Sunday, August 10, 2008

TV Viewers Get The Post-Race Blues


There has been one subject that has been hotly debated by the fans since the new NASCAR TV contract began in 2007.

Over the years, NASCAR has tried bending to serve the needs of the television networks as the amount of money paid for NASCAR TV rights has risen. This season in particular, fans are being hit hard as the result of one of those concessions.

The start times of the NASCAR races have been pushed back for TV. The classic 1PM Eastern Time start is now a thing of the past. Fans reading NASCAR.com may tune-in at the time listed only to be met by an hour-long pre-race show and then another twenty minutes of pre-event coverage before the start of the actual race.

Normally, this type of issue does not affect the general sports fans because they can adjust their viewing habits or even commit to recording the event and watching it later. NASCAR's problem does not fit that pattern. The TV viewers watching the entire race are helpless when it comes to solving this one issue.

Fans are offered four hours of live pre-race programming on national TV for each Sprint Cup Series race. Shows like NASCAR Now, RaceDay and NASCAR Countdown repeat the same stories on different networks with different reporters three times before the green flag falls.

This extended pre-race programming is done for only one reason. The TV networks can schedule it. They know it will be on-the-air at a designated time. What none of the NASCAR TV partners can figure out is how to make sure that NASCAR fans who have watched the four hours of pre-race TV and then the four hours of racing get to hear from the athletes after the event.

It is the lack of guaranteed post-race coverage that is driving fans crazy. This is not NFL football, so just interviewing the "player of the game" will not work. NASCAR fans do not change their loyalty depending on where their favorite driver finished.

There is an entire story to tell that features teams that finished well outside of the top ten. There are issues between drivers, incidents during the race and questions asked during the live TV coverage that are still unresolved. The whole story is not being told once the race itself is over. There is no time.

Once again at Watkins Glen, the post-race was abbreviated because of the clock on the wall. ESPN has SportsCenter and they were going in that direction right away. The ESPN gang hustled through interviews with the winning crew chief, the second and third place finishers and then the winner. It was a good effort. Unfortunately, that was a drop-in-the-bucket where the story of the race was concerned.

Let's say it very clearly. NASCAR fans deserve a live dedicated post-race show on TV of one hour in length. It is the only way to tell-the-tale of what actually happened during the previous three or four hours of racing to each fan's favorite team.

NASCAR.com offers an online post-race show hosted from the Atlanta, GA studios of Turner Broadcasting. While there is some limited content from the track, this is primarily an interactive show where viewer comments are read and opinions are voiced.

SPEED offers Victory Lane, which is a tape-delayed one hour show that usually airs at 8PM. While the network hosts the winning driver, crew chief and owner on the show, it is only reporter Bob Dillner who chases down additional interviews.

Right now, this show is the closest thing to a live post-race program that fans get. When the Cup Series races on Saturday, Victory Lane is held and only airs on Sunday night. Same problem as before, a guaranteed timeslot on the TV schedule.

ESPN2 offers a Sunday night NASCAR Now at 10PM, but it only airs during the seventeen Cup races on the ESPN networks. While SPEED's Victory Lane is the most timely, the Sunday night hour of NASCAR Now is the most polished. Unfortunately, neither is live.

The biggest issue in dealing with this subject is that the Sprint Cup Series is cut into three pieces where TV is concerned. Fox, TNT and ESPN all originate their own broadcasts on their own networks and have their own clear-cut agendas.

When the race is over, fans begin the process of looking at Internet websites to try and figure-out what really happened to their driver and his team. They use radio reports and posts made to other websites to gather information. Television is long gone and Victory Lane is hours away from air time.

This problem has been aggravated by the fact that today's TV coverage focuses on the leaders of the race. Because all three Sprint Cup TV networks have a continual ticker updating the field during the race, it has taken away the former mandate of the TV play-by-play announcer to do it manually.

Watching older NASCAR races on ESPN Classic or FoxSportsNet brings a very different style of broadcast. Those announcers tell the whole story and treat the 35th place car just like the leader. My, how times have changed.

Next week the Sprint Cup Series moves to Michigan. NASCAR.com lists the start time on ESPN as 1PM. Actually, there will be a one hour pre-race show and then fifteen more minutes of pre-event coverage. The race should begin around 2:15PM ET. Once again, ESPN has SportsCenter scheduled for 5:30PM.

