Monday, June 16, 2008

TNT Catches An Early Flight Out


It was another long day for the TNT gang, this time in Michigan. After ninety minutes of pre-race programming and a full Sprint Cup race, that was apparently enough. Somebody made the call to leave early.

Sunday began with a much improved pre-race program hosted by Marc Fein. Now in his second NASCAR season, Fein is finally getting comfortable in the sport. His sense of humor and well-paced conversation keeps things moving. Unfortunately, he started the show by telling viewers that the Petty merger was the biggest NASCAR news story of the week. Some might disagree.

TNT took the same approach as the other TV networks to the massive civil lawsuit filed by a former NASCAR employee. That is, simply state the facts very carefully and then move along. Eventually, it fell to Fein to handle this task and he did it well.

Having Kyle Petty and Larry McReynolds together on the first pre-race show allowed viewers to see their very effective interaction. These two work together quite well, and with Fein offering the topics for discussion it has made things really click.

Marty Snider delivered the Pride of NASCAR feature, which focused on Ernie Irvan. Unfortunately, it was disjointed and hard to follow. Snider failed to set the stage for viewers who did not know Irvan or his history in the sport. Snider assumed that everyone knew the circumstances around Irvan's career, his injuries and what he was doing now.

In the feature, Snider never even established where Irvan lived or why there were horses and a ranch in the background. Irvan retired in 1999, so younger NASCAR fans were left asking...who? A little better producing would have made the piece "whole."

Lindsay Czarniak in a reporter role provided the Lindsay on Location feature and it had some good tidbits from both Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Chris Cooley. The Washington Redskins player talked about NASCAR and how he became friends with Junior. It was very apparent that Junior, who will never be mistaken for a linebacker, had secretly wanted to be an NFL player like a lot of folks.

"I would give up everything I got to be Chris Cooley for a season," said Junior. When asked by Czarniak if he was serious, Junior simply said "hell yes!" Czarniak is a full-time local TV station reporter in DC, and the Redskin connection certainly helped in this feature.

As Weber and Dallenbach took-over for the Countdown to Green program, they were perched at the now famous "TNT cocktail table" up in the announce booth. On Father's Day, it was a good choice to again detail the struggles of JD Gibb's son with Leukemia. The reaffirmation of religion and a strong belief in family served as the theme of the report which was well-done.

One interesting part of this show was Wally's World. This season, both Dallenbach and Petty drive matching cars during this feature to show different issues associated with each track.

The only problem this week is they were not at the track. Wally's World was taped in Pocono and not Michigan as any veteran fan looking carefully could see. Despite the tight editing and the claim by Dallenbach of being "here at Michigan," this was clearly not the case. Perhaps, not the best decision in hindsight.

Thankfully, the content of the entire feature was great. This season TNT has sacked the celebrity ride-a-long and the endless promos and switched-over to racing information from two veterans. When Dallenbach and Petty are done, McReynolds gets to "tag" the piece by using the cutaway car to illustrate the issues. Luckily, at least McReynolds was actually at the track in Michigan.

As the actual race coverage began it was a classy touch by Weber to pay tribute to the late Tim Russert of NBC. Weber is an outstanding writer, and this type of tough assignment is right up his alley. He always makes it personal, and that is why this honest story about Russert's connection with NASCAR worked so well.

Daly Planet readers loved the opening pit report that was new to TNT this week. Using a well-framed camera shot and graphics, each pit reporter ran down their slice of pit road and talked about the drivers and teams they were assigned. This was an outstanding way for viewers to get the layout of the pits on a track that featured critical green flag stops and strategies.

On the negative side, it only took a few green flag laps for viewers to discover that TNT again had a live ticker that only updated as the cars crossed the start-finish line. This was tough to swallow after seeing the technology used on the other TV networks and online services. Perhaps, just like Fox, TNT will deliver an upgrade to viewers during the middle of this six race package.

Outstanding directing made the vast majority of this race a pleasure to watch. The change of pace between the tight shots of Fox Sports and the broad sweeping views of the field on TNT is simply night-and-day.

