Saturday, July 12, 2008

TNT At Daytona: The Future Of NASCAR TV (over 100 comments)


There had to be a time during the TNT broadcast of the Sprint Cup Series race from Daytona where the various NASCAR executives had to all have the same thought. Why can't we do this for every race?

From the moment that the "wide open" coverage of TNT began, there was rarely a moment when viewers missed the racing action. This season, TNT used a relatively small-sized box positioned on the right side of the screen to show the commercials. It worked like a charm.

Veteran TV Director Mike Wells stamped his name on this race in no uncertain terms. The commentary was good and the graphics were fine, but the pictures were spectacular.

NASCAR nation had been watching the very different style of the Fox Sports gang this season. Races were filled with gimmicks like Digger and sometimes dominated by bumper cams and tight shots of the leader. Rarely did fans see any car finish the race live except the leader. After frequent complaints, Fox actually began to replay the finish for the rest of the field.

Wells came from the ESPN "old school" days where the racing on the track dominated the coverage, not a pre-conceived storyline or a high-profile driver. The camera work was outstanding all race long as wideshots that zoomed to provide a perspective were mixed with just enough low angle and speed shots to create a dynamic viewing experience.

Bill Weber was surprisingly effective at mixing-in the more frequent but less obtrusive commercial elements throughout the telecast. Weber still yells "Matt" a bit too harshly, but his performance this season has been tempered by the presence of Kyle Petty as the true leader of the TNT telecasts.

Petty has mixed effectively with both Wally Dallenbach and Larry McReynolds to form a rather unique team of analysts. Dallenbach and Petty both offer the driver's perspective, but in their own very different kind of way. McReynolds is not physically present "upstairs," but is as vocal a member of the TNT team as the trio up in the booth.

It seems that with one season under their belts, this TNT on-air team has become as comfortable with each other as viewers see with the veterans at Fox. Petty has played a key role with his ability to address any issue and even poke fun at himself. His role driving the pace car at the opening of the race made for some fun banter with the other announcers.

The fundamental truth is that by keeping the video of the race on the screen during commercial breaks, viewers are going to "consume" the content of the commercials at a much higher rate. The transition to a full-screen commercial in a normal telecast is a signal to either surf the other channels or turn one's attention to another activity for two minutes. Those who DVR or TiVo the race just hit fast-forward.

This race telecast is a model for the NASCAR TV coverage of the future. Sponsors got a terrific amount of exposure for their commitment and fans got a non-stop telecast that was visually better than anything they have seen so far this season. Despite the dissapointing finish, this time the pictures really did tell the story.

What were your views of the "wide open" coverage from TNT on Saturday night?

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110 comments:

Adam T. Martin said...

I really enjoyed the "wide open" coverage tonight and I think it rivals the side by side utilized by ESPN/ABC when it comes to there IRL coverage.

I wasn't happy with the outcome of the race, but it was solid coverage.

Marty Snider and Bill Weber should never be allowed on TV. They make me cringe.

Anonymous said...

God I hope that wasn't a model of NASCAR coverage. Too many wall shots near the end which made it difficult to see the interaction of the cars from such a low angle. How about just a decent wide angle of the first 5-10 cars without speed shots, we know they are going fast.

The post race interviews were a mess as usual from TNT, at least they didn't go off the air early as has been their habit.

Matt said...

By far the most enjoyable telecast this season. The chemistry was great, pictures were amazing, and the racing was pretty good. And the fact that we got to see more coverage made it complete.

Anonymous said...

The booth tonight on TNT compared to last night on ESPN shows that there is a deffenite problem at ESPN. Hopefully they were watching TNT tonight to learn a few things.

Dot said...

I liked the coverage on TNT tonight. They should broadcast like that for the entire 6 weeks. Along with Race Buddy, you don't miss a thing. I like to do the play by play for my roommate during the full screen commls.
This is how racing needs to be watched.
JD, is ESPN going to have a Race Buddy type thing? I am addicted to it.

Kyle said...

I think this was the best TV coverage we have see to date this year.

Fantastic camera angles, showing nice wide shots, mixing in a little copter and bumper cams at appropriate times. Just a terrific flow. The outstanding wide shots when people dove to pit lane to avoid a incident on track just blew me away! Along with keeping wide shots on the cars that were spinning.

Last drafting track NASCAR went to was dega, FOX could not get an angle right, tons of bumper cams when cars were 3 wide and passing like crazy. TNT Just put on a clinic tonight, hope someone from fox and espn was watching.

Wide open coverage was great, we missed very little of anything that happened in todays race. NASCAR take a page from the IRL and this please!!!!

It kinda fell apart a little bit at the end there with the very late set of cautions running up to the end of the time allotment but dont think we would have got a proper rundown even if they had another half hour because it was dependent on NASCAR reviewing tapes. Kyle trying to use the illustrator for the first time was kinda funny anyhow!

Daly Planet Editor said...

dot,

There will not be a RaceBuddy for ESPN/ABC. You can sign-up for Sprint Raceview on NASCAR.com but that is a pay service.

JD

Jo said...

The coverage was excellent. From start to finish. And what a finish!

All the guys in the booth meshed well (yes even Weber) they were really into the broadcast, fans calling a race. Calling what was happening on the track, not fitting it to some connived, trite "storyline" someone cooked up. Tonight we were treated as if we had brains & use them (attn espn-we have & do) The commercials were there on the screen and I didn't walk away or mute them, the box was small enough to not be intrusive yet got the message across.Thank you.

Thank you for not using every last techno graphic ever invented. No animal cams, restrained use of bumper shots, AND NO Draft Tracker!
Thank you Thank you.

Thank you for the fast scroll during the "commercials" in the lower left corner. It was fast enough to go thru the field twice, yet slow enough to read. Kudos to who ever set it up.

The camera work was excellent - as was the choice of what we saw. I used Racebuddy as a supplement, not my main source. Usually with Fox & Espn I use it as a main source, tonight your coverage reversed that. Except during Tony & JJ switch, RB had incar, so it was a better view.

Thank you for showing us (& many times) the entire field crossing the finish line! Thank you.

Everyone enjoyed what they were doing tonight & it really showed! Great job!

Thank you seems like not enough, I really mean it. What a difference a year makes. Other networks could learn from this crew tonight!
Thank you

Vicky D said...

Like the guy on the DirectTV commercial I thought the race coverage was "AWESOME"! And RB & Nascar live leaderboard (I wonder if they've updated KB winning instead of CE) HAH. The commercials didn't really interfere with the telecast so it was a good one for me. Hope ESPN's gang were watching for pointers for their next NW race broadcast. Thanks for the forum, JD.

