Monday, April 6, 2009

New Sprint Cup Series Not Generating TV Excitement


The change to the COT fulltime has resulted in many positive things for the sport from cost savings to increased safety. This weekend in Texas, the memories of the 2008 Michael McDowell qualifying accident were still fresh in the minds of many.

That said, the Sunday TV challenge for the NASCAR on Fox gang was simply to generate excitement on this high-speed track. Once again, as the teams struggled with the COT on the track, the announcers struggled on the air. It was an all too familiar scenario.

Jeff Hammond dressed up in his Western apparel and received some good-natured grief from both Hollywood Hotel host Chris Myers and some of the Cup drivers. There is nothing wrong with having some fun on TV and Hammond continues to be under-utilized in these telecasts.

Darrell Waltrip has become increasingly frustrated by the new breed of drivers now racing in the Sprint Cup Series. Sunday, Waltrip's emotion boiled-over in a feature aimed squarely at some of the top drivers in the sport.

Although sometimes making great points, Waltrip missed with this one. The days of brawling and outspoken drivers have been ended by the media and the sponsors. They will never return. This is a new generation.

The race quickly took on a personality that fans know all too well. Single-file COT cars on a 1.5 mile track slipping and sliding carefully between pit stops. The extended green at the top of the race took the wind out of the TV crew's sails and it never returned.

Larry McReynolds is always trying his best, but sometimes the lack of action on the track and the continual integration of sponsor elements just over-rides anything he can contribute. From the "Cheese-It Bite of the Race" to the continually useless sponsored racebreaks, Fox was overloaded with awkward sponsorships during the event.

Myers reads the highlights of the race and is often wrong in his summaries. Hammond gently corrects him and sets the scenario for the guys in the booth. Missing during these summaries are the pit reporters, who know the reality of what each team has been going through. Myers slows the telecast with every racebreak.

Returning this week was the pre-race Digger cartoon which made no sense at all after being gone for the past several races. Luckily, the animation of Digger was not intrusive to the race and Fox mostly used the Digger logo under green flag conditions. One final animation with ten laps to go was a bit much.

Also back on the TV screen was the use of four big video boxes for pit stops. This effect fills the screen and loses the perspective for the viewer of who is where on pit road. After two races of seeing Fox use the triple-split that allows for a live view of pit road, this transition was tough to take.

After seeing teams like Scott Speed, Jeremy Mayfield and Scott Riggs miss the race, Fox did not follow up with either Mike Bliss or Dave Blaney as those cars left the race right around the first pit stop. The "start and park" issue is larger this season than ever before and perhaps should have been addressed.

"Slow and steady," said Joy as he talked about the COT progress. He could have been talking about the telecast. It is rare to hear periods of silence on the Fox NASCAR coverage, but that was certainly the case on Sunday. The bottom line was there really was nothing to talk about. Sometimes, it looked like practice.

Several times the Fox team tried to go through the field, but they started from the front and did not get back very far. Once again, comments in the TDP chat reflected the fact that many TV viewers had chosen to go and listen to the radio coverage of the event.

Teams in the back are not suddenly less important than teams who happen to be in the front during a specific gas run. How many times in the telecast did drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton or David Stremme just suddenly appear on the TV screen after having driven through the field to get back to the top ten?

It is the perfect right of Fox to concentrate on the leaders, to use the Racebreaks and to focus on the high-profile teams. They have been doing this for years and the Sprint Cup coverage is now a formula that the network is comfortable producing.

The flipside of this scenario is that NASCAR TV ratings are down and the sport is very different from the racing of five years ago. What needs to happen is the toughest thing for established TV networks to do. That is change.

Fox polished off the broadcast with good coverage of the final 25 lap sprint. A split-screen showing the winner slowing down and the field crossing the line was new. It certainly was better than simply showing the winner alone as the network did last season at this track. Several good interviews ended the coverage.

One week off and then Fox returns to racing at Phoenix. There are six races remaining in the Fox package before TNT begins their portion in Pocono.

TDP welcomes comments from readers. Just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

86 comments:

Sophia said...

JD

You are so correct about this COT car. And with all the problems with NASCAR, I am just not caring about the tv coverage. I hope to goodness that changes with TNT IF Mike Wells is still directing. He knows HOW to bring a race to our living rooms.

I also remember the SPECTACULAR sunset at one race last season, in the midwest...we saw more of what went on the tracks. If the race was not superb, he gave US the feeling of the ambience and being at the track, more so than the other directors.

The COT? Of Course we love the safety factor but this single file parade racing is a major snoozefest.

I am tired of the CONSTANT Split Screens, too. SHOW WIDE CAM finish for the races. I can tell Artie does what he wants and not the fans. He was gone two weeks and some things improved. But what he seems to forget is we don't all have 60 inch tv's so split screens are not good when overly used.

Fox keeps cramming more adds into the races and it's nauseating. I don't expect BSPN to change either.

I LOVE the Closer but cringe at the commercials that will be endlessly popping up during TNT races. Hope race buddy is back and working but not fair to DEPEND on computer for good pictures.

