Sunday, October 11, 2009

NASCAR TV Changes On Monday

It's not very clear why SPEED would put so much effort into a new NASCAR TV program this late in the season. It's also not clear why it would revamp the entire SPEED programming line-up to insert this new show at 7:30PM ET from Monday through Thursday.

The new series is called NASCAR Race Hub. It will be anchored from the new SPEED Studios right down the street from the Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Here is the official explanation on this new effort:

"We know more about our NASCAR on SPEED audience than ever before," said SPEED President Hunter Nickell. "Avid NASCAR fans watch SPEED and ‘the Hub’ will be built with this in mind. With year-to-year ratings up for SPEED’s coverage of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR RaceDay and several other NASCAR on SPEED programs, as well as the historic announcement of the inaugural class for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, this is the perfect time to launch a nightly show."

Here are the highlights of what Race Hub will be offering in the first couple of days:

Monday: Krista Voda and Adam Alexander co-host the inaugural episode. The special guest will be Richard Petty and the big topic will be the Hall of Fame.

Tuesday: Voda hosts with a broadcasting guest list. Mike Joy, Rick Allen, Doug Rice and Ken Squier will continue the Hall of Fame discussion as they all have a Hall of Fame vote. Nice to see Doug Rice get some TV time.

Wednesday: One hour version beginning at 7PM. Voda co-hosts with Steve Byrnes. They will recap the Hall of Fame activities from Charlotte. Driver Bobby Labonte and SMI's Marcus Smith will be studio guests. The new 2010 Ford Mustang will be brought over from Roush Racing and will also be in the studio.

The network insists it will be rotating on-air talent through the studio hosting role, but the name Voda seems to be rather consistent in the first week.

That is a pretty good start to a brand new NASCAR TV series. This is a major change in the direction of SPEED's primetime programming. Other than TWIN on Monday nights, there has been no NASCAR presence on weekday evenings for a very long time.

Many quality TV series from the NASCAR Media Group have been cancelled by SPEED over the years. They range from NASCAR Confidential to Beyond the Wheel. Quest for the Cup now airs on Versus Tuesday evenings. Even TWIN was rumored to be on the chopping block. Now, suddenly there is a daily show and an emphasis on NASCAR with only weeks left in a ten month season.

Over at ESPN, that group has needed every bit of two years just to get NASCAR Now dialed-in to being the solid program it has become six days a week. While ESPN's emphasis is on traditional news gathering and reporting, SPEED continues to insist that Race Hub is going to be different.

The big advantage for SPEED is location. The TV studios are literally right down the street from the vast majority of the NASCAR shops and many other companies directly involved with the sport. Once NASCAR folks figure out that a quick drive over to SPEED can result in live national TV exposure for their sponsor, manufacturer or special interest, it could get interesting.

As Voda preps for the start of this project, veteran Bob Dillner comes off the road to make an appearance on The SPEED Report this Sunday night at 7PM as a co-anchor with Adam Alexander. Randy Pemberton is taking Dillner's reporting role in Fontana.

TDP will put Race Hub in the TV listings and follow this program just as we followed NASCAR Now when it began back in 2007. It should be interesting to see how the new series grows and what happens in November when the season ends. SPEED is leaving that issue up in the air for right now.

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Anonymous said...

Way to go, Krista!!! *does a happy dance* LOL

Lou said...

wow, just so happy for Ms Voda. such a great choice for the program. talk about changes, this is one of the best I have seen in years for speed.

The Loose Wheel said...

High five for Krista and Adam. Great choices.

From the random and OT files: I called it going to Tallaedega. Smaller plate. Said it after the race when Carl got into the fence and sure enough. Shaving 1/64th.

I really hope this show takes off and sticks around for awhile. I still can't fully embrace NN, maybe since it comes on during Around the Horn which I love.

Dot said...

I'm glad someone has recognized Krista's talent. Batchief must be so proud.

Peg Wiggins said...

Will be tuned in, watching.

Anonymous said...

So happy for Krista and Adam! Here's to a successful show! :)

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Right now, it sounds like just another hall of fame promo show. Too bad it has to debut this week.

I'll be interested to see what happens after the HOF hype is over, if ever.


Cooter said...

Great news! Voda is perfect for the job! I'll watch every chance I get, but I do have a "wish."
6:30 CT is suppertime out here in flyover country. Speed Channel has sacrificed a lot of viewers, IMHO.
With all the garbage they put on during the 7:00-10:00 slot, why couldn't this be squeezed in?
I watch TWIN every week. There's definitely room for the Hub!

