Monday, September 21, 2009

Your Turn: Sprint Cup Series From New Hampshire On ABC

It was a beautiful day in Loudon, New Hampshire. The NASCAR on ESPN team was presenting the first race in "The Chase for the Championship."

Allen Bestwick came on at 1PM to lead the NASCAR charge against the NFL for the first Sunday head-to-head match-up. He was joined by Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty in the Infield Pit Center. Tim Brewer came along from the Tech Garage.

Jerry Punch was the play-by-play announcer with Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree as the analysts. On pit road were Shannon Spake, Jamie Little, Dave Burns and Vince Welch.

This race was run on a flat track that featured single file racing and passing that was limited the entry to the corners. There were few accidents, mechanical failures or controversial moments.

The pictures and sound were outstanding, the graphics worked well. The production team was confronted by pit stops that were crucial to both the Chasers and the racers. This was a key issue on a limited passing track like this.

The pit reporters had to play a key role in this telecast. The infield added some commentary coming out of commercial break. Petree and Jarrett handled the issues associated with race strategy. Jerry Punch was in charge of supplying the excitement for the TV viewers during the racing action.

During the Chase, commercial breaks are tough to integrate. ABC was faced with several circumstances where coming back early from commercial was a decision that had to be made instantly. The Chase cars get a higher level of attention than the non-Chase teams on the telecast.

This post is an opportunity for you to post your thoughts immediately after watching the live race. Tell us what you liked and perhaps did not like. Your comment can be any length, we just ask that you keep in mind that this is a family-friendly site.

There will be a full column up on this event from my perspective later, but this is a good time to hear what you think right after the race. Thank you for taking a moment to give us your opinion.


rich said...

I watched video only and listened to radio. Thought the camera work was somewhat better but was inconsistent. Thought that I saw more headlights early on. The commercials on both venues were very distracting today. Seemed more so than usual. To much missed action, I know, I know, somebody has to pay the bills. I did not even listen to ESPN during breaks this week. Just can't stand the drone

Ken said...

The race coverage had no flow. It was impossible to follow what was happening or where the drivers were running. NA$CAR made it a joke with their "debris" cautions that were clearly competition yellows. They endangered a lot of drivers by not calling the last lap caution promptly. Very disappointed in both the race and the coverage of the race.

earl06 said...

Two interviews, no explanation for the final caution. Yuck. Total failure to wrap up a good race.

Anonymous said...

Only 2 postrace interviews and no explanation about what happened with the 44.
Too many commercials.

boyd said...

I am giving you a great mark for catching more than one car at a time for the majority of the race. Better camera work than usual, thanks for that.
I know that commercials pay the way, but geez, were there more today than usual? It seemed that every time a commercial came on a caution came out. I do give you credit for dumping some commercials to get back to the action.
The booth. Read past comments from almost every race that ESPN has covered. I loved JP in the 90's in the pits, there was non better.
Let's put him back there and let him show the Barbie twins how to be pit reporters.
You have used Marty Reid for some Nationwide races, how putting him or (drum roll please) Alan Bestwick up in the PxP role?
Also please reset the field after yellow flags, I was completely lost many did he get back there, or up that far in the standings.
Better broadcast then I thought it would be, just get the booth straightened out so I can know what is actually happening during the race.

Matt said...

A couple of things:

1. Nascar has to choose a dedicated broadcast team for the entire season. Some combination fo the FOX and ESPN crews would most likely be the most palatable scenario.

2. I'd rather them trim some time from the pre-race show and make room for better post race coverage. That's where the real storylines are.

PG_Harley said...

As disjointed a race as I can remember seeing. That is saying a lot considering ESPN/ABC have been carrying the ball for a while now.

They just never seemed to be where the race or action was. Seemed to miss everything that happened throughout

Zero, none, nada post race other than the obligatory... then off to our local infomercial.

It is a very sad state when the post race updates are coming from Planeteers in the race blog.


Martin Vincent said...

Ticker after the checkered showed the same results as Live Leaderboard. Does anyone know if NASCAR corrected some of the positions due to the yellow?

red said...

ok, so i've been pretty good at giving espn very concise, detailed feedback after the races so to any espn folks reading this? just check earlier post-race columns. it all remains pretty much the same so i'll leave it to other planeteers to be more specific

EXCEPT . . .

lying to fans, misleading us, being deceitful is inexcusable. at least twice today, fans were not told the truth on pitstops and i fail to see any valid explanation for that decision. you obviously have so little regard for fans and our understanding of our sport that you wouldn't even say "well, we missed it but here's what happened earlier between the 07 car and a pit crew member on the 11" and "here's a REPLAY of the 48's pit stop."

nope. you chose to be deceitful and that's shameful. all previous feedback and criticism apply but this was just way too much. what else did you choose to lie about that we didn't catch because we were busy trying to figure out what the hell was going on at the track?

so much for professional standards and ethics. you owe us some sort of explanation.

finally, shannon's incredibly dumb lead-in statement to earnhardt jr was shut down just the way it deserved to be. it astounds me that any driver even speaks to the pit reporters from espn any more.

each week, the coverage just gets worse. lord knows how bad it will be by homestead.

glad i'm going to dover next sunday, if only so i won't have to be treated with such arrogance and disdain by one of media partners.

Vicky D said...

I just heard DJ say this was a great race and all the races the rest of the year should like this one. I wonder if we will see them because I think ESPN missed a lot of the racing today. Not enough reports on the cars that fell out, too much time devoted to chase "points as they are running", questionable pitroad questions to crew chiefs too. Good start for Mark Martin though.

PG_Harley said...

P.S. I tried steaming the PRN broadcast while watching the tube, but the TV race coverage was so far off what PRN had, I thought I was in the 7th level of hell. Had to kill the audio streaming.

Sophia said...

The quick wrap up and leaving was not good. Why the delay in the final caution? To make a driver so vulnerable is INEXCUSABLE in this day and age of "safety first"?

Once again, NASCAR's ETCH-a-Sketch rules live. Glad it had safe ending but that was a bad call.

Still not a good broadcast. the FAKE pit stops that were way out of sequence was like a fake reality show bit.

BSPN lived up to their nikname.

diane said...