As the NASCAR season hits crunch time and the final races tick away before The Chase, fans may once again be seeing baseball highlights and the continuing Brett Farve saga instead of learning what happened to their driver in the Cup race at MIS.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply 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.

34 comments:

PT said...

Total Disdain is the term we are looking for. Total Disdain for the lifelong fans, not just of NASCAR, but of all motor contests. For all of my fifty years of living, my interests in baseball, football and basketball have been fulfilled by the media. Saturation by print, broadcast and internet has never been a problem for media companies seeking to sell advertising. But the same for fans of motor contests? Ha! What we get from major media is Total Disdain. The same five commercials ran fifty times during a broadcast? Never see that anywhere else, do we? I am not just a motor contest fan, I am a fan of all contests, athletic or otherwise, and I am here to tell you I know and see the difference in the treatment we get from the media depending on just what kind of contest we are viewing.

Total Disdain.

SonicAD said...

But during SportsCenter after the end of ESPN Cup races, they have more, extra post-race coverage. So sure, they went off the air, but they still went back to the pit studio for an extended period during SportsCenter.

Adam T. Martin said...

I've been watching NASCAR Winston Cup racing since 1991 (I was 5) and now I shake my head on the extra pre-race fluff and the total lack of post race coverage. It disgusts me.

Throughout the 1990s, there wasn't a silly pre-race show that lasted an hour or more. Usually, once TV coverage began, we get a few words from the commentators(Bob Jenkins, Benny Parsons, Ned Jarrett) and then off to the starting command and the starting lineup with the play by play folks naming most of the field.

Later, we got RPM2Night.

Is anybody listening?

(I agree with you PT. Somedays, I fell like wanting to kick something because we've seen the same ad for TGI Fridays or some 2nd rate sitcom.)

Daly Planet Editor said...

Sonic,

I am not saying there are not some good shows out there.

Just making the point that regardless of whether the Sprint Cup Series race is on a Saturday night or Sunday afternoon, regardless of how long it takes or what happens, there should be an immediate one hour live post-race show.

With the emerging TV technology becoming available, this may be a concept that is here before too much longer. This program does not have to be slaved to a big network like ESPN or SPEED.

It only needs to be live when the NASCAR TV partner signs-off and tell the whole story of the race.

This column was brought-on by the slew of issues left on the table by ESPN at the close of the Watkins Glen broadcast even though there was an extended red flag period.

JD

Anonymous said...

I certainly agree that NASCAR TV has too many prerace shows focusing on the same thing, but a LIVE one hour program immediately postrace is too much to ask for.

What other sport gets one hour LIVE devoted to post game, unless it's the Super Bowl or the World Series? None of them! The NFL is either rushing to go to another game or getting off the air for already delayed primetime programming. They also focus on pregame shows, though not to the crazy extent of NASCAR.

Take the MLB games of the week last week, one on TBS and one on ESPN. The TBS game didn't interview any players after the game, and the ESPN game only interviewed one player. They didn't go through the dugout finding guys to talk to, either then or on SportsCenter and Baseball Tonight later. Baseball and football fans have favorites who never get interviewed, just like NASCAR fans.

If the ESPN News cable channel won't take care of live postrace to everyone's satisfaction, I don't see anywhere else it will fit in a live situation. NASCAR will someday have its own cable channel, but until then? No way a live, extended postrace on NASCAR TV partners networks makes sense. Especially not for an hour. Too many other sports going on that need to be shown, live or taped, and primetime regular TV will start its season in the fall, as many of the ads during the race let us know.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 12:03AM,

I am really glad you posted that because it makes some great points.

The big difference between baseball and NASCAR is that in baseball you are a fan of the team. In NASCAR, you are a fan of one driver. There are 43 of those in every race.

After the race, it may be important to tell us how Robby Gordon slammed Jeff Gordon off the track or why Sam Hornish went after PJ Jones again from an incident in the Saturday Nationwide Series race.

It would allow a follow-up on Bobby Labonte, soundbites with the guys called to the trailer and interviews with top stars like Kasey Kahne who was profiled in the pre-race show.

