Monday, March 31, 2008
"NASCAR Now" vs. Brent Musberger And Baseball
As the 6PM start time of the Monday NASCAR Now roundtable program approaches, we are going to document how ESPN handles a a live program situation on ESPN2.
The Chicago Cubs are playing live and two rain delays have extended the game. It will definitely run past 6PM Eastern, which is the start time of NASCAR Now.
Update #1: Nothing has been said about the NASCAR Now program by the baseball crew and it is 5:58PM. ESPN Classic has two repeat episodes of Stump the Schwab, but no indication that NASCAR Now will be moved to that location.
Update #2: It is now 6PM and live baseball is coming back from commercial. Musburger never mentioned NASCAR Now and only referenced baseball. There is no program change alert on the screen, Stump the Schwab is on ESPN Classic. It appears at this time that the 6PM original airing of this program is cancelled.
Update #3: At 6:04PM a crawl has appeared on the screen saying NASCAR Now would be seen following the baseball game. Earlier, a crawl said that Baseball Tonight would follow the game.
Update #4: There is a live baseball game at 7PM which will start on ESPN2 on time as scheduled. Whatever program follows live Cubs baseball will be collapsing down to the 7PM start time of baseball. A one hour version of Baseball Tonight was originally scheduled at 5PM before NASCAR Now.
Update #5: It is now 6:14PM and the bottom half of the ninth inning is about to get underway. Even if it only lasts fifteen minutes, that will bring the network to 6:30PM. The only way to get NASCAR Now on the air and make any sense would be to do it live. Meanwhile the Baseball Tonight crew is already live and on standby in the studio. It should be interesting to see what airs.
Update #6: The content of NASCAR Now and the name of Allen Bestwick has never been mentioned by Brent Musburger on ESPN2 now 20 minutes into the scheduled show time. There is no graphic alert on the screen to say it it coming up next.
Update #7: The game is in-progress at 6:38PM, so we can assume NASCAR Now is cancelled. The program re-airs at 1AM Eastern Time. What a shame ESPN Classic could not have been used to run this program at 6PM as scheduled.
Final Update: Allen Bestick and NASCAR Now got about six minutes after the baseball game suddenly ended. Bestwick led a review of the Martinsville Cup race, a preview of Texas and promoted the re-air of the show at 1AM Eastern Time. The panelists looked great, and I hope everyone takes the time to record the show at 1AM...but just in case you might want to record an extra two hours as another live baseball game is before the 1AM show.