@Matt, perfect comment. The quick cut away with few interviews and no discussion of the Dinger caution at the end and whatever was going on between Ambrose and Dinger in Pit road. Its a shame. In my market they are now showing an infomercial.

DrTeplisky said...

I guess the best phrase to describe the telecast was a decided lack of continuity. Yes there were bunches of stories. However, a production managment team who actually knew something about the sport and respected the people who watch the telecast would have busted their collective butts to bring a coherent telecast to the viewers and build added value for the advertisers. They unfortunately did neither.

Anonymous said...

Why oh why are there no more interviews?? wow. Great coverage. NOT>>>> So sad.

Anonymous said...

Three things that were REALLY wrong with the broadcast.

1. infield pit studio went on vacation while the booth was redefining confused as JD put it.

2. How can you not have a post race show when there were so many stories left untold, drivers to be interviewd and some kind of official comment from NASCAR about that checkered yellow decision was sorely needed

3. Who ever was working the ticker kept screwing it up and cars were left inplace while on pit road. This is rediculouse if I can't even get accurate info off the crawl!

Sally said...

Once again, the coverage (what little there was) focused on the top 12 drivers. Elliot Sadler finished 7th and wasn't mentioned until the last 2 laps? Little information given about what went on during pit stops, or to cars that yo yo'd back to front to back all day. ESPN missed at least 2 passes for the lead during green flag racing because they were busy focusing on a 'chaser' back in the field. With so few green flag passes, they can't afford to miss that many. Jumping around to cover chasers once again made mincemeat of the coverage. No way to find any flow. It took them way too long to replay any accidents, seldom showed the 'debris' that brought out several cautions, and neglected to mention when they were showing things (like pit stops) in replay rather than live. For a 'live' race, they certainly had to rely on replays a lot. Unfortunately, I don't expect much more from ESPN.

Anonymous said...

The Good:
- Many wide shots were great suprise to see
- Mid-pack coverage of the battles & a through-the-field.
- Breaking out of commercial twice

The Bad:
- Pit stop catastrophe & lack of resets. Dave Burns' embarassing report of the #14 axle problem & missed the battle off pit road. There were constant gambles on pit road & cars that didn't pit. The problem was: the field was never reset. That left many people at home clueless as to what everyone did & why they were in that position. Shannon Spake had a bad day with Kasey Kahne & Dale Jr, who shut her down. Now is the time to learn what questions to ask.
- Tech Center: Good vs. Bad. Good - Explaining Tony Stewart's axle problem. Bad - how a tire gets cut & how to pull a piece of tape off the front of the car.
- No progression in stories. It seems like every week I hear the story of Mark Martin & I am getting tired of it. Bobby Labonte's last minute sponsorship was great news, but I didn't need to hear the same story 3 times in 1 broadcast. I think this responsibiity belongs to the play-by-play announcer.
- Usual ESPN issues: Incomprehensible full throttle, 2 full screen video packages (that is what should be on the pre-race, not replayed NASCAR Now segments) Pointless 'points as of now' every 50 laps (we were only partially through race #1 of 10 races that will crown a champion. Give me a break), & the chaos at the end of the race showing a blob of cars on the front stretch & suddenly showing the celebrating crew. No sense was made of the chaos. 3 quick interviews, point standings & time to run.

Overall broadcast:
**1/2 / *****

Overall race:
***1/2 / *****

Unknown said...

WHAT THE FRACK is ABC thinking? Leaving post race after 2 minutes for a freaking INFOMERCIAL on AAA!!??

I guess the "suits" in LA or NY figure the stupid redneck hicks who watch NASCAR won't notice. Talk about who's stupid.

Hey ABC, the word fan is short for "fanatic" and fans take this stuff VERY seriously. I would recommend you all get some asbestos umbrellas because the rain that's beginning to fall is FLAMING mad.

Linda P. Taylor - multi-college degreed, Southern California raised NASCAR FAN!

Matt said...

It is time for Nascar to suck it up and call a massive "network" meeting. The NFL and NBA would never, ever allow such shoddy national coverage of their product. It is evident that in Bristol, the sport is not a priority with the constant schedule shifting and buried coverage on Sportscenter. Helton, you want your sport to be one of the big boys? Interact with the media executives the way other commissioners do and get better coverage for your sport.

bevo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen said...

Buschseries61, please explain your ratings. I'm not getting it.

Overall broadcast:
**1/2 / *****

Overall race:
***1/2 / *****

Richard in N.C. said...

I believe most of the fault for the mediocre EESPN coverage is not JP's, but the arrogance of the Worldwide Leper in Sports. If the special folk in management decide that the folk in the truck know more about racing than JP and others on the air with many years of experience and direct that the booth call what is on the screen, not what is on the track, then the fault for mediocrity belongs at the level above the on-air talent. More and more, across the board, at EESPN Quality is Job None.

Anonymous said...

Thank to the headsup I switched to the J channel with Hot Pass so that was an exciting end. Didn't miss BSPN at all! I hope they keep this "mistake" and play the radio over BSPN the rest of the season.

Agree with the comments about their deceitfulness. Why did they think it was necessary? Showing something like it just happened when in reality it happened 15 minutes before! Don't play us for fools!

I'm going to have to find the video that sounds classic! Glad to hear him shutting down her dumb question!

I always think that when they ask the "what happened?" when it's the blind obvious!

Martin Vincent said...

ABC left the coverage with the positions recorded at the line, NASCAR's revised results put Hamlin 2nd and Montoya 3rd, Burton 16th and Edwards 17th, and Marcos Ambrose loses 2 positions from 18th to 20th.

bevo said...

On the "atta boy" side - better framing on the cameras showing more of the cars and fewer tight shots as well as in-car and bumper ones. Got a rundown on cars outside the top 10. Came back early from a commercial for leaders making green flag stops.

But... no flow at all. No perspective on what was going on. Pit reporters are now the worst in motorsports, no insight and the dumbest questions that could possibly be asked. No post-race coverage. How about a 30 minute pre-race and a 30 or 15 minute post-race and start the race earlier?