When the Director uses the side-by-side video boxes, the content is great but the background is very difficult to deal with on HDTV screens. Lighter colors and less movement would allow the viewer's eye to be drawn to the action in the video boxes, rather than the dark moving shapes behind it.

After watching both ESPN2 cover the Nationwide Series and the first group of Sprint Cup races on Fox, TNT's live coverage is almost "old school." There is no second annoying ticker running on the screen, extra graphics are used only when they are needed and there are no sports updates.

The screaming exception to that is the "restart" graphic inserted by TNT into the wideshot as the green flag waves. The network has gotten rid of all the other retro graphics, and now is the time to retire the "restart tower" permanently.

The story of this season on-the-air has been the chemistry that has developed with the addition of Kyle Petty, Larry McReynolds and Lindsay Czarniak. The entire TNT group gives viewers the feeling that they have been working together since February, when in fact they are only assembled for six races.

Again this week, McReynolds made the viewers at home feel that there were four people in the broadcast booth with his constant flow of information and commentary. He is equally effective with the cutaway car and adds a new twist to NASCAR coverage in his flexible role this season.

As the Michigan race progressed, it was interesting to note that most of the time there was more than one car on the screen. In sharp contrast to the single-story coverage of Fox, TNT's production team has widened-out the coverage to tell fans the story of what is happening among groups of cars. With the racing dynamic of MIS, this style of coverage was particularly effective.

Commercial breaks were well-timed, but it was unfortunate that TNT chose to create only one promo for Bill Engvall's show on TBS. As the event wound down, the use of this one promo spot now seemed endless.

Like a bad commercial, the karma turned ugly very quickly where this comic and his program were now concerned. It is ironic that he actually wound-up being one of the key stories of the race. More on that topic later.

TNT and NASCAR.com's RaceBuddy was again available to broadband computer users for this race. A couple of questions were emailed in and answered in the pre-race show. The video was sharp and clear, but the team scanner could not be heard over the loud "mix" of natural sound from the track. Also, the newly added MUTE button did not function on the scanner side. The chatrooms continued to be a disaster.

All season long, The Daly Planet has taken exception to the NASCAR on Fox team making the decision not to show any car but the winner finish. It is a choice between racing and drama. This week, it was Dale Junior who pushed TNT into the same position of making a choice between continuing their fine race coverage or creating drama with Junior. As the TNT motto says, they know drama.

Not only did fans miss the other drivers finishing the race, but the saga of Junior was almost overwhelming. There were other teams on the track that did not win, but does that diminish their importance on TV? For Fox the answer has always been yes, and now TNT has joined the club.

TNT took Junior across the finish line with no graphics telling viewers who else was finishing. Even under caution, viewers had no idea where their favorite driver finished unless it was Junior. It certainly was a strange decision not to insert the finish line graphics at the conclusion with the race under a yellow flag.

It was all Junior while the story played-out, and then Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth and Brian Vickers were interviewed. They were second through fourth respectively. As the network went to commercial, there were still ten minutes left to recap the race, update the important Top 35 and follow-up on other race stories with the drivers.

When TNT returned, they updated the top 24 positions in the point standings and then promoted the next race from Sonoma. Something was not quite right. Just like last summer when the network left the air fifteen minutes early to show a vampire movie, TNT had decided to pack-it in.

Weber signed-off by telling TNT viewers that the post-race would continue over on the NASCAR.com website. TV was done. Instead of following-up on the stories of the race left untold, it was time for the Grand Marshal to make his entrance. It was time for a special edition of the Bill Engvall show on TNT.

Stories like Ryan Newman and Dario Franchitti's engine woes were left unfinished. The final accident that ended the race was never fully explained. In the brief post-race, Brian Vickers complained about being told to move-over for another driver. No time to expand on that.

The bottom line is that the TNT post-race show was not even allowed to fill-out the timeslot allotted for the telecast. Think that would happen on ESPN or Fox?

Like many big sporting events on TV, there were a lot of positive and some negative issues associated with this race. Leaving the air early and no graphics at the finish did not play well as the ending to a multi-hour effort. But, good pictures and commentary again helped to keep TNT on an even keel.

