Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Off-Season TV Landscape Looking Bleak

Like most major professional sports, NASCAR has an organization that catalogues all the race footage from the season. The NASCAR Media Group has lots of Emmy Awards and lots of toys to play with where TV is concerned.

This is the time of the year when the post-season TV landscape gets the once-over from TDP. Right now, the results look pretty bleak. There will be the mandatory season-in-review shows aired for each series in November. Last year these shows were buried in bad timeslots and never really got any attention. Then, once the three NASCAR banquets finish, things slow down to a crawl.

In terms of using TV series like NASCAR Confidential or Dale Junior's Shifting Gears to handle some post-season content, the answer is no. Best of RaceDay? No. Best of TWIN? No. Best of Krista Voda's hats? That one is in development and looking for a sponsor.

It appears that there is no post-season NASCAR anything scheduled on the ESPN networks right now. After a while, the racing footage reverts back to the NASCAR Media Group. It really comes down to this group and the NASCAR TV partners planning in advance for some off-season specials. Those could range from Humpy Wheeler interviews to edited race highlights with new reactions from the participants.

SPEED stepped-up to the plate and produced some testing coverage in January, but that is not the same as long-form edited or live programming that covers the sport in the way it used to be covered.

Apparently, there will be no end-of-season roundtables with NASCAR journalists, no final all-NASCAR Wind Tunnel special and no final grouping of the TV personalities who worked all season long to bring the fans NASCAR coverage.

This is where NASCAR really misses a TV network that they can control. The current NASCAR TV partners have different agendas that include multi-network sports distribution, lifestyle programming and even primetime TV dramas. Did you know that Kyra Sedgwick was The Closer? To these networks, NASCAR is just another programming series that comes and goes.

Meanwhile, the NFL network has a full slate of programming all summer long. The Golf Channel has a blast during the off-season and the Tennis Channel takes the time to review the year for several professional series. Now, both the NHL and Major League Baseball are about to join that list with top-flight television professionals in charge of HD Networks that are going to be exciting to watch.

NASCAR is over fifty years old. Its rich history sits in one geographic area of the country as does almost all the high-tech racing shops and equipment suppliers. The stories of the Lee Petty generation may be gone, but men like Harry Gant, Cale Yarborough and David Pearson are alive and well. They are just waiting to tell a new generation of fans about how it used to be when full-size cars without power steering were wrestled around legendary tracks by real men.

This is the second season of the new NASCAR TV contract and the second time for the fans to hear the off-season excuses of all four NASCAR TV partners. No room on ESPN or ABC, Fox is busy with the NFL and TNT just does not care.

SPEED is left holding the bag, as usual. That network only ordered six NASCAR Confidential episodes, never got the Humpy Show off the ground and has a major swing to lifestyle programming as its top agenda.

So, enjoy the next several weeks as The Chase nears the finish. TDP will keep updating the TV schedule for the three banquets and the year-in-review shows. It appears that once again this season when the checkered flag waves at Homestead, it also waves on almost all NASCAR TV programming until 2009.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. To add your 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. Thank you for taking the time to stop by.


Anonymous said...
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Newracefan said...

Guess I'll catch up on my house cleaning and reading. Bummer

Anonymous said...

There is no NFL coverage on Fox, CBS, or NBC during the offseason. ESPN has spotty coverage, mostly just during the draft. There isn't any MLB coverage on Fox. Why should NASCAR be any different?

This problem squarely lies with NASCAR, not the TV partners. They should be held soley responsible for doing the heavy lifting, and creating a TV channel that will take several years for it to even begin to make it to the channel lineup of cable TV systems across the country.

Anonymous said...

If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. NASCAR should stop relying on somebody else to promote the sport. If NASCAR wants TV time, just buy it with paid programming.

Anonymous said...

I agree JD :(. I remember in 2K2 watching the "Best of" IWC. Allen would go over some of the best shows like the famous "Happy does the Superman over Da Biff's car" and those who didn't know learned why Schrader can only give 1 1/2 thumbs up :). We also saw some things we didn't have time for, well because Mikey is Mikey. They had an extended airing of Mikey's "Party with the Posse" that was fun!