As I posted earlier in the day now is the time ESPN has to depend on true race fans for ratings going against NFL games. That is why they have to change the broadcast. When race fans are diverted by football games not involving their own team there is a problem. ESPN has to mend fences to get fans back. I can't imagine how low the ratings will be here in the DFW area for ABC today.

Anonymous said...

* = Awful
** = Poor
*** = Average
**** = Good
***** = Fantastic

I try to mix in camera work, broadcast team performance, production truck performance, & miscellaneous topics in the final rating. I was a little generous today because of the wide shots & throught the field.

red: That was a great point I forgot about. It sure was disappointing to watch & know they were deceiving millions of viewers. I'll take away my half of a star now.


Kahnefan98 said...

3 words sum up this race...

1. POOR coverage
2. POOR commentary
3. POOR Interviews

Anonymous said...

I love how the Good Ole Boys in the booth love to try and tell us how their Buddy-drivers are doing. Petree told us that Bobby Labonte was doing a great job, when Bobby had lost 5 spots from the start. And later, DJ told us how great Bobby was doing when BL had dropped back into the 20's. It is great when we are told how GOOD a driver is doing when they are going backwards!

toomuchcountry said...

Only got to see the last 100 laps. Glad I did because I think I would have turned it off after the 1st 100 as bad as JP and other coverage was.

1. At risk of being redundant, no coverage at all of 44's 2nd spin - inexcusable. Heck, they should have even tried to be sensational. Go see if 44 and 47 have a less than friendly post-race chat. Or 44 and unnamed-driver-involved-in-2nd-spin.

2. Please educate JP on a 2009 rule book. Heck, even a rule book from last 3 or 4 years will work. When AJ spun and caution was likely, Jerry Punchdrunk said now the leaders have to race back to the S/F line. What? That rule was eliminated even before MySpace became irrelevant.

3. Petree's response to JP's late race comment about pit strategy was priceless. With restart at about 12 to go, Punch asks Andy "OK crew chief, do you bring your driver in?" A bit surprised Petree quickly responds "Heck no!" You've been following this sport how long JP?

4. ESPN's refusal (and I can lump in FOX with them) to address the debris cautions is a joke. I'd really like to see a stat about how many debris cautions happen during races either during a commercial or shortly after returning to the air so the network can go back to a commercial.

Unknown said...

I want to lead in with this: I am a college musician, and as such, define improvement as sucking a little less each day. Now, if we are going to use that definition, I would say that yes, this ESPN crew is getting better. Especially during the first 100-150 laps or so, I thought the coverage was among the best of the season, comparable to a FOX or a lower level TNT broadcast. The camera shots were good, the booth seemed to be clicking along, and there did to seem to me to be a fairly good balance of coverage between the chasers and non-chasers. Yes there was the gaffe regarding the pit road contact between the 11 and the 07, missing it the it happened, and then reporting it on the next stop. But, somewhere around 150, the coverage almost completely fell apart. It seemed that when the pit strategies got a little bit "backwards" is about the time that the coverage fell apart. That is when we started getting the single car shots, and since ESPN binds the booth to commenting on only what they see on the monitor, the booth lost all of their direction, momentum and flow. The director, instead of taking the opportunity to show how adaptable he could be, chose instead to go into "safe mode" and provide us with a mediocre second half of the race. Even with that, I still could have been satisfied with the coverage because even up to that point, there was still a slight improvement in the product that ESPN puts out. Unfortunately, they had two very bad problems that at the end that completely killed the broadcast. First was the issue with TIm Brewer towards the end of the race, talking about how a splitter could cut a tire. The segment ended, but the camera stayed on him, and he proceeded to explain grille tape to us. That had me completely confused, and the camera shot of the Tech Garage left me with a question. At one point the camera showed the ceiling, and it looked like a permanent TV studio, not a mobile one. I was under the impression that the Brewer segments occur live, but now I wonder if this is really the case? Is he even at the track? And the other issue that killed the race for me was the end: Short interviews with 1st and 2nd place, and then "Goodbye... see you next week!" Really? I don't know what other markets had after the race, but I had an infomercial about water filtration. I don't know about you, but I would rather take my chances on tap water, and watch some actual post race coverage.

BTW, sorry about the essay length comment, but this is my first real post here after reading this thread for some time, and have a lot of things on my mind about the ESPN coverage as a whole.

KariKendrick said...

ABC in New Orleans didn't go to a infomercial we were treated to a 1994 episode of COPS. Hello anybody listening @ ABC/ESPN ? The race fans are speaking !!!!

glenc1 said...

Linda, it went to local programming...we got a Kelsey Grammer sitcom. Still, just a filler that should have been cut another 5-10 minutes if they want to hype their Chasers.

Anyways, I can't give a full fair opinion because I was multitasking--but part of the reason I did that was, I knew it would be Chaser coverage only, and I figured I might as well get some other stuff done (like getting ready for Dover...) That said, it did appear to me that I was seeing more cars at once in the shots. And the commentary from JD & Andy was okay. But with the pit strategies, it was almost like trying to cover a road course. Very disjointed and most of the time, I had no idea where even a lot of the Chasers were. There was a sequence with Brewer where he seemed to have no clue what they expected him to do (poor direction?) And cutting away so soon at the end. Not a stellar effort for Chase race 1.

glenc1 said...

almost and others are absolutely correct...neither ESPN or NASCAR should be dishonest with the fans....

Anonymous said...

anon 6:18...Bobby was doing *very* well for a team with essentially no money. I have no issue with DJ praising that effort.

Martin Vincent said...

@JT - Only 2 interviews and they couldn't even manage to get the right runner-up. Denny Hamlin finished second, not Juan Pablo Montoya. Sure, Montoya gave Martin the best fight, but it was Hamlin that was ahead when the field was frozen.

Snafam said...

Thank you so much, ESPN, for cutting off the post-race celebration so I could learn about Jack LaLane and his Super-ific Juice Machine, or whatever that thing was called!

I continued to watch the broadcast, and continued to run RaceView, PitCommand, and various driver's scanner channels. I listened in on the Officials channel on Sirius, and got a a great broadcast, AND heard what was happening with calling the cautions! Good stuff!

Unknown said...

Okay, so many problems I can't even mention them all right now....

