Monday, March 17, 2008

Monday's "NASCAR Now" Ready For Primetime


Ever since ESPN2 made the commitment to completely change Monday's one hour NASCAR Now program this season, the comments from the TV viewers have been mostly positive.

On this Monday, Allen Bestwick was hosting a "roundtable" discussion that featured Ray Evernham, Rusty Wallace and Mike Massaro. This combination proved to be completely effective in terms of bringing a level of credibility to NASCAR Now that could not be questioned.

After a solid discussion of the Bristol Cup race, the panel welcomed Richard Childress by satellite for an interview. RC is getting as much out of this one, two, three finish as possible. One of NASCAR's best interviews, RC did not disappoint with his frank comments on everything from Tony Stewart's problems to the future of Childress Racing.

In following the Childress interview, the panel launched into exactly the type of open and flowing conversation that has attracted NASCAR fans to this program. Bestwick floated all kinds of topics, and let each panelist contribute without interruption. Wallace and Evernham seemed to be working well together, and this chemistry between the two big fish on the panel really set the tone for good content.

This week, it seemed that NASCAR Now had carved out as much time as possible for discussion. Using video highlights and driver soundbites to enhance the conversations, Bestwick really showed his ability to weave these TV elements together in a very effective manner.

In turning this program around from last season, ESPN has made one of the most painful decisions possible for them. Gone is the high-tech studio set, along with all the bells and whistles that used to dominate this program. In learning what NASCAR fans wanted to watch on Mondays, the network realized that "less was more."

Bestwick raised the Top 35 issue with the panel, and used reactions from several drivers to address this topic. The panel was clear in the differences involving practice for the two groups of Cup drivers, and how the world was about to change for Cup regular Jamie McMurray. The panel spared McMurray a review of his brisk response to this issue on a NASCAR Now episode from last week.

In addressing the Dale Jarrett retirement issue, the program presented a behind-the-scenes all-access feature. Rather than just another re-hash of Sunday, this feature turned out to be very thorough and balanced in tone. Beginning with Friday practice, the words of Jarrett and his true feelings about stepping aside as an active driver hit home for many fans. Wrapping-up with his heartfelt words from the actual drivers meeting, the feature ended with the NASCAR reality of finishing outside the top ten.

The best way to put the cap on this subject was to use the roundtable panel to tell some stories. Wallace and Evernham came through with comments re-enforcing Jarrett's dignity, but Massaro got the best reaction when he referred to the years where ESPN reporters were banned from the NASCAR tracks. Massaro said he had seen a lot of Jarrett at the helicopter pads over the years, and he always had time for ESPN.

This program is maturing before our eyes. Now, it may be time for ESPN to address the fact that this outstanding program is on-the-air at 5:30PM Eastern and 2:30PM Pacific Time on Mondays. It does repeat at Midnight Eastern Time, but that still cheats East Coast fans who are not able to watch this program live or record it.

As the season continues, ESPN execs are not going to be able to ignore the fact that they have a hit on their hands. It should be very interesting to keep an eye on the Monday version of NASCAR Now, as primetime seems to be in this program's future.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. This is a TV-related NASCAR blog, and the rules for posting are listed on the right side of the main page. Thanks for taking the time to add your opinion to this on-going Internet conversation.

50 comments:

kenn said...

NASCAR Now is on my DVR for the season. What I like best is the rapport of all four men. They feel comfortable enough to interrupt each other when the occasion warrants, and it gives me the feel of what it must be like in the motor coach when they're relaxing. You're right, J. D. They're definitely ready for prime time.

SophiaZ123 said...

Yep, a primetime show if ever I saw one.

LOVED IT!! I had not heard the news Kenny Wallace new ride was out of business already but boy is it getting TOUGH to get sponsorship and that is scary.

I am not a blood thirsty type but I kind of wished they woulda played the arrogant sound bite from Jamie M..but, that was tactful of the "NEW ESPN" not too...Erik K probably would have used it and I am ok with the new show.

I must say JD, this Monday night show is great and you are correct, they MUST change the time for this show for East coasts.

Even 7pm would be better of up against SPEED's alleged show at 8pm.


