Monday, August 10, 2009

Nationwide Series Coverage Ends With A Thud


Let's give credit where credit is due. Marty Reid, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree did a solid job of working together on the Saturday Nationwide Series race from Watkins Glen. That was the good news for ESPN.

On the track, the drivers also did a great job of providing all kinds of drama, excitement and emotion during the race. It was a thrilling affair from the start and that was the good news for NASCAR.

The bad news had begun during the Nationwide Series qualifying show. Marcos Ambrose had put down a spectacular time and was set to clinch the pole. Even with live electronic timing and scoring, ESPN got caught up in the emotion and missed the story of the session. From out of nowhere, Kevin Harvick grabbed the pole without a moment of coverage on his final lap.

This drifting off course is something that fans have become familiar with during ESPN's NASCAR coverage. Harvick got the short end of the deal, although he did get an interview where he talked about his great lap that no TV viewers had seen. The awkward ending of the qualifying show was just a warm-up for the actual race.

Allen Bestwick and Reid combined to serve up some great commentary during the race telecast. These two TV professionals set a relaxed tone that allowed the other personalities to shine. From Rusty Wallace in the infield to Jarrett in the booth, there was a lot of strategy discussion and good conversation.

The TV team avoided the temptation to over-use the in-car cameras early and kept the perspective wide enough for viewers to really watch the race with no problems. Unfortunately, in-race reporter Boris Said had another meltdown and his in-race reports told the tale of someone in the wrong car for all the wrong reasons.

ESPN continues to put their own featured reports in the larger of the two video boxes used on-screen during the race. Tim Brewer, pit reporters and other non-racing content could perhaps be moved aside to let the green flag racing continue to be the center of the program. It's a great effect, just backwards in priorities.

Just like David Stremme vs. Robby Gordon at Pocono, ESPN dropped the ball completely on Joey Logano vs. Gordon on Saturday. It seems that when something like this happens, the inability of the production team to deal with it comes into focus. Showing Logano's flaming car and then forcing the announcers to admit they had no clue what happened should be a warning signal for the rest of the season.

Luckily, the corner of one replay angle had what appeared to be the Gordon move that ended Logano's day. ESPN should have been "back-cutting" those two cars or using the aerial shot to isolate them as the obvious trouble was continuing. Since NASCAR uses the TV footage to assist in determining penalties, perhaps Gordon was the only one happy that ESPN whiffed.

Positive comments from TV viewers during the race included the theme that Reid's information flow did not force fans to turn on the radio or go to the computer to hear about their favorite team. Reid also continued his practice of calling out the "start and park" cars as they left the track, leaving little doubt that he was not going to take the party line and avoid the issue.

As the race moved toward conclusion, the new restart rules changed the Watkins Glen TV experience for the fans in a wonderfully positive way. Just like Sonoma, the road course came alive and action continued lap after lap. It was tight racing and was setting-up to be a great run to the finish line for the entire field.

Unfortunately, ESPN decided that showing the top four cars cross the finish line was enough. It was now time for the post-race TV meltdown and it was a good one.

TV viewers saw the Ambrose in-car camera as the rest of the field was racing to the finish line. Viewers saw the Ambrose pit crew and then more in-car even as Reid was still calling the finish of the remainder of the field.

Finally, NASCAR fans got to watch the very same in-car angle of the Ambrose steering wheel and helmet while Kyle Busch slammed his way by on the cool down lap. In TV terms, ESPN completely missed the moment. Reid did his best to cover for these poor production choices using phrases like "we did not get to see that" and "Kyle goes on past" even as Busch roared away.

"We didn't see if there were any words exchanged," said Reid. "I doubt it was congratulations," added Jarrett. ESPN actually had to replay Busch hitting Ambrose after the race. That's incredible.

Dave Burns drew the Kyle Busch post-race interview straw this week. "Dirty driving or just aggressive from Marcos Ambrose today?" asked Burns as his opening question. This time, Busch took the high road saying he never saw Ambrose and just had to protect himself. Jamie Little then tried hard to push Ambrose in Victory Lane to feel guilty about his winning move. He never wavered.