Spring Rubber said...

This was an excellent telecast tonight; all of the parts just seemed to come together! We got great shots, great commentary, and a great broadcast format. This Wide Open Coverage format is great for the fans and the advertisers; we get to see almost all of the racing action, and most of the fans, myself included, stick around during the corner ads to watch the race and take in the advertisements at the same time. I really wish more advertisers would hop on board this program so we can do it more often, and I'm really sad to see TNT go after next week; I think they've proven that they're NASCAR's #1 broadcast team despite only televising 6 out of 36 races.

Jo said...

It won't let me edit - Raceview is my other source - yes its a pay service but atleast I can get race info during "story time"

SophiaZ123 said...

Well I was going to gush all over again but I just want to second the great comments so far and to second Kyle and Jo's posts.

Mike Wells should teach a class in "How to give the fans what they want". He did a terrific job!!

PG_Harley said...

Thought Kyle & Wally were great together! They obviously had some fun and their enthusiasm was contagious.

A bit of a downer on the end of the race, but the boys in the booth were having some fun with the multiple attempts by the drivers to wreck.

I really liked the "wide-open"... the way fans should be treated. I also had race-buddy up throughout and was able to keep watching when TNT went local. Very complimentary wasy to watch the race.

Sure gonna miss all this when we move over to ABC/ESPN. The bar has definately been raised!

Anonymous said...

I wonder how much of investment would it cost to sponsor wide open coverage of a Sprint Cup race.

Anything keeping the good folks at AT&T from reallocating the money used to sponsor the #31 until the rules force them off?

Could you imagine a Fox promo for the Daytona 500, with limited commercial interruption thanks to AT&T.

red said...

jo, you have eloquently expressed what i'm thinking tonight. thank you.

for once, the technology added to the race experience instead of detracting from it. as an irl fan, i am comfortable w/side by side and have come to accept the compromises that are required to make it happen. i can only hope that all partners involved come to recognize the intelligence of the strategy and see the benefits for both fans and advertisers!

daytona can't be an easy race under the best of circumstances and we are, as a group, somewhat unforgiving and demanding. i doubt there will ever be a race broadcast that will satisfy all viewers. for me, tonight was enjoyable and i am most especially pleased with the booth guys! as was pointed out during the race, kyle and wally are so animated, so excited, so in amazement of the racing that i couldn't help but smile and think that they were mirroring my emotions!

so, from one fan to everyone involved in making the broadcast happen tonight: a sincere thank you. enjoy the remainder of the weekend, all, and thanks once more to jd for providing us with this site!

stricklinfan82 said...

First of all major thank you to Papa John's, the U.S. Army, Sprint, Viagra, hp, Coors Light, Subway, Toyota, The Journey to the Center of the Earth, Coca-Cola, and The Dark Knight for allowing TNT to provide this tremendous Wide Open Coverage.

The need for this type of coverage was never more evident than when Junior passed Paul Menard for the lead, A.J. Allendinger crashed, Kyle Busch nearly crashed, and Greg Biffle crashed while a split-screened commercial was running on top of the screen in a little box. On a normal weekend we would have missed all of those events live because the entire screen would have been filled with full-screen ads (which no one would have been watching by the way).

It was also very enjoyable to have a relaxed director that just let the viewers at home see the entire pack of cars racing and passing. It was quite a relief after the Talladega mess where the Fox director went berzerk and constantly pressed a thousand buttons to switch from roof cam to bumper cam to roof cam to bumper cam to Digger cam to roof cam at a thousand miles an hour, leaving the viewers at home's heads spinning and completely in the dark as to who was passing who and who was leading the race at any given time.

Yes there were issues like ignoring what happen to Reutimann and Marlin and taking far too long focusing on the last lap crash to as much as speculate about who might have been leading at the time of the yellow, but I'm still so overjoyed after being able to watch the Wide Open Coverage that I don't have a major beef with those issues.

This type of coverage is a must-have for the entire 36-race schedule. The fans love it and the advertisers have got to realize that this format gives them the maximum exposure for their dollar (heck, I just mentioned all their names on this blog, that has to be worth something right?).

I have no problem with the delayed finishing results graphic because of the freezing the field / reviewing the video process after a race ends under yellow. I also don't mind the top 35 snub since that became a non-issue after the 66's DNQ and the 84's last place finish.

Great job TNT. Advertisers, please wake up and push for this type of Wide Open Coverage every week. Full-screen ads during the race go unseen due to the ability to change the channel on live TV and fast-forward with the DVR. THIS is the way to get the best bang for your buck.

It's just a shame that after over 3 1/2 hours of nonstop pre-race coverage that we are left with nothing but a few brief news conference soundbites on ESPNEWS to whet our appetities for post-race television analysis. It sure would be nice to have a 30-60 minute post-race show on the network that broadcasted the race or to have Victory Lane on Speed to watch immediately after the conclusion of the TV broadcast every week.

Anne M said...

I like the idea of seeing the commercials without cutting away from the race, but I wasn't crazy about the way this was implemented tonight. There were several long periods -- or maybe they just seemed long -- where we went from on-screen ad to traditional commercial break and then back to another on-screen ad, with very little uninterrupted racing. This happened particularly during the first half of the race. Later on, things settled down. I'm not suggesting that there need to be fewer ads, but they need to be spread out a little. I did like that the announcers told us how long the breaks would be. With more experience, I'm guessing that the ads would be distributed more evenly.

Brian said...

I loved the fact that TNT took the 16:9 picture and made it so the non HD viewers (like myself) could see the whole picture. I wish Fox and ESPN would do the same. It would allow for better use of the space on the HD broadcast, and the non HD viewers still get to see all of the action! Just curious, how did this look for those of you with HD?

Oh and I figured out what the moving background is when they are doing PIP. It is a rotating NSPS Trophy

Daly Planet Editor said...

brian,

Glad you said that. I have never figured it out, only that it needs to be lightened-up and not used next season. Thanks for the info.

JD

Jo said...

Brian said...

Oh and I figured out what the moving background is when they are doing PIP. It is a rotating NSPS Trophy

July 6, 2008 12:09 AM

Thanks for the info its been driving me nuts!

Matt said...

I believe that NASCAR wants to know more about what fans think of this coverage, because I am a member of the NASCAR Fan Council and just recieved an email asking me for my opinion on tonight's race. Maybe this is a good sign for 2009?

Jo said...

Matt said...
I believe that NASCAR wants to know more about what fans think of this coverage, because I am a member of the NASCAR Fan Council and just recieved an email asking me for my opinion on tonight's race. Maybe this is a good sign for 2009?

