Monday, November 10, 2008

The Day After The "Big Switch"


NASCAR's ABC race Sunday was shifted to ESPN2 in the Central and Eastern time zones at about 7:28 p.m. ET. Says ESPN's Mike Soltys: "We're protecting the ABC prime-time lineup and offering a good alternative." (USA Today)

"After two red flags, rain in Phoenix and 4 1/2 hours on ABC, we were still 34 minutes from the end of the telecast as it turned out. We told fans in the East and Central from the second red flag on that the race was moving to ESPN2. ABC's entertainment viewers and NASCAR fans were both well served in a tough spot, and we are fortunate to have ESPN2 among our networks to serve the fans." (ESPN)

So, the day after "the big switch" the issue is being used across the board by journalists and media folks to blame ABC and ESPN for a whole lot of frustration over the last seventeen races.

Let's step aside from the production and announcing issues that TDP talks about a lot and focus on exactly what all the yelling is about. Those are two good statements above about what was on the ABC/ESPN priority list Sunday night.

This is only the second season of the new TV contract between ESPN and NASCAR. During the first year, when ESPN began to produce the races on ABC there were a lot of problems. Local stations on the West Coast did not show the pre-race because it conflicted with the children's programming timeblock. ABC stations on the East Coast and in the Central Time Zone left races that were in-progress to start their own local news on time. It was a mess.

Now, ESPN wades back into the second season and finds itself a victim of a problem discussed here for the last eighteen months. Scheduling. NASCAR and ESPN started the Phoenix race at a time that they both decided was correct. NASCAR knew full well that this live event was heading straight toward a brick wall. That wall is called primetime.

Let's get the record straight. This has nothing to do with the content of the programming on ABC. There were lots of jokes and quotes in the media about America's Funniest Home Videos. That is taking the easy way out and avoiding the real issue.

NASCAR has a Vice President that is fully in charge of making plans for every single Sprint Cup Series race on TV. Each race is a property that is worth tens of millions of dollars in rights fees. This Vice President is tasked with serving the interests of the sanctioning body by dealing directly with the NASCAR TV partners. His name is Robbie Weiss. That is Mr. Weiss pictured above with Mike Helton.

Over the season, we have seen a wide variety of broadcast issues associated with the three NASCAR touring series. Sunday night, we saw another. Long before the first hauler pulled into Phoenix and months before the NASCAR Chase for the Championship began, it was NASCAR's responsibility to make sure the pieces of the TV puzzle fit.

To simply throw stones at ABC and ESPN makes no sense. ESPN does thousands of live events on a multitude of TV networks over the course of just one year. This is nothing new to them. It was not a surprise. To pretend it was a surprise to NASCAR is also ridiculous.

Just last month, Mr. Weiss brokered a deal to allow the ESPN coverage of the Memphis Nationwide Series race to be shown on SPEED as a simulcast. Due to a long-standing scheduling conflict, the race was headed to the ESPN Classic network for airing. Weiss stepped-in and solved the problem.

Until we hear from Mr. Weiss about the situation on Sunday night we can only offer educated guesses about who knew what and when. Where multi-million dollar sports properties are concerned, you can bet that normally all the TV ground rules are spelled-out well in advance. It would be an important part of his job to have that done for all the Sprint Cup Series events.

Let's look at this analytically. Who was eliminated when the switch from ABC to ESPN2 happened? It was those viewers in the Eastern and Central Time Zone watching ABC without cable TV access. ESPN2 is a basic cable network, so most NASCAR fans simply had to switch one time to another channel.

There are no winners in the "network swap" game. We saw that earlier this season when the best-made plans of Fox Sports turned a baseball game and a NASCAR race into a complete on-air disaster. Live sporting events like NASCAR that run without a clock or any kind of time limit are the most difficult to handle.

Monday afternoon at 3:40PM Eastern Time I will be talking with Dave Moody on Sirius Speedway and addressing this issue. Tune-in if you can and I will update this post as to what we discussed and any news that come along.

In the meantime, we can use this post to address "the big switch" and see what really is the issue behind all the fan anger. To add your comment to this post, 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.

96 comments:

Adult ADD is Not A Curse said...

I don't get it. We had to change channels to finish watching the race BFD!

It is not written in the Bill of Rights that you are entitled to watch NASCAR at a given time or given channel on your own terms.

If you are using an antenna get cable. If your cable system doesn't carry the channels used to receive NASCAR programming set satellite television.

This is only a problem if you make it a problem.

Sicklajoie said...

(quote)Let's look at this analytically. Who was eliminated when the switch from ABC to ESPN2 happened? It was those viewers in the Eastern and Central Time Zone watching ABC without cable TV access. ESPN2 is a basic cable network, so most NASCAR fans simply had to switch one time to another channel.(quote)

How about those of us that DVR the race??
I think from here on out that the viewing audience should know beforehand on TV listing sites (such as Jayski's TV page) that in the event of coverage going overtime it will be moved to such and such station. That way people can program it in their recorders.
I still find it hard to believe that with a lot of the trivial stuff that you devote entire columns to that you don't see this "big switch" as the ultimate slap in the face for NASCAR fans.

Daly Planet Editor said...

sick,

If you set your DVR for the race and were not home, you would have missed the end as the race ran over the scheduled off-time.

The switch took place at the original end-time of the show, not before. If you were at home and recording the show, you would just switch channels.

This is logistics, not an emotional issue or a slap in anyone's face. ESPN has been on the air for over 25 years and done all kinds of motorsports events.

Our focus should be on moving these races ealier next season to solve these problems IMHO.

JD

BruSimm said...

There is a lot of insider issues and complexities that viewers don't stop to take into consideration when something like this happens.

Not everyone has the option to just switch channels or purchase Satellite. Not to mention, if I am correct in this assumption, this was ESPN / ABC's effort to bring NASCAR to broadcast TV. Oops. That didn't go to well now, did it?

Additionally, in the 2nd to last race of what could be a season that is going into the record books, fans are speaking their hearts on the issue from what they experienced on Sunday.

The editor here did say it best in regards to not knowing all the details, but yet when we have a head of steam building for 3, 4+ hours, I believe those who had to deal with this, were taken aback and felt that they should have stay ed tuned to their original channel and enjoyed the end of the race.

No one is wrong on this issue as perceptions and emotions seem to be the driving force at the moment and it's something that NASCAR, ESPN and ABC will have to address... a few times this week probably.

BruSimm said...

Agreed on moving the races back up to when they used to start earlier "editor".

