Sunday, November 8, 2009

Three And Out For ESPN


This is the third time the NASCAR on ESPN team has covered the Chase for the Championship. Instead of growth and success, the production team has been struggling with a clash of agendas. Last week at Talladega, things came to a head.

ESPN was clearly upset with the periods of single-file racing. This has been seen before at Talladega, but that was not the real issue. Instead of simply covering the race as it was unfolding, the single-file racing was presented to TV viewers as an issue happening to ESPN. It was blamed on NASCAR directly. Dale Jarrett even suggested the single-file racing was a driver conspiracy over reinforced rules on bump drafting.

After the race, the sanctioning body's frustration with ESPN boiled over. NASCAR's Director of Corporate Communications, Ramsey Poston, offered these words:

The ABC broadcasters certainly weren't happy with the race and they felt compelled to remind viewers of that virtually every lap. Along the way ABC missed a lot of very good racing.

Regardless of how you may feel about the on-track issues, it is very rare for NASCAR to publicly criticize a TV partner, much less one that handles the Sprint Cup Series. The real reason for this clash is easy to understand.

ESPN has been having trouble assimilating back into a sport that is used to leading the way and having the TV networks follow. In the "New World Order" of ESPN, the TV coverage is the star and the sporting event takes a backseat.

Personalities like Dick Vitale, Brent Musburger and Chris Berman are used to being the show, not being at the show. In 2007, ESPN brought so many gizmos, so much hype and so many misplaced priorities to NASCAR that fans were shocked. The term for this is called "over-producing." It may be the reason that many of you stopped watching SportsCenter. Just too much stuff.

All year long, ESPN drags a Tech Garage, Infield Pit Studio and eleven on-air announcers to the tracks for the Nationwide Series races. It made no sense back in 2007 and it still makes no sense today.

From February through July, ESPN's frustration level builds covering Jason Keller and Kenny Wallace on the track instead of Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart. As fans know, ESPN clings to the Sprint Cup drivers who race in the Nationwide Series as security blankets during the live telecasts.

This year, the type of Sprint Cup Series TV coverage ESPN would provide was made clear from the opening moments at Indy. After talking for hours about the critical battle into Turn 1, the network missed showing it. It went downhill from there. Click here for a review of how the ESPN Sprint Cup Series season started. Please make sure to read the fan comments.

Here is one fan's Indy comment that sets the tone for the issue we are discussing:

ESPN just absolutely drains any joy out of the race. No one sounds or acts like they enjoy racing. They trudge in, punch the clock, do their work by the numbers and wait until it's time to punch out and go home. It's depressing.

Now, fourteen races into ESPN's third Sprint Cup Series season, ratings are down and tempers are tight. NASCAR wants the races to be "the show" for the TV viewers. ESPN itself wants to be "the show" and then present a race for which NASCAR is responsible. Any way you cut it, this partnership is wearing thin. These are two agendas that simply do not meet.

The race in Texas looms with two very powerful companies at odds over how a product in which they are both heavily invested is presented on national TV. If ESPN returns to the monotony of Jerry Punch, the endless in-car cameras and the total disregard for the race as anything but background noise, this is going to get ugly.

NASCAR is currently locked into a multi-billion dollar contract with ESPN as the primary TV partner. The company produces all the Nationwide races, the final seventeen Sprint Cup Series races and a daily NASCAR TV show. ESPN International distributes all NASCAR races worldwide. The partnership extends into online content and other new media platforms.

Getting this problem solved in the off-season may well be a key issue for a sport currently reeling from sponsor woes and fan unrest. Ignoring it for another year may continue to drive fans away from the sport at a time when NASCAR is gaining a handle on the COT and growing a diverse driver pool.

Every sport has crucial moments in time for a variety of reasons. Where NASCAR and ESPN are concerned, that moment is now.

TDP welcomes your comments on this topic. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with every criticism you level.

But you keep trying to set the stage for something to happen. You keep announcing that "the time is now" or "change must come now" or "this will be a test" and "this is the breaking point" and it's just one empty ultimatum after another. You are starting to sound like the boy who cried wolf only instead of "Wolf!" you keep yelling "Change must happen right now or else xxx will happen"

But change never happens, and then two weeks later you write another column about how it has to happen right now or else.

