Tuesday, July 8, 2008

It Is Halftime: How Do You Think The TV Game Is Going?


As NASCAR makes the turn and begins the slow downhill trip to the end of the season, it is a good time to sample your opinion about memories from the first TV half.

January saw SPEED make a commitment to cover testing at more venues that just Daytona. The month also saw Inside NEXTEL Cup become This Week In NASCAR. Steve Byrnes and Chad Knaus signed-on, while Kenny Schrader signed-off.

February was crazy for NASCAR TV-related news. ESPN announced Nicole Manske was in at NASCAR Now, Dale Jarrett was in as Lead Analyst and Allen Bestwick was going to be very busy. Bestwick would host a new edition of NASCAR Now on Mondays, and handle the NASCAR Countdown pre-race shows for both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series.

There was also someone else tagging along for the ESPN February press conference in Daytona. Ray Evernham was going to be joining the network in a versatile role that will put him in the announce booth, in the infield studio, on NASCAR Now and would feature him on other ESPN media outlets. This was a surprise, because Evernham was an active Sprint Cup Series owner.

SPEED returned their group intact, and then led the TV mess that was the California race this year. Seeping water and upset drivers led to a lot of hard feelings and another California disaster. Monday races were once again becoming familiar. The Fox gang hung-in there and everyone left town in a hurry.

By March, TV viewers began to understand that this "Digger" thing was not going away anytime soon. Neither was the philosophy of not showing the lead lap cars finishing the race under green. Fox had returned. Bestwick had led NASCAR Now to a resurgence of credibility and Manske seemed to be a solid fit for the team.

The month ended on a controversial note, as TWIN made a big decision...to go khaki.

April started hard with ESPN.com's Ryan McGee appearing on NASCAR Now and detailing his interview with former Truck Series driver Aaron Fike. As we all know, Fike had become a heroin addict and driven in several races with the drug in his system. Needless to say, additional media folks weighed-in on the issue and it is still a topic being discussed by NASCAR at this point.

This was also the month that Fox got caught between baseball and NASCAR...and flinched. Trying to tell the future did not work out for either sport. The middle of the month saw ESPN struggle with the racing in Mexico, Boris Said lose his cool on NASCAR Now, and David Poole travel to ESPN for a guest appearance.

The month closed with several NASCAR media and TV partners picking-up some hardware for their efforts.

May turned-out to be a huge TV story month, and featured Wendy Venturini getting her first primetime TV special during All-Star week. As usual, SPEED pulled-out all the stops for their only Sprint Cup Series event.

The NASCAR on Fox gang saw their season wind-down, and faced some interesting viewer reactions focused around Darrell Waltrip's interest in Kyle Busch.

Over in ESPN land, all kinds of things were shaking. ESPN is dropping the recorded SportsCenters in the morning, and doing them live with a high-profile anchor. Rumors were everywhere that the company was also looking to change ESPN Classic Network into something new very soon.

For comic relief, viewers were having fun with the "interesting" wardrobe choices being made by SPEED for the on-air personalities.

June saw the Fox crew leave and the "new look" TNT guys walk in with their new RaceBuddy. The TNT guys had fun at Michigan, but left a bit early.

Meanwhile, Allen Bestwick hosted an "all Wallace" edition of NASCAR Now. This program continues to be the surprise of 2008.

June also saw the ugly civil lawsuit from Mauricia Grant, which is going to put NASCAR to the test whether they like it or not. Brian France continues to react publicly to this with poorly-chosen words, as chronicled by Lee Spencer of Fox.

ESPN continued to have troubles with the ABC local TV stations. The Nationwide Series telecast from New Hampshire actually overlapped ABC's own feed of children's programming, and some West Coast affiliates in big markets just joined the race in-progress.

The on-air folks continued to be stories, this one about Dale Jarrett working quite well for ESPN even as Jerry Punch continues to have a tough time. The month closed with Michael Waltrip actually having fun again on Monday nights.