One hour on TV is only 44 minutes of content and 16 minutes of commercials. 44 min would allow for a bit over one minute on each car that started the race. That is without any race highlights.

I think if we are going to debate this point about NASCAR, we are going to have to stick to this "different animal" as being just that way...different.

JD

Anonymous said...

JD, I think this is a case of you wanting the cake and a slice of pie, when in fact you cant have both.

You say NASCAR is different from other sports, which is why NASCAR deserves a better post-event show. Yet at other times, you point out many similarities between NASCAR and other sports when trying to prove your other points. And you just cant have both.

NASCAR gets post coverage during Sportscenter and 2 full hours of coverage on SPEED and ESPN2. and that's not counting the reports during WindTunnel and Speed Report. I think that should cover all the big stories if not more.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 12:37AM,

I don't think those two things are mutually exclusive. NASCAR's problem is stories in-progress get cut-off because of time.

It is not like the baseball game is over or the field goal guy just kicked a field goal. Its not simple and easy. Its 43 stories.

NASCAR has an entirely different post-event dynamic. Those shows you mentioned are great, but they are not live and are hours after the race is over. The TV viewers who were watching the race are long gone.

The way to keep viewers and pay-off the race is to take a Victory Lane or NASCAR Now and stick it on the end of the live races.

Even if it starts on ESPN Classic, who cares? Just try it to see if fans go there. The spike in traffic on websites after the race is huge, fans often have no info on their driver other than where he finished the race. That is a crime.

JD

Anonymous said...

I agree with JD, a one hour post race show would most certainly appropriate for all the reasons JD pointed out. I have a several suggestions for the the three Networks televising the NASCAR races to improve thier telecasts. First, charge the Advertisers 1/3 more for the commercial time and cut the commercials by a third, resulting in more live On Track action being shown and time for a Post Race Show. Second, cut the Pre-Race Shows to 30 minutes, there by also giving 30 minutes for a Post Race Show. Third, eliminate Driver Pre-packaged driver comments/ interviews during live On Track action, We tune in to see Live On Track action.

Anonymous said...

The big difference between baseball and NASCAR is that in baseball you are a fan of the team. In NASCAR, you are a fan of one driver. There are 43 of those in every race.
__________________________________
You think fans of baseball and football and basketball don't care about the individual athletes, including some who don't get much playing time (like JJ Redick of the Orlando Magic, the benchwarmer who still sells massive amounts of jerseys)? Come on. They're fans of the teams and also devoted fans of many athletes.

Why did the Jets sell 20,000 Favre jerseys this week? Why are the LA Dodgers selling baseball caps with sewn-on Manny Ramirez dreadlocks? Why does every kid in Beijing China appear to know the name Kobe Bryant? Because people identify with individual players, just like NASCAR fans identify with drivers. Sports TV is star driven - even the star teams have star players. NASCAR is no different, depsite those who insist it is.

Victory Lane and NASCAR Now could talk to/show all 43 drivers right now if they wanted to - and they don't. Doesn't matter if it's presented live or taped for later broadcast, they could do it now, every week, but they don't. What makes you think they would feature 43 "stories" in a live 60 minute program?

Dot said...

Here's an idea.

Take 45 minutes from the pre race cr** and move it to the end. Instead of making drama, they could show actual drama. They already have a block of time for pre race and the race. If there's a red flag that causes the race to run longer, that's just less of the post race show. Woulda got screwed today.

I'm curious to know what would've happened today without the 45 min r/f. The race would've been over way early. Would we have seen a 30 minute post race show?

Anonymous said...

Race coverage is horrible. If a sponsor did not pay extra, that car is not shown unless it wrecks or wins. The camera-coverage leaves a lot to be desired.
I've solved the problem. I DVR the race and listen on the radio. If something happens that I want to see, I forward to it watch it and then delete it.
When at the race, we have extended cautions so the network can get the commercials in and then we get back to racing.
Like I said, I've been a fan since the very early 60s and don't watch anymore.

Anonymous said...

I thought ESPNews was supposed to be the postrace live coverage destination for NASCAR, all season long.

At least that's what their anchors keep telling me, they have theme music when they announce it...So why isn't this one hour of live postrace there? Seems like the logical place for it...