Kahne was not the only engine failure..Sam Hornish also blew up.

On many occasions, ESPN/ABC called Kurt Busch "Kyle Busch".

Only three interviews before infomercials.

Only followed chase drivers. Earnhardt Jr. had a great day, and mentioned him very little.

Spent way too much time with the 14's axle issue. They should have went split screen when they were fixing it because there were other pit stops going on.

ABC also shown rear-of-the-field battles when there was a battle for the lead or within the top-five. I'm glad they went back there but a battle within the top-five is more important.

There was an horrible, awkward, and long pause during a segment in the tech garage.

ABC didn't replay the finish. Many drivers got rear-ended, fans don't even know probably and still won't.

Agree with Matt, 5:40. Instead of an hour and a half of snooze-fest pre-race coverage, extend the post race by a half hour.

It may just be my ABC station, but the HD quality is dreadful compared to ESPN, FOX, and every other channel.

That's just a FEW of the problems with today's telecast.

Unknown said...

@ Martin Vincent: I didn't even realize that. I just guessed that since they were interviewing Juan Pablo, that he finished 2nd. Oh well... you know what they say about people who assume.

RLDreams said...

Typical low brow BS coverage, Nice thing is I watched most of the Fox/Speed prerace babble, then at 1:00 turned to CBS and watched football till 4:15 while following the race online (thanks to all the great Tweets from everybody) and then watch the race in x2 on the dvr. Good thing about watch 2 hrs of race in 1/2 hr is not having to listen to the drones. Of course I ran out of recording in time to watch the last 75 or so laps live and the great post race coverage.
Come on a split screen with less than 10 laps to go to let Little E blame other people for his own lack of driving ability? That story is getting old .
Only post race interview is of JPM saying if he gets a chance next time he will wreck Mark Martin.
Sad that this is the type of coverage we have come to expect from Espn/ABC and I just can't understand how the France family can let them keep doin it year after year while they are fighting for viewers against the NFL.
Why are all the August and early Sept races on Sat night ,for TV ratings. Of course they are not even shown on "Broadcast TV" either,so that's great for the ratings.

Anonymous said...

What we did NOT like....its the Chase, where were the interviews??? Also would have liked to have seen more just about the field. Dont understand the rush to get off the air...but, Its ESPN-go figure huh?

Martin Vincent said...

@JT - I can't blame you, ESPN left the air saying Montoya finished second. Jerry Punch even said that as soon as the caution flew, the field was frozen and Mark Martin was the official winner. If he had just glanced at Hamlin and Montoya, he would have known that Montoya was behind Hamlin and really finished 3rd.

Martin Vincent said...

@JT - The question you raised about Tim Brewer's set being a studio and not a mobile set, I'll have to clarify this one. It does look like a mobile set, the center section of the ceiling, which is higher than the rest, is just the same width as a transport trailer. The rest of the ceiling are probably panels that are hinged at the top and flip outward and the floor under them are hinged at the bottom and flip downward. The walls are probably panels that are installed upon arrival of the trailer at the track.

I've been skeptical about the segments being live and on site too, but JD says they are, so I believe him.

toomuchcountry said...

@Snafam - Jack LaLane? Wow, that does hurt. At least we got the lovely Olivia Newton John in middle TN.

PammH said...

It was better than usual in the beginning-more wide shots, but then about 1/2 way thru, it fell apart biiig time. I listened to a great race & the TV did show the side by sides for the lead. My local station went to news at 5:30I did laundry & other things during the race. Just have lost ALOT of interest w/the poor coverage.

Martin Vincent said...

On The Speed Report, I thought it was awfully harsh of Bob Dillner to declare that Kasey Kahne's chances of winning the championship were over. It's just one race and he has 9 more to recover from it, while it would take quite a comeback by Kahne, it's far from over.

Mary said...

Why bother to complain about how they treat the post race etc Nascar have their bucks and they JUST DON'T CARE about the TV fans. They're not going to listen or change anything with their TV coverage. It's just so infuriating I am totally exasperated.

Anonymous said...

i dont know what you all are talking about
I was engaged by great tv and an exciting event that was full of action
and great camera work, good announcing and.........
oh, I was watching the NFL.....

Bray Kroter

Anonymous said...

MV, I think the snafu is proof those segments are live! No one would purposefully show something so bad...

peggyann said...

I'll be very interested in hearing how NASCAR Now reports on the race later on tonight. Kenny Schrader is on the SPEED Report now. It's going to be hard to top that.

What others have said about the coverage today is entirely accurate. I'm a pretty tolerant person, but today PRN went on and the TV was muted. So I basically ignored ABC and looked at the screen to see if they were showing what the radio was talking about. I've never been able to do that for the whole race before, but I guess that will be how it goes from now on.

I'm not a youngster, so I very well recall ABC's Wide World of Sports, and I know that times change, but ABC/ESPN, you are a loser at covering NASCAR. And it's the only sport I follow regularly these days. Sure wish I could tell you that face to face. Believe me, I've tried e-mails.

rich said...

Red, I forgot about the taped pit footage. There was no excuse for passing that off as "live coverage". Deceit from the broadcaster is not acceptable at any time.
I have previously posted that I think the problem with these telecasts starts at the top. Now I have decided that another big problem is since JP is such a good team player he puts up no resistance to how he is told to conduct the PXP even when he might think there is a better way to do it. He simply keeps his head down and marches on.
Once again I say to Brian France and Mike Helton...HOW CAN YOU ALLOW YOUR LOYAL FANS TO BE IN THIS PITIFUL MANNER?

Dot said...

@ red 5:42 & bevo 6:07, ditto.

@ Snafam, LV got the juicer comml, too.

Here BSPN makes a big deal about the Chase and they can't even have a post race show. Unbelievable.

Snafam said...

Dot! Maybe the reason we both got the same commercial is we both live in LV? :-D

TexasRaceLady said...

I think DaleJr summed it up the best ---

"I have no clue what place i'm in, what lap i'm on or if we're in the lead lap"

That's the way I felt the entire race.

Note to ESPN -- I do NOT watch the pre-race. Save yourself the time and trouble to produce it, and give us the time AFTER the race.

Dot said...