We even had the full 2 or 3 hour Old School races.

And of the "wrap up" shows, the 2K2 I think was the best. I didn't like the format later years.

That month and a halfish before Pre-Season testing is long...

Are they ever going to show the remaining NC shows? I wish they'd get the Humpy Show up and running.

Anonymous said...

But hey, if things go as they usually do, we can watch several night's worth of Legends cars racing at LMS on SPEED this winter.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Great comments, there are many ways for NASCAR to get programming on TV during the off-season.

As one person said, that would involve NASCAR spending money.

Imagine being a Truck or Nationwide Series owner right now.

You have no weekly or monthly show about your series, your highlights do not appear on TWIN anymore and NASCAR Now rarely mentions your series during the week.

How does that add-up as far as media exposure for a sponsor?

Somebody in NASCAR TV land better step into the mix and take control before things go in a very bad direction.


The Western New Yorker said...

I think Speed or ESPN Classic should show a classic race for 2-3 hours 2-3 days a week during the offseason. However, there could be a host with a panel a la TWIN or NASCAR Now Monday with 2 or 3 individuals talking about the event in certain segments. I think this would be quite enjoyable for both old and new fans.

And yes, I know ESPN Classic used to do this a few years back.

Adam T. Martin said...

I watch classic races on ESPN Classic (when they show them and YouTube (despite the grainy YouTube quality).

haus20 said...

All I've got to say is if you want to be the number one sport in the country, it would be a good idea to find out what the number one sport (NFL) in the country does and emulate them.

Does the NFL have...

their own network? Yes

Year round coverage provided by ESPN? Yes (NFL Live)

VERY Picky over how their sport is covered by networks? Yes (Playmakers on ESPN cancelled)

Picked quality talent from other networks when starting their own network? Yes (Rich Eisen, ESPN)

If the NHL can put a network together, what is NASCAR's problem? There is plenty of historical footage and plenty of quality personalities out there that could be used to help put together a top notch network.

Dot said...

I agree with the posters who have said that NASCAR needs to have their own channel. I think the off season fans would support it.

I too, like watching the back in the day races. They could even be enhanced by someone current to inject some interesting tidbits about them. Like why they installed window nets, roof flaps, fire suits, etc.

Somewhere there has to be old interviews of the old timers from back then. Those would be fun to see. I remember a show where they got a bunch of old timers together, it was good. Like hearing stories from grandpa.

I don't have a clue how much it costs to buy a TV channel, but I would even endure annoying comm'ls to watch more NASCAR programming.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

JD - my opinion...

I don't see much MLB on FOX after the World Series, I don't see much NBA on Turner in the off season, and the NFL does not see the light of day on CBS or NBC following the Super Bowl.

Is it possible that off season major sports programming is just bad business?

Your reference the NFL Network as a example. Yet you never state that the NFL Network is loosing millions and millions for the NFL owners. Please correct me - but perhaps it's just business.

Perhaps in the future you can get some business model facts to help us evaluate your opinion vs those who make the decisions.

Ken said...

I might be different than others but I wouldn't watch "best of" shows or replays of races from the past season. It would be like reading a mystery novel when you already know who did it. Shows during the off-season need to look forward and not back. I would watch shows about what changes have been made with teams, cars, race tracks and sponsorships for the upcoming season. I think the off-season is the off-season and the short time without NA$CAR racing is a good time to try and forget the lousy coverage, lousy racing and stupid decisions NA$CAR made in the past year.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 8:38AM,

You are completely missing the point. We are not talking about having or replaying races in the off-season like ESPN Classic.

What we are talking about is programming that uses an accepted formula to look back at ten months of racing, tens of thousands of miles traveled and tens of millions of dollars spent.

The "brand" of NASCAR is as strong as the NFL brand and in today's world can be extended well beyond the end of the racing season.

In the current scenario, the NASCAR TV partners have other agendas. The question for NASCAR is how to leverage those partnerships to keep the sport exposed during the three months of non-racing.

Once again, your stick-and-ball analogy to the NFL makes no sense. That league plays a short schedule with various home teams on broadcast TV and several game-of-the-week packages.