This effort to push the start times back by the networks to take advantage of other events or shows does not seem to be working out as well as they possibly hoped for.

Daly Planet Editor said...

bru,

The scheduling is a disaster. Not only are TV ratings down, but the race attendance is affected because folks cannot get home for work on Monday.

This will be a big issue for 2009.

Sicklajoie said...

(quote)sick,

If you set your DVR for the race and were not home, you would have missed the end as the race ran over the scheduled off-time.

The switch took place at the original end-time of the show, not before. If you were at home and recording the show, you would just switch channels.(quote)

I manually set my DVR for 8 hours for every race on whatever station it's going to be on, so that's not an issue.

stricklinfan82 said...

My biggest problem with this decision is my personal belief that fans of any major sport are owed full coverage of a major sporting event to its completion on the network it started, barring ridiculously excessive delays or something unforseen like major news of national importance.

I had the same stance a few years ago when NBC bailed on the decisive game of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals during overtime to switch to a 90 minute horse racing pre-race show. You can check the TDP archives and see that I had the same stance when the end of a Yankees-Red Sox baseball game was cut off for the start of the Cup race in Phoenix (even though I personally benefitted from that decision). And now I hold the same stance again. I am consistent across the board whether it benefits me or not. To me it is terribly flawed logic to pull the plug on the concluding moments of a major sporting event that a sports fan that has invested several hours of their time to watch and switch to the beginning of another event.

I was supposed to miss this race live for the same reason I wasn't around here to comment on any of the happenings on Friday or Saturday. A last second change of plans spared me on Sunday and I was able to change the channel but someday I know I'm not going to be that lucky and I'm sure many many people weren't as fortunate as me on Sunday. You can program a DVR to record an extra X amount of hours to take a possible overrun into account. Unless you're a great guesser you can't program a DVR to change the channel at the exact second the previously unadvertised network shift occured to a previously unadvertised ESPN family network.

It is my opinion that in every sport there are occassions where TV networks have to sacrifice dollars for the good of the viewers. When a NASCAR production truck is behind on their commercial inventory and there are under 10 laps to go, they don't go to commercial under green and miss the final laps. When any stick-and-ball game like football goes to overtime and "TV timeouts" are eliminated, the network always bites the bullet and stays on the air despite the potential loss of commercial revenue that results from several minutes of uninterrupted coverage. And in an instance like this it is my belief that the network owed it to the viewers to stick with the conclusion of the race for an extra 30 minutes, no matter how much money the "overrun" would have cost them in commercial revenue. Whether the next program on ABC was Desperate Housewives, America's Funniest Home Videos, a movie, an infomercial, or the news, the network should have bitten the bullet and stuck with the final 30 minutes of the race for the good of the NASCAR TV viewers. That was not too much to ask for, in my opinion and my opinion alone.

BruSimm said...

I agree with you stricklinfan82, but I can't help but wonder if the present day economy didn't play into their decision to try appease what ABC Entertainment division considered to be the start of their bread and butter Sunday Night programming?

It's getting harder and harder to generate advertiser income and retain sponsors, as we all see here just within the ranks of NASCAR.

I am just wondering out loud.

Daly Planet Editor said...

stricklinfan,

I hear ya, but you should perhaps consider the fact that this issue should have been arranged and the contingencies planned by NASCAR.

To try to tie the cable guys from Bristol who produce sports to the NYC ABC guys ready to roll the primetime entertainment shows is never going to happen.

The "window" on broadcast TV is often defined not by the existing program on the air, but by the contractual obligations of the shows later in the day.

Once we get the scoop from the NASCAR guys and their perspective, we can join the two halves of this discussion together and get a clear picture.

I bet there were some fun phone calls going on.

JD

ACEfromTN said...

I missed the end of the race because I had DVRed it!

Now, would ANY network break away from an NFL game that was running over?

NO!!!!!!

On November 17, 1968, NBC broke away from covering a Jet-Raiders game with 65 seconds left to play to show "Heidi." At the time they broke away the Jets were leading 32-29. They ended up losing 43-32!!!

Naturally, fans were irate and the AFL (now AFC) and the NFL made sure that networks do not do this again!

See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heidi_Game

I think this shows that NASCAR is still not a "big time" sport in the eyes of the networks.

For whatever good it will do, we should complain to ABC and our local affiliates.

Bill H said...

Nascar could cure this problem by changing the way they race. The race should be a set number of laps or a set time, whichever comes 1st. So yesterdays Phoenix race would have been 312 laps or 3 hours, which ever comes first. The only exception being rain. If a rain delay takes more than 1/3 of the time alotted, then move race to next day to complete it, not wait and see if they can get it in 1/2 way by waiting to see if it clears.

This will give everyone, fans, boradcasters, people at the track, etc., an absolute as to how long the race will be. If there is a chance of rain, everyone will know race may be next day.

Using the above there would never have been a "big switch". Race would have finished on time at 6:45 EST at around lap 275.

Think of how the race would have changed under this scenario if they teams knew when the race was gonna end.

Also, to make it more exciting, if qualifying is cancelled due to rain, flip the points and let 43rd place start on the pole, 1st place start at the back. Make the "good" drivers work for the finish, and give the "bad" drivers a chance to move up in the points.

Bill H

Anonymous said...

How much of a factor was the other networks programing?

I am guessing that ABC wanted Desperate Housewives to start at 9 knowing they would draw their usual number (#2 rated show for evening - top 10 overall). Plus the Sunday Night NFL game was with 2 of the largest media markets=rating winner for NBC.

The numbers have proven that ABC should have thrown AFV under the bus at 7:30.

Anonymous said...

You're wrong on the DVR issue John.

Most folks are sharp enough to add on to live programming to avoid missing the end of a livr sports event.

This whole deal was absurd. "America's Funniest Videos" in favor of a Sprint Cup chase race? C'mon...Show where NASCAR programming and fans stand in the hierarchy.

Kevin said...

It has been mentioned already, but a lot of folks missed the end of the race due to the fact that they were DVRing the race. Myself included. If there weren't so many cursed commercials I wouldn't have to DVR the race, but alas I do, and as a result I was screwed last night.

The race was boring as sin anyway, so I really didn't care, to be honest.

Kevin said...

A follow-up to my post about the DVR issues.

I am "sharp" enough to set my DVR for longer than scheduled timeframe allotted for the race. I set my DVR to record 4 extra hours on ABC.

Ok, so I didn't go to the effort of checking to see if in the event of a raindelay that the race might be moved to ESPN2 or ESPN or whatever. I only have 2 tuners in my DVR, so there's only so much you can do.