July 6, 2008 12:14 AM

We can only hope, NASCAR hasn't listened to any fan who wasn't "casual" in years. Its a good sign. Tell em Matt! & tell them to come here.

red said...

brian said;"'Oh and I figured out what the moving background is when they are doing PIP. It is a rotating NSPS Trophy"

i think i should know this but 'NSPS trophy' = ??

Anonymous said...

The NASCAR.com post show is being a little more respectfull in their comments this week. One of the anchors that was critisized last week is even going as far as saying "the opinions and comments expressed on this show do not represent Turner or its sponors." He said this multiple times. This is interesting.

red said...

red said...
brian said;"'Oh and I figured out what the moving background is when they are doing PIP. It is a rotating NSPS Trophy"

i think i should know this but 'NSPS trophy' = ??

oh, just never mind. my brain just clicked on and i got it. and i have to agree w/jd: they need to lighten it up a whole bunch or maybe just use something else?

and now i'm offended: i'm on the nascar fan council and they haven't asked for my opinion. jd, if they do are you ok w/us referring them to your site for fan feedback?

haus20 said...

I have HD and the picture looked good, except we lose the bottom of picture to place the banner ads and race info...nothing essential was gone, but we HD people are sacrificing our picture for you SD people...your welcome.


Anyway, it would sure be nice if NASCAR could figure out this W.O.W. coverage for all the races...it was great!

Ken O said...

The "wide open" coverage messed up my DVR watching some. I was only able to skip through when the "local" commercials were on. Saw more commercials tonight than I have watched in a long time (and it was OK by me). If advertisers realize how much more exposure they are getting for their dollar, they would insist on it. I hope they are paying attention even though it took me longer to watch the race.

SophiaZ123 said...

Matt

Can you add my name to your NASCAR opinion deal?

I agree, if NASCAR really wants to know what real fans think, send them to read this site.

TNT raised the bar so high, it's gonna be like dancing the limbo to go back to ESPN !!

Same with FOX. A picture IS WORTH a 1000 words and tonight proved it.

The genuine fun, laughter and comments in the booth were just a bonus.

Oh, and some race announcers in some series have 'fake enthusiasm'. I am not a fan of that either. I felt almost as if the guys tonight were sitting on their own couches at home, as REAL FANS, enjoying the race as they called it. :)

haus20 said...

Since DirecTV (and I am guessing Dish as well) doesn't have "local" breaks, it would be nice if TNT could have stayed with the race instead of showing more TNT promos in those bteaks.

JohnTaylor said...

Out-friggin-standing.

Kudos to TNT and, especially, Kyle Petty. The #45 driver needs to be on all 36 telecasts starting in '09. Knowledgeable, humorous, self-deprecating and not afraid to voice an opinion that may or may not jibe with the NASCAR/network company line.

Kyle's breathless, excited astonishment during the green/white/checker was some of the best NASCAR television I have heard in a very, very, very long time.

He is THE best thing in TV, NASCAR-wise, and six races a year is not enough.

As for the wide-open coverage...

Too bad we will have to wait until this time next year to see the annual model of how NASCAR should be covered.

Great, great work by TNT, though. If how that network presented tonight's race does not make themselves, the other networks, advertisers and NASCAR rethink how they present their product, then nothing else will.

TNT should be applauded for what they did tonight, although it should be nothing more than a polite "golf clap".

Why?

Because, after tonight, we'll be back to the same 'o, same o' when it comes to coverage.

Too bad the pall of the looming coverage cloud overshadows the transcendent production TNT put on tonight.

It's a shame, really.

Brian said...

You all feeling ok? That was one f the worst broadcasted races I have ever seen in my life. The race was hardly ever talked about, with all the ad's and everything going on 24/7.

The old traditional way is definitely much better. Weber was horrible by the way, SO MANY mistakes he made.

What a joke, never thought I'd be so happy to see Punch twice as much.

Lou,Kingston,NY said...

Agree w/alot of the good comments above. Just want to add that I enjoyed the TNT coverage so much, I spent little time viewing Hot Pass.

Anonymous said...

Brian, if you got a free year supply of Bud would you complain you are a whisky guy?

frankp316 said...

Because TSN did not buy into the Wide Open Coverage, the race was unwatachable in Canada. When TNT had their ad window, TSN went for a traditional commercial break. And TSN cut off the feed immediately after Kyle's Victory Lane interview. NASCAR needs to find a way to serve Canadian viewers better. This was garbage.

Anonymous said...

I thought the coverage was pathetic. The primary problem is that Kyle Petty lacks focus. He talks non-stop and loves to tell irrelevant stories. Listening to Wally made me long for Dale Jarett who did an exceptional job Friday. At the end,they spent two minutes on Kasey's smoking tire while who knows what happened at the front. Occaisonally,an adult (MacReynolds) stepped in with focused analysis. Even Weber got drowned out which isn't bad. Dumbest comments had to go to Ralph Shaheen on Kyle Busch---"His steering is disconnected...."

Jesse in Huntersville NC said...

Without regard to opinions about the commentators or the camera work, having the race on the screen for so much more time than we are used to is a cause for celebration. And I saw and heard more advertisements than I ever do in the "regular" telecasts, because I stayed in fron of the screen the whole time. Even the 90-second "local" breaks were quick!

I hope you are right, I hope this is the future of NASCAR TV.

Anonymous said...
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SallyB said...

I was really torn about the coverage at Daytona. I really appreciated seeing the race on screen all night....especially when there were on track incidents that would have been on replay with traditional coverage. However, the number of commercialsand their repetitivness got very annoying. I commend TNT for their excllent camera work, and their determination to show more than just the front of the field throughout the race. Instead of preconcieved 'story lines', they went with what was actually happening. I thought Kyle and Wally were outstanding, ad even BW didn't irritate me as much as usual. All in all, I thought TNT really came thru with this race coverage.

Katie said...

I liked seeing more of the race, and found I was able to ignore the bottom screen commercials. I wish my 8 year old daughtrer could ignore them as well, since we really were not prepared to explain to her the meaning of "erectile dysfunction!" After that, we did miss some racing because we did change the channel during the ads!

I'm glad to read others do not like Kyle Petty as a commentator. Perhaps if he would take a cue from his colleagues and occasionally stop talking, I would like him better! Sometimes he blathered on so, he tripped over his own tongue and made no sense!

Anonymous said...

I really liked to continuous scrolling positions when TNT went to "commercial". So much better than just showing the top 3, like ABC does with the IRL.

Anonymous said...