NASCAR is like golf or tennis. It has a ten month schedule with several series who race nationwide and the draw of the sport is the personalities involved.

To just believe that like college basketball it should just be over when it is over is beyond naive.

Once again, what challenges you is that this is a new idea and change is hard for many. When ESPN had lots of cable TV time to spare, the NASCAR season was reviewed and other roundtable style discussions were created to fill the off-season desires of the racing fans.

Especially with the economic challenges of the automakers, this would have been a key off-season to keep the NASCAR identity and brand in the public eye.

You are forgetting that Sirius and XM both have NASCAR channels and the Sirius brand is tremendously popular. NASCAR.com and Jayski are two websites with tremendous amounts of traffic all year long.

Sooner or later, NASCAR is going to wake-up and realize that three months of silence is not good for their brand.


What if those shows reviewed exactly those decisions and let you call-in and participate?


chase said...

Dismal news, John, but considering the source, expected. If NASCAR would just utilize SPEED for its off-season programs - rid themselves of Pinks, and the other soft stuff, they would find themselves with a fan base of people getting revved up for the start of the '09 season - but no, NASCAR patently doesn't care about anything but their pockets. Brian's body language tells us all we need to know - he doesn't care so why should we? It would be so bloody easy to fill SPEED with all sorts of great program content - the trucks, the Nationwide series, the Cup series, old races with original coverage and PXP by the pros (to let us all see what we are currently missing!), Humpy's program allowed to develop, regional racing, F1, etc. - there is so much out there it would be easy. God knows we'd all love to be able to watch SPEED literally showing programs relating to SPEED. Very sad news indeed. Until NASCAR wakes up and smells the coffee and realizes they have missed the boat, nothing will change.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glutted with everything NA$CAR. That dearth of it during the off season isn't causing me much pain.
It's all pretty much the same people, chasing the same stories. About the same handful of favored drivers. I for one, am ready for a break.

What I think is a tragedy, is that Speed has chosen not to put on some form of Winter Heat, Thursday night thunder, etc.
It's out there, they just choose not to show it to us.
Come on guys, give Dave Despain something to do in the off season.
Give us a mix of flat track motorcycles, Midgets, & Sprints, (preferably non-wing) on dirt.
If you show it we will watch!


Anonymous said...

The "brand" of NASCAR is as strong as the NFL brand and in today's world can be extended well beyond the end of the racing season.

I had to let out a huge laugh over that one, JD. To a die-hard NASCAR fan, yes, though in the overall sports landscape, the NASCAR brand is still several rungs below the NFL.

Its still up to NASCAR to promote its own brand. The TV partners are just hired guns to carry the races during the season. And, like you said, they have their own agenda of trying to do whats best for their own business. Like any business, that would be what they think would make them the most profit.

And currently, based upon the lack of off-season coverage, the TV partners think what is best for them is showing other programming, rather than promoting NASCAR.

Could the TV partners be completly missing the boat? Quite possibly. TV executives oftentimes make bad decisions. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt. I don't think they hate NASCAR. I feel they just don't think there would be enough viewers for NASCAR programming during the offseason.

In the end, this is NASCAR's responsiblity. It may take some creativity where NASCAR gives back some cash, in order to get TV time. In return, NASCAR would have a greater role in making sure the content aired is top notch.

If its a hit, then I doubt we'll see any shortage of coverage during future offseason periods. If not, well, NASCAR at least gave it their best shot.

GinaV24 said...

Well, somehow this doesn't come as a big surprise, but it sure is a letdown. I used to enjoy the wrap up shows that AB did on IWC and although I'm not a fan of Dave Despain's style, he sure does cover a lot of different types of racing and I'm for that. I used to enjoy watching Speed before they went to this "lifestyle" programming. Who's lifestyle is it exactly -- not mine, so I don't watch. When they used to show the rally cars and other forms of racing in the winter, I would tune in and catch those. Now, thank goodness I have a DVR and have burned some of this stuff to DVD because, unlike one of the other writers, I do enjoy watching races even if I know how they wind up. Heck, I've been buying some of the DVDs of old races (since I don't get ESPN classic) so I can enjoy them in the off season.