Now, here we are basking in the glow of the full-screen commercial free TNT Daytona telecast and wondering how the next six months will play-out with ESPN about to take over both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series.

SPEED this year will schedule RaceDay early as to not conflict with ESPN's NASCAR Countdown. That is a big change for viewers, after SPEED worked so hard to go head-to-head with both ESPN and ABC down the stretch.

If you have some thoughts after reading some of the columns above about the first half of the NASCAR TV season, please share them with us. Good or bad, you have consumed many hours of NASCAR TV coverage since January and your opinion counts.

To add your comment, just 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, thanks again for stopping by.

29 comments:

SophiaZ123 said...

This column is like a season written version of "NASCAR in a hurry." Good summary.

I am just upset to hear Race Day's time switch is permanent for the rest of the season, JD? Bummer. Even tho I rarely sat thru the two hour version each week (just too long)

I won't be watching as much...loses something so early with no driver's meeting info and no Wendy strolling along with drivers. They need to shorten this show back to an hour at this rate.

Not to mention West coasters getting up with farmers to catch the show.

I am sorry to see TNT go. Dread the rest of "ESPN's package deal" broadcasting.

Richard in N.C. said...

JD- It appears very clear to me that Lee Spencer has some grudge/bias against NASCAR since her writing has become much more negative towards NASCAR, the organization, since she left Sporting News for the FOX Sports internet site for whatever reason. Surprisingly, Mike Muhlhern, who normally has a negative take on whatever NASCAR is doing, had a surprisingly positive take on the same meeting Brian France had with the press.

I did catch part of the IRL race at Watkins Glen today and many of the overhead shots of the race were so good and so different from what I have seen for the NASCAR Glen race that I almost did not recognize the track.

Vicky D said...

JD - good column but after this weekend of racing overload, I will simply say that ESPN's coverage of the Nationwide race was disappointing with them only showing the top 5 or 6 cars. And with most of those cars being driven by cup drivers that's what they talked about (except BK). I'm surprised that DJ didn't mention others in the back - I mean even TOWARDS the back but I didn't catch it if they did. This has been ongoing since the start of the season for the full time Nationwide drivers - what is Nascar thinking. It's always a new week and we'll see how the coverage is next week . . . .

Greg said...

SPEED's coverage of NASCAR has become pretty skimpy lately. The network used to have a good chunk of NASCAR special interest stories that seem to have been replaced by boring shows like Pinks and people rebuilding classic cars. What we need is a NASCAR channel.

Anonymous said...

First half of the season: some really good coverage and some bad coverage

Second half of the season (once TNT's stint ends): the worst coverage ever-period.

Wisconsin Steve said...

On the positive side: TNT has delivered the kind of race broadcasts (wide open or not) that I love; great directing, announcers who have fun but do not have biases, and a willingness to use technology in new ways (racebuddy and wide open coverage). NASCAR Now has become a must-watch show for me six days a week. NASCAR Countdown has improved with Bestwick in control. Rusty Wallace has become a terrific analyst in his new role (remember his drawings of the inside walls after Gordon's Vegas crash? outstanding.) and has even improved in the booth when he fills in for DJ. The way the Speed crew handled the McDowell crash at Texas was textbook-worthy. The Humpy Show was the best hour of TV I've seen in a long time.

On the negative side: FOX's obsession with Digger was ridiculous, their refusal to show all the cars finish was frustrating, and their infatuation with certain drivers (not just Kyle Busch) got old fast. Speed's avoidance of the Mauricia Grant and Aaron Fike stories was puzzling. Jerry Punch's struggles in the booth have continued. TNT left the air early twice for no apparent reason and has not updated the top 35 battle once in its first five weeks on the air.

Overall, things are going better than last year. Hopefully they will continue to improve.

Daly Planet Editor said...

steve, outstanding comment.

Anonymous said...