I cheated, I had the radio coverage going during the seemingly non-stop assault of ads, so I got professional announcers even when TNT had their babbling crew on for 6 or 7 minutes of every hour. Bill Weber needs to go back to covering lawn darts or wherever it was he came from.

Anonymous said...

I loved the 16x9 ratio with all the data on the bottom of the screen. What a great idea!

Also, the Wide Open concept is very good--because they used re-cut commercials for the spots, I actually found myself watching them instead of the action most of the time!

I also appreciated Weber's cues that the next break would be "90 seconds" or whatever.

NO "Draft Tracker"--thank you.

Using this format consistenly would go a long way toward improving the overall NASCAR TV product.

Anonymous said...

We heard all about how how Reutimann got back on the lead lap by getting 5 lucky dogs...but they never told us how he got 5 laps down in the first place!

Anonymous said...
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Jerry said...

Is it me or does TNT advertising time equals or exceeds the time they spend covering the race? And it seemed to me that most of the cameras were not focused close enough to catch the action. When they did the replays, it was impossible for me to see who did what to who.

Jerry

Anonymous said...

I really can't believe anyone could like what TNT is calling wide open coverage! Commercials that pop up at twice the volume of the commentary. The ticker tape goes from horizontal to unreadable off to the side vertical. It was almost impossible to concentrate on the race. I went to radio coverage even though there is somewhat of a delay. I do like Kyle Petty but that is about it. I'd almost like to see the races as pay per view to avoid most of this crap.

Vicky D said...

Yes, the broadcast team did miss several times why a certain car was having problems, got damage or whatever. What happened to Paul Menard's car, Reut's problem, etc. but on the whole I think the broadcast was better than expected.

Newracefan said...

I actually watch more of the race on TV instead of Trackpass and Racetrax for the first time all year. I love the camera angles and paid attention during commercials because I could see the cars and with no commentary I needed to watch for what was happening. I agree with the commercial volume issues but that is what the mute botton is for. This is the way to watch a race. I do have some issues with the the fact that I still don't know why Reut was 5 laps down (I'm guessing damage repair based on the time spent on pit road but how?) Marlin out-why? TNT appears to make a conscious effort to only talk about the cars in the top 10 unless they wreck enough to bring out a caution or are chase contenders. No interviews of anyone out of the race or off the track. Sterling, AJ, Elliott, Greg, etc. Not interviewing Tony was because he didn't want to/couldn't but did they try with anyone else. They did at least tell us, eventually, but I would have liked more detail. That is something I feel Fox was better at but if I have to chose TNT's camera angles or Fox's updates I choose TNT (I can't believe I'm saying that because I love Mike Joy)

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 9:18AM,

If you would like to re-phrase those comments as your opinion, you are welcome to return and re-post.

JD

Anonymous said...

without a doubt the worst race coverage I have ever seen in my life. How about telling us who is running in the top five instead how mny seconds the next round ofcommercials would be.

Did they ever go "through the field".

Ididn't timeit but it seemed as i every four minutes they would do the on screen commercial. Heck hit the mute btton after abouhe fourth one. I can't rememberthe last time i yelled at my TV so much.

Bruce Ciskie said...

It's a fine concept (wide-open coverage), but it was horribly executed by TNT. It got to the point where I honestly would have preferred to have seen a normally-covered race with a normal rotation of commercials.

It wasn't worth keeping the picture for the number of times we lost the sound from the racetrack in exchange for a commercial.

Not only that, but it's hard for Bill Weber to be anything but awful calling the race when he has to stop seemingly every couple minutes to read a commercial. Same for Wally and Kyle on commentary. I think Kyle has a chance to be really good at this, but with how often they stopped to do ads, it was tough to get in a rhythm.

The concept is fine, but there has to be a better way to use the 16:9 HD technology than that without blowing off the archaic 4:3 screen. The entire bottom fifth of my screen was useless to me, and I thought the setup was kind of stupid.

In defense of TNT, the ESPN/ABC side-by-side thing doesn't look much better on an HDTV.

To make a long story short, we got some work to do on this stuff. I wish the best of luck to the producers and directors and all those involved. They all mean well, but the execution HAS to improve.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea why everyone loves this TNT coverage so much... its been dreadful... its nice to see the extra race action... even with little commercials popping up every 3 minutes or so.... and RaceBuddy is a good supplemental feature.... but the announcers are terrible and if you took a shot every time "Coke Zero" was mentioned during the race.... well you would probably be at the very least in the hospital with alcohol poisioning... I'd rather hear about that than Digger, but don't go crowning these broadcasts as great coverage.... and please don't claim that the bar has been set high for ESPN, it hasn't... the TNT coverage has been just as poor and in many aspects worse than FOX's coverage.

Anonymous said...

I had no problem with TNT's coverage--it was FAR from the worst ever, as someone has suggested. Concept was good, executed well, and I loved the bottom-frame ticker.

How did this look to those with 16:9 screens?

Anonymous said...

I really liked when Weber said, "And to pay off the ___(whoever it was story)..."

but why didn't they do that with everyone who ended up in trouble?

The 44 cars went 5 laps down--when? How?

Mary said...

I thought the coverage was great - apart from Weber but I don't think my opinion will ever change on that.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was a great coverage. I can't believe some people are upset by it. I really havent seen any good arguments as to why coverage was bad. TNT never said it was going to be commercial free. They had to show some commercials during the race. But we still saw the racing action, except for local commercial breaks. Some people can just never be please. Always have to find something negative in a positive.

bevo said...

The picture and layout on my standard tv was fine, don't know how it looked on widescreen since I don't have DirecTV on that set. I find it kind of odd that people would complain about not being able to follow the race during the commercial pop-ups. It's right there in front of you, if you can't figure out that seeing #18 turn sideways means that Kyle Busch is in trouble without an announcer telling you that... wow.

I've had HotPass both seasons and last night was the first time I watched the majority of the race on the regular network feed. I switched over a few times to listen to the driver audio especially near the end. But other than that it was TNT.

I also put my Tivo on standby, no need to skip the commercials. I have no idea about the sponsors most weeks but I do remember that Papa Johns,US Army, Toyota and Subway advertised last night.

The production was top notch especially considering how few races they work together. No overdone graphics or gimmicks. KP and WD are genuinely excited by the action when it happens, not when there's no reason for it just to add some fake excitement and keep an image. BW has relaxed in his role and is vastly improved from last year. The piece that's lacking is the pit reporting.

Overall a fantastic presentation by TNT.

Chris said...

JD
Other than Weber in the booth, this was the best race coverage of the season. I never thought I would say this but kudos to TNT and to the advertisers that participated in the "wide open" coverage. My question is, do we go after the advertisers or the networks to get them on board for future races? I can only dream of this kind of participation for all of the races!
Thx again TNT

Anonymous said...