It's NASCAR's product to sell - they need to wake up and smell the coffee and figure out how to market this to the fans in the off season, too.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 11:21AM,

What would make you laugh? The NFL has no events from the Superbowl to the pre-season.

NASCAR has ten months of weekly racing. That is quite a contrast.

While the NFL brand may be strong in season and locally, the differences are clear.

Anyone can be a fan of any team or driver without any geographic issues. That is the appeal of NASCAR to advertisers. It transcends boundaries including age and gender.

You are correct in that this issue of additional TV exposure lies with NASCAR. However, when the network gets lower ratings for races and lower ad revenue as a result it can only bring problems to both parties in the end.

It should be interesting to see if NMG scrambles for some December and January programming at this very difficult time for the sport in general.


Tom said...

I think the problem is that there isn't any real interesting stuff to do in the off season. I am a huge race fan, but until Jan. testing, I get everything I need from Sirius and a visit to Jaski and here. There is a perception problem with NASCAR, the over-the-top commercialism, and I am afraid any off season shows would end up being Cousin Opie telling us how Claritan can keep us clear. Review shows are fine, but even that is old by Thanksgiving. And to be honest, there has been far more action off-track this year than on.....When the most newsworthy stories invove the lack of quality tires, I don't think NASCAR or the tire mfg. want that rehashed for 2 months.

Inverness, FL

Anonymous said...

Here's my $.02

NASCAR has in effect been ruined by the internet. There is no such thing as Silly Season anymore. I see you working this "year in review" concept, but it would in my opinion require drivers and crew chiefs to be readily accessible in their vacation time and after going solid with few if any down time from mid January to early December in cases of drivers and officials and year round for crew chiefs.

One point here, JD.
"What would make you laugh? The NFL has no events from the Superbowl to the pre-season." Not true. I am sure you've seen the ratings for the Senior Bowl, Draft Combine and NFL Draft. NFL Network has made quite a niche for themselves with people tuning in to watch college kids get weighed, run the 40 yd dash and becnh press, and ESPN devotes 2 days of front to end draft coverage and has made people like Mel Kiper Jr. a household name. Now ESPN televises degenerates playing Madden 08, has fantasy football shows and other NFL related programming year round.

Now if NASCAR went that route with say SPEED Channel, there is plenty in NASCAR's history to fill programming voids during the offseason with little need for current drivers and crew chiefs. Dale Jr's. "back in the Day" show was great in that it showed the 60's and early 70's NASCAR racing, there were some great races that TNN and TBS carried back in the day, some classic RPM 2 Nite shows, and others where the "new" NASCAR fans that the "old" ones cannot stand can get a nice little history lesson with documentaries about the Pearsons, Bakers, Roberts, Junior Johnson, Allisons, Yarboroughs, Yarbroughs, Wood Bros., shoot, even back to Red Byron, Flocks, other moonshiners, and Raymond Parks and the beginnings of NASCAR. I think new fans will gain a real appreciation for the many people who cultivated NASCAR, but unfortunately I doubt the France's want that to be shown as I believe Big Bill may come across in a negative light that will contradict the man and wife with a dream story that has been told since 1948.

You are right. Even though the price of gas has gotten a bit more tolerable, I doubt you'll all of a sudden see full grandstands at Atlanta. NASCAR is like a drunk in denial when they blame the apathy on "our current economic climate." I feel if there is a concerted effort by NASCAR to embrace its roots, which will blend in nicely with the opening of the Hall of Fame in my opinion, it will do a better job of bridging the gap between the johnny come lately fans and the old schoolers. Up to now, NASCAR has treated its past like the red headed stepchild. I think by showing the past to the new group of fans via television and documentaries and classic races and shows, like Neil Bonnett's "frenchy" character and the old ESPN thrills and spills shows, this will help in maintaining and growing the NASCAR brand.

Daly Planet Editor said...

I would suggest that in many ways the Internet saved NASCAR.

The TV production and open communication with the fans left the moment the new TV contract came into play.

The bad announcers on ESPN2's "NASCAR Now" would have done more damage if fans could not have gone to Jayski and other sites for the real news.

