Wednesday, December 10, 2008

DirecTV's "Hot Pass" Cancelled For 2009?


We are going to be leaving this story open for your comments. New updates will be posted at the bottom of this column. Hot Pass being cancelled is now confirmed for next season.

The email is flying around the Internet, but as of Tuesday evening we are being told that DirecTV has cancelled NASCAR Hot Pass for 2009. Official word should come sometime on Wednesday. That is the Hot Pass TV production trailer pictured above. Click on the picture to see it full-size.

This service, which provided four "mini-networks" to subscribers, featured two announcers calling the race from the perspective of each driver. Fans got to hear all the in-car radio traffic, see the various in-car cameras and switch between the four feeds anytime during the race.

DirecTV had also added-in some special features like additional driver audio channels and a super-channel that let viewers switch quickly over to the network TV feed of the race itself. Any way you looked at it, this was a bold TV experiment.

Unfortunately, instead of being available to the 90 million cable TV households across America, Hot Pass was only available to the 15 million homes that subscribe to DirecTV. That was a big problem.

This idea was brought about by Fox Sports Chairman David Hill when he was actively involved in the DirecTV operations. Now, Hill has returned to his Fox Sports duties and the Hot Pass experiment is supposedly over.

In the past, we had been told that between 250 and 300 thousand DirecTV users had to subscribe to Hot Pass to make it break even. With the economy tight and times getting tougher, it seems that DirecTV has seen the writing on the wall and will not attempt to distribute the Hot Pass service in 2009.

Many of the top announcers in NASCAR worked on Hot Pass. Wendy Venturini was given the opportunity to handle play-by-play duties and veterans like Phil Parsons and Randy Pemberton could be heard on almost every telecast. The line-up of on-air talent was one of the most impressive parts of the service.

Former SPEED VP Chris Long was handling the Hot Pass service as a part of his DirecTV duties. We have an email into him and will update this post when he responds. Perhaps, he can fill us in a little better on the specifics.

Hardcore NASCAR fans loved the idea of Hot Pass, but many were confined to cable TV service through "bundled" deals with MSO's (Multi-System Operators) like Comcast and Time Warner.

Cable TV operators offer a package that includes TV, phone and Internet service for a discounted cost. That was tough for DirecTV to sell against, especially in urban areas where dish placement was not practical.

This major change in the way NASCAR race video will be distributed for 2009 puts the ball squarely in the laps of the Turner Interactive Group in Atlanta, GA. This company operates the NASCAR.com website and offers all the online audio, video and stats features for fans as the races are in-progress.

Internet users saw the future when they enjoyed the online RaceBuddy feature during the six TNT summer races. Now, with Hot Pass ending there may be an opportunity for some innovative thinking from the Turner Group that can result in additional video and audio choices for the NASCAR fans.

This column will be updated on Wednesday morning with the latest information. While we have still not seen an official media release from DirecTV, the word is that the company has decided to cancel the entire Hot Pass service for next season.

Update #1 - As of 8AM Eastern Time on Wednesday, still no comment from either DirecTV or Hot Pass Executive Producer Chris Long.

Update #2 - Confirmed: Thanks to our friend Ray Dunlap for this link (click here) to his personal website that contains his tribute to Hot Pass and confirmation that it has been cancelled.

Update #3 - Click here for the Wednesday story from Jim Utter at thatsracin.com comfirming the cancellation.

Update #4 - Chris Long from DirecTV was kind enough to offer that NASCAR and DirecTV are working on a solution for some additional race video and audio to be made available to DirecTV subscribers free of charge for the upcoming season. What form that would take and what would be offered will be disclosed in a couple of weeks. No doubt this has been a tough time for all concerned.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. 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 during the off-season.

75 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was going to switch from Dish to Direct for 2009 just to get this service.

Guess it is good that I didn't do it yet!

Anonymous said...

I remember before HotPass there was a NASCAR In-Car channel available on I believe Time Warner cable systems, or all cable systems. It was discontinued when HotPass came along. So which media group will be the next to jump on the In-Car network opportunity.

Anonymous said...

