Monday, January 28, 2008

Las Vegas Testing Windy For SPEED

It certainly is rare these days to break new ground in TV, but SPEED sent their crew to Las Vegas to continue the expanded coverage they are calling Pre-Season Thunder.

During the Daytona testing, several drivers told the network that this Las Vegas test will be critical to many teams. The reality of the COT is finally being revealed to the fans on national TV.

John Roberts and Larry McReynolds anchored this show from the Infield Media Center, and immediately jumped into the morning highlights. McReynolds was all over the information and updates on the first test session.

Driver soundbites told the tale very clearly that Goodyear brought the right tire and the apprehension about the COT was gone. In the afternoon, high winds and increased speed brought about several accidents.

While SPEED had that footage, the amount of on-track footage was a little light in comparison to the announcers time on-camera and the other talking heads. Not even one complete lap of one car was shown amid all the other features and interviews.

Roberts pointed to the high winds that affected the afternoon session, and perhaps that caused the less-than-stellar amount of on-track footage. As SPEED has continued to grow this pre-season franchise, they are faced with deciding if the shows should more resemble the network's qualifying or SPEED Stage type programming.

Bob Dillner provided reporting from the garage, and then took McReynolds place in the infield studio. Dillner expanded on the topics raised by McReynolds, and gave a good overview on the feelings of different drivers to the weather conditions.

It certainly is interesting that SPEED continues their lower third "ticker" during national commercial breaks. This feature adds almost nothing to the program, as it repeats the same information contained in the program that the viewers are currently watching.

McReynolds continues to add great technical features on these programs. This week, McReynolds pointed out the changes that the team were allow on the COT at Las Vegas. These are really the first substantive changes the teams could make since testing began. Great points that were easy for all the fans to understand.

Again, as McReynolds and Roberts were talking in the studio, cars were circulating on the track over their shoulders. Fans want to see cars on the track, and perhaps that could be an increased agenda as these testing shows go forward.

Dillner did an interesting interview with Matt Kenseth, who reinforced the words of McReynolds about the importance of this Vegas test. Kenseth provided good information in his own unique manner. It certainly would be nice to see Kenseth smile on TV just once this year. It did not happen Monday on SPEED.

SPEED did a solid job under tough circumstances to put together a thirty minute show with good content. For those of us who miss the on-track action, it sure would be nice just to see some packs of cars running at full speed while the announcers offered their information.

With good weather expected in Vegas on Tuesday, it will be nice for the network to have the opportunity to show fans the Speedway's fantastic infield fan area. The next two days should be interesting, before the coverage moves to Fontana.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS section below, and follow the instructions. Thanks again for stopping by.


Newracefan said...

I enjoyed the show and I agree with wanting to see more cars on the track. This is again a reason to expand this coverage to 60 minutes. Keep the amount of commentary the same and add more of the cars on the track. I've always dislike tickers on the bottom and refuse to even try and read them. All this said I still want to thank Speed for providing this coverage which we did not have last year.

JD any news on the new INC?

Truck Series Fan! said...

JD I finally remembered to watch the show tonight and did enjoy Matt who is one of my favorite drivers but yes, he does need to smile when he's being interviewed. I guess testing is boring so they don't want to show the cars on the track, just a lot of spins and a couple of the cars hitting the wall. Anyway, looking forward to the 500 in a couple of weeks.

Charlie said...

When I watched the show tonight the Speed's lower ticker was on the whole time during the commercial period. Maybe the Speed Channel on Charter just showed National ads but I didn't pay that mush attention on whether they were all National Commercials or not. I am thinking that Speed is trying this ticker during commercials idea so that during a real race you will be able to keep up with where your driver is, even during commercials.

TexasRaceLady said...

While wanting to see more cars, more of the time, I do understand that testing is really run a few laps, come in and work.

I really enjoyed Larry explaining how much bigger the box got concerning what can and cannot be changed on the car.

My thanks to SPEED for covering testing. I can see cars going around the track. :-)

Even the ticker at the bottom didn't bother me.

Daly Planet Editor said...

The next INC update will be posted Tuesday around 9PM. No new info right now, but I will update.

Thanks for asking! By the way, I like the suggestion of 60 minutes with more on-track footage.


playingtime said...

Duct tape works good on the lower third. I use a hand towel or two on the upper third ticker. This allows me to adjust as needed during the telecast. Sometimes, the upper third is the only info we get on the running order-so it is necessary on occasion. Duct tape.

Patrick said...

