Saturday, April 26, 2008

No Love For NASCAR In Seattle


Saturday is one of the rare appearances of the Nationwide Series on the ABC Television Network.

It is a great opportunity to use the bigger broadcast network to expose more viewers to the sport. The race from Talladega is a perfect choice to do just that. The telecast begins at 2:30PM Eastern Time and 11:30AM Pacific.

Last season, it was the ABC local stations that caused a mess when ESPN tried to use them to broadcast the final seventeen Sprint Cup races of the season. Each station is a little kingdom, run by a General Manager. While it truly is a small business in many ways, these "affiliates" carry sports provided by the ABC Network on a regular basis.

KOMO-tv is the Seattle-based local ABC affiliate. On this Saturday, they have chosen to present the final thirty minutes of their children's programming instead of the network's NASCAR telecast. The issue for them is that the live broadcast begins at 11:30AM Pacific. In their mind this thirty minutes "belongs" to them.

Ironically, it is the Disney show Suite Life with Zack and Cody that will be covering the pre-race program from the track. KOMO-tv will then just join the in-progress NASCAR telecast at the top of the hour. Area NASCAR fans may have vivid memories of Suite Life for one very good reason.

Last season, KOMO-tv did the exact same thing to the Watkins Glen race. Rather than simply alter the children's block to begin the network sports program on time, KOMO is holding fast to the "little kingdom" philosophy that disrupted the NASCAR programming so often last season.

While to some casual fans this might not seem like a big deal, nothing could be further from the truth. This is Talladega, and telling the story and setting the field for this event is going to be a key part of the overall telecast. In addition, there are some stories remaining from the Nationwide race in Mexico City that have to be addressed. Tops on that list is the Marcos Ambrose vs. Boris Said situation.

One interesting fact is that KOMO-tv has no problem changing the children's programming for other sporting events that they determine to be "worthy." This decision is apparently directly related to the fact that this is a Nationwide Series event.

The bottom line is that the entire NASCAR telecast is an ABC Network "must carry." How a local station in a major market like this can once again just arbitrarily join the telecast thirty minutes late is puzzling. Unfortunately, this does not bode well for the ESPN NASCAR package that will begin on the ABC stations in July.

Thank you to the Seattle area readers of The Daly Planet for pointing out this information. If any other West Coast ABC stations decide to join this telecast in-progress, insert local news, or leave before the post-race interviews, please take a moment to tell us about it in the comments section below.

To add a post, 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 for taking the time to read this story, and offer your opinion.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't know why I would expect anything less from KOMO-tv ... I've always hated that station ...

But, this whole debacle is just another stupid thing that KOMO-tv has done ...

They're the same idiots who last year caused an evacuation at the WA State Dept of Corrections office last year because an intern forgot to put a return address on a box the station's op/ed mouthpiece sent to the DoC ...

http://www.komotv.com/news/7688727.html

Anonymous said...

Ray Everham put it correctly last week when he referred to the Nationwide series as AAA baseball. Missing a pre-race show for a minor league racing series is no big deal.

Newracefan said...

That sucks for Nascar fans in Seattle. Thank goodness I live in an area that values Nascar, the lottery only gets a box in the corner when there's a conflict and I know that is an issue for others

Anonymous said...

well that is a stupid decision. How can the Nationwide series go to the "next level" if ABC stations continue to think they are better than NASCAR?

I am lucky that my ABC station in San Diego normally has no problems adjusting a schedule for a NASCAR program. They plan to air the Disney show Suite Life with Zack and Cody earlier at 10:30 to provide time for the race. Why can't KOMO make a simple change like that? I feel sorry for the fans in that area. Do they think there are no NASCAR Fans in Seattle?

I don't like how Seattle has been treating NASCAR fans. First you have a local politician saying rude remarks about Richard Petty, then they refuse to even consider a track up in that area. And then this?

Thanks for the site JD

AFMSgt said...

Don't think that Seattle is the only market this happened - Baltimore's WMAR-2 carried College Lacrosse to the end - and picked up coverage at Talladega at lap 9. I know lacrosse is big here in the mid-atlantic... but the stands were almost completely empty. This could have waited...

Anonymous said...

"Suite Life" ended ... KOMO-tv went to break & came back to the blimp shot to hear Allen Bestwick say "Just about time to go racing" and then the start of the pre-race ceremonies ...

They didn't even have any highlights in the sports report on the 6 o'clock news ...