Unfortunately, it was now the top of the hour and TV viewers would not get to hear from Ron Fellows, Jeff Burton or Robby Gordon. ESPN2 was out of time. The network left for a taped poker show and there were no follow-up interviews on ESPNEWS or SportsCenter that we found.

On a graphics note, ESPN kept the ticker running on the top of the screen scrolling the final results for a short time after the finish. However, the network never showed a full screen graphic of the final results. It was impossible to get an overview of the field without the full screen.

Showing only a championship points graphic during the close is certainly not an appropriate way to close out a multi-hour live NASCAR race, even if the deck is being shuffled at the very important poker show.

This telecast started positively, showed the potential of Reid in the ESPN booth and then ended with poor production decisions and pit reporters focused on controversy once again. It seems with no other options, even NASCAR fans have to play the hand they are dealt. Jerry Punch returns with the same TV team for the Sprint Cup Series coverage on ESPN Sunday afternoon.

TDP welcomes your comments on the ESPN coverage of the Nationwide Series race from Watkins Glen. To add your TV-related opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to drop by The Daly Planet.

42 comments:

me said...

JD. I know that you have long experience in this realm but I think you're being a bit hard on the overall effort. Racing, great. Booth, excellent. Cameras, very good. Pit reporters, ah well. Can you give this broadcast overall less than a B+?

What you and the other Planeteers seem to miss sometimes is something best put by Curly. "I'm a victim of coicomstance!" In the world of a zillion cameras, they all have to point at something and they make their best guesses at where they think the action will happen. The best action. The most compelling action. It is, has been, and always will be a judgment call. Often a wild guess. I'll agree that the ongoing scrum between Gordon and Logano warranted a constant view but in the hills and valleys of the Glen, it's hard to know what's going to happen where.

I'm going to go down on the "wrong" side of the finishing line view. Isn't P2 first loser? If so, who cares about P5. I'd much rather revel with the winner. BTW, on a long road course the back markers can take a long time to come home. F1 broadcasts will show that every fortnight.

There's no doubt that when ESPN stepped back in, their work was rubbish. But again in the words of Curly, "inch by inch, step by step", ESPN has moved forward. Marty's a good add. Dr. Jerry could bury those in the pits today. It's his strong suit.

It's too bad that would be seen as a demotion. The good Doc, in between looking after driver and crew injuries and saving Buddy Baker's life, delivered some of the best pit reports this side of Dr. Dirt. Many companies offer two career paths; managerial and technical. Too bad there isn't something similar in sports coverage.

In the final analysis, I think you're being a bit harsh in your broad analysis. Things are getting better at ESPN. Step by step...

Dot said...

As much as I love Marcos and was happy that he won, it was lame of BSPN to show him in the car when others were still crossing the finish line. Plus, we didn't get to see Weed hit him live.

Why do they insist on doing this? I'm sure there had to be beatin' and bangin' by the other drivers crossing the finish line.

I asked in the other column why there isn't a fixed camera where Leffler and Logano crashed. That seems to be where the action is.

The forecast doesn't look good tomorrow for the CUP race. Let's start a pool to see how long it takes NASCAR to decide to postpone the race until Monday.

Patti said...

Couldn't agree more, I walked away for two seconds and the coverage was over. I was waiting to get qoutes for a story and it was over. THye really messed up on the cool down lap. ESPN is always searching for story ie; JPM and Kahne, I am surprised that they didn't think that Busch or Ambrose could have words ora "love tap".
I do disagree on the S&P I can't stand them calling out every team.

When I was at the Milwaukee race the people in the stands were mocking because instead of covering on track action they were watching the S&P, I am sorry I don't need a driver by driver update to know that there are guys struggling in this sport.

Daly Planet Editor said...

me,

The same TV team has been working on this series since Daytona.

Just two weeks ago, the Nationwide Series race at ORP produced by the same network was fantastic. What happened?

