Saturday, May 30, 2009

Truck Race Rained Out But We Have TV Things To Talk About

The Camping World Truck Series race has rained-out from Dover. It will be run at 6PM on Saturday. We will have the updated TV schedule out shortly.

In the meantime, lots of NASCAR topics are up for discussion. Perhaps, the biggest one is the NASCAR on Fox team leaving the sport this season with some issues still brewing.

In USA Today, Fox Sports executive David Hill again rejected the notion that his animated creation called Digger is responsible in any way for alienating fans from the sport. As we all know, the Sprint Cup Series TV ratings have been down about 15%.

"It's the biggest crock of (stuff) I've ever heard," said Hill of the Digger issue. He went on to relate that over half a million dollars of Digger merchandise has been sold. Hill called Digger the Mickey Mouse of NASCAR.

Perhaps the most surprising element in this story was Hill suddenly blaming NASCAR for not starting the Sunday races at 1PM Eastern Time. He said NASCAR was afraid to start the races at 10AM on the West Coast. This was a very different comment than Hill made earlier this season when he lobbied for even later Sunday start times to get a bigger TV audience for the sport.

Hill did take a moment to try and lay part of the TV ratings problem off on Dale Earnhardt Jr. "I'm told by our research guys that if Dale won, more people would watch," Hill says. "I guess in a way because he hasn't, Elvis has left the building." What an interesting perspective. Click here for Nate Ryan's full story.

The second TV note is that Fox Director Artie Kempner has apparently had an issue with Hill and has been demoted. Click here for the full story from the Eye on Sports Media website about Hill changing Kempner's NFL assignment.

Kempner has been a topic of discussion here at TDP for issues ranging from only showing the winning car finishing the race to inserting endless Digger animations once the concept was created.

So, instead of watching the Truck race, please feel free to take a moment and add your comments about these NASCAR topics. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.


Daly Planet Editor said...

What a wild day! More on the Mayfield stuff later.


Anonymous said...

I guess I'll wait till you put up stuff on Mayfield. I'm so surprised that NN did not deal with the subject yesterday or Wednesday--but better late than never.

Geeze said...

As far as I'm concerned, if you are not watching races because of digger, you are not a race fan. I've learned to tune digger out.

As far as Junior not winning goes, I've been in the stand's when Junior is out of the race or not in contention, and have seen fans leave in drove's. I don't get that. I'm a race fan first and a Junior fan second.

PammH said...

I think David Hill is a two faced moron. Can't even remember his own comments from a couple of mths ago! Also, I read somewhere this wk that TPTB (BF & Co.) are NOT pleased w/the Digger image! And to have it on the front page of a BIIG newspaper is embarrassing!Just makes us look like the chump sport alot folks think we are...
And don't get me started on Vile Kyle & his smart butt mouth..

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 8:28PM,

The Mayfield thing just came down today and is all over the media.

NN just reported what all the other outlets are saying. I am just trying to see if there will be more on some other TV shows.

So far other than the Sunday Morning NN, the answer is no.


Daly Planet Editor said...


That Kyle knows how to work the media.


PammH said...

JD, the tweets between Marty Smith & Mike Davis concerning VK's statement had me ROTF!! I think VK was just feeling ignored today. But I have to say, I really felt for the other 41 drivers being asked about the Jr. situation. They really don't CARE! Silly media..

Newracefan said...

Mayfield oh my, his lawyer is not HD material.

David Hill is an idiot, oh wait I try not to be that nasty, he's out of touch. The man needs to sit with some race fans a watch what we see, and watch as a fan not as a TV guy. I feel bad for Artie, he seems to be a well liked guy who even has a gold tournament to race money for Autism but he is also out of touch, perhaps this NFL thing will be a wake up call for all involved and we'll get a better 2010 out of Fox.

Sophia said...