I think the bigger issue at hand here is what others have mentioned: start time. I've hated these late start times for years now. What happened to the days when you could come home from Church on Sunday and flip on the tv to start the race? Now it's like... ok, I've got 2-3 hours to kill before the race starts. It's stupid. Now I devote my whole day to doing something else, DVR the race, and watch it Sunday evening. This allows me to skip all commercials (and boring parts!).

Anonymous said...

Its amazing so many people are so quick to throw ESPN under the bus. Does no one here remember the debacile earlier this season at the same race track in the spring!? FOX completely missed the start of the race. I remember how livid some of you were. These mistakes happen to the best and worst of the networks. They learn from there mistakes. To say that FOX and NBC never did this is such bull. FOX missed a start of the race and NBC put post-race coverage on CNBC and they also missed all the pre-race activities at the Bank of America 500 3 years ago. ALL THE NETWORKS MAKE MISTAKES!

GinaV24 said...

I would definitely vote for changing the race start times to be earlier. And while they are at it, let them put less pre-race garbage and more post-race information instead. I'm on the East Coast and yes, I have cable so I made the switch without a lot of hassles, but it still speaks to me that NASCAR and ABC-ESPN don't plan ahead. If this guy Weiss could plan ahead for the race in another series, it would seem to make sense that he could have done it for the Cup series too. Right now, it's been a long season and ESPN's coverage hasn't been all that good, if this is the last impression they leave on NASCAR fans at the end of the season, how much of a turn off will it be for fans to come back next year? I already multi-task to follow the sport, but it is becoming more and more of an effort and less and less "fun".

3KillerBs said...

The issue is the completely irretrievable nature of LIVE SPORTS. Once those final laps were lost they were lost to fans forever. No rebroadcast can ever recapture the tension of not knowing how the race will end.

As I said before, I was taping the race because of a commitment with my kids. Like any sensible person, I KNOW that live sports of any kind are subject to running over the allotted time slot so I devoted a full, 8-hour tape to Race Day and the race itself even though 6 hours "should" have covered it.

Networks should do likewise and schedule in some kind of "disposable" programing for the time slots immediately after the scheduled ends of live sports events. Given the banality and re-runability of AFHV, I thought they had in fact done so.

IF it is actually planned in advance to dump races to another channel at a specific time should they run long rather than just a plausible-sounding excuse for showing no respect to race fans then that plan should be made publicly known in advance.

Consider it a case of truth in advertising. If the race is advertised as running on ABC then the ENTIRE race needs to be run on ABC. Otherwise there should be a plain and obvious note that "If circumstances should happen to cause the race to run past (insert time here), it will be switched to (insert channel here)" posted right up front on Jayski along with the other weekly race info.

That way fans would know what was going on. Those who were watching at home could be prepared to switch off smoothly. Those without cable could come up with a backup plan. And those who were recording would know to use the autotune on their cable/sattelitte box to switch over at the correct time.

Instead, we had 30-some laps of what sounds like it must have been excellent racing stolen by the network's false promise that they were going to show the race when they actually meant "we'll show as much of the race as is convenient but think that bad video of people making weird screeching noises is more important than following live sports events to their conclusion".

When the network says that they're going to broadcast a sporting event that's a commitment to do so that fans should be able to rely on. And if there are restrictions on that commitment then the fans have the right to know about it in advance.

Daly Planet Editor said...

One thing that is coming out of this discussion it the NASCAR TV partners being responsible for conveying to viewers what will happen if the race runs long for any reason.

We have been forced into guessing that ESPN Classic will be the home of the Nationwide Series if problems happen, but having ESPN tell us in advance what will happen if things go long is a great idea.

JD

majorshouse said...

I think it is really apparent at how much ESPN values racing at this point. If that had been the NFL or Major League Baseball, that wouldhave never happened especially after the infamous Heidi incident in 1968. It just gives creedance to the fact that they need to start the races around 12:00 again and give that stupid contract to someone else that will run things correctly like the Speed Channel or even TNT. NASCAR should have known ABC's schedule and the network should know that sometimes there are things that just happen to send the race longer than it should. I can guarantee you with a college football game, that would have never happened and it si frankly shameful and inexcusable.

jojaye said...

My bone of contention with e$pu/abc/na$car - is the Fact that this will never be done to the NFL or any other stick & ball sport, again. Fox learned, like NBC did w/Heidi game.

The LIVE event should not be moved period. I was floored to see MLB moved earlier this year.

e$pu has had scheduling problems all year ( many before this year) since they "allow" 3 hours for a football game they very well Know is going to take Longer than that most likely. They do it any way. That,JD, is what drives fans of any sport nuts. We know about how long a game takes yet they continue to block out the least amount averaged the game will take.

The problem is the Fact that the races need to go -back- to the older earlier start times.
This new start time was set to attract "casual" fans & like All Those Bright Ideas - it has fallen on its Face. Hey Big Thanks Brian,WTG dude, another bad idea. To quote my favorite driver "What are you smoking?"

na$car needs to get the Fact they,we are not "mainstream" enough & never will be for e$pu or their family of channels.

Break the contract now! They have!

Dvr'ing does not help unless we know in advance what the "overflow" channel will be. Had my original plans not changed I,too, would not have seen the end. As it was AFHV & 2 other shows would have been taped. I allow a 6 hour setting on the dvr per race, just to be safe. I still would not have seen the end. And this was a "highly touted" & over hyped Chase race.

Thank you for giving us fans more info on who(& the face to go with it)is the one falling down on his job.

Anonymous said...

its simple. EARLIER START TIMES. races started at about noon sharp from the beginning of nascar to about 2000. then when all the money came in with tv contracts, came this idea of moving EVERY race it seems like closer and closer into a primetime slot. Every race should start at 1 local time of the race track IMO. Theres no doubt that there is more nascar fans in the eastern and central timezones. Theres more people in those 2 time zones then the 2 western time zones. why make us pay so that the west coast can watch the race at a time better for them

thats just how I feel IMO

Anonymous said...

I happened to be at home when ESPN/ABC switched to ESPN2 for the end of the race. I was taping it, too. At least they didn't switch to Classic, which I don't get.

bevo said...

I'm sitting this one out JD but I will be listening to you on Sirius this afternoon :)

My only thought on the subject is that we will never hear the details of the actual contract, companies usually don't like to make that kind of stuff public.

Agricola said...

Like many others who have commented, I'll add my two pennies. Go back to the 12 Noon start. Cut the pre-race crap out entirely. Save that stuff for the hard core, who will happily jump to another channel for their fix, after the race. I loved NASCAR more before the networks imposed the NFL Sunday pre-show methodology. I guess all of this junk exists to sell advertising because of the very high rights fees.