I would suggest that you are not a fan of a specific team, especially one like Ron Fellows or Jeff Burton, who fought back to finish 5th and 6th only to not be shown racing each other to the finish or interviewed.

The reality of NASCAR is that the celeration begins when the winner gets back around to the start finish line.

There is nothing to see before that except a big helmet, some crew members jumping around and maybe a smiling wife.

Unlike the Indy 500, this series runs all season and the battles that have been discussed and shown on TV for the previous three hours need to be paid off at the finish.

These issues I discussed are not the result of random events, they are TV 101 and fundamental.

As we have said many times, imagine the Kentucky Derby showing only the winning horse finish the race because that is what the TV network wanted to do.

Fans at home want to see on TV what the fans at the track are watching. If you can find me one fan who watched the top four cars cross the finish line and then looked away, I'll eat my hat.

There were lots of good things in this telecast, but as Terry Bradshaw would say, the dropped balls in this game affected the outcome. Football season is almost here.

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

...celebration begins...I love my laptop, I love my laptop...

Anonymous said...

1. The announcers talk too much
2. Refer to number 1
3. They rehash and recook the hash
all day long.
4. How about this ...

Every few laps or so ...LET THE
VIEWER HEAR THE ENGINES !!! Like
you know ..when we are at the track !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And your " Full throttle " good
idea...but who thought it was good
to put the comments of the spotters
on == during Full Throttle ?????????

And how about on the Restarts...how
about letting us poor shlubs out
here in TV land ...LET US HEAR
THE ENGINES WITH OUT COMMENTS
FROM THE ANNOUNCERS ???

Oh In case you missed it ..Marty
Reed made a funny...........

" I dont think that Kyle and
Ambrose will be having dinner
together " The he said it again
later in the telecast"

Bruce Simmons said...

The coverage seemed disjointed, while still showing the "big news" of each moment.

Maybe their lack of experience covering lefty turn tracks is showing here.

SIDE NOTE: I'm going to possibly sound like a delusional fan, but was Kyle maybe just giving Ambrose a congrats tire rub? Cause if he was really mad, wouldn't he have left more of a ding?

I'm just saying.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Bruce, can you believe we had to show a replay to find that out?

I'm just saying...

Sophia said...

well judging by the comments same ol same old BSPN. Missed key moments with bad camera work.

I did look up to see Marcos catch the flag in his car. THAT was cool. I spent all afternoon taking notes on a FABULOUS upcoming CD and planning how to make demo CD (anybody here use Audacity software? Feel free to email me tips! I've not done this before and it's convoluted)

I guess somethings are better watched when multi tasking or pulling one's hair out. I had enough of that without watching the race. But yes there did seem to be excess chatter so I finally muted the tv. Full throttle needs to be done w/o SPOTTER chatter. *sigh*

Thankfully this blog keeps me informed of what I missed I missed. :)

David said...

This is a group that just almost always runs on 6 or 7 cylinders.

Rarely 8. ORP was an exception instead of the rule which is a shame.

This was a great race that just had many parts missed completely. They missed what happened to Scott Speed on the final lap, they missed Ron Fellows come up through the field and finish 5th after rebounding from a penalty on their final stop, they blew the cool down lap and post race entirely. It really really REALLY is a shame this continues to be a problem for this bunch.

Marty, Andy and DJ did an amazing job calling what they had to work with. That booth dynamic worked out great! However the production truck was again a weak link which continues to hurt this group week in and week out.

Cutting to a split screen of the crew celebrating right after he crosses the line would have been fine but to take these full screen approaches just baffles me. ESPECIALLY with no full field rundown by the booth after the race. Thats a problem and a severe one at that.

Progress is starting to show from where the booth is concerned but I think the clear issues on pit road and in the production truck HAVE to be addressed soon.

No excuse for missing Robby v. Joey since not 2 turns before that did they show them side by side in the inner loop, so color me confused about why they missed it in 9.

Steve L. said...

Sadly, I'm already dreading today's coverage of the Cup race. The Nationwide race yesterday is what I consider the "A" Team, so think what we'll get today....