All the networks' obsession with telling us about the drivers in the Chase (or close to making it in) to the exclusion of anyone not in the top-12 is frustrating.

Drivers leave races, then come back, or never return, and we don't know why or what happened to them until we can read Monday's columns.

Last year, the "storyline" ruled, and this year that seems to have abated to some degree, but it has been replaced by a Chase Obsession.

In what other sporting event does the TV coverage ignore more than half the players in the game?

Digger was silly and pointless, and Fox's excitement over a camera concept that had been done before, by both ESPN and NBC, showed a lack of knowledge of the history of this sport.

Jery Punch has already shown he's not the man to be calling PBP on top-level racing. He's not going to improve--he's had plenty of opportunity for that already.

On the upside, I am enjoying TWIN quite a bit this year, despite the goofy format. Note to the producer: When your audience doesn't like the format, you put your personal feelings aside and change it.

I, too, would really like to see the Humpy Show return. The one we saw was very, very good, and we need more quality NASCAR TV like that.

Adam T. Martin said...

I enjoy NASCAR Now way more than last year. I enjoyed Mike Joy, but I still cannot stand TNT. No matter what, they are too campy for my tastes.

I really hope ESPN/ABC improve this year for the Sprint Cup Series.

By improve I mean no Musburger, no Kolber, less draft tracker, no SportsCenter Updates. You get the idea.

As for Fox, I'm still not forgiving you for the Digger Cam overexposure. Talk about annoying as DW's constant interest with Kyle Busch.

Would it be too much to go through the starting grid at each race instead of interviewing a driver during pace laps?

Anonymous said...

With SPEED changing it's start time for the rest of the season, the show is a complete waste of time without Wendy's interviews at the end of the show. Why even do the rest of the show...Just do a show with the Wendy gridwalk, it would take less time and be what we want.

TexasRaceLady said...

I loved RaceDay before the time change. I could watch, and then the racing would start. Now, I'm not ready for 2 hours of SPEED, plus whatever the network puts out. That's just too much time to invest before the race even starts.

I've been very unhappy with the constant neglect of ALL the racers on the track. The last time I checked there were 43 cars in every race. But, according to FOX, et al, at the most, only 10 drivers compete on any given Sunday.

FOX totally ignoring everyone but the winner had me wanting to throw things at my TV. And don't even get me started on that "animal cam."

I've pleasantly surprised at Rusty's total change this year. Maybe last year he was just too excited.

TNT has been a nice present this year. Wasn't sure what we would get after last year's fiasco.

I hate to say it, but ESPN had better step up their game if they expect to keep the audience. They haven't made a favorable impression with the Nationwide Series.

SophiaZ123 said...

Wis Steve: Your memory impresses me and you hit most all my feelings for the season.

As did TRL, and some others.

I would like to hear the details of why SPEED just recently changed the time or RACE DAY. I do not remember this happening last year.

There is too much pre-race shows and not enough after. Note to NASCAR, we are tuning out and not watching it.

I know families that have given up watching races live due to the start times and hours it takes to watch. They avoid all media and watch it that night and fast forward the commercials.

If ESPN did the WIDE OPEN COVERAGE, I shiver to think how intrusive their ubiquitous bottom tickers would be.

But like many, I am NOT looking forward to the rest of the season.

Oh, and the IRL did have good shots on WGlen but guess what, we ONLY saw ONE CAR FINISH the race and then the crew/team/driver. BAD DIRECTING has spread like a virus in the racing coverage.

allisong said...

This might seem like a minor issue, but one of my pet peeves is regarding the way the graphic is presented regarding drivers in/out of the Chase. The chart they all use show points ahead of, or behind, 12th place, with the 12th place drivers points shown as a line. For the drivers below 12th, this is fine, but for the drivers above 12th, this is totally irrelevant. For those drivers, the relevant stat is points ahead of 13th.