I have a feeling that those of you who have read this until the end may have some opinions of your own about TNT at MIS. Here is your chance to share them with many members of the TV crew, the NASCAR media and other fans.

The Daly Planet welcomes your TV-related comments. To add your opinion, simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page. Thank you for taking the time to drop by.

57 comments:

Newracefan said...

JD I agree with everything but the fact that BV was asked to move over for the 8 car I'm sure it's just habit but that's Mark Martin not JR.

Daly Planet Editor said...

nrf,

At the time I wrote it was not clear who it was, and now we know.

I sure wish I knew what that was all about? Maybe we will find out on NN Monday.

JD

SophiaZ123 said...

I thought I heard during the broadcast it was the 88 then after the race on ESPN or SPEED report heard it was the 8 car...I want to know what that was about...I seem to remember Childress team a couple years ago giving team orders to leave somebody alone to win a race....

It stunk it only showed Jr's car but I could've sworn I saw a couple others car finish with him...but I was busy holding my breath UNABLE to believe he was finally going to win..then the cars spun out...I only saw the 10 car and saw on replay or somewhere 55 of MW was involved...so some confusion for sure.

I gotta say though, it helps the frustration NOT to spend half the race saying CHANGE THE **** CAMERA ANGLE or STOP CHANGING the cameras so quickly.

Then again, I am a huge Jr fan and my room mate and I were so happy to see him win we might have missed the chaos.

Then there was Tony Stewart's PRICELESS INTERVIEW on TNT and some other stations, LOL.

I missed the Wally world moment.

I hope RB can fix the audio for the scanners next week but I did not use it much today but during a few commercials.

Oh, I have 4.3 tv and the split screens and other background stuff annoys on the old tv's as well.

Too bad they left the air early.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the lack of final coverage for the field was bad. yes, Jr's win was THE story, but those guys deserve mention, and I deserve to know who finished where. I don't think the internet should be used to excuse a network from covering the WHOLE race. Not all of us want to hunt down the final news when it should be put up on the screen in front of us. Overall, TNT did a good job and the coverage ranged further into the field than the previous guys, but setting the final positions, tagging the points race, and following the 'top 35' (Which needs to go away) should be the fundamental elements of a broadcast.

SallyB said...

While this was a far from perfect broadcast, I'll take it over the Fox version any day. Once again, the announcers in the booth did not feel compelled to fill every second of air time with babble. Larry Mac handled all the various strategies well, helping make sense of it. The wide shots that TNT used throughout most of the race are really good for getting an overall sense of the ebband flow of the race. And no one felt compelled to screech at viewers about what an 'exciting race this is'. Maybe that's what made the ending so disappointing....failing to show cars other than Jr. cross the line, and the decision to leave the air early are puzzling. All in all, I ind TNT's coverage a lot more 'old school', focusing on the actual on track action rather than pre concieved 'story lines'. Good work.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to TNT for showing wide
angle coverage racing instead
of all the overdone aesthetics.
Can't wait for Sonoma.

GinaV24 said...

I thought the wide angle coverage of the race was very good. Unfortunately, once more, it was a boring race and although I like Bill Engvall's comedy, it wore thin after seeing the promo several times. Also, I hate not getting the final wrap up of the end of the race. It's a good thing that I have the computer tuned to trackpass, so I can tell where my driver finished. I'm still not a fan of TNT, but their camera work is much better than Fox until of course they fell victim to focusing on Jr's drama.

Bobby said...

The other problem at Michigan was the field freezing rule on the final lap caution (which was a must; #10-Carpentier's car was sitting in a precarious position at the start-finish line, which made it a necessity to freeze the field) that made finishing positions crossing the line irrelevant. In Saturday's Truck incident, that was on the backstretch and could be dealt without having caution. The "unofficial" rule on last-lap cautions is similar to a road course caution in that only if the car is in a precarious position that a race to the finish would be affected do you wave yellow.

Under NASCAR rules, once the yellow blinks on the last lap, video will be used to place drivers at the point of caution. No racing to the line -- they don't want another incident similar to Loudon 2003, which caused the issue in the first place.