I said this at the end of the race yesterday, the sound of the cars on the track was terrible! If you closed your eyes during the broadcast, you wouldn't have been able to identify it was a stock car race on television. It was just an annoying clutter of sounds, like a loud fan, not like race cars. What ever happened to when a car went by a camera, it would go from your left speaker to the right?

The only time it resembled a car was in the in-car camera shots. We not only need great pictures, but need great sound as well.

Vicky D said...

Yeah, pretty much all the broadcast was good then the end it fell apart. Joey's wreck was bad and they didn't really show it (except the car on fire), and how many times have we begged for the guys to show all the cars crossing the finish line. Then to go off to a rerun of poker is behind me. Maybe next race will be better except Marty won't be there. I think the cars in the Michigan race will get strung out so it'll be a pretty much boring race too. Marty & Co can't do everything they still have to depend on the guys behind the scenes and in the truck and if they fail to do their jobs then this is what we will get (again and again)!

Dwight said...

Still waiting to hear what happened to Scott Speed on the last lap. We must have missed some good racing.

The effort to sell the idea that Ambrose shouldn't have passed Kyle like that started right away. Most amazing was the notion that he should have given Kyle's spotter time to tell him Marcus was there.

Also agree that it was obvious that Robbie Gordon and Lagano might not be over. Particularly given Gordon's proclivities. No excuse for not getting better shot on that one.

Too bad, because they actually did a better than expected job on lots of other parts.

Anonymous said...

tv 101 JD? - the celebration begins when the winner gets back to the start finish line WRONG - when was the last time you we at a race? - the crew does not wait to celebrate - the owner does not wait - the wife or girlfriend does not rate - your board has turned into a hate filled breeding ground - when folks suggest storming the tv compound (hope ESPN security is investigating that one) reality check for you and your twits - ESPN is in the business of producing for millions and millions of fans - and making billions of dollars - they do not give a dam about the daly planet, your fellow bloggers, and especially your critical comments.

Anonymous said...

Think maybe next week at Michigan since Speed has all the On track coverage except the two races we should just let Steve, Jeff, Larry and gang do those as well?

Just sayin...

Anonymous said...

I have no quarrel with the announcers but found myself at sea in trying to figure out the reasoning behind the camera coverage. Is it possible to put an experienced NASCAR person with the producer who might clue that person in about action and possible racing situations on the track? The Robby Gordon thing? One example. The visuals just don't tell the stories well. So frustrating. I am also interested in other drivers on the track and their racing is mostly ignored. Please, ESPN, find more experienced, NASCAR-knowledgable people to help with these races.

Jojaye said...

I'm going to repeat what I said yesterday.

Compared to last week which got me to switch channels & watch IRL, not bad C+. Nothing to write home about, not bad enough to make me want to switch either.

I hope espn realizes what a real pro they have in Marty Reid. Good chemistry with DJ & Andy. Excellent with the calling of the race. PxP was solid, no crickets, now if the T-R-U-C-K would please get with it- we could have sloid racing shown on TV.

OK I'm not a TV pro here but taped shows can be sped up slightly on replay ( Heaven forbid joined in progress) since the '80s. I know that because a station in Cleveland did it & had to apologize for not "informing" it was a big to do back then.

Yes we would like to see some post race & a complete wrap up.

*Next I know I'm not gonna make some happy here. I hope against hope that Boris Said & his meltdown is enough to get him scaled back on NASCAR coverage. A Ringer is some one who is put on a team because they are far superior to others competing, to win. Boris, in a stock car, has not done that lately in NASCAR. He does NOT rate the excessive air time.
just saying...

Jojaye said...

Should read "solid" & I really hate this old dang keyboard, getting new one on Wens. - My good one took a bath in coffee & hasn't worked so I'm using an old $10 Logitech. sigh its like using a non electric typewriter!

Newracefan said...