I know that at this point in time it is not a significant difference (with 13th being less than a handful of points behind 12th), but I know in the past with 13th being nearly 100 out of 12th, the "talking heads" would breathlessly point out that so-and-so in 11th is only "10 points to the good" in the Chase, when in reality its more like 110 points.

Do they think we don't understand math?

The proper way to show the graphic would be to head the column "Points In/Out of Chase". There would be a line drawn BETWEEN 12th and 13th (not AT 12th). Drivers 1 through 12 would show points ahead of 13th, and drivers 13th on back would show points behind 12th. Simple, no?

Ed Emmerson said...

I can't believe I just discovered this blog. My apologies John. I just spent about an hour reading through past posts. Great stuff.

I would have to summarize the first half of 2008 as "puzzling". In other forums that I have read fans consistently talk about seeing the race and not so much "gadgetry" as I call it. Yet, the networks still try to keep trying things other than showing the race.

I will however say that the "Race Buddy" gadget is great. Especially if you have multiple displays for your computer. Combined with Pit Command, MRN and the TV, a fan could not want for anything.

Back to the topic. Fox is Fox, always trying to innovate sports coverage and successfully in many cases, except of course this year for Digger. DW has been the same DW he always has been. Did I say "has been"? Larry Mac continues to inform and improve on how he does it though I like him better in the booth and on Trackside than at the TNN "plug-away" car.

Speed will always have my business no matter when they start on Sunday. I have a crush on Wendy and the Hermanator is the man. I also liked it at New Hampshire when Jimmmy Spencer's hairpiece got away and they caught it drinking a beer on camera.
TWIN - meh! As someone said, Byrnes does a good job of staying out of the way. The format of spending the first half talking about the upcoming race? I am not a fan of it. I have lost a lot of respect for Mikey as a driver (see DW wearing out his welcome in the Kmart 66) and as a business owner, but he is still great on this type of show. I also like him in the booth on the CTS coverage when he does that.
Now that I think of it. The Speed CTS direction/production is great. Raw, following different races in the race and I am sure with less than 1/2 of the cameras. Rick and Phil are OK but just so bland.
Speed overall has gone downhill a little. I am sure that is due to economic factors. Pinks and Unique Whips play like late night infomercials mercilessly. But, hey, we want them to stay in business so I understand.

NascarNow is great. I just wish I could get home in time to watch it. I always wait for the replay and it on at different times or after live events which delay or push it out altogether. It is great to see a forum for guys like Ricky Craven who have a lot to offer.

Now to the flavor of the month, TNT. Is now, was and always will be just on the good side of awful in terms of direction. Bill Weber has buttons on his chest that Wally must push to say "while we were away...." or "let's take a look back at what happened just a minute ago". Kyle Petty has the potential to fill Benny's shoes. No small order.
Matt Yocum is one of the best on pit road, so big ups there. Marty Schneider just seems to irritate whoever he is interviewing. He and Bob Dilner should start a weekly show and bring drivers on and see how quickly they can get them mad.

I can't wait for ESPN to take over. Somehow in the next few weeks we have to get the mukkety mucks at ESPN to get Allen Bestwick up to the booth and Jerry Punch down to the "Bristol Boxcar".
Allen is plain and simple the best in the business.

So let me finish (finally) by naming my dream team.

Booth: Allen Bestwick, Larry Mac, Kyle Petty

Pre-show: Chris Myers, Jeff Hammond, Dale Jarrett

Pit Road: Matt Yocum, Wendy Venturini, Jamie Little, Dr. Dick

Desmond said...

Couldn't agree with you more, Wisconsin Steve! Now if ESPN would just switch Allen Bestwick and Dr. Jerry Punch, the transformation would be complete.

Let's hope that the reporting on the Mauricia Grant story continues to be objective and done well.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thanks ed, nice to have you stop by. We publish at least one original column every single day and have done so since Feb. of 2007.

JD

Brett said...