ESPN sucks. But they have a long-term contract and they don't care if you don't like their crappy product. They bought it, they make money selling ads on it, and the rest of you can take a hike.

Anonymous said...

I hate ESPN's "commentating" the races! They sound so darn bored doing it whether the race is boring or not. I would much rather listen to MRN radio, or better yet, Buddy Baker, Robert Jenkins and Ned Jarret do the commentating! Miss Benny Parsons a ton!

Anonymous said...

The sad thing for ESPN is that regardless of any changes, I'll more than likely stick with DirecTV's HotPass coverage as long as they provide it and MRN/PRN do the announcing. With barely any commercials and more than one way to watch the race, the only thing that could make me switch is something like TBS' online coverage (and even then, I could still use HotPass and the online feature.

At least with Fox, there still feels like a "big race" appeal to their coverage, regardless of the other many problems they have that we have talked about.

ESPN doesn't provide any excitement, struggles to cover each race, and really just goes out and ticks off most loyal fans.

Could any changes for next year be "too little, too late?"

Anonymous said...

First poster...I don't get where you are misinterpreting the post by JD? He's simply stating that ESPN needs to make changes ASAP or they are going to continue losing viewers, like they already have with me and many others.

He's not saying that ESPN is GOING to make changes, but that it's going to be their loss if they don't.

Sophia said...

It's already too late and everybody has their money. ESPN's horrible need for change has turned into a bad Western where the good guy and the bad guy are gonna meet in front of the saloon at high noon.

Well, high noon keeps coming & going in Ground Hog day style (as in the movie that repeats each day the same)

Heck just reading TDP & TWITTER will give you more info than BSPN.


When the ego of the suits of ABC/ESPN are bigger than the sport, we've got a serious problem & I see no way of fixing this. I can't believe the directors aren't FREE to SHOW US THE RACE!?

All the gripes to the suits go in one ear and gone the next.

Gonna be unseasonably warm & sunny here tomorrow in Ohio. I bet many won't be watching the races. Be more fun to turn up the race on radio & rake leaves or take drive in the country.

& it's a late race in East Coast going against the end of some NFL games and beginnings of others.

No bueno.

Karen said...

Sophia said ...

It's already too late and everybody has their money.

JD, does ESPN really have all NASCAR's money? Wouldn't it be reasonable to assume that money is spread out annually over the life of the contract? And if NASCAR is not happy with ESPN's product, certainly they have an out in their contract for nonperformance or shoddy performance that's turning away viewers in droves.

Just wondering how that works.

Dot said...

I think BSPN was really upset with NASCAR for the last minute rule change at Dega. It must have really messed up their script. I think they were expecting at least two lanes of racing and when there was only one (of not racing), they got lost.

Of course BSPN is not without blame. The lack of racing we don't see, truly falls on them. Even when one is at the track, you can't watch everything. That's where watching on TV comes in. How many monitors do they have? Why isn't someone paying more attention to where the action could happen and be ready to show it? I'm not talking about the booth monitors but, the ones in the truck. It's already been mentioned that turn 2 at TX is where the action could be. I expect to see a camera there right away, not on some bumper for 20 seconds. SPEED showed trucks in mid spin, then went to replay. It can be done.

BSPN could play around with their coverage if they really wanted to. Try fewer bumper and backseat view cams. Show a lot more wide shots. Show a lot more Odd Wads here and there. Stop showing full screen pit stops during GF racing. Use the replay if something happens. Hell, even if something does happen on pit road they ignore it anyway (55 crew member). I could go on and on.

The drivers not in the Chase are using these last races as tests, BSPN could too. It can't be any worse than what we've been seeing already.

Dot said...

To expand on Karen's post. At least NASCAR could use the rule infraction, actions detrimental to stock car racing. Sadly that probably doesn't work in the contract world.

See you guys for Race Day. Good night.

Lesley said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
majorshouse said...

Maybe it is time for NASCAR to dump all of them and go to the Speed channel where the racing deserves to be. Let's look at how the ratings for the truck series have nothing but rise and it is simply because watching the races are exciting because they do more with much less, ESPN are you listening and Fox could learn too.

3KillerBs said...

The biggest problem with ESPN is that they script the story in their meetings mid-week and refuse to depart from that script.

