Sunday, January 4, 2009

No "SPEED Report" This Sunday Is Bad News


Things have been going very well for SPEED as the network moves from rented studio and production facilities to a new High Definition broadcast facility just north of Charlotte, NC. Click here for a link to David Poole's story about the move.

Many TDP readers have also been checking-in with the good news that SPEED-HD has been recently added to their cable systems. SPEED's goal is to get all the 2009 NASCAR programming in HD and continue to grow the HD availability of the network.

The move to a permanent facility is great, but unfortunately it comes at a price.

SPEED is not ready to go on the air from the facility and will not be able to produce the first live SPEED Report this Sunday at 7PM. This program (click here) is still listed on the SPEEDtv.com website. Hopefully, the network will be ready one week later and start the racing news coverage on January 11th.

NASCAR fans know that the off-season has been packed with news and SPEED has been left out in the cold where TV coverage of the sport is concerned. This Sunday would have been a perfect day to catch fans up on the Elliott Sadler lawsuit and explore other topics like Ray Evernham's strange silence on the issue and Richard Petty's thoughts on the end of Petty Enterprises.

While NASCAR may be the focus of this blog, it is Grand-Am fans that are also not very happy with SPEED. This weekend is the only test session before the Rolex 24 race in Daytona. An on-site reporter would have been able to update SPEED Report viewers about the wide variety of drivers participating in the big race this season. Now, there will be no TV coverage of the test at all.

Compounding the issue is the fact that SPEED is the official TV network of Grand-Am racing and will carry all the key races live this season. No matter how you slice it, missing out on a report from the test session will put a dent in the Grand-Am Series season opener.

Since SPEED committed to revamping The SPEED Report the series has taken-off in terms of viewership and credibility. The days of Ken and Barbie are long gone as the network now rotates SPEED's own on-air talent through the co-anchor positions each week during the season.

Viewers have seen Krista Voda, Bob Varsha, Leigh Diffey, Ralph Sheheen and others present a fast-paced and exciting hour of news and highlights from all over the motorsports world. 2009 should bring an even more sophisticated program from the new SPEED studios.

Regardless of the reason, the SPEEDtv.com homepage (click here) for The SPEED Report explains none of these facts to readers and instead promotes Jimmy Johnson in NYC and the upcoming 2008 Sprint Cup Series banquet. How is it that this website continues to be such a mess?

Hopefully, it will be just over a week when SPEED returns to live motorsports news programming on Sunday, January 11th with the first edition of The SPEED Report. There is little doubt that this first program will move quickly, as the network has a whole lot of catching-up to do.

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. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

17 comments:

Dot said...

How come SPEED waited until now to move to the new studio? What was going on before that they couldn't make this move sooner?

Richard in N.C. said...

Let me see if I have this right. They can broadcast live by remote from Barrett-Jackson, but can't broadcast squat from their high-tech (?) home base? Would the technical term be Tinker Toy?

Gymmie said...

That's a shame :(

I was looking forward to seeing my friends back and seeing how the various "off season" changes would be covered.

Hopefully they'll be able to start up next Sunday but so much that's already "old news" will really be old by then. I do wonder when TSR does get back on the air what they'll talk about and what "voices" we'll hear from.

Bobby said...

This 6-week break is unwarranted, yes, but this is dedicated to changing over to the new facility and equipment that will equal long-term dividends for fans.

So now we know why they've been off . . . they are moving to the new facilities!

cncspd said...

JD-
In the early days of Speedvision they had the same type of issue pop up once or twice. The studios in CT were booked solid and Speedvision worked out a deal with NASCAR Images to use their studio down in Charlotte. They took just about everyone, flew them down from CT and did the old Speedvision Raceday News out of the Inside Winston Cup Studio-

One would hope that this type of deal could be worked out again and this time they do not even have to fly.

Anonymous said...

To Richard in N.C. - The Barrett-Jackson marathon you've been seeing the last few days has been a repeat of last January's auction. They won't be live until the auction later this month.

Newracefan said...

I'd be happy with a hand held, a talking head, and video clips. Bummer

Vicky D said...

I suppose the HD capability will be great for future broadcasts but missing the testing at Daytona for the 24 hour Rolex race is pretty bad. Has anyone seen the entry list - it's massive. Speed will probably re-broadcast Whips, Pinks and all the other shows I don't watch next week and beyond. Darn.

Anonymous said...

Did SPEED promote the football coach and commentator Jimmy Johnson? Perhaps instead they really promoted the three-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson.

Anonymous said...

so what bonehead decided it was smart to take studio shows off the air during a studio transition rather than stay on the sir until the new studio is ready and tested-and then make the switch?
Its no surprise they cant cover the unexpected- they cant even handle the expected!!

Bray Kroter

Anonymous said...

Did SPEED promote the football coach and commentator Jimmy Johnson? Perhaps instead they really promoted the three-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson.

Or maybe it was Truck series driver JIM Johnson...!

3bud said...

SPEED has it covered with The Camping World Truck Series coverage, qualifying, practice etc. They are hands down the best. But then what happens? They have the opportunity to move a head of the rest and instead go 2 laps down.Hopefully with the new studio will come some new coverage.I think if SPEED puts their mind to it it could be real good. Think NASCAR Sports Center.

Kevin in SoCal said...

I wondered about this when you posted Friday that The Speed Report would be on the 4th and the 11th. I went to my DVR's schedule and found TSR only on the 11th. Now I know why.

Richard in N.C. said...

I do not recall CNBC or MSNBC having to cancel a show when they moved their facilities.

GinaV24 said...

Pretty poor planning from the sound of it. Heck, my company did a full office renovation with our staff in place and managed to do it with minimal down or lost time. We moved people around, rigged up hubs and made it all work. Speed is supposed to be a professional organization and they can't figure out how to do some sort of broadcast during the transition? Heck, do it via remote at the Grand Am testing? What a mess and considering the various news stories that are going on, it leaves a void. Of course since there's no one else to fill it, I guess it's a matter of "what does it matter?" I briefly saw this morning when I was flipping channels that ESPN had a tractor pull on -- but they can't give us a half hour of NASCAR coverage? How lame.

Richard in N.C. said...

I heard somewhere on EESPN Saturday the massive, breaking news that the Dodgers are negotiating a buy out of Andruw Jones' contract. I guess that took precedence over a snippit of NASCAR news since so "little" is going on & we're in the middle of baseball...............

Anonymous said...

Grand Sham is utter garbage with no fans, no loss on missing their testing session.

Speed's website used to be decent, I would go there every day. They have made it completely unreadable. Very disappointing how awful that network and its website have become. Their forums are a psychotically over-moderated joke as well.