This season has been the season of TV change, and a terrible rollercoaster ride. We started in Daytona with some pretty good broadcasts from FOX with qualifying, Bud Shootout, and the Daytona 500.

THEN we moved to California. What a horrible weekend that was for all the TV networks invovled. FOX Was on the air until the wee hours of the morning Eastern Time only to be told the race was postponed to the next day. Who could ever forget the incident at Phoenix. I guess that would be a learning experience for FOX. (The incident was the MLB over-run and miss of the green flag).

In my opinion Fans really began to get sick of FOX at the end of the season and were looking forward to TNT, which is a deffenite reversal from last season. TNT has been doing great. Reminds me of why Turner Sports has had the NASCAR contract for 20+ years. I just hope they keep it up. Daytona Coke 400 was a excelent broadcast.

ESPN has made some VAST improvements. It was really a shocker at all the changes they made in the off-season. So far the changes have been a great success. Unfortunatly there is still one more booth change that needs to be done in order for ESPN to perhaps take over TNT for the best NASCAR coverage.

Some improvements still need to be made in some areas. ESPN needs to focus on Nationwide Series driver in the Nationwide Series, not just Cup guys and Brad K.

One thing that still ticks me off is that the upcoming Brickyard 400, like last season, is broadcast on ESPN! This makes no sense. The Brickyard 400 is one of NASCAR's crown jewels. Some consider it bigger than the Daytona 500. And yet it is broadcast on a Cable Sports Network. Many people forget that 2 years ago they moved the date of the Brickyard 400 so it would not be broadcast on cable network TNT. But instead the execs at ESPN still put the race on cable on ESPN.

KoHoSo said...

My mid-season report card.

Fox (on track): C-
As I think about it, it's hard for me to give Fox a true grade because it was just so refreshing to see at least some competence after the utter debacle that was TNT's and ESPN's 2007 coverage. Gold stars for Fox as always for me go to Mike Joy and Dr. Dick Berggren. Detention needs to be served by several members of the Fox crew both in front of and behind the camera for offering too much one-note-Johnny coverage. As for Digger, he needs to be taken behind the Hollywood Hotel and killed with a shovel.

Fox (off track): Inc.

Speed (on track): B
Even practice and qualifying shows hosted by the Fox crew seem much more relaxed and offer more wide-ranging coverage. Speed would probably get an A in this area if it were not for the presence of Michael Waltrip during Truck Series races (I tend to like Mikey elsewhere, but he is much too repetitive and far too forced as a color analyst for my liking).

Speed (off track): F
Improving in camaraderie or not, TWIN is still bass-ackwards and relies too much on pre-produced features -- they never should have tried to fix what wasn't broken. Wind Tunnel is great until it's time to focus on NASCAR, at which time Dave Despain becomes the envy of any of the great Internet forum trolls. As for the rest of their off track or next-to-it product, so much of it is blab with no substance or hype without backbone that it is difficult to wait until the good reporting or true fun all too briefly comes along. Speed needs to make up its mind what it wants to do with its life or it will drift aimlessly and end up on welfare or in jail.

ESPN (on track): B-
It's so hard to judge ESPN in an unbiased way because they certainly get an A+ for effort. After last year's abysmal coverage, they made right step #1 by banishing Rusty Wallace to the infield and bringing in Dale Jarrett (well, at least a few times in this first half of their Nationwide Series coverage). They are still missing things that they shouldn't, seem to refuse to find tapes of the Bob, Ned & Benny days which would show them how to properly cover a race, and the issue of the monotonous droning of the still likable Dr. Jerry Punch looms large. However, with so much improvement so far, I think they still deserve a decent grade.

ESPN (off track): A-
If ESPN's improvement on track has been amazing, the off track show improvement is downright astonishing. The only reason I can't give a full A or an A+ is that ESPN's flagship program, SportsCenter, still needs quite a few hosts to go through some racing sensitivity training (and that involves all racing and not just NASCAR).