JM story could get interesting if it was a prescription. What about John Wood? Is that why he no longer races as he had ADD.


who is VK? I have a tired mental road block

Digger annoys me and it's all the other baloney PLUS Digger that's made me not watch every race, every lap. (bad racing, horrible coverage)

David Hill, indeed, just said a few weeks ago he WANTED NASCAR to start races later so he could go into primetime. Now he blames ratings on the LATER start times?? DUh, he can't keep track of his own pontification which shows, he is TOTALLY out to lunch.

Jr can not help it he is not his late father. The sooner the media/fans gets over that the better.

I am a huge fan of his but folks that leave or turn off the tv because his is out of the race, are not TRUE race fans imo.

Mike said...

Yes.....David Hill has some credibility problems. When Fox first got the NASCAR contract in 2001 he said one of his dreams was to eventually get the Daytona 500 into a prime-time television slot.

Mike said...

Let me add....has anyone noticed what was once old is new again? By that, I mean.....television for so many years lobbied for later start times to sporting events, whether it was NASCAR, the World Series, etc. Now those television networks are lobbying for earlier starting times fact, World Series games will have earlier starting times this year.

Dot said...

JD, When I read the Hill story, my first thought was of you. Now I'm glad there's a rain out for the trucks. Gives us a chance to comment and not be OT. Oh yeah, let the end of the Digger season countdown begin.

If only Hill's head would roll a la T George and others in the news this week. Who's up the food chain from him that could make this happen?

@ Geeze, I don't get why fans leave just because JR is out of the race. When I have attended races, I'm there to the end whether my driver is in or out. Are these true fans, or just on the JR bandwagon?

PammH said...

@Sophia, VK is Vile Kyle, the 1st "Billy Bad Butt" of Nascar, or so he thinks.
I also agree w/Sophia in that Mayfield's lawyer looked pretty wild. Had not seen him before.

Newracefan said...

Dot I was at Dover last year when 1/4 of the field wrecked including Jr, Kasey Kane, Smoke, Harvick etc, people left in droves. I saw a couple with about $500 worth of Kasey gear leave after about 100 laps. Only good thing, more room for me and I got out of the parking lot faster even if KV won :)

Newracefan said...

OOOP that was VK not KV

Anonymous said...

It has been a wild day JD! Look forward to your thoughts on Germy :)

@Geeze--I've heard the same thing about that when Jr. is knocked out due to a wreck or just so bad he's bringing up the rear. And I know folks over the years who turn off the TV or change the channel if he's out and will do something else.

@PammH--LOL @ Kylie! Yes he needs to learn "when to talk and when not to talk". Thanks for the info on Mike Davis...I've added him

@nrf--LOL re: Germy's lawyer! I wasn't sure on the name but when I saw the picture he looked familiar.

@JD--I was sad to read that article about Artie. I've always liked him and thought he was a great man. Such a shame :(

Anonymous said...

Claire B. Lang spent a lot of time on the radio today using the word "embarrassing" about the USA Today story. Trouble is, she kept referring to how the story shouldn't have been done.

(In between using the pronoun "I", that is...)

How about admitting the real problem: Digger is embarrassing. Do we need cutesy little cartoons to be shown "to appeal to the younger fans" during other professional sports?


Digger exists for the sole reason that Hill came up with the idea as a revenue-generating concept.

NASCAR ought to prohibit Fox from promoting its "embarrassing" little project during NASCAR races.

Anonymous said...

Well, at least they're trying to figure out what the problem(s) are/is and discussing what can be changed to improve their broadcasts of the races in the future.

I haven't stopped watching one minute of racing because of the stupid digger thingy, but I do detest the whole idea of it. I cringe whenever the cartoon comes on and usually find it a good time to hit the kitchen or restroom. As far as the camera goes, it's usually a very bad image quality with a fog look to it and even worse sound quality that sounds like it's down in a well.