TV should do that job but sadly, as radio/internet COMPETITION picks up, the networks get LAZIER at what they deliver. And so do the directors. :(

And this no brainer I have been barking about since last summer, show ALL the cars on the track on the tv. ALL SPONSORS deserve a glimpse on tv. NOT just the top 10 or fave drivers. TV could help in so many ways but continues to refuse to do so.

Sad.

Lou said...

JD,
Until this season I did not usually listen to the cup race on radio. Today while on our way to Dover,DE. I did listen to the first 156 laps on the radio. And did watch the last of the race on tv.
From 11th to 43d I knew who was where and why,how.

My point is while driving south on I-95 I knew more about the race than watching it on tv. The coverage on the radio gave me more info than I usually get on tv. I just may have to listen on radio.

Yes, I am happy to see less of the ground hog. And did not watch the prerace stuff. I did not mind the lower crawl for the ground hog as I do not think it bothered the race

Anonymous said...

Actually, I thought DW's bit was pandering. His sentiment--that drivers ought to fight more, especially no the track--has been repeated on internet boards so much, it's practically a mantra.

So here comes ol' DW, pretending to be making a controversial editorial, except that he's saying what fans have said for several years now.

This is known as "preaching to the choir."

And JD, you're right--those days are gone and will not return anyway.

By the way (as DW would say), if TV showed more than just the leaders, the race would be more exciting, as there is action going on elsewhere on the track.

Dot said...

Watching SR. I was hoping they would have shown more of the Danica thing. Dude won @ St Petersburg.

What, if anything can make the cars race better? Outside of starting from scratch. I've read that there are things they can do. I just don't know why they don't. This is the main reason the ratings are down. Today's race is a good example.

Ken said...

Someone mentioned that the regular director was back after missing a couple of races. Maybe that axxounts for the return of the cartoon and the 4 box screens. "Good" overage of the last 25 laps was the observation that JJ was going to catch JG and make it a race when it was obvious that it was not going to happen. Manufactured drama is worse than no drama at all. Also, what about the caution flags when there was no evidence of a need for one?

I watched the race but didn't feel I was involved in the race. I didn't care who won or what happened.

Anonymous said...

If a team wants to get their sponsor more time, they should try driving up front instead of simply collecting the 40th place check.

Sponsors pay the teams, not FOX. FOX doesn't owe, nor to the sponsors deserve a thing when it comes to TV time.

Frankly, I'd rather have TV completely ignore and intentionally blacklist the start and park teams.

PammH said...

Actually, FOX (and I don't know if the other channels do this or not) won't mention you if you don't pay them $$. They never mention the name of races that don't pay to advertise. You here the race name on the radio all the time. Not that I think races being sponsered is a good thing anyway.
Race coverage was awful on TV. Listened again on the radio. Of course, the racing stunk anyway. The COT has killed Nascar...:(

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 7:43PM,

What NASCAR is struggling with is the fact that teams who intend to run the entire race and compete are being sent home because one or two cars trick themselves out in qualifying trim and make the race on time.

Simply by having the TV reporter put the microphone in the face of the driver who just happened to fall out of the race before the first pit stop would go a long way toward solving this problem.

TV can be the solution and play a role in helping to shape the sport as 2009 goes forward.

Thanks for your comment.

JD

Anonymous said...

The racing was bad at these types of tracks in the years leading up to the COT. It was all single file, follow the leader, no passing. People always forget that fact when complaining about the COT.

You have to go way, way, back, before there was good racing week in and week out.

The COT did not create any of these problems, it just failed to solve them like NASCAR said it would do.

bevo said...

Very good points about the coverage. The one glaring issue for me in these Fox broadcasts is the reduced contributions from the pit reporters. They have knowledgeable people down there - use them. Instead of Myers and Hammond talking about who knows what during AT&T Race Breaks let the reporters talk about issues with the cars and race strategy.

I understand having trouble giving rundowns at short tracks but at a mile and a half track running 500 miles it is inexcusable.

Gary said...

COT has made Sprint Cup look like IROC.
Boring.

So now we watch the pits stops with more interest. Sigh.

Gotta thank the FOX camera operator covering Cousin Carl's pit stops today... as the NASCAR official caught a rolling tire and held it for one of the pit crew...

hotaru said...

I only got back from a trip late in the race (good thing I was on the road so I wouldn't have to put up with Goofy Gopher and his pals!)

Was the race really that boring? Wait... we ARE racing the cot. COT's are something to sleep on.

Anonymous said...

There were some interesting elements to the telecast. The beginning was stellar: lots of pit reports, plenty of passes covered by the network, plenty of drivers mentioned by the network, and not much of the gopher. This was especially great considering that there were just 2 cautions in the first half of the event.

Later on, we saw the quad-split on stops, the stupid Gopher moving, and silence from pit road. It was weird.

All-in-all, given the way the event went, I thought that FOX did another excellent job with the broadcast. I would rather the substitute director, though.

Newracefan said...