I paid for the full Hotpass service from DirecTV this season and only used it to watch maybe 6-10 races total. Definitely not surprised to see it get the ax.

Bold TV experiment..yes! Worth paying for? Probably not and it's not for the lack of presentation or effort on the part of DirecTV. The product they put out was second to none but my favorite drivers (Kyle and Kurt Busch, Montoya) were almost never featured on the service.

I understand it is impractical for HotPass to offer every driver, but I would have liked to see HotPass follow a Top-15 or Top-20 driver once in a while. Would have made a nice change of pace from the usual Earnhardt Jr, Gordon, Johnson, Edwards and Harvick.

bevo said...

NO!!!!!!! NO!!!! NO!!!!!
HotPass was my oasis. It was so refreshing to have great announcers with a passion for racing calling the action.

Guess I'll have to go back to syncing Sirius and Tivo to watch the races. If Sirius goes under too I'm totally screwed.

Thanks to all the men and women who brought HotPass to us. Y'all did a great job and I for one appreciate your hard work providing the best race coverage ever.

3bud said...

Say it isn't so!!!!! I've been out of the loop of sorts, but this just is not good news. Economy problems hitting all around. HotPass was my escape for awhile with good all around coverage and info. Just like the Truck series crew these guys are first rate. I hope when things settle we can get HotPass back.

red said...

soooo, what (if anything) might this mean for racebuddy?

Anonymous said...

We had Hot Pass for both seasons it was on DirecTV. Honestly the first year was the best. They had a 'full field' button where you could see where every driver was running. They didn't have it the second year. Also the first year they had 5 drivers, second year only four. Also it really did get into a rotation of only maybe 8 drivers. Many, many popular drivers never were on there even once. Bobby Labonte is a good example.

I enjoyed some aspects of Hot Pass (missing commericals) but honestly having one dedicated Junior channel was going to force me to cancel it for next year anyway. I couldn't justify the 88,48,24,99,29 rotation (for the most part) week after week after week.

David said...

With only 250-300thousand subscriptions now I know why when their was a problem the telephone people where lost. I wasn't going to renew anyway. I doubt I will watch that much this year anyway...

Anonymous said...

If Direct offered more then Jr, Jeffie, Edwards, and JJ I might have subscribe to it.
I don't care for any of the four drivers listed!

Rockin Rich said...

The That's Racing site has a post up quoting the Charlotte Observer that
the demise is fact. There is also a quote from NASCAR, (Ramsey Poston),
with the usual BS spin.

majorshouse said...

I am really sorry to see this service go and I guess that even Direct TV is not immune from the budget woes that are sweeping the country as well.Uu

The Track Girl said...

Well, heck.
I really liked being able to escape the commercials and the drivel on broadcast.
I think that the folks that set up and ran Hot Pass deserve a lot of credit. It was a great idea. Not perfect, but what is.
I guess I'll just hope that they offer something similar for the fans, a similar broadcast,RaceBuddy, or...
who am I kidding.

Lou said...

This can not be. But I guess it is what is. How sad that is for fans who as I did enjoy the service for the last two seasons.

HotPass gave me the option not to watch the junk from ESPN/ABC. Yep, the announce crew for the channel I would be watching did sway for that driver. And I am a 7 fan. But I also knew what else was going on during the race thanks to the two on each channel. Larry Mac was probably one that comes mind as I type this. But they all were good. Heck sometimes I would just change a channel just to hear a certain announcer. And did that many times during some races.

I guess the loss of this may be a gain to some others. But knowing what I had these past 2 seasons is a loss to me in my viewing of the races in 2009. I even posted on 7Dec08 1223pm, about why I enjoyed HotPass. Just give us the racing.

Thank you Mr. Dunlap for your column about HotPass.

Look forward to see what is offered in 2009.

Photojosh said...

I'm really bummed. I was just on the Dish page yesterday deciding which package to order. I'm sick of the a--holes at with their awful pricing Comcast and was looking forward to Dish and Hotpass.

Deborah said...

This is unfortunate first for all those who worked on Hot Pass, but also for fans because they're losing a alternate way to watch the races, and also for sponsors because they're losing a way they had of getting additional exposure.