And the thinking that the ratings are directly related to Jr's bad record for the year, that's just passing the buck. Yes, he's having a bad year and I personally think he can not get the feel for the COT. Many drivers have had a hard time setting up the new car and some have finally got it. Set his bottom in Jeff G. or Jimmie J's cars and see if he can drive it. He's basically got the same equipment as the others, maybe it's not the equipment???? (BTW, I am a Jr. fan)

Oh, and let's wait until the last race to even address we have a ratings problem?.?.?. Brilliant!

Steve L.

Anonymous said...

Lets see...
Earlier in the year Hill wants later start times (blames NASCAR) that doesn't work - What He really Wanted was earlier start times ( Blame NASCAR) We mostly hate the Rodent (Blame NASCAR)

Yes - I understand!!!

Its NASCARs fault the images on screen don't look good, match what Mike Joy reports is happening on the race track! NASCAR jams the Fox signal, & replaces it with another signal ( from a martian race maybe? hmmm) so fans watching Fox trying to see the race get looks @ the rodent, another spot on the track or Mars. Yup thats what happened Mr. Hill!
This is easier than accepting your corporate part in this mess.

To Mr. Hill & all of his ill informed ilk- "tough" we will get our NASCAR fix without your ignorant rodent & lack luster video shot selection. If you wish to cut costs - feel free to start with your bloated salary sir.

As far as Junior goes, well -I have a news flash - one day he will walk away from racing. All racers do - if they are lucky that is. And NASCAR will survive, And some will blame NASCAR.
I can not understand or even grasp the pressure that young man endures. Yes he has gobs of $$$ - but the absolute nonsense that goes with it is really mind numbing.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Great comments, this has been an issue this season and Fox has been taking it because they are the first of four TV networks to carry the Cup races.

TNT is next and they intend to try to push the online envelope to get more eyeballs on the product on the track. Good luck to them.

There is a story on the main page about the TNT effort this season.

SPEED is about to send me the updated Saturday schedule. We know Krista is up at 5:30PM with the pre-race show and then the race at 6PM live. The rest is waiting to be sorted out.

Thanks for hanging with us tonight.


batchief said...

As a grandfather who, along with grandma, watches the grandchildren for multiple hours 3 to 4 days a week, I have been hardened to cartoon watching such as, but not restricted to, the Doodlebops, Wow Wow Wubbzy, Yo Gabba Gabba and anything Thomas the Tank Engine. A few minutes of Digger is a walk in the park.

The Loose Wheel said...

No offense but Hill sounds like an idiot. Between the infamous "TOUGH" remark, to this garbage he is spewing, I dont know what to say.

Ratings are down across the board for everyone. 15% is alot, but there are more reasons then just a single animated gopher or whatever the heck he is, or Dale Jr not winning.

Arguably competition could be one aspect, start times another, the "same old tired faces" winning could be another.

There isn't a single fit all answer here. Its a little bit of everything, combined with inventions such as DVR and it could certainly explain a decline.

Its a cycle. Thats all I have to say about it. Though getting back to a more standard 1 pm start regularly would be a big plus in my book!

Kyle Busch: Haha, I love this guy. He said what he thought. Whoever asked it knew what they were going to get and did it anyways. I called it a mistake the day Hendrick fired him from day one, I called it a mistake bringing Eury to a team that KNOWS how to do it on their own, and now a year and ahalf later Kyle looks like a year in year out championship contender and Dale Jr can't even beat 2/3rds of MWR...

Maybe if he does run up front it will do something for the ratings but don't expect it to pick up 15% if he goes on a winning streak anytime soon.

How about that Truck race? Honestly this is one time I am grateful for rain. Why this is on tape delay, regardless how it affects TV means nothing to me. Ive never been interested in watching a taped race and I find if I know the result before it even starts, I pay much less attention. Sorry but it wasn't worth a re-air of truck quals and Trackside to show it via tape delay...

My two cents on these.

As for Mayfield, I stick with what I said before, Im staying out of it.

Dot said...

Does anyone know how much money NASCAR makes off of Digger merchandise? They must make something if Digger is sold @ the NASCAR Store.

