Saturday, April 26, 2008

Fox And SPEED Force Viewers To Choose


Last season, it was interesting when SPEED changed the schedule of RaceDay so that it aired during the TNT pre-race shows. This practice continued during the ESPN/ABC portion of the Sprint Cup schedule, putting RaceDay head-to-head against NASCAR Countdown.

This Sunday, NASCAR fans will have another interesting TV experience when the final thirty minutes of the two hour RaceDay show overlaps with the first thirty minutes of the NASCAR on Fox pre-race show from the Hollywood Hotel. Fox is on-the-air at 1PM, and RaceDay runs until 1:30PM Eastern Time.

As most TV veterans know, the SPEED network is actually owned by the Fox Cable Networks group. On many weekends, including this one from Talladega, the NASCAR on Fox announcers appear on SPEED to host the Sprint Cup practice and qualifying sessions.

Now, for whatever reason, the broadcast side of the Fox TV Programming Department has extended the Hollywood Hotel pre-race show to almost ninety minutes. Even though Fox is on at 1PM, the race does not start until 2:20PM. One hour and twenty mintes of pre-race programming on Fox and two hours of exactly the same thing on SPEED.

This forces NASCAR fans to either continue to watch Fox's own cable TV motorsports network, or change channels to the Fox broadcast network and the Hollywood Hotel. It also puts RaceDay's news reporter Wendy Venturini and the NASCAR on Fox pit reporters on-the-air at the same time from the same location.

The Raceday line-up includes guests Juan Pablo Montoya and Greg Biffle. Venturini's popular Real Deal feature is an interview with Ken Schrader. That should be interesting. Of course, there is the one-and-only Rutledge Wood who this week goes fishing with the guys from Hendrick Motorsports.

John Roberts, Kenny Wallace and Jimmy Spencer will also be doing something very interesting in the final hour of the show. They will be leaving the SPEED Stage and heading trackside to "soak up" the festive atmosphere of Talladega.

This means that almost the entire RaceDay cast will be on-the-air live only feet from the Hollywood Hotel while the Fox Network broadcast is also live. I am not quite so sure what this situation accomplishes for either NASCAR or the two Fox TV networks involved.

Viewers will have to make the choice at 1PM, and it should be interesting to see how this affects the total program rating for the NASCAR on Fox telecast. From time to time, things do get interesting in "TV land."

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the directions. The rules for posting are on the right side of the main page. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

14 comments:

Wisconsin Steve said...

If FOX wanted more pre-race coverage on the network, I don't understand why they wouldn't just simulcast the last half hour of Raceday. It wouldn't force viewers to choose between two different programs and would be great exposure for their biggest Speed show.

Anonymous said...

JD, the remote will be busy. I like the attention between the networks. Looking forward to it on Sunday.
Lou
Kingston,NY

Gymmie said...

It's times like this that I love my DVR. But it's definitely a hard choice for fans who *do* like the pre-race stuff regardless.

I'll be on SPEED and then join Fox when RD is over. Then watch what I missed later or watch it and then "catch up" to the live broadcast. I haven't quite decided yet.

@wisconsin steve--that could be an interesting idea. A number of fans don't have SPEED either due to no cable or the requirement in their region to have digital cable and/or a higher tier package. So it would be nice for them to see some of what we get to see. Similar to fans being able to watch the Pick 'em Ups on Fox a few times a year :).

Todd Crane said...

AS ALWAYS, reguardless of the other network, I watch Speed until it goes off. They have too much fun and are right in the thick of things for me to tune in anything else till they are finished...Go JD and COMPANY!

Charlie said...

Maybe the Race Day crew will end up in the Hollywood Hotel and both channels will be broadcasting the same show.

PammH said...

Anytime I can see more Wendy & less Chris Myers, there is no choice in MY mind. During the rest of the yr, I always stay w/RD.

Newracefan said...

DVR to the rescue, but count me as a Wendy fan so I'll be with Raceday until the end and catch up on Fox at some point to make sure I don't miss something I might want to see.

Paul said...

To me this choice is a no-brainer. While I like Kenny Wallace and Jimmy Spencer, I find their Sunday show unwatchable after about 30 minutes, snd Rutledge is a total waste of my time.

Newracefan said...

The Race Day guys are leaving the HomeDepot stage and going inside. I wonder if they are going to work with Fox or is there something else going on. This is different for them

Anonymous said...

Who is "in-charge" of advertising for NASCAR? Overlapping programing is the #1 NO NO, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Why watch two clowns every Sunday morning? Does NASCAR ever wonder why so many people think NASCAR Racing is only for Dumb Rednecks? The folks in Daytona know NOTHING about building a brand and the perception of that brand to the public!

Anonymous said...

I'm watching NFL Draft coverage until the race comes on, too much BS on RaceDay and not enough new real information.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Wendy's Stewart interview was really a lot of fluff. I thought there was so many questions she could have asked after all that has been reported this week. Almost like she took the easy way out with Tony.

GinaV24 said...

maybe I've gotten jaded here over the last few years, but to me, there's too much prerace show on all the networks. A half hour before the race is sufficient after that the talking heads just get on my nerves. Personally, I prefer Raceday over the Fox show anyway, so it wasn't a hard choice for me. I wish they would just tell me when the race is going to start instead of forcing me to watch such drivel cuz I might miss the green flag. Unless there's a baseball game on of course LOL