Many times I have called out NASCAR for having absolutely no interactive TV programs anywhere on any TV partner.

Only if Dave Despain is kind enough to have NASCAR as a topic for a part of a Wind Tunnel show will anyone hear an actual NASCAR fan on TV in North America. That is ridiculous.

During the time I worked at ESPN, the network found a niche by serving up classic NFL films during the off-season to keep the football fans happy.

Despite your assertions that the NFL Network has something to do with NASCAR, it would be easy to create one historic NASCAR TV series for the off-season and put it on any TV network.

All it requires are the two basic elements of TV, planning and money.

How the fans reacted to this series would be a true gauge of what direction off-season programming could go.

There are several networks currently looking around for sports programming that includes racing.

Since the current NASCAR TV partners are not playing the game, it might be time to branch out and move some content to a new network.


Anonymous said...

There is always the syndication route, sort of like how NASCAR Angels gets distributed. One monolithic network handling it all is ideal, but not necessary.

If ESPN / SPEED doesn't want to make room, it may be easier for all of those over-the-air broadcast stations to pick it up.

Anonymous said...

Jd sounds like your a good guy but times are tough out there right now. I. think you just need to slow down and back off of bashing everbody. There are a lot of good people out there that you are hurting.Even if people are not just the way you would like to see them maybe this is the time to give them a break.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 5:42PM,

What are you talking about? If you want to drop me an email please do so at editor@thedalyplanet.tv anytime.

This is the exact same issue from last season. It's the exact same discussion. Who is that hurting and how?


Anonymous said...

JD - if the marketplace seeks content it's certinally there in many forms - what you are missing is a true bgusiness market place understanding - "The "brand" of NASCAR is as strong as the NFL brand" where do you get this from -just your opinion or do you have facts to back up what you are stating

don't you think if for example VS Network saw value in NASCAR content they would buy it today?

don't you know that NASCAR Images has no restrictions on who they deliver content to beyond race coverage and they have sales folk whom meet with all broadcasters and pitch all the time?

perhaps just for the sake of it you might consider that both nascar executives and broadcast programmers know a bit more about the market place then your opinion

Possible perhaps?

Anonymous said...

I. think you just need to slow down and back off of bashing everbody. There are a lot of good people out there that you are hurting.Even if people are not just the way you would like to see them maybe this is the time to give them a break.

This makes no sense. JD's idea would generate revenue (that means money), not cost the networks or NASCAR.

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

Anon 6:24PM,

Who said anything about restrictions? What "marketplace" are you talking about?

The challenge, as one poster already mentioned, is to wade through the Internet content including video and try to create some high-profile NASCAR TV product that does not include Jimmy Spencer, Kenny Wallace or John Roberts.

Every memorable moment of every race is on YouTube and posted all over the Internet because NASCAR is the only professional sports sanctioning body that does not actively police the Internet for copyright violations.

The challenge of creating original off-season programming is not another glossy re-hash of the 2008 races, it is something that NMG and NASCAR have failed to do and that is create unique content for multi-channel distribution.

You want to email me to talk about that, go right ahead.

At least ESPN stepped-up and jumped-in to fix almost all of the first season problems they experienced in both the studio and remote production sides of the business.

NASCAR itself just stood there as the number of original series and episodes it produced for cable and broadcast TV dwindled to almost nothing.

Sure, you can make a good living on the SPEED Stage programs and managing the TV compound. You can even throw-in the Monday night TWIN hour.

But when you have only six episodes of NASCAR Confidential on SPEED while that network spends millions on reality and lifestyle shows, you have to move on.

If Comcast and Versus steps-up and buys in, that would be great. But, it does not solve the original point of this discussion.

How about one TV series from NASCAR during the off-season spotlighting the personalities both past and present involved in the sport? I think Humpy Wheeler's phone is still plugged in.

If this is the best that the "sales folk" can do then maybe, as Kevin Harvick would say, we should try some new sales folks.


Richard in N.C. said...

The really special person who thinks Unique Quips is quality programming and who, in the past, has scoured the world for the worst movies involving tires to show on SPEED is not my idea of a knowledgeable programmer.