ROUNDTABLE discussion is PRECISELY what THIS nascar fan and others, want and are hungry for..sure it would be nice to hear a DRIVER's insight but at least it's live conversation and not a bunch of taped, rehashed bits putting us to sleep.


THANK YOU ESPN for listening to our gripes even if some of us were brutal. I thank you for tweaking things in spite of things that might have been said in a more genteel manner.

But, some of us are emotional females over things we have passion about!!

Great column, JD and thank YOU again for this site.

Ritchie said...

Loved it. A group of outstanding and intelligent panelists giving us insight that we can't find anywhere else. Please don't screw this up ESPN.

Richard in N.C. said...

JD- Do you think ESPN might move N-NOW to a better time slot (or maybe the replay up earlier)after the NFL draft or closer to when they pick up the Cup races - especially if TNT is as bad as last year?

Daly Planet Editor said...

richard,

I think with the performance of this program so far this season, almost anything is possible.

Since they already air NASCAR product on ESPN Classic, as they did this weekend, I would love to see it re-air in primetime on that network.

The issue will soon become no East Coast primetime airing, as the program does re-air at Midnight Eastern for the West Coast.

JD

SophiaZ123 said...

the only thing NN forgot is Harvick is waxing Stewart tonight and they acted like the two would speak before the next race.


Duh. I do hope somebody just overlooked that and i do realize they may never mention Sirius.


But if that's my only quibble on this show, I shall take it.

Anonymous said...

JD, are you implying that ESPN should take away the midnight ET airing? That would be HORRIBLE for west coast viewers. It airs at a perfect time here at 9PM. If they take that away I wont be able to watch the show anymore.

Anonymous said...

Pretty good show, but two things really put a major damper on the experience:

I'm not going to watch this show live anymore, because the amount of ads in the last 35 minutes was ridiculous, rivaling the ad count for SPEED shows like Trading Paint and NASCAR Performance. If you watch, you'll notice a short discussion of one topic, alternated with an ad, for the entire last 35 minutes left in the show. I'm not putting myself through that again.

Second is Rusty's comments on Jamie McMurray and Larry Carter. I told someone this morning that Rusty was going to defend Jamie with his last breath, and I was right. Now only are they friends, not only did Carter used to be Rusty's crew chief, but Jamie used to date Rusty's daughter, as documented on NASCAR 360.

So all we got was "Jamie is a good driver who's having bad luck." No thoughts on perhaps he's not adjusting to the COT well or Carter is missing the setups? There are other two Roush drivers are 2nd and 11th in points; Edwards would be 8th without his penalty. Ragan is 21st in points.

There's something more going on with McMurray than "bad luck" and NN did a disservice to its viewers not to look at it because of Rusty's relationship with Jamie.

Anonymous said...

It does repeat at Midnight Eastern Time, but that still cheats East Coast fans who are not able to watch this program live or record it.

Why would this show play in primetime? Why wouldn't fans be able to record it if they chose? My girlfriend records All My Children and Oprah every day and she's not home for those. I record races on Monday when they're rain delayed. If you want to watch something bad enough, you record it.

If it aired in primetime - even on Classic - it would *always* get bumped for live sports programming and viewers who want to see it would have an even harder time finding it.

None of ESPN's highlight shows play in East Coast primetime. They play in early evening or late night, sometimes after midnight. Why would Nascar Now be any different?

Newracefan said...

I continue to enjoy this show and set my DVR on series recording so I don't miss due to memory lapse or work issue. If I am lucky I catch it live but that is an exception not the rule. A later time would be helpful but thankfully for me not mandatory. My sympathies to those who can not record for future viewing. Loved the DJ piece, thanks for the infor about Mike's comment I wasn't a fanatic back then and didn't get it at the time. Mike's knowledge continues to impress me and Ray is talking as the champion crew chief and I can respect him for that (it's almost like that car owner stint is being kept under raps). Rusty has become a new man and I like it. Now comment needed for AB because he is the man and we all know it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I noticed the commercial load in the last part today. I don't remember noticing it last week, but my fast forward on my VCR got a little bit of a workout today. Wouldn't have been too fun to watch that in real time. Perhaps they need to work to spread them out better.