@ Snafam, no kidding. TDP is a small world.

I watched the second half of the race on the DVR. How much time was left when ABC/BSPN left the air?

OT. We are not alone. The NHRA is doing their Chase. They keep showing "the points as of now" crap too.

Bobb said...

I was at the race today in Loudon and will not try to critique espn as I only had production audio and only the video on Sprint Vision which is not 100% ESPN.

I actually liked listening to the booth - maybe because i was there and could see all the action in front of me.

Tim Brewer is there - well somewhere live - I heard the producer talking to him and he talked about Smoke and the axle problem during a commercial. The producer prompted him whiole he was talking to go to front of car - may be awkward moment mentioned.

Left at last caution while booth was getting confused.

More later

Glenn said...

Well another week goes by and we get the best race coverage early in the weekend.
I still can't listen to the people on ESPN, so I SYNC up the tv and Sirius NASCAR Radio, and listen there.
I can say I saw a lot more wide shots with more than 1 to 3 cars. I know the field gets strung out but I still like to see as much track as possible.
Other than that it's the same mess as usual. Most all the previous comments describe the bad parts.
I think I understand the lack of post race interviews. Some of the other Sirius listeners may agree with this. There is just not a lot of interviews to be had. Drivers have said many times, "the real race starts after the checkered flag, who can be first to get clearance and take off for home". Now I agree, showing the finishing order, replays of the final lap(s), Points positions, all should be shown before leaving the air.
As soon as the on air personnel has been adjusted I will try the sound with the video.

PammH said...

I also forgot about the lying to the viewers about pit stops, etc. That just is vile. And I agree w/JD, if you show it on NN, you CANNOT show it on the pre-race!!

Dot said...

@ PammH, that's why for me if I miss NN, I can just catch it on the Countdown show. Still, no excuse to rehash the same stuff.

NorCalFan said...

The first half of the race was pretty good for ESPN standards because with only two cautions it was easy for the booth to follow the drivers and the story line. It was during the second half of the race when there were 5 or 6 cautions and drivers began using different pit strategies (2 tires, 4 tires, gas only, staying out)that the broadcast completely derailed, crashed and burned. The booth was unable to tell us which car was on what strategy, the field wasn't getting reset on the restarts, the cameras were quickly switching back and forth from close-ups to wide angle and in no relation to what was being discussed by the analysts, so it was totally confusing to tell what was happening on the track.

I did like the aerial camera coverage and showing two different racing battles at the same time on the screen. However, as usual not enough wide angle coverage.

I thought it was a terrible decision not to call a caution sooner on the last lap when #44 was having difficulty restarting his car at the start/finish line. NASCAR got lucky there were accidents.

It was also another terrible decision to cut the post-race so short. I quickly changed channels to ESPN thinking the driver interviews would be forthcoming shortly. Instead there was a dog frisbee contest on until the top of the hour. What was the big hurry to leave the air ESPN? Infomercial on ABC takes precedence over the much hyped chase race. Sorry, but I just don't get it.

I agree with others who've posted that the pre-race programming should be shortened and the post-race interviews should be part of the broadcast.

Anonymous said...

You must remember the race was on ABC and not all stations had infomercials - ABC to leave air by 5:30 ET per racefantv and race ended after that. The O &O's - mostly the top markets - NY/LA/Chicago mostly push for telecast to end quickly-

YES there should be post race somewhere but cutting pre-race is not going to do it. Races start after 2PM Eastern on East coast and that is not going to change.

ABC/ESPN do not allocate enough time and that works both ways. If they allocate too much time they may have to fill so its a balancing act. Races have no set time frame like football and baseball do.

Botom line is that post race should have been on an ESPN network and it wasn't.

Tgro said...

The race itself was fair, but nothing earth shattering. But if ESPN has its was, its just another calamity from subpar reporters.

I think Dale Jarrett is trying to take over the play by play and he's talking too fast for his own mouth. He seems to say a sentence and then some babble like "uh-uh" or some other gibberish comes out before he can blurt his next sentence.

You can argue that they showed some non-chasers, but other than a through the field and a couple of shout outs, erratic crash and car problem coverage, the rest of the race was completely chase driven. My gosh, 1 Chase car shot after another. Even if that Chase car has no one else around it.

How many times were we told who was the lucky dog or which drivers did the wave around? I only remember the 1st lucky dog. The rest of the time, I kept wondering who got it? Wasn't there like 8 cautions?

End of the race strategy going in and out of pits and wondering who was in good position for the win couldnt have been more confusing with about 30 laps to go. I kept wondering who had pitted and who hadnt. I finally figured out when Mark Martin had retaken the lead that he was the one who played the system right. No one else at ESPN had a clue until it was painfully obvious to everyone.

How many times did they try to go to someone in the pits and there was a long delay for a response?

For once I felt bad for Tim Brewer. He looked really confused and lost.

Is anybody at ESPN having a good time? Is anybody there any fun to listen to? This race wasn't bad but the monotone voices at ESPN make every good race dull and every bad race depressing.

Man I miss Fox and TNT. ESPN's coverage combined with the Chase is just the worst thing that ever happened to Nascar. This sport is hitting new lows all the time.

Nina said...

Today's coverage was horrible. It's hard to swallow. It's like choking on a hairball.

No wonder Nascar is losing fans. They can't broadcast a race properly. My coverage did NOT show Mark entering Victory Lane.

I think that I'll be watching more of it online.

RobFromToronto said...

Hate to say it..but it finally happened...I couldnt watch one of my fav drivers and currently one of my fav broadcasters..Dale Jarrett..he annoyed me this race.
The whole crew except rusty..go figure as i despise rusty's was imho the worst broadcast of racing in espn's history..the banalities that spwed forth from jerry punch grated my every nerve..petree seemed snippy and sarcastic at times..almost as if he didnt give a hoot was a horrid mess that actually impacted my race enjoyment to the point i turned off the sound and went and did other stuff with occasional glances at the tv around lap 170..normally..i cn find something good inna espn broadcast..but this was a first..a total fail

WickedJ said...

