Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Your Turn: Sprint Cup Series Race From Homestead On ABC (Updated)


Update: We are leaving this post up until Wednesday evening another day after the news came out concerning the TV ratings for the Homestead event. Here is a summary:

Overnight ratings from the Nielsen Media Research company were down 11.1 percent when compared to last year’s ratings for the Ford 400 on ABC, according to a Street and Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily report.

The broadcast earned a 3.2 rating, which means roughly 1.4 million people watched the race. The Ford 400 drew a 3.6 rating last year.

The 3.2 rating is the lowest TV rating of the entire 2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup Series.

TV rating for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have been on a steep decline since 2004. In fact, ratings for the Ford 400 have dropped 43% percent from the 2004 rating of 5.2 during that time period.

Nielson releases the final TV ratings for ABC on Thursday.


Allen Bestwick started the show with NASCAR Countdown. Ray Evernham, Brad Daugherty and Rusty Wallace joined him in the Infield Pit Studio.

Dr. Jerry Punch, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree were in the TV booth. The pit reporters were Shannon Spake, Jamie Little, Vince Welch and Dave Burns. Tim Brewer was in the Tech Garage.

The weather was good, the video and audio were solid. There were no technical problems in the telecast.

This is your final opportunity of the season to let your opinion be known about the NASCAR on ESPN team covering the Sprint Cup Series race from Homestead. Include the pre and post-race coverage in your comments.

To add your opinion of the TV coverage, click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. This is our most popular post on a regular basis. Your comments will be read by thousands of Internet users.

Thank you for taking the time this season to leave your comments on the NASCAR TV partners that covered the Sprint Cup Series races.

132 comments:

Richard in N.C. said...

JD, MANY thanks. I do not want to try to imagine what NASCAR on EESPN would have been without TDP and its regular posters. Thank you one and all.

Vicky D said...

I was under impressed with ESPN's cup broadcasts this year - tired PXP, no field summaries, not many wide shots, and other things. Nice comments by Hamlin about Mikey too. Looking forward to Daytona in February.

Lewis Hipkins said...

I've enjoyed being a passenger this year watching and reading all of the comments. Looking forward to next year.

OSBORNK said...

This race has been about as exciting as mowing my grass. There was a total lack of emotioner from everyone in the booth. I think they just want to go home and forget this year. The entire race was riddled with useless trivia in an attempt to keep from having dead air. Nobody wants to be there.

terrisanislo said...

dSPN signing off before the trophy presentation??? Let's see what they do.

I don't know how I'll stand another year of this, if they keep JP.

Meghan in Memphis said...

Thanks JD! This blog has been a wonderful part of the race season!

Anonymous said...

This is honestly mind boggling to me.
Jerry Punch literally just keeps repeating the 4 in a row mantra. It's just sad that nothing more can be said about the race, the other teams, etc.
Look, I understand greatness. Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, etc., but it's just too over the top for me.

Ken said...

I think the dreadful TV coverage as well as some dreadful racing this year will show up next year. Race attendance this year was down but many people had already made plans and bought tickets. After this year, I don't think people will buy tickets or make vacation plans around many of the races. The poor TV coverage won't encourage many newbies to want to go and see a race in person.

Anonymous said...

JD, thanks for everything that you and everyone else here at the Daly Planet have done this season. It's been great reading all of the comments because it shows how many people still care about NASCAR and want the sport to be great. Can't wait until Daytona (84 days to go).

Donny in N.J.

Laurie said...

First of all...thank goodness for Twitter and TDP...JD it has been fun getting to know you and look forward to 2010! As far as ESPN is concerned they do not deserve to broadcast our wonderful sport. They lack respect, knowledge, enthusiasm, know-how, class, they lack the overall ability to broadcast a NASCAR race in every respect. It is a slap in our faces as fans that we have to endure their 'so-called' broadcasting. If you all would watch SPEED CWTS races you'd see the incredible way they do broadcast...the camera angles, the consistency, the ability to talk without scripts, those guys LOVE THIS SPORT and it shows from the booth to the camera guys to the producers go EVERYONE involved. I have said this before but if I were introducing someone to NASCAR it would not be in the last 10 races because of the horrible broadcasting...if my TV picture went off and all I had was audio with SPEED...it wouldn't matter because those guys would broadcast in a manner where the picture wouldn't matter....can't wait until Daytona 2010

terrisanislo said...

Thanks, JD, for putting up with us all. I know we try your patience. Love the blog, love your articles, and love you on Twitter.

dara2K said...

NASCAR on FOX is just 84 days away..counting every day.
ESPN/ABC's coverage need to improve and NASCAR needs to make that happen. Here's some needed improvement:
1) There are other stories besides those your "suits" think important.
2) Mike Waltrip deserves a tribute after years of promoting this sport.
3) Joey Logano is Rookie of the Year and deserved a mention today.
4) There are 42 other drivers besides Jimmie Johnson.
5) Great racing doesn't always happen at the front and DESERVES TO BE SHOWN ON TV. BTW, you can't show good racing with one-car shots around the track.
6) Dr. Punch, bless his heart, needs to be reassigned. (Alan Bestwick can handle that assignment)
7) Get a director that is a Nascar FAN.
8) Not everything that happens in the race is in your script!!! Learn about NASCAR, embrace it and talk about it with passion!
Thank you to The Daly Planet Blog for allowing us to love this sport just a little bit more! See you in February!!!