I'm not sure I understand why the pit reporters are not used more, seems to me they participated more last year. Let's face it they are the best in the business and are being very under utilized. Their increased use would solve most problems for me, even if the racing was not steller the updates which obviously would include more than the top 10 would go a long way in making the race more interesting. I know they hype Artie but I do not like many of the decisions he makes and those stupid quad pits are one of them, I actually watch pit command and get a better ides of the race off pit road and they are just little circles. They have worked on the finish of the race with what appears to be a compromise with what Artie wants (stay with the winner) and what we all want (watch the line and see all the cars) perhaps we can compromise and cover more cars.

Anonymous said...

Annon 7:43

Do you know how difficult it is to run competitively?

I feel sorry for Robby Gordon, Front Row Motorsports, and TRG Motorsports. Why do they run in the back? They can only afford to run single car teams. That means when testing was legal, they did not have 3 other teammates to share notes or compare setups. Why do they have trouble finding sponsors? Sponsors want to go to Roush and Hendrick because they already have team cars that share technology, already have plenty of sponsor $ to improve their equiptment/personel and run competitively. They still come out each week,try their best, run the distance & don't park. Every team had the goal of making it to the top, but how can they get there when they don't get spoken of once on TV?

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I'd rather have TV completely ignore and intentionally blacklist the start and park teams.

They pretty well do that now.

What's your beef?

Anonymous said...

You have to go way, way, back, before there was good racing week in and week out.

You mean, back to the days when guys won by two or more laps instead of a couple of seconds? Those days?

Anonymous said...

Actually, FOX (and I don't know if the other channels do this or not) won't mention you if you don't pay them $$.

Not true of the cars.

It was tried a couple of years ago and the idea was shot down.

Mike said...

I happened to notice today the abundance of sponsored features. It's getting to the point where it's becoming cluttered. During the pace laps leading up to the start of the race, they had 2 sponsored bits and Mike Joy started reading the wrong one because it's so cluttered up. And during the race we seem to miss out on some stuff because they're having to do some sort of sponsored bit, such as the "Bite of the Race".

Anonymous said...

i think the nascar tv partners - and abc/espn's indycar coverage can learn a lot from watching versus' indy production today.

i'm a nascar fan first, but just finished watching the grand prix of st. pete, and wow, what a debut.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that all of the extra FOX stuff that was sponsored has something to do with the economy? If FOX is having trouble selling ad space, maybe all of the sponsored pieces fixes this?

David said...

Im not as willing to call these races boring. Sorry if an extended green run is boring to you. There were stories in respect to comers and go'ers and quite frankly FOX missed the boat on it. Maybe they should have talked about the guys struggling a little more then constantly rehashing Kurt and Denny coming to the front. Note they missed how Denny stalled once he got up to about 13th.

This tired line of how the COT is a single file parade is getting old. Sorry but the old car wasnt ANY better at Texas, and the NW race didnt generate a much better "show" with this car everyone seems to miss and is in love with. Maybe that car put on a better "show" at Atlanta, but Texas has been, in its entire history, notorious for single file runs. Now we just have less wrecks to go with them and I don't feel thats a bad thing.

I really feel like the boring sentiment everyone feels is a product directly of how the race is presented. Everyone tells us to gear up for a Texas style shootout and tries to build these races to always have a photo finish or a beat and bang dash for cash and are massively disappointed when they don't get it. But reality is those races are rare. It was a great duel to the end with Jimmie and Jeff and I felt as if it was a good race. Guys who were fast had to overcome adversity and the guys that really ran the best all day were battling at the end. Plus the story of how Chad Knaus got Jimmie right in time to cash in cannot be overstated. FOX actually did well towards the end but they dropped the ball for 3/4ths of the race.


The disjointed, random in race reports on guys here and there has to go. Especially when the report has no useful information (see JPM windsurfing segment). Why not cut to Matt Yocum interviewing Todd Barrier about why Kevin is struggling and hear it right from the crew chief himself, or how about Steve Letarte and why Jeff fell back in that run? Or Steve Addington about what occured with Kyle and John Andretti? There were days where if something happened, you went straight to the horse for your news, now we run it through filters or air team communications which may not tell the whole story. What happened to interviewing guys that went behind the wall?!

Reed Sorenson, Jamie McMurray, Mike Bliss, Dave Blaney (who has a VERY loyal following), David Ragan...etc. Are there some new rules I didnt get the memo on about interviewing crew chiefs during green or interviewing guys that fell out of the race or went to the garage that I missed?! Guarantee if Dale Jr or Kyle Busch went behind the wall a camera would be there ASAP! That treatment shouldn't be exclusive. PRN was ontop of everything, we heard from Jamie, we heard about Bliss going behind the wall, we got detailed breakdowns of pit stops and who did what. It just sounds like the guys on the radio CARE and the guys on TV DONT.

Maybe we got spoiled by the racing we've seen the past few years which was exceptional, but I didn't see a bad race today. No one had a clear runaway and it took every facet of a solid team you need these days to win. This was just another prime example of FOX not being able to adapt and being stuck in a tunnel of following some kind of script instead of fitting the action they are trying to fabricate action to fit them.

Its getting very very old.

Anonymous said...