Not showing status updates for the exemptions was a big mistake. I also question why the #01 is going with a substitute driver when they are cleanly exempt for now. Another Chevrolet team in the danger area could be better off with a substitute driver because of the exemption.

Anonymous said...

SO Jr. won (yawn)...What happened to the other 42?
Grami Girl

TexasRaceLady said...

Overall, it was a good day for TNT, even though the poor coverage at the finish left a sour taste.

My biggest gripe --- why on Earth did TNT leave the air with 8 minutes left in the scheduled broadcast? Did the crew have an early flight and want the time to pack?

I have news for TNT, I will NOT watch Bill Engvall after seeing that creepy commercial ad nauseum.

Anonymous said...

The Vickers situation was very very unclear on TNT and on the NASCAR.COM post race show and on Victory Lane.

All Spencer would say is that Vickers should not air his dirty laundry to the media.

As said it was likely field frozen at last scoring stripe. Seems Vickers and Kenseth were cry-babies but KK just let it go - maybe one bud guy to another. Funny how JR said in the media center that he did not get a push even though it LOOKED like Kahne did. Of course that, like passing the pace car would be against some rule.

Race went past 5PM eastern and yes maybe TNT should have put more on TNT then using the internet but TNT post race show wasn't that bad.

Anonymous said...

OK just looked it up so you don't have to - TNT was scheduled until 5:30 PM Eastern - strange they would leave before that time.

chase said...

John: Once again, I am amazed that the networks, regardless of which one is 'on', is incapable of covering the last lap and the finish line. I am a Jr fan BUT please, let us see everyone else cross the finish line! And the comment about Wally's World being from Pocono was a killer -- how dare TNT allow that to happen? And not to digress on the Vickers' 'order' to move over? Was that not important in the overall picture? Maybe I'm missing something but good, concise race coverage does not seem to be an insurmountable task!

Anonymous said...

I am hoping that NN can cover BV situation tonight (Mon).

digressing a bit - Bob Dillner (Victory Lane) also ignored the BV situation when interviewing him and. after Vickers made his complaint Dillner did not follow it up and it was never explained. Very poor journalism Dillner.

Anonymous said...

I have never understood why networks will do 90 minutes or more of pre-race coverage, but then do just 10 minutes of post-race (when there's actually something new to say).

Anonymous said...

Is there anyone covering NASCAR with less to say, who says it louder, than Spencer?

Amy/HarpAmy in FL said...

The only thing that I will add to this discussion is that some Nascar fans still don't have a computer and therefore have no access to the post race show. Some also may be on vacation and able to catch the race but due to not having a laptop cannot catch the computerized post race show. Please complete the race and update thing ON TV and let us know those things.

I know that I only have a desktop and am fixing to go on vacation and will be away from a computer for 4-5 days and if I were to be away during a race, it would drive me nuts waiting to find out what happened until the next week. The place that I am going I don't think has a computer for the public to use.

Just my thoughts here. Maybe, John, you could make those suggestions to your media connections.?.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday I watched the NASCAR.COM post race show for the first time - actually watched it couple of years ago when I was a trackpass subscriber.

Because NASCAR.COM is run by Turner the show in TNT form gets interviews from TNT pit reporters and Fein/MacReynolds comments and you do get to hear the media center interviews which is apparently also sometimes covered by ESPN News and is actually nice to hear.

Other than that you didn't miss much.

Anonymous said...

Bill Weber's play by play just sucks all the energy out of the race.

And I wouldn't watch Bill Engvall's show now if I was paid to. TNT: Here's yur sign.

Midge said...

I can't comment on the coverage because the race was not shown in Canada. I'm not sure why. Can you tell us? We are all disappointed.

haus20 said...

It looks as if TNT and even NASCAR itself got caught up in the Jr. Moment. Even Speed was a little a awe struck.

TNT blew the post race and left early because nothing else mattered to them - they had the JR win on their network and had covered it - that extra 8 minutes was unimportant. It didn't matter where anyone else finished. Jr. won.

