Sunday, February 17, 2008

NASCAR TV Wall-To-Wall At Daytona


Some of us will certainly be glad when the "normal" part of the NASCAR season begins next week in California.

That is because there is only one word to describe the national TV coverage surrounding the 50th running of the Daytona 500. That word is overload.

Beginning mid-morning, the SPEED gang rolled-out a full day of lead-in programming that culminated with a three hour NASCAR RaceDay. With no points races before Daytona, the TV networks pulled-out all the stops when it came to looking back at NASCAR's Daytona 500 history.

Viewers saw past champions, heroes no longer with us and the first family of NASCAR building the speedway itself. Darrell Waltrip played a critical role for SPEED in providing a veteran influence with his commentary and interviews. Waltrip certainly has come into his own, and he worked harder than anyone else in the pre-race shows.

We have come to expect some interesting programming during the Daytona pre-race festivities, but this time Fox Sports really went over-the-top. There was a ninety minute additional pre-race show before the race started, so coupled with the SPEED portion NASCAR fans had been watching TV for over five hours even before the race began. Add in Victory Lane on SPEED at 8PM and the Daytona 500 is now an all-day affair.

What music videos from Daytona carry-over into the next race and what pre-race features remain from this week can only be seen when Fox begins their California coverage. Hopefully, Chubby Checker will not make the trip. Regardless of the history of his songs, that performance was somewhat embarrassing. Now, Mike Joy in his disco attire was something else altogether.

Race coverage slipped into a familiar groove, but featured the TV crew playing with their new and somewhat annoying toy called the Gopher Cam. This camera angle has been used by other TV networks to cover racing for years. Adding a distracting animation almost every time the camera was used simply took the focus off of the racing action.

As the first race of the season and the first Daytona 500 with the COT, it was up to Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds to continually point-out the issues associated with this new racing dynamic. McReynolds handled the bulk of the explanations with his usual intensity. It was unfortunate that the on-track activity did not match his level of excitement.

As things on the track became a single file test run, the Fox crew smartly squeezed in as many commercials from the format as possible. This freed the crew from being caught in a bind later during the action of the final laps. When racing action picked-up with thirty laps to go, the frequent cautions and the long pace laps prevented the commercial trouble viewers saw so much last season.

The production team did a good job of working to capture the racing as opposed to the leading, and finished the job with a nice wide shot of the field screaming across the line. This moment really showed what TV viewers had missed with the ESPN2 Saturday coverage of the Nationwide Race. You can read about that by clicking here.

The pit reporters did the usual solid job, but seemed to be noticeably absent as the race wound down. Perhaps, they had moved to their post-race positions. We all have our feelings about Chris Myers and his Hollywood Hotel, but Fox used him well as the transition between production elements, and junked a lot of the features that used to involve him on a weekly basis.

The innovative starting line-ups were great, but audio issues caused a lot of the drivers to be seen but not heard. The audio of the cars behind the video effect on the track over-rode the drivers audio. Still, it was a nice touch and hopefully the bugs will be worked out before the next race.

Mike Joy may wax a bit nostalgic once and a while, but he is still the best play-by-play voice in NASCAR. His comfort level extends to the viewer at home, and makes the telecast flow. His abilities were put to the test at the midway point of the race, when suddenly calling the action at Daytona was like describing the traffic on the Florida Turnpike. Two by two, in their lanes and eventually headed home.

The NASCAR on Fox graphic package still works great, especially with no additional network "ticker" on the lower third of the screen. The split-screen they are using this season is simple and effective, but certainly could use some sort of graphic information on the screen each time. The simple labeling of the drivers being featured was very effective when used.

After watching the final ten races on ABC, it was startling to have no sports updates, celebrity interviews or infield announcers on-camera during green flag action. The sole focus on racing was refreshing to watch. While Jeff Hammond offered tips and information, the network carefully brought-out the split screen as soon as possible to get racing action back on the screen.

There was absolutely no bigger and better example of why national advertisers should allow this split-screen effect to be used for their commercials than this race. Once Mike Joy led to a commercial break, viewers had no reason to stay. They knew the race was very safe, the cars were lined-up, and they now had two minutes to surf the dial or hit the fridge.

The only way to bring NASCAR viewers back during commercials in a race is to allow the side-by-side effect that continues the action on the racetrack during the commercial. It is almost a no-brainer. The time is now to try and get this done before the Fox portion of the schedule is gone.

In the closing laps, a tired race crew used everything they had to inject excitement into a race whose main ingredient was clearly vanilla. Even with the help of Kyle Busch, the closing lap seemed to be "bumper cars by manufacturer" as pointed out by Darrell Waltrip.

Fox walked away from a monster telecast with no damage, and with their production of this historic race solidly in the books. Now, reality will sink-in with the long airplane ride to California, where a very different fan base and a very different track awaits this group.

In a way, history now "begins again" as the first full season of the COT unfolds on the NASCAR fans. How this car behaves and if it allows passing at California will be two big questions that can only be answered next week.

Now, after more than ten hours of continuous Daytona TV coverage, what NASCAR fans really need is a good night's sleep.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are on the right side of the main page. Thanks again for stopping by after a long day at Daytona.

95 comments:

David said...

Fox and No Damage?? I respectfully Disagree JD. I saw a small screen at the end of the race and a medium screen of Tony driving the car. Enough of the in-car cams on the last laps. What a joke. A ton of graphics on the screen and a tiny screen to see that action on the track. Anyone else have a problem with that at the end??

Anonymous said...

Weren't most of the Fox pre-race festivities due to the 50th anniversary of the Daytona 500?

And how do we know that Nascar didn't push for an hour and 1/2 pre-race show? Which is really only about 1/2 longer than normal.

Also can you find out if the infield "concert" was a Nascar production or Fox?

Anonymous said...

One thing that you missed, John, was the absence of a drafting graphic. I'll take the gopher over that silly graphic anyday!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon,

Gopher Cam vs. Draft Track may be the debate of the season!

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

david,

Were you watching Hot Pass?

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 8:43PM,

I think we can assume it was NASCAR. Now who decided how much of it to televise....good question.

JD

David said...

No I was not.. I really like TRACK PASS this year but wanted the big finish full screen... The HD and filling the screen during action completely is awesome. I will have to learn to do that.. During the last laps they had split screen on the fox broadcast until the pass came..

SophiaZ123 said...

JD, I listed my numerous gripes in the blog but will sum up things with David's comment.

I thought the camera work the last few laps was dreadful.

When my nice, kind hearted room mate (who by that point was watching in the LR as I came to my room to watch) who rarely raises his voice. was yelling

SHOW THE RACE! STOP MAKING THE CARS SO SMALL.

ENOUGH with the bumper cams. SHOW THE RACE.


Well, things bother him much less than they bother me so I gotta say, FOX was a disappointment in many "camera placement/directive choices."

and I will leave it at that before more snarky attacks come my way.

Can't wait until you get a real board and some folks to help you with things.

Thanks for all the columns.

But I have to say I am not in TOTAL agreement with today's column post race.


I used to love the in car & bumper cam......


Sigh

SophiaZ123 said...

Just to clarify, JD, I was watching FOX although you may have guessed that by now.

:)

Anonymous said...

That begs the question. How does Nascar liaise with the broadcasters?

Obviously they must meet ahead of time and come to agreement on coverage of things like the 50th anniversary festivities.

Is Nascar pushing the coverage or is Fox? Does Nascar have minimum requirements for each broadcast or is it entirely up to Fox?

Newracefan said...

JD I agree with the overload statement, I have been in front of the TV so much that I think I need to sleep on my stomach just to give my butt a break. LOL.