Compared to cup race coverage this was a B+. Yes they blew the end which could have been prevented, we know they had that camera angle. Missing some of the other happenings may have been the limitations of camera angles at a road course. I would hope that since they missed Leffler's crash in NW practice they would have moved the camera if possible and we would have gotten Joey's. The guys in the booth did a fantastic job for the most part and they definately win my vote for the cup races. Too bad I don't get a vote.

My bigger fear is that we get rained out again, I'm really not looking forward to watching little circles on my work PC with no sound at all.

50 yr. fan said...

You are on the money today JD.
BSPN did better but they still have
a way to go. I say leave the
background noise on low volume.
Go to the track if you want to have
your head rattled.

Boris is way overated by the TV
folks. A ringer he is not and his
opinions are babble.

David said...

I missed what happened with Boris. I have tended to tune him out as of late so someone re-inform me of what he said/did.

I mean he hopped in the chicken-machine which has been a rolling wreck all year, got that. Was "too busy" to get properly fitted for a seat, got that. But what did I miss in the race?

ESPN using him as a "credible" Cup analyst has ALWAYS been a joke and that says alot because I like Boris. Craven is FAR more credible and much better to listen to in my opinion anyways.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 9:57PM,

We went through this same issue with Fox for two seasons before someone got to Director Artie Kempner and he began to show the lead lap cars finishing the race.

Director Mike Wells at TNT uses a classic wideshot with a drop-down electronic graphic to show the lead lap cars race to the line.

In the Trucks, this has never been an issue. SPEED understands that the best race to the flag may be the clump of trucks trying to finish 5th through 10th.

Nothing shows a total and complete ignorance of auto racing like pulling away to show only the winner after the checkered flag.

At Watkins Glen, there was no last lap drama for Ambrose, it was all behind him. For the first time this season on ESPN, the fans missed it ALL.

ESPN has been tremendously helpful in the development of this site. Many of the pictures are provided directly by ESPN and a weekly information email provides talent assignments, start times and updated NASCAR information.

There is not going to be a time where our version of NASCAR reality changes to the political correctness of other "reporters" working the sport.

I appreciate your comment and your right to post it. I just don't know what it solves or how it helped the situation.

Maybe it just made you feel better.

JD

Walter said...

Mr Editor -
Three fans in the booth enjoying action around the track conveyed the excitement ...sad to have production team make crap out of what proved to be an interesting race ...repeatedly missed action and focus on contrived topics ruined a good show on the track ...no need to manufacture anything, just cover what happens in real time - grade C- ...only on-air personalities made it that good

bevo said...

@anonymous 9:57am- I think I deciphered your attempt at English. Since you are apparently new to motorsports the race does not end when the first car crosses the finish line. A good tip-off to this fact is apparent at a race when you see the remaining cars still racing to that very same finish line. Each race is an individual event but, and this is a very important but, many races combined result in what is known as a championship. The finishing order in each race is very important to determine who wins the championship.

As for your point about ESPN "security" they seem to be occupied with hotel security issues at the time. I seriously doubt there is some kind of terroristic plot to storm a tv compound at a race.

Finally, no one is forcing you to read this blog. I would advise you not to since it seems to cause you so much aggravation.

Anonymous said...

Not a bad show,at least they got off the steve wallace show

Anonymous said...

JD-

Would be interesting to see what would happen if they had the Indycar production team in the truck, since they probably have more familiarity with what Reid is likely to be calling and thus be asking for in terms of pictures.

Richard Batts said...

ESPN, please get Rusty Wallace a grammar teacher. Listening to him mangle standard English is jarring and distracting from his commentary. Surely there are former drivers available who went to high school to replace him..

West Coast Diane said...

@anon 9:57

Yes, many of us are probably the same rabble rousers storming the Healthcare Townhalls...LOL!

I loved the booth. AP & DJ were so much better with Marty. They did not have to continually step in and become PxP people which allowed them to focus on their real duties....analyzing what was going on.

I love Marty's enthusiasm.

Are they perfect...no. But I can live with it. Calling a race for 3to 4 hours there are bound to be a few slip ups.