Anonymous said...

I posted this earlier this weekend and just wanted to follow up, I tried to watch the coverage today...just couldn't do it. I just turned the TV back on and saw a Brian France that looked really hung over, jacket that doesn't fit, open color and no tie, looks like a used car salesman not the head of a racing series. His product looks just like himself....a complete mess.....

If this weekend is a preview of next year, I just don't think I can handle another year of NASCAR. I actually like Marty Reid, I miss the heck out of him on the NHRA broadcast. Paul Paige is the worst....that is until you list to DR Jerry Punch. The true example of promoted to incompetence. The man was the BEST pitroad reporter out there but is just awful as a play by play guy. Now NHRA has Dunn to pick up the slack from Paige and he does a great job, ESPN's crew just follows Punch down the hole.

What has me now done with NASCAR completely was the reminder of DW. Have you ever heard a guy focus everything on him before? He says "I" so much it is unbelievable. I like Larry, Jeff, and can tolerate Mike Joy, but DW kills the entire broadcast.

So in DW lingo, I can’t listen to that another year. I will not be watching NASCAR next year and I will not watch the Homestead races today and tomorrow. I just can’t deal with it anymore…..

Such a shame, the only sport I truly loved and watched since the first race televised in Daytona, (I faked being sick so I could stay home from church to watch it, I was like 10), but I no longer enjoy it simply because of the broadcasts. Well, to be honest, the ugly race car doesn't help either.....

Buschseries61 said...

1) Thank you JD for having this blog. Everyone on here is very respectful and makes these races fun to cover. We saw some awful tv covereage this year. Thank you for giving us a voice.

2) Thank the lord ESPN is done for the year. The race reached the lows of Texas 2 weeks ago. The story of the race was JJ. We simply could not escape the #48 on tv. No need to repeat myself.

3) ESPN has a lot to change for 2010. From Indy to Homestead the amount of drivers covered continued to decrease. After Richmond, the Chase was primary, the race was background noice. Many times this season we did not see more than 10 cars finish the race. This has to change.

4) Changes are needed in the broadcast booth. The Nationwide series broadcasts have given me hope in Dale & Andy. I feel like they were being held back by Jerry Punch. They had to wear 2 hats - play-by-play and analyst. Dr. Jerry Punch is well known for his years of reporting on ESPN. I have so much respect for him. However, the time has come. His 3 year experiment in the booth must come to an end. We need someone that is not afraid to yell at the production truck to show the racing. We need someone with excitement and energy, Dr. Punch's monotone voice and deep sighs were tough to hear all year. I hope we will hear Allen Bestwick in Sprint Cup and Marty Reid in the Nationwide Series.

Thank you TDP friends for a fun year!

Dot said...

Right now I just want to thank you JD for TDP. I've met the nicest people here.

I'll comment on the coverage later.

Anonymous said...

I think that you all speak for me when it comes to ESPN.No we don't hate them but we all know that they can do a lot better than what they have done this season. I hope they make changes and put all the part and pieces together before next year.

ri88girl said...

@ dara2k ditto to everything.

@ Dear JD,
Thanks for keeping us sane again this year. Glad you will be back next season how ever you choose to format yourself (sounds dangerous...and painfull)84 days didn't sound as long this morning as it does now ;(

See y'all next year Planeteers and Tweeps

Hey JD are we blogging the Banquet???

Smokey_14 said...

Here's my final grade for ESPN in 2009: F. F for absolute failure! From the Brickyard to tonight, nothing but toilet coverage! Everything from pre-race to commentary to gimmicks to camera direction, just absolutely awful! The only good things about them this year were NASCAR Now, Marty Smith, Allen Bestwick, Marty Reid, Randy LaJoie, Ricky Craven, and Ray Evernham! Dave Burns, I can't be mad at him. He was a better pit reporter with the TNT team, and should go back to working with them. And from what I've seen on this website these last 17 weeks, and after my 2008 frustration, I am very glad I made the choice to turn away from my TV after Chicago on TNT (with the exception of SPEED), for IdiotSPN continues to have gone from one of the best NASCAR Networks of the past, to the most disrespectful, and most disgraceful network to ever telecast a NASCAR Sprint Cup race. ESPN, The Worldwide Disgrace of NASCAR TV, has go to go. I am definitely looking forward to February and FOX, where real history will be made, when the Daytona 500, The Great American Race goes back to being raced under broad daylight at 1 E.T., and 43 racers will once again go after the biggest prize in motorsports, which is not the championship, but winning the Daytona 500. My thanks this year for all NASCAR coverage this entire year goes out to this website, FOX, SPEED, TNT, NASCAR.com, Twitter, MRN, and PRN. BSPN, they don't deserve a thanks, after what they have done these last 3 years. What they deserve is a "YOU'RE FIRED! GET OUT!!!". No sport should be treated like this! I hope NASCAR, and Brian France wises up and realizes what he has done to NASCAR TV in the final 17 races and FIX IT! With the exception of Mike Massaro, Marty Smith, Allen Bestwick, Marty Reid, Randy LaJoie, Ricky Craven, and Ray Evernham, I never want to see their faces around this sport again! I'm better off with FOX & TNT splitting the season, with every Sprint Cup practice & qualifying session on SPEED. To me:
FOX/SPEED/TNT/MRN/PRN = The passion & love for NASCAR
ESPN/ABC = The dying of NASCAR
I'm gonna hope for better days in 2010 with FOX/SPEED/TNT/MRN/PRN. Thanks, JD. Thanks, everyone.