I enjoyed most of the coverage, MJ warned use at the start of the race (or maybe on Raceday) that they would have to squeeze history into the race and I think they did a pretty good job. I still think there was too many from the car shots and not enough wider shots so you could see where everyone was running. The other big miss was no thru the field type rundown, have no clue what happened to MW, or how good/bad they were running in general. Still all in all better than what was going on at some other stations who shall remain nameless

David said...

My Bad HotPass Sorry to confuse..

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 8:59PM,

I think everybody has an agenda in that meeting. Big pre-race shows are nothing new, if you have ever been to Lowe's you certainly know that.

There was no harm in televising them, but I wish we had more "race stuff" than "entertainment stuff."

I bet that was a fun meeting huh?

JD

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice if on lap #3 all the pit crews stood on the pit wall with three fingers in the air? Wendy V. said they were going to do that, but I didn't see FOX air it. I was watching the race and noticed it was lap #4 and the booth hadn't mentioned it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, JD! C'mon! Its more like FOX limped away, barely under their own power!!

The commercial load wasn't "smart" It was disruptive and overloaded.
They missed the very first pass for the lead today because of their over-obsession with "goofy-cam". (Note to Fox's Bill Brown...ESPN invented the camera in pavement aalmost 20 years ago on SPEEDWORLD). Mike Joy went off on some non-sequitor Junior Johnson story during all of 3 replays of Casey Mears being punted late in the race-an event they missed live, by the way, thanks to their other obsession with in-cars over coverage cameras.
They gave Montoya a free pass on his punt of Clint Bowyer and they never followed up on that story.
Mark Martin had both left sides flat after a pit stop and DW speculated that he might have started out with pressures too low. Again, No followup. Elliott Sadler had a great finish...never heard about him all day.
Kyle Busch dropped below the yellow? Yes or no? Penalized or told by NASCAR to drop back?? Busch says no, guys in the both said yes....huh?
David Hill was right. We won't forget THIS one. For all the wrong reasons

SophiaZ123 said...

Anon

About the lap 3 thing, I was shocked that wasn't mentioned as well with DW in the booth...then again, I don't know how big a deal they wanted to make on that but it was an interesting OMISSION!

The last time they did a similar remembrance, that was part of the broadcast. I am glad somebody brought that up as some folks feel "enough already with the number 3" but that was before I got into the sport.

They put so much other history stuff into the broadcast that I totally enjoyed, by the way.

If Wendy brought it up on SPEED, wonder if FOX changed their mind??

Anonymous said...

John, Newman's win with photo is at the top and center of nytimes.com. right now. And Viv Bernstein's story about the win is there. Her preview story about NASCAR going back to its roots has been at the top corner of the main page all day long (without photo) and the top of the sports page (with photo) since last night.

I read that NY times column a while ago and thought you would want to know. :-)

I thought the FOX coverage was lacking today (lacking information, lacking enthusiasm, and lacking good camera work), but I will give them a pass until Daytona because I'm too tired to list what went wrong. After next week? I'll be after them with both barrels, watch and see.

What went right: The Ken Squier interview with D. Waltrip, Gordon, and Yarborough before the race. As a person on the younger side, that was really nice to watch, especially how Gordon was having so much fun with Cale Yarborough who is hilarious. Gordon looked like a little kid and apologized to Mr. Squier for asking so many questions of Mr. Yarbarough (instead of answering Mr. Squier's questions) but said he while he got to see DW all the time, he didn't get to see Mr. Yarborough very much so wanted to ask him questions while he had him there. Humpy Wheeler should get Jeff Gordon and Cale Yarborough for his next show, they seemed like they really hit it off!

The other thing that went right was the camera following Ryan Newman's dad at the end as he walked into Victory Lane. We were like "who is he, that's not Roger Penske!" as he walked into Victory Lane. It made it so much nicer that the camera had followed him when he sprung up on Ryan. Very emotional moment captured well by the cameras.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 9:20PM,

Amazing how certain things have a way of working themselves out huh?

I got a call after that big debate that the NYT guys were reading our comments. That alone was gratifying. We will see how they handle the real world of NASCAR now that they know it exists.

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

I wonder how many of today's NASCAR fans remember that "track cam" back in SpeedWorld coverage on ESPN? That was great fun then, and they used it all over the place in all kinds of racing.

JD

Brett Baldeck said...

Since this was the Daytona 500 I think FOX added in some extra gimmicks, and commercials. This is the most popular race of the reason and I remember reading on Jayski that FOX sold all their available commercial space for the race.

I think next weekend on FOX from California we will see a normal pre-race show, and just normal everything.

It will be interesting with the Truck Race and Cup Race on FOX next weekend. Hopefully we won't have a Mansfield 07 repeat.

Anonymous said...

It was disappointing that Fox chose not to cover the 3rd lap tribute by the pit crews. They had to have known about it.

Anonymous said...

"They gave Montoya a free pass on his punt of Clint Bowyer and they never followed up on that story."

That punt was payback for Bowyer's punt of Montoya last year in another race. Which Bowyer didn't regret in the slightest and laughed about, so Montoya paid him back. Remember this is the new NASCAR, that stuff is cool now, so Clint needs to watch his back. He's not going to get away with it anymore.

Bowyer is in all kinds of trouble tonight anyway. Did you see Jeff Burton going after him in the garage as shown on the end of Victory Lane?

I repeat Jeff Burton!!! Went after teammate Clint Bowyer! I need to see it again, but I believe Jeff grabbed him (not hard) to keep him from walking away but Clint wasn't having it and kept walking. The VL guys showed some footage that they thought might have caused the problem (when Burton lost the lead), but emphasized they weren't sure. Good stuff at the end of VL.

Anonymous said...

JD, I don't know if you saw the super bowl but there was about 8 hours of pre-game programing on FOX. why did no one criticize that NFL broadcast? when I say that, I don't mean on this forum but anywhere else.

Today's pre-race was fine and SHORT compared to the NFL post game.

Brett Baldeck said...

Oh. One question. When do TV ratings usually come out? My prediction ratings were up between 7%-12% this year.

Anonymous said...

Quick tally ratings usually come out next day. official ratings come out usually in a week or two. I believe you can view them on NASCAR.com in the coming week.

Anonymous said...

I never thought I'd do this (my wife is making me because I complain to her and also sometimes here on your blog entry ). But I have to compliment ESPN News for their coverage tonight.

I wrote the msg in the other blog entry that ESPN NEWS was covering post race since 7:30 p.m. From 7:30-8, they covered the highlights and showed Ryan's FOX interview, plus Roy McCauley's press conference interview, mixed among other news of today.

Beginning at 8 p.m. it was all Ryan, Roger and Penske. I couldn't believe it. They did break away from the press conference for commercials twice, but each time came right back - to Ryan, Roger and Penske!

Then they went to another highlight package with more driver interviews. Then they went to the NASCAR Now set with Allen, Rusty and Brad. So basically 45 minutes of nonstop NASCAR coverage. They picked it up again at 9 with the highlights package.

And they had viewer internet comments pop up along the bottom commenting about Ryan's win. I'd never seen that before, but I don't watch ESPN News unless there is a huge sports story going on.

I'm so impressed. I don't want to get my hopes up, but I thank them for that.

The only negative (not ESPN's fault) was that it seemed the NASCAR reporters on hand asked many more questions of Penske than Newman who was left sitting there twiddling his thumbs much of the time. You have the Daytona 500 winner in front of you, reporters! Ask him more questions! It made me sort of understand why Tony Stewart gets upset with the reporters. Not completely, but sort of.