I would have loved to have subscribed to Hot Pass but since I live in a condo and we can't get Directv it was never possible for me. I agree with the person who noted that maybe if a wider variety of drivers were featured more regularly on Hot Pass they might have gotten more subscribers. While those that were featured regularly were some of the most popular in the sport with the most fans, there are a significant amount of people who are fans of other drivers and maybe some of those people might have subscribed if they thought there was more of a chance of their favorite driver being featured.

GinaV24 said...

Wow, well, there's another avenue for hard core fans that's going away. Comcast used to offer trackpass to subscribers as a free service, then dropped that. I was thinking about looking into direcTV as an alternative to my cable service, but I won't do that if they've dropped this service.

Let's see -- Turner stepping up to offer the fans something. Hmmm, don't think I'm going to hold my breath.

Anonymous said...

I will miss HotPass.Even listening to one driver channel, I knew more about what was happening on the track than the network feed was telling. So now it is back to network kool-aid. I guess I will keep up with NASCAR via web sites ie this one and my driver site.

Grandma J

Lou said...

JD, I know this is off topic. But as an everyday reader, and not everyday reader who makes a comment. just have to say this.

To red,
I enjoy your comments. And in general agree w/you most times. Today has got to be the best one line comment you have made all season. If not the shortest. red, you made me smile again. thanks

let me see, how do we spell racebuddy? (still love HotPass) just another option.
as jd says , isn't tv fun

Anonymous said...

Hot Pass is gone? I would not be surprised if NASCAR is gone in two years. How can the "BIG THREE" even consider sponsoring racing with OUR money? Toyota and the rest of the companies that are making money might step in. We can only hope.

Jo from SC said...

I'll miss this service; it was the best way to avoid the annoyances of network TV, even when "my" driver wasn't one of the featured drivers. And how ironic that there's a full-page ad singing the praises of HotPass in this week's Sports Illustrated "The Year in Pictures" issue; apparently marketing didn't get the memo...

red said...

to lou: thanks for the pat on the back: i truly appreciate it! maybe for '09, i'll do my comments as haiku or free verse. it'll take longer but that may be "a good thing"!

David said...

They said this when they talked about it in the beginning of last year when it was pitched, they needed a strong viewerbase to break even and it just never happened. dont have a dish so i never got to see what the product was like but ive heard great things and am sad to hear it is indeed no more =(

Richard in N.C. said...

Wonder whether the death of Hot Pass might have been part of the Evil Empire's price for helping FOX cut costs in broadcasting NASCAR? ESPN does not like competition of any kind.

Anonymous said...

So sorry to see HotPass go. During the endless network commercials, I could at least see what was happening on the track and listen to the team audio. Since the Los Angeles market doesn't seem to have an MRN/PRN affiliate, it's the only alternative. As a senior citizen, I have to watch my budget, but perhaps I'll take another look at Sirius or Trackpass, now that I've saved the HotPass fee.

Anonymous said...

This is pretty big. Another failed experiment and victim of our tough times.

NASCAR has a tough road to hoe going into 2009. Look for even more gloom and doom.

darbar said...

Well, Judas Priest. First, NBC is going to dump some really great programming to shove Jay Leno down our throats at 10pm, and now Hot Pass is gone. It may be time to start selling our television sets as it seems that the economy is going to change everything we've been used to for so long. Before you know it, television will be nothing more than insipid reality shows and sports that's badly produced. Is this the beginning of the end of civilization as we've known it? Is this one of the signs of Armageddon? Is Nostradamus next?

stricklinfan82 said...

I was a Hotpass subscriber and very much enjoyed the service. I primarily used it as a way to watch the live on-track happenings during commercials and while the broadcast network was filling the screen with "ignore the track" junk.

I'm certainly disappointed to see the service go away, but I do look forward to seeing what comes of the negotiations between NASCAR and DirecTV to provide a free NASCAR service to all DirecTV subscribers. I'm not a golf or tennis fan but I have seen glimpses of the extra channels they've made available during some golf/tennis tournaments to allow viewers to see extra live coverage of things not being seen on the network telecast. I would imagine fans of those sports enjoyed having dedicated channels to specific holes on the golf courses and dedicated channels to different tennis matches going on different courts. If DirecTV chose to go a similar direction with NASCAR and instead of Hole 8 Channel, Hole 9 Channel, Court A Channel, and Court B channel went with Pit Road Channel, Finish Line/Frontstetch Channel, Turn 1 Channel, etc. I would be very pleased.