Buschseries61 said...

I have to say I was disappointed how NASCAR on ABC left. Fox highlighted the dozen events they covered and the entire FOX team together. Speed had season highlights and broadcast bloopers.

I thought ESPN would have some sort of reflection from Indy to Homestead or even fun moments in the booth.

Mike Ellis said...

Jerry Punch needs to go. Alan Bestwick takes over play by play. Brad D takes over as host. Just these slight adjustments would make for a much better show. Just like putting a round of wedge in it.

PG_Harley said...

More so than any year I can remember, I am very glad that the year is over. ESPN/ABC's coverage over the last several months has drained me.

I think that the change to COT brought about a lot of boring racing. Couple that with an absolutely terrible ESPN/ABC weekly waterboarding of NASCAR fans and I have nothing left to give... or care about.

As to JD and the regulars here... thanks for the community! You are all champions in my book.

JD-Thanks for coming back this year and all the work you put in to moderating this blog. It is a great commitment and I thank you for your time and effort.

Sophia said...

wasn't home but saw total 30 minutes on mute at my sisters house between Bengal's game.

Lather Rinse Repeat.

But I AM SADDENED Michael Waltrip got NO MENTION on the broadcast? R U kidding me?

KoHoSo said...

I feel that details are irrelevant at this point. ESPN's coverage went out with a whimper instead of a bang. I can only hope that the changes in the broadcast team that Mr. Daly has been hinting at lately come to pass along with some changes to the COT in 2011.

I also want to give my thanks to JD for another great season of blogging and look forward to at least a few things over the off-season before it's time to celebrate Daytona and despise Digger. ;-)

Finally, to all of my fellow Planeteers...Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

A few suggestions for improving the broadcasts:
1) Reduce the number of on-air personalities from 6 or 8 to just 2! Geeez, how many opinions do we need.
2)Put an actual NASCAR fan as producer in the truck and not some network puppet.
3)Tech Garage has been done to death. Close it down....please.
4)Waaaaaay too much pre-race babble about the same things every week. Tell us more about upcoming changes or new rules. How bout actually doing a segment on the entire tech inspection of a car?

TDP is a great site. Hope your around for a long time.

PammH said...

This is the first yr I am just drained & glad the season is over. Nascar is the only sport I follow, which is why I didn't know wth Charlie Weiss was. Life is tough in so many ways this days in our country & TV/sports are supposed to be a way to relax & have fun. When you have to multi-task for the last half of season, it makes it not fun anymore. Plus, my driver had a crappy yr, so that didn't help any.
Everyone before me has made the same comments for week after week after week. Hopefully, we will see some changes next yr.
I just want to thank JD profusely for coming out of retirement at the beginning of the yr-would have never made it thru the season w/out the blog or Planeteers. Have met some knowledgable, funny race lovers, who are passionate about this sport. Keep us updated at best ya can JD, over the off season. Just want to say have a Happy TDay to everyone!

Sophia said...

P.S. JD

I also want to thank you for this site. ONLY place we have to vent! I've met some great email peeps and tweeps here.

Enjoy all the comments and info, and humor. :)

Thank you everybody.

Richard in N.C. said...

I am still convinced that the problem with EESPN Cup broadcasts is a result of the EESPN culture, truck, and up the line.

JD, I see that Joe Menzer has an article this afternoon that says Ray E. has " a contract on the table from ESPN" - and indicates that Ray might do something else if he can get released from RPM. So?

HarpAmy/Amy in FL said...

How can we let the broadcast tv teams know that we are a little ticked at the lack of coverage for Mikey? They made such a big deal for Rusty and Mark and Mark had let it be known that he was going to a limited schedule. Why couldn't they give Mikey a tribute for all that he has done for the sport? If you read this week's Nascar Scene, you will see a pic of Mikey and Mike Helton and Mikey is comforting Mike Helton in the press conference after Dale Sr.'s death. I was not a fan back then but from what I can tell of reading the sport's history, Mikey was really the spokesman for DEI and was the glue that held them together then.

The lack of a tribute for Mikey is what was the straw that made me really mad at the coverage.

I applaud Denny Hamlin for several interviews that he has done and he consistently brings up Mikey's career. It is almost like he has seen the coverage and saw that no one gave any kudos to Mikey.

Maybe, it is time to get the truck team together and let them have a go at covering the cup and nationwide series. What do you all think?

Just my humble suggestions and rant.

Thanks, JD, for giving us this forum.

Dot said...

Here are my thoughts on the race today.