JD
A couple of points here.
First, TNT pulled of a major P.T.Barnum move by parlaying the loss of the lower third of the screen to constant commercial and promo space into a "added viewer value" play as a "16 by 9 display for people who can't receive 19 by 9" !!! Brilliant spin job by someone inside TNT.

I found the placement of commercial video and the constant commercial lead-ins by Weber to be very,very annoying. The video blocks action on the track, something that the Lingner Group addressed properly when they created the "side by side" format for ABC/ESPN Indycar coverage. TNT should take a lesson.

Camera placement was too low, particularly when the lights came on. It was aparent when they had to play crash replays, as the low angles made it almost impossible to id cars on the track. What happened to 3 cams on the roof??

Booth chemistry was outstanding. Thought the pit reporting dropped the ball on Stewart getting out of the 20 (no video of the driver change?????)

Also thought it apparent that Dale jr was "not right" in pre race interview. He seemed to not be feeling well, or nervous or something. No comment from TNT pit-sters.

Gotta get rid of the last lap race duds that happen time and again from current green/white/checker rule.Go back to race to the start finish.

Anonymous said...

There was much to enjoy about TNT's presentation last night, and I suppose you can't keep doing some of the things we're used to when you're trying new things, but I felt that TNT's general rule of thumb last night was to keep all of their shots wide and rely on shaky, hazed, in-car cameras to give us an idea of the interaction of the cars. Maybe it's my lack of HD, but even the replays were too distant for me to tell what had just happened in any wrecks. They were a bit slow on getting replays cued up as well.

Rockin Rich said...

Well, the "racecast" quality, and comparisons comments that probably should be on the Saturday TNT post seem to be bleeding over here so I will do my comment here.

I like the "Wide Open" format. Like many others have posted, I didn't leave my chair much even during the "local" breaks. Not having the audio during the PIP commercials was not a distraction as I was following the video action. I even looked at some of the ads.

For me, the biggest plus is the genuine enthusiasm that the booth team constantly displays, all race long. As I have stated before, the biggest turn off for me on ESPN is the forced enthusiasm, (I believe it's called acting), of almost everyone that gets on camera, or who we just hear without seeing. Even Dale J. seems to get caught up in it, although not nearly to the extent of Brad D., Rusty, et al. Allen B. seems to be the only one that doesn't exhibit much of this false enthusiasm. I think the FOX guys in general seem to fall somewhere in between these two extremes.

I made it clear in previous postings that I didn't care for Bill Weber. I have found him very much less annoying this year.

Also, as I have stated before, I do not have the computer(s)going while I am watching the race despite using them in my work for many years, and being very much computer oriented. I like to focus on the TV presentation. Plus, for the day races, I am watching with other guys in what I call our "GarageBar". I do watch the night races at home alone. The comments I have seen about Race Buddy are starting to tweak my curiosity. If I can get my computer stuff close enough to the TV, (don't use wireless yet, and the ThinkPad is too old/slow), I might give it a whirl for TNT's last race next Sat. night.

Summary, (and I can't believe I am saying this): for me so far, TNT's total package has been the best of the three broadcasters this year.

Bill H said...

I didn't watch the TNT coverage last night, instead was watching Hotpass (though technically I still saw the TNT in the top right corner). Hotpass was having some technical issues (on the JG channel at least) every 5 minutes or so it would pause (along with the TNT broadcast) and then speed up a few frames to catch up. Towards the end of the night Hotpass was about 4 laps behind the nascar.com's pitcommand (big bummer there - kept seeing the cautions come out on computer 2 minutes before the TV). Also the secondary audio was taking forever to change (wonder if it is my satelite box, anyone else see this issue?)

I did notice around 9:30 TNT started showing full screen commercials every 10 minutes or so for about a 1/2 hour.

From what I read, overall the TNT coverage was good, but then again this happened last year, then they went to Chicago and promptly started pounding Hinder and Closer down everyone's throat, willing to bet it happens again next week.

BillWebz

Ritchie said...

I'm an engineer, so I need emperical evidence in order to determine whether or not I am losing or gaining value from the "Wide Open" coverage. What I need to know is did I watch more or less commercials than I would have during a normal broadcast.

Another problem is that they are taking away the viewing area of my TV to show banner ads along with the pop up commercials. So I am losing value due to that.

Restrictor plate races can change in a moment, so there is a definite advantage to not breaking away from coverage during them. However, during a race at Michigan/California/Chicago, I'm not sure I really care if they break away when the drivers are simply burning laps. At times, I need a natural break from viewing anyway.

I can't say I loved this "Wide Open" coverage as much as everyone else, but I did like not missing so much of the action due to commercial breaks. As long as the broadcasters don't start inching away at my TV screen. Otherwise we might be watching the race in the small screen and the commercials in the large one.

Anonymous said...

Hated it. I was beaten down by the commercials. Ended up turning off the tv and listened to the race on MRN. I'm surprised that you guys who liked the broadcast weren't irritated by the major lack of race audio... with the exception of Weber - But hey, I never listen to Weber anyway!

Anonymous said...

This is copied from another post and true: "this was the best race coverage of the season. I never thought I would say this but kudos to TNT and to the advertisers that participated in the "wide open" coverage.".

I liked the ad block during the race-I actually recall the Army ad with Mark quite well, and watched it and the race at the same time.

I think Kyle is great in the booth and the other 2 are good. Kyle needs to do this more....and I liked his self deprecating humor. If you heard it you know what I mean.

I literally stood up from my chair when I saw the camera angle that looked straight down at pit road, from about wall high. Neat shot to have to use. It is better than the darn high high angle shots, in which you can't tell what is what. Great for establishing shot, but don't try to show race coverage with it.

Anonymous said...

I have mixed feelings about the coverage. I definitely like Kyle and Wally. Kyle can be a bit over the top, but since it seems genuine I'll cut him some slack. Even Weber has toned it down. Actually felt sorry for him with all the commercials he had to read...at least they were brief and he didn't yell them...LOL.

As far as WOC. Has its benefits, but I either muted the sound or fast forwarded at the slowest speed. The reason. My one person (maybe other than Katie above) protest against E.D. commercials. I think it is ridiculous that in a sport that describes itself as a "family" sport that they can't ask the broadcasters to find one other sponsor for those commercials (yes I remember the 6 car for M. Martin, didn't understand that either. How old was his son at the time?). I am looking forward someday to watching the races with my recently born granddaughter. No way she is ever seeing an E.D. ad (Or any other age inappropriate ads). So, all the other sponsors suffer the consequences. I am not a prude, but there is a time and place (night/adult programming) for products like this.