If a similar service that would complement the live network coverage of NASCAR races (particularly during commercials) could be provided to all DirecTV subscribers for free, then maybe the loss of the paid Hotpass service will actually be a positive for a large amount of NASCAR fans.

Daly Planet Editor said...

dar,

A while back I wrote a column about "convergence."

What you are seeing is the battle between technologies that can all do multiple things.

Cable TV against satellite TV while the broadcast networks try to get HD on the air to save themselves.

Meanwhile, the Internet promises to do everything all those machines can do.

Who wins is going to depend on who can deliver to your home what the content you want to see in the form that you want to view it.

Aside from the economy crunch, the technology wars are in full swing.

JD

David said...

Hotpass may not have survived even if the economy was good. I mean they reduced channels this year from last year i thought, much like SIRIUS went from 10 to 5 driver audio channels.

Hotpass needed a miracle and i think someone said over 200,000 subscriptions just for it to break even (this was when it was announced early last year) and it didnt happen.

Anonymous said...

A bit off topic, but sports related.

Arena Fotball has cancelled the 2009 season

Anonymous said...

Before you know it, television will be nothing more than insipid reality shows and sports that's badly produced

Too late!

Andrew Glazier said...

Well, that settles it. I will be getting the "Best of Sirius" added to my XM.

This is really unfortunate news, if not entirely unexpected.

Anonymous said...

I think NASCAR's days are numbered too. The big three automakers will be forced to pull out completly.
No bail-out money so cars can race around a track

Dot said...

I have the bundle with my cable company that's why I didn't switch to DirectTV. It's too bad that they couldn't have found a way to have Hot Pass available to all cable/satellite companies. Maybe more people would've subscribed. How much did this service cost?

OT, the auto bailout also includes pay raises for judges. The bank bailout has some race track perks. Funny, if there's no racing, what good was that? Our govt at work.

Newracefan said...

Wow that's a bummer, I've was seriously considering offering to pay for it and watch the races at a friends who has direct TV guess I get to save the money. Thank Goodness for Trackpass.

Anonymous said...

I'm really bummed - I loved Hot Pass - didn't miss a race for the past 2 seasons. The coverage was great! It was really worth the money just to be able to stay with the race from start to finish.

alex said...

I've never seen a race on Hotpass, but from all accounts I hear it was a great service.

In this tough economy, I hope no jobs were cut with the cancellation of Hotpass. I'd like to think all of those involved in Hotpass will have a Nascar-related job in 2009. As much as we may not like the cancellation of Hotpass, there are more important things in the world than sports right now. Times are tough.

Good luck to all involved with Nascar Hotpass.

Adam T. Martin said...

I never had the opportunity with Time Warner and I was hoping my folks would switch to Direct TV so I could watch races without the talking heads, screen junk, commercials, and awful camera angles.

Looks like that won't be happening.:(

Anonymous said...

Should have been called JR pass . on it every week when drivers like Biffle featured only one week as a fill in for Edwards when he had ignition failure. maybe it was that big dish sign on the hood. Good riddance.

glenc1 said...

dar, somewhat off topic, but Jay's show isn't being 'shoved' down anyone's throat--there are two other broadcast networks and a host of cable channels to watch. And the shows that will be cancelled will have that happen because of ratings vs. cost (a prime time drama times 5 would be bazillions more to produce than Jay's show.) The networks are trying to *survive* here themselves. Also, NBC had a dismal fall with no hits, ER is done at the end of the season anyways, so nothing with healthy ratings will go; there will just be shifting. Frankly, as JD has noted previously, we may see cutting back of production values on the races as well.