It went: Come back from commmericals, spend 2 minutes discussing top 35, go to commercials

7 minutes on Dale Jarrett, commercials

2 1/2 minutes on Busch series, commercials

Come back for 1 minute and say goodbye.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 8:09PM,

Not saying that at all. Just talking about what happens when a show becomes popular. The 9PM Pacific airing is a nice touch.

Anon 8:18PM,

When ESPN first got NASCAR, it was a strange choice because of the amount of content the races alone provide. Now, they have a program that is busting out with high-profile personalities and it does not fit the timeslot. There is a nice 9PM West Coast airing, but that leaves a gap for the East Coast.

If this show continues to pick-up steam, it may force ESPN to look at other options to get it exposed in the East Coast primetime slot.

On this blog, we just talk about what goes on in TV. Lots of times, we have discussions about topics that are a bit outside the box.

The Monday version of NASCAR Now can be as big as NFL Tonight or Baseball Tonight. It adds to the list of shows bumped-off primetime because the company only has two main cable channels that carry events.

With ESPN Classic only re-running shows from the ESPN library and handling spill-over from college sports, it should be interesting to see what transpires as the NASCAR Now franchise picks-up steam.

JD

Anonymous said...

"Now, it may be time for ESPN to address the fact that this outstanding program is on-the-air at 5:30PM Eastern and 2:30PM Pacific Time on Mondays."

and "It should be very interesting to keep an eye on the Monday version of NASCAR Now, as primetime seems to be in this program's future."
__________________________

As noted in the "Monday Night Showdown" column comments, PTI (Pardon the Interruption) is the highest rated show/nonathletic event programming on ESPN and it airs at...5:30 Eastern.

So a program can air at that time and be successful. In terms of recording, while many folks don't have DVRs, most everybody who doesn't has a VCR -I believe it's 79 percent of households who have VCRs in last study done.

I personally would enjoy seeing PTI in primetime or late night and you'd think that would be a no-brainer for ESPN to put it there. But they don't, probably because of the year-round conflict with live events mentioned upthread, or shows like Baseball Tonight.

If they don't replay PTI or the other game analysis shows in primetime or on ESPN Classic, I believe having NASCAR NOW air there is unlikely.

That said, I will continue to watch and enjoy the Monday show. though Rusty and crew really did let McMurray off the hook by not properly analyzing McMurray's situation. Poll going on NASCAR.com has 71 percent of voters most surprised that McMurray is out of top 35.

Great stat contributed by Mike Massaro that other than development driver Kluever, the researchers couldn't even find a record of a Roush Fenway driver not making a race. Lot of pressure on McMurray not to be the first.

PammH said...

Great show!! But I watched it on tape, so I can't comment on the commercial load..:(

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 9:20PM,

I am not quite understanding your point here. PTI airs originally at 5:30, and then migrates content over to SportsCenter directly after that for an additional segment.

In addition, the program re-airs in its entirety on ESPNEWS at 6:30PM. It is also made available online.

This is exactly the struggle that I have been speaking about. This show, along with several others, could easily move to ESPN Classic and present a nice alternative to viewers who are not into the stick-and-ball "event" coverage seen on ESPN and ESPN2.

Hopefully, in the future, this content will be available online immediately after it airs on cable TV so there will not have to be these types of issues.

Thanks again for the comment.

JD

Anonymous said...

My point is that PTI is a proven hit show, ratings wise, airing at 5:30 PM Eastern. You said about NASCAR NOW:

"Now, it may be time for ESPN to address the fact that this outstanding program is on-the-air at 5:30PM Eastern and 2:30PM Pacific Time on Mondays." and "primetime seems to be in this program's future."

Even with quantifiable ratings that show that PTI has a large viewership (something no one's seen for NASCAR NOW, how do we know there are people clamoring to watch it?), ESPN does not air PTI in primetime, which is 8-11 Eastern.

Yes they do repeat PTI on ESPNNews at 6:30, and they have it online, but you didn't mention those options as suggestions in your original column or additional comments. You said NN should be on in primetime and that 5:30 Eastern is too early.

I pointed out that PTI does very well - as the highest rated program for ESPN - in that 5:30 timeslot, so if NASCAR NOW is that good, the audience will find it there.