The second biggest problem is that their people have no feel for spotting where trouble is going to happen. Whereas Fox usually catches trouble live and, if they don't they have 4 replay angles instantly available with analysts explaining how it unfolded, ESPN stumbles around in the dark.

When the inevitable happens it takes ESPN completely by surprise and leaves them searching through in-car cameras for footage to show us on replay. And the analysts continually default to "Don't quite know how that one happened" and "We're not quite sure but it almost looks like, ..."

Unfortunately, ESPN has us over a barrel. Not so much because of money paid but because everyone else is carrying NFL games on Sundays. If Nascar fired ESPN after Homestead where would the races be aired?

*sigh*

Mike said...

JD, you hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately I dont think we'll see any changes within ESPN.
The CEOs could care less what the fans think this is quite obvious just watching week after week same oh same oh. They get it but fact is they dont care, and NASCAR CEOs are to blame in the end. I personaly dont get it but Im only a fan. What do I know.

Anonymous said...

What a great broadcast it would be
IF ESPN used MRN-PRN announcers.
We watched the nationwide race yesterday with no sound (local radio didn't carry the race} with no sound it was still better than listening to D.J. searching for words.I don't even want to start on the Dr.
We'll watch the Cup race today with the TV muted, radio station
carries the race today so it will be on.
Tks.J.D. Ron Il.

50 Yr. fan said...

Maybe it's time to discuss a way
to get the advertisers informed of
the TDP thoughts. I bet they are
not stupid enough to get locked
in on a "lifetime" contract like
Brain Farce.

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

ESPN May have a long term contract but, here's an angle that has not had much discussion:

Sponsors...

How long can we expect, Penzoil, Red Bull, NAPA, STP, 3M, UPS, Catepillar, AFLAC to just stand around hoping to see their cars on TV?

While it can be said that if a sponsor wants their product shown on TV then the driver has to drive better. OK, take the sponsors mentioned above, How many in the chase?

Had to think about it a second didn't you?

All these "Other" guy's get is a yellow highlight in the ticker.

Or if they happen to get lucky like what's his name Denny Hamlin or whosit Jamie McMurray. We get the obligatory bad 30 sec. interview and the it's either off the air or we gotta find Jimmy and Chad.

I think it's the sponsors who may start speaking up not just the fans.

Dave in Milwaukee

Ken said...

This is like a bad marriage. Neither sides likes or wants to be with the other but they stay together for financial reasons. The only way for progress to happen is for the the children (sponsors)to speak up and push the issue. They have to demand that they get along or get a divorce so the misery doesn't keep everyone miserable. Some will run away to more pleasant circumstances or just stay away.

Anonymous said...

I agree ESPN is horrible, but so is the product. racing the "car of sorrow" has taken me out of watching.

Anonymous said...
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Laurie said...

So it IS EGO vs. THE SHOW...this makes me sick..I LOVE this sport like so many other folks out there...it IS DIFFERENT THAN THE NFL, NHL, etc and so on and should be broadcasted differently...there are so many different things going on during a race and pretty much all need to be covered during the broadcast in some way...NASCAR isn't all about EGO...if that were true then our beloved drivers, team owners, wouldn't be so accessible to fans...we strive to be a more laid back sport with a focus on being 'fan friendly'...you don't ever hear the NFL, NBA, NHL, etc guys after a game thank the fans for buying a ticket and coming to the game now do you? But with our NASCAR family that's usually the first words out of their mouths no matter who you talk to!

JD...I would also like to know how this contract works and whether or not we are stuck with this nonsense for the duration...

matriarch said...

Well I will say this for ESPN. In order to sell, you must have a product. ESPN has very little to sell this year. The racing has become such a bore it's hard to sell. The old saying, "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" comes to mind.

RBEAN said...

The only way to improve ESPN's broadcast from Taga or Daytona is go bulldoze both places and build new tracks. While their at it go on up to Bristol with the bulldozers

ri88girl said...

really good piece on the physics of crashes.

LuckyForward said...

The problem is double-sided.

On one hand, NASCAR, by creating the COT, adding restrictor plates, and making drivers go single file at Dega, the sport has virtually been ruined. There is no racing action anymore in ANY race. Dominant cars become, and remain, dominant until the end of the race with little racing action. Thus, NASCAR has created part of the problem.