Speed didn't bother to cover the controversy with Vickers and his claims or the fact that Jr. was warned not to pass the pace car and still continued to do it - it didn't matter Jr. won.

Nascar itself seems to have ignored their own rules so Jr. could win.

I was rooting for Jr. myself, but I am surprised how everyone seemed to go into la la land because Jr. had won.

Anonymous said...

JD, the piece by the pit reporters before the green flag is not new. It is a carry-over from the NBC days. I remember it because it was information no one else gave us - where your favorite driver is pitting on pit road.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

The item about the Gibbs family was touching and well done, but I'm sure I remember seeing it earlier this year somewhere else. And since it wasn't last week, it couldn't have been on TNT. Was this piece produced by that media group and offered out? And if so, was TNT not aware that it was already shown?

Anonymous said...

Ref Canadien (or is it Canadian) coverage of NASCAR. TSN owns rights but I believe they were covering US Open golf - racefantv said race was on TSN-AF -(alternate feed) and it was live. - well Im not in Canada but thats what I read.

see http://www.tsn.ca/auto_racing/feature/?fid=10949

check with your cable company/satelite provider

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 12:15PM,

TNT was aware that it had been the subject of a feature earlier in the season on another network.

Each of the three NASCAR Sprint Cup TV partners views their "slice" of the Cup pie as their own. We often see the same topics repeated withing the sport.

If you happened to watch any of the 4 and 1/2 hours of pre-race shows before Michigan, you saw a whole lot of topics repeated almost exactly.

JD

Joan said...

The race coverage by and large was good - not what I had to say last year about TNT. Then the race ended- Jr. was the only thing that mattered period. I'm not a Jr. hater, he is my second choice driver- yet it was THE only thing that mattered. Hey its not his first win for HMS (just 1st oints win) talk to and recap the race -not just the winner.
I agree with JD on most of his points so I'm not gonna repeat it. Thank you for great camera shots, wide angles, a great on air team with chemistry & knowledge, and well placed commercials. Please lose the Engval & panty commercial please.

And next race stay till the end of the time slot please, and if the race runs late stay and finish the post race coverage!
Thank you

Anonymous said...

Why is the 8 being in front of the 83 even an issue as 8 ran out of gas anyway and finished last car on the lead lap.

GinaV24 said...

Anon 9:37 -- man, you are SO right about Spencer!

Anonymous said...

as they say in NASCAR broadcasting and JD likes to say on this forum tonights two shows are going to "Be Interesting"

glenc1 said...

I already complained on the in progress piece, but just wanted to restate how badly TNT bungled the end. I had to wait over 10 minutes to see how the rest of the field finished, except for Kasey, whose car we could see. I like Jr, but this was ridiculous. Hopefully someone will follow up on the Vickers thing...Why didn't TNT use those last few minutes to go *find* a NASCAR official--John Darby or someone--to explain? How hard would that have been? I see nothing wrong with a driver wanting a reason for something like that. If it's the scoring loops, get someone to say so...

Hopefully it's not digressing too much to say something else this weekend (sort of indirectly related to TV coverage) I found disturbing...the meeting where the PTB want the drivers to stop complaining about the COT--why? Because it hurts the *fans?* Do they really think we're so stupid we can't form our own opinions? Note to Helton...we can SEE what's going on with our own eyes, we don't just believe cause a driver tells us...and it relates to our TV coverage in that once again, drivers are part of a 'benevolent dictatorship' and can't express their opinions in their interviews. Now I wonder what they really thought of the COT at Michigan, and it won't be a story because everyone will be talking about Junior. Made me wonder if the analysts were told to lay off too. I'd have to confess I was doing other things during the race...I think they mentioned the meeting briefly...

BTW--didn't they say Ernie's farm was outside Charleston, SC or am I crazy? And I thought they made the point that he & his wife now run the farm, so wouldn't that pretty much explain the scene behind them? I guess JD was right about the backstory, though, I knew the story so I wasn't thinking consicously about what might have been missing.

BTW, I also thought Marc Fein did a nice job, as did Lindsay even though I hate the Redskins, lol.

Steve said...