TNT (on track): B
While we're talking about improvement, it's almost as stark here at TNT. This is another grade that is admittedly inflated because they were so completely inept in '07. Yes, Webber is still annoying at times, but Petty and Dallenbach are beginning to mesh and TNT seems to make much better overall camera choices in the director's booth than their classmates.

TNT (off track): Inc.

I'm going to grade more harshly at the end of the year, so you little troublemakers had better buckle down, straighten up, and fly right! Fox will miss the second half, but they can improve their grade by submitting extracurricular activities such as the promise to show the whole field finish the race, the firing of Chris Myers (I hate because I care), or the reenactment of the famous Hollywood scene in The Godfather...this time featuring DW and the head of Digger. >:-)

SophiaZ123 said...

WOW Kohose, your grades and comments made me laugh out loud or nod my head along. I never thought of "actual grading".

Very savvy post!

Richard in N.C. said...

It really is strange that ABC stations in the northwest will carry children's programming in place of part of NASCAR broadcasts, but the Seattle Post-Intelligencer apparently has a racing reporter and sent her from Seattle all the way to Daytona to cover the 400. I wonder which media outlet really knows ( or cares )what their area residents want.

Maybe I missed it, but it is still not clear to me exactly why RaceDay is being shown earlier. Because of pressure from ESPN or from NASCAR?

Daly Planet Editor said...

richard,

The fact that they did not ask her about that or anything else of substance just reinforces the slide of Tradin' Paint into a "must miss" show. It is a big shame.

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

kohoso, great comment and well said.

red said...

kohoso, you made with laugh right out loud with this one: "As for Digger, he needs to be taken behind the Hollywood Hotel and killed with a shovel." i SO agree w/that sentiment!
i also agree with your grades and i especially like separating the off- and on-track grades.

ed: welcome aboard and i know you'll enjoy the ride! i like your dream team lineup and i'm right there with you about kyle petty picking up where BP left us. i think it will be a season or two but kyle certainly has shown me some good stuff and i believe being in the booth is a FAR better fit for him than on tradin'paint.

for me, the single best part of daytona's coverage on saturday was when the booth was silent for an entire lap and we were treated to the sounds of cars running at full speed! that sound trumps anything and everything else and is what a race fan wants to hear! you production guys among us: think you can make that happen at least once each race?

mid year overall shows some stengths, some improvements over last year and a number of "developmental areas" for all involved. digger needs to go and racebuddy needs to stay, in-camera shots need to be used less frequent and whole-field shots more frequently. someone needs to either get weber and dallenabch a real desk to sit behind or remove that cocktail table all together.

single biggest disappointment so far for me has been the "roll over and play dead" stance of most of the nascar media when it comes to covering the tough issues: the drug testing policy, the grant lawsuit, the infamous drivers meeting, the goodyear tires fiasco -- all deserved better than the usual fare. maybe the second half of the season will improve.

jd, i joined on here with the column that asked "will you watch nascar on tv this year?" that seems so long ago and so much has transpired but my answer is clear: yeppers. i may not be able to get to as many races as i'd like but i'm encouraged by some of the changes and can hope to see more.

Adam T. Martin said...

Fox needs to get rid of those stupid commercial bumpers that feature the driver in the lead watching a movie or just doing something plain stupid.

I also disliked that "NASCAR Love" song played at teh beginning of each Fox telecast. It was too cheesy.

As for TNT, these need to go and never come back:

-That silly "Restart" traffic light graphic
-90 minute pre-race show (I never watched it but it sounds like absolute fluff.)
-Bill Weber, Marty Snider, Marc Fein (Too cheesy and they irritate both the drivers and viewers.)

Newracefan said...

