Saturday, July 5, 2008
Saturday At Daytona: TNT's "Wide Open" Sprint Cup Series Race (8:15 Start)
This is always one very interesting race to watch on TV as the TNT Network once again unveils their "wide open" coverage. The Saturday night Sprint Cup Series race from Daytona makes for a lot of discussion when it is over.
TNT debuted "wide open" coverage last season with good results. Essentially, the network moves the screen around to allow video of the race to continue in some form during the national commercial breaks. The only time commercials run for the viewers at home is when the local cable systems insert their breaks.
The way TNT sold this to sponsors was the opportunity for them to create custom-made video pieces that will convey their messages to the viewers in a different kind of way. TNT will also add logos and animation elements on the screen during the broadcast, but the big thing will be the lack of full-screen commercial breaks.
TNT's pre-race coverage starts with NASCAR Live On TNT! hosted by Marc Fein. He is joined by Larry McReynolds and Kyle Petty on this one hour show. It will be Matt Yocum hosting this week's edition of The Pride Of NASCAR, as Yocum sits down with legendary driver Marvin Panch.
The NASCAR Future Stars feature will focus on Colin Braun, a young driver who races in the Nationwide Series. Lindsay Czarniak's regular feature this week will focus on Ryan Newman's crew chief Roy McCulley, whose wife is battling cancer.
The pre-race coverage continues with the Allstate Countdown To Green with Bill Weber and Wally Dallenbach seated at the TNT cocktail table in the announce booth. They will explain the "wide open" coverage that will follow at 8PM and will kick-off with a video from Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle and Jamie McMurray.
Even with the "wide open" coverage, TNT will still offer RaceBuddy for the entire event. This free online broadband service is available through NASCAR.com and features four camera angles and some interactive features.
This is the big moment for the TNT staff of this entire TV package. A lot of work and planning has gone into this telecast, which last season drew rave reviews. With Bill Weber and his announcers having a very good season-to-date, it will be interesting to see if the COT will provide the kind of racing that will create a memorable event.
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