On the other hand, ESPN has their big-money contract, does not care about the viewer, and decides in pre-race production meetings how they are going to show the race and what drivers they are going to spotlight and it does not matter who leads the race. It has been comical to listen to the commentators during some of these races where a dominant car is out front. Trying to create some "drama", they talk about how the driver in second is making up time, getting faster, making a race of it etc., but it just is not so. The dominant car leads, and the race remains a bore.

Therefore, the problem is both NASCAR and ESPN. NASCAR created the problem and pays ESPN to produce it, and both ignore we who are true fans. At the same time, broadcast ratings continue to fall as does attendance at racetracks.

And as usual, NASCAR does not care.

JohnP said...

As a long time, full time fan since 1996 I give up on the rest of this season. I'll look online Monday morning to see who won. There is simply no point in watching the broadcast. I hate Fox's "digger". However, I'd rather have that and know what is going on in the race. Watching this ESPN crap is simply a waste of time. My driver stands 5th in the points. Yet, there is NO information from the broadcasters about anybody except JJ and Dale Jr. And no, I'm not going to constantly stare at the ticker at the top of the screen. I WANT TO WATCH THE DAMN RACE. I like the bumper cams from time to time. But to use them as a crutch as much as ESPN clearly does is boring, boring, boring, boring. I never get to see the racing, only replays because ESPN is asleep at the wheel.

Oh, to the two people wondering why we post in the first place and telling us we need to get a life.

We are interested in the sport. What's your excuse for even bothering to read the acticle, neverless reading and then posting to the the comments.

Now, you better think about why your here in the first place.

Sounds like your the ones who need to get a life, ours involves Nascar and interacting with fellow race fans.

Sometimes the fans agree, sometimes we don't.

But we all enjoy the interaction with each other.

JohnP said...
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JohnP said...
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Ken Walker said...

While I do believe NASCAR created a mental stigma for the drivers Sunday by stating that they needed to see "daylight" between the cars in the corners. I do not thing it was a conspiracy or a message by any of the drivers it was a concern over being "the guy" that got caught. It is incredibly hard to manage that without effectign the racing.
As for ESPN, I have just stopped watching any TV coverage by ESPN of any event. It is all about them and no longer about NASCAR or any sport. It is sad to see the company that pioneered quality NASCAR coverage in the 80s * 90s sink to what they have become. Yes NASCAR has changed from the days of run what ya brung on the dirt tracks of America to what it is today, but the coverage provided by ESPN is shameful. I can only hope that NASCAR finds a new partner in the future. NBC was in step up from ESPN/ABC Sports.

Chris from NY said...

The problem with single files at Talladega and/or Daytona can be fixed with just this:

Shorter races.

How about an AMP Energy 350 instead of 500? Coke Zero 350? Aaron's 349 (or whatever insane number they want)? However, we should keep the Daytona 500 the same because it's tradition.

However, in a way, the COT is better for plate tracks. Before the COT, Daytona was just Hendrick vs DEI vs Joe Gibbs vs RCR. Now we have the COT, and plate races can produce winners like Ryan Newman, Regan Smith (well, almost), Brad Keselowski, and now McMurray.

On the subject of single-filing, go look for a tape of the 2007 Aaron's 499 and see for yourself that the COT wasn't the first to cause this.

Where NASCAR is at fault is that there are too many cookie-cutter track borefests, and I'm sure they've been the same ever since the beginning of the Modern Era. More variety can help that, yet Helton wants to wait, wait, wait. He doesn't realize that an intermediate taking a second-date loss to a nearby, more interesting track would boost TV ratings. For instance, take Atlanta Motor Speedway's first date and put it at Road Atlanta instead, or take Michigan's second date and put it at Mosport Raceway (road course in Bowmanville, Ontario).

Long story short: Top NASCAR brass are unaware of the mess they have, but variety can fix it.

As for ESPN, they can just bite me. They have more hot air than a certain event that happens in my city every Thanksgiving, and deserve to lose NASCAR rights. I would put FOX on death row too if they don't get rid of Digger.

Laurie said...