I hate reality shows for the most part, but the economy is what it is for now. Personally, I couldn't afford to pay extra for all this stuff even if I wanted it (Hotpass, Trackpass, HD, etc, etc.) And with the economy getting worse I think a lot of other people will be dropping 'luxuries' like this. I just watch on my plain old TV with occasional MRN/PRN supplement. And you know, I saw the same race everyone else did (granted, the broadcasts could be much better, which is why we're all here...) But the reality is the numbers for NASCAR just aren't there. I just read Mike Mulhern's been laid off. It's *everywhere* and will effect everything. Even the NFL laid off some folks.

Anonymous said...

I am bummed to hear this. We have had HOTPASS for 2 years. We avoid all of the commercials and often are watching different drivers on different TVs. We like the added feature this year of watching the main channel if you didn't like the drivers that were on and adding the driver audio so that we could hear their chatter. Race day will not be the same without HotPass!

Anonymous said...

That is a real bummer. Had HotPass for the 2 years as well. I hooked many people onto NASCAR as a sport once they watched HotPass. They learned so much more and got hooked. At least they ended on a great note. I'm a JJ fan and of course he was on in Homestead. What a show they put on. They stayed on for over an hour postrace and it was awesome. So much behind the scenes stuff that "BSPN" never would have shown. Good luck to all involved. You guys did an outstanding job. Wish it would come back.

Will said...

with the cancelation of NASCAR Hotpass, u know what, why don't Time Warner just take advantage of their partnership with NASCAR (Time Warner owns Turner, Inc, which runs the NASCAR.com site and TNT (which is one of the four that carries NASCAR races) and put TrackPass on TV thru Dish Network, DirecTV, cable providers and call it "TrackPass PPV" and it can be carried under the HBO PPV name too.

Anne M said...

Wow, I'm just catching up today and was disappointed to find this news. I guess I need to figure out where I can listen to the team radios this year.

JD, any chance you could do a preseason look at the various options for listening/watching (TV, radio, Internet)? I know there are people who watch the network video but listen to the radio. Maybe people could talk about what they like best and why. If that fits within the purpose of your blog, it would really help those of us who are trying to sift through the alternatives. :)

Anonymous said...

LEASE PLEASE BRING BACK HOTPASS...I HAVE HAD THIS EVERY YEAR SINCE IT STARTED AND NEVER MISSED A RACE. I HAD FRIENDS THAT WERE CHANGING FROM DISH TO DIRECT JUST FOR THIS.

Anonymous said...

I hate to see it go, it was a great way to watch a race even if my favorite driver was not selected. The superchannel with all the secondary audio of the other drivers was fantastic. select you driver and watch the normal broadcast with you drivers radio communications over riding the broadcast audio.

Anonymous said...

Just so you know, the only reason I have Direct TV is because of Nascar Hot Pass. I left Comcast when they lost " In Car" and will be very disappointed without some sort of in car feed in 2009. I will go with what ever company carries such a package.

Anonymous said...

Who cares?

I'd rather spend my money on local short track racing...

If NASCAR folded it would be one big woof as far as I'm concerned...

I hope things go back to basics and people support their local short tracks....

Thats where real racers race....

NASCAR has become so much hype for so little talent...JMO

Anonymous said...

The party is over for NASCAR and FOX. They got people to pay to watch rolling commercials but now that the economy failed it will force the fans to realize what they were doing. When they realize how much they spent they will wish they had that money to pay for their mortgage. Plus you have a democratic government that will never let the big three spend money on racing ads when the general publiic had to bail them out. They have so many cards against them they are lucky if they survive. They got to big for their britches and may have signed off on their own death bed. Oh well a lot of people told them they were getting greedy and that it would be the cause for their downfall. Like Ceasar the empire will fall apart overnight.

rjourneyman said...

I switched from dish network to Direct TV because they were the only one who offered NASCAR hot pass. I was only able to recieve one season and now it's gone. I wanted the in-car-audio and I didn't have to miss anything during the commercial. They show too many commercials during the races and it never fails, thats always seem to be a caution when it comes back on. Why know limit the Basketball or Football Or Hockey packages that cost too much? This decision disappoints me and I use to be a proud Direct Tv subscriber. Now I have nothing to brag about, now your satallite service is just as boring as everyone else. rjourneyman@yahoo.com

natronmeansbizness said...