My only serious criticism of the Fox studio coverage was Hammonds silly outfit,which was a good fit for his outsized ego.McReynolds can always be counted on for solid reporting.I've never understood what Chris Myers brings to the party,however. Seriously,the mile and a halfs are usually a big bore with half the field 2,3,4 laps down and 15 spread-out,single file cars on the lead lap. By the half way point,I was ready for the checkers. Last week,Kenny Wallace said Gordon had "seventy-some" wins(way off). Yesterday he said Casey Mears(21st) was the best finishing Childress car. Someone in the booth should have informed Kenny that the ninth place car of Jeff Burton is owned by Childress. But what do you expect when you only pay the guy hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to act the Fool? Martinsville was a bore too. Truth be known, there are only a handful of races that can be counted on to privde entertaining racing. Kenseth was right on when he said that with the COT, it's all track position and pit strategy .

Earl said...

I hope I'm not becoming jaded about NASCAR, but the downforce tracks are flat-out boring. I don't even think it's all about the COT. The Nationwide race was painful on Sat. The fact of the matter is, nobody can pass the leader in the late stages of the race. The winner is determined largely by who gets out first on the last pit stop. The best thing NASCAR could do to improve racing is to reduce pitstops to 4 or 5 during the race. Double the size of the fuel cell and develop the new bigger tire to last 150 miles.

BTW, the F1 race was exciting again this weekend, amazingly it has become an unpredictable series for the first time in years. F1 also has the best TV coverage by a mile.

I was also impressed by Versus coverage of the IRL. They have put some fun into it after years of ESPN mailing it in.

GinaV24 said...

Although I'm one of the people who hate the ugly IROC car, I have to agree that the racing on this type of track was horrible with the old car, too. since it was too nice a day to miss by sitting inside watching a boring race, I didn't turn the race on until there were 10 laps to go because if the broadcast was going to be true to form, it wouldn't be any good until the end. I listened to the race on the radio, then I know what's going on through the field and I don't have to see the ads or watch the gopher. As you said, JD - DW can stomp his feet if he wants, but those days of drivers whacking one another (even if they may still want to) are long gone. Too many ways it can cost a driver.

Anonymous said...

Earl said... I was also impressed by Versus coverage of the IRL. They have put some fun into it after years of ESPN mailing it in.

April 6, 2009 7:41 AM

Wow, I thought the broadcast was super also! F1 great as always..I think when you watch all 3, NASCAR really does seem to be more of a "show" vs racing. Not saying good or bad, but just seem glaring today after catching all 3 races.

Anonymous said...

anon at 11:45 PM wrote
i think the nascar tv partners - and abc/espn's indycar coverage can learn a lot from watching versus' indy production today.

You have a great eye for racing. Versus and IndyCar hired the original producer of ESPN racing from the days when ESPN race coverage was the best sports coverage of any sport...period!

The clowns at FOX will never get it right with the fans, because they, themselves are not fans.
They are carnival hawkers, selling cheap stuffed animals (gophers) and snake oil (hollywood hotel)who have wrapped themselves in a NASCAR flag.

Worst of all, they think they are just plain smarter than a you- because inside of their glass walled offices in Hollywood, they see NASCAR fans as overweight, dumb,consumers of anything NASCAR.
They will vehemently argue to the contrary in public, but their public position is diametrically opposed to what and how they really think.

I watched IndyCar too.
It was GREAT

Anonymous said...

My problem is the Nascar love affair with cautions. How many times now have cars gotten sideways and recovered and a caution wasn't required? Pure B.S.

Anonymous said...

I switched to the radio about the second race when dumb dw became an "expert." He's a shill for his brother, Toyota and anything else he's promoting.
I hate to miss Larry Mac and Mike Joy but can't stand dw. Proves again that someone who takes an hour and a half to watch 60 minutes can do good if he's a con artist.

gretajean said...

I thought DW was disingenuous with his comments, because when a driver does show some emotion all the broadcasters do is bash him continuously for weeks on end.

Anonymous said...

I just read a post-race interview where Junior claimed that he drove by his pit stall on PURPOSE! He said it was too crowded and it didn't make a difference on where he restarted. Someone should tell him that Fox played his radio conversation after it happened where he said he didn't see his pit sign because it wasn't sticking out far enough! The last thirty laps had a little excitement to them which is more than can be said for the rest of the race.

Anonymous said...
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cvt said...

Hammond looked like he was auditioning for the role of Joe Buck in a remake of "Midnight Cowboy"

DW was right in his rant, but look at what happens when drivers behave as he suggests.They're vilifiled.

When the field becomes stretched-out, instead of the long-shot of the field,the director might go to in-car cameras between two drivers, showing just how hard they're working even when it appears the field is cruising. There were plenty of loose race cars yesterday,even with the field strung-out...show us inside the cockpit!

Anonymous said...
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cvt said...

sp "vilified"

Anonymous said...

I hate to say it, but I'm losing interest almost every week. I have yet to watch a full race since Daytona. Now, I just check in if I can. I Tivo the races, but if I catch the last 25 laps or so, I'm good for the week. There's just a lack of excitement and think John hit it on the head. It's not Fox's fault. These races are just boring and pretty much predictable.