And Shannon Spake seemed to be trying to stir up a little controversy when she interviewed Dale Jr about who made a decision on a specific lap. He didn't fall for the bait and wouldn't blame anyone. He didn't look too happy with her, but he was polite. That was the only other negative.

Thanks for letting us have the forum here.

Anonymous said...

One addition to my comment above: the ESPN NEWS guys kept calling Ryan Newman "the pride of Purdue University!"

That's one time where being one of the only drivers with a college degree is coming in handy for Ryan. ESPN loves their college sports connections to try to connect him with their viewers.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 9:28PM,

I really tried to watch the Super Bowl stuff, but I finally turned it off. That pre-game was awful.

I will watch it when the Dolphins win next season, I have finally given up on the Redskins until Junior buys the team!

JD

Anonymous said...

JD, will you talk about NASCAR Now on ESPN that is on right now?

Daly Planet Editor said...

There will be columns on tonight's NASCAR Now and RaceDay up early tomorrow. Thanks for asking.

The new emphasis on NASCAR at ESPN is not going without notice. The ESPNEWS live coverage of post-race and other elements are sure working well right now for the ESPN networks.

JD

Aven said...

I thought Fox did a pretty good job with what they had to work with. The COT with the wing is so stable, it can take an exciting race and turn it into a snoozefest like it did today and at Bristol last year. The coverage was better and the interviews were better than I expected. If someone would just tell me exactly when the race will actually start, I would be much happier. I have no interest in the Pre-race garbage. I want to see the race and nothing but the race.

SophiaZ123 said...

Usually Jayski, at least I think it's Jayski, or another site, now lists when the Green flag drops for those NOT interested in pre-race shows.

Look forward to the next columns JD even though I missed 2 hrs of Raceday and some of the good stuff.

But my eyes are tired from watching tv and reading online so much this week!!!

Thanks for all the columns as I know it's been a busy week for you, too.

Vince said...

JD, I have to disagree with you on this one. I thought the Fox broadcast of the race today was pretty poor. The prerace show was better than the race with all the attention and interviews with the old school winners of the 500 from the past.

First off, too many people talking in the booth. I have a headache after listening to DW, Larry Mac and Hammond all day.

Secondly, way too many graphics. It's like Fox has all these toys and wants to use them all at once. And yes, I remember the "gopher cam" from ESPN years ago. They used it regularly on their Thursday Night Thunder series from IRP when Jeff Gordon was first starting out in midgets. But watching today's broadcast you'd have thought Fox invented the damn thing. It is a nice shot to use once and a while, WITHOUT the cartoon gopher thing. But it is not a shot to use at a high banked track like Daytona. All you see is a blur of cars going by at what looks like a 45 degree angle. It might work better if used at a flatter slower speed track like Martinsville or Richmond.

The split screen is better than the alternative, not showing the racing. But if you have a 26 inch screen like I do, you can not see what is going on in the small box of the split screen. It's too tiny. Why don't they do something unique, like make the split screen a real split screen? A 50-50 split with no small window. Not everybody has a big screen or wide screen tv.

I thought the camera work, specifically the direction of those cameras from the truck, was poor today. Lots of missed action. Still too many tight shots. Too much in car shots, which show nothing. Too much bumper cam, which also shows nothing. Unless you like seeing the front grill of the car following the rear camera or the back bumper and wing of the car from the front bumper cam. More wide shots showing the action, please! Trying to show a tight shot of a car going 200mph doesn't show me a thing. The director needs to use some common sense when it comes to the camera shots and angles. Shoot the action like I would be seeing it if I was sitting in the stands! Is that so hard to understand?

And where were all the pit reporters the last part of the race? All out for an espresso?

I'll check out the race this weekend at California and hopefully Fox will lighten up on the yacking in the booth and the over the top graphics. I thought this was a very weak effort from Fox. I'll give them a C- on this weeks broadcast.

Anonymous said...

Good job to Sportscenter. A full 11 minutes was dedicated to NASCAR with an extension of NASCAR Now on Sportscenter.

Anonymous said...

I give the race broadcast an A. Everyone in the announce booth was great and provided good information. Also, good job by the director. I don't believe we missed a single wreak live due to the use of wide shots at just the right time. And at the end, we saw a good amount of cars cross the finish line. There we a few issues, but I can easily look over them because it was a good overall broadcast.

SophiaZ123 said...

Vince!!! I just wanted to second your post.

After all my kvetching online during the race (getting wireless for your laptop is a bad thing...it can easily feed the negativity and I just can't STOP MYSELF!)

I had no energy to repeat myself in response to JD's blog except I didn't agree with this one.

You hit all my points on my head better than I did.

Thanks for saving my tired eyes and fingers. :-)

MOSTLY on the split screen. YES! YES!

We do NOT all have 60 inch tv's so the bizarre split screen with one small and one large GYPS us of SEEING what is going on.

NASCAR some of us have no priorities of getting TV's the size of a buick. Many of us get by quite well on old tv's with 19, 20, 25 ot 31 inch screen.

PLEASE keep us in mind.

And I want to know why they can't do a SIMPLE 50/50 split as well. GREAT QUESTION.

All those talking head tv shows use it and I would rather see racing cars than some yapping head.

Cheers

p.s. and those HD screens for under 1000.oo have much less REAL ESTATE for picture purposes than our old tvs!! Like do I want a window that's half open with a short, wide screen, or a big window that let's me view more things? I will take the latter.

I must be off.

Anonymous said...

Daly Planet Editor said...
There was absolutely no bigger and better example of why national advertisers should allow this split-screen effect to be used for their commercials than this race. Once Mike Joy led to a commercial break, viewers had no reason to stay. They knew the race was very safe, the cars were lined-up, and they now had two minutes to surf the dial or hit the fridge.
*********************
Interesting that you say that, because this was supposed to be the one day and one race that viewers were supposed to be happy about the commercials. But like you said, I had no problem getting up to hit the fridge (actually, the grocery store).

Kenny Wallace said on Victory Lane after last year's race, that NASCAR sponsors outdid themselves with all the new commercials and he was so surprised and excited. As was I.

This year? Bad news if it's this race's goal to continue to be a Super Bowl-ish destination for ads. Not only were most of the commercials not new; the newer ones - other than a couple- were backloaded at the end of the race. Last year, they were mostly at the beginning and then repeated at the end. There was no reason to stay interested when the race went to break to try and wait to see something new. Why wait? So I could watch the sole cheap-looking Sprint (lead sponsor) Cup commercial for the 10th time in three hours?

The UPS goodbye to Dale Jarrett and the NAPA ad were the only outstanding ones, in my opinion. Last year there were several in that category (Allstate, NAPA, Oreos, Bud, Sunoco, Nextel, and many more.)

The letdown of the uninteresting commercials after all the hype made a not very exciting race seem even longer. The only upside is maybe in a tight economy, the sponsors cut back on new commercials to try to apply the money saved to use for the actual cars in the sponsorship.

If that's true, fine. Just don't hype the ads then, NASCAR.

Anonymous said...

Here is the problem with the split-screens. think about it. A persons face is kind of makes the shape of a tall/upright rectangle. so you can fit it in an tall/upright rectangle that would be seen with a 50/50 vertical split.

A car and cars on the track make more of a flat rectangle shape or a tall rectangle on it's side, if you will. So if you try and put it in a 50/50 vertical split, you would only see one or a few cars and you will not see the length of the field or where the cars are going.