If ESPN Classic is used as a replay location, I think it's much more likely that ESPN would try that out with PTI, Around the Horn, College GameDay or Baseball Tonight first rather than NN. If they haven't already thought of that as an option for those shows, then I don't think they'd start first with NN. (Those shows are also proven ratings "hits", relatively speaking - meaning ratings have actually been released for those shows before, unlike NN.)

-Thanks, Anon 9:20

Anonymous said...

Commercials are a big part of television. If you don't like them, Television is not the medium for you. I have learned to watch TV knowing commercials will come, and do something else during the break.

Anonymous said...

I know the Home Depot garage and all are in Bristol, but I was watching the ESPNU College Basketball bracket shows last night and realized ESPN (technically ESPN Plus) still operates a downtown Charlotte studio.

Might ease the strain on the panel if they could move down there after March madness is over.

Anonymous said...

The studio in Charlotte is just for ESPN Plus. I don't know how easy it would be to integrate the NASCAR crew into that studio.
JD, what do you think about this and could you get more information?

Anonymous said...

Great Job ESPN! . . . and people think this site only criticizes and never give praises.

SallyB said...

I can't believe how much better this format is! It's almost as if Allen was 'channeling' the best of the old IWC to this show. Four knowledgable people having a'free flowing' discussion about Nascar. The chemistry on this show is outstanding. ESPN really listened, and came through in spades for the Nascar fans. Thank you ESPN!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous@10:12 said...
"Commercials are a big part of television. If you don't like them, Television is not the medium for you. I have learned to watch TV knowing commercials will come, and do something else during the break."

Television is the medium for me, and with a DVR I zap all the commercials, leaving those advertisers who paid for the commercials in the dust.

The heavy load of commercials is why people get DVRs/TiVos in the first place. We don't have to to put up with them anymore (and do something else in a break while they air) if we don't want to, and can watch 60 minute shows in 38 minutes, and Cup races in 90 minutes.

Anonymous said...

"Television is the medium for me, and with a DVR I zap all the commercials, leaving those advertisers who paid for the commercials in the dust. "


You know advertisers are planning on paying your cable company to put their large company logos on your DVR recording if you skip commercials. You should watch what you tell the corporations.

Anonymous said...

I have a store bought Pioneer DVR with a 160 GB hard drive - which allows me to instantly skip two minutes at a time of anything recorded, at the press of a button. Upgraded to that from TiVo. I would never rent one from the cable company, knowing they could (and will) monitor what I watch.

SophiaZ123 said...

Any idea why there is NO REPEAT on Monday night of N Now? I was watching nother station, clicked over to TWIN for a few minutes and looked for NN. NOT ON though listed??

No live game listed on my digital guide? At midnight these shows WOULD be head to head, but NN is missing tonight. BUMMER if the west coast gets gypped!! I wanted to watch it again as I got a call in the middle of it that had to be dealt with.

Wonder if it will be delayed?

Anonymous said...

SophiaZ123,
There IS a repeat
The NASCAR Now re-air is at 10PM PT.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR Now schedule was changed so ESPN2 could show Inside the Polls, which is an ESPNU show. It's March Madness, what can ya do?

NASCAR Now repeats are supposed to be on at 10 PST/1am EST tonight and tomorrow, 10:30 PST/1:30am EST Wed. and 11 PST/2am EST Thurs. So in a few minutes if it's on schedule.

Anonymous said...

JD, I have not seen Nicole Manske or Ryan Burr on NASCAR Now in a while. Why is that?

RPM said...

I hope everyone realises just how great an asset Allen Bestwick is. He was the glue that held Inside Winston Cup (sorry, I'm old school) together. That became painfully apparent when he was replaced.

NASCAR Now picks up just about where IWC left off, albeit a bit more subdued. ESPN needs to move this show heads up against This Week in NASCAR, but I'm sure there's some agreement between the networks not to go for the throat.

FOX does a lot of things right in NASCARland, canning Allen was not one of them.

ESPN moving the show to a Charlotte studio is not that big of a deal. They should seriously consider that for next season. I bet there is an empty studio available with regularly scheduled trash service.