I just want to add, I wouldn't mind the races starting earlier. As it is, I'm getting up at 7AM (PDT) tomorrow to watch NW qualifying. That's only a half an hour later than I get up for work. I could be sleeping in.

@ batchief, do the kids like Digger?

batchief said...

Dot, at 7 and 3 they haven't got a clue who Digger is. If they were aware of him I am very sure they would adore him just as much as they do any dinosaur that walked the face of the earth or Snoopy or Otis from Barnyard.

darbar said...

Sweet Lord. You cannot tell me that in the entire state of North Carolina that Jeremy Mayfield couldn't find a lawyer who is able to present himself in a better way. I know that it's wrong to judge someone on appearance, but heck, how one presents oneself in the professional world is terribly important. This guy looks like some former front man for Guns and Roses.

Does having ADHD preclude someone from driving a race car at 200mph with 42 other racers? I'm not sure.

Did you hear Tony Stewart on Trackside? Hammond asked Stewart what he said to Jr on the track before qualifying. Tony said he told Jr to get his stuff together because the 42 other drivers are frustrated going to the media center and having to answer questions about Jr. Jr's response? "I wish I could change my name". That's pretty sad.

As for Kyle, what a butthole. Sure, Shrub has a chip on his shoulder about being fired from Hendrick, but he should be kissing Jr's behind because the firing put Shrub in a better position to win. Also, don't forget, Jr's new crew chief stole Shrub's girlfriend. There's another chip on Kyle.

I still maintain that some sort of same time racing can be done. Of course not for the night races, which a lot of fans love, but if the NFL succeeds with a 1pm start every Sunday, and the West Coast NFL fans have no problem turning on their TV's at 10am to watch the Raiders, 49ers or Cardinals when they play on the East Coast, then why can't Nascar do the same?

While people might not care for Digger, it's NOT the reason viewership is dropping. Bad racing, terrible coverage, too many commercials and a fixation on fancy technology is ruining the races.

Dot said...

@ batchief, but that's the age group Hill is aiming at.

@ darbar, I didn't know about the girlfriend thing. Ooohhh.

I really feel for JR. He probably wishes he could be an Odd Wad for a while and stay out of the spotlight.

Dot said...

I meant to add, thank you SPEED for rerunning qualifying instead of Pinks, Wrecked or Fix My Car.

Yeah, I know the line up, but I still like watching it.

batchief said...

Many posters on here talk about, what seems to be, more commercials. It seems that way to me also. John, is it possible the economy has created this? My thinking is and these are random figures, if a 30 second commercial used to cost a half million dollars but in todays economy only a quarter million can be gotten for that same 30 seconds than to get the original half mil not one, but 2, 30 second commercials must be aired thus increasing the number of overall commercials in a broadcast.

stricklinfan82 said...

Speed's Truck Series Tape Delay

I was completely shocked that Speed Channel chose to pre-empt live coverage of the Dover Truck race for an hour of old re-aired NASCAR-themed filler programming and a re-air of qualifying for that very truck race.

To me it would have been a much better solution to do what they do at Daytona on Gatorade Duel Thursday and on most normal Fridays - show the event live in the afternoon and re-air it in "prime time" for those people who don't own a DVR or VCR and weren't home to watch it live. It would appear to me that Speed could have very easily aired the Setup live at 4:30, the Truck race live at 5, Trackside at 7:30, and the Truck race prime-time re-air at 8:30.

Mercifully Mother Nature stepped in and spared us of this completely unnecessary tape-delay, and hopefully this scheduling debacle will not happen again on this race weekend in 2010.

David Hill

As for the David Hill issue, I continue to hold out hope that this zero accountability image he's projecting publicly is just an act. We know very well that he has been outspoken about wanting later and later start times. Yes, NASCAR ultimately chooses the start times but is anyone naive enough to believe that the networks that pay millions for the TV rights have no influence on the starting times? I think anyone who followed the colossal struggle Major League Baseball's commissioner Bud Selig had with this same Fox network over fixing the excessively late World Series start times and saw this same Fox network completely slam the door on Selig's desire for weekend afternoon World Series games would laugh at the notion that TV has zero say in their sports' start times.