The camera work needed some help towards the end. Not sure what it was, but I found myself yelling..."show a wider shot"!

Anonymous said...

I have an idea, How about leaving a view that shows all of the cars go by. I know that i like to see where my driver is on the track comparable to the leaders and the other cars. But it seems that they show the first 10 or so cars and go to the next angle showing the leader whish is great but sometimes it would be nice to see all of the cars go by at a decent angle instead of from the blimp where you can't make anyone out. As far as the coverage i think it was pretty good. If you can stand Bill Weber and his constant mistakes. I can't wait til fox comes back.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up about the first half of the NASCAR TV season for your comments.

Just refresh your browser on The Daly Planet title at the top of the page.

Thanks,

JD

Don B said...

I wish they would knock off a couple hours of the pre race CRAP, and show the drivers being interviewed by the media in the media center

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

TNT did a much better job this weekend with the wide-open coverage. Even though I have, for the most part, really liked their coverage since they took over a few weeks ago, there are a couple of things that still bug me.

One is that they switch cameras so often in an effort to focus on the leaders, that the rest of the field is rarely shown. Last night TNT kept showing the guys up front who were running single file while there was a pack of cars behind them that were constantly shuffling around. To me, that's what makes these superspeedway races exciting-the shuffling of cars. Seeing the leaders run single file is equal to a snoozefest. Granted, the guys up front had their fair share of shuffling and bumping around but it wasn't the whole time.

The second thing is how the commentators will talk about how many races it's been since driver X has a won a race and it's usually when this driver is leading. What gets me is that it can be 40 or 50 laps into the race and all of a sudden it's like 'Oh, wow! He's going to win because it's been SO long since he's visited VL and, look, he's leading right now!' Um, the race is far from over and as we all know, anything can happen to take said driver out of contention for the win. Please save comments like this for when driver X is leading and it's less than 15 or 20 laps until the finish.

Despite all this, I am cringing at the thought of TNT's coverage ending and us fans having to suffer through the rest of the season with the other networks and their shabby coverage. As we all know, they do not have the fans best interest in mind when airing the races. For them, it's all about ego, creating B.S. controversial stores and $$$.

Anonymous said...

I meant stories on that last comment of mine. Oops! :-)

Daly Planet Editor said...

don b,

This season ESPNEWS is doing a very good post-race show. They carry the interviews from the Infield Media Centers and usually are great in giving NASCAR a ton of time. I would suggest you check it out if you have that channel.

JD

Kenn Fong said...

J. D.,

Did you notice in the historical references to the post-Firecracker 400 races that the name was changed from the "Pepsi 400" to "Coke 400" even though Pepsi was the actual sponsor? This is also the way Winston Cup is sometimes referenced now as "Sprint Cup" even though the race occurred before Sprint entered the scene.

I found myself watching much more of the network feed than my HotPass, since the side-by-side allowed me to continue watching the race. When I watch HotPass, I usually switch to the driver audio channel because the spotter will alert me to cautions even though the HotPass video remains trained on the featured car and driver when the accident might be occurring off camera. I used the HotPass audio mix channel which shows the network feed with the network commentary laid in as a bed at half-volume and one of the 13 driver audio channels on top. It wasn't confusing at all, by the way.

Did TNT show any of the go-or-go-homers making their changes from qualifying to race trim during pit stops?

I liked the look of the coverage too. I have often heard from people that letterboxed movies (and now some American television and a lot of British TV seen on PBS) take away part of the picture (because they don't understand they're actually seeing more, although less of the screen real estate is occupied). But I like the wider format, especially because it provides a natural location for the crawl and supplementary factoids.

If I have one suggestion, I wish one of the networks would experiment with a slide effect instead of a crawl. That is, show two or three names for a couple of seconds and then cut to the next two or three names, instead of having the names moving across the screen. Although it sounds as if it would be more difficult, I've seen reports from Europe where this format is used that say it's easier to read than a constantly moving crawl.

Opinions are like noses, everyone has one, but I think as a whole, I prefer the TNT approach. If I could only have last night's TNT director Mike Wells, Alan Bestwick anchoring, Mike Joy, Dale Jarrett, and Ray Evernham (hold your boos, we know you don't like him) in the booth, with Larry Mac at the cut-away car, Dr. Jerry Punch, Dr. Dick Berggren, Shannon Spake, Lindsay Czerniak, Wendy Venturini, and Krista Voda on pit lane, I'd be very happy.

[By the way, Jayski has a link to CawsandJaws's commercial count and listings. I bet it wouldn't hurt for us to drop notes to the various sponsors thanking them for the wall-to-wall coverage and asking them to lean on Brian France to give up his imperious stand against wall-to-wall.]

Kenny
Alameda, California

Karen said...

Daly Planet Editor said...

don b,

This season ESPNEWS is doing a very good post-race show. They carry the interviews from the Infield Media Centers and usually are great in giving NASCAR a ton of time. I would suggest you check it out if you have that channel.

I thought it took so long to get to KB's interview, it was very late and I had to watch all the other news numerous times. Don't think I ever saw finishers 2 and 3. Did you?

Anonymous said...

This was the biggest piece of crap I have EVER seen on television. I planned my night around watching this event and by halfway through I stopped watching and was online emailing to complain about this ASSAULT by these advertising whores. And i am not the type of person to email about something like this, however, I was so outraged and offended and insulted by this pathetic excuse of a broadcast I had to do something.

For the record, I am a 44 year old white male, I earn over 100k a year and am a fan of most motor sports and have watched them on television since childhood. I hope the sponsors enjoyed having their products rammed down my throat but I can assure you that not only will I NOT spend my hard earned money on them but after tonight I will go out of my way to spend it on the competition as a matter of general principle.

What should have been an enjoyable entertaining experience turned into a frustrating disappointing one to say the least....

Karen said...

Thought the race went very fast last night (it probably didn't but that was due to WOC) and was sorry I didn't have RB on to see the switch of the No. 20 drivers.

The only thing that drove me completely nuts was when Weber said several times he spoke with so-and-so and asked them where they wanted to be at the end of the race. Duh!!

Anonymous said...

I don't see what the big complaint is. People say they shoved ads down our throat but this is the SAME excact system they used last year in Wide Open Coverage. I guess you people like watching commercials and not seeing any racing action during them until they return. the ads last night we could still at least watch the race and there was not nearly as many as a normal broadcast.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 6:31PM,

Um, what? NASCAR races generally have a two minute or longer commercial every five minutes for three or four hours.