Biggest gripe ive had since we got FOX/NBC/ETC is 90 minutes of pre-race babble and 10 minutes of post race stuff..

onto todays race, only comment i got is whoever broke HotPass is my new best friend. PRN audio with ESPN video..the occasional ESPN audio got let in somehow (an interview with a CC, a few pre-produced spoots) and for most of the race it was commerical free.

died and gone to heaven, i had

J_Fellenbaum said...

I've posted enough how much ESPN/ABC coverage is terrible. Sounds like no post race again today..quality. Sounds like America's Funniest Home Video issue all over again.

As for me, I opted to not watch the race at all today. The number one reason is I just know that the coverage will be terrible. I've given up on ESPN/ABC.

Since there is no race coverage, but occasional highlights of a few cars, I have to call the race myself by using Twitter, Online Scoring, what little coverage the TV shows and radio/team radios.

It's just way too much work for me. And with Football now, well I'll just watch something that the TV is actually capable of covering properly.

Which is weird, because my ENTIRE life I have always been a NASCAR guy first, then the NFL. But I think I'm quickly changing due to the horrible coverage of Nascar Races.

Secondly, I'm so tired of these races starting soo freakin late. Why is an EAST coast race starting over an hour after the East Coast NFL kick off times? Stupid.

Start the race at Noon or 12:30. Get me hooked (even with that terrible race coverage that ESPN provides) and maybe I'll try to follow the race. But when it starts smack dab in the middle of football games, well my attention is already grabbed.

But whatever. I think I'll pretty much stick to the football games from now on. ESPN just drives me too freakin crazy with their terrible race coverage. So besides going to the Dover Race next weekend in person, I'll just read the highlights online after the race most likely.

Sophia said...

I wanna know how somebody can break ESPN all the time so we get the radio guys. :)

Richard in N.C. said...

I just realized, the experts in Bristol & the truck think the blinders are supposed to go on the jockeys - so they put blinders on the booth in order to focus..........

West Coast Diane said...

What can you say? We have said it over and over and over.

They obviously don't care or don't get it.

There were moments. More headlights, wide shots, thru the field to 29th. But that is all they were, moments.

The producer/director must be a pin ball game enthusiast. Because that is exactly what the broadcast felt like. Just helter skelter, no flow. And definitely no explanations about comers an goers during the race. The pit stops were abysmal. Especially when cars stayed out, did gas only, 2 tires only, etc. They don't even make an attempt to reset the field or explain who improved, who lost.

How can you have 2 hours of pre race and then have no follow up when the race is over? Ridiculous.

It is very apparent no one in the booth is looking out the window. Say what you will about DW, but when there are booth shots he is always STANDING, LOOKING OUT THE WINDOW. Sorry, I am yelling it because I am hoping some one in Bristol is listening.

And yes, watching the Mods race was great. If the ESPN booth had 1/10th the excitement that Mike Joy exudes they'd have a winner.

Eric Ohio said...

Well, it was a Sunday race and NFL football. Thank God for my DVR where I watched football,then watched the race Sunday night fast forwarding the commercial. Was there only 12 cars in the race. It seemed like all ABC was concerned with was the Chasers. After the cautions, the field was never reset. The post race was terrible, only Mark and Jaun Pablo Crybaby were interveiwed.

Ghost of Curtis Turner said...

Just plain bad coverage, the post race coverage or lacck there of was disgrace.
NA$CAR should ask for their money back.....

MRM4 said...

As bad as the pit reporters have become, maybe it's a good thing there isn't much of a post-race show.

Donna DeBoer said...

First the positive, great win for Martin. Did the usual TV/radio/internet combo and was fine but my son said he couldn't follow the TV commentary at all. I noticed that the final lap 44 spin and WAY LATE caution was hardly covered until you saw the leaders bearing down full tilt. Very dangerous. Did anyone who watched TV know it was Ambrose who caused the final caution? No!! BTW, he got called to the hauler.
ESPN/ABC need to decide. This was terrible treatment of a "playoff game" of a major sport. All that hype advert and we get squat. I couldn't find any post race TV on any ESPN station. I only know interviews were done because of online access and the later TV shows that do race wrap ups. Why can't we see more of these interviews on live TV? I would rather rip 1/2hr from the pre show and allocate to post show. Didn't see or hear anything from Tony Stewart, the regular season point leader.

50 yr. fan said...

The DirectTV/HotPass was great with
PRN. I hope they get lots of
postive comments and at least give
us a choice.

DJ's still hung up on Kyle.
First words were Mark wins and
Kyle Busch is 5th.

OSBORNK said...

I think MRM4 might have hit the reason there is little post race coverage. The unprepared and untrained pit reporters do such a poor job that the drivers would probably avoid them. A long post race show would drag a poorly shown race to even lower levels.

Zieke said...

I think ESPN knows how bad their broadcasts really are, seeing as they leave the air as soon as possible after the race. These booth people and producers need alot of training in order to ever produce a good, well thought out race broadcast. It's hard to believe sponsors pay the money they do to get this product.

Tom said...

Nice to know that the broadcast really cared about showing lead changes. In commercial, then came back to show us Kurt Busch's pass for the lead at lap 126.
Trust me when I say lead changes are much better when shown LIVE!
Oops...this is ESPN, where agendas matter, and the race fan's input doesn't count for much.

Anonymous said...

Terrible broadcast,espn is so eager to get back to sportscenter its sickening. And where did they find that airhead shannon,in alaska

tom in dayton said...

In an earlier column JD said
"While Bestwick and his team set the stage, it will once again fall to Jerry Punch to deliver a compelling live event to the ABC audience. Mike Joy called the Whelen Modified event on Saturday and then Rick Allen handled the truck series race. Punch calling the first Chase race should be the highlight of the weekend in New Hampshire."
Well, it wasn't to be. By the middle of this race, this viewer's observing area looked more like a console seat in one of this country's war rooms, with multiple computer screens, streaming radio and occasionally glancing at the TV over my left shoulder. All just to follow the action at the track, not only among the Chase cars but all the other teams participating but ignored by ESPN.
In our present economic situation, with the near total lack of on-air coverage of the non-Chase cars, how many of those teams will make the trip to Kansas or California simply for owners points and S&P purses? Radio and the internet try to attempt to cover the entire field but without the VISUAL coverage what is the point for those teams and their sponsors?
But, I digress.
I'm just a CONSUMER of TV racing broadcasts, not a professional. But being a consumer, I recognize the difference between good broadcasts as I watched on Saturday with the Mods and the Trucks and the misproduced, misdirected jumble of what tryed to pass as a race broadcast on Sunday. I fear that just as DW and Rusty Wallace declined from the champions of old to the field fillers they became in their final years of driving, Jerry Punch will only be remembered as the play by play who couldn't. Such a shame...

