Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hollywood Hotel vs. RaceDay Again On Sunday

Last week, TV viewers saw RaceDay's Wendy Venturini and Hermie Sadler interviewing drivers at the race track before the event. While that is normal for these two reporters from SPEED, what was not very normal was to see Fox's Krista Voda and Dick Berggren standing right there waiting to interview the exact same drivers for the NASCAR on Fox live broadcast.

Once again this week in Las Vegas, the final thirty minutes of RaceDay on SPEED will overlap with the Fox pre-race show from the Hollywood Hotel. RaceDay runs from 2-4PM ET while Fox takes to the air at 3:30PM.

The irony here is that the green flag is not scheduled to wave until 4:46PM. As Michael Waltrip used to say in the Aaron's commercials, do the math.

SPEED is owned by the Fox Cable Networks group, so the overlap seems a little bit strange. Essentially, SPEED is providing during their two hours the same content that the NASCAR on Fox crew will be reporting in that one hour pre-race show.

Sooner or later, this situation has to get sorted out. Imagine asking SPEED viewers who have been watching RaceDay for ninety minutes to turn the channel to Fox in the middle of the live program. Fox may suggest that SPEED has the hardcore fans and the Hollywood Hotel the casual viewers, but I would disagree.

ESPN2 starts the day with NASCAR Now hosted by Nicole Manske at 10AM ET. SPEED is next with NASCAR Performance with Larry McReynolds and Chad Knaus at 12:30PM. The now infamous NASCAR Smarts gameshow with Kyle Petty and Rutledge Wood will air at 1PM. That is followed at 1:30PM by NASCAR in a Hurry hosted by Adam Alexander.

RaceDay at 2PM will feature Hermie Sadler racing go-karts with Kurt Busch. Jimmy Spencer will talk with Carroll Shelby during an on-track feature and the show will chronicle the amazing logistics of the Fontana to Las Vegas trip for the teams and cars.

Fox takes to the air at 3:30PM for an hour of pre-race that will lead to a 4:46 green flag. Post-race TV will include ESPNEWS live with the Media Center press conferences and Victory Lane on SPEED at 8PM. The Sunday night edition of NASCAR Now does not begin until the Sprint Cup Series races move to ESPN in July. That is certainly a shame.

TDP will be live blogging the race from a TV perspective. Chat opens at 3PM ET right here on our main page. Please feel free to add your comments to the topics listed above. Just click on the comments button.

This is a family-friendly website, foul language or hateful speech will just cause your comment to be deleted. Thanks again and happy posting.


Gymmie said...

Will definitely be another interesting week for those without Dual TiVos/DVRs or only one room with a TV/VCR at least for now until the Digital Conversion finally takes over.

I generally watch the shows off the DVR so will catch up with everything and if my timing is on should be close to the start time.

Anonymous said...

JD Said...
"Fox may suggest that SPEED has the hardcore fans and the Hollywood Hotel the casual viewers, but I would disagree."

JD, you never explain why you disagree. I happen to disagree with you and I will tell you why. First the programs are drastically different. Last week on FOX, we saw a Hollywood/Oscar theme in the first 30 minutes that would probably only appeal to casual fans; All this while SPEED was doing straight forward track side interviews with drivers before the race, going over hard core details that few casual fans would be interested in. I don't see how anyone could argue with this reasoning.
What say you?

Lisa Hogan said...

I will have RaceDay on the TV as I am in and out of the room. I will turn to Fox when it is race time.

Trying to limit my Digger exposure! :)

GinaV24 said...

thanks, JD for the info on when the RACE actually starts. I may catch some of the talking heads, but I don't need to tune in for the all day talk fest that the pre-race has become. IMO, both the pre-race shows have more for the casual fan these days than actual real information being offered. I do think this overlap thing is really dumb on the part of whoever is doing the scheduling. Didn't Speed and ESPN come to some agreement last year so they didn't step on each other.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 3:18AM,

The casual fan approach of 2007 was a disaster for the sport. Brian France made his theme in 2008 getting back to basics and serving the real fans.

I disagree that there are casual fans who just tune in once and a while. I disagree that there are folks who watch for the spectacle and not the sport.

We ran into this TV overlap a while back with RaceDay and NASCAR specifically worked to avoid it last season. Now, it seems to be back and makes no sense from any perspective.

Forcing fans to choose between two networks is one thing, forcing them to choose between two companies owned by the same media corporation showing the same sport is strange.


Lou said...

Thank you for the updates JD. Plan on watching NN at ten this morning. And then tuning in on the drop of the green flag at 1646 hrs this afternoon to enjoy the race. Yep, no digger for me before the race and I refuse to watch any more prerace on fox. Will just use fox to watch the race.


Ken said...

Thanks for letting us know when the race starts. Saturday morning has always been my time for watching cartoons and I don't need them in the afternoon before a race. I wish Fox would do the way ESPN did yesterday and just give us the race without the toys. With racing and many other sports, less is more. Give us what we tuned in for and nothing more.

majorshouse said...