Bobby said...

One issue I haven't heard much in regards to this race is the fact we're dealing with a Mountain Time Zone race. A 2 PM start as shown with all East Coast races would mean a 12 PM MT race. To be fair, if the earliest a race can start is 1 PM local time (in Central time zones), then NASCAR should be fair about it by going 2E/1C for ET/CT races and 2M/1P for MT/PT races. In the past, there have been church-hour starts at Las Vegas and Fontana, which have started at 11:30 AM and 11 AM, respectively, on ABC. I don't have a problem with 2E/M starts. I can have lunch after church and relax with family before getting ready for the start. Not a problem when you can relax.

But the situation with the switch seems to be a problem only in this ESPN era.

Sophia said...

killerb

I TOTALLY agree with your entire post. Sadly, your reasoning and mine seems to be downplayed in the grander scheme of things.

Texas Race Lady wisely reminded us why some do not have cable (They have NO Choice, it ain't available) and starting up satellite with contracts is expensive, especially if somebody has more than one tv in the house.

Personally I am still outraged about the decision made by ABC=ESPN. But I am more annoyed for NASCAR for allowing this to happen and for allowing ESPN to force dreadful coverage of the race,

The most exciting part happened after the switch.

Also everybody I know that tapes or uses DVR does allow EXTRA time.

Nobody seems to get the insanity of this for some insipid tv 'staged video show' except for a few of us.

Had this been a horse race and the horses were just out of the gate, or a ballgame with two guys on base, no outs and somebody about to win the playoffs, would this have happened?

I don't think so.

This shows us that TPTB of NASCAR are full of hot air and greed and care not one whit about the "Nascar broadcasters delivery".

They make their money, fans get cheated.

End of story.

How NASCAR has allowed this whole channel roulette problem and "guess what channel the race is on?" go on for two years is totally bizarre and the most INSULTING to the fans. Sure I am irked at ABC but more so, lets look at the history of what "NASCAR has allowed to happen".

And they wonder why ratings are down? As somebody else said, folks invested 4 hours only to get the end of the book yanked away from them.

And we KNOW NOBODY will mention this on NN or Twin.

Sophia said...

lajoyia

I should have read these posts through more as I just repeated some of the comments.

Also another thing many are ignoring is football runs over ALL THE TIME ON P$PU.

College games take longer and longer and longer..as do other games...we have all discussed the cramming of too many live sports into ESPN.

Also to get a NASCAR Network isn't the answer. Cable stations are SLOW to add "this sport only stations". So instead of missing some races, we would miss ALL RACES if TW took 2 or 3 years to add the NASCAR NETWORK.

We have lived it with NFL and Big Ten and other networks the past 2 years but it wasn't a big deal for us as this house only watches a few football games.

NOW I am finished. :)

BruSimm said...

So what we're seeing here, is that NASCAR does not seem to control the content as we would like to, and we would like to see an event, as advertised, to it's completion, as we expect.

If timing is the issue, and networks are amicable, NASCAR should schedule an extra hour of TV time.

When the race ends, we get post race shows, coverage and interviews. If the race goes over, the extra time just cuts into the post race shows and we effectively, in most cases, see the racing.

Bruce Simmons (BruSimm)

glenc1 said...

I think a 1pm start time for east coast races, and 2pm, 3 at the latest for West coast events would be more in line. I don't think you can completely ignore the time zone issue (and I'm an East coaster, but there are race fans out there too...) It makes more sense from a broadcasting, as well as a spectator point of view. (It would be ridiculous to expect Phoenix race fans to be in their seats at 9am just to suit the more populous East coast....)

From what I recall it was the *networks* that wanted it so that the ratings would bleed into primetime...except it didn't work out the way they expected, as others have already pointed out.

I think people DVR-ing just need to get real--stuff happens. I've missed recordings for stuff like this, if you want it bad enough, you figure out a way to get it. I agree it would be ideal for the network to have a planned 'back up' network announced in advance--that should be 'doable'. As for it being 'impossible' to watch because of the commercials, they are what *pay* for the broadcast, so I have no sympathy on that score...frankly, I just kind of tune them out.

But I definitely agree with JD that this isn't about poor little NASCAR fans being 'dissed'...football doesn't have red flags (well...not the same kind anyways :) The networks have had, what 40 or 50 years of the NFL to figure out what works for that. The issue is the nature of racing and its unpredictability (part of what we love about it.) I've personally sat through rain delays, fog delays, fixing wall delays, etc at many races in person....it's part of what you sign up for when you buy your tickets. For a TV fan, if you're a big enough fan, you'll budget for it or you'll enjoy racing on the radio like they did 'back in the day'...frankly, I think often sounds more exciting anyway.

Richard in N.C. said...

It does seem to me that we are not talking about just any race - but a race in which the championship could have been decided. A gaff like this does demonstrate what value ABC puts on NASCAR fans - and I doubt it will change until there is some effective competition for ESPN.

David said...

I would just like someone from NASCAR/ESPN/ABC come out and say publicly we are sorry. This was a mistake and for those of you who DVRd the race it was a huge issue. We are addressing the issue and will let you know what we are doing. The fans will never get an apology publicly from any of these companies and that really proves how much they care about who is watching or the not watching as it may be.

Kenn Fong said...

J.D.,

I wonder if the vehemence in the responses you're seeing is simply misplaced anger. People are frustrated with the job, the way their spouse is treating them, fretting over the economy, and POW, here comes an excuse to lash out, and they use it.

Yes, the people who DVR the races on the East Coast were out of luck. Here in the Pacific Time Zone, I just set my DVR to stop 2 hours later. Since I watch the races on Hot Pass, I don't have to worry about the channel switch.

As the first commenter, adult add, said, this is not a Bill of Rights issue. It's just another frustration in the world. As a former hot head, I had a massive, nearly fatal heart attack 3 years ago and quad bypass surgery (anniversary last weekend). This kind of stuff doesn't phase me.

Thanks again for your calm hand at the helm,

Pacific Time Zone Kenny
Alameda, California

glenc1 said...

David, I totally agree with you on that one. I am not full of anger about it, but just once, it would be nice if any of the above would take some ownership and explain it and apologize for the invconvenience to people. Just some acknowledgement of the fans would be nice...

Adam T. Martin said...

"I loved NASCAR more before the networks imposed the NFL Sunday pre-show methodology."