Anonymous said...

Last night's show was excellent. Bestwick is an excellent host and Evernham is definitely a keeper. Not so for Wallace. Many old-timer Nascar fans like myself were glad to see Wallace retire.He had a well deserved reputation for being a self-centered crybaby. He mentioned 'teamwork' a few weeks ago. When he and Newman were team mates, he wouldn't even talk to Ryan much less share information with him.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Hey Guys,

The ESPN facility in Charlotte is not downtown, and is oriented to college sports. ESPNU and college studio programming of all types come from this facility, which is Southwest of the city.

There is no NASCAR connection with this facility, and it was made very clear to me that there never will be. So, put that to rest.

In terms of schedules, all I suggested was that this program is better than its timeslot. I am not so sure why it got some folks all wound-up, but such is life.

Ryan has been working on college hoop and ESPNEWS during crunch time, and Nicole has been on some days off. Nothing has changed with the cast or crew of NASCAR Now.

Thanks again for all the good comments.

JD

Speedcouch said...

This was an excellent show as have the ones with Bestwick on Monday have been the last three weeks. I don't watch the show any other day.

My only complaint is that the ESPN producer insists on running the same highlights over and over again ad nauseum. Such as the wreck with Havick and Stewart. At one point, the highlight was on and a huge graphic was on that covered up the replay. Why bother?

Use the highlight 2-3 times at most and lean heavily on the discussion by the panel. They are the meat and potatoes of this show!

Anonymous said...

"In terms of schedules, all I suggested was that this program is better than its timeslot. I am not so sure why it got some folks all wound-up, but such is life."

John, when you present things in absolutes and IMO a bit of hyperbole,such as: ESPN is not going to be able to ignore that it has a hit on its hands; the issue will soon become no East Coast primetime airing; primetime is in this shows's future; If this show continues to pick-up steam, it may force ESPN to look at other options to get it exposed in the East Coast primetime slot,
etc.
- you need to expect some people to remain earthbound. Some of us also watch sports other than NASCAR and know no other similar ESPN show or popular ESPN show airs in Eastern primetime and that other ESPN afternoon programs do well in the ratings.

You make NN sound like the second coming after five weeks of episodes; it's not. You make it sound as if the show deserves to be in primetime; other longtime ESPN shows aren't, so why should this one be? It's simply an good improvement over last year's Monday show. I do agree that it would be nice to see an online version.

You made your comments; some people disagreed. It's not getting "wound up" - strong feelings about NASCAR television are what this site is for, no?

Ron P said...

JD,
I'm a big enough man to say "I was wrong. I was worng"
Last nights show was great. I still can't sdtand Rusty but that's OK.
Last night's show was like watching an old episode of Inside Winston Cup.
If this dosn't prove to the idiots that run ESPN that Bestwick should be in the booth, I don't know what will.
The Monday Shows are just putting Speed to shame, right now.

RJP

Anonymous said...

I didn't like the way Rusty inserted himself into the Jamie M. conversation. With all of his conflicts (Jamie's his buddy and went out with his daughter, Larry's his former crew chief) he should have let Allen, Ray and Mike take the lead on that conversation.

I tell ya what, if Jeff Gordon had fallen out of the top 35, Rusty would have been all over that, and it wouldn't have been "he's had back luck" either. (Interesting that Gordon has had two DNFs and is still 13 or 14th in points, but bad luck Jamie is 36th.)

The only way Rusty should have been involved in that convo last night is if he had used his personal relationship to talk to both Jamie and Larry specifically about what they think the issues are, and reported that on the program. Not his personal thoughts that Jamie is a good driver and all this is a fluke.

NN needs to watch the conflicts and don't think they're slipping by folks. I saw that News and Notes graphic and pic that Ray's driver Chase Miller is racing in Nashville Saturday and Rusty's comment that Kenny Wallace is driving for a new team/sponsor. So? A lot of drivers are going to be there (like past Busch winner Stephen Leight) and Chase and Kenny are not among the noted ones. I don't think Chase Miller driving a race is worthy of one of three Monday News and Notes.

Anonymous said...