Anonymous said...

anyone else think that this is just FOX slapping another coat of NASCAR paint on Speed in a pre emptive attempt to keep NASCAR from launching their own channel?
This show will be about as different from other NASCAR studio mush as coke is from pepsi.
its too little,toolate

50 yr. fan said...

Sorry Jim (7:43), but the 7:30ET
is the perfect time in the east.
After supper and "coasting time".
I hope SPEED will lower the commercial volume to at least a
mild roar in case I nod.

halifax said...

Anything to get away from the idiotic reality TV shows and Barrett Jackson auctions and back to real racing is a major improvement. With so much racing footage available, I do not understand SPEED's dedication of so many hours to non-racing programming.

rich said...

Well, all the pieces are in place and so we wait with high hopes.
Krista is a super choice. She did well on Wind Tunnel last month.
Time will time if they pull it off.
It will be nice to have a news show in the winter.

Trinity929 said...

I am happy for Krista...I agree with most that was an awesome choice. I believe that we will have to wait and see how things go. I am all for more Nascar coverage, maybe they are doing it this late in the season to test it out and see if they find it worth having all next season. Doing some early 2010 testing!

Anonymous said...

I'm excited to watch Monday and Wednesday. I'm double excited for Tuesday. Tuesday will be epic with Krista Voda, Mike Joy and Ken Squier in the same room. Wednesday sounds like a Totally Nascar reunion.

Anonymous said...

With SPEED I'll have to wait and see. If they keep the Waltrips, Hammond,and Kenny Wallace away maybe it can be a good show. The people mentioned think they are good and think they are funny but most definitely are not. Get people who are like Craven, Hinton to do this show. This weeks Hinton interviews of the potential Hall Of Fame candidates has been excellent, nothing like the dopiness of the questions on race day or trackside.

Newracefan said...

Excellent choice and it sounds like a nust see. I agree 730 is the perfect time before all the prime time shows and after dinner on the east coast (well maybe I might still be eating mine). I can't wait plus we get to talk about something different which we desperately need

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

hunter nickell says this is a result of speed knowing its audience?
is he suffering short term (or selective) memory loss?
Under mr nickell's direction, speed took a fan favorite show that was at 7:30 and gutted it. IWCR!!!!
I recall it had Bestwick (kicked to the curb byNickell and now a fan fave at ESPN,) Schrader, Benson (gone) Craven as fill in (tossed aside and now at espn)and hot seat guests from mike helton and dale earnhardt and dale jr to rick hendrick and felix sabates.

so here we fans are 8 years later and nickell is just figuring out what we want?? with that type of insight, HE could work for ESPN

William from Wilkes Barre

batchief said...

Dot, thank you. Every step Krista has taken in the broadcasting world has brought nothing but pride to us folks living on the banks of the mighty Mississippi. Adam is a pretty neat guy too.

Anonymous said...

THE Hinton interviews are very, very good. We need more people like him reporting NASCAR.Weed out the people who do not belong, hint, hint, Jeff Hammond.

Anonymous said...

Anything with Krista Voda is going to be good. She is awesome and is loved by the fans. I can't wait to see the show!

Kyle said...

Hopefully its worth while, unlike the chase for the Sprint Cup. Of all NMG produced series, that one is by far the worst. The other series shouldn't have been canceled and I really wish another network, like Versus, would pick them up as they were actually interesting and worth my time/DVR space.

As for "the hub." I would think/hope it is here to stay. SPEED built a new set for the show. I'm not sold that a half hour will be enough, they may have to expand it to an hour. It would be nice if they could either keep it through the offseason or get some sort of NASCAR programming to keep us entertained.

Going with what Dot said, I like Krista and hope they will have her full-time. I don't really like shows that alternate hosts, just stick to one. I really don't understand the purpose of alternating.

NASCAR Now is good but it doesn't have a consistent time slot that I can remember and it's not necessarily worth my DVR space so I don't watch it much. There really isn't anything on that show that I can't re-watch or read on later.

itsonlyrockandroll said...

Mikey hope he runs lots of races
in 2010. his over the top commentary on the Truck Series and
Nationide is really distracting
As for all of the changes coming
from Speed .. who knows ? The only
thing I do know - is they finally
cleaned up their "feedback' section
of the web site. It only took all
year. Also their phone number on the net is the old one that has
been out of service for a long time.
If anyone sees the President over
there...could you mention that
LOUD .. oh never mind Nothing will
change that
OK I will get out .. 2 more ...
1. Why do the announcers TALK
perfect time to let us peons us
Shlubs out here...TO LISTEN TO THE
ENGINES ..u at the
track ??
2.Full Throttle : Who figured this
out >> Giving the TV viewers the
WHY ? Thank you