Although, my god, FOX, GET RID OF THE DIGGER CARTOONS. How incredibly lame and unnecessary.

Dot said...

@ David 3am, I just read your post. Bravo.

The one thing that irritates me to no end is the cameras missing the action. Joy said yesterday, "Trouble, turn 2". Yet we were still watching the one car still on the screen. No attempt to show the incident. Correct me if I'm wrong. Don't those in the truck watch about 9 screens? How hard is it to get a camera over to the action? Even if only to see the end of it.

Okay, one more thing bothers me. Why, when they are showing 2 cars going at it and they are talking about it, do they change the shot? More often than not, they'll show the leader all by himself.

Put me in that truck, I'll show them how it's done. I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Ken-Michigan said...

Add me to the list of those who turned the race off of FOX and turned on the radio broadcast.

The FOX coverage was its normal FOX-self.....I've learned to stomach most of it.

Since Directv is offering the Hot Pass this season, I've become a huge fan of those Hot Pass channels. Seems like they (hot pass) are constantly tweaking the split screen coverage, and I greatly appreciate their attention to many of the audio issues.

Speaking of audio.... these "scanner audio" segments (Penske/Busch,etc) are really put together well and fans find it VERY interesting. The TV networks don't utilize this element nearly enough during the coverage of the race. More "in race audio" would be a great element.

I do not expect LIVE scanner audio, risky i know, but record it and turn it around in the truck as quick as you would for a video replay.

Thanks again Hot Pass !

Steve L. said...

All I've heard on all the racing shows is how there's no race next weekend. Even my local sports news stations reported NASCAR being off next weekend, and that's in E. Tennessee.

NASCAR's second tier is running at Nashville next weekend. I haven't seen the FIRST commercial on TV or heard on the radio, anything about the Nationwide race at Nashville.

And then they wonder WHY the stands are empty! There is a couple Cup stars going to run that race, you would think that would draw some interest, but if the local sports news and radio aren't behind the race, why wonder where everyone is on race day?

I LOVE the Nashville track, it's fairly new, easy to get in and out of, plenty of close free parking, and the racing is good. It's a fast track and now they have lowered their ticket prices even more. If you get a chance to go there, go.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thanks for the posts. Again, we are asking for your original thoughts on the Fox telecast.

JD

Kevin said...

I think FOX did a good job covering the race. I mean seriously, if you think FOX is doing a bad job, just wait until we have to put up with ESPN. In fact, when I was at the race in M'ville last week, I actually tuned my scanner to the FOX TV broadcast, instead of MRN. Since I was at the race, I didn't need to hear full-field rundowns. I just wanted to listen to McReynolds and D.W., and it was pretty nice.

I also want to say that I don't think the COT has ruined the quality of racing from the standpoint of passing. I think the racing action is just as good as it's ever been, if not better. Remember how much we used to complain about the Aero Push with the old car?? The only reason the COT creates for boring races is because it's nearly impossible to wreck the car. Drivers are able to stay in control much better now, and even if they do smack the wall, they rarely are faced with any sizeable damage.

Some have said that people who look for cautions are not NASCAR fans. I disagree. I'm a huge fan, but I still like to see SOME kind of accident or wreck from time to time. I'm not saying I want people to get hurt, but some crumpled fenders is good for this sport, there's no doubt about it.

chase said...

Great column and great posts! I think NASCAR should take the same word that our President uses, and "CHANGE". If they don't there will soon be no racing and no one to watch it. FOX and its strange way of 'covering' a race is in desperate need of CHANGE. Chris Myers can't even get his facts straight, we are forced to watch cartoon antics which have nothing whatsoever to do with the race at hand, and the COT cannot make racing exciting - so why not CHANGE things now before another lousy partial season of FOX coverage? In a perfect world CHANGE would happen but in the imperfect world of NASCAR, CHANGE will never, sadly, occur.

Steve L. said...

JD,
The point I was trying to make was that Fox or Speed neither one made a point to let viewers know there was a race next weekend at Nashville.
They act like the Nationwide Series doesn't even exist, barely a mention on ANY of the shows like TWIN or Wind Tunnel about the Nationwide Series but to be watching a race on Fox, and for them to say there's NO NASCAR racing next weekend, is a complete mis-statement.

As I watched the race yesterday at Texas, it felt like one big infomercial. I was wondering if the pit reporters had left the track. The only time we heard from them was at the beginning of the race and during pit stops. And as usual, the racing didn't start until about the last 20-30 laps.

NASCAR is about to lose my interest said...

4.2 overnight...down 11% from last year.

For the 2nd week-did not watch, did not DVR,.....and I really did not feel like I have missed anything (that I could not read about the next day).

For someone who started attending races in the 1980's...it would be more depressing if I did not feel like NASCAR does not care about the product/fans/state of the sport.

Anonymous said...
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Terry said...

I wish they would get rid of Digger, and that we would hear more from the pit reporters. Once again, they were underutilized.
Less Myers would be wonderful also. Either that, or he needs to act like he does on the football broadcasts, not like a buffoon.

Anonymous said...
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Zieke said...