Now you might say, well why not use a horizontal split? well you could, and I think that might be the best possible solution, but then you have to think about the upper ticker forcing a horizontal split to fit in less space than it should. And you can't get rid of the upper ticker.

GS

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
If that's true, fine. Just don't hype the ads then, NASCAR.

February 17, 2008 11:35 PM

When did NASCAR, the sanctioning body itself and not the media, ever "hype" the adds for this race?

Anonymous said...

SophiaZ123 said...
NASCAR some of us have no priorities of getting TV's the size of a buick. Many of us get by quite well on old tv's with 19, 20, 25 ot 31 inch screen.

PLEASE keep us in mind.

February 17, 2008 11:28 PM

Were you addressing NASCAR? I don't think they are in control of whether or not FOX uses a split screen or not.

Anonymous said...

When did NASCAR, the sanctioning body itself and not the media, ever "hype" the adds for this race?

February 17, 2008 11:45 PM


Within the last two weeks. :-) Go to nascar.com on the News page and read the "story" written on 2/1 by Andrew Giangola, who is an executive for NASCAR public relations/communications (it's written as "special to nascar.com")

Excerpt:
"Just one NFL star appeared in a Super Bowl spot last year.

Contrast that to NASCAR's marquee event, the Daytona 500. During the FOX telecast of the Great American Race on Feb. 17, the athletes dominate virtually every ad break. In fact, last year, 27 NASCAR drivers starred in new sponsor ads running during the Daytona 500, according to professor Max Utsler of the University of Kansas, who actually counted. Expect the same in about three weeks.

"There is as much NASCAR in the Super Bowl spots as football in the Super Bowl spots," Utsler said. "Last year, Don Shula was the only football personality in a Super Bowl ad, and he only got as much face time as Dale Jr. singing about how he was going to buy a Chevrolet. NASCAR drivers and/or cars appeared in 46 percent of the 2007 Daytona 500 spots."

This helps make the FOX telecast TiVo-proof. NASCAR fans are less likely to channel surf during ad breaks. For the 2007 Daytona 500, 95 percent of fans stayed tuned to the race during commercial breaks, according to Nielsen Media Research."

On Friday, USA Today had a similar quote from chief marketing officer Steve Phelps last week (Friday), about the ads making the race Tivo-proof. That story was called "Race Is On for Drivers On Track, TV Spots."

stricklinfan82 said...

LIKES

No Infield camera for the finish!
- I liked the choice to use the rooftop camera for the finish instead of that infield camera and it was certainly nice to see all the cars at the line instead of just the first couple.

The announcers and pit reporters
- The guys in the booth did a very good job as usual, and I thought the pit reporters did an excellent job as well. The only uncomfortable moment was when Kyle Busch overshot his pit stall on that last stop and was getting pushed back, all the while Steve Byrnes just calmly talked about adjustments and such and didn't notice the problems going on in front of him.

The starting lineup
- I liked the new starting lineup display, and that they had a graphic showing who had to start at the rear. The other thing I would like to see make a return to TV is a list of who didn't qualify. In the last couple years the TV networks haven't even mentioned the non-qualifiers on race-day.

DISLIKES

Commercial Spacing
- Maybe I'm the only one that thought this (I haven't checked out the in-race comments yet) but it just seemed to me like there were a lot more commercials then usual. Especially in the middle to late stages of the race it seemed like there was 3-4 minutes of racing, then a commercial, then 3 minutes of racing, and another commercial. Maybe they were front-loading the commercials, but I don't know. It just seemed like there were a lot more commercials than normal.

Gopher Cam
- The gopher cam seemed awfully overused to me, and the silly gopher graphic that came up every time it was used seemed a little excessive. We've seen camera shots from ground level many times before so I didn't see the thrill that this "new" camera added to the broadcasts. I've never been a fan of the fixed cameras like the speed shots and the gopher cams.

The Pre-Race Concert
- I loved the idea to restore a bunch of the old Daytona 500 winning cars and parade them around the track. Fox showed an old Richard Petty car and Jeff Gordon's 2005 car and during a couple wide-shots I could barely make out Ernie Irvan, Davey Allison, Dale Jarrett, and Michael Waltrip's race winning cars from years gone by. I just wish Fox would have shown all of those cars. It would have been a great treat for an old-school fan like me to re-live some great memories and would have been a great history lesson for newer fans to see the evolution of these race winning cars.

Lucky Dogs / Cars that Fell Out
- During some of the early cautions Fox missed many Lucky Dog recipients. They got much better by the end of the race though, so maybe someone here pointed it out during the race and they fixed it. I also would have liked to have known what happened to Joe Nemechek, Kenny Wallace, and John Andretti's cars and would have liked to have heard from David Ragan after his crash. I still wish these TV networks would add an extra reporter to cover just the garage area. They could report what is wrong with all of the cars behind the wall and conduct all the interviews outside the Infield Care Center. When the pit reporters have to do both pit road and the garage area stories, one or the other is going to suffer so why not split that task up and have both pit reporters and a garage area reporter?

Review of Speedweeks Coverage:
Overall I thought it was a great week of racing coverage. If it wasn't for the horrible last lap coverage we received in almost every race (ARCA, Shootout, Truck, and Nationwide) and the awful Nationwide and Truck qualifying coverage I wouldn't have had any major complaints about the coverage. The Fox/Speed guys did a great job all week (except for the last lap botches) and even the ESPN on-air personalities stepped up their game and had an excellent week.

What Needs Addressed for Next Weekend's Coverage:
Looking ahead to next week in Fontana I'm looking the closest at these 2 issues that need addressed:

- all 3 networks need to work on their last-lap camera work so we can see EVERY car cross the finish line

- ESPN and Speed need to re-focus their qualifying coverage on the go-or-go homers. If the TiVo style format is not used the commercials should be front-loaded so we don't miss ANY go-or-go homers. I would also like to see some kind of on-screen graphic that shows only the standings of the go-or-go homers, and the lap tracker should only track the standings among the go-or-go homers. The overall position should be an after-thought. It doesn't matter where you are overall if you're not one of the top 5/6 Trucks, 12/13 Nationwide cars, or 7/8 Cup cars in the go-or-go-home group.

Anonymous said...

BTW...I like how SPEED brought back the same-day re-air of Victory Lane. It is on right now.

Last year, the next re-air was in the early morning. when I missed the first edition right after the race, I could not see it again (I don't have a DVR). So, I like this chance to see Victory lane on the same day of the race if I missed the first airing.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Daly:
A great several days of columns and I can't wait for you to roll out the new website!
Some observations:
In your previous columm on the race in progress, I didn't see anyone comparing the coverage between ESPN (Nationwise) and Fox (sprint) over the finish. Until you noted it in your column, it went unmentioned. The opportunity to compare & contrast with race coverage back-to-back was perfect, yet it didn't happen! My take: there are things to be ironed out by both networks and I believe there will be. The tribute to Ron Scalise during the ESPN broadcast was outstanding (many thanks for allowing us to not only discover what he contributed to sports broadcasts but sharing what his colleagues felt for his contributions)! But ESPN's shot of the flagman and Stewart compared to the FOX finish of the 500 gave us an idea of what lessions might have (or have not)been learned after the 2007 season.
Also, on WINDTUNNEL tonight, DW was really good as a follow-up to the race, actually holding his own with Robin Miller!
I was cringing when FOX first introduced "Gopher Cam" because, after the skit in the prerace program, I expected to see outtakes or selected segments from the movie "Caddyshack" when Bill Murray is trying to kill the gopher on the golf course.
Just my obvervations...
PS: judging for the postings over the last several days, I would believe our other friend and fellow poster from SW Ohio is back on the "high test" and still doesn't have the DVR. (I still see those orange glows.)
Thanks again!
Tom in Dayton, OH.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand people who complain about coverage because of the size of their TV. Sorry, but while you may have no intention of getting a large TV, sports are best shown on large, widescreen HDTVs. A network shouldn't keep anyone in mind when putting together an event. They should look at what they can do, how it will look best, and do it. And NASCAR looks best in beautiful widescreen as it did on mine today.