The wide angle coverage was a better improvement over past TNT broadcasts and I was happy to see Jr. get that important first points win. However...Why is it so hard for the producers to comprehend that the fans want to see all cars cross the finish line? ESPN used to do that back in the eighties and nineties without a second thought. I also agree that Tim Russert was a pretty good reporter but I do not care to see a memorial to a news reporter on my sports show. Russert didn't even cover sports. That was just another chance for Weber the idiot to bloviate. Weber you ought to go take over Meet the Press if you're such a fan of the mainstream media. Wally, Kyle, & Larry Mac need to call these broadcasts and dump Webhead...he is no use to any of the fans....TNT is slightly better than NBC (Nothing But Commercials) but still has a long way to go.

Newracefan said...

BV's issue was that if the 8 was between him and the 17 the 17 would not have passed him and if the 17 didn't pass him he could possible have gotten to JR and therefore won. Nascar's say will be that they go back to the previous scoring loop when a caution is thrown and at that loop the 83 was behind the 8. I know BV is upset he really wants a win and won't be getting it on a road course but with that last caution it sort of made it a moot point.

Lisa Hogan said...

I only recorded the race and didn’t see any of the pre-race programming.

I want to commend TNT for the efforts to better their race coverage. As a whole, I enjoyed the race. The camera shot choices were great. I find that I yell at my TV less than usual. I enjoy Kyle and Larry Mac and their contributions to the program.

I have made no secret that I am not a Mr. Weber fan. I give credit where it is due and he has made improvements to his race coverage performance.

I didn’t mind the ending camera shots chosen. I was so busy laughing at how excited Jr. and team were that I enjoyed it.

I found the early cut off strange. I didn’t watch after the race coverage ended.

Desmond said...

This was a great broadcast, until the very end.

Instead, we're left with a single focus on Dale Jr., which I feared, and a huge unanswered question about the orders given to Brian Vickers. And, oh yes, most of the post-race show is online because TNT chose to air a sitcom.

For some reason, I am not optimistic that the Monday shows will discuss Vickers' comments. Maybe that's his little secret to take to the grave with him.:(

But give Bill Weber credit for remembering Tim Russert. For the first time, we all knew that he was a "NASCAR dad."

Wisconsin Steve said...

The opening pit reports that showed the pit road map and which drivers each reporter was going to cover was good, but its not new.

They did the same thing last week and in all six races last year.

Gary said...

Am I the only person on this planet who thinks that passing the safety car at ANY level of racing is an automatic DQ and that this should be looked into? I realize that getting a copy of the NASCAR rule book is like getting plans from the Pentagon, but that's the story TNT should look into instead of telling us how great it is that Danica . . . I mean Junior (I get them confused) . . . won a race.

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of people here are confused about Vickers' statement. He was not referring to being told to "move over" for anyone UNDER GREEN. He was complaining because he didn't agree with the order of the restart. He thought he was ahead of the 8 before the caution came out. NASCAR was telling him otherwise. Nothing sinister there.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only person on this planet who thinks that passing the safety car at ANY level of racing is an automatic DQ and that this should be looked into?

Yes. Yes, you are.

While you're at it. why not suggest that Tony Stewart be penalized for all those times he intentionally ran into the pace car just because Brett Bodine, his friend, was driving it.

Daly Planet Editor said...

glen,

Marty Snider said in conversation on-the-set after the feature was over the words Charleston and retired. What I was trying to address is fans who were not into the sport when Irvan was active.

gary,

In most oval or road course races, there are several reasons to pass the pace car. Most involve trading off the penalty of the longest line or back of the pack with making repairs in the pits.

Others involve being waved by to correct scoring or even be NASCAR's Lucky Dog.

In this race, all the cars low on fuel were starting and cutting engines. The network feed did not show the big picture, only Jr. because he was the leader.

I think he did what a lot of guys do, push it right up to the point of getting a penalty. In the past, we have seen guys push each other and even coast downhill on the road courses for a long way.

It makes a good issue for the mainsteam media, but it is not much of an issue in reality.

JD

Anonymous said...