I hope Mike Massaro remains a regular on this roundtable. He has a lot of good information and seems to also take in reactions from fans. I'm not sure if he reads message boards or is talking to fans at racetracks, but it's great that he mentions the fan POV sometimes.

Shawnna said...

I really, really enjoy the Monday show. It's fast-paced, fun and informative. The hour really goes by quickly (especially since I FF thru the commercials.)

I have my cable DVR set to record all New airings of NN, regardless of the time. This hasn't been a problem with their afternoon airings (I'm in central time), but when they push it to the evening or night, I rarely get the whole show because a game is still on or they're showing highlights of the games.

So...I personally don't care when they air NN, as long as they REALLY air it in the scheduled timeslot. It's VERY frustrating to be looking forward to a segment and have it end mid-sentence. That happened last week with DJ Copp (sp?) talking about the small pit-boxes at Bristol.

I kind of like the afternoon schedule, b/c I can come home, get settled for the evening and watch NN before primetime TV starts. If they show it later, I usually don't get to see the show until the next day.

Again, I really enjoy the new NN. Thank you, ESPN, for listening to us! You definitely have a winner!

Shawnna in OKC

Anonymous said...

Good point about Chase Miller. I never heard of him until yesterday and didn't understand why he was news when they showed a photo and said he was entered in the race. They should have made it more clear that he's a GEM driver.

wordguy50 said...

I was yelling at my tv when I heard Mike Massaro say his "researchers" couldn't find any Roush drivers who didn't qualify. I recall very clearly how disappointed I was as a Kurt Busch fan during his rookie year (01?) when he used his five provisionals, then was DNQ for one of the late-season races.
Some research.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of you would still be posting how good the show was if allen bestwick wasn't on it.

stricklinfan82 said...

Another solid Monday Night NASCAR Now. This show will not be leaving my DVR list any time soon.

The roundtable format is still fantastic, and I particular enjoyed this diverse collection of four panelists - an active pit reporter / long-time reporter in Mike Massaro, a former team owner and championship winning crew chief in Ray Evernham, a former Cup championship winning driver in Rusty Wallace (who, with no offense to Boris Said, is far better in this role because of his immense experience on all these tracks and not just the road courses and restrictor plate tracks), and a veteran reporter/play-by-play man in Allen Bestwick who can also add his own input to the discussions and not just serve as a talking head that throws out questions from a script and lays out until the next topic needs to be brought up.

Normally I hate the long pre-produced video packages but I was okay with that decision in this instance because of the importance of the final race of the career of the great Dale Jarrett.

I also applaud them for continuing to use new driver soundbites that I hadn't heard all week on this show, especially from Sam Hornish about the top 35 deal.

I also liked the small "scoops" that Rusty and Mike added at the end of the broadcast about Kenny Wallace and Morgan Shepherd (hopefully he won't be a start-and-park driver now if he gets some equipment from Kevin Harvick).

I only had one small issue with the show this week: Allen Bestwick's retrospective on the precedence of drivers coming from 5th to 1st with 5 laps to go to win. Interesting idea but there were two major flaws with this discussion:

First of all, with the extra laps created by the green-white-checkered finish, it's not factually accurate in the first place that Jeff Burton was running 5th with 5 laps to go. He was running 5th on lap 495 but as it turned out that was with 11 laps to go. In the past where the race would have ended on lap 500 regardless of a yellow flag he would have never won, so it's not fair to put this in the same category as Kyle Petty winning Richmond in 1986.

Secondly, does anyone at ESPN remember the 2000 Talladega race where Dale Earnhardt came from a lot further back than 5th with 5 to go to win? Allen made it sound like the crew had to dig really far back to find the most recent example of this happening, when in fact that crew completely missed one of the most obvious examples in recent history, if not the entire history of the sport.

Otherwise another solid program. I didn't even bother DVR'ing This Week in NASCAR but based on the comments in this blog I'm glad I didn't. Starting the show with 20 minutes of Martinsville preview for a race that was still 13 days away... YIKES! It sounds like they're still using the "NASCAR for Newbies" theme, with this week's episode titled "This Week's Lesson is the Track called Martinsville". That format is certainly not for me that's for sure.

stricklinfan82 said...