Saying that networks should consider the small TV owner is like saying Best Buy should carry as many VCR tapes as Blu-Ray discs.

Tabula Rasa said...

John,
I don't understand what you mean by:
"The NASCAR on Fox graphic package still works great, especially with no additional network "ticker" on the lower third of the screen. "

Do you mean the crawl on the top? I'm not familiar with any lower 3rd ticker.

Tabula Rasa said...

Regarding gopher cam, one thing I haven't seen discussed is how well it visually conveys the high banking at Daytona.

In the past, I think it's been extremely hard to convey just how banked a track like Daytona is, and the gopher cam did a good job of that, even if the announcers didn't specifically mention that aspect.

Anonymous said...

As a long-time NASCAR fan, I was quite pleased with the Fox coverage of the race.

No, it wasn't perfect. But it was very good.

And I'm not sure why people say the race wasn't exciting enough--lots of passes, lots of lead changes...what did you want, wrecks? Is that why you watch, to see cars crash? Were you disappointed that no one got hurt?

I like this blog, but I swear, some people will find anything they can to complain about.

Anonymous said...

In Car Cameras, Bumper cams, and the Gopher Cam totally RUINED this race broadcast for me. It was IMPOSSIBLE to get sense of what was happening b/c we could not see anything thanks to the camera selection. Late in the race I remember Darrell Waltrip saying "Did you see the move Kyle Busch just made?" and I remember my answer was "No, I am looking at a bumper of another car."

Terrible, terrible, terrible camera work.

Anonymous said...

A perfect example of why yesterday's telecast was poor was the restart late in the race where Kyle Busch restarted 11th. Everyone knew he was going to roar through the field and with his aggressiveness there was a chance for a wreck.

So the race restarts and for 2 laps we see nothing but bumper cams, speed shots, and the gopher cam. After the 2 laps Kyle Busch is in 4th place.

From 11th to 4th in 2 laps. How did that happen? I wish I knew.

Anonymous said...

Don't know what the hype about the Gopher Cam was all about.

We've seen this embedded camera before, and recently. I remember a race in 2006, I think, where the Tower even called a caution after it was run over, and the network had to go cut it out and remove the camera so it wouldn't be a hazard.

Like any new toy, it was way overused, as was the cutesy graphic. I'm surprised it wasn't sponsored!

glenc1 said...

My issue with FOX was more what they DIDN'T cover than what they did--like anyone who was not a Chase driver from the last couple years. I mean, honestly, I know some of these guys were laying back on purpose, but you still should be doing rundowns and talk about how most of the guys' cars are handling. Let us know why someone's car went to the garage and follow up. We talk over and over about how race fans have favorites and it's not okay not to show them all finishing, well, it's NOT okay not to show how they are running during the race or why they dropped out either. I was VERY disappointed in that aspect of the coverage, it bothered me a lot more than gopher cam, though I could do without the cartoon.

As for the pre-race, you either like those things or you don't. I enjoyed trying to spot all the different winners both in person and on their banners. The black 3 rolling out nearly brought a tear to my eye. Not to mention, that stuff is mainly aimed at the people *attending* the festivities, the ones who forked out $300 a ticket, ya know, not the TV audience. I have no real beef with that. Usually you can check to find out when the green flag actually drops and tune in then if you don't like it.

I have not commented on this in the past, and it's not a criticism of anyone's viewing habits, but just personally--I have no intention of paying 'extra' for stuff like Trackpass or Hotpass. I find that stuff to be way more than I need to know, even if I do think it's reasonably priced (or when its free.) But it does mean I expect my network coverage to actually cover more than the top 10 or so guys. Here's hoping once the hoopla of Daytona is gone, they will get back to covering the races properly, or I will be back on MRN, which does do this SO much better.

Daly Planet Editor said...

tabula,

One of the big issues discussed here is the continual lower third ticker fulltime from ESPN2 during the Nationwide races.

This means viewers have one fulltime ticker running at the top of the screen and another unrelated ticker running fulltime at the bottom. Then, with the additional graphics inserted into the screen, things are a mess.

JD

Anonymous said...

Coverage didn't just last through Victory Lane on SPEED. DW was on Wind Tunnel for most of the show too! What a long day for DW. Thanks to him for putting in the hours to bring information to the fans.

As for a "boring" race? Check out some scanners online. There is nothing boring about watching and listening to the greatest drivers in the world trying to get their cars to work. They were fighting issues and adjusting all day! People who complain about single-file racing don't know stock car racing.

red said...

i watched daytona at a party with a mix of long-time fans and new viewers. several of us spent a chunk of the race explaining the basics -- why do they run pace laps, where did the lucky dog concept come from, what's a restrictor plate, how hot does it get in the car, what's that tube on the top of the helmet/coming out the left side of the helmet, what's tire blister mean, how do they do a burnout, etc. -- and it made watching the race actually more enjoyable!
there were about 30 people so i couldn't hear a word of the broadcast and i found that i missed some important information about why a car was off track and the such. that being said: i was able to actually watch the race more carefully than normal and i thought there was some great racing going on! and no one can complain that the last 10 laps of racing weren't great.
interestingly, everyone HATED that freaking gopher! those of us who knew it wasn't anything new were impatient but the new folks thought it was "stupid" and "inane." it must go. pre-race: if you don't like it, don't tune in. i didn't: spent the time helping newbies pick drivers, review the sport, etc.

i found myself feeling some sympathy for the networks: hard to balance the information flow to accommodate new fans and long term fans. we spent every minute explaining what was/wasn't happening on the track that it was like seeing a different race than other folks here have reviewed.

anyway, nice to see our sports thru innocent eyes every now and again!

Anonymous said...

I was glad FOX didn't say anything about the alleged tribute on lap 3 (if it even happened at all).

What a stupid idea. The crews are there to do a job and the racing is still way too tight on lap 3 for anybody to be less than 100% focused.

I was hoping for a big wreck on lap 3 to see all of the crews scrambling to find tires, tools, etc. when they all got totally caught out of position.

The race coverage was fine I thought. There's always stuff they do that will cause half the people to complain, but if they did it the other way the other half would complain.

I still think they don't follow enough stories throughout the race Dale Jarrett should have been a bigger story - especially with his high finish. And Elliot Sadler could have been invisible to FOX. But they did highlight Sorenson and Hornish who both had great runs.

Anonymous said...

I thought that the coverage was, overall, very good. Even approaching excellent in some areas.

I would have liked a clear camera shot of Kyle on the last restarts. Of course I'm a big fan of his so I'd like to see a camera on him the whole time. :D Still, I do think that everyone would have wanted to see how a highly aggressive driver in the race's dominant car was going to deal with the aftermath of the pit road miscue.

As for the commercials, ...
People whined a lot last year about there being too many cautions and about calling cautions for no good reason. So, yesterday we saw single-car, off-road excursions and cars limping back to pit road without having cautions for them. We saw more green flag pit stops that we saw in 10 races last year.

And fans respond by complaining about having commercials during the race.

Do you want Nascar to call TV red flags?

Nascar has no more commercials than any other type of TV programing. Grow up and DEAL WITH IT.