I enjoyed NASCAR when it actually had a say in things when it came to telecasting. Both the networks and NASCAR are at fault.

NASCAR allows the netowrks to make a mockery of the sport which the sport has continued to go downhill. Brian France is doing nothing as long as he is getting money from company xyz.

The netowrks worry about the casual viewers and that is a major issue. Auto racing is a physical competition. It deserves respect and so what if it isn't mainstream? Let the competition do the talking and commit.

Fox, Turner Broadcasting, ESPN/ABC, get your act together. Watch telecasts from the 1990s to see a race done right. Same goes to the TPTB of NASCAR.

By the way, I have basic cable and was abl;e to switch to ESPN 2. Still unacceptable and head shaking bad.

Lesley said...

Prerace tradition has to change for any fan who wants to keep there sanity!! also it takes away a good part of the time they could be racing..Im as patriotic as the net guy,but for god sakes, if I here another version of the national anthem,I am going to croak!!! Also the prerace prayer seems almost offensive to some people, I have noticed..Not to the non believers so to speak..But to the believers..We should not belittle what is important nor take it for granted!!Lets mix It up a bit!

Anonymous said...

I tape the race - stayed up until 12:30 only to not see the end.

Thanks ABC.

BruSimm said...

Good interview on SIRIUS John. Well said, points made well.

-Bruce

TexasRaceLady said...

Adult ADD is Not A Curse said...
I don't get it. We had to change channels to finish watching the race BFD!

It is not written in the Bill of Rights that you are entitled to watch NASCAR at a given time or given channel on your own terms.

If you are using an antenna get cable. If your cable system doesn't carry the channels used to receive NASCAR programming set satellite television.

This is only a problem if you make it a problem


Let me repeat what I said yesterday.

In the rural parts of East Texas, cable is NOT an option -- it doesn't exist outside the town limits.

Satellite is expensive to set up. Most of my neighbors can't afford it.

That leaves over-the-air as their only option. It takes at least a 75 foot antenna to pick up the closest "local" TV --- about 50 miles away.

Switching the race to ESPN2 was a disaster, even though I understand why it was done. Don't agree with, but understand.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thanks to Dave Moody and his Sirius Speedway crew. I appreciate the opportunity to talk about the logistics and pre-planning of network TV sports.

Great comments so far on this thread, keep them coming.

JD

Ken said...

Let's consider how CBS handles NFL late games that run over their time period and into prime time. They delay prime time until the game is over and everything starts late. I have my DVR set to record a prime time CBS program and I am messed up about every other week. The NFL must have a different deal with the network or CBS is afraid of viewer backlash. One would think that ABC would have the same obligation as CBS.

I think it is just a reflection of the respect ABC affords race fans as compared to the respect CBS affords football fans.

TexasRaceLady said...

And, as a follow-up ---

The only high-speed internet outside town limits is satellite. There is no such thing as DSL or VerizonFIOS in the rural areas.

You are limited to dial-up, satellite, or you do without.

Anonymous said...

In the defense of Hot Pass, the regular driver channels (24/48, 99, 88, 29) never lost the ABC feed. They made the switch. These are the channels that 95% of the viewers watch.

They have an additonal channel called the SuperChannel which is essentially ABC broadcast with the option of listening to in-car audio of the top-12 plus a few fan favorites (like having a scanner at home). That is the signal which was delayed in getting switched.

Speedcouch said...

Why it is that CBS can easily delay the start of their primetime programming on Sunday nights if NFL games run late? Hell! They delayed as respected a show as 60 Minutes for football and ABC can't do the same for something as stupid as Funniest Home Videos?

I record The Unit on CBS every week and know I have to program an extra hour on the Tivo because the CBS Sunday night line-up almost always is delayed for the end of football games.

glenc1 said...

Ken, I think the answer to that is the volume of NFL fans compared to NASCAR (ie, ratings...). Every week I have to try and figure out when Cold Case is going to start (and I love football, but it's just a pain--they never run a crawl during the other shows telling you the new times if you were watching the Fox game instead...I have to keep flipping back and forth...) At least ESPN usually keeps us informed...

Texas Race Lady--I'm sure you guys aren't the only ones in that situation and it's unfortunate (I'm in the northeast and there are plenty of places even here that don't offer DSL or broadband...) But it occurs to me that these fans would miss all the TNT races, and the ESPN races before the Chase begins...unless they drive somewhere or have satellite. Just thinking aloud. So the worst of this was that they gave people something and took it away before it was over, simply because ABC Entertainment cannot apparently be overruled by common sense by someone at the network...you'd think a few well placed phone calls could have at least given them until 8pm to try and keep the timing for 'Housewives' and 'Makeover'.

David said...

Great job on Sirius John.. Thanks for putting it on the site today that you would be on.. I just wish NASCAR would say something officially but, look at the tire deal at INDY they all said something but didn't say a thing. They will do the same with this, if they even address it. I hope someone in the media addresses this question publicly to Brian France at Homestead this week. If he is there...

BruSimm said...

I believe he will more than likely be hit up with the question at tomorrows press teleconference.

Don't you John?

JManrulez1 said...

Why can CBS delay their primetime programming after the NFL? Because the NFL brings in big ratings...it creates a good overrun of numbers into the primetime hours. Is NASCAR doing that? Last I heard, their ratings aren't doing as well.

As much as we, the viewer, are inconvenienced by it, the major networks are mainly tuned to ad revenue and ratings? I work in radio here in Hawaii and even in radio it is the same way. But it is worse in TV.

If NASCAR's ratings were much higher, I would believe there is a better chance that the race isn't moved. Simply put. Until the numbers show up, and the ad revenue makes it justifiable for a race to run overtime without concern, the same thing would happen again.

GinaV24 said...

JD, for those of us who were at work and unable to hear what you discussed on Sirius, will you recap it for us, please?

Dot said...

I've read through the comments but I still may be redundant.

Didn't anyone look at the weather before the race started? At that time someone should've given the fans a heads up that the race may have to change channels. Who knew if the rain was going to last minutes or hours? ABC needs a plan B no matter what. Then the DVRers could've set up the other channel just in case. And, what would've happened if all the ESPNs had something live showing? Where would the race have ended up then?

Yeah, it was no big deal to change the channel (if you could). I think the point the viewers are trying to make is the lack of respect NASCAR fans are shown.

Detour, just saw the Emperor on NN. Stuttered and stammered during his talk. And he's the leader?

Phathead said...