P.S. Thank you for choosing my tweet as one of the top ones for the day!!! The great sport of NASCAR means alot to me!!

ri88girl said...

The most telling thing in JD's post is the issue of

WHO IS THE SHOW?

The RACE is the show, and everyone else in Nascar from the drivers, teams, official sacntioning body, families, reporters and fans are all BIT players in that show. ESPN is NOT the SHOW, it is the PLATFORM.

What ever negatives we can find with FOX and TNT are things that DETRACT from the RACE! Like Digger. We don't like him because he isn't the show and gets in the way. Or over use of incar etc, porduction elements that detract from the RACE!

ESPN needs to understand that WE don't want to see THEM. They should be what they are supposed to be; a platform on which the show is preformed. Stay in the background and be unobtrusisve as much as they can.

The racing is debatable, but it has been that way at other times in Nascar's history and it will get worked out in the garage eventually. That is not an excuse for ESPN trying to be THE SHOW!!!

I tune in to see RACING not Dale Jarret or any of the other on-air people. I want the RACE. The PRODUCTION of it by ESPN does not give me the RACE regardless of who is calling it. You can not say that about FOX, TNT or SPEED. There you have some elements that detract from the race, but they don't overwhelm it or try to grab attention FROM it.

ESPN is on the outside looking in because they don't want to be a PART of the show, they want to BE it or ABOVE it. We as fans have been saying this for three years. Now.

Nascar is more of a 'family' including the fans than ESPN wants to admit. They are either going to take a seat at the table and pass the vegetables or keep standing in the livingroom looking uncomfortable while the rest of us eat.

ESPN treats nascar as a whole as if it is a trip to the local zoo each weekend. Assuming a fan wants to be told what the monkeys are doing. WRONG we ARE the monkeys! See? that's us in the stands.

I may not believe 100% that Nascar calling ESPN out was not self serving on another level, but at the very least the head monkey is telling the zoo keeper to stop pretending he is better than the rest of us.

Colorado said...

Agree with the fact that ESPN scripts stories mid-week, and then refuses to stray from it. Stock car racing CANNOT be scripted! Yet, they need to have everything folded neatly, pressed, starched and put away in a drawer. If JJ wrecked out on the first lap, they would still have a camera posted on him and Chad, and the dreaded "points as they run" across the screen. I also agree that it's a combination of NASCAR, the networks, and the teams to a degree that are at fault. Brian Frances' vision of The Fast and The Furious cars is about ten years too late. He helped design the COT to mimick that movie in the hopes of cashing in on those types of fans. Didn't work. The media trying to showcase one or two drivers, just because they are "media darlings" aka; Clean shaven, no Southern drawel, movie star looks, is failing miserably.Also Brian's vision of having a one team dynasty, ala Dallas Cowboys, is again ten years too late. He needs to step down, or Jim France needs to remove him from power, just like The George family in Indy. ESPN needs to take a hike. A long hike. Look what they did to Monday Night Football. Took a time honored tradition in America, moved it to a cable channel, and put Hank Jr's song mid-show, so you couldn't get hyped up right before kickoff.I have been a fan for 44 years, and am sick to my stomach every weekend. It starts with Trackside, or should I say Shillside, then Happy Hour, or lets talk about us, instead of on track performance, then it's Nationwide, or the Kyle Busch/Carl Edwards dancing show, then it's Sunday afternoon with a badside manner from The Good Doctor who lulls you to sleep with his monotony, only to be awakened with excitement about going to commercial. Then, it's off to bed with Windtunnel, or "How I can host a show about motorsports, but ignore the 800 lb. NASCAR gorilla, and mange to get my motoGp plugs in." Then a week at work, which actually is a reprieve from the madness, then back to the dental appointment come Friday night. Or as I like to call it, " How did I get here, and what is this handbasket doing next to me?"

larry said...

Perhaps we should make it a 100 mile race and then they would only have to cruise for the first 50 miles.

Anonymous said...

JD: You finally brought out the real issue about ESPN. No matter WHAT SPORT they are presenting, the PRODUCTION is the show -- not the EVENT itself. It's become imbedded in their DNA. I was once a fan of Sports Center and other ESPN news/commentator shows -- no more. It's sickening. It's also frightening because they know that what they are doing puts more money in their pockets and advertisers pockets. What does this say about the sports audience?