Chad Little said...

tabula,

One of the big issues discussed here is the continual lower third ticker fulltime from ESPN2 during the Nationwide races.

This means viewers have one fulltime ticker running at the top of the screen and another unrelated ticker running fulltime at the bottom. Then, with the additional graphics inserted into the screen, things are a mess.

JD

February 18, 2008 8:53 AM

People who complain about this just turn off the TV and listen on the radio. I think if they found a $100 bill, they would complain it was dirty!!

Anonymous said...

red said...
i watched daytona at a party with a mix of long-time fans and new viewers. several of us spent a chunk of the race explaining the basics -- why do they run pace laps, where did the lucky dog concept come from, what's a restrictor plate, how hot does it get in the car, what's that tube on the top of the helmet/coming out the left side of the helmet, what's tire blister mean, how do they do a burnout, etc. -- and it made watching the race actually more enjoyable!
there were about 30 people so i couldn't hear a word of the broadcast and i found that i missed some important information about why a car was off track and the such. that being said: i was able to actually watch the race more carefully than normal and i thought there was some great racing going on! and no one can complain that the last 10 laps of racing weren't great.
interestingly, everyone HATED that freaking gopher! those of us who knew it wasn't anything new were impatient but the new folks thought it was "stupid" and "inane." it must go. pre-race: if you don't like it, don't tune in. i didn't: spent the time helping newbies pick drivers, review the sport, etc.

i found myself feeling some sympathy for the networks: hard to balance the information flow to accommodate new fans and long term fans. we spent every minute explaining what was/wasn't happening on the track that it was like seeing a different race than other folks here have reviewed.

anyway, nice to see our sports thru innocent eyes every now and again!

February 18, 2008 10:00 AM

Same experience here, party at friends 5-6 new people had the same type questions.

Anonymous said...

annon wrote:
As for the commercials, ...
People whined a lot last year about there being too many cautions and about calling cautions for no good reason. So, yesterday we saw single-car, off-road excursions and cars limping back to pit road without having cautions for them. We saw more green flag pit stops that we saw in 10 races last year."

Grow up and deal with ? Thats your advice? Well I deal with it by turning FOX off! I don't need it or want their incipent, self absorbed pats on their own back!

By the way, did snyone else think Jimmy Spencer was more than a little "buzzed" on Victory Lane??

streepo said...

I like Jeff Burton but I am so freaking tired of having to watch his wife whenever he has the lead near the end of the race? That was done to death TEN years ago!!!! They had the camera on Kim burton once when they were coming down for a restart. Every freaking network does this!!! Is that part of the NASCAR contract? Just show me the race!!!!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Chad,

The reason it is being discussed is because there are several networks who do it differently.

Some folks here are not big fans of stick-and-ball sports. They do not care about the NBA or the NHL scores and MLB news.

Others think it is a good idea and do not mind it at all. It is a shame that once again you cannot just leave your opinion but must criticize others.

BTW - Chad is a great guy in real life.

JD

elena said...

I thought Sunday was a great day for race fans that did not go to the race in person. I realize that many think the pre-race was too long or over the top. I just don't understand why not turn the tv off and just turn it on when the race starts. I don't care for WWE, but I don't demand it be taken off the air. I just don't watch it.

The fact that this was the 50th Daytona 500 made it special for many of us. I loved the fact that so many of the old timers were there. The Ken Squier round table was super. The interchange between Jeff Gordon and Cale was a lot of fun to watch. Thought it was funny to watch Jeff be a little coy about how much money he's made. In USA Today it has him listed as having earned $93.3m, so he definately will be the first driver to reach $100m in winnings.

I have a few complaints about the coverage, but for the most part I enjoyed it, so the pluses were much higher that the minuses.

Anonymous said...

I think that Fox did a good job. They are much better than TNT or ESPN. I spent most of the race watching Hot Pass. The best part of the Hot Pass deal is setting the audio to team audio. This way when the network goes to a commercial I can still hear what is going on with the team. I did some switching back and forth at the end to get the "whole picture" but found Hot Pass to be a good tool once again. I considered doing away with Hot Pass since during the summer months I end up Tivo'ing the races because of too much going on but "shiftergate" reminded me why I chose to keep Hot Pass. I was able to listen to the whole interaction between the two Jr's and knew much more than the Fox viewer ever did. Overall it's great the season is back and when July rolls around and TNT/ESPN comes back I'll use my Hot Pass more than ever.

Anonymous said...

Amy in FL said...

The only thing that I noticed was that when Mikey led the first 2 laps they did not say anything about his car being a Toyota and then when the next Toyota out of the Joe Gibbs Racing stable led, they said that that was the first laps that a Toyota has led in a points paying Sprint cup competition in 2008. I just wish that they would have gotten the facts straight.

I did think that the first 125 laps were somewhat boring and I never thought that I would say that. I missed the last 75 laps due to having to be back at church. I usually don't get to watch the end of the races because of having to be at church most Sundays at 5:30 and some Sundays at 4:30.

I thought the UPS and NAPA commercials were great. The new Toyota commercial with the real race cars being driven by r/c was cute also. But the others I am not really sure about.

The above is just my opinion.

As far as the commemorating the past winners, I wish that they would have given Mikey more credit than most tv people do. Yes, his win was clouded heavily by Big E's death but he really knew how and knows how to drive plate races and does not get the credit that is due him. JMHO.

Anonymous said...

Too much DW all day long

Anonymous said...

I thought the coverage was good. I do not agree with yesterday's assessment of the end of the NW series race, I saw no problem. One thing I noticed is that Mike Joy is composed and his broadcasting stays on the level of the actual race excitement. He does not try to over or under dramatize the action on the track. Larry and DW try to over dramatize the excitement quite often. With 30 laps to go Larry began amping up his voice while the on track action stayed relatively the same as it had been all day. He pretty much became Larry MacScreech, which becomes hard to listen to. As a longtime fan I would like them to follow Mike Joys lead and let the fan decide when the excitement level is raised, we do have a knack for that type of thing.

Anonymous said...

Can't they just let Dale Sr. rest in peace? Isn't it about time that Na$car/Speed/ESPN,etc just showcase "today" and let the past become the past? Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to James Madison on the 25th anniversary of the country said that is was time for the old to make way for the new. Those founding fathers were really smart!

Anonymous said...

One thing we liked was Mike Joy's changing wardrobe as he went through history in the prerace show. I thought it showed a dry sense of humor without getting too outrageous.

"The only negative (not ESPN's fault) was that it seemed the NASCAR reporters on hand asked many more questions of Penske than Newman who was left sitting there twiddling his thumbs much of the time. You have the Daytona 500 winner in front of you, reporters! Ask him more questions! It made me sort of understand why Tony Stewart gets upset with the reporters. Not completely, but sort of. "

I saw most of the press conference and I agree with this opinion. Hooray to ESPNnews for covering a huge chunk of the press conference. Boos to the reporters who asked question after question to Penske before really bothering with Ryan. I understand the owner is there to answer questions, but is he supposed to answer the majority of questions in such a major race? I have never seen that and I used to watch these live postrace conferences when ESPNnews broadcast them regularly in 2006. Lucky that Ryan has such a calm expression. I would have said "Hey if you're not going to ask me anything, can I go celebrate?"

It's like they already had the storyline in their mind: "Penske finally wins a restrictor-plate race!" and it didn't matter which one of his drivers actually did it.

So that aspect turned out to be a plus of coverage for the NASCAR partner networks - they did concentrate on Newman interviews first, Roger Penske second.

Ken-Michigan said...