Anon at 3 p.m.: Matt Kenseth had quite a lot to say about the passing of the pace car by the 88 car(see nascar.com), and NASCAR ignoring it twice before warning the 88 car, so I don't think Gary's the only one. By a long shot.

Totally different from Tony playfully bumping the pace car FROM BEHIND -when he has lots of gas, by the way.

Daly Planet Editor said...

midge,

TSN in Canada says the Sprint Cup races was live on the Alternate Feed due to US Open golf.

You should check your cable system or satellite provider to see if they offer this second channel of TSN.

The company also says it was listed as being on the "other" TSN for some time now. I guess they run two feeds when they have a programming conflict.

Does that help?

JD

AlamedaDad said...

I thought the coverage was pretty good, but I agree that the ending was poorly done. I had no idea why Waltrip was spinning down the infield and I was curious where he ended up after a great day for him.

The thing that bugged me most was not showing the end of pit stops. They would show the first 10-12 seconds of a stop and switch to a different pit to show their stop. I really wanted to see how long the stops were taking, more than seeing each car for a few seconds.

...Michael

Anonymous said...

This was one weekend where TNT's race coverage failed to impress me like it did last weekend.

They did leave a lot of stories unfinished and their camera coverage was not all that great this time. The replay of Bobby Labonte getting spun out was from the camera view/angle waaaaaay down at the other end of the track!!! A magnifying glass would've been required to make the cars out as they came out of the turn. It would've helped if the commentators had been able to relay that information to the viewers but nooooooo. (Per Bobby's awesome spotter Eddie D'Hondt, he WAS spun out by whoever was behind him-it was not Bobby doing it on his own.)

Like many others, I was shocked that TNT packed it in so early. The post-race coverage on the Internet didn't start until 16:30 CST, either, so I was left with ten or fifteen minutes of nothing. By then, I really didn't care anymore so I just switched over to the U.S. Open and watched some of the best golf ever.

I never tried opening Race Buddy, either as it seems to mess with Firefox and I wasn't in the mood to deal with that. I'm glad to know that they added a mute button, though. Hopefully they can get all of the kinks worked out of RB before this weekend.

C'mon, TNT. This is your chance to really shine and set the standard. You started off so well last weekend at Pocono, too. What happened with Michigan? You can do it!

flee said...

In reply to Midge@11:10, I live in Canada and I watch every race. I have just seen your last post JD, and would like to elaborate. A couple of years ago TSN signed a contract with NASCAR to broadcast the Cup races. This year they expanded this to cover the Nationwide races, meaning they MUST broadcast all the races. If they are previously committed to another event, the race will be on their alternate feed (TSN-A) which is carried by cable companies and satellite providers. It may take some searching to find the channel, depending on the company you are with, but it's there. We don't always get all the pre-race coverage and ESPN is not available in Canada so we miss shows like Nascar Now but we DO get the races.

I heard Bill Weber apologize that they lost the ticker at the end of the race which was why we didn't get the finishing order but they did run it when they got the ticker back.

Daly Planet Editor said...

flee,

Thanks for the TSN info. I was hoping TNT would insert a pop-up graphic at the finish like last week. Maybe they lost all the graphics again for a bit. It happens.

JD

Anonymous said...

Racing on TNT is ok. One thing that bothers me is the way Weber pronounces Marty Sniders' name as Schneider. Bill, please correct yourself.

Regarding Race Buddy, how does the sound work? I can hear the track sounds just fine. Does one have to subscribe to get the drivers scanners? I clicked on that, but still got the track sounds.

I agree with some of the commenters about the length of the prerace and pretty much nothing afterwards. Can't they balance that somehow?
Dot

ttc said...

Leaving the air early and no graphics at the finish did not play well

Although I agree with the basic premise, the same early exit occurred on the other two big Sunday sporting events.

When the US Open ended in a tie, there were two quick interviews with Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate and then NBC made a hasty goodbye. And After the Lakers beat the Celtics, Michelle Tafoya had a very fast chat with Kobe Bryant and as ABC couldn't wait to get off the air, viewers were advised to turn to ESPN Sportscenter for post-race coverage.