As for Digger, yes children like to buy toys and in a vacuum it was probably a smart decision to produce those products for child consumer consumption. But there is a right way and a wrong way to market these quasi-NASCAR related toys. Cletus the Fox NFL robot is not invasive. Their NFL pre-game shows are not interrupted for weekly episodes of a cartoon called "Cletus and Friends" and the character does not dance around on the field, scream, and jump out of the way while live plays are taking place on the football field. One can only hope that Fox will realize their mistake and take a Cletus-like approach to Digger in 2010.

NASCAR on Fox Production Truck

Fox's NASCAR production truck has been a major disappointment this year. Wildly inadequate attempts at innovation that don't let the viewers see a single yellow flag pit stop in its entirety or see anything but colored blurs at the finish line just aren't acceptable when you compare them to the productions of each and every one of the other 4 NASCAR production trucks (ESPN A-Team, ESPN B-Team, TNT Cup, and Speed Truck).

It's not fair for me to point fingers at any one individual or group of individual for these issues because I have no way of knowing who is truly responsible for these ineffective attempts at innovation. What I do know by watching the finished product and comparing it to the other 4 trucks that do the same job though is that something needs to change drastically behind-the-scenes at the network.

I would certainly hope this issue can be resolved by simply having the responsible party or parties objectively review their innovative approaches and see that what they are doing is not an improvement over the other network's approaches. Based strictly on credentials and awards I have no reason to believe the right pieces aren’t already in place in the NASCAR on Fox production truck. I just think a small change in philosophy and a willingness to accept convention when attempts at innovation prove to be ineffective would go a long way to improve the on-air product.

A truck with such credentials should be raising the bar for the other networks. It shouldn’t be languishing in 5th place among the 5 NASCAR production trucks that cover the sport regularly, in my personal opinion.

Tracy D said...

Hill knows nothing about race fans and what they want. Isn't it obvious? Blaming Jr. for the ratings decline is just the tip of his lunacy.

I was listening to Cup qualifying (I think --) with half a brain engaged when DW began to discuss WRECKED, and how some driver could have gotten out of trouble without using the Wrecker crew if he'd just let air out of his tires. Went on and on about how he could have avoided the wrecker, but then there wouldn't have been the show, etc., and it was hilarious! DW knocking a Speed show!

Anonymous said...

JD, Re: Jeremy Mayfield.

There was more that NN could have inquired about earlier in the week. JJ Yeley had a memo on his site dated Tuesday, that said the #41 would not be going to Dover. He did not knwo why.

Then on Wednesday,the next day, Jayski posted the entries for Dover. Mayfields had entered the #41 and JJ Yeley was listed as driver.

You would think reporters and ESPN would be curious. A statement on Jayski said that all in the Mayfield garage had been sent home on Tuesday.

Still no word from the Mayfields on Thrusday and their entry remained on the Dover race list.

I just think that today, NN actually had FACTS. They did not have to depend on opinions of reporters and others in the media.

Maybe the powers at NN did not give David Newton enough time for his report. It was incomplete, but maybe it was not his fault.

The suit had 7 complaints, and NN only mentioned 3. They didn't mention that Mayfield had requested a gag order to prohibit NASCAR from talking about what drug was involved.

I kind of think it was a good day for NASCAR.

#1. The judge denied Mayfield a restraining order. Will have to deal with a new judge and this time NASCAR will not be surprised on the tactics.

#2. Mayfield had to disclose he was taking Adderall (a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substance Act) which can be highly addictive.

#3. Fans are now aware how Mafiled deceived JJ Yeley and led him to believe he would be racing this weekend and when they cancelled, they gave him no reason and just left him hanging.

#4. NASCAR was able to disclose in court that the drug in question is an illegal, banned drug. No more mystery.

Brian said...