I definitely think that less is more and would hope that looking at their ratings Fox would figure out that people are getting tired of their nonsense and I for one, do not understand why we cannot just have a 30 minute pre-race like the truck series does and just leave out the fluff and that even includes this Digger nonsense.

RonF. said...

NASCAR Now on Sunday morning with Nicole Manske and Ricky Craven was everything that race-related journalism should be. If only this type of approach could be brought to the pre and post-race shows. Don't treat us like idiots. Plenty of NASCAR fans are intelligent and educated, and can appreciate meaningful reporting, analysis and discussion. Am I crazy to hope that Fox/Speed can understand this?

The J said...

i remember this happening alot last year when espn had the races, but for 2 networks who work together to have this problem is odd. ill watch raceday instead.

red said...

nascar performance right now for me then nothing until green glag at 4:46. too much pre-race and too little information. i'll follow-up on the stories that interest me - particularly the toyota engine issue - on my own. if only cup would follow the truck series lead and go to a 30 minute pre-race, focused on the hard stories of the weekend (NOT the fluff) and then show us the racing.

as for" the casual fan": i have always contended that there is no casual fan for nascar and it was an unmitigated disaster from my point of view for the france family to have thrown the 2007 season in that direction. i see little reason to change my opinion this year.

(and i have to say: knaus and larry mac together give me more solid, interesting information on NP than i get from any other TV source all weekend. props to the guys -- altho' i do miss bootie barker!)

Kenn Fong said...


Could this overlap be a symptom of an internecine rivalry between the Fox and Speed executives? Apparently there is turmoil at the top of Rupert Murdoch's Fox Entertainment division from Peter Chernin's resignation, and I'm wondering if the streamlining mentioned in Murdoch's memo has Speed execs putting out product in an effort to justify their positions?

Murdoch: "Many of you have told me how hungry you are to work more closely across our companies. Many of us have been frustrated by the things that can get in the way of that. From systems that don’t talk to each other to incentives that struggle to capture the opportunity and aspiration of our total group. These obstacles are obvious to us all. There will be a streamlined management structure between our Los Angeles based business units and the rest of the company. (emphasis mine. kf) Peter and I will be communicating more on this over the next few months. For the time being, of course, the talented executive team at the Fox Group will continue to report to Peter.

Now is also an ideal opportunity to streamline and enhance many of the corporate and administrative functions of the business. There will be cost savings as a result, but the more important aim is to be leaner so that we can better leverage our collective talent and expertise.

West Coast Kenny
Alameda, California

Charlie said...

I know some people cannot get the Speed Channel and Fox is the only pre-race show they can see but it still doesn't make sense to overlap the two.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Killer NASCAR Now Sunday AM with Nicole Manske and Ricky Craven.

Great NASCAR Performance with Larry Mac and Chad Knaus.

NASCAR Smarts....still a mess.

Kenn Fong said...


You mentioned "NASCAR Performance." Did Advance Auto Parts fire Bootie Barker because he's crew chief of the #55 sponsored by NAPA Auto Parts? It seems obvious, but I've never seen any confirmation. The excuse was "time commitments," but that never interfered with his appearances in previous seasons.

West Coast Kenny
Alameda, California

Vicky D said...

Good Nascar Now and Nascar In a Hurry with Adam Alexander shows. I wish they would start the race a little earlier like yesterday's race it as over so late in the day. Outside Houston this weekend there has been the 24 Hours of LeMons haven't heard any updates on tv today.

PammH said...

OMG, there are gonna be ALOT of people who will have no idea what that goofy start to Raceday was about!! Very strange, imo.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Pammmmm...could not agree more.

Kenn...Bootie is working too hard to be on the show right now. He may return later this season. No sponsor issues or anyone getting fired.

Adam Alexander has made that NIAH show easy to watch.


The J said...

what was that at the beginning of raceday??

Daly Planet Editor said...


Google fear+and+loathing+in+las+vegas+wiki for your answer.


RonF. said...

I'm not sure that a reference to "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," either the Hunter Thompson "novel" or the Johnny Depp movie, is obvious to most NASCAR fans. To turn it into a 10-minute mini-film is just plain stupid.

The J said...

thanks JD. that was very odd there at the beginning. i guess they wanted to fill time because they had nothing to talk about.

Vicky D said...

JD - instead of google, don't you mean

Sophia said...

ok I don't have time to google stuff with tons of cross reference.

i have NO CLUE what the RD opening was about.

NASCAR SMARTS could be fun for minutia lovers like myself but the show needs SERIOUS structure imo. Keep it moving.

But I love learning bits of NASCAR history/trivia.

I STILL LOVE NP performance the best and also miss Bootie.

NSmarts is an ok addition but I think we all miss trading paint, but NASCAR does not ALLOW REAL OPINIONS..thus the trivial game.

I only knew a couple of answers and guessed at others...I felt stupid. :)

PammH said...

Sophia, read RonF's comment. I'm sure there are many fans in your boat. I would bet $1,000,000 (that I don't have) that before that piece, Kenny & Jimmy had never heard of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas either!!

PammH said...

Is transplantation a word?

Daly Planet Editor said...

That guy is a piece of work. An American original and tough as nails.