However, the production crew, more specifically the producer, just don't get it. Or they do and just don't care. What a shame...they could have an A telecast if they just implemented a couple of our suggestions. Not asking for anything that would cost them more money.

Sophia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lesley said...

I would like to thank Nascar for not throwing a yellow flag everytime someone went off track!Great job Nascar!!

Walter said...

Mr Editor -
Three fans in the booth enjoying action around the track conveyed the excitement ...sad to have production team make crap out of what proved to be an interesting race ...repeatedly missed action and focus on contrived topics ruined a good show on the track ...no need to manufacture anything, just cover what happens in real time - grade C- ...only on-air personalities made it that good

Anonymous said...

By the end of the race yesterday i wanted to pull my tv off the wall. Terrible coverage, again. whole day spent with boris said. boris is an idiot, and today we get nothing but love on espn and speed for montoya. what has he done? nascar coverage in general is terrible. they pick two or three drivers and that's all they cover and focus on all day. i've watched for over 20 years, but am really close to turning it off.

Vince said...

I agree the guys in the booth did a good job and AB was his usual professional and polished self. But the guys in the truck, mainly the director, completely dropped the ball. If I was Director for a Day at a road course, I'd make damn sure I always had a camera on Robbie Gordon and Boris Said. Because those two are going to hit somebody and/or run off the track at some point in the race. Probably multiple times. There is always some bumping and banging with those guys.

I don't know who the director of ESPN's NASCAR coverage is, but they are NOT a race fan. No way, no how. They have continually proved that they do not know how to show us a race.

As for the pit reporters, I think ESPN's are the "pits". Jamie Little and Shannon Spake have no business being in the pits to start out with. They wouldn't know a track bar from a shock absorber. A pit reporter should at least have a basic understanding of the mechanics of the race cars. Those two do not. And don't get me started on the "How do you feel" questions that they keep asking. Please get some real pit reporters or put Dr. P back in the pits where he belongs.

I give the race coverage a C- overall. B+ for the booth guys and AB. D- for the direction from the truck.

Anonymous said...

What shocked me was that Nascar did nothing about Robby Gordon's repeated efforts to wreck Lagano. A few months ago, they parked Jason Leffler for just touching Wrecker Wallace's #66 car. Robby will always be a complete jerk. Fortunately, he's sliding out of the Cup series which can't happen too soon.

Anonymous said...

Had ESPN stayed on the S/F line to show all of the lead lap cars finish, you would have missed the "love tap" in the esses anyway.
I've been to Watkins Glen and to "keep cameras" focused on individual drivers would be impossible. The cameras are placed so they can cover certain parts of the track and it looked like any 2 could see the same thing.
I watched parts of the race again and I really don't see a "script" for this one. The normal guys were up front and the action was good.
I read where someones audio wasn't good, mine was great. Surround sound is so cool in racing! I'd check with your cable company if it's an issue on a regular basis.
I did notice very little complaining in the race thread, but as soon as JD opened the door, everyone ran in with pitchforks and torches to run ESPN out of town again. I understand your backround in TV JD, but you really must be careful in your commentary as some might consider it sour grapes and not constructive criticism.

Daly Planet Editor said...

anon 9:48PM,

Where have you been for the past three years? We have been right here every day talking about all the NASCAR TV partners and any media stories that go with that topic.

I left ESPN in 1989 with a nice party that was interrupted by the earthquake at the World Series in San Francisco. Memorable day.

Let me help you out with some points.

The Director would have watched Kyle and Marcos and then cut to them as the moment came. That is good sports TV. ESPN blew it...big time and they knew it. That is why it was replayed.

My audio was great and the comments are about the mix, which has been an issue for a while now between the SD and HD viewers.

If you thought these race comments were bad, you should have been here when Brent Musburger, Suzy Kolber and Rusty Wallace were the show.

This is the best season ESPN has enjoyed in the three years of this coverage. The things done to NASCAR fans by the ESPN networks would be done to no other sport.

We loved the ESPN "Feel Your Heart Race" documentary, loved the ORP coverage and still think NASCAR Now is mostly wonderful.