I saw and heard dribs and drabs on TV. What I did see and hear was the same as every Sunday. So at the risk of boring all of you who have read my comments in the past, I'll just say ditto.

The one glaring error that I caught was the silence in the booth when Andretti spun. Not one word, oohh or gasp. Also, why did it take so long when someone crashed (don't remember who, probably Marcos)for the camera to show us? The broadcast from the booth (sorry DJ&AP) to the production truck just SUCKS! Again, what I don't get is 100 hours of pre race and 45 mins of post race. I want some kind of balance.

I discovered that I cannot multi multi task. I tried to comment here, Twitter, listen to MRN and watch the cartoon cars and the TV. Turning off the TV was not an option because of Dan. My favorites remain TDP and Twitter.

I am so glad that the season is over. Not the racing, just the lack of respect shown to the race fans by BSPN.

I want to keep my comments on just this race. I could write a book with all that is wrong with the race coverage on BSPN in general. BTW, I already know the script for BSPN at Indy next year. "Four time Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson working on championship number five.....will preface everything the 48 team does from practice to qualifying to running in the back to crashing, on and on.

@ JD, thank you again for allowing us to vent and mention our drivers on TDP. You're the best. XOXO

Dot said...

@ Amy, beautiful post. Let's hope that TWIN will be more all about Mikey tomorrow night.

Here's a lesson for future retiring drivers. Don't do it if JJ is trying for X championship in a row. Bug out after FOXs or TNTs coverage. BSPN will not write you in the script.

Bill said...

WHEW!!!!

To JD and the many posters here. Thank you all for teaching me something new about the sport every time I turned my head.

A shout out to the Twitter people, makes this so much more interesting to know whats really going on. TheDalyPlanet jeff_gluck, MartySmithESPN, bobpockrass, dustinlong, nateryan, DNewtonespn, JennaFryer, JoeGibbsRacing Just don't know how I would make it through a race without you guys on twitter.

JD don't know how you multi task as much as you do during a race, but you must have 7 arms and 3 heads to do it.

Not even going to comment on ESPN. I had a rather enjoyable race listening to MRN.

TexasRaceLady said...

JD, first and foremost, thank you for this sane, safe haven for The Planeteers. You have labored to give us a voice, and I most definitely appreciate it.

Keep me in the loop, JD. Whatever you decide to do, or if you decide to move the site, let me know. I'll be there with bells on --- well, maybe no bells. LOL

About all I can say for today is bah, humbug. I watched the entire 1.5 hour SportsCenter special waiting for the "Dirty Jobs" in NASCAR --- and got NOTHING.

I can report, though, that my TV did survive. I went outside and threw rocks at the trees.

I can't come up with words to adequately describe the pain the Chase broadcasts have caused.

As Sophia says, "Lather, rinse, repeat."

If it weren't for the radio feed on DirecTV, I would have had NO knowledge of who was doing what, or where they were on the track.

As much as DW grates on my nerves, I must say that, right now, FOX coverage looks good.

Sally said...

I join everyone else in thanking you, JD for giving us this wonderful site. It gives us a chance to give our opinions without getting a lecture on how 'negative and/or ignorant we are, and should shut up and watch.
My sense of relief that the season has dragged itself to a close is immense. I never thought that, after all these years, I would be so indiffernt about racing. Between the changes to the cars, the drivers, the tracks, and the super teams, it just isn't any fun any more. ESPN managed to make what was an entertaining race drag on forever with their tepid coverage and overkill on the JJ/Hendrick angle. I'm ready to give up.

Anthony said...

I was quite disappointed with ABC's coverage. The SportsCenter Special and NASCAR Countdown were solid, but that was about it.

I actually found myself yelling at the T.V. today, trying to figure out why they'd ditch a 5-car pack to show 1 car (JJ or not).

I was also thinking about an earlier poster who questioned if Bill Weber would be returning to ESPN in 2010 instead of TNT. That got me thinking about some changes that ESPN desperately needs.

FOX is not too far away, and neither is the Daytona 500, at 1PM/ET on February 14!

And congrats to my man Jimmie for 4 in a row!

Richard in N.C. said...

I'm not a JJ fan, but I do believe what he has accomplished is truly historic - especially since I recall rooting for Ironhead to win 3 in a row twice and he failed. I find it a sad commentary on EESPN's coverage that they could not make JJ's charge into history compelling, only boring.

Maybe I'm just a suspicious old ___, but I suspect Mikey got no recognition on EESPN because he's one of the other team's guys.

Anonymous said...

I quit watching after Dave Burns mentioned "going for 4" one too many times during the pre-race telecast.

Tim Brewer - Worst ever! The whole Tech Garage is bad television. Brewer can't explain anything and thats if he even understands the question. And the camera work is terrible.

Adam said...

I was working so I was not able to watch the race. Glad I did not.

Thanks JD for the site. Hope that the broadcasting gets better so I can feel compelled to watch again.

tom in dayton said...

