do so.

Ah, money. That's what it's all come down to, and a lot of it!

To me, this season (2008) NASCAR's on probation. If they flub it up like last year, I'm done. I just can't, and won't, watch such poor coverage, big gimmicks, bad announcers, hosts who have no business of being associated with racing, stupid COT's, foreign drivers, bad HIP/HOP loud music that makes me grab the remote for the volume button to turn it WAY down, and one third of the race in commercials.

LAST CHANCE NASCAR!

Amy said...

"The production and fan expectation they (ESPN) have to be at is much higher than before," said France. "They are finding that out."

No, no, NO! He has it all wrong, and so does ESPN...wht most fans wanted (at least those who were around before NASCAR was "cool")was the SAME ESPN coverage we had before-the no-gimmicks, no holds barred coverage that we got in the 1990's. Simple, solid race coverage without stupid "see the air" graphics. RPM2Nite. Fewer commercials. What we got was the network trying to be like Fox and NBC-whose coverage was terrible. What we wanted was Bob Jenkins, what we giot was Rusty Wallace. We wanted the coverage of old only with more airtime for our favorites. Waht we got was a shadow of that, at best.

Anonymous said...

JD, thank you for the last year. Look forward to you in 2008. But you can rest assured that other than SPEED tv, I will renew my HOT PASS subscription on Directv. ESPN, FX,FOX, ABC, TNT or others i missed,(so many networks could not keep up) you missed the boat. And now you are sinking.

Lou
Kingston, NY

Anonymous said...

After 22 years of being a faithful NASCAR fan, I'm sorry to say i won't be back. Only thing missing now is for NASCAR to merge with the WWF.
I used to watch the races faithfully, the racing being what excited me, no particular favorite driver. These seemingly orchestrated events no longer capture my attention. It just got too boring.

Near Philly said...

"will I watch live in 2008?"
I'll start watching Daytona. If the coverage is bad, Tivo will keep recording while I do something else then come back and speed watch the race. The rest of the races TiVo will record what is scheduled to be on during the race time frame. As we learned last year, this is not always a race.
Monday I'll go on-line to find out who won, then come here(JD please come back for 2008! !) to find out what really happend, and then delete the race without watching.

The top 35 rule has got to go. If you are not one of the 40 fastest cars this week, sorry, try again next week.3 provisionals is enough. Teams do not have to be protected. If you have a poor qualifying effort you go home and explain to your sponsor why.

Drivers can no longer be themselves because, "All is well", and to say otherwise is, "actions detrimental to stock car racing".

Cars can no longer be themselves because manufacturer A complains when manufacturer B builds a better body and wins races. So instead of telling A tough, design a better body, we now have one body for everybody. Slap on the right decals and voila !! a Ford or Chevy or Toyota that has no resemblance to what you can buy.And I thought the IROC series was gone.With the international drivers we really do have a 26 race and then a 10 race IROC series sponsored by Sprint.

The announcers can not be themselves. I listened on a scanner at Charlotte. There is someone in the announcers ear telling them what do to. If they want to stay in the booth, they toe the company line. They get told what to focus on, who to focus on, and when to speak.

The broadcast can not be itself. It now has to sell the network product during the race instead of in breaks. Endless promos during green flag racing have got to go.And it's now a pay to show game. Your sponsor didn't buy any ad time during the broadcast. Guess what! You don't exist. Sorry.

This 18 year fan remembers:
Real drivers in
Real cars with
Real announcers during a
Real broadcast
and has decided not to waste my time on what is currently out there.

I've already cut back on the number of live races I go to. I stopped wearing anything with NA$CAR on it. 2008 will be the make or break year for me. If there is no positive change, I'm off to the NHRA and other non NA$CAR series racing.

Those of you unhappy but still watching because it's what you are used to doing, I'm sorry but you are part of the problem with your support.

Anonymous said...

The announcers can not be themselves. I listened on a scanner at Charlotte. There is someone in the announcers ear telling them what do to. If they want to stay in the booth, they toe the company line. They get told what to focus on, who to focus on, and when to speak.
That's how the business works and has for a very long time.

KoHoSo said...

To answer the main question the esteemed Mr. Daly asked...yes, I will be watching all of the Cup races on TV this year...

BUT...

Until NASCAR begins to show me that they are taking honest steps to return its on-track and televised product to its previous high standards, I will not be watching any of the races live. I will instead use the fast-forward button on my DVR to "boogity, boogity, boogity" through the increasing number of stretches of extremely boring racing and, more importantly to the broadcasters, skip ALL of the commercials.

As last season progressed, I found myself fast-forwarding through more and more of the actual race action. By late September, I had no desire to sit through any race live even if I had the time open to do so.

The "Car of Templates" is a joke and has eliminated any real manufacturer competition. IMO, the same level of safety could have been accomplished without making every car the same other than its decals. Even if they can improve its racing performance, we're still being fed a glorified version of IROC.

Many of the times that I hit the fast-forward button (or change the channel when watching live) is caused by the totally inane work of the TV crews. As somebody who was in the broadcasting industry for a short time in the 1980's, it is literally painful for me to see the utter butchery of a NASCAR telecast happening on almost every front.

For any broadcast and NASCAR executives still reading this thread, the main thing I want you to know is that you have quickly killed off what was once my great motivation to go out of my way to purchase the products and services advertised on cars and during telecasts. I am now to the point where I go out of my way to not buy products associated with NASCAR.

Yes, I doubt that one man can make a difference in that area and I know full well how futile it is to try any type of organized boycott. But, when all of you big-wigs see how upset people are with the current state of NASCAR, can you seriously believe that there aren't more people like me who have stopped buying "Brand X" because the crud we get these days that passes for racing and good broadcasting has made us start to give up?

Yes, I will be watching. But, not for as long, not with as much interest, and doing so while noting which products and services not to buy. Is that what you want, Mr. France? Is that what you want, Sprint? Is that what you want, Mr. Murdoch, Mr. TNT, and Mr. Mouse? Well, it's what you've got. And, if you don't make a serious attempt to make things better, the outcry you saw in 2007 will seem like a whimper compared to what you will hear in 2008.

Richard in N.C. said...

JD- Bringing back Brent Mushberger to EXPN's NASCAR coverage would be insulting - almost as much as bringing back Erik Klueless to N-NOW. I will not watch any EXPN NASCAR show featuring either BM or Erik K.

The racingone website does have a listing of all stations that carry MRN broadcasts, but I do not recall it's identifying what race series the stations carry - i.e., just Cup or just Cup & N-wide.

I am not certain about Busch (N-wide) races, but I know this past fall during college football season that I picked up MRN Truck race broadcasts free off of NASCAR.com - and I believe I did the same a couple of times for Busch races. It appeared to me that the only way to get the MRN Cup race broadcast off of NASCAR.com was by paying for it.

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