But then you're going to have people upset who don't get ESPNews or Classic and won't be able to change channels to see postrace.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Endless,repetitive pre race cr**p and almost no post race coverage. ESPN even botched the start. As they were approaching the Start/Finish line, the camera panned way back?? VL is often a disappointment with those idiots Wallace/Spencer. Kenny was on a real roll yesterday. He said that 'We give it to you straight'. He must not remember Indy. Then,despite that Kyle is on VL almost weekly, he can't remember how many wins he has or how old the kid is. Then Kenny says what a clean driver Ambrose is. Maybe Kenny should talk to Boris Said. Or maybe Burton who got moved over this weekend or Stan Hornish who got spun out yesterday by Ambrose. A lot of network Nascar coverage isn't ready for prime time. I get sick just hearing the voices of Punch and the two Wallaces.I've even been puzzled by Tim Brewer. Tim's accomplishments go back decades but I think he's lost touch with today's technology. This weekend,after Kyle Busch missed a shift, they showed Nascar officials and the #18 team looking at the screen of a borescope. The booth asked Tim if he could explain what they were doing. Tim said "Sure. They probably have the valve covers off and are taking a close look at the lifters,etc". Nonsense. I'll bet all the money I have that they were looking at the tops of the pistons to see if the valves made contact with the pistons. Last year,Rusty had to correct Tim after the #48 hit the wall on the right front and burst into flames. This happened right in the middle of the move to the R07 engine and Waterman cable driven fuel pumps at the rear of the car. Tim said that the fire was caused by the fuel pump getting broken off the engine by impact with the wall which used to be true. When they tossed to the booth,Rusty corrected the situation by stating that the R07 doesn't have provision for mounting a fuel pump at the right front. All this may sound like nit picking, but you'd like to believe the people talking non stop actually have some knowkedge about the topic they're discussing???

GinaV24 said...

My personal saturation point has been reached with the endless pre-race hype and production stuff and then to have the bare minimum coverage at the end of each race just makes me angry. And I would really like to see the ACTUAL race start time posted. Quite honestly, by 2:15 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, I'm already out with friends enjoying the summer weather. If I don't watch the race, I'd like to be able to come home and get caught up on the big stories from the race. I tried watching that stupid post-race stuff on nascar.com, but that isn't worth anything at all, so I wind up waiting for info on the net. I can't handle watching VL with Wallace and Spencer -- their credibility isn't too high right now after Indy.

Anonymous said...

To discover how many pre race shows are really needed try this . Don't watch any pre race shows at all . Not one minute . Then watch the race and afterward watch only Windtunnel . What you will quickly realize is you haven't missed anything at at all . Windtunnel covers all of the important news , gossip , results , etc in a matter of a few minutes . Does Dave have endless, long winded reports about things the fans really don't care about . No . The point is , the silly pre race shows are paid for by NASCAR . They are infomercials . NASCAR feels that to be taken seriously in the world of sports they have to make it appear that the networks and fans can't get enough of stock car racing . Hence the long drawn out embaressment of Kenny and John and Jimmy and friends .
The ESPN Sportcenter debate has gone on for many years . The truth is , ESPN makes alot of money from Sportcenter . Not many people watch it compared to NASCAR for example , but Sportcenter is the cash cow . So there have never been long post race interviews when Sportcenter is in the wings . And there never will be . And ESPN as well as most of the other networks that broadcast NASCAR feel that NASCAR is entertainment , not a sport . So it gets treated as such .

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 2:04AM,

I would maintain that is different because they are all part of one team and all of them are seen on-camera as the game progresses.

We now have multi-million dollar high-profile NASCAR teams that never appear on the TV screen for four hours simply because they are not in the top ten.

One of the biggest email themes I get is fans asking how and why over the course of an entire Cup race their driver was never mentioned.

At the close of these events, there are fans who have no idea what happened to their driver. That is not the case in a football or basketball game.

As we have said many times over the past 17 months, stick-and-ball sports have nothing to do with NASCAR in terms of trying to tell the story of the event.

Imagine watching a football game and never seeing the quarterback. Better yet, having him throw the ball and the camera stays on the passer. The frustration of fans is that TV handcuffs them. They are slaved to the agenda of the TV network and that is a big problem.