This entire TNT experiment was to try and generate enough ad revenue to still cover the cost of the TV rights and producing the race without showing full-screen commercials every five minutes.

What we are all talking about is the positive and negative parts of this experiment.

TNT split the ad time in to the lower thirds on the screen which rotated by sponsor and the video box which had the sponsor commercials in it. The announcer read promo copy when the commercial sponsor changed.

If your TV had a remote, you could always mute the audio. As you can see from some of the comments, people had lots of reactions.

Don't worry, next week the racing will go right back to four or five minutes of coverage and then two or three minutes of commercial. Hope that gets you all calmed down.

JD

Anonymous said...

hey daly man the race in canada sucked like frank said cutting in and out it was horrendous on tsn i bet half the viewers in canada tuned out because we never knew what the commentators were talking about because we re-jonied during commericials all the time. Stop praising this wide open junk and give us the regular race w/ side by side like the IRL!!!!

Anonymous said...

JD,

Just a quick question about something I saw just now.

Why would ESPN be taking comments from viewers about TNT's coverage of the race last night? Are these networks under the same umbrella in terms of ownership or something?

Just curious.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

First off JD, your article on this TNT race really got a lot of people to respond about last nights race.:)

I thought last years TNT Daytona race was better as to watching it in 16:9 HD, as apposed to last nights banner running across the bottom with advertising and then the small box advertisements were right in the way of the picture on 16:9. Watching it on a 50" was better than watching it on a 65", the bigger the screen, the more irritating the commericial screen was. Glad to hear the 4:3 crowd saw a good picture. Hold on for ABC/ESPN they'll screw it up big time....

SophiaZ123 said...

I missed Tony/JJ's seat change but saw it on SPEED REPORT. Wow that was fast. I did turn on RB but to late..just saw Yeley hooking up.

So if any of you missed it and catch SPEED REPORT on the re air they showed the change for those interested..in the first 14 minutes. Apparently JJ said there was confusion on the radio if Tony wanted to wait until the next caution or switch right away..turns out he wanted JJ in the car right away...must have been terrible trying to concentrate for Tony at that point.

I thought TNT last year's Wide Open did the same thing on the bottom of my 4.3 screen? A big gap. The only difference this year I noticed is I had seen all the commercials before. Last year a lot were seen for the first time.

Interesting how it looked on standard vs HD..and that totally STINKS for the Canadians tv coverage.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 7:09PM,

ESPN periodically takes surveys using their email list and things like ESPN.com and Jayski.com for a variety of racing issues. They did several last season.

The racing TV world is more wide open (no pun intended) than any other sport. Even sports without clocks like golf and tennis have natural transisitions between games and holes for commercials.

NASCAR is a moving target. There are no game clocks, quarters, 7th innning stretch or anything else. One year Talladega can have ten cautions and the following year...none.

Trying to build a TV broadcast around an event like a NASCAR race is the ultimate challenge. To get millions of dollars in commercial sponsorship into a race that cost millions to buy and produce is one rough road.

I applaud TNT for what they did, and I hope ESPN can step-up and consider the same type of thing for The Chase in 2009.

JD

Gymmie said...

@Karen--I'm confused, it was the same as always. The first full 30 minutes is always highlights and other news(and if they have someone in Studio they'll help with the commentary) then the next 30 minutes will carry the news conference. It takes them a few to get to the media center since they have interviews before they get over there.

Anonymous said...

If this is the future of NASCAR TV, count me out.

dwight said...

I was very pleased when I learned of the change to ESPN last year. I have never been a big Wally fan, and whenever Webber is on the air I am reminded of how much better Bestwick was in that chair. That said, I thought, and my son with whom I watched the race (a bigger Wally basher than I), both agreed that last night's broadcast was overall one of the best we'd seen on Cup or Nationwide broadcasts this season. We'd still rather have the Fox crew, but would take the TNT one to get the wide open format.

The letterbox picture is superior to the 4x3 for seeing the race. The small popup ads which left a good deal of the picture and the full crawl seemed far superior to the IRL side-by-side, because of mostly seeing just the leader or a couple of cars, on a small fraction of the screen, which is square, and much smaller than the ad portion, with much of the screen just a graphic, while the three leaders only are listed.

When I watch IRL, I still channel surf during side-by-side or ff when watching on dvr. We stayed through almost all the ads which which left the picture on the screen, could see lead changes, wrecks, etc.

We did wonder what happened to the 44, and some of the other people who had fallen laps down,but overall it was the consensus at my house that we'd settle for broadcasts of this quality and be pleased at any time. We thought that Webber and Wally were better than usual and their weaknesses were compensated for by the seeing more of the race.

Anonymous said...
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Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 9:24PM,

Instead of highlighting and criticizing someone else's comment, how about doing some thinking and then posting your own opinion? We would welcome your personal view on the TNT coverage.

JD

Karen said...

Gymmie said...

@Karen--I'm confused, it was the same as always. The first full 30 minutes is always highlights and other news(and if they have someone in Studio they'll help with the commentary) then the next 30 minutes will carry the news conference. It takes them a few to get to the media center since they have interviews before they get over there.


Gymmie, maybe I'm the confused one here, but it seemed a lot longer than 30 minutes. I didn't see Edwards or Kenseth at all and thought we usually see them first till the winner gets there. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

P.S. I also tried to watch JD postrace about an hour and half after the race and went to the archives as I did last week and it wasn't there. Anyone else have that experience? I haven't checked it today.

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

The good thing about the TNT coverage was we didn't get to hear that much from Weber or Larry Mac. The bad things were not seeing a lot of the racing going on back in the pack except when somebody wrecked or made a save. It was pretty much the same old coverage. The big names and the one or two underdogs who got into the Top 10 during various points in the race. There are supposed to be 43 cars out there which means 43 different stories. But as has been mentioned before, the only stories which will be covered were already dictated back in January during the Media Tour.

Patty said...

I LOVE the TNT wide open, wish all stations did that. I love Kyle in the booth, he's great. The whole group is great, love the different camera angles too. I wish they would do that for all their races and Fox should take note too. Plus, Fox needs to "retire" DW, sorry, but he gets on my last nerve!

Speedcouch said...

Anonymous at 7:05 a.m. on July 6th said...
I thought the coverage was pathetic. The primary problem is that Kyle Petty lacks focus. He talks non-stop and loves to tell irrelevant stories.


You've GOT to kidding me with this comment! Have you ever listened to Darrell Waltrip? Now that statement could SO easily desribe him. Kyle is 5000% better.

