Saturday, September 20, 2008

NASCAR Countdown vs. Iowa Hawkeyes


Once again the top college football match-up for NASCAR fans is the Iowa Hawkeyes going head-to-head with Allen Bestwick and NASCAR Countdown on ESPN2. That is ESPN's College Gameday crew in Iowa above. NASCAR fans may recognize former NASCAR Countdown host Chris Fowler on the left.

The Nationwide Series pre-race show has been punted across ESPN networks, yanked off the air completely while in-progress and this week could possibly never see the light of day.

Bestwick, Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty are scheduled to be on-the-air at 3PM Eastern Time for a thirty minute program leading directly into the Nationwide Series race from Dover at 3:30PM.

Standing in the way are the powerful Iowa Hawkeyes who will be starting a college football game against Pitt at Noon. Even with the new play clock inserted into games this season, the average game length has continued to be close to three and a half hours. While this bodes well for fans seeing the race itself, it does not hold out much hope for NASCAR Countdown on this Saturday.

The second reason for this situation is that the ESPN Classic Network, long used as a "safety valve" for NASCAR is unavailable. As NASCAR fans might have guessed, that network is already being called into service to show a live college football game that will be in-progress at 3PM.

So, Bestwick and company may be all dressed-up with no place to go on this Saturday. One can only watch the progress of the football game to try and judge just how things will go for the NASCAR on ESPN gang when 3PM rolls around.

This post will serve to host your comments about the NASCAR Countdown show. There will be a new post up for the Nationwide Series race at 3PM. To add your TV-related comments, 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.

37 comments:

Erik said...

no worries about the race itself. even if football runs 4 hours, just flip on over to espn deportes. the race will be shown live there. that is better than nothing.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Erik,

Please. Your comments have become stranger and stranger this season.

JD

ri88girl said...

I shouldn't say this, but if SPEED is doing quals, I for one won't need a 'countdown' show, but them I'm not a causual fan...

majorshouse said...

This is one real reason why NASCAR needs to void its contract with the four letter network. We had to put up with this crap last season and it has only gotten worse. Not that I really care about hearing Rusty or Brad, I do like hearing AB. I tis a crying shame that NASCAR could not have the entire schedule on the Spped channel.

majorshouse said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ri88girl said...

I love that Randy is old school and sticks the mic in the car window.

stricklinfan82 said...

Countdown is toast, there's no need to even worry about that. The concern needs to be the race coverage itself.

If the AVERAGE college football games lasts 3 1/2 hours (brilliant move with the new clock rules, BTW) and the game starts at 12:05 or 12:10, that should take us to 3:35 or 3:40. A competitive game with late time-outs or overtime could easily push the game past 4:00.... long after the green flag falls.

Football on ESPN, football on ESPN Classic... yeah we're in trouble.

When an AVERAGE length game runs 40-45 minutes past its scheduled off-time that is a major problem and from a programming director's standpoint is an absurd mistake to make.

God forbid we miss the green flag on television I hope NASCAR uses that most recent slap in the face as motivation to finally dump ESPN for good.

This is a joke and needs to be addressed now. NASCAR isn't on Fox or CBS on NFL Sundays so it shouldn't be on an ESPN network on college football Saturdays either. Period.

JD,

As an aside is there some kind of "issue" with ESPN having room for live coverage of the Nationwide race in Memphis in a few weeks? Since February nascar.com hasn't had a TV network listed for that race and the NASCAR schedule on ESPN.com still lists that race's TV coverage as "undefined". I'm fearing there's a 90's flashback coming and we'll be stuck with tape-delayed late-night coverage of that race as our only option.

Erik said...

JD,
Some people may think the guys on ESPN Deportes convey much more emotion in their play-by-play than Punch even if you can't understand one word.

ri88girl said...

Very droll Erik, but hardly encouraging in light of ESPN's present zeitgeist.

stricklinfan82 said...

A very nice story developed in Nationwide qualifying with Randy MacDonald agreeing to lend his backup car to the Jimmy Means #52 team (who crashed in qualifying and had no backup car) so they could start the race and maintain their top 30 position in owner's points.