The stupid rodent doesn't make me stop watching the races. It does make me want to boycott any advertisers on FOX. If their (fox's) income is so good from the stupid rodent why don't we get a break on the number of commercials?

While the racing hasn't been "cant peel your eyes away from the TV" it has been good. The biggest problem in my opinion is Mike Joy. Its obvious he is way to talented for the fox group. If they would show what the booth is talking about their coverage would be much better. I would LOVE to see Mike Joy as the play by play guy for ESPN... When he can make one car qualifying exciting image what he can do with 43 and good video?

I'm looking forward to TNT's coverage of the races and would laugh in the face of FOX if the fact TNT focuses on what we the fans want causes the ratings to sky rocket thru the roof and fox can wake up before the 2010 season. (just look at the Truck series on SPEED it doesn't get much better than that).

Daly Planet Editor said...


Since it is hard to run more actual commercial breaks, Fox created more "value-added" sponsored features.

These elements range from sponsored features (Terminator Salvation Best Comeback of the Race) to inserts like Digger and sponsored graphics like the order off pit road or the points as they stand now.

TV viewers see all of it as clutter in the new Internet world. The younger generation is used to on-demand everything and the NASCAR TV presentation is dated and over-sold.

Side-by-side commercials, a limit on the amount of internal sales features and a review by NASCAR of the TV races of all three series for quality would go a long way toward bringing back the missing fans.

PS - Did you at least get your grandson a toy firetruck? Never too early to start pre-academy training.


Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 10:25PM,

Thanks for the comment, I agree with most of it.

Adderall is a boring prescription that is given to lots of adults for ADHD. It is commonplace in every pharmacy in the US.

The dose is set by the physician for the patient and is very effective for those with the problem.

The addiction point will be moot once Mayfield's attorney disclosed how long Mayfield has been taking it, the dosage and the doctor who prescribed it. My guess is a long time.

NASCAR's problems come from the off-the-cuff statements of both Brian France and Dr. Black. As I said when it happened, who is in charge of keeping these guys quiet?

Slander is a huge issue when dealing with drugs, especially in the ill-informed manner that Brian France accused Mayfield of being a recreational drug user in not soo many words.

The reason I am moving slowly is because there is just as much of a possibility that Mayfield has been 100% truthful as there is that Aegis has been 100% correct in their analysis.

If we agree that he had a prescription for a long time for Adderall, then the issue is how and when should this issue have been dealt with...time will tell.


batchief said...

That makes a lot of sense and would explain why, although some are used as the race is shown, there seems to be more actual race free commercials when in fact there aren't. Thanks for the explanation.

As for your question to me, my little buddy Kaden got a 4 foot long fire truck with all the bells and whistles, or is it bells and sirens, from his favorite white bearded elderly gent (not me) last Christmas.

Unknown said...

Darbar-Diehl is the Johnny Cochrane of NC. Although he doesn't darken the barbar shop door often, he is the lawyer to have.
Jr will get it together, no need for Kyle's comments.
The digger cartoon is cute & as long as I don't miss track action for the cartoon I'm ok. This includes pit stops.

When we started going to the Vegas race late 90's, they started at 10am local. Seemed to work ok, then it changed to1pm local. That either put us on a redeye or a flight the next day plus extra night stay

Start them at 1pm or 7pm. Then we could have Sun nite or afternon for other activities. 3pm eastern takes the entire day. We will skip the race & go kayaking or bike riding.

Anonymous said...