Bravo to those who have found their radio for the Cup broadcasts. You won't be sorry unless you like a cartoon in the middle of a race- or perhaps 'ol DW promoting his Toyotas. Many of you have noticed how Mikey has been in his normal spot (around the rear) so some of his hype is gone. The way his team mate is kicking his butt, Mikey will retire soon. Thanks Mikey!!!!
I don't bash the COT mainly because it is NASCAR dictating the specs that is making for the boring races. These are mainly IROC cars and we know it. Too bad.
I've watched F-1 for some time, and it's really getting interesting what with the cars getting real competitive. Also it's a real hoot watching Danica when someone wrecks her. I must say that she does'nt cause many accidents. She must be pretty good as well as good looking. What could be better?

Daly Planet Editor said...
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Daly Planet Editor said...

Zieke,

If we could get Danica to come over and run some truck races, that would be interesting.

TV ratings would be through the roof to see her go at it with Ron Hornaday and Kyle Busch.

JD

Tom said...

The FOX broadcast was OK, bringing back that rabid woodchuck made me fast forward through all pre race show segments. What struck me was that from every aspect,i.e. action, interest, and announcing, the NASCAR race fell a very distant 3rd on the day. The F1 race was presented wonderfully as usual, and was interesting, if not short. The IRL race broadcast exceeded all of my expectations. Having Bob Jenkins back in the booth with some rough (but VERY enthusiastic) color guys and pit reporters was far better than I hoped. This is important, because if the largely ignored F1 and IRL broadcasts become the standard by which viewers judge quality, FOX and ESPN have some tough times ahead. For the last 2 weeks NASCAR has been the least exciting race on TV, going up against a newly exciting F1 and now the IRL. The ratings may be bad now, but I expect that except for a few standout races (Daytona, Darlington etc), ratings are going to tank even further.


Tom
Inverness, FL

Sophia said...

JD

OMG! Danica taking on Kyle Busch after an incident would be hilarious!

At first I was upset IRL was against NASCAR but the boring race CAUSED folks to tune in and WATCH the Indy cars..so maybe that's a good thing but St. Pete was too much of a crashfest for me..ugly airport track and too skinny street curves caused issues...way too many.

Anonymous said...
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Dot said...

@ Kevin, You are so right in your last paragraph. Of course we don't want anyone injured.

It's the dynamics of the crash that I find fascinating. ESad at 'dega, McDowell at TX and all the ones in between. And they walked away.....

stricklinfan82 said...
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stricklinfan82 said...

Fox made some great changes in philosophy at Bristol and Martinsville and in my opinion the results were great.

Naturally of course I was very disappointed that Fox for some reason undid all those positive changes and went right back to the same old Fox. The pre-race show was again interrupted by a pointless children's cartoon. The annoying 4-box with no overall perspective of pit road came back. The limited view flagstand cam returned at the finish line, and again multiple times throughout the day the on-track green flag racing had to take a back seat to a screaming cartoon character and the best on-air NASCAR TV announcers in the business were forced to be re-assigned to "screaming out in fear of the cartoon character's safety" duty instead of watching and talking about the race.

Very very disappointing indeed. I just don't understand why Fox decided to undo what were such positive changes to their coverage after just 2 weeks.

On the plus side I think the DW's Rant segment is a good idea, but much like everything else with Fox's pre-race show I don't know why they can't take anything seriously. If DW has a strong opinion about how today's drivers show no emotion that's great, but with all the fancy camera angles, camera cuts, video drops, and "haha moments" it was hard for me personally to take the commentary seriously. In my opinion this segment would be much improved if they would just let one of the most respected people in this sport (DW) sit down live, look into the camera, and speak seriously about something he feels is a problem with this sport.

Maybe next week DW could speak out for drivers like Scott Speed, Jeremy Mayfield, and Scott Riggs that are missing races in favor of start-and-park teams. Or better yet if one of these drivers misses the field again next week in favor of a start-and-park team maybe Fox could scrap the cartoon, have one of those drivers on the set, and let them speak their mind on a very serious issue like this.

David said...

I love stricklinfan.

jdh417 said...

I've been writing and complaining about the COT all season. I've been blaming it for producing races that have typically featured little in the way of green flag passing for the lead.

I put myself in a bit of corner with this race. Though much of the race was a boring, single-file parade, there was actually plenty of contention for the lead. I felt rather embarrassed about my own generally positive posting, especially after reading yours. Good call on your part.

I am surprised you didn't comment on Fox not covering the leader's (Carl Edwards) final pit stop, the pivotal moment of the race.

Anonymous said...

It's not a race, it's a parade. When a car gets "clean air" you just can't catch them. It needs to be fixed!

And while I hate Digger, my kid loves to watch the cartoons. But this week he just turned to me and said "What was that?" You are right: it made no sense at all. None.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Great comments, got a lot of email from TV folks about them. You guys have really done a great job of staying with this sport and expressing your opinions in a positive way aimed toward making things better.

Thanks again for all the time and energy you invest with us.

JD

Anonymous said...
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Chad said...

Things that really need to go:

Hammond - Goofy cowboy outfit EVERY time they go to Texas.

Chris Myers - "We kid because we care." Enough. We hear that at least once a broadcast for 9(?) years now?