Anonymous said...

It looked like a tough race to cover on TV. As luck would have it, several yellow flags happened while at commercial break, but I thought ABC did a good job of catching up when they went back live.

My biggest complaint is with Dave Burns. After he asks a question of anyone, he looks off into the distance or at the camera instead of the person he asked the question. What's with that? I find it disrespectful and it is unlike any of the other pit reporters or for that fact any reporter covering any sport!

Tom said...

At lap 162, we came out of commercial to the caution flag. After they botched the stop with Montoya's tires and fuel, JP wasn't paying attention after Vince Welch caught Kurt Busch's contact on pit road.
This required a clear replay that revealed who Busch made the contact with. Both Petree and DJ remarked on it.
And as they cut to commercial AGAIN, Punch said "amazing someone didn't get hit on pit road."
As he said the words, the camera was squarely focused on Busch's damage from the tap with Ragan.
Ouch. Thank God for my DVR.

Anonymous said...

Normally when I watch a race I'm logged into Trackpass. Sunday I was busy with a house project so I had to rely on the announcers. What a cluster. I was totally lost. Now I see why the ratings have been down. It's simply too much work on the part of the fan to understand what's happening. When I have the computer in front of me the picture is perfectly clear. The picture painted by the announcers is clear as dirt and as twisted as a Picasso. And Brad D's overly flowery and dramatic portrayal is just him trying way too hard. Embarrasing.

Anonymous said...

Had to laugh at the pre race show when Rusty said that Hendrick was giving Stewart exactly the same stuff that the Hendrick teams got. Brad, to his credit, laughed at Rusty. DJ and Andy did a good job. After the race, Montoya showed what a jerk he is by implying that next time, he'll wreck Mark Martin. The blogs are showing Montoya walking out on a pre arranged Nascar interview with a TV station. The session was to end at 5:00pm and it was 5:01 with one more two minute interview to go. They pleaded with JPM, but no go. He was on the clock. Did any of the awesome ESPN pit reporters go down and get the details on Stewarts axle problems rather than speculate? I'll give Welch credit for some good post race questions. Another stellar day for ESPN.

Unknown said...

I watched the race and had Kurt on the scanner. I remember saying to myself during the race "how bad this race coverage s***ks! Nascar will never get it. they are losing fans big time because they decided to take this cash from all the different stations and the stations don't even care about the sport. I found myself more looking forward to the nhra countdown race. I'm slowly moving away from nascar. most of the time it's unwatchable because of the coverage.

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

Well like i said in an earlier post NA$CAR is losing fans one by one and does not care because Brian France has his money and is happy. What also burns me is that E$PN also does not say the races actual name ex Sylvania 300, only NASCAR Sprint cup series at New Hampshire why do they do that JD??????????? Any ideas????????

Daly Planet Editor said...

Here are the results:

ABC’s broadcast of Sunday’s Sylvania 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway earned a 2.5 overnight rating from Nielsen Media Research, Street and Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports.

The rating is 21.9 percent lower than the 3.2 ABC earned overnight for the race in 2008.

Thanks to for the info.

Daly Planet Editor said...

trojanfan, the naming rights of the race do not get the TV unless you also buy TV ads.

I think the TV has to call it the official title once per hour or something ridiculous like that.

The two have always been at odds with each other over the years. One is sold by the track, the other by the TV network.

In other's a mess.


The Loose Wheel said...

Hard for me to make alot of commentary on the broadcast since I was focused on multiple items all at the same time.

What did process into my mind though, left me a bit disappointed. DJ and AP seemed pretty good all day but the failures with this race started with commercials and ended at JP. The pictures the production truck produced, I actually felt was pretty good. They had some overhead shots, a reasonable balance of multiple shots, but they had some huge misses too. Tailpipes have been an issue with ESPN for awhile, but I'll take the baby step for what it is.

What was unacceptable was ESPN being MILES behind information such as the Casey Mears crew member, as well as developments that had occurred on the track. DJ picking up on Montoya's trend was a plus, but a bit late. Acceptable though as DJ did not want to jump to conclusions.

Declaring JPM the 2nd place finisher when he was not was a bit of a problem though. Go back, look at the tape and decipher as best as you can what the REAL finishing order is before you go off the air.

Commercials = FAIL.

Oh hey, Johnny B got the Conway sponsorship for next year! Shrubby may be involved! Just heard that now, sorry its OT.

Marylee said...

I found the coverage confusing and, at times, boring. Wish I'd kept track of "Dr." Jerry Punch's misstatements.
The lack of significant post-race coverage is INEXCUSABLE. Hope Mike Helton is asked about it tonight on TWIN.
Way too many commercials, which really obvious when came back and were well into a caution.
I'd LOVE to listen on radio, but the time delay there makes things so disconnected it really confuses me. But, if ABC coverage continues to be this bad I'll just have to listen to the radio and try to fit the pieces together.

Anonymous said...

C replayed the race last night and geeze it was so like listening to two different races. C plays the Hot Pass version during the race and then replays the ESPN version later.

With the "mistake" of doing PRN over the ESPN broadcast it was an exciting race. Hearing those same laps with ESPN there was no excitement at all. Barely knew a battle was going on. I had to be sure I was listening to the same race.

Anonymous said...

there is a real simple solution to alot of espn/abc's coverage of the race.....replace jerry punch with ALLEN BESTWICK!!!

mike in louisiana

Richard in N.C. said...

I wonder how much improvement there would be from hosing out the truck and letting the guys in the booth look out the window?

The Loose Wheel said...