I actually saw Hunter Thompson give a talk while I was in college. He certainly had an interesting perspective on life in general.


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

The J,

There was a famous novel written by gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson called Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas. It became a movie starring Bill Murray. [correction: It was Johnny Depp.] (Kenny Wallace was Hunter.) It was about a drug and alcohol-soaked adventure.

Hunter Thompson was famous for writing first-person articles which were more about him than the subject.

I had a funny (but disastrous and traumatic at the time) encounter with Hunter when I was producing a radio program for an overnight talk show host here in San Francisco. Hunter would not talk to me or the host, but his editor at the San Francisco Examiner (who called himself "Hunter's Keeper") claimed Hunter agreed to the appearance. On the night of the performance, Hunter demanded a case of Wild Turkey or he wouldn't appear.

[added: I later found out that it wasn't even Hunter demanding the Wild Turkey; it was adult entertainment entrepeneur Artie Mitchell of the infamous Mitchell Brothers impersonating Hunter.]

He didn't appear.

West Coast Kenny
Alameda, California

GinaV24 said...

Great stories about Hunter Thompson. I read Fear & Loathing when I was a college student but was never able to sit through any of the movie versions of it. RaceDay really does like to push the envelope don't they? LOL

GinaV24 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RonF. said...

Hunter Thompson was probably insane, but he was also one of the great writers of his generation. His first book was about the Hells Angels; for research, he ingratiated himself with the Oakland chapter for an extended period. He wrote a terrific book and, in the end, got stomped by the Angels for his trouble. He also wrote a groundbreaking book on the 1972 presidential campaign. He also wrote a number of wonderful extended pieces for Rolling Stone magazine.

Ultimately, though, the drugs and booze and insanity caught up with Thompson. He spent his last few decades largely imprisoned by his self-created legend, before taking his life four years ago.

"Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas," although a little dated, remains a hilarious read. Based on a real-life incident in which he was sent on a drug-soaked trip to Vegas to cover an off-road motorcycle race, it is very much a product of it's time (c. 1970), and guaranteed to offend some of its readers. But you will also laugh your butt off.

Sophia said...

Thanks for the somewhat explanations. I know Hunter Thompson was a brilliant but dark man.

Kenn, interesting story and I believe it. The guy had serious "issues".

I am unable to focus on RD much. I need to get off this laptop as reading is difficult. But heck still almost two hours until the GREEN FLAG DROPS!

thanks for posting that info JD.

Gymmie said...

@Sophia--that's why I like NA$CAR Smarts as well. Yes some questions I know the answer to but there have been plenty that I had no clue about. It's a good show to learn about NA$CAR history but yes the overall presentation is a mess. If it were live every week I could see the unjointedness (is that a word?) but for a taped show it seems they would have a set structure.

I also enjoyed NN this morning. No garbage just straight to the point and covering what needs to be covered.

I really like NIAH as well, Adam does a great job with it. Especially with Trackside it's great to revisit some of those moments that had you rolling.

Dot said...

@ Ron F,

Thanks for the bio on Thompson. I forgot about the Hells Angels story.

Why do TV shows try to compete with each other? I like both shows and it's hard to choose one to watch live. If I watch one and not the other, I miss something good. I guess FOX is going to the DVR just in case.

glenc1 said...

JD--I actually *know* casual fans who tune in sometimes but not always--people I work with who know my interest and occasionally ask me questions if they happen to watch a race. However, I would say their numbers must be relatively small. That said, they'd be more likely to be watching Fox than SPEED, for whatever that means. I generally prefer SPEED's prerace, and I often wouldn't turn over to Fox even when they weren't overlapping until about time for the anthem.

Thanks for clearing that up about Bootie. I figured he was too busy; the sponsor thing never crossed my mind although I could understand why it might have been an issue. It's kind of surprising how competing sponsors do coexist pretty well in racing. I wish they would get someone else on the show though. Just makes it a little more interesting.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Sprint Cup Series live race chat is now open. Just refresh your browser.


Kenn Fong said...

Ron F,

Timothy Crouse (The Boys On The Bus), Hunter Thompson, Gay Talese, and Tom Wolfe revolutionized journalism.

The Rolling Stone portrait of Tony Stewart (Where There's Smoke builds on this tradition.

J.D., I don't know whether I'd like to see a New Journalism book about NASCAR.

West Coast Kenny
Alameda, California

The J said...

is it me or does this show seem like its going on forever

Ron F. said...

West Coast Kenny,

You might add David Halberstam to that list.

I thought that Rolling Stone's article on Tony Stewart was atrocious. Depicting him as the bad boy rock star of NASCAR was a really misguided idea. I don't know whether to be mad at Rolling Stone or at Stewart, for allowing himself to be misrepresented like that. Needless to say, I did NOT find the Stewart profile to be int tradtion of those great writers of the '60s and '70s, except perhaps as ineffective parody.

hotaru said...

I personally don't see why we have to have three hour 'prerace programming' (the two combinded, four if you count NN). I don't watch them anyway, gimmicks are not what get me ready for the race.

Give me MRN and PRN anyday!

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