All of you moaning about not liking the 4 featured drivers each week...PLEASE. HotPass was OUTSTANDING because of the 13 other driver radios you could listen to on the 5th channel. This news really sucks. Now I can't hear Smoke argue w/ his new crew chief or scream "NFW!" when Smith dives below the yellow line. I'm soooo bummed right now.

Anonymous said...

BRING BACK HOTPASS

Anonymous said...

I had hotpass this past year and it was the greatest thing ever I loved it. If it is that big of a problem for not letting every company get it then let it go to every company so many more people will get it.

Anonymous said...

HEY, ALL THEY SHOWED WAS JUNIOR 88-,JOHNSON 48- AND GORDON 24- AND I AM NO FAN OF EITHER ONE SO IT'S NO GREAT LOSS TO THOSE OF US WHO PAID OUR MONEY JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE ONLY TO SEE THE HENDRICKS STABLE DOMINATE THE FOUR CHANNELS WAS WHAT TURNED ME AGAINST IT...
" ANOTHER GOOD IDEA GONE BAD"
JUST LEAVE IT TO FOX TO SCREW EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING

WWIII said...

Well hell. I was just looking around DTV and just realized what you guys already know...no hotpass...I just reuped with DTV for my new 61" HDTV. Should have moved to Dish. I really liked HotPass. And the anouncers were soooooo much better that the terrible ESPN crew. TNT was not much better. I knew that the end was near last year when I delayed resigning up for hotpass and DTV called me and offered to sign me up for "8 payments of $5.00 per month"...well let me think $40.00 for the whole season...sigh me up..

Anonymous said...

I subscribed to HotPass and loved it. I am a Jimmie Johnson fan, and the only disappointment I had through the seasons was the continuous coverage of Junior. What was up with that? Every week, he had a channel.
I do hope things eventually get better, for everyone, so that they can bring HotPass back. I loved the ride-a-longs!!

RIP HotPass. (for now).

Anonymous said...

Ok! I just got the news! What a huge disappointment! And the weekend before the big race!!! I loved HotPass! I had it both seasons and I did like the first year a lot better with the menu for drivers running order and current points. But even though I missed that last season I wouldn't have miss having HotPass for nothing!!!

And the driver line up didn't bother me a bit since I am a huge JR fan! But for all of you that hated that part of HotPass, I would like you to know that the blame need not be directed at HotPass but at all the fans that went to the web site and voted for their favorite driver. Everyone that voted got to pick 10 or 13 or so drivers and the top 4 got the channel for that weekend. Of course I didn't know that until later last season because I finally
read my directv email! LOL!

Anonymous said...

I just watched the shootout. I am very disappointed that directv made the decision to cancel hotpass. After two years with it I find regular network coverage lacking. I just can't believe that they did not have enough subscribers! I think I will be forced to watch something other than NASCAR when Bill Weber comes back with TNT. I had options before and no options now

Anonymous said...

I'll tell why i wouldn't subscribe to it. way, way over priced and can't stand any of the four drivers on permanent rotation. cannot fathom why you "sports junkies" complain about the price of a gallon of gas, but think nothing of plunking down hundreds of dollars a year for this stuff. you want it to succeed? make it available to everyone at a reasonable price!

Anonymous said...

HotPass was awesome! Actually watched every race from beginning to end when it ran. Including many of the commercials.

I guess its back to the DVR now, start watching the race 2 hours late and skip ALL the commercials and be caught up just about the time it finishes.

HatPass was actually helping the advertisers on the main network. With HotPass gone everyone looses.

Anonymous said...

I received a Circular from Directv in my 2/10 newspaper, indicating NASCAR hotpass would be free this year. I cannot find any confirmation on their web site

Anonymous said...

The Hot Pass channels popped up on my menu last night. That's my only hope for the races in HD.

Anonymous said...

I'm showing Hotpass now for the 500. It does say "released 2008". Is this last years or this years?

Anonymous said...

Hotpass poped up on my menu too,says compliments of Directv dont know if thats just for this weekend or for the whole season??plus last week the kid saw something on Directv something to the affect of yes hotpass has canceled,however if you had it last year you would get something this year at no charge,dont know what that means but we will see.