Announce Booth:

Mike Joy is one of the very best and he showed his years in broadcasting experience by pacing himself thru the entire broadcast. I think that is a where we see a big difference between Joy and the analysts in the booth with him.

Larry Mac really needs to stop trying to be the play by play guy and leave it to Mike Joy.

DW is a great guy on the air and in person,,, BUT, in his defense..he worked a very long day on Sunday. Come on FOX / SPEED, give the guy a break.
The post race , in the booth proved it. DW was spent. Plus, in my opinion, he seemed very disappointed that Toyota didnt win the 500. Take a look back at that post race in the booth, it had the feel of a funeral home.

I still give DW an atta boy for being on the air from 9am til 10pm at night.

Coverage:

I really feel for the producers who have to jam in all those commercial breaks. It has to drive them as crazy as it does us watching. Something must be done about continuing to show race action during the commercial breaks and we miss even more laps when we go to the short tracks.

Sometimes we are too hard on the director(s) of these races. They had something like 60 or 70 cameras for the 500. Tough job choosing just the right show to make all of us happy. Its gotta be the toughest job in sports television, simply because of the "area" you are covering. A race track is huge compared to a basketball court or football field. But choosing bumper cam after bumper cam in succession isnt a needed element.

Overall Coverage - Very Good

Daly Planet Editor said...

Hey Folks,

There is a new column up about the post-race coverage on Sunday night.

Please feel free to add your comments. Thanks.

JD

batchief said...

One thing I don't believe a lot of people on here think about when it comes to commercials is that auto racing is the only major sport that, short of a red flag, does not have natural breaks for the race. Baseball has between innings, basketball, football and hockey have all kinds like between quarters and halfs, after touchdowns or scores and the ever popular TV timeouts. In racing something is going to be missed at some stage of the race to pay for us being able to watch it. I too would love to see the split screen, but if the people that pay big bucks to bring it to us don't want it, I'll take what they give me rather than the alternative, no race coverage. Good job Fox.

Thornton, Colorado said...

Overall coverage I liked. I also agree with alot of the posters regarding good/bad coverage. The one complaint I have is that Fox didn't show the past 500 Champions being introduced across the stage. It would behoove the network(s) to help educate newer fans about who actually built this sport. Obviously, Fox made sure everyone was aware of who Cale, Donnie, and Bobbie were; but perhaps a short video montage (with music)showing past winners, along with birth/death dates. (I know that sounds morbid, I didn't mean it to).
It seems the camera crews were caught off guard about the vintage race cars parading around the track.
The one MAJOR highlight for me? Showing Richard Petty numerous times throughout the broadcast.
It's good to see that there is another driver with Seven Championships, and meant alot to the fans, as well as the sport, besides the media facination with a short memory. I am not taking anything away from Earnhardt, but in old footage even Dale remarks that Richard was a hero of his.

SophiaZ123 said...

To Tom, I think it was.

I saw the comment about the hi test stuff or something, LOL.

No, just tired and cranky and need to stay off the wireless during the race, LOL.

Once something gets under my skin.....

I gotta give props to DW...he was tired but in a good mood on WT even with the beginning satellite glitch issue where we only heard about every 'third word' as DD mentioned.

I think ALL OF US are aware that there are no 'breaks' in racing. But I must say when watching the IRL there are less irritants.

EXCEPT, they have that dreaded habit of focusing on the wives of the winner. A couple times they focused on Ashley Judd so much as Dario was coming to the checkered flag that my room mate and I were BOTH screaming at the tv...and often, it was not even split screen...sigh.

But I think enough people have commented about similar issues so I don't feel I was unreasonable in those gripes or the others.

Now the REDUNDANCE of the same gripe.



Guilty.


I may ask my room mate to hide my laptop during the next race.


:-)

Thanks for all the columns, again, JD

SallyB said...

How many passes did we 'see' in replay? How many passes/action on track were missed because we were watching a replay of the previous misses action? The first 2 cautions were for debris...anyone see any debris....other than cars needing to be bunched up to create more 'excitement'?

Someone need to inform the networks that watching a race through the side window or rear bumper of a cars is NOT a way to show what's happening on track. Between the split screen replays and all the gimmick shots, I was getting seasick trying to watch the race.
Ance again, many of the cars that finished in the top 15 suddenly 'appeared out of nowhere' at the finish line, being ignored the entire race. No 'Thrugh the field' or rundown of more than the 'top' drivers. Excellent post race interviews and coverage.

Steve L. said...

There's not much more I can add here but just wanted to be counted to the 'it was okay' list of viewers. After all the hours and hours I've got invested this past week in watching all the coverage, I'm going to have to set up an eye appointment.

The gopher cam was over used but would not have been so bad if the animation wasn't used each time. The in-car and bumper cams are okay if not used in excess or when the action on the track warrants a wider shot to show the moves being made in the everchanging field. When it gets to the point of yelling at your own TV for them to change shots, something needs to change production wise. Seems like we all complain about the tight shots when it would be better for the viewer if they would just pull the camera out enough to see several cars in the frame.

The last two or three laps were actually terrible for us trying to see how our favorite driver was going to get to the finish line or who was going to help who.

I wished they would have took the three hour pre-race to show us the old cars, introduce us to the past winners, and give us a reason to want to go to Daytona next year. Give us a reason to want to go to a race this summer to see the action for ourselves.

I get to go to several races each year with my job and know how exciting it is to be there, but if a new fan watches the coverage we get on TV, why would they want to go see the race as it's being portrayed on screen. If it looks boring on TV to us old fans, just think what the new fan thinks it's like at a race. If TV makes the race look and sound exciting, it will fill more seats at the track.

So many stories went untold and the absent pit reporters was a shame.

Thanks JD for all your hard work this past week. I've really enjoyed all the articles and reading all the posts on here.

Now, off the that eye doctor!

Anonymous said...

I think it was the worst coverage of a race I have ever seen, four laps of race and commercials for three laps, when they did get back to the race they showed more in car and bumper cams than anyone should be subjected to, I don't care how so and so looks while he is driving, and I sure don't care to look at decals of the cars front end. I tune in to watch a race.

elena said...

One thing about Fox is that they have focus groups watch their races. They also do surveys to find out what fans think. One thing I can add about doing focus groups is that you avoid just listening to a certain type of fan.

The fact that Fox does this, leads me to believe that they are always trying to improve their product and they care what fans think. (That does not mean you can please 20 million fans 100% of the time.)

Anonymous said...

If I knew fox was going to put on a talent show for an hour and a half I could have stayed on the lake fishing for another hour. All the TV guides said the race was to come on at 2 o'clock so here I am for an hour and a half being pi-----off.

Anonymous said...

I was hoping for a big wreck on lap 3 to see all of the crews scrambling to find tires, tools, etc. when they all got totally caught out of position.

Anyone who hoeps for a big wreck ain't much of a race fan.

SophiaZ123 said...

tvracer.com had the green flag listed at 3.30

That site is free for day by day listing of all races. YOu may want to check there race day AM if Jayski does not mention it.

Elena

About focus groups !? well some of us have seen the terrible jobs they do and many folks in business have given FOCUS groups a nikname.

The likes of which I can not print here..or even HINT about since JD's mom reads this blog! ;-0

But it's not a good thing.

Thanks for the heads up of Ryan on Letterman tonight and Regis.

Jennifer said...

Larry yelling "12 laps to go!" scared the crap out of me. I thought something horrible had happened until I realized what he had shouted. It was a tad too much - considering it was 12 to go, not 1.

Speedcouch said...

I'm glad to see quite a few folks here remember why Fox is really that good.