JD:
I know that it is tempting to mirror what many other posters have stated about the Sunday Sprint Cup coverage on ESPN. I agree with them all. But what occurs to me points in another direction.
After reviewing the Cup ratings page at Jayski, it would seem to NASCAR, as well as to all three of the Cup broadcast television entities, that two of the TV providers are getting it right and one is not. Getting the job done means your marketing department has an easier job in the future attracting advertising in this increasingly competetive market and ESPN's job has gotten much harder for 2010.
I agree with some of what Liz Clarke said Sunday night, but it isn't the whole problem. Remember when FORD brought out the Edsel in 1958. It bombed much like ESPN has done on it's Sprint Cup coverage over the past three years. At least FOX and TNT have examined their coverage and made many improvements to it in the same time period. It isn't to say that ESPN hasn't improved, but sadly not in their premier Sprint Cup series! The worst part of it is that ESPN already has in hose the on-air talent that would allow them in each broadcast to knock each broadcast "out of the park"!
For next year, it would be great on your part, JD, to run a column from previous years on the good and the bad of each TV broadcasters coverage of the Sprint Cup. with links to some previous columns, to remind us of what we felt as each of the three concluded. I reviewed, from your archives, all of those before each segment began so as not to repeat any earlier observations, because I feel a great purpose of this blog is not to put down the TV broadcasters, but to offer observations and suggestion as to how, from the viewer's point of view, to make the broadcasts better, and in doing so to become more loyal viewers not only of NASCAR events but of other programs offered by that broadcaster.
In my opinion, two broadcasters have stepped up to that challenge.
On a personal note, I heartedly support and amplify the comments commending you for your three years toiling on this blog, giving us, some interested fans, a forum where we could respectfully agree or disagree with each other with all striving to make something(the NASCAR TV broadcasts)better. If, as you've metioned, your intent to move on to something other than this blogsport, I hope your leave some signposts so that I can continue to read and sometimes contribute in such an excellent addition to my racing passion.
PPS: and by the way, I still have the DIGGER mug I got for Sophia - despite only being forty miles away and having gone to two of her favorite band's gigs, I have yet to be able to present it to her - just sayin...
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Ijust hope that this is not the end of TDP till Daytona!

Anonymous said...

Here are my thoughts. I was not home for most of the race. I taped the special "Sportscenter." What a disappointment! I expected to see more Mike Rowe, more live info from Marty Smith and Dave Burns. I got none of that. And this wasn't a Sportscenter. It was an extended Countdown or NASCAR Now. I guess the only way it was able to be shown on ESPN was to say that it was a Sportscenter special.

Since I was at a bar for the beginning of the race, well until the 1st Stewart-Montoya incident, I can't comment on the audio. What I did see a few times was that someone was about to make a pass and the camera switched away from the battle. It was like we're not allowed to see a pass. No wonder people don't think that cars pass, we never see it because as soon as it's about to happen, the director switches away.

I listened to the rest of the race, til about 40 laps to go on the radio. Sure made my drive home seem a lot shorter than the about hour it took me.

I got home and tried to get my Raceview working. No luck. After 20 minutes, I gave up.

I had the tv on. While there may have been no full blown tribute to Mikey, which is understandable since he is not retiring, but scaling back, there was a mention late in the race. I'm amazed I heard it because after about 20 minutes I was ready to fall asleep. Sure, I was a bit tired to begin with, but history was being made. With all the cars on the lead lap, ANYTHING could have happened and JJ could have lost the championship. Although at that point, I'm sure anyone who was told JJ was coming up and about to pass them pulled over as to not get in his way or wreck him.

If I was flipping channels and had not known this was the last race of the season and that someone was about to win their 4th straight title, I probably would have kept going. I have to disagree with the people that say this point was over-hyped. Making history can't be promoted enough and should be in the spotlight.

On a side note, just saw my minute of sports highlights on my local NBC station. All Redskins, all the time. No mention that there was a champion crowned last night. Lindsay C., I'm disappointed.

Jim said...

I've enjoyed The Daly Planet more than most of the races (during ESPN's "coverage.")
Thank you for giving the fans a voice. No one at ESPN is listening, but it makes us feel good.

Deidre said...

Coverage was so so, and one of the announcers did do a quick shout out for Mikey, but I was waiting for a follow up comment from the others and it was silence, no class there if they did not want to say anything because the guy works for Speed. I will say it here, congrats Mikey for all the great yrs and good luck with MWR as a owner and I know you still love to drive, so here is hoping you get in as many races as you are able to with the 55.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with anon 10:34pm. The Tim Brewer segments are usually worthless. At times he isn't familiar with the latest technology. When he knows what he's talking about, the words often don't come out right.Is there really anyone out there that doesn't know what a brake rotor is or where they're located on the car? And there's always the priceless camera coverage, "..as you can see, it's right in here...." The timid coverage of the driver feuds (JPM and Stewart) is aggravating. We hear hours of their opinions on every other subject, but they tip toe around discussions of dirty driving,Goodyear,Nascar and Junior. Bestwick did an excellent job in Vicyory Lane on both Saturday and Sunday. I thought they did a good job of following the action further back in the pack on Sunday. I'm glad the season is over. While I'd like to believe that 2010 will be bring better coverage across the networks, I'm not optimistic.

Anonymous said...

First JD thanks for your blog. I hope it helps make some desperately needed changes next year.