Waltrip - Boogity, boogity, boogity.

Until then, there's MRN.

Ryan said...
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Teri said...

the racing is picking up. and at least fox doesn't dull-down a race like the four letter network..
and pay attention..i kid because i care was not mentioned at all sunday and myers racebreak was right on with information about roush cars..at least he speaks english !

Ron said...
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Anonymous said...

Less people are watching because they don't like the drivers. There are more cheesy primadonna types and less down to earth guys common men, hard nosed racers, like Dale Earnhardt, Terry Labonte, Ricky Rudd, Rusty Wallace, etc. People could connect to thsoe guys. Kyle Busch and Jimmy Johnson? c'mon. Lame-o, no matter how hard they try to revise and change their persona through marketing. Also, real NASCAr fans get annoyed when they have a young unproven drivers like Joey Logano shoved down their throats for months on end becuase of what???? All the guys that race in NASCAR have storied local racing backgrounds. As a fan, that really turned me off. Seemed to be forced and marketing hype - read me - Not real!!! Like some other things in NASCAR (um, the cars!)

Daly Planet Editor said...

If you would like to add a comment on the Fox coverage of the Texas Sprint Cup race, please do so.

Comments with hateful speech will be deleted. This is a TV themed blog that talks about the TV coverage from the NASCAR TV partners and has since 2007.

Your comments on this topic are welcome. For any other subjects, please use the email address on the main page to contact us.

JD

Anonymous said...

FOX Ratings down again for Texas. America does not like the Fox broacasts and on air personalities.

David said...

Annon @ 10:30

That is a leap to say the least. The ratings are down, but what about the ratings in other sports?

I actually think the ratings get overhyped personally. Fans have found several new mediums to keep up with their shows/sports/etc. Several people DVR races, dont know if that shows up in the ratings, others listen on the radio or follow online. 11% is alot of people, but there are many more explanations for declining ratings then just saying its one specific thing.

Jimbacca said...

Glad you brought back the blog. Always interesting to read. I've gotten to the point where I pause it on the tv, go do yardwork then come back and forward through the skits, commercials etc.

DW is an interesting persona. While he does play old school he is also new age promoter. If there is something to shill he's there. Not sure what race the one person was watching but he does indeed mention his brother’s teams and Toyota often during the race. In the grand scheme of things it’s something anyone would do for a family member but just wears. There should be no confusion in anyone’s mind that Ambrose is part of his team since they repeated it numerous times each race. Sometimes with no context other than to talk about it progressing.

Larry Mac gives great info. But much like what has been said for a while. How interesting is a Texas style track? Can't jazz it up when they split up. Much as people hate to admit it they want "action" which really means they want to see wrecks.

Oh and thanks for all the Versus mentions. Looked it up and I get it. Watching the indy race now. I have a non HD tv and the picture quality is like being there. The incar shots are like you are sitting in the car.

Fox has moved to more gimmick then race. The ------ moment of the race. The official this of the race. The official interview of the race. It’s just like a huge ad now that happens to have some cars running around. The picture quality is old technology. Not sure if it’s the cameras or just the production values. The digger cam? In all reality what does it offer? You get a split second of a car about to run it over. Has it ever shown something that would help move the storyline of the race ahead?
But the thing about it all. The just wait for espn and the other acronyms people change it to. It's gotten to the point of how much worse can it get?

The cars are safer. Positive move. I’ve been watching racing for almost 30 years. I’m 35 now. 4 wheels goes fast I’m there. But it’s just gotten boring. I like some drivers that are not front runners all the time. They stand zero chance of being talked about much if at all. If Almendinger wasn’t kicking butt you wouldn’t even know RPM existed, which is sad to say for many reasons. The main reason is there is no incentive for a sponsor to sponsor anything other than a super team that is up front because they won’t get any coverage on the hood of anyone out of the top 10. If there is racing it should be shown. Instead of hears a car running by itself but it’s the leader so you have to watch. Granted McMurray doesn’t get much time but the rest of his team does, running good or bad. If Junior wasn’t in the 88 you wouldn’t hear about that car. Those are big team cars.

The two races before were an improvement. How does something improve so much in two weeks then status quo? Fox take note.

calder said...

hammond dresses like a...rodeo clown and you attack myers..those guys have fun on the prerace show and have been more entertaining than the races lately...drivers like chris myers and know him from other sports just ask junior or tony stewart..

rafer said...

i have been a nascar fan for 30 years...i heard chris myers speak at a plumbers convention in lansing michigan three years ago..he knows the sport..his role on fox broadcast is different than when he is on football or baseball....

laurie said...
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Anonymous said...

it is good to have a post like this to express opinion..but get the facts straight..the racebreaks were accurate and informative...the racing has been so boring i tune in and tune out...nascar needs to do something!

gordo24 said...
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becky said...

we could use more racebreaks and updates..who reads all those moving graphics ...and chris meyers was the first to point out the texas race had the most lead changes of any race this year...
carl edwards told meyers in the prerace that his pit team was a concern..and it cost carl the race..

carolinablue said...

sundays race was more about racing off pit road than racing around the super speedway..fox caught junior's miss and edwards delay....the prerace show set up gordon for the day and it was good to hear carl tease the cowboy outfit..