I enjoyed the coverage for the most part, but thought the on-screen commercials right after a hard break were a bit excessive in the early parts of the race. Thankfully, the 2nd half of the broadcast they cut back a bit.

Anonymous said...

Lord anything is better than Fox's coverage with Larry Mac droning on about some meaningless minutia about all the teams needing to change the framastan valve or johnson rod in his glass breaking twang to the .003 % of the fans that know what he's even talking about. And DW fawning over Kyle Busch every minute is just plain creepy.

chase said...

John: I thought the coverage was brilliant - and I actually remember the commercials as opposed to not remembering them at all during 'regular' coverage by any network. I would think that if the sponsors read any or all of the comments above, they would realize that it is to their best advantage to have coverage like this ALWAYS since so many people actually remembered the commercials and the products therein! I do have a problem, however, with the rather large (height-wise) stream of drivers and their positions - I think we all know what the drivers look like and perhaps to shorten that feed would give us more camera coverage. With the exception of Bill Weber who should not be allowed in any booth, Wally and Kyle and of course Alan B., DJ, et al are brilliant. And I used to like Marty Snider but don't anymore. Why not put Alan in the booth? God knows he has experience! Thanks John as always!

Anonymous said...

I planned my night around watching this event and by halfway through I stopped watching and was online emailing to complain about this ASSAULT by these advertising whores. And i am not the type of person to email about something like this, however, I was so outraged and offended and insulted by this pathetic excuse of a broadcast.

I don't understand how anyone could be offended by a format tht kept the racing on the screen during commercials.

At least once, critical action happened during that time--and we would have missed it had the broadcast been in the usual break format.

Anonymous said...

The commercial breaks coming so often was annoying at first, until I found the MUTE button on the remote. Give me more of that WIDE OPEN COVERAGE!

Dennis Michelsen
www.racetalkradio.com

Anonymous said...

Ive always said that Wally was one of the best stock car analysts on TV and he proves me right every week . Kyle is great as well . Weber is a mystery , doesn't add anything to the broadcasts at all . And the less we hear from the insufferable Larry Mac the better , always overexplaining the obvious .
TNT is to be commended . New angles , new shots , and many of the old ESPN showed through . Keep working on the small details guys , you're almost there .

Anonymous said...

There's nothing wrong with TNT's coverage that a piece of cardborad blocking the incessant ads at the bottom of the screen, and an audio feed from Sirius sattellite radio over the muted TV, can't fix. As a lifelong NASCAR fan (I attended my first race in 1971) and a former print media motorsports journalist and columnist, I am saddened and appalled by the unprofessionalism of supposed journalists who would turn themselves into nonstop shills for the sponsors. All they lacked were visible puppet strings on their arms and mouths. Add to that two worse-than-mediocre former drivers who pontificate like they invented the sport, and the coverage was nearly unbearable. Only the race itself saved the day. What ever became of covering sport as sport, rather than using it as a platform for shoving product down fans' throats?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 12:08PM,

The one problem with the new TV contract is that the networks paid so much for the Sprint Cup Series races that they have to make it up in commercials during each event.

The first year of the contract was brutal, as archive stories on this site will attest. Now, all three networks are figuring out that the steep decline in TV ratings last season was due in no small part to the over-saturation of commercials.

I applaud TNT for trying this experiment, and for the IRL for sticking with the side-by-side coverage.

If someone could come up with a more interactive model for a TV broadcast that involved the viewers and allowed them to participate in sweepstakes, promotions and give-a-ways during the live race, it would go a long way toward getting the sponsors the exposure they demand for the price.

JD

Desmond said...

So maybe Wide Open Coverage isn't the greatest thing ever to happen in NASCAR history. After all, there were many interruptions to read promos and there were a lot of ads frontloaded at the beginning of the race.

Still, I prefer it a lot more than the usual commercials. We did get to see the racing action that otherwise would have been missed.

With that being said, would Wide-Open be as effective at, say, Chicagoland Speedway, where there is less racing action?

Frank, I really feel for you that you still had to see full-screen ads and missed the post-race after the winner interview. This is not the first time I have heard about the abrupt endings to NASCAR broadcasts on TNT. It would rather cut to footage of Sidney Crosby picking his boogers on SportsCentre than show more post-race. Disgusting, but probably true.

Desmond said...

Sorry, I meant TSN. But TNT has done it too, unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

I actually like the WOC. I can ignore all the ads on the bottom of the screen and actually see all the racing instead of having it all covered up all the time.
Love Kyle in the booth. He's so funny to listen to IMO.
Weber is a little less irritating than he used to be. As much as I love Fox's coverage, I like the WOC also.

Terry G

Anonymous said...

I believe we've seen, in this telecast, just where sports broadcasting will be in a couple of years. Traditional TV racing broadcasts have, for decades, had a segment of commercials inserted into the live broadcast. As you mentioned somewhere else, TV is becoming a "dinosaur" by itself. Throughout scores of entries in this blog, we've witnessed many who multitask in addition to watching the broadcast on TV. TNT/Turner have already made a bold move this year with "Racebuddy".
To advertisers, this newer format of multitasking viewer may make them more resistant towards buying air time on the actual TV broadcast as they realize a probability of missing their intended target who used to be captive, for the most part, in front of the TV.
This multi-year TV package, in the face of a rapidly-evolving internet, may be disasterous to FOX/TNT/ESPN, especially so with a "Racebuddy" concept or platform, as a viewer sitting in front of the computer screen and listining to MRN/PRN would not even need to watch the TV broadcast at all. (Your article on "Convergence" last fall hit this point very well!)
The only solution, in the near term, is the wide-open broadcast.
At least it gives the TV industry some time to discover the next format before its too late! As newspapers are going, so could TV broadcasting..
Tom in Dayton

ttc said...

Maybe it was all the time Weber spent reading promos and ads but I was disappointed that TNT didn't interview Greg Biffle, certainly a Chase contender, in the garage when he fell out of the race early.

Anonymous said...

All in all, an 8 on a scale of 1-10. Two things I didn't like were the change back to a 4:3 ratio when most viewers are now 16:9, and enough already with TNT programming promos as commercials.

Wide-open coverage was sensational otherwise and Kyle Petty is clearly best-suited for the booth at this stage of his career. Take nothing away from what he and his family have contributed to this sport for 60 years, but it has become obvioius that his passion no longer lies behind-the-wheel or on the track.

Anonymous said...

when most viewers are now 16:9,

I'd love to see evidence supporting this statement, because I don't think it is true,

Anonymous said...

Iam not sure I saw the same race that most people did I thought I was watching the commercial 400.I liked the split screen but they missed to much race audio due to so many commercials and they still cut away from the race for more local commercials.