The article on NASCAR.com sums up my thoughts perfectly. NASCAR is the number two most watched sports in the country. It is, commercially, the most lucrative in all of sports. And yet ESPN/ABC showed exactly what they think of the sport when they switched to another channel. I had even been watching the race, but missed the notification while I was in the kitchen.

You can't complain about the ratings if you'd like, but the fact is ABC paid billions in rights to televise the race. If this was the summer Chicago race, it wouldn't be as bad. But this was the second to the last race of the chase. It was also a historic race as Johnson effectively wrapped up his 3rd championship in a row, something which hasn't happened in 30 years. Yet they chose to switch channels.

It's the equivalent to the AFC title game running long and then being dumped with 3 minutes left to show AFV. You would NEVER see that. It is clear ESPN does not understand the sport, nor does it display they're willingness to attempt to understand it. They were one of the first networks to broadcast NASCAR Cup racing, they should know better than any other network out there how the sport works. They are thus choosing to make decisions like this and choosing the slap NASCAR fans in the face.

I stated it in the other thread, ESPN will not get the pleasure of my television set for the Miami race. I am done with them and their treatment of me as a fan. I will listen to MRN, watch trackpass and catch clips on NASCAR.com at the end of the day. While they may have improved in the coverage department, this is completely inexcusable and insulting.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't just the eastern and central time zones that were affected. I live in mountain time, and we got switched also. We didn't get Funniest Videos, we got our local news. If I hadn't been watching, I wouldn't have known about it. I don't see why they couldn't have just let the race finish on ABC. The network has no qualms about prempting programs for other sports, so why is it ok to do it with NASCAR?

Terry

Robyn said...

I'm probably going to repeat what has been said, but I can't get through all the comments right now.

I tend to Tivo the races, but automatically add an hour. If I know that weather is an issue, I'll add more time.

My issue is that no other sport is moved to another station before the conclusion of the event. Let's say during football season a 4:15 game runs long, well, CBS doesn't just cut to 60 minutes at 7pm ET. They wait for the game to be over, whether it is 5 minutes or over an hour later. Fox has their post-game wrap-up show (I think) that can cover some overage. In both cases the prime-time schedule is pushed back.

Baseball games, golf, and hockey have all run over, and the networks stick to the sporting event.

Let's look at the other side. There are people that like watching the World Series of Poker. So halfway through an episode it is cut off for NASCAR. Was the rest of the episode ever aired?

Has anyone at ESPN/ABC ever heard of "The Heidi Game"? How can anyone in sports overlook what resulted in it. Maybe it's time to find a phone number and start calling.

3KillerBs said...

Watching Nascar Now I thought that between shrugging off the significance of their action and patting themselves on the back as if it they'd been giving out prizes instead of cheating people out of 30-some laps they were going to dislocate their shoulders.

So much for getting an apology for breaking the commitment to SHOW THE RACE and for the insult of treating Nascar fan with so little respect.

Richard in N.C. said...

One could read the statement by George McNeilly of ESPN as saying "we are fortunate to have ESPN2 among our networks to serve the fans" or there would have been no broadcast at all in the East and Central of the last 34 minutes of the race.

Daly Planet Editor said...

gina,

What I talked about with Dave was the fact that these telecasts have "windows" on broadcast TV.

The scheduled race window was 3PM to 7:28PM Eastern Time. In an effort to push the race right up against the East Coast primetime line-up, NASCAR started the first lap of the race at 4PM.

While no one expected rain or a red flag at a smaller and slower track like Phoenix, things happen in sports that run without a clock or a timelimit.

I like to air on the side of caution, but normally three and a half hours would have done the job.

The decision to break-off the East Coast viewers at the end of the scheduled window should have come as a surprise to no one at NASCAR.

ESPN does thousands of live events a year and talks about the contingency planning for each one with the sanctioning body involved.

In this case, only the over-the-air (rabbit ears) ABC viewers and those who were recording the race for later viewing were affected.

For the vast majority of TV viewers, the switch simply involved a channel change.

Dave's callers matched-up with our readers in terms of comments. It was more the lack of respect for the fans and the sport from ABC than the actual switch that was the problem.

Any way you slice it, ABC lost a ton of respect regardless of the reality involved.

It's always fun to talk with The Godfather.

JD

herewego75 said...

I have to work on Sundays and can't watch it live. I DVR it and watch it Sunday evening. So I was one of those that missed out on the last part of the race. Can't wait till Daytona and the Fox crew!

PammH said...

When King Brian showed up on tape on NN looking his usual unkempt self & said things were fine (more or less), I figure this sport is toast w/in 3 yrs-at the max. Very sad....And I am also totally PO'd at ABC for dissin' our sport! Yes, I got to see the end of the race, but ALOT of folks didn't.

Richard in N.C. said...

JD- Since the final race is scheduled to start about 4:00 PM Sunday, does this mean there is a reasonable chance that the end of it might get bumped to ESPN2 in the event of rain or red flags?

laine said...

Unlike so many, I did get to see the end of the race. What would have happened if Johnson HAD wrapped up the Championship? ABC/ESPN and NASCAR would have had to run for the hills for fans who would have missed seeing it.
I liken the direspect shown to fans like this......
Suppose FOX is carrying the NFC championship game. THe block of time for the game runs over and they announce a game with a score of 20-17 is being moved to the NFL Network for the concluding 3 minutes of the game. How do you think fans would react to this? THose of us without the option of cable or satellite that carries this channel would be left to stare in disbelief as to seeing The Simpsons!?!?!?
THis is a slap to NASCAR fans.

Kenn Fong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daly Planet Editor said...

richard,

30% chance of afternoon rain on Sunday. It could make things very interesting.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR has proven time and time again that the home viewer is not a priority for them. Everything that is done is for the care and comfort of the race fans that are lucky enough to be able to attend races. I'm not one of those and I am sick and tired of bad accouncers, bad coverage, and this channel switching. One Nationwide race was switched to three different channels. This doesn't happen to football games -- ever.

Dot said...

JD, with the fiasco yesterday, do you think they'll shorten the pre-race just in case it rains? If the race ends early/on time, they could actually have a longer post race.

Just checked the listings for Sun.
5pm Extra
6pm News
7pm To Be Announced
Times PST

Maybe there's hope for us after all. But it begs the question, why weren't all the Chase races after programming set up like this?

BruSimm said...

From a humorous angle: Maybe they should just start the show on ESPN2 if there's rain anywhere in the state of FL.

darbar said...

JD said: "If you set your DVR for the race and were not home, you would have missed the end as the race ran over the scheduled off-time."