I sure hope ESPN finds the time to mention this great story on the televised portion of their coverage.

Daly Planet Editor said...

erik,

Trying anything to avoid reality is not a solution to an existing and very real problem.

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

stricklinfan,

I am not yet ready to publish the column, but it looks like the Memphis race will be presented entirely on ESPN Classic.

There is simply no room at the inn on any of the ESPN main channels and SPEED has not gotten a phone call from ESPN or NASCAR about "lending" itself out once again.

The issue will be coming to a head this week and ESPN is not very happy that I have been asking about it.

JD

Jo said...

espn a "Media partner"?!? Only in the demise of NASCAR.

I'm holding no hope of prerace & very little for the first 10 laps.

Becuz we KNOW they will not put it on espnews

And then theres the Memphis mess, maybe SPEED?

red said...

hey jd, please remind espn that some of us do NOT get espn classic so for them to say "but we put it on classic for you" is irrelevant to me. for me, this race will be non-existent on tv unless speed picks it up.

hey espn gang? if you can't find a home for the memphis race, maybe you should do the right thing by us fans and ask speed to handle it. you've made clear that nascar in general and n'wide series in particular are unimportant to you. i'm already loyal to speed b/c they seem to care about our sport and i would enjoy having them handle this broadcast since you're "too busy" to fulfill your obligations.

just one more reason why i will continue to boycott all things espn (altho' i am jones-ing for marty smith and ed hinton big time!)

Mary said...

JD is there any point in us ALL writing to Nascar to tell them exactly how we feel about all this ESPN garbage and the way they treat our sport?

Erik said...

The Memphis race lands on Breeder's Cup weekend. With a full slate of college football, something has to get squeezed. There still is another college football game ESPN is slated to air that day, but hasn't nailed down a time or network. It'll probably end up on Classic.

Daly Planet Editor said...

mary,

They are trying to figure it out, but the Nationwide Series is not a key program for ESPN.

They wanted the final ten races of the Cup Series so they could have the entire Chase on ABC and they got it.

The practices, qualifying and even the Nationwide Series has proven to be nothing more to ESPN than noise that they must tolerate in order to show The Chase.

This was proven last season with the college football problems and is about to be proven yet again.

Ultimately, NASCAR cashed the ESPN check, to if there is anyone who should be addressing the situation it is NASCAR.

With the poor health of the Nationwide Series and the Craftsman Trucks almost on Life Support (31 trucks in Vegas) there should be someone speaking up.

JD

Anonymous said...

the most recent ESPN college football game that I attended lasted well over 4 hours...there were so many times where the teams would head out on the field after a score or a kickoff and the ESPN on-field director would yell for them to come back off the field in order to let the commercials last. It really made the game at least 20 minutes longer than it had to be, and the guy was getting constant boos throughout the night (even though he was getting his orders to hold the teams via headset).

It was clear to see firsthand why these game always run longer than they are supposed to. The play clock was the least of the problems compared to this.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Erik,

In my conversations with the ESPN PR and Programming Departments, they never mentioned your name.

Why do you continue to try and pass yourself off as an ESPN employee or PR person?

Your comments are simply bizarre.

JD

stricklinfan82 said...

Daly Planet Editor said...
stricklinfan,

I am not yet ready to publish the column, but it looks like the Memphis race will be presented entirely on ESPN Classic.

There is simply no room at the inn on any of the ESPN main channels and SPEED has not gotten a phone call from ESPN or NASCAR about "lending" itself out once again.

The issue will be coming to a head this week and ESPN is not very happy that I have been asking about it.

JD

September 20, 2008 12:56 PM


JD, at this point we'd probably be lucky to get that much from ESPN. I wouldn't be surprised if there was no live coverage period and we had to wait until midnight to watch tape-delayed coverage of that race.

Seriously, what else can ESPN do to screw the fans of the sport and the people in this sport before NASCAR wakes up and dumps this network? Tape-delays, network-shifts, joined-in-progress broadcasts, practice/qualifying coverage that ignores the on-track sessions, last year's Memphis debacle, this year's Bristol and Richmond 'dumps' to ESPN Classic, and publicly smearing the images of guys like Michael Waltrip and Ron Hornaday apparently weren't enough? Is this finally going to wake up someone in Daytona Beach? Is this series of events what you had in mind NASCAR when you brought ESPN back into the NASCAR fold?