Dot said...

@ ri88 & Colorado,

Take a bow. Great posts.

larry said...

I'll vent a bit here...

I just finished watching part of TWIN. Jimmie and Chad and Mikie told us how exciting the race was and that the fans must not understand.

I'm 68 years old and raced stock cars and "jalopies" in the late 50s and 60s. I have been a fan of "stock car racing" since then. I'm obviously not a good fan because I have lost interest in the nascar "shows". It takes me a week to get interested enough to watch last week's "analysis" of the race.

If the fans don't go to the race, it may be blamed on the economy. When the fans don't go to the race and stay home and don't turn on the tv, then perhaps it's not the economy, stupid! Perhaps it's because the "racing" isn't worth watching.

Sorry about the rant, but I was yelling at the TV when they were telling me how exciting the racing was.

Vicky D said...

Anon at 8:19. I believe it was lack of tv exposure that led CAT to move to RCR racing. They want their teams to be seen on tv and it seems like the only cars we see are the top 2 and JJ running 30th place like last week. Anyway, we'll have to hope that the sponsors & lower tv ratings make ESPN change their broadcasts. Liked your column alot too, JD.

Newracefan said...

I'm tired. I'm tired of saying the same thing every week. Fox and TNT had their fault's but they didn't make me tired. I'm a JJ fan and I'm even tired of seeing him all race. The man is making history but that should be a piece of the race not the entire thing. I wonder how many fans have become hater of the 48 since he has been shoved down our throat. I also wonder what would happen if ESPN showed up at the race without a story line or an agenda. That's where Speed wins with the trucks they have a few trends they keep us informed about but they tell the story of the race first.

Anonymous said...

Does NASCAR consider what they have a race(sport) or a show? TV's approach to showing a sport vs a show is very, very different. I really think NASCAR wants a show vs outright sport!! Do more fans think of NASCAR as a sport or show?

Debbie227 said...

NASCAR wants to tell us that there was great racing. Well, as the home viewer we can only see what ESPN is showing us, so how would we know.

That being said I can honestly say that if there is not some serious changes on ESPN for 2010 you can be sure I will be 100% tuned into MRN/PRN. I wont even give them the ratings by watching the race on mute. I am sure my little boycott will not damage ESPN but what if others feel and do the same as me? I'm just saying.

I could go on and repeat everything everyone else as stated so wonderfully, but no need to beat a dead horse. ESPN get your heads out of your collective rear ends, make some hard decisions and be not afraid to change on air personalities, directors, etc. Give us fans what we deserve in race coverage. You were once the leader in this sport, now you are failing miserably. This is broke ad you must fix it. If you are committed to your complacency, I feel sorry for you.

As far as the rest of the season, I am done since last week. I am tired of the JJ/Chad show. Off to the NFL earlier than most seasons.

How many days until Daytona?

ri88girl said...

Anon 12:26

I agree that the issue of a 'Show' has begun to overshadow the sport. I feel that it stems from the drivers and people like Humpy who refer to it as such. Yes, it is A SHOW, but it can never be seperated from the fact that it takes ability, skill, physical indurance and the willingness to potentially put your life on the line that keeps it a sport.

When I say show, I mean as in SPECTACULAR, not as in SHOWbuisness. There are elements that make it commercial, but we all know, once the green falls the wrecks are real, and the danger is ever present. We don't tune in for the wrecks, we tune in for the Racing. The idea of show comes form the consept of perfomance which is what the drivers and teams do each week.

My take is that in the real world of everyday nascar the use of the word show is symantics but ESPN doesn't see it that way and does turn it into a real SHOW and its about them; not the guy who spends half the race sideways and out of control to win the prize JMHO

Jojaye said...

I agree 100% with your column & most of the posters here. I don't post because I will not watch espn & its so called coverage of the "race". The coverage consists of gizmos
/tech/interviews & commercials interrupted by a few every day to see what up & get info.

ESPN & NASCAR do not seem to care, actions speak louder than words. I barely listen - since JJ is the champ again - sound familiar? I no longer watch NN, or most of espn s offerings. Why would I? Same old same old.

I hate what has been done to a sport I have followed & loved for over 3 decades, by both sides. Hopefully sponsors will get it thru to NASCAR & things may change for the better - I don't know, I can hope.