JD

TexasRaceLady said...

Anon, 9:42 ---

That's what I've started doing --- not ONE MINUTE of the pre-race BS.

The hubby and I go out for a leisurely Sunday b'fast. I take care of any house chores.

I look the race guide online and usually turn on just as the anthem is being sung(although at times I wonder if it's singing).

chase said...

JD: For the last two weeks I have not watched one minute of pre-race coverage -- here I am experimenting! And wonders of wonders, I'm fine with it! Thus, wouldn't it behoove the networks to have a 'mandatory' one hour of post-race coverage? As a poster said above, the drama is the race - and what would make the most sense is to have an hour of post-race coverage discussing with the drivers involved the 'drama' that had just played out on the track during the race. I think I shall continue to not watch the pre-race coverage until the end of the season! Now, wouldn't it be nice for the networks that cover NASCAR to figure this out too?????? PT also has a point in the sickening repetition of the commercials during a race - if I see oil dumped on those two addlepated dunderheads one more time I shall scream! Sponsors must know that overkill kills a product faster than anything else! Thanks JD as always!

Mich. Mike said...

If NASCAR and commerical interest want viewers why is it so hard to understand this torture fest called pre race is nothing but a waste of viewers time. My take move the start time to 1:00 pm get rid of pre race and use the time for post race.

Victory lane should be nixed as well, Wallace/Spencer gone!! I wish someone would tell Kenny Wallace that his finger pointing is not only bad manners but if he were to do that to me on the street he would have that finger shoved down that big mouth!! His constant banter about the fans booing Kyle Bush is also getting old. Kenny, Bush can take it he doesnt need the help of a second rate driver/broadcaster.

The whole NASCAR scene is losing lots more interest than they will ever admit to. They can blame the economy all they want but as a fan for over 30 years believe me continue down this path and the fans will just quit showing up.

Ive attended at least four races a year for years but not anymore. To bad I love this sport and feel bad about the direction its heading.

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when you sell your soul to the devil. As cheeky as FOX is as far as it's announcers are concerned, it's a hell of a lot better than ESPN will ever be. I've said it before and I'll say it again. ESPN is nothing more and nothing less than the popparizi (pardon my spelling) of sports. It's all about glitz and glitter. As a diehard race fan, it would be nice to know where my driver finished when the race is over. Not ten m inutes later. If your driver is not among the favorite sons, you're screwed. Thanks for listening to me rant. Midas Micah

Tracy said...

Anon at 9:42 and Gina - right you are! I'm oversaturated with prerace hype and don't watch any of it. Not a minute, and I did, once upon a time, enjoy Speed's prerace show.

Anonymous said...

Since the races have been on TNT and ESPN, I have been able to get a lot more done around the house on the weekends, as I don't subscribe to cable. And, you know what...I haven't really missed watching!
In my head, I can imagine that every other lap, the annoucers would give a Dale Jr. update, even if he was laps down, while totally ignoring the other drivers outside the top 5.
NASCAR returns to the regular networks in a few weeks, if I'm not too busy...I may find time to watch!

Anonymous said...

West Coast Diane said:

Regarding "they don't interview every baseball player on a team". The difference between stick and ball sports and racing is a "team" is from a geographical area. That means I can read about them in the local newspaper and hear about them on the local TV channels. There are pre and post game shows, be it radio or tv where the focus is on that team and its players. In my area there is even a sports radio station...all day sports focused on the local teams with national info thrown in. Our local papers (live in Calif Bay Area...6 million people), have almost zero coverage of any racing. Maybe a short column, unless it is at Sears Point (don't use new name :)). Yes, there is the internet, but it really isn't the equivalent of having "local" news everyday about racing and your favorite drivers. I decided to take a few racing magazines, but the info is so after the fact that I probably will not renew. After recaps on Monday, I am ready to move on from the previous race.

If ESPN would just come out and tell us why they think how the race is televised is the best way, or why the various personalities they use are best suited for their roles, then maybe I would think it's not just arrogance preventing them from making changes.

I am sure they must never rewatch and critique the broadcasts. How could they and not cringe?

Anonymous said...

Ratings are up for NASCAR RaceDay as well as Victory Lane and the races themselves ... which means that people ARE watching ...