Overall my only complaint with TNT is Wally Dallenbach's often choppy delivery. There must have been at least a half-dozen times where he took so long to complete a thought that Weber had to cut him off.

Daly Planet Editor said...

ttc,

The difference was that there was still ten minutes left in the scheduled time for NASCAR on TNT.

JD

Newracefan said...

Anyone notice that you can now buy a RB tshirt on Nascar.com, hopefully they won't hype them on the air too.

SophiaZ123 said...

NRF

No did not notice but RB t shirts but find the character too ugly and stereo typical...course i did not buy the "cute" digger stuff either. I hope they do not go overboard during the race with hype...so far, I have not found the RB cartoon graphic too intrusive but if they used it more it would be as it takes up lots of racing space in the ;ower rt corner.

But I hardly go to NASCAR.com unless somebody suggests it. :-) Or now for RB.

I am still honked off TNT LEFT EARLY when I think about it..not like they went OVER TIME. ANd even the US OPEN had, hello, another 19 holes to play today..(or waas it 20...just caught a few off and on) And they had interviews and video of Tiger with his little girl and interview with Rocco and then a few minutes with Tiger...during soaps and apparently Dr. Phil according to the crawl I kept seeing (Had no clue Dr. P was so popular!!)

But back to the race, YES more POST RACE, less PRE...not everybody HAS ACCESS to computer..or sometimes server is slow with issues (Mine was today for 8 hours with major ROUTER ISSUES..took 5 minutes for certain sites to load..)

TV folks should also get to hear Jr's interviews without sitting thru so much ESPN NEWS...but they did give a good bit of time this week but I usually do NOT turn in anymore after the race.

Jr is a hoot and a half and so is his cousin..not having access to a scanner I enjoy the bits the media shares with us on normal TV.

Anonymous said...

TSN alt is not available in a huge part of western canada for subscribers of shaw cable. They continue to ignore TSN alt feed even though they air the NFL network on two channels and do not have a bandwidth issue.

chase said...

John: After reading all the comments on this matter, I wish to amend my earlier comment and question why the networks who broadcast NASCAR races do not take some of the pre-race time away and tack it on to the end of the races so everyone can see the finish, the comments from both drivers and NASCAR officials, crew chiefs, owners, etc. and not just necessarily those of the winner! There are so many stories after a race that are not covered that it handicaps the various networks' coverage. Wonder why this hasn't been thought about let alone discussed? Thanks John!

Daly Planet Editor said...

chase,

The big problem is that the post-race shows cannot be scheduled. There is absolutely no way to know when the race will end.

One sprinkle of rain or a red flag or even a big oil-down can delay the finish by thirty minutes or even an hour.

This has been the classic problem for NASCAR TV folks since they started to cover the sport.

The two best alternatives are ESPNEWS and the Internet. Unfortunately, ESPNEWS is sometimes in the middle of another breaking story or live on another issue when the race is over.

The post-race show on NASCAR.com during the TNT run features Larry McReynolds and the TNT reporters, but the "show" is hosted from a studio in Atlanta and once TNT is done there will be nothing live from the track once again.

If NASCAR ever gets its act together and puts a NASCAR TV network on the air, this is exactly the type of programming that would put the channel on the map.

The Golf Channel does not carry The Masters or the US Open, but fans know to turn there for preview and review coverage that is outstanding.

Not to hard to see that NASCAR would really be served by a cable network that could service the niche areas the mainstream event networks will not.

JD

Desmond said...

Guess I was wrong about what they would say about Vickers. I have more information on that post.

I forgot to mention that TNT could easily have updated who was in or out of the top 35 after the race in the time they instead showed the sitcom. (For the record, the #55 team is back in the top 35, and the #66 team is out.)

Richard in N.C. said...

JD- I apologize if I have overlooked it, but why does TNT say they left the air early?

Since they are going to be "broadcasting" post-race over the internet, I don't understand why the first 10 minutes of it could not have been shown on TNT.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Richard,

They wanted to get to the special presentation of the Bill Engvall show on TNT. The show actually airs on sister network TBS.

If you watched it, you may have suggested that TNT extend the post-race show next year on this weekend.

JD