Monday, May 5, 2008

New Fox Real Time "Ticker" Has Fans Buzzing


It was a tough time for the NASCAR on Fox gang this season in terms of scoring information during the races. The upper third "ticker" that scrolled across the screen was having problems, and was often behind on the scoring.

As the Sprint Cup race at Richmond got underway, the TV crew quietly unleashed their response to the problem. It was a real time "ticker" that gave fans all they wanted and more.

Over on Foxsports.com, Mike Joy has written a great column about the changes. You can see it by clicking here. Joy has been a friend of The Daly Planet and was nice enough to do an off-season interview consisting totally of reader questions.

Joy takes the time to put the creation and roll-out of the original Fox "ticker" into perspective. He recounts the initial reaction of horror from some TV viewers.

What Fox has changed is the source of the information. Now, the GPS tracking of each car serves as the source of the new "ticker." The interesting part is that now the information updates several times each lap live on the screen.

Initially, the movement is distracting as the cars change position live on the "ticker" but then it becomes old hat. There is no real problem, and the courage to change this in mid-season should be applauded.

Next week at Darlington, this should be fun to watch. It seems the Fox gang recognized a problem, created a solution and the ultimate winner is the NASCAR TV viewer. Not a bad deal.

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11 comments:

Anonymous said...

FOX has finally caught up with ESPN.

Good work.

Newracefan said...

Ignored the old ticker, usedthe new one I looked much less at Racetrax during the race (mainly during commercials). Thanks Fox

kang said...

Well after 7 years + 9 races Fox gets it right.Hold on just a minute.Let me first concede the new time interval is great.However the time interval even a slow one, has never been the problem at Fox or the other networks.The problem has been getting them to put it on screen and leave it on screen,during green flag racing.What these guys never have understood is the crawl tells you where a driver is running,but the time interval tells you how a driver is runnig.Over the years all the networks have either put useless garbage in the time interval space or left the space blank far more often then they have run the time interval (under green flag conditions).In the coming weeks we will see if Fox has changed anything or not.

stricklinfan82 said...

I absolutely love the new ticker. Since ESPN rolled out their new scoring ticker last year many of us have asked Fox to figure out what ESPN had so they could catch to their competitor and they did exactly that so I give them all the credit in the world.

And I personally love the real-time graphical swapping of names to reflect position changes. It helps me keep a perspective on who is moving up and who is moving back at different points in the race. My eyeballs might explode if they used that graphical transition at Daytona or Talladega but everywhere else it is great in my opinion.

JD, thanks for giving us a direct link to the TV networks, and again thank you very much to the TV people that do read our comments.

I know I have overreacted in the heat of the moment a time or 15, but despite my shortcomings I'm glad to see that other race fans do sometimes agree with the content of my posts and that the TV networks do respond to some of our suggestions. I like to think I do more than my fair share of praising when things go well but I certainly do understand that this often gets overshadowed by my emotional reactions when things go wrong.

I am definitely far too passionate for my own good and am not afraid to admit that I am far from perfect. I greatly admire those of you that are able to put your passion aside and articulate your thoughts without anger and I am striving from here on out to try to do the same thing.

And before anyone asks, no I am not the fan Mike Joy referenced with the duct tape comment (I happened to love the new horizontal ticker from its inception).

And finally I happened to stumble across another blog with the Sports Emmy nominees listed and since then I lost a lot of respect for those awards. Nothing against the NASCAR folks that received Emmys, but I have to question the credibility of a voting committee that not only didn't give Mike Joy the award for play-by-play man of the year, but didn't even nominate him! That, my friends, is a terrible injustice I'm sorry.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's nice to see that Fox is willing to improve. Digger appears less often, but when he does, sometimes he's amazing, as he was during the "Big One" on Saturday night.

Wouldn't it be great if the advertisers got wise and DEMANDED that Fox leave the ticker running during the break?

Even though they're a little behind, I like the graph on Yahoo.com. Pick 3 drivers and it charts their positions from Green to Checkered. Change drivers whenever you want and it redraws the graph.

Anonymous said...

Hey JD. why not set up a PayPal account and everyone who wants to can throw in a buck and you buy a trophy for Mike Joy giving him the "Daly Planet Reader's Poll Winner for Best Lead Announcer."

I'm in for a buck. Hey, I'll even make it a deuce.

jfs-va said...

This is a tad off topic but since Mike Joy figures prominently I'll just mention this. My ten year old son (playing hooky) and I were at Richmond on Friday and we passed by the media area. I saw somebody taking a picture and I looked to see of who and it was Mike Joy. I said to my son, "hey, it's Mike Joy". Before I could tell him not to yell his name he says "Mike". Mike looks over, smiles, and gives him a little wave. Anyway, just a random tidbit.

Anonymous said...

Good for FOX! I didn't watch FOX this week since Smoke was on HotPass, but I look forward to checking it out at Darlington.

I love the ESPN ticker, it's nice to see the other television partners stepping up on the technology side...

Lou,Kingston,NY said...

Thanks, Mr. Joy
Enjoyed the article. And a good history of the ticker.

stuck in 200 said...

Did anyone else notice that while Montoya's entry on the ticker was scrolling across the screen showing him as "out" it also showed him passing someone? His name and the person ahead of him (also "out") switched. Don't know if it was some kind of glitch as the cars were being loaded on trailer or what, but it looked a bit odd.

Daly Planet Editor said...

stuck,

I saw that too and my feeling was that they rolled Montoya's car down pit road and it passed another one that was also parked and about to go to the garage.

It should be fun to watch Fox shake the glitches out of this system and also watch all the new updates fans will be getting.

JD