SPEED has Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace on NRD & NVL for a reason ... It's to get people to talk about the show, whether they like it or hate it ... People talking about the show gets more people to check it out ... Some people claim they hate the shows, but yet they're watching it every week just to see WHAT Jimmy & Kenny will say ...


It's easy for people who live in the Eastern time zone to say that they want NASCAR to switch the start times back to 1pm eastern ... But, that screws over the people in the Pacific / Mountain time zones ... It's bad enough when we have to watch practice or qualifying sessions live at 6am/7am ...


Disney not showing a long enough post race show is not really any different than the Disney affiliates who decide to dump the pre-race shows in favor of children's programming ... If the race is on ESPN or ESPN2 with Sports Center to follow, they should just cut back on SC as it seems like they air it a hundred times a day ...



The last few days the CBC has had an interesting coverage of the swimming competitions at the Olympics ... They show one race, then show 1 (maybe 2) commercials, then come back to see the next set of swimmers come out & get introduced and then show the swim race ... Then they go to another commercial ... Granted when there's a longer break in between swim races or if they're going to another sport, they'll throw in a longer commercial break as well as pre-recorded pieces & in-studio live shots ... They'll even throw in interviews with the swimmers ... Then again, that's the Canadian Broadcasting as opposed to NBC who doesn't think people on the West Coast can handle watching the Olympics LIVE ...

Karen said...

Watched OTL all the way through, then RDay and Countdown shows last night and stopped FF'ing one time during those two shows to watch the Steve Park interview. All the rest was the same ol' song and dance. Tired of it really. Took me 15 minutes to get through 3 hours of prerace after the Olympics last night. Watched some postrace on ESPN News, but don't care for the repeated news stories with a little NASCAR thrown in.

HarpAmy/Amy in FL said...

My take on the post-race coverage is the following: If I am at home and not having to be back at church, then I would like to have a somewhat decent postrace show. I usually have to be back at church before the race is over and therefore don't know much of what goes on after the race.

Those of you who compare the stick and ball sports to Nascar in their coverage, the NFL does have a post game show but it gets nixed if they run overtime and have to get to another game. I would like to at least have something like that that happens.

Here are some suggestions for a post race show.

1. Show the race results and maybe a short discussion.

2. Show the drivers' points and maybe a short discussion.

3. Show the owner's points and discuss how that affects the next race. I am a fan of a driver who spent last year outside the top 35 and learned to really appreciate any discussion of those points positions.

4. Maybe interview some drivers.

5. Wrap up the drama that was the race and all the stories and subplots involved.

Those are just my suggestions. I agree about the stick and ball sports being a local sport and you can get alot of information on your local tv coverage. Nascar just doesn't have that.

Go Mikey and Go Gators!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

majors house said...

I am prety sick of the pre-race and would love to see a really good post race show that was live instead of the garbage we are getting now and would love to see the races all on one network. I was really impressed by the Speed crew calling the truck race on Saturday night and think that they would do a great job calling the Cup races and frankly would be much better than what we have beenseeing out of ESPN lately. I watched the old Watkins Glen race the other day with Bob Jenkins, Ned Jarrett and Benny Parsons and was blown away and forgotten how good those guys really were.

Newracefan said...

Ditto what Amy @ 3:16 said.

With 43 drivers/teams who's finishing order impacts the points location of the other 43 teams/drivers not to mention 2 sets of points driver and owner it can get confusing. Let's face it when watching stick and ball you pretty much know ahead of time where a team stands with a win or loss even factoring in another team or two. That's still 2-3 to keep track of not 43 on 2 different lists. Yes there are probably people who are fans of a team that is not local but that is somewhat of an exception. For race fans no team is local and when the race is over you have no idea where your driver/team stands unless the are part of the elite 12-14 and if you do not know about Jayski you may have to wait until Tuesday to find out.

red said...

i decided at the beginning of this season to eliminate pre-race from my nascar viewing. the sole exception is when there is to be a special segment which interests me and those are few and far between. my feeling is that i have missed nothing at all in not watching pre-race, not one single piece of valuable RACE information. i highly recommend it to everyone!