Thankfully, since I had a group of people at the house, I couldn't hear much of the announcers' commentary. Though I'm sure from past experience, Mike Joy and the pit reporters did an excellent job.

Although my entire group moaned when we were subjected to the new "theme song" for BBB. Trust me, I will be muting the TV or flipping to another channel during that in the future (but wanted to others to see how truly horrible it was).

My main impressions of the broadcast are that Fox focused the cameras on the leaders way too much all day long (along with obligatory cheerleading and coverage of Earnhardt and DW's brother). They also seemed to go to commercial every 5 laps. Thank goodness for the free preview of Hotpass! I had it on the TV in the other room and would just walk in there to follow the action every time Fox was away for commercials. Trust me, I got plenty of exercise doing that all day since there were so many commercials. I also was able to come running to tell everyone else when one of the wreck occured while Fox was away. But I'll give them credit, they did seem to break out of commercial to show it in about 30 second after I got back to the living room.

I don't believe Fox explained for most of the day why Joe Nemechek fell back early and then was scored 28 laps down. They never covered several drivers including Kvapil and some others. I found myself wondering if these guys were even in the race at times.

The ticker was whacked out at one point with the graphic showing two drivers in the 99 car and several other mistakes that everyone at the party noticed.

The tilted view of the Gopher Cam actually made me nauseous every time they used it. Or it could have been DW and Larry screeching all day long; I'm not quite sure. Either way, as always this and every other gimmick brought on by Fox is overused to the point of nausea. In-cars were overused as always and will never take the place of the outside view of passes for position.

I have no problem showing the wife of the winner in Victory Lane or after the race. I do object to the resurrection of the "crying Kim cam," although after Burton lost the lead, crying would've actually been appropriate for once.

How many more races until TNT takes over?

Oh yeah, and I can't remember who on Fox actually started explaining how these cars have 5 lugnuts, not just one on the hub (like pointy cars). I said "what???" and my husband explained this must be their way of welcoming all the open-wheel fans who tuned into see Franchitti and the other refugees from open wheel racing. Give me a break...

Speedcouch said...

Whoops! I need to proofread before I hit "submit." On my previous post, I meant to say "people remember Fox is NOT that good...."

Sorry!

Anonymous said...

I have a hard time trying to figure out why Jeff Hammond, with his safety report, has to do it during green flag racing and with a full screen as well. If the safety report has to be done at all, why not use a double screen.

SophiaZ123 said...

Speedcouch

I wasnt going to bring this up but due to certain issues, I do take seizure meds and the MAIN reason I hate the Gopher cam is it does make me nauseated and gives me VERTIGO and made me nervous (provoking seizure like too many dizzying or FLASHING LIGHTS can do for people)

...thus I close my eyes a lot and try to guess then they use that stupid cam.

I remember when they used the "under the carriage" came (Hidden in pavement on other networks)

But the DIAGONAL view of the Gopher cam TRULY does induce motion sickness.

Just glad others noted that hear. The world can't revolve around folks with health issues but this MTV camera trend of 'flipping the pages' or diagonal/constanting changing shots, CAN induce motion sickness sensations in HEALTHY people.

Kewwis said...

Fox did an ok job, what really irks me is the pre-race, but i guess it was the super bowl.
So i decide to watch it and there is a parade of old cars that i NEVER SAW as Chubby Checker lipped a recording of the twist, i really was upset they didn't show the cars.
As far as commercials, if sponsors really want to sell to race fans, lets say Jimmie Johnson's sponsor LOWES has a 30 second spot, make a TAPE of the specials, services, etc. and follow the 48 car LIVE for 30 seconds as the spot is played, sure its one car for half a minute or a minute, but it would make race fans appreciative of them more than a guy selling interior house paint to a racer.

Anonymous said...

Does Chad Little work for NASCAR???

Daly Planet Editor said...

Chad is a lawyer, and has worked for NASCAR for years.

JD

Anonymous said...

I knew that once we started actually watching the FOX broadcasts again, the reality of the perceived superiority over ESPN would prove not to be the case. Larry and DW screaming, like the above post said, that (12 laps to go scream by Larry) was one of the over the top moments. The broadcast was OK, but I could do without the yelling and screaming, especially when there is really nothing to scream about. There is a definite room for improvement.

jeff said...

We all have our feelings about Chris Myers and his Hollywood Hotel, but Fox used him well as the transition between production elements, and junked a lot of the features that used to involve him on a weekly basis.

I disagree, CM and the HH serve no useful purpose what so ever, who needs them, the same goes for ESPN's version. I would have much rather watched the intro's of the past winners than listen to Meyers blather on. As far as the 1 1/2 hour prerace they do that every year at Daytona don't they?

chase said...

First of all, I want to comment on the ESPN coverage of the Nationwide race -- it was energizing hearing DJ's voice and he worked really well with Andy - Dr. P has either got to crank it up many notches or else go quietly into the sunset -- and NOT hearing or seeing Rusty was the best thing that has happened so far! Now if ESPN can only actually use Alan Bestwick to his full advantage AT THE TRACKS and GET RID of that sports update ticker then I think ESPN has got it together. Daytona and FOX: funny but I turned it on at 2PM and was able to do other things throughout the pre-race festivities. I felt the coverage was great but the guys sure could have updated certainly the other front runners as well as the rest of the field throughout the race - someone above mentioned they heard nothing all day about Elliot Sadler and his great finish - I didn't either! And not alot about Ryan until it looked like he might win the race! Their Victory Lane coverage was, I thought, pretty wonderful indeed. Thanks John for great critique and everyone else!

Desmond said...

I hate to have such a negative opinion of the Fox coverage, since it is normally the least of three evils.

But the Daytona 500 telecast was full of errors and hype.

Start with the very beginning. Gretchen Wilson (I think) became the latest celebrity to sing on a sports pre-race show, and it was a tribute to the "boogity" start of Darrell Waltrip, which was cute the first million times but which now gets on my nerves. The show did improve with features on the history of the Daytona 500, with Mike Joy in period uniforms using the slang of each era.

Next, there was the command to start the engines. All 23 retired, living past race winners joined DW in the command. Only one problem. We didn't see them! As DW said the magical words in the booth, Fox cut to...a crowd shot. As Lucy Ricardo would say, "there's some 'splainin' to do."

The top ticker was not updated to reflect any changes in position, unlike those of ESPN or TNT. And some of them showed the wrong colors reflecting last year's sponsors - for example, the green and red #18 and the red #8. No wonder it was taken down between laps 25 and 35!

And of course there were the curious camera choices, whether it was the overuse of in-car shots or the "gopher cam," which, when it was down momentarily, Fox had to note.

But there were some good things. The entire starting lineup was revealed on a full screen, back to front with the drivers identifying themselves, as on MRN. Also, the postrace show was comprehensive. And DW broke down when the piece on the segment on Dale Earnhardt's 1998 victory ended, as it reminded DW of his prominent role in Earnhardt's death at the same track in 2001; he was making his Fox debut as his brother Michael won for the first time in a Cup race. DW thought he had another "Ned and Dale" moment, only to see it all fall apart.

Anonymous said...

Good point about DW saying the start command. He even said to the camera all the 'other old drivers' were going to say it and we just heard and saw on camera DW.

wonder why Fox chose not to show the other crew?

Anonymous said...

It's such a shame! All the hype about the 50th Daytona 500 and we saw very little coverage of the previous winners or their cars during the pre-race coverage. These wonderful people won't be around forever, FOX dropped the ball big time on this one, IMHO. Did anyone know that Junior Johnson drove the pace car and his moonshine company sponsored a car?