Thursday, August 14, 2008

SPEED Gets A Second Chance With Stewart


Not too many cable TV networks get a chance to redeem themselves from a complete disaster. Especially a disaster that played-out live in front of a dedicated audience of NASCAR fans. Friday morning, SPEED gets that chance.

Click here to read this column from early July that detailed the complete and total mess that SPEED experienced when they tried to cover the big announcement by Tony Stewart that he was leaving Gibbs Racing and becoming a car owner.

Sometimes in TV, one little problem can cause a chain-of-events that seems almost unbelievable. That is exactly what happened in this case. A big "hum" in the audio made the overall sound unusable and then the video suddenly went to black and everything got very quiet. The audio then came back with the same problem but now the sound was being heard on-the-air through a phone line. Then, in the middle of Stewart's actual announcement, SPEED rolled a three minute commercial break.

Needless to say, NASCAR fans who did not have ESPNEWS on their cable systems were fit to be tied. After the commercial, veteran host John Roberts appeared and while never looking at the camera read some comments and then "threw" to a continuation of SPEED's regular programming. Fans watching ESPNEWS or listening on the Sirius radio knew the press conference was not over. Flat out, SPEED blew it.

Now, Stewart is poised to make another big announcement on Friday at 10:30AM in the Infield Media Center at MIS. John Roberts will again be the host and Wendy Venturini will be the reporter for SPEED. Stewart may be poised to announce Ryan Newman as his new driver and perhaps some additional sponsor details.

This is going to be a wonderful opportunity for SPEED to erase the painful memories of the network's last "live news" effort and cover this story without a problem. Venturini has a great relationship with Stewart and it should be interesting to see if she can get him one-on-one live after the formal press conference concludes.

SPEED has continued to show a flexibility and cooperation with NASCAR like no other TV network in the history of broadcast or cable TV. From breaking-into paid programming to show NASCAR news all the way to letting ESPN show an entire NASCAR race on SPEED at the last minute, this Charlotte-based group is clearly NASCAR's most popular TV partner. Let's see how things work out on Friday.

This post will serve to host your comments about the press conference coverage on SPEED. To add your TV-related opinion, 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 for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

34 comments:

majors house said...

Let's hope that Speed gets it right this time and fortuantely the last time Tony had a press conference, I was able to view the rest of it on ESPN news. I am looking forward to hearing what Stewart has in mind for the Newman ride as well.

Sophia said...

Good Luck SPEED.

The tech gremlins have been cruel this racing season!!

Anonymous said...

Those tech gremlins earlier this season were hired by ESPN to ensure that SPEED viewers were forced to watch it on ESPNEWS...They know it's the only way they can get ratings or viewers because their coverage has been and is so awful...

TheBWeezy

Kyle said...

Due to speeds problems, and not even acknowledging that they happened the last time, think I will catch it on ESPN News if they cover it.

Unless they have something funny like Ward Burton do voice over....

Anonymous said...

10:30 EDT as Brooklyn MI is in eastern time zone.

Anonymous said...

The Tony Stewart press conference was one more in a very , very long list of incompetent productions . Those types of things happen in live broadcasts . But the responce by EVERYONE at Speed was a horribly botched mess . You get the talent you are willing to pay for , and that broadcast showed clearly that Speed is only willing to spend minimum wage .

Anonymous said...

What's the big deal? You've already announced it!

Anonymous said...

I really don't understand the need for live coverage of this event. Ryan Newman isn't a big enough name to justify it in the first place. Plus, all media reports say the sponsors are not in place so they won't have any cars so what's the point?

I would think they could just have a press conference and SPEED could show a 30-second recap at some point during their normal coverage.

Lou said...

Well , we are off to a good start, from the production side. Visual and sound are good.

Jo said...

Ryan is the Daytonna 500 winner & he left Penske shortly after winning it.
They didn't announce it - everyone else did.
So far the audio is good.And Tonys' sense of humor is working.

Lou said...

Gee, can they smile a little and be happy with this deal. They seem so serious. Breathe a little.

Lou said...

Good to see they are getting a little loose. Since they seemed tight at the start.

Jo said...

It took a couple mins. but the sense of humor really came thru. Glad the gremlins stayed away this time.

red said...

well, that was fun. i'm REALLY looking forward to next year with these two.
nice coverage by speed, especially in making certain that the reporter questions were on-mic each time.
professional and competent job done on this one.