@darbar--that's why he should have gone with Uncle Benny :). Yes I heard that convo with Hammond and Smoke and shook my head at Jr.'s response. Yes I definitely agree about Kylie being in a better place. He won in the first handful of races he started with Coach and has won darn near every start in N'wide and Pick 'em Ups

@stricklinfan--yes that's my thoughts! With sites like Justin (I know they won't get the 'hit' as far as viewers that way) that run live streaming folks can watch at work or those without Speed can watch. The rooms I'm in we have folks from the US who don't want to/can't upgrade and pay $80-100+ just to get the one channel they want as well as those from Canada and other countries without access to US channels. And then replay in the evening for those who were not able to watch or don't have access to the radio broadcast. But yes as you say we get filler (which is fine until the show is to start) and then a replay of quals that by the time it's over the race is also about over. In the rooms I'm in on Justin throughout the day we have about 200-500 filtering in and out on the various channels. I have 2-3 rooms up (the others on mute) in case one loses their stream I can go to another quickly. On Sunday we've had well over 1000 folks in there and if too many are in there it automatically opens another "room" in the same channel. The F1 channels have had 8-9 rooms going on. You have to password protect to show F1 otherwise once they get wind of it they'll shut your channel down.

Dot said...

Jeremy's court docs are on Get a jump on your thoughts for when JD writes the column.

Anonymous said...

Kyle Busch knows exactly what he is doing. He is building a "character" for himself--the Bad Guy.

Problem is, it's fake. Tony Stewart, for example, was a Bad Guy naturally.

Shrub is just a punk, trying to put on an act.

By the way, re: his comment. How many Crew Chiefs has Junior gone through his Cup career?

The answer to that makes his statement about it "always" being the CC's fault just plain ignorant.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

thanks Dot! Some bedtime reading :)

Sophia said...

MY GOSH!! As if Jr needs MORE MEDIA FOCUS. Now SPEED is using him as a promo??? Was removing Tony Jr the right decision?? blah, blah, blah.

WOW. Talk about adding to the pressure.

For the UNENLIGHTENED, Jr does NOT ask for the media attention.

Big disappointment in SPEED feeding into the Jr frenzy.

I say that as a Jr fan.

YES it's big news the cc change but it does not merit it's own commercial. Let the man breathe.

Anonymous said...

I saw Kyle tweet earlier that he's going to be on RaceDay since Jimmy won't be there. This would be an interesting week to hear Jimmy's 2 cents on the news of the week.

@Sophia--yes it was hard to hear the "hype" of the Cousin Tony situation being used to be the promo of NRD.

Anonymous said...

The Mickey Mouse of NASCAR? I think I'm going to be sick!

And he is bragging that they sold $500,000 worth of merchandise? All season? First of all, that will barely pay for the trailer and inventory they have, so they haven't made a dime--- but I bet even a mid-popularity driver like Denny Hamlin or Jeff Burton sells $500,000 in a weekend. I mean, if a hat is $25 and a jacket is $100, then they've only reached about 10,000-20,000 paying customers. That is pretty LAME when you consider more than 100,000 showing up for 12 weekends in a row!

Anonymous said...

Dave Hill is what happens when you have a job where no one ever says "no" to you. You lose all sense of perspective. His comments are just astounding. Even more surprising than he holds some of these opinions is the fact that he is willing to just blurt them out on the record to a reporter because he doesn't even understand how wrong he is. Unreal.

West Coast Diane said...

Hello from Mt Rushmore and fortunately an RV site where our satellite dish works!!! (I drive RV parks crazy when it's a race weekend).

Well, as my name implies, I live on the west coast and a 10AM start time is fine by me. Didn't it used to be that way?

David Hill is clueless...end of comment.

Jr...breaks my heart. The promo is pretty low. Realize it is a story, but they run it into the ground. And I feel sorry for the other drivers, crew chiefs, and anyone else that has to answer Jr questions.

Jeremy Mayfield story...I don't care anymore.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new column up for your comments about Jeremy Mayfield and the amazing admission heard on Friday that he did indeed test positive for an amphetamine.

Wait until you hear the reason why.


majorshouse said...

David Hillhas no clue what NASCAR fans want and moving the start times back is a great idea like they used to be and let's face it blaming Jr. and Digger for the lack of fans is like Junior blaming his crew chief for all of his problems.
I am really ready to see some real racing for a change.

Anonymous said...

David Hill knows more about sports broadcasting including NASCAR than you and your entire blog readership combined. He is dead on correct about digger. You are fooling yourself if you actually think it had an affect on ratings.