Lou said...

Not sure if this is news or not. But channels 796 through 798 now show 795 Kasey Kane, 796 Jimmie Johnson, 797 Earnhardt Jr, 798 Carl Edwards, on the on screen menu. Checked the website nothing new there. Still says "The 2008 NASCAR Season Has Ended Please check back closer to the start of the 2009 season for more information". As of this date and hour.

Vickie West said...

This really sucks! I have had HotPass since the beginning and really got spoiled to watching the races this way! I really am going to miss HotPass. Race Day won't be the same!

Anonymous said...

This really sucks!!! I loved Hotpass and all the drivers even though not all were my fav. It was still fun to listen to them talk and swear when they got mad or got hit in to the wall. My husband and I would switch back and fourth to all of them just to see what was happening. I will miss it. Just when they get something good they always take it away from you.
I guess I will have to switch to Dish now.

MissMacLeod said...

HotPass is back, more limited , but free. I just did one last check on the Direct tv website and they list the drivers and channels for todays race. I am one happy fan!

Anonymous said...

This year's Hot Pass sucks. No dedicated driver announcers, no stats, and no other camera angles for your driver except the in car cameras. You can still hear in car audio which cuts in on the broadcast. I'm canceling my subscription...

Anonymous said...

This new format for Hot Pass SUCKS! I don't want to hear the guys in the box talk, I want to hear the driver and spotter. At least in the old format you had a choice. Good-bye Direct TV, Hello Dishnet!

Chuck Sanborn

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess you get what you pay for. HotPass was crap. So bummed to see the channel w/ 13 driver radios bite the dust. I thought NASCAR's TrackScanner would be a decent substitute...wrong, it has a 20 second delay!! It SUCKS! Cars had left pit road while the stupid TrackScanner website was counting them down! 2009 is going to be a rough year for NASCAR fans.

Anonymous said...

Who knew this was happening. I thought there was a problem last weekend when I noticed all the changes. We can't hear anything that is going on with our favorite driver Dale Jr or fox because the mic is keyed up all the time. I called directv but the people don't know a whole lot there and told me to reset my receiver when the race came on again today. I did that and it still stinks. So I came online to find out that hotpass was cancelled. What a shame. That was the only reason I stayed with Directv. I miss last season until they started cutting out the cuss words because young kids somewhere outside of my home may be watching. I am so mad!!!

Anonymous said...

So much for being "FREE"

This new format for Hot Pass is worthless! You can't hear the driver's communication because of the regular broadcast. I don't want to hear the guys in the box talk, if I did I'd watch FOX, I want to hear the driver and spotter.

Anonymous said...

The so called "bad economy" isn't when throngs of folks are belly aching about paying an extra $200 for this service. Direct TV is a luxury (where's that bad economy?) costings up to $100+ monthly for HD. I know because I had it for years. I passed on Hotpass.
I've since opted for OTA television where HDTV is reality in comparison to satellite. Burn that dish.
What twists me up? While pocketing the money I used to put out for 500+ useless channels (who watches them all?) I've learned no network, other than FOX, airs racing as they did just two years ago. One is forced to pay a cable/satellite fee to watch racing! Satellite radio is totally out. I don't listen to the radio as it is though MRN/PRN are still there.

My solace? The "sport" is not what it was 10 years ago so I don't care. I can read about it or attend an overpriced race at one of the many tracks in my vicinity during the year. I'll read.

connan said...

DirecTV seems to always be letting their customers down and now its two years later and now it looks like they are going to drop Fox channels! Now this is totally the wrong movie but DIRECTV customers must be used to this. Fox is a huge Sport and sitcom provider and they are constantly improving their line up and that probably why they have been around for so long. As a DISH Network customer and employee I can tell you that this looks like its going to take effect as of November 1st if DIRECTV does not get it together and customers that will be looking for other options if this takes effect. FOX has award winning shows like the Simpsons and Family Guy that DIRECTV might want to reconsider. DISH Network shows all of FOX's programs online and they can provide you there channels everywhere and anywhere on your mobile devices.