Kyle said...

SPEED did a great job, very impressed. Couldn't have been better.

Kyle said...

SPEED did a great job, very impressed. Couldn't have been better.

Anonymous said...

So Newman signs with Stewart...says he and wife stayed up talking about it weeks ago..Why was she so pissed off the other week???

red said...

she has a blog over at thatsracing and she answers that question quite nicely.

Anonymous said...

KRISSY SAID:
But hey, I guess that is what they feel they need to do to "get a story" before it is announced. Needless to say, I am over it.

That's like saying " Hey, I guess if your husband needs "to win the race"
Getting an scoop out before, is like winning the race for a reporter.

red said...

actually, the full quote, in context is:

"The incident with the reporter from ESPN has gotten a little out of control. The thing that irritates me the most is that he contacted Ryan's PR person for a comment from Ryan and when he wrote his story, he did not include the quote. My point- if a reporter is going to speculate they should say that is what they are doing, not to write it as a fact. It leads to assumptions and you know what they say about people who assume. But hey, I guess that is what they feel they need to do to "get a story" before it is announced. Needless to say, I am over it."

just trying to make certain we'er being accurate here and not "cherry-picking" quotes to make a point -- which, after all, is what she says happened in the newton report.

Lisa Hogan said...

I was able to catch some of the press conference. It was great to see Tony and Ryan having such a good time with it.

Going to be interesting next season. :)

majors house said...

I thought that technical parts were much better this time and think that Stewart and Newman will make a great tema and was great to see Tony's humor shine through too.

joe said...

lets face it speed is a second rate cable channel they have all kinds of problems during there broadcasts I don't know about anyone else but I missed half of the duals because there signal kept freezing ever 10 seconds it happens all the time there stuff is junk

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thanks for the comments.

Lou said...

From the production side, SPEED redeemed themsleves. It all seemed to go well. The gremlins were nowhere to be found.

Sophia said...

I do find it interesting that even though I do NOT HAVE WIDESCREEN or HDTV, SPEED has had more technical problems this year than we can ever remember...losing signals, freezing, digitizing.

Don't know if it is the folks who think they are setting up for HD or what..sometimes info runs off the screen, sometimes not.

I was happy to see the entire Tony Stewart conference without incident except for some high pitched feedback on the mics..but it was on ESPN NEWS as well.

but yea, SPEED seems to have cut back on critical behind the scenes people running the station and it's showing up as problems on all our tvs. I have TW cable..sometimes the crawls at the bottom of our tv screens are squished and other times not..we wonder if it is part of a separate HD feed ...weird whatever it is..and that's on many stations...not just speed.

We have tv's average from 5 tp 20 years in this house. No HD signal I can assure you :)

Gymmie said...

Thanks for posting the whole quote Red.

It was great to see! Ryan and Tony were a hot mess! It was fun to see them being relaxed and laughing :). They both got a few jabs at the reporters...all fun!

I look forward to them teaming up :)

red said...

gymmie, my pleasure. accuracy has a lot to recommend it, doncha' think?!?

Anonymous said...

Did anyone catch what Jimmie Johnson asked at the end? Tony asked if it would be included in the transcript and the moderator said that it would be. But, I looked at the transcript and it's not there.

Anonymous said...

lets face it speed is a second rate cable channel they have all kinds of problems during there broadcasts I don't know about anyone else but I missed half of the duals because there signal kept freezing ever 10 seconds it happens all the time there stuff is junk

I have Dish satellite and don't experience anything like these problems.

SPEED is owned by Fox. Calling a Fox propety "second-rate" is to admit you don't know the reality of the sitauion.

Jo said...

Anonymous said...
Did anyone catch what Jimmie Johnson asked at the end? Tony asked if it would be included in the transcript and the moderator said that it would be. But, I looked at the transcript and it's not there.

August 15, 2008 6:32 PM

Oh good its not just me - I just went looking for it and its not there! Anyone know what JJ said?

Also for those who had tech problems, I just watched it & there were no problems & I have HD & cable. This time it wasn't Speed I don't think.

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

Anon 10:07PM,

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Newracefan said...

Nice job by Speed. 2009 should be interesting.