Mr. Hill is the best in the business.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 10:55AM,

Did you read the column? We related an interview from USA Today on the Digger issue using Hill's words and allowed fans to comment.

It has been my pleasure to meet Mr. Hill and work with him on some tennis earlier in my career. He is a great guy and lots of fun.

Every TV exec has his opinions on how to present sports on TV, that is a large part of why this blog has chugged along for three years.

Perhaps, you can return and give us your personal opinions on the topics being discussed in this column.



Sophia said...

@gymmie and West Coast Diane

Glad to see others bothered by the jr Speed machine promo.
You'd think those guys would realize the building volcano of pressure now being dumped on Jr.


AND dismissing the other 42 drivers. It will make both Jr fans upset, and further anger the "Anti Jr" brigade. Shame on Speed.


You mentioned elsewhere Justin can watch F1 races there? Can you get Twin and Wind Tunnel there, too?

I learn all sorts of things from this blog.:)

Anonymous said...

Hill is correct. It is silly to think Digger had any affect on ratings. America loves digger. No true NASCAR fan would stop watching the races because of digger. They'll stop watching because Dale Jr. isn't winning because he really is a bad driver and would never be at the Cup level if it wasn't for his daddy. They'll stop racing becase the races are boring because of the car. They won't stop racing because of digger.

Anonymous said...

Check this out:

It is an online chat with Dave Hill of FOX Sports. Read this exchange from about halfway down:

3:08 Paul asks: I've been a fan of NASCAR for the last 15 years, and I've seen many changes in how we watch the sport. While I greatly enjoy NASCAR on FOX's coverage, I am not too fond of the implementation of the Digger character. There are many longtime fans who say that the Digger character is childish, dumbs down the coverage, and is a useless element to the broadcast, having no relevance to the upcoming race. What do you say to those who oppose to Digger?

3:09 David Hill: Tough.

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MfastUnot said...

Fox TV should run a full half hour Digger Cartoon show about an hour before race coverage begins. That way they'll see how many fans Digger really has. While they are doing that, I will be at Speed Channel watching RaceDay! This way, we won't have to have the race interrupted by Digger, and Digger fans will get a full half hour of him. Problem solved!

GinaV24 said...

honestly, David Hill must be so completely out of touch with what is actually being broadcast, it's just amazing - is his name Brian France by any chance? He gives the same kind of interviews - one's that make NO sense but try and make the people "buying" the product feel as though they are wrong and don't understand why it's really SO GREAT!

Plus, while I realize that Dale Jr's issues are big news, I'm not a fan of his and honestly I don't really care whether he gets a new crew chief, quits racing and or goes to F1, whatever. What I would like is to be able to hear the comments MY driver had to make about the track, qualifying, etc., not what he thinks about Jr's problems.

Vyle is tremendously immature and his comments about Jr and most other topics continue to make him look like an unlikeable jerk. I don't deny his talent on the track, but he's not the kind of person I can admire.

There are a lot of reasons I haven't watched races this season, some of them have carried over from last season.

1. Boring racing
2. Boring tracks
3. Bad TV coverage, including not actually following the action on the track, little to no follow up with cars that have fallen out of the race, broadcasters that are unprofessional and obviously biased toward particular drivers or makes of cars, too many commercials AND Digger. The gopher is just a small part of the reason, but it sure did make the mad. After the 500, I didn't watch Fox's pre-race show since it served no value and Digger cartoons left me wanting to gag.

15% is a big drop in ratings and this during the part of the season when the weather is "bad" on the East coast so people obviously found other things to do rather than watch NASCAR on TV.

I, like many of you, use alternative methods to follow the races. Sometimes the TV is on, but the sound is almost always off, sometimes I'm following via radio and computer.

David Hill AND NASCAR, along with the rest of the TV contract partners really need to talk during the off-season since I doubt anything will change this year and get their collective act together.

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Used Pole Trailers said...

I never really understood racing...