Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Will "NASCAR Confidential" Answer The Lingering Questions?
There are almost no NASCAR-related TV series on-the-air aside from the programs produced from the Sprint Cup Series tracks. Fans searching the 500 cable TV channels on weekdays find a daily news show on ESPN2 and one Monday talk show on SPEED.
Chomping at the bit to provide more long-form NASCAR TV programming is the official TV and media arm of the sport, called The NASCAR Media Group. This season, they have been walking a very thin line with SPEED by providing that network only one limited long-form programming series. It is called NASCAR Confidential.
This behind-the-scenes look at the sport deserves to be on SPEED after every Cup race. But, instead of 38 episodes SPEED ordered only 6. Now, after the unprecedented problems at Indy, it will fall to a special newly-added episode of NASCAR Confidential to show fans the reality of that difficult Sunday. Somehow, there is a large dose of irony in that fact.
“NASCAR Confidential continues to deliver a viewpoint never before offered to race fans on a regular basis,” said SPEED SVP of Programming Steve Craddock. “The scale of what happened last weekend is unique and required quick-thinking and pressure-filled decision making from everyone involved. This program will show race fans just how complicated the process was and how everyone rose to the occasion to pull off a complete race under incredibly adverse conditions.”
In other words, this type of programming series has value, but only once and a while. NASCAR Confidential is one of those point-of-view programs that uses a background announcer and features the real people in the real circumstances as NASCAR events unfold. This season, the characters featured on the series have been just as diverse as the sport itself.
The first airing of this special program, titled NASCAR Confidential: What We Learned At Indy, will be on Friday at 6PM ET. It will be re-aired on Saturday at 11PM. The key to this show is that The NASCAR Media Group has all the original footage from all the angles during the entire weekend. In addition, they have exclusive footage that has never been seen before documenting the growing problems as the Indy weekend went forward.
This is a great response by NASCAR and SPEED to the growing unrest among the fans and shows the power that NASCAR TV has when it is used effectively. Nothing can substitute for showing the fans first-hand what went on at the track, be it a positive or a negative experience. Fans are willing to forgive, but only when they believe the truth is being presented.
This announcement comes on the heels of SPEED adding live coverage of the Sprint Cup Series practice sessions for the rest of the season. The network already has the TV franchise when it comes to the weekend SPEED Stage programming that fans have been watching for years. In addition, the Monday night This Week in NASCAR series is finally back-on-track and creating a buzz.
Nothing would be better than watching SPEED continue to open the doors to some quality NASCAR programming and help get this sport back-on-track in this difficult time. Our review of this program will be available on Friday, shortly after the program concludes.
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