Anonymous said...

for that anonymous who said fox tv's ratings are down and talked about fox personalities...if he did any checking..fox's prerace show got better ratings than many races last year on tnt and espn..dw,hammond, and myers help to promote nascar..nascar needs better racing to promote itself

doug88 said...
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Jimbacca said...

Here are some points from an interview with John in September 13, 2007
Elaborating on that point, Daly identified three areas that he sees as the biggest problems with the way NASCAR is being covered on TV today:

1. "The TV coverage focusing on the race leader and not the best racing on the track. This began several years ago with Fox Sports and continues today. Fans want to watch the best racing on the track until the final fuel run of the race, and not follow the leader as the only car on their TV screen for four hours unless someone wrecks."
2. "The TV coverage is different from the radio broadcast. How can two sets of announcers be at the same race and calling two different events? Often the radio broadcast is deep into exciting racing, and the TV coverage is running a special feature or talking about a car they have chosen to feature. Fans want reality, not the TV network's version of it."
3. "TNT's summer NEXTEL Cup TV package was a disaster. In this first year of a new TV contract, TNT really killed the momentum Fox Sports had built-up for the NEXTEL Cup Series. What TNT delivered to ESPN was upset viewers who had flooded NASCAR and media outlets nationwide with outrage over poor coverage and endless TNT promotional announcements. Is there anyone who can forget the mess at Sonoma, the rain delay at Pocono, or those endless Bill Engvall promos?


Seems that it hasn't changed and the comments still ring true today. If some people are happy with the coverage, great. They should be heard. But there seems to be many unhappy. Some viewing because that's what they have always done. If its the racing hurting the ratings then wouldn't that be part of the coverage? If you just see the top few teams you don't see the racing. If you have 4 screens showing 4 pitstops and nothing else that doesn't help racing.

Much like anything in the world people see things differently. Seems John has alot of experience putting on the show so his comments hold more weight than people that have not worked behind the scenes. There have been 'innovations' to show parts of the race that are just a waste of time. Someone needs to call out these things.

All three points are valid. #1 and #2 are right on the nose. Just showing the leaders at the time. Well what happened to the leader from earlier in the race? Oh stay tuned for one of our recap shows. It shouldn't take a recap show to tell you what happened to someone that was in the race.

Daly Planet Editor said...

We go through periods where one or two folks get upset. They are not bothered by the comments, but try to create issues with who made them.

This allows those folks to avoid joining the discussion and speaking about the issues.

I apologize for the comments, many of them from one person, that have been deleted. It is just the price of doing business on the Internet.

My opinions are equal to the opinions of every other poster. No more and no less. The format of this blog is that I offer my view on a topic and then open the floor to comments.

This is year three and we are well over ten million page views in that time period. Thanks for your patience.

JD

Anonymous said...

As much as I hate Digger, my son who is only 7 loves him. But the COT just flat-out sucks and NASCAR on FOX is not the same because of that Digger

Speedcouch said...

David wrote:

PRN was ontop of everything, we heard from Jamie, we heard about Bliss going behind the wall, we got detailed breakdowns of pit stops and who did what. It just sounds like the guys on the radio CARE and the guys on TV DONT.


Exactly! We were driving home from the USAR race in NC on Sunday and listened to the entire race on PRN. Far from a boring race when you cover more than just the leaders or cars sponsored by those buying commercials on Fox.

When I got home, I rewound the Tivo to watch the last 70 laps. What a difference from what I heard on PRN! Fox trying to hype a finish where JJ was clearly not going to get close to Gordon, DW doing his usual "squealing" over nothing and the return of that useless 4-way split on pitstops.

Lesley said...

The very things that made this sport work,have been taken away!personalities..good or bad!and the danger!!Its really that simple...

Anonymous said...

NASCAR is a business. Iget it. But it USED to be a business that revolved around the CAR's. Sure there were personalities and villians...and there still are, but the CAR's are what made the sport. We are a nation that loves CAR's. We are a nation like no other in the world when it comes to our love affair with cars (yes I've traveled the world and have been to 7 different countries). But now, NASCAR is NOT about the car's, it's about an overly hyped and neatly packaged show who's major purpose is to sell advertising and stuffed animals. FOX Sports is an oxymoron. The IRL broadcast on Versus was excellent. I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one that has abandoned the TV in favor of MRN. Listening to the race on the radio evokes feelings of being actually at the track back in the day. I feel almost tired at the end of the race because the fine MRN broadcasters present the racing for the WHOLE field. Six more races and I can turn the TV back on (with the sound turned off) and not be worried about seeing goofy cowboy hats and ground hogs instead of CARS!

Anonymous said...

The NCAA Basketball tournament ratings were up 5% Its not true all sports TV ratings are suffering.

NASCAR ratings are down significantly in a period of time of very little competition. You can't compare ratings during this time against fall ratings that have to go up against the NFL or are only shown on cable.

America has grown tired of the Fox broadcast team, and NASCAR in general. Its all in the ratings.