I'm willing to cut them a break since they've given us something no other channel will. and that's new Nascar programming. I suppose I just assumed the lack of clips of cars on the track was due to the high winds. they indicated that they would've been outdoors in the garage area, but the 60 mph winds drove them indoors. and since this was the first day, there was probably lots of single car runs. if you noticed, the cars that wrecked and/or spun, weren't that close to any others. no big packs that i could see.

Vince said...

I'm glad we're getting this additional coverage of testing this year on Speed. I'd like to see more cars on the track and less of Roberts, Larry Mac and Dilner. Show us the cars guys! Let the boys talk in the background while we see the cars.

I hate tickers along with all the other useless graphics that everybody likes to clutter the TV screen with. I don't know why they use them. I'm waiting for some whiz bang engineer to invent something that will let me zap all the graphics off the screen. Just hit a button on the remote and no more graphics. Wouldn't that be great?

But I'm not complaining. At least we're getting coverage that we didn't get last year.

David said...

I like the show, I am watching on SPEEDHD on DirecTV which isn't yet. There where two things that really annoyed me about the show. First the lack of cars on the track when supposed all 50 or so teams where there and one huge gaff. They lead one segment with David Regan having the annoucer say the 60 mph gust was really causing problems on the track. David Regan first thing out of his mount wind didn't really bother me today I just messed up. Who is the genius that edited that segment?? Other wise nice to have some Cup on TV can't wait for HD..

Lisa Hogan said...

Thanks to SPEED for their testing coverage. I have enjoyed all of it.
I was thinking the same as Patrick that lack of track coverage was due to high winds.
Because of ESPN, I ignore the bottom of the screen during a program. If SPEED runs information there, I appreciate the continuing during commercials. I actually read it then.

elena said...

Okay folks, if we want the drivers to be "themselves," let them be. If Matt doesn't smile, well, that's just him. Smiling may seem un-natural and forced to him.

I like Matt, so I just say to all, let him be himsef.

GinaV24 said...

I agree with all that has been said above. More cars on the track, let the boys talkin the background and give us the info, but thanks to Speed for actually showing up and giving the fans some up to date information. Once more, I turn to speed and the internet for my info, not to or ESPN.

elena said...

From the sports I follow, it seems that every sport and every network uses the ticker. I can see how it is distracting for some, but the fact that EVERY sport and channel uses them, must tell you something.

I like the tickers. No all the time, but often. I am an all-around sports fan. I LOVE SPORTS! I think that networks have discovered that if I am watching a basketball game and you let me know the PGA scores, I won't change channels to find the score.

Since sports programs show regional teams, fans want to know how their hometown teams are doing. I'm a Pac 10 fan, and very seldom are any of their games shown in the midwest, so I'm thankful to see the ticker that keeps me updated on my home teams.

I am sure there is scientific evidence that if you have the ticker, viewers will not channel surf as much. If the fan changes the channel, they may get involved with the new program and not return to the first one.

As March Madness comes on, the ticker becomes extremely important to fans.

I just don't think that NBC, CBS, FOX, SPEED, GOLF channel, ABC, Tennis Channel, etc. are trying to make NASCAR fans mad.

JHD said...

It's interesting to see that the comments focus on the ticker, and not anything else. Sounds like SPEED is doing something right if that's all we have to complain about. ;)

Although I don't understand the fuss with the bottom ticker. It barely takes up any space on my screen, maybe an inch from the bottom at most. It's not like it's the top ticker that truly does interfere with seeing the picture.

Bill H said...

It certainly is interesting that SPEED continues their lower third "ticker" during national commercial breaks. This feature adds almost nothing to the program, as it repeats the same information contained in the program that the viewers are currently watching.

I wonder if Speed is testing the waters with the ticker and may continue it during the Truck races and other Nascar shows they carry?

I personally would love to have the ticker running during the races when they go to commercial break, allows you to know if a driver moves up/down without having to wait for the race to come back on.


Lisa Hogan said...

I also would have liked to see the SPEED shows in a one hour format. Of course, this time of year, I am starved for cars on the track. :)

jhd-no fussing from me about the SPEED ticker/scroll on the bottom. It is information about the show I am watching. I read it during commercials.

Because of my schedule, I have to catch up on sporting events quite often. When watching an event live on ESPN, I don't look at the bottom of the screen because I don't want to see the results of an event that I have yet to watch. Simple as that. :)

Anonymous said...

David said...
I like the show, I am watching on SPEEDHD on DirecTV which isn't yet.
Are you saying David that DirecTV has not started to show Speed HD yet? I got confused as to your statement..I was thinking Speed HD was to get under way about the time of the opening of Daytona..