Oh yes I forgot one other problem I had with the show.

The NASCAR Now race results crawl has a major problem - THERE ARE ONLY 43 CARS IN A NASCAR RACE!

ESPN continues to include drivers that failed to qualify in their Cup/Nationwide results crawl as finishing 44th, 45th, 46th, etc. Jeff Green did not finish 44th in the Cup race. John Andretti did not finish 45th in the Cup race. Patrick Carpentier did not finish 46th in the Cup race. Danny O'Quinn did not finish 44th in the Nationwide race. And Sam Hornish did not finish 45th in the Nationwide race. They were not in these races ESPN, please wake up. This happened a lot last year also during pre-race shows on the ESPN networks that included the starting lineups on the bottom crawls. Don't include the DNQ's on the starting lineups and finishing results, it just doesn't make sense.

ESPN, this needs to stop right now please. Thanks.

Dot said...

I love the Monday NN.
Regarding the comm'l comments about FFing them. I do the same thing, but how many times have you rewound a really good one, or paused it so someone out of the room can see it? Advertisers will have no problems as long as they make clever/funny commercials.
Stricklinfan82,
I agree with you.

Anonymous said...

I loathe reading good things about this show, only because I cannot get this show in the great white north. This is one of the few Nascar shows that TSN doesn't show. I am stuck watching TWIN which only makes me mad and I throw things at the screen.Please come back to me INC or is it ISC.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 8:56AM,

ESPN has created a dynamic group of content that they cannot fit into primetime. This issue was on the table at the network long before NN became a hit.

Now, with another one of the top sports in the nation having a key program that must air in non-East Coast primetime, there are absolutely going to be some meetings.

As far as calling it the Second Coming after five weeks, nowhere is momentum more important than TV. It would not surprise me if this show finds itself re-airing on ESPNEWS as well, just like PTI.

JD

Anonymous said...

"It would not surprise me if this show finds itself re-airing on ESPNEWS as well, just like PTI."

I don't think so. Why would a NASCAR program that's been around for five weeks re-air on ESPN NEWS instead of all the programs that have been in existence for years that don't re-air on ESPN NEWS? They don't reair Mike and Mike, NFL Live, College GameDay and just about everything else. But they're now supposed to have some meetings and jump on the NASCAR Now bandwagon. Come on. NASCAR Now couldn't even hold down the 6:30 timeslot it was given last year (got bumped when College GameDay returned to the air), and now you want a re-air?

I don't see Wilbon and Kornheiser whining that they're on the air at 5:30 on the East Coast, but you're doing that on behalf of Bestwick and Co. News for you: Most of the ESPN audience don't know who Allen Bestwick is (great as he is.)

Don't you think there are reasons that Pardon the Interruption and Around the Horn are the only ESPNNews re-airs and the only ESPN programs to be placed online in their entirety? They are proven to be popular. They've proven to be popular for YEARS. You write a few good reviews about a show and you want the red carpet thrown out for it.Soon. Again, come on.

You're welcome to keep putting this out there -it is your blog- but it's not really fair to get your readers' hopes up just because you want to wish something into existence without anything - evidence of "momentum", past programming history, ratings information - to back it up. It's just you talking, quite frankly.

Anonymous said...

One other thing: ESPNNEWS doesn't air PTI and Around the Horn in East Coast prime time. Do you expect that for NASCAR Now too?

Anonymous said...

I've read this entire thread. What I would like, JD, is for you to make up your mind about what you think ESPN should do with NN, which seems to change with every post. First you want NN in prime time. Then you want it on ESPN Classic in prime time. Then on-line. Now I'm reading ESPNews. Which is it and why does it keep changing. Pick an idea and stick to it.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure NASCAR Now is a hit, we haven't ever seen any Nielsen ratings.

That discussion went on in the Monday column; JD, you said you would email and ask ESPN for ratings. Did you get them and could you provide them? Otherwise, I can't declare NASCAR Now a "hit" compared to other ESPN shows and I don't see how anyone else can either.

Anonymous said...

I'm in shock. I gave up on this program last year after just two weeks. I guess I'll have to check it out once again. I'm relieved that ESPN is finally waking up.