Yes DW showing up shows his many weaknesses as well. He's obsessed with himself first, his brother and associated teams, then Junebug, then JJ. It's true...Ole DW is all about himself.

Finally for ESPN. That was the absolute worst 'championship' broadcast for a sport that I've ever seen in my 44 years of roaming this planet. Please fix what's broken. You know what it needs...the people have told you.

Bill_R said...

I was bored almost to sleep by the broadcast of yesterdays race. There was just no enthusiasm at all. If I had my way these are some of the changes I would make to ESPN's coverage.
1) No script. Let the race unfold, and do your homework on every team before the race, so you can effectively cover every team. New sponsors, new crew members, new race car, as examples, are the type of things that the broadcast team should know about so they can talk about that to fill time instead of the same tired calls over and over again.
2) There needs to be fewer people on the broadcast. Less is more in many cases, and instead of 12 people on air they would be better served with just 6. 3 in the booth, 3 on pit road, no tech garage, no infield studio. I think DJ and AP are articulate, down to earth, relate well to the fans and have excellent experience in the sport to draw from. Put them with Alan Bestwick and I think you would have the best booth since Bob, Benny, and Ned. Put JP back in his natural environment on pit road. The tech garage really serves no purpose and is overused at the wrong times. The infield studio serves no purpose either. We don't watch the race to see 12 people talking over each other, we tune in for the race.
3) Getting to incidents on track quicker, even if it is not a top driver. That is one area the old ESPN really excelled, they usually got most of the wrecks live, even if it was just the end of the wreck. They also usually had good replays as well. Now ESPN misses half the incidents and doesn't have good replays a lot of the time. Also interview every driver that comes out of the care center, and every driver that drops out of the race except for the start and park guys. If the driver declines the interview let us know that as well.
I realize with the COT that ESPN doesn't have as much to work with racing wise, but I'm sure there was a lot of good racing that we never saw since it didn't involve the top few drivers.

GinaV24 said...

First off, thanks JD for allowing the fans to comment on the TV broadcast.

I had to run to the store just as the race was starting so I had MRN on for the early part of the race and well, they weren't doing much of a job of covering the race at that point. Between the commercials and the in booth stuff with Mike Rowe and then someone from Daytona, well I turned it off until I got home.

Sorry JD to digress --

Now for my view of the TV coverage this week. For some reason, at least for part of the race, it seemed that the camera work was better than usual, but the PXP was its usual boring stuff. DJ and Andy did a decent job of filling in since Jerry was asleep in the booth or telling us car numbers over and over and over. As usual, I had the computer on and was following my driver's progress through the field with trackpass. I turned the sound off on the TV and went to radio, computer and web for the coverage.

I honestly couldn't believe that I was hearing Allen give the "points as they run". Egad!

To quote what has become my favorite line from one of the regular posters here: lather, rinse, repeat! I totally agree.

There were a couple of exciting moments that were covered - although ESPN missed the first 42 - 14 contact, but they did catch the payback both times.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone and the good news is that there won't be a ton of ESPN-ness until NEXT July! Fox and the gopher will annoy me then, but that pales in comparison to the ESPN script.

GinaV24 said...

JD, I, too, would like to be able to follow along if you change your format for next year.

MRM4 said...

The race itself was actually pretty good despite ESPN trying to butcher it. The constant updating of points got old really fast.

I think dara2k has some great points that I agree with totally.

Looking forward to 2010 and Fox.

rich said...

First of all, my sincere thanks to JD for running this blog. It takes much time to keep this site family friendly. It is the only sane Nascar site that I know of. Thanks JD, it has been an interesting year. Hopefully our efforts will cause some change because it is needed badly.
If some changes are not made at ESPN, I fear the damage to the sport might be irreversible.
See you fellow Planeteers at Speedweeks. I can't wait.

Anonymous said...

just gotta say...I think the suggestions about Mikey are ridiculous. They didn't give any love to Ricky Rudd when he left either, for the same reason. Not currently a strong performer as a driver, and therefore not on the radar screen. No, it's not right, a definite oversight, but I don't think it had anything to do with his working for Speed.

Bill B said...

I waited until the final race of the season before I mentioned this but ESPN/ABC did do one thing right, they got rid of that stupid, useless and insulting draft-tracker. For that they should get one "atta-boy".

red said...

for me, the end of this nascar cup season was like watching a wounded animal twitching as it tried to drag itself into the woods to die. there's still some life but it's pretty much done and just looking for a quiet place to go and be done with it all.

each week, planeteers and others outline what has to change for 2010 to be a better broadcast season for espn. there was nothing in what little i watched of yesterday's race that needs to be added to that list.

so, once again, i'll try to speak to espn directly.

dear espn,
welcome to the age of nascar on the internet. a truth: you are no longer the only game in town when it comes to nascar and race weekends.

the media landscape has changed before your eyes and, as a consequence, fans are speaking directly to the media, drivers, wives and spotters via twitter. fans are interacting with each other on blogs and message boards, listening in on team radios and passing race information freely. fans are tuning in to mrn and prn online so even if there's no station in their local area, they can still listen to the race broadcast. fans are going to races, meeting at tweet-ups and tweeting as the event unfolds.