I'd hate to think that NASCAR will keep waiting until ESPN inevitably decides to try to dig up dirt or fabricate stories on Brian France or Mike Helton as their next 'dump on NASCAR' project before they finally get a wake-up call and decide to take some action.

AMS fan said...

No worries for me today.
No ESPN for me today.
SPEED started a race at 1:00 pm today that will last right up to Tradin' Paint, NASCAR Performance and the Truck race.
I don't have to change the channel. woo-hoo
Hey JD- since NASCAR is buying out/into the Grand-AM series are you going to keep up with it too? (lol)

Erik said...

JD,
I have no idea why you get that impression. I'm not trying to pass myself off as other than just another poster speculating on what is going on and what should go on in the world of NASCAR TV broadcasts. Nothing more ... nothing less.

Daly Planet Editor said...

stricklinfan,

I suggested SPEED as a Memphis race alternative. This is because earlier this season NASCAR nixed Classic as a source for a live race. The limited distribution of Classic does not work for the current NASCAR TV contract I was told very unofficially.

AMS fan,

We are still working on the real reason that NASCAR bought the Grand-Am Series. That makes another series with essentially a COT format and one that is competing against classic sports car racing in the US at present.

I think we will be seeing some big announcements shortly about the developing synergy between NASCAR and Grand-Am.

Erik,

You speak as if you are an ESPN employee in terms of facts. Unfortunately, your facts are often different from the ESPN info that they distribute to the media each week. If you want to talk from a personal perspective, you are welcome. No more "official" statements please.

JD

Anonymous said...

Should I point out that all these comments are speculation....not confirmed.

Anonymous said...

New Contract should be entire Nationwide Series goes to FOX/SPEED. ESPN gets the cup races they have now.

It makes no sense to give ESPN all the nationwide series rights if they can barely fit them in on Saturday. FOX/SPEED are free almost every saturday during the NASCAR season.

JD. Do you think there is any possibility we will see what speed did back in 2003 when they bought the truck series rights from ESPN even though the contract wasnt up?

majorshouse said...

It is such a shame that the racing programming is treated so badly by the powers that be at ESPN and it would be great if Speed could get the Memphis rade and really show ESPN what good racing coverage should be. I just wish that there was a way as a long time fan I could really voice my dissatifaction to NASCAR to see if there was anywayt hat we could get rid of the terrible television coverage that has been handed to us.

Daly Planet Editor said...

The issue on the table is the health of the Truck Series.

Without three Trucks added late for Vegas, the NCTS would have only 28 starters. That is not cutting it when the goal was a full field.

Depending on the economy and the sponsorhip situation, we could see some shifts on the SPEED front.

ESPN has a long-term multi-year contract with NASCAR. Alterations to that for reasons like network carriage and on-air logistics would be discussions for those two parties.

Don't forget, the Nationwide Series is ESPN's only NASCAR presence in the field until late July at The Brickyard.

Either way, it should be a fascinating off-season.

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

At least it's a good game!

David said...

Alright...another weekend...another NASCAR vs. football disaster....

I hate saying this...but they really do need another network because they've gotten themselves involved in SO many different areas that 2 networks can't handle any schedule conflicts which WILL happen with sporting events...

Jo said...

2:39 to play & NC isn't on. Is anyone (incl.espn) surprised?

Anonymous said...

Great punt!

Jo said...

Nice run by QB - think it'll go overtime?

stricklinfan82 said...

Second Nationwide race this year to follow a college football game. Second time 3 hours wasn't long enough to fit the entire game. Surprise!

Jo said...

Pitt recovers - now a review

Geez said...

We'll see the race. I'm good.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up for the Nationwide Series race on ESPN2.

JD

Richard in N.C. said...

JD- Wouldn't there be some sort of "carry" requirement and specifications in ESPN's N-wide contract? Could failing to provide a place for live carry of the Memphis race violate said contract provision?

red - Go Steelers.