Jerry's driver name, car number thing is really starting to wear on me. To hear him constantly do that as if a brand new viewer tunes in every 5 seconds and doesn't know who drives what drives me nuts! Hearing DJ step in and commentate with a balance of driver name and car number is very refreshing however. Dale Jarrett has a ton of potential in the booth, I just wish he had a competent lead guy to guide him the right way. DJ working with JP isn't helping matters at all, and it shows when you give him a Marty Reid how uncomfortable he can be at times. Awkward is the right word.

LOVE Jerry, just wish he and ESPN would wake up and find a better suited role for him and give AB his time to take command and be the leader ESPN so desperately needs.

Anonymous said...

As JD never allows comments that disagree with his opinion, I know this will never see the light of day. This was a great broadcast. Commercials were interrupted when action happened on the track. The focus of the race was where it should be, on the chase drivers. This is what NASCAR wanted with the chase.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 10:31PM,

For the last three seasons comments have been posted that addressed the topic and did not contain hateful speech or profanity.

I have personally answered every email and handled every problem with a deleted comment.

Your act is getting old and tired. I do not know the people who post here and do not censor or select them. I have never met them and do not email with them.

My current volume is over 25K in page views, over 400 emails and 100 Tweets per day. It would be impossible to play the game that you are describing.

ESPN's coverage at Loudon was awful. The camera coverage, the embarrassing music used and the confusion from Punch in the booth.

The horrible TV rating told the tale of what this TV team could do for the sport against the first NFL game...nothing.

This is season three of confusion in the truck and in the announce booth. It is rough to take as a veteran fan.


Candace said...

hmm..after reading just a few of these comments, i'm glad my power went out and i was forced to listen to the race on the radio. they're coverage is always top notch..they always keep the excitement up and it seems like you always know what's going on right away and don't have to wait five minutes to figure out why there's a caution.

The Loose Wheel said...

Refuting the annoymous comment about ESPN breaking in when action happened: What race were you watching dude?!

Pass for the lead happens during break, we get a replay multiple laps later. Kasey Kahne blows up, a CHASER mind you, and we get a live shot of cars entering pit road 2 laps after the caution flew. How is that staying with the action when it happens?! ESPN completely missed the Mears crew member getting hit until 20 minutes later. Just what example do you have of them staying with the action? They couldn't even find camera shots of debris when the caution came out for such.

Pretty disappointing effort by the group in Bristol.

Tom said...

Sound off on the TV, sound up on the radio. With Dover putting MRN back in the mix, I look forward to enjoying Joe Moore, Barney Hall and the rest of the gang.
At least we'll get accurate information and full field rundowns in a timely manner.

The Professor said...

Theory: The sports with the best TV coverage (NFL, NCAA, etc) are, not so coincidentally, the ones which draw the most fantasy sports players and the most gambling action. The networks know these viewers are active and engaged and respond by providing broadcasts and news feeds designed to keep these particular fans tuned in and up to date. They realize that good broadcasts = good ratings = good revenues. NASCAR = limited fantasy & gambling action, so very little incentive for networks to improve coverage. We're not "money viewers."

Would be interested to hear what those of you w/ more knowledge of how TV networks run comment on this theory.

Anonymous said...

If you expect TV to elevate NASCAR's position against the NFL, then you must still believe in the tooth fairy. No TV broadcast can do that.

Its time to stop playing the game of keeping up with the Jones's and accept NASCAR's position in the sporting landscape.

There is nothing wrong with where its at, just the expectation that it can make a dent in the NFL viewership is just absurd.

Anonymous said...

I keep hearing that ABC HAD to get back to regular programming, although most of us had nothing special to watch.

I'd like to point out that the networks have no problem running over when it's football, golf, etc. I never know when the show I like to watch will actually be on since they go through the schedule after football ends. Sometimes, it's even an hour past the normal start time and that's their prime time shows.

I don't buy it that they HAD to leave the air and even so, they have at least 3 other ESPN stations they could have switched to.

Anonymous said...

Only watched the last 100 laps...he is my question?

Why ABC is showing EVERY car making their last pit stop...not focusing on the track postion of the #5 & 2 (early stops) vs. the late stops of 48,11,42.

No on track action was shown during that pit cycle.....glad I did not invest my time on the first 200 laps.

Kyle E. said...

I have to say that I was impressed with the pit reporters that in the last 100 laps of the broadcast, they started a "Through the Field" segment with Joey Logano and Marcos Ambrose who were running around the 20th position. They proceeded to give an update to the rest of the lead lap cars.

This was pleasant and unexpected. While Chase drivers will obviously receive the bulk of coverage, I wish ESPN would give all lead lap cars more consistent coverage, like they did at Louden. It makes the watching the race more interesting when viewers are able to get information about drivers other than the Chasers, and outside threats like Kyle Busch.

Just to add...congratulations to Mark Martin. Not knowing half the effort that he puts forth, he is very deserved of the shot he has for the championship.

BWBarefoot said...

What can I add that all of you brilliant people haven't said already?

How about this:

What happened Sunday was another reminder of where the real priorities of ABC/ESPN are, and it's not with the NASCAR fan. Their only concern is with their wallets.

How else to explain the extensive pre-race shows and lack of post-race coverage? Why else is there the apparent blind loyalty to Dr. Jerry Punch in the booth, despite the negative feedback from here and elsewhere? Finally, how can the network even condone trying to pass off pre-recorded pit stops as live, the latest black eye for ESPN/ABC?

It could have been worse, however. Remember the "good old days" of Brent Musburger, Suzy Kolber, and Chris Fowler?

Richard in N.C. said...

I really believe EESPN's theory, across the board, is that (as long as it can be just about the only game in town) it can take hard-core fans for granted and cater to casual fans. Proof = Tony K. on MN football. I think EESPN figures that hard-core fans might b##ch and grumble, but will watch anyway- so they emphasize gimmics and graphics to try to catch and hold the gameboy generation. Now at EESPN pictures and hype trump quality and substance every time.

Racing just happens to peck somewhat lower at EESPN than stick and ball sports. If you want to know EEESPN's mentality, just listen for references to the "4 major sports" in the US - which includes ice hockey, not auto racing.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thank you for over 100 comments on this topic. There will be a new post up after the next race in Dover.

We appreciate you taking the time to add your opinion.