you have become redundant, almost obsolete.

but it doesn't need to stay that way in 2010. reviewing fan comments here on TDP alone will reveal intelligent and well-considered thoughts about what fans want and need from a race broadcast. read what's been said about the superior work done by fox, tnt and, most especially, by speed on the truck races. all the elements are in place; all that needs to happen is that someone from espn reads through the season, takes notes and then the nascar team at espn begin to rebuild the race broadcasts from the ground up. there's so much that could be improved and it would seem you have the talent on-hand to make the necessary changes.

but you need to understand that your biggest rival for fan attention and loyalty is the internet and you need to create a way to be part of that reality. whatever it is that is stopping you from embracing this has to be examined at the top of your corporate heirarchy because a continung failure to create a truly dynamic and interactive internet presence will relegate your empire to the back burner, much as it has already doomed printed newspapers.

when the nascar contract was first signed, the internet was just beginning to take shape for race fans. in these few years, it has become an intergal part of how we view our sport and those who participate in it as athletes, teams and media. we are no longer passive observers: we have become particpants in the events and we are making our views and insights known.

so, espn, i will watch during the off-season to see how you, as a corporation, choose to address this new reality. will you step forward and become a significant presence in the interactive world of nascar on the internet? or will you lag behind even nascar itself in your electronic strategies?

it is, in my mind, ultimately a choice about survival for you. you can go into hiding, lick your wounds, heal and come back strong in 2010.

or, you can lay down in the woods and die.

it will be interesting to see which you choose.

red said...

and to all my fellow planeteers: you guys were the SOLE reason i lasted as long as i did this season. each weekend, i was determined to not suffer thru another series of horrible broadcasts by espn. and each weekend, i found i couldn't stay away from TDP and my e-buddies. because of your passion, concern, insight and, most especially, your humor, i weathered the last 10 weeks and will return in 2010.

you folks represent the best of what nascar means to me and i cannot thank you enough for reminding me of that each week!

jd, i believe i wrote something similar at the end of last season but here goes:
"thank you" doesn't begin to cover it. you have given all of us a place to interact as intelligent, passionate adults and you have worked to keep it smart and fun. far and away, my WORST moment of the racing year came when you briefly stepped away from TDP. it made me examine why i value this site so very much and what my role in 2009 would be on TDP.
and here's the bottom line: you respect us as equals in this venture and you value our thoughts and opinions. for that, i am truly humbled and grateful.

so, here's to you, jd: champion cat-herder, outstanding citizen blogger with no t-shirt or badge and all-around good guy!

from me to you: thank you, kind sir.

Donna in FL said...

My son, the 48 fan, said he had an absolute blast at this weekend's races, got home 3am this morning. He said he wished I had been there I would've enjoyed it.
I did enjoy the race Sunday, no thanks to ABC but thanks to radio & internet, it really was a race. I caught some of the prerace (like the Smith interview with Stewart) but skipped most of it because of the HMS, 48 & 5 emphasis. Considering it was such a "historic" moment, I thought the post race coverage was underwhelming. Maybe because I can't feel anything for The 48 Machine. Glad Denny got time for a good win and year and glad someone thought to go find Kurt Busch to get some words on his solid year and Chase. I think they found a bit of time for Burton & Harvick; not sure.

Overall scores for the 2009 Cup TV season.
FOX = B-
TNT = A-
ESPN/ABC = D-
Score for the NNS TV season: B
Score for the Truck TV season: A

I can't thank SPEED enough for their great overall coverage, TNT my next fave then FOX.
For ESPN/ABC to improve their telecasts, they MUST allow more colorful PxP, more time for post race (less pre race to fit it if needed), better production and alot more balance btw THE RACE and The Chase. Please, put down the scripts, you have veteran commentators that know what happens during races and are capable of describing events ad lib on the fly. There are many many stories every weekend to fill in time if the racing gets predictable during your coverage, you don't need to focus on just a few drivers ad nauseum. I know my drivers aren't going to get mentioned every week but PLEASE don't shove the same drivers at me week in and week out as the "Main Event". THREE other channels have managed to find NASCAR balance, why can't The Worldwide Leader in Sports do the same or better??

JohnP said...

I found the coverage of Homestead slightly better then the absolute low of the Texas race. That was horrible. Tallageda was about the same actually. So, two lows.

Punch needs to go away, or back to the pit road. He was great on ESPN in the 90's, he is horrific as a play by play guy. Jarret I liked as a driver. However, he is just following the "company storyline" set up by ESPN and I have no respect for that. ESPN is always looking for a "storyline" other then the race. They admit it each and every week.

By the way, JJ made "history" in 2007 and 2008.

In 2007 he won his second Cup title under the new Chase format. That's "History". No one else had done it before.

In 2008 he won his third Cup title under the new Chase format. That's "History". No one else had done it before.

In 2009 he won his fourth Cup title under the new Chase format.
That's "History". No one else had done it before.

BUT compairing him to Yarlboro, Petty, Earnheart, Gordon is a total JOKE!!

He did good for 40 races (over 4 years)in the Chase format as compaired to Yarlboro, Petty, Earnheart, Gordon who had to do good for 144 races for the same four year period.