You forget one thing on this JD. I always set my DVR to run 60 minutes beyond the original end time of the race because I know that delays happen and I'm usually covered if the race runs overtime. So, your comment that we would have missed the end of the race anyway, does not cut it. Anyone who dvr's a sporting event knows you need to add time to the recording to cover any problems, overtime or whatever. No matter how you try and explain it, cover it or excuse it, what ABC did was wrong. I'll say this again. Why does ABC not have a problem delaying their primetime schedule when their precious football or NBA events run overtime? Why doesn't CBS have a problem starting their 60 Minutes program when football runs overtime? Same horse, different rider, and ABC's rider stinks.

Sophia said...

I saw the chance for rain for Homestead listed on TWIN. I also notice they didn't bring up the big switch....but I am glad to see it on several columns and MANY as hacked off as most here (who have no cable, no ESPN2 or sat down for fun only to have the DVR/Tape not show the end)

I am glad I gave up NN on Mondays just to see themselves shrug off the whole incident. WOW.

I agree with Pammh or whoever said it, NASCAR as a sport will not survive no wonder how much TPTB stick their heads in the proverbial sand....with slobs like Brian France running this sinking ship, this sport will go from sliced bread to toast...much like the overly hyped and 'too young for Cup' drivers many are tired of hearing about.

NASCAR is the one that needs to be held accountable for this dreadful contract.

Richard in N.C. said...

No matter how the NASCAR contract reads, ABC/ESPN had the opportunity to demonstrate what they think of NASCAR fans - and they did.

BruSimm said...

Actions speak louder than Words.

Anonymous said...

It does not matter how good/improved the coverage was from the ESPN crew, just like it doesn't matter if you lead the whole race right up until the point you blow a tire and hit the wall.

ABC hit the wall and got a DNF on this one.

How many times can you watch someone take a hit to the groin and still think it's funny? America's Funniest Home Videos ceased to be funny around the time YouTube allowed us to access that stuff 24x7.

It's not any funnier on YouTube either, just lower-quality video.

Desmond said...

I was one of the lucky fans who were able to see the entire race on ABC, thanks to my location on the West Coast.

However, the part of the broadcast that aired after 4:30 p.m. Pacific time was a simulcast of the standard-definition feed and was not available in high definition, as the race had been before that.

As for those complaining about the lack of respect that NASCAR fans get, all of you are right. After all, this is the second-most watched regular sports league on television. They wouldn't dare do this to the NFL, basketball or baseball, right? They wouldn't even do it for poker if that was live!

Allen Bestwick read the statement today on NASCAR Now. There was no acknowledgment that people complained. I can understand why, but someone should say that for once.

David said...

There is no excuse for ABC cutting away! The precedent for this was set back in the mid 90's when the Daytona 500 was going way over. An exec with CBS made the call and decided to stay with the race until the end. It just took a phone call. ABC/ESPN should lose their broadcast rights and FOX should take over fulltime coverage. The announce team would be easier to watch. No offense to Allen Bestwick, but he really needs to go back to MRN. He is much better on radio and maybe his mammoth ego would come down a notch or two. He used to be a nice guy to have a conversation with, but now his head won't fit through the door. For those of you that think it is not a big deal, you must be recent NASCAR observers because this sort of stuff has happened over the years. No maybe it can be changed. I think watching a NASCAR event or attending a NASCAR event is better that watching the NFL. Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I don't watch ABC Sports except for NASCAR races, so I have to ask: Does ABC move other sports in mid-game like this when they become inconvenient?

Anonymous said...

If you are using an antenna get cable. If your cable system doesn't carry the channels used to receive NASCAR programming set satellite television.

You gonna pay for it for me?

Anonymous said...

After all, this is the second-most watched regular sports league on television.

Anyone who believes this is still accurate (it was at the beginning of the decade) is wrong. It's amazing that NASCAR fans among sports fans seem to be the only ones who can quote stats: "We're the second most watched sport and we have 75 million fans."

Where did that 75 million number come from? If you Google, you will find that NASCAR once did a poll that found 75 million Americans had heard of NASCAR. Not that they were fans, but they have HEARD of it. And they've been running with that number ever since, with fans - and drivers - accepting it even though a few articles are written every year where NASCAR acknowledges where the numbers came from.

All false PR, and all repeated ad nauseum by Brian France and NASCAR executives. And then repeated by the fans.

Think about it. If these numbers were accurate, ABC wouldn't have done what it did. NASCAR would be too powerful for them to try it.

3KillerBs said...

"ESPN does thousands of live events a year and talks about the contingency planning for each one with the sanctioning body involved."

So what was their excuse for not letting that people who matter, THE FANS know about the "contingency planning"?

From years of experience taping races so that I be a fan without compromising my responsibilities as a mom I know that 4 hours is minimal for recording a race -- and apt to cut short the post-race coverage. 3 1/2 hours is obviously inadequate by any stretch of the wildest imagination.

If ABC couldn't provide an adequate timeslot then they should never have accepted that race to begin with.

Criticize late afternoon starts on the east coast all you like, but criticizing a west coast race for starting in the early afternoon west coast time simply doesn't fly.

Daly Planet Editor said...

3,

That is exactly the problem with broadcast TV. It simply does not move around because an untimed sports event runs long.

With another rain delay that race could have gone until 10PM. All these comments are using the fact that the race ended at 8PM to make the point.

At the time viewers were switched, ESPN has no idea how long the race would take to finish. All these arguments are in hindsight.

With all due respect to Fox and ABC, the best location for NASCAR is and always has been cable TV.

JD

David S. said...

I have both channels. We came home at about 7:30 and couldn't find it. The problem we encountered was that when things switch mid-event, the on-screen guides don't reflect the changes. ESPN 2's showed a poker program. By the time we manually searched each possible channel, the race was over.
Is all my frustration just aimed at this one event? Probably not. ESPN's coverage for the last two seasons has been substandard at best. I listen to Sirius to find out what actually happens outside of the race script made up by ESPN. Hopefully all the noise will help them clean up their act next season.

Anonymous said...

All of these sorts of problems can be traced back to the NASCAR TV contract.

NASCAR needs to codify the conditions under which its races are shown, i.e., all the Chase races must be shown live in their entirety on the ABC network, etc., and specify heavy penalties if these rules are not followed.

Considering how this network treats NASCAR coverage, it's obvious they didn't do that.

Anonymous said...

