Tuesday, March 3, 2009

ESPN First To Consider Fan Video Submissions

TDP has been pushing the NASCAR TV partners since 2007 to recognize that the real racing experience and understanding of the history of the sport is located squarely in the extensive NASCAR fan base. Talking heads on TV might be nice, but adding real people to the mix could change the dynamic of NASCAR TV forever.

On the entertainment and news side of the TV business, we see "amateur" video integrated into all kinds of shows on both the broadcast and cable TV sides of the industry. Networks like CNN now regularly air I-Reports from folks worldwide who have good content to contribute on a breaking news story.

Click here for the ESPN.com page called NASCAR Nation. This concept has been kicked around for a very long time and finally someone has stepped up and is ready to take a chance.

Using fans to offer opinions of the racing, the sport and the topics in the news can open the floor to much broader discussions. The politically correct announcers might not have a problem with answering the tough questions, but they would never bring up the topic themselves on national TV.

ESPN has been working hard to add fan questions and comments by email, but time has passed that form of communication by and now video and texting are the kings of instant communication. Websites are filled with video sources and major news organizations like The New York Times continue to scramble to add video content.

TV series like RaceDay, Wind Tunnel and This Week in NASCAR could benefit from adding fan video into the programs. Questions from fans on TWIN should be on video. Dave Despain should switch his angry shouting fan line from telephone to computer cam on Wind Tunnel.

RaceDay has two hours to fill each racing weekend. Allowing fans to send thirty second opinions on suggested topics or questions to guests that will appear on the Sunday program could add some spice that this season's program certainly needs.

Before you comment that NASCAR does not need slobbering drunk rednecks yelling on TV about Junior, ask yourself these questions. Is that what you look like? Is that how you behave?

If you are reading this blog, it is probably because you have some strong personal opinions about issues in the sport. Maybe, just maybe, you might be a candidate to take your views and air them on ESPN2 during NASCAR Now.

TDP welcomes comments from readers. Click the comments button below to add your opinion. Please keep in mind this is a family-friendly website.

Thanks again and happy posting.


Anonymous said...

its a great idea, but i doubt espn will really use it much. i hope it isnt, but it might just be a ploy for espn to show that nascar cares about its fans. and considering most of us fans are not happy with nascars decisions, espn wont air videos with those people in it because it will anger nascar.

Anonymous said...

JD, think how hard you work, and how much time you spend, sorting through the comments on your blog and imagine how much work (for a whole staff of video editors) this project is going to entail.

Vicky D said...

Sounds like all the weirdos out there will be checking in with Nascar Nation on ESPN. I won't be looking forward to that.

Glenn said...

no no no

Anonymous said...

well, espn finally starts to understand what the folks at the original speedvision got all along

program for the fans

note that FOX Sunday race ratings were down yet again

they try to put a positive spin on it by saying its the same as THE AVERAGE rating since 2001

Can you say fans HATE DIGGER?

Anonymous said...

JD, while this may seem like a good idea on the surface, its not going to work well. While CNN has found they might get some content during breaking news from "amateurs", they don't get the same effect on other segments. This idea has been tried and has failed before and CNN knows this first hand.
Also, NASCAR issues do not have the same effect as breaking news.
Fans on computer cams are not TV ready and this would lead to some bad TV moments. Even when Dave Despain does something like this by phone on his show, we see it leads to awkward moments as fans stumble over questions and add pockets of dead air where we don't want them. Video would just exemplify the problem.

What's next if ideas like this continue? An entire race broadcast brought to you from fan-run mini-handycams and cell phones cameras in the stands? It may sound extreme, but that is what stuff like this could lead to, IMHO.

Just leave it to the professionals.

Anonymous said...

The tv ratings on LV cup race on Fox were down one million viewers. But if taken in context, one can see that for the 3rd weekend in a row NASCAR on Fox dominated all sports in getting tv viewers.

I'm sure the Lakers/Suns would like to know why they only get 1/2 the number of fans to watch their games. I mean Kobe and Shak, and NASCAR still beat them by a landslide.

Sophia said...

most webcams are horrible quality and if you move your face, digitize..and lips don't move to match speaking.

Flip videos can work but GOOD LIGHTING is key. If you are not savvy to public speaking, you will not come off well. I had access to a video cam for awhile and sent video cards for holiday. It was great..a woman who does eyejot stuff for a living and wanted to know how I got such good quality video. Flip camera, QUIET room and good lighting!

I did not use a webcam (don't have one) and her Logistics webcam seems moody as well..when laptop is hot, video stutters.

so if you are SAVVY how you present yourself and edit, it might work but still lots of work for somebody at BSPN.

Otherwise, folks blathering into video and sending in stuff could be cringe inducing.

I don't want to see people yelling JOOOONYER!!!!!!!!! or Tony!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Anonymous said...

I agree the idea of it is interesting. With that said there will also be a lot of man hours spent going through and editing. Its for that reason I feel ESPN won't do this for the long haul. But then again that's what interns are for.


Anonymous said...

I would love to see this feature on Wind Tunnel. Despain has some great characters on his show.