Ok here goes

Speed-enjoy Raceday but now that it's shown earlier it's lost much of its life and needs to be shorter. Tradin Paint has become boring everybody agrees all the time what's the point. NP- fantastic should have a permanent time slot like TWIN or before RaceDay. Nascar in a Hurry- usually in the shower for this one. Trackside- it's trackside what else is there to say. TWIN- backwardness aside I love this show especially when Chad is there but Biff's ok too. Speeds coverage of practice and qualifying is second to none and I wish they did all of them, thankfully they do have the entire truck series. The fact that Speed has no more shows like NBS24/7 and only had 1 Humpy show is its downfall. Oops almost forgot VL- it’s the best post race coverage going.
Fox- Mike Joy and the boys are my favorite but the camera work and Digger/DW store overshadowed everything. Wouldn't you just love to see what MJ could do with TNT's WOC. They did a little better job of telling us why a car was off or out and got better about the top 35 by the end. I did hear comments about the cars back in the pack but not enough for this fan. I won't even get into the finish or my head might explode. Meyer's is ok but I wish he would lose the goofy act or how about using Krista Voda but that would hurt the best pit reporters in the business. Post race good/fair.
TNT- Best camera work so far and the booth guys are a surprise. Kyle and Wally tend to wander at times and Weber doesn't rein them in fast enough. Pit reporters are the second best. Prerace is too long, they need 2 shows because? Their Pride of Nascar is fantastic and I'm glad they are using people a little less "famous". Post race needs work; totally ignoring the top 35 is unforgivable, leaving early is unacceptable, being sent to Nascar.com just plain scary.
ESPN- NN has been a nice surprise compared to last year it shows me that there are some people at ESPN that care about the fans. AB single handedly saved this show on Mondays and Nicole wow what a difference a year can make. I am even willing to accept it’s time fluctuations as long as it’s due to live events. Not showing practice when it’s theirs to show kind of counter acts some of the NN changes. Race coverage better but needs work. Rusty had been a nice surprise and I actually don’t cringe when he is calling a race anymore but I prefer DJ. JP and AB need to change places and quick, I almost fell asleep watching the NW race last week. Camera work not to bad either and the best show of the checkers going, just needs that drop down box. Pit reporters-Jamie has improved, Shannon still needs a lot of work. Maybe JP could go back and show them how it’s done. Post race not bad but stop asking those pushy questions.
This is all I can think of right now but many of the other posters have great assessments too.

SophiaZ123 said...

ok..after nrfans post, I am convinced many of you take notes or have photographic memories!!

impressive. :-)

Anonymous said...

No contest ! The Fox broadcasts , the Fox on air " talent " , the Fox Producer , Director , Tech people , the two most annoying ex-crew chiefs in existence , and that God awfull Digger idea all get a rating of 0. And to further illustrate how terrible the Fox team is , they then went on to broadcast the Prelude to the Dream , and made a complete mess of a show that you would'nt think could possibly be made a mess of . Terrible camera work , terrible direction , lots of action missed even while being described by the analysts .
Fox and EVERYONE conected with FOX , with the lone exception of Wendy Venturini , who is a good interviewer and whose sole mission in life is not 1950s style AM radio voice modulation and talking on top of her fellow broadcasters , should be banned from ever participating in another NASCAR telecast .
Dale Jarrett , Wally Dallenbach , Kyle Petty , Allen Bestwick , they bring back true professionalism to the race broadcasts , in the style of Bob Jenkins , Neil Bonnett , and Benny Parsons .

Anonymous said...

The first race on the TNT segment was probably the best race of the year. Weber was quiet a lot of the time and Kyle Petty did a great job with the commentary. Since then, TNT has gone downhill. Fox's coverage stunk up the place. The perpetual gum flapping by the announcing crew actually took away from the races that were being shown. Then the constants shilling for products and make of car by DW. Not to mention the over-use of gimmick cameras and products related to it. I hope ESPN does a better job, but I've got my expectations set low based on their coverage of the Busch, I mean, Nationwide Series. They can only go upwards.

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