NASCAR fans deserve good TV for the ten months of the season. This is where we discuss it. Happy to have your views on these topics.

JD

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

I dont get too bent out of shape over alot of the camera work. The "golden" days of ESPN never really showed every car cross the finish line so Im okay with what they do personally. However if there is a compelling battle not for the lead coming to the line it would be great to see. I know why many want to see as many guys finish as possible though so I am fine either way. Missing Kyle's "love tap" was a huge mistake by the network. Also not cueing up a replay for what happened to Scott Speed was another huge miss in my eyes. The Robby Gordon thing had just enough camera coverage to explain what happened, the camera was focused on the spinning 34 but what was seen at the bottom of the picture was enough for me. Though the "FOX 3D" concept would have worked here perfectly.

ESPN is 300% better to watch since 2007 and I feel as if each and every one of our thoughts has helped in that process. Feels as if we are 90% of the way there in getting quality for our investment of time watching the races on ESPN. All we ask for is something fair and objective which the NW coverage has NOT been since day 1. Marty brings alot more objectivity to the table as does Randy LaJoie which makes these races much more enjoyable to watch and they aren't half bad with DJ and AP too. Just have to get things in order with the production truck. Hopefully by the time Daytona hits in Feb. the proper changes are already in place and we can all rest our fingers more and blog/tweet/rant about other issues in racing such as what our fav drivers do or what our least favs did to muck it up lol.

JD, posing a question that I dont think I have ever asked you before but do you think the exclusivity of having an entire series on a single network causing a network to become stagnant or content with a less than full effort? SPEED does an amazing job with the trucks but seems content to use Mikey at every chance it gets, and ESPN's issues are well documented.

Also to spin off that, FOX having its grouping of races, TNT with its and ESPN with its races, does that cause a similar issue as well. With the old package TNN, ESPN, TBS and CBS had to work together in certain ways so no one got complacent with gimmicks and cross promotion happened a bit more. I think the networks get caught up in gimmicks on a yearly basis. Its been seen with Digger and other FOX concepts, ESPN tries to one up it, TNT/NBC tried when they had the 2nd half of the season and when your one upping a bad idea, more bad ideas are bred as a result. TNT has been good about staying true to the racing the past 2 years but their small amount of races probably helps that too.

Just wondering what you think

MRM4 said...

As much as Fox goes on about Kyle Busch, ESPN is doing the same thing with Marcos Ambrose.

I didn't see much of the Nationwide race, but I did see the stuff going on betweem Logano and Gordon. For the announcers not to know what happened is inexcusable. I didn't have the advantage of multiple TV monitors, but Stevie Wonder could have seen what happened there.

I caught the ending of the IRL race on Versus. While the race wasn't good and had been over when I turned it over there, it was good to hear Bob Jenkins calling the race and seeing some wide shots instead of constant in-car coverage. Maybe NASCAR needs to award Versus with coverage.

Daly Planet Editor said...

David,

That is the reason we started this blog back in 2007 with just a couple of former TV guys. We did not understand how this was going to work for NASCAR.

ESPN has college sports in the fall and only two channels, so how would the Nationwide races be handled?

Splitting the Sprint Cup between Fox, TNT, ESPN and ABC meant fans would have to jump back and forth between cable and broadcast networks for the same series.

With ESPN being the only network that was going to originate regular NASCAR new programming, how would they do that from Connecticut with no Charlotte reporters or studios?

All of this has been fascinating to watch play out, especially when you keep in mind this is a multi-billion dollar windfall for NASCAR.

It seems that with the economy and the sport suffering right now, only NASCAR is laughing all the way to the bank.

JD

Anonymous said...

I didn't hear Boris' meltdown because I haven't paid attention to a word he says after he acted like such an idiot toward Marcos last year (or whenever that was). If he's on, I mute the TV or change the channel.

BWBarefoot said...

About the poker telecast that ESPN2 felt it had to rush to: It was not even the premiere showing of that program; those are aired on Tuesday evening. It was more like the fifth or sixth showing. Inexcusable.