I will probably watch next season when Fox takes over & grit my teeth thru the digger junk. I can't wait for TNT to come back, with Racebuddy.

hotaru-raganbaby_6 said...

It's the over-exposure every weekend for me.

I don't think we should hear the same stories every session/gapper show/stage 'spectacular' with screaming fans.

It's not just ESPN, it's the weekend broadcasts as a whole. I mean, do we really need to know that? I don't get all hopped up for a practice session. Qualifying is okay (possibly the only other thing then the race itself I'll watch). But the pre-race fluff is too long, NW is too Cup Invader oriented, and then...
The Big Sunday Snorefest on behalf of the Worldwide leader.

It's horrible. And that's why I listen to in on the radio (well, actually on my online media players).

Sophia said...

Some folks I follow on Twitter are TIRED of ESPN adding channels to their line up on cable and taking away PBS or other stations they'd rather have.

Also as far as a NASCAR Network? It would be nothing but cheerleading for this sport.

And there is a TEN Network for NFL that many fans are not WILLING or able to spend an extra $40 to get.

So this whole tv thing is a MESS but ESPN continues to ruin everything.

The bottom line for those other fans and I've said it before, try watching baseball/football/basketball/golf with 3/4 of your tv screen covered. And enjoy it!

Does golf show the caddy wiping off a club as a golfer hits off the tee?

Also since we are talking fantasy here, if you could bring back Dale Sr and Benny Parson's and put them in the booth, with the SAME CAMERA work, I would still not enjoy ESPN.
But I bet Sr would be getting beeped for all the cusswords as he watched the monitor.

This sport has lost it's soul and should this ENTIRE mess be laid at the feet of Brian France? or the nameless/faceless suits standing over the shoulders of camera people/producers/directors.

ACCOUNTABILITY is what I want and you know that is the KEY thing nobody has addressed in this whole season of griping.

Just confirmation that a multiyear deal with ESPN is done and LIVE with it. Don't like it? In the words of David Hill "tough".


P.S. I love the Truck race on SPEED. Why can THEY show the camera work that the fans want to see if the sport shares producers/directors during the season?

Anonymous said...

The restricted Talladega race is as boring as watching paint dry until the Big One. The COT car just plain sucks. Enough said.

Gymmie said...

@3KB--hey lady! yup that's what's SO frustrating! FOX can say this started say 5 laps ago because X and Y was going on and it finally caught up. BSPN has no clue and speaks out their rear!

Gail said...

Oh come on, Mr. Daley. I understand that you used to have a role inside of motorsports and you don't anymore. But you need to rein in your bitterness.

The ESPN crew frankly and honestly laid out what the fans were seeing. Crappy, single-file, ride-around-in-circles-until-its-time racing. The NA$CAR brain-trust (such as it is) decreed that anyone bump-drafting in the corners would be severely punished. Drivers would be foolhardy to race hard and risk a big penalty until it was time to go. My thanks to Dale Jarrett and the other ESPN guys for speaking out.

JohnP said...

Larry said: "I just finished watching part of TWIN. Jimmie and Chad and Mikie told us how exciting the race was and that the fans must not understand."

Larry, that's a horrible thing for them to say for sure. That is how far off their thinking is. Tallageda was such a sad race to watch. The only race sadder was Indy 2008. Looks like that issue was fixed for 2009. But for JJ, Chad & Mr Sponsor to say that is ludicrous and in complete denial about what the fans saw. How dare they insult the fans that we "don't understand". We understand every thing shown by ESPN during the race.

ESPN and NASCAR should read this article and every comment. I've never seen so many people on the same page before.

I'm watching the Redskins wooped bad by Atlanta. The Redskins really suck this year. Followed them since the early 80's when Joe Gibbs won two Super Bowls. I'll check out the race after they get beat I guess. I swore I would not watch anymore, but I'll buzz by there to see if they changed the coverage.

Oh, my point about the Redskins? They stink, there going to loose, again. BUT I CAN WATCH THE GAME.

I can not say that about NASCAR anymore.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thank you everyone for the great comments. Please move your race comments up to the live blog by returning to the main page.

Just click on the logo at the top of the page. Thanks!

JD