See you all next year, thanks JD for the format. Nice and respectfull of you and the bloggers.

Have a good Thanksgiving everyone.

50 yr. fan said...

My highlights for the weekend were
watching Tim Brewer showing how to
"retch" over and turn the electrical switch on NNS and "Hollywood" change a tire on the 7 car in 30 something place.

Seriously, Thanks JD for the TDP
and all the Planeteers.

JohnP said...

Quote from Scenedaily.com from 2006.

"NBC's broadcast of Sunday's Ford 400 NASCAR Nextel Cup season finale earned a 4.3 overnight rating from Nielsen Media Research and a 7 market share, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports.

The rating represents a 10.4 percent drop from the 4.8/9 the race earned overnight in 2005 and a 23.2 percent drop from 2004, when the format of the Chase For The Nextel Cup was used for the first time."

Now, lets think about the rating today in 2009. Wonder what the ratings on ABC/ESPN for Homestead were for 2009??

It would be fantastic for someone to compare the overnight ratings from 2004 to 2009 for Homestead. In other words. Compare rating from the Pre-Chase format to the Chase format. It was down 23.2% the first year alone.

Someone do this please, I can't find the overnight ratings for 2009or I would do the math.

Anonymous said...

I was going back and forth between the race and the Giants game, but..
I thought the race had some great moments. I'd rather two races there a year than Kansas.
ESPN this time had no choice but to make it the Jimmie Johnson show. It is what it is.
Mikey Waltrip is not retiring, just scaling back. No need for a big emotional send-off for a perennial back marker.
If only Dr. Punch could memorize what driver is which number car.
Love the blog. Thank you JD!
Mike in NNY

Damon said...

Found these numbers on Jayski/Sports Business Daily


2003 Homestead final rating was 4.5, down 13% from 2002's 5.2 rating, but up from 2001's 3.8

2004 Homestead race was 6.2, up 38% from 2003 and for the 10 race Chase it was a 4.6

2005 Homestead race was a 5.9 and a 4.7 rating for the Chase

2006 Homestead race was a 4.6 and a 4.2 (NBC's last year, also TNT showed the first two Chase races)

2007 Homestead race was a 4.2 and the Chase was a 3.8 (ABC/ESPN's first year)

2008 Homestead race was a 4.0 and a 3.8 for the Chase

Smokey_14 said...

That's funny Anon 11 A.M.; I was going back and forth between the race and the Giants game as well. The difference was that I was following the race on MRN through my computer and my TV was on my FOX affiliate all game long, never bothering to change channels to ABC as after the Giants game was over, I went to my CBS affiliate to see the Jets get clobbered.

3KillerBs said...

Good, old, never show live what can be replayed later ESPN.

Damon said...

Watching First Take and listening to Skip Bayless and Jemele Hill attempt to talk about Jimmie's accomplishment is pathetic.

Neither has a clue, both should shut up!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Looking for your comments on the coverage of the Sprint Cup Series race from Homestead on ABC.

Anonymous said...

While ESPN has terrible coverage - no argument - just remember that it's only 84 days until the return of Digger! Maybe there will be some sort of incident with a snow plow before Daytona.

Tom said...

Facts to note:
Yes, Jimmie has done extremely well in the Chase, with 18 of his 47 career wins. No one else has more than six.

But he has 47 career wins in just EIGHT years. That's nearly six per season, and Johnson is only 34 years old.

If he keeps going at this rate until 50, just for argument's sake, Johnson will be an almost surefire lock to finish as the No. 2 winningest driver on the all-time list, behind only the King, Richard Petty.

ESPN may be about "all-Chase, all the time" in its Cup coverage, but comparisons of Johnson to Petty, Yarborough and Earnhardt are all valid.

Something else to consider...
In Richard Petty's first eight seasons (1958-65), he had only 40 wins - NONE until his third season in 1960.

Cale Yarborough did most of his winning in the back end of his career. Of his 83 career wins, 28 came during his three straight titles (1976-78).

In Jimmie's four title years, he's garnered 29 wins out of 47 total. Like it or not, that INCLUDES pre-Chase victories.

Earnhardt? 30 victories in his first four championship seasons. Over all of his seven title-winning years, he has 44 of his 76 career wins.

And as for Gordon, he produced 36 of his 82 career wins during his championship runs.

Sorry for the length of this post, JD, but JohnP's argument doesn't hold water. Jimmie Johnson's achievement is amazing and needs to be celebrated.

West Coast Diane said...

JD,

As others have said, thank you so very much for this blog. It is the only blog I read. You are one of 8 tabs across the top of my web browser so I can check you everyday. I will continue to check you everyday just to make sure I don't miss any of your updates.

I don't do Twitter or Facebook, but I will learn whatever I have to so I can follow you come January.

@red...once again...great post and great point.

When there was only TV as a source for watching races, then maybe ESPN could use the "take it or leave it" attitude.

Their arrogance is showing that they do not recgonize that not only are they losing viewers (like my 2 brothers who were diehard fans), but that those of us who are still hanging on have many more resources to get our racing fix. We no longer need TV, by itself, to enjoy our sport.

Even sadder, is many of us would