Mr Daly:

I would suggest that there is an underlying issue here that has gone unmentioned as yet, and that is the fact that the NASCAR race was produced as an "ESPN on ABC" event. It is highly noteworthy that, since the demise of the vaunted ABC SPORTS division, all sports on ABC Network are produced by ESPN through some type of 'value exchange' between the two
separate Disney divisions. But these are 2 seperate companies, and there has to be a sense of resentment from the broadcast net and entertainment divisions against ESPN. So, cooperation is not going to be as high a priority for ABC as it might have been if an ABC Sports division still existed. The fact that ESPN and ABC station group are run by ESPN's president can't bridge this gap because these are two different companies with different ad sales forces and different Nielsen ratings issues.
In short, this is a case of an intra family squabble that race fans pay the cost of.
As you know, broadcast networks publish "ground rules" for all live programming that address, down to the second, what will happen and when it will happen based on certain clock times. Those "ground rules" for Sunday on ABC would have definitely covered the prospect of the race running past 7:28 pm et. The time for ESPN/ABC to fight that battle was prior to last Friday, not the MOnday after the race. If NASCAR contracts with their so-called "TV Partners" don't guarantee carriage to conclusion(as the NFL does) THEN SHAME ON THEM FOR BEING ALLOWED TO LEARN ON THE JOB.

Roone's guy

BruSimm said...

David S. hit a good point.

The channel guides don't get updated. When Fox "Foxed up" the earlier Phoenix race, the race was moved to a "local affiliate" no name station.

It took me a while to find the right channel because it wasn't even noted as a Fox affiliate. It was a public service station.

The guides aren't updated, according to Comcast, because the Networks don't update them.

Another snag in the viewers processes.

Anonymous said...

This whole fiasco made USATODAY's sports TV columnist, Michael Hiestand, write about it two days in a row. Unheard of, since he usually mentions NASCAR TV about once a month.

"Leagues, not their TV middlemen, are responsible for protecting their sport and fans. If leagues want certain guarantees, like events staying on the same channel until they finish, they should get it in writing. And, be willing to accept less TV money. The Masters gets less than it could from CBS by allowing less ad time than regular golf — and keeps control by giving CBS one-year deals.

Could ABC have stuck with the race and ended up with a higher rating? Disney got to make the call. If it was important to NASCAR, they should have made it their business."


Jenna Fryer also wrote a column which is on dozens of websites today (since it is distributed by the Assocated Press)

Anonymous said...

Could ABC have stuck with the race and ended up with a higher rating? Disney got to make the call. If it was important to NASCAR, they should have made it their business."

Exactly.

Either (a) NASCAR didn't think of such a provision, which is unlikely, or (b) ABC balked and NASCAR caved during the negotiations.

3KillerBs said...

"That is exactly the problem with broadcast TV. It simply does not move around because an untimed sports event runs long."

1. The race didn't run long, it ran normal.

2. Networks move or override shows for football; they can do it for racing.

3. Whether racing belongs on cable or not is a moot point because we're talking about what happened this past Sunday, not about Nascar's ideal broadcast package. :)

Once a broadcast network decides to show a race and advertises that the race will be shown on that network they have an obligation to the fans to SHOW THE RACE.

Anyone with the faintest familiarity with sports knows that sporting events are apt to suffer oddities and interruptions and that, except for the rare timed events that have no provisions for overtime, they may run long.

Since ABC had no excuse for not knowing that they should have sucked it up and shown the race to its conclusion. Contingency plans are irrelevant unless communicated to fans in advance so that we too can make contingency fans.

What ABC did by first scheduling an obviously inadequate time for the race then bailing themselves out by sticking it to the race fans was simply inexcusable no matter how much anyone wants to talk about extenuating circumstances or about the insiders having contingency plans that they couldn't be bothered to share with the fans.

jojaye said...

@TexasRaceLady - I know your point about pain with not being able to afford to set up satellite TV. Here in Florida living in an apartment its not an option. First the cost ,buying everything & having to pay for a professional install (approved by management in writing) & a $250.00 Added Deposit(non refundable) in case of damage to premises, at least the manager was honest & said because they drill holes to get line in its never refunded. Then it must be in the screened balcony area, with a clear shot of the sky.
The last one was the killer for us, no clear line to the sky.

I love how some folks think we all have the instant bucks to rush out & buy the latest what ever. Hey whats a thousand between friends? Not at our house.

BruSimm said...

JD:

So would it be close to the mark to possibly note that in the contract negotiations with ESPN, NASCAR wasn't confident enough, or had sufficient Market clout to request or prepare for these kinds of time overruns with ESPN / ABC?

I can't imagine NASCAR would not remember to obligate a network to show the entire event, and thus I have to ponder if it was a lack of confidence or just desperate decision, maybe $$, that prompted them to take what they could get from the DISNEY conglomerate.

Thoughts on this one JD?

Daly Planet Editor said...

3,

Just for the record, it ran 33 minutes longer than scheduled and 44 min with the post race.

aven said...

I don't blame ABC, I blame NA$CAR. You write a contract that benefits the racing fan and not a contract to benefit NA$CAR with more money.

The ownership of NA$CAR is running true to tradition. The first generation starts a successful company, the second generation maintains it and the third generation destroys it. I hope the boy wonder removes himself before disaster.

Anonymous said...

The ownership of NA$CAR is running true to tradition. The first generation starts a successful company, the second generation maintains it and the third generation destroys it. I hope the boy wonder removes himself before disaster.

Won't happen, because, as we know, the third generation never recognizes that it is the problem and always tries to blame external forces as the business sinks.

Anonymous said...

Simple Math

NFL Overrun on Sunday 18.4

Desperate Housewives 10.1

NASCAR (at 7:00) 4.5

There is a freaking reason they let the NFL run over...there is a reason ABC wants DH on at 9...ratings!!!!!!!!

I will say - NASCAR beat AFHV by a whopping .7.

Anonymous said...

I will say - NASCAR beat AFHV by a whopping .7.

Any idea what a national ratings point is worth?

That .7 is very significant.

Anonymous said...

At 8

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 6.9

ABC should have tried to stay on until 8...but I really understand the decision.

Anonymous said...

FYI: The week before

NASCAR Texas 7:00 4.7
AFHV 4.2
Extreme Makeover 7.2
DH 10.3

The NFL overrun on FOX was a 13.0

Anonymous said...

So, by dumping out of NASCAR, ABC not only made the audience angry, but they lost viewers.

Real smart decision there.

Richard in N.C. said...

Say what you want, ABC/ESPN clearly demonstrated how they feel about their customers - "take that and like it." ESPN is somewhat unique in that it receives a hefty carry charge for each cable connected viewer. However, ESPN is becoming more and more arrogant and "perfect" and unconcerned about how those that foot the bill feel about what they receive.