If SPEED does intend again to put Wind Tunnel and racing into hibernation from Thanksgiving until the end of January, my solution will be to buy a couple of shares of News Corp. stock and write Rupert Murdoch to recommend a wholesale house-cleaning of SPEED management.

darbar said...

I used to think that Gary Bettman of the NHL was the dumbest of the lot in professional sports (come to think of it, I still think he's pretty dumb in getting the most out of hockey by not showcasing his two biggest stars , Ovechkin and Crosby), but I think France and Co now take the award for futility. While they trumpet the popularity of the sport, they do little to attract fans that are currently considered the casual fan. Why not a Nascar channel? If the once-pathetic NHL can do this, why not Nascar? A creative mind, something I'm not sure exists in Nascar, could come up with enough programming to sustain a Nascar Network. Heck, the NFL channel uses quite a few programming hours on "Making the Squad" cheerleading tryouts and other such trival, and questionable NFL-related programs.

How about using the production/promotion companies of Dale Jr (Hammerhead) or Tony Stewart (True Speed Communication)? Seeing that Jr's company has produced two very successful programs with Back in the Day and Shifting Gears, I would like to see what else they could come up with. How about using the season to tape special programs focusing on individual drivers or teams? They could do behind the scenes programs about not only the teams but on racing venues, car owners, race preparation from the standpoint of those who run the tracks, and a myriad of other race-related programs.

What about showing races in the off-season that not many see during the actual season? How about showing races from the previous season from Arca, WoO, SCCA, Nascar East/West etc? Wouldn't it be nice to see the stars of those series, people who work just as hard, if not harder, than their big boy Nascar counterparts?

With a little thinking, a "bit" of money, and a wise plan to promote such a network, I think a Nascar channel could prove to be interesting.

Anonymous said...

A NASCAR TV network is a horrible idea. Especially if it is owned and operated by NASCAR. For example. Take a look at NASCAR.COM. It is operated by turner sports but I have heard people say how NASCAR.Com has a biast and always favors NASCAR.

A NASCAR TV network would be the same thing. It would be all NASCAR, only the good stuff. Fans would get sick of it in a hurry. TV network is just a bad idea in my opinion. People already think NASCAR reporters and commentators are bias. Adding a network would just reenforce that idea.

Anonymous said...

But when you have only six episodes of NASCAR Confidential on SPEED while that network spends millions on reality and lifestyle shows,

I'm still not convinced some of them, like Unique Whips, aren't paid program-length commercials.

If SPEED is paying them for this show, then the Unique Whips folks have a real sweetheart deal going.

Vicky D said...

Sounds like it will be a bleak off-season til the Rolex 24 Hour race in January. Maybe I'll calm down a bit and won't be so negative during the Nascar season next year.

Big Henry said...

This is a typical case of myopia developed by people a wee bit too close to a subject to remain objective. NASCAR can only dream of being as popular. Its claims of 70M fans is unfounded.

Have you considered that people enjoy more than ONE sport and that variety is what they enjoy. I don't want or need any sport to be year-round. I enjoy the changes of sport and seasons. The sorts with their own network do so for one reason: Money. Only the NFL has something going on that front as it is the biggest sport in the nation and will remain so. Get over it.

The first commenter said it right; there is more to do in life than watch the damn television.

Anonymous said...

The first commenter said it right; there is more to do in life than watch the damn television.

Well, yeah, during the season, we can always go to the track in person.

Anonymous said...

I don't want or need any sport to be year-round.
Okay, that's what YOU want.

Some of us feel differently.

If you don't want to watch racing year 'round, then don't. But don't presume to tell the rest of us that we shouldn't be able to just because you don't want to.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 7:24PM,

Keep a close eye on that NHL Channel, even if you have to watch it on the web first.

Some of the things they are going to be doing are fantastic.


Big Henry said...

Well, yeah that was just "my opinion". But, there are a lot of full-on Motorsport fans like me who don't need 24/7/365 NASCAR.

It is just a numbers game and people needn't take is PERSONALLY if the numbers aren't in your favor.

Daly Planet Editor said...

If you remember what happened with MTV the analogy is a good one.