reducing some portion of pre-race and wrapping into a post-race show isn't that simple, tho'. realistically, the race start time would have to be moved back in order to make that work and that runs into the east coast/west coast conundrum. starting at 1pm eastern equals a 10 am start on the west coast: at 10 am eastern, i'm in church and i don't finish with my various responsibilties there until noon or so. so, if i lived on the west coast, i'd be missing 2 hours or more of actual racing. that would be a very bad event in my life!

and yes, folks can dvr -- but i don't have one and don't expect to be adding one anytime soon. it's a financial decision and renting/buying unit solely to dvr racing is not a solid ROI in my household.

what about "time shifting" the racing? start the race at 1 pm eastern and then begin to show it at noon or so pacific time? of course, that assumes that west coast fans aren't also using other non-tv technologies during the race so that's a glitch as well.

for me: reduce pre-race to no more than 60 minutes, altho' 30 would be better. then, let the race run to completion and do a 30 minute post-race immediately after the race on some channel that is one of the broadcast partners. if nascar truly wants to keep existing fans as well as entice new fans to the sport, then they need to create a solution to the issue of no post-race broadcast.

Jo said...

Pre-race junk is almost as long each week than the Super Bowl which occurs 1 time a year.
My idea is
Raceday with or without the 2 idiots (Kenny & Jimmy) cut to 1 hour.
Pre race on whatever network 15 mins ( Start it on the hour go till prayer & anthem)
Race showing the race on the track, lose the ticker on the bottom, no points updates during the race - no one cares at that point.
Post race show 1 hour, wrap it up
update us on the drivers, teams the points now we care the race is over. Its not that hard.

As far as pre race goes this week it was outside the lines & NN then the TV was background noise while I got stuff done.

Next week - off completely for pre race. Its just too much of yapping repeated reheated & served up as "news" junk

Richard in N.C. said...

I do enjoy watching parts of the pre-race shows, but I never feel compelled to watch all of any of them - but I do miss Wendy's pre-race walk arounds. It's sort of like being in the infield - walk over here and talk for awhile and then over to another Rv and talk for awhile. If I'm not mistaken, there are 4 hours of NFL pre-game shows, although they do overlap most of the time - and I do watch some of both FOX and CBS most Sundays.

As to post-race, I believe there is a change underway in the print media - some mid-sized newspapers are cutting back on sending reporters to every race. I believe both David Poole and Mulhern were absent from the Glen and it appears Mulhern has been absent from others this summer. Thus, there seem to be fewer eyewitness accounts of what took place at the track.

HarpAmy/Amy in FL said...

I will add that I do like the ticker at the bottom of the ESPN broadcasts because it can help me keep updated on what is going on in other sports in order to keep me informed to let my hubby know while he is working. He will call me and ask me how a team is doing and I would be able to tell him from the ticker at the bottom. That ticker saves me from having to turn to a different channel to check for him. I have to do that when the race coverage is on the other networks.

That is just my humble opinion.

One other thing that I will add is that I do know some people that don't have cable or satellite and only get what comes with rabbit ears. They have said that they enjoy their 12 race early season of Nascar and then in the fall Nascar competes with the Bucs for watching enjoyment. They lose interest in Nascar during the summer. I would hope that Nascar would be aware of that fact. Some people just can't afford cable/satellite

I also don't own a dvr and as of the end of May don't own a DVD/VCR player. My DVD/VCR got taken when I was robbed then. That being said, I have no way to record races or any coverage and play it back. I have to rely on catching it when it airs. That affects my tv viewing.

JMHO.

Fred said...

I'm in the middle of burning my races to DVD, so I'm going through the mid-1990s when there was little pre-race, but seemingly more post race. Like a previous poster said, it's still very watchable.

How about splitting the difference? Schedule a half-hour pre-race and a half-hour post race? Granted, the race length will vary from week to week, which makes scheduling post-race coverage very hard, especially if there is a red flag like Sunday.

Personally, I don't have time for an hour of pre-race, a 400-500 mile race and an hour of post-race on Sunday afternoon. Kinda kills the whole day. An hour of pre-race is too much for my taste. Chris Myers doesn't need more time for his lame jokes and Rusty certainly doesn't need more time to beat everyone else over the head.

I love NASCAR, but I can't devote every waking moment to the present situations and watch every single NASCAR show on the planet.