That network started basically playing videos and making a name for itself. Now, it's hard to find any music videos on the original MTV channel because they have become a "brand" that people accept.

Long-form TV shows, award shows and specials are fine on MTV because people understand what is was and what is has become.

Cranking-up a NASCAR channel, filling it with NASCAR Media Group programming and adding-in elements from the radio and the Internet could result in something fun and interactive that fans would love.

You just don't know until you try.


PammH said...

Nascar is my only sport. When it's gone from TV, I still check jayski everyday & my personal driver's website. But what I really do during the off-season is catch up on movies & reading, because there is NOTHING to watch on the tube regarding my sport. I'm more mainstream America during the mths of Nov-Jan, until the Rolex 24 & Nascar testing starts. It boggles my mind that I have become this person, because I never was..until after the death of Big E. I would enjoy a few fixes between now & then. jmo...I loved Nascar360 & all the extra "life" shows that showed the drivers. Geez, tape that stuff during the looooong season & show it during off season-it doesn't take a brainiac to see this. Or I'm I just an idiot??

Big Henry said...

JD, MTV is actually reviled by most of its target audience! They have moved so far away from what made it great that it is losing relevance annually. Hardly an analogy you'd like to see in NASCAR.

Pammm? Perhaps yes.

Ken said...

I would watch original programing regarding changes and problems with the upcoming season and would welcome call in shows. HOwever, it needs to be original and the Waltrips and Wallaces of the world would turn me off as it would remind me of the disasters of the past. Each family had one good driver that was used to drag other family members into the sport. A little of any of them goes a long way and the off-season is a good rest from them.

I think a little investigating if the teams, sponsors, cars, etc. could dig up a lot of original material that would be of interest to many fans and an objective viewpoint would be a welcome surprise.

PammH said...

henry-duly noted...oops, sorry BIG henry.

Erik said...

With NASCAR's vast media library, a NASCAR On Demand channel would be a great medium to distribute all of it. Imagine being able to watch any race, or a multitude of newly created programming at any time you want it. You won't be tethered to when ESPN wants to air the 1991 Daytona 500 on Classic.

Again, it boils down to cost, and getting cable and sattellite companies to pick it up. Or, just do an end-around the media gatekeepers, and make everything available over the Internet at a minimal cost, or ad supported.

It just seems to me the more creative minds in the sport are in the position of track promoters, rather than promoting the sport at a higher level.

Richard in N.C. said...

It seems to me that one of the real problems with sports programming in general is that ESPN has no real, national TV or cable competitor in terms of daily sports news and analysis. As a consequence, ESPN continues its flight from quality and becomes increasingly insular. Daily sports news and analysis would be significantly improved if FOX/News Corp. and/or Comcast would step up and make the commitment to compete with ESPN. FOX has a history of successfully creating a quality competitor where there is only one channel in a broadcast niche.

Daly Planet Editor said...

big henry,

That would be news to MTV or any of their multitude of digital channels that carry different styles of music.

The point is that networks start with one simple concept and then grow into becoming something very different.

When I worked at ESPN, we had a muti-hour morning news show and often ran full-length sports movies at night.


Kyle said...

I wish speed and the media group would run more NASCAR Confidentals. new ones. That is one of my favorite shows, the 6 they had. Humpys show might be nice.

Ocker92 said...

haus20: Can't forget, MLB launches there network on jan 1, and I think NBA has some sort of Network. NASCAR is probably the only major sport that doesn't have their own TV network. Heck, even Tennis has a channel.

Lou said...

Nice photo at the top of your column. Just need red lights and a siren to the nearest emergency room to recuscitate the sport for the Nov, Dec, Jan time frame.

Anonymous said...

I really don't want to watch old races or boxing matches or anything that I already watched once, but hey that's just me.
I DO enjoy listening to racers talk when they don't know the cameras are there, but not for the gossip...just the bench racin'...the stories and lies(?)and stuff.
I like Mikey and Chad on TWIN when they get wound up. I LOVE Bootie Barker when he starts pullin-yer-leg.
Just some thoughts for some winter viewing I'd like to see.
I don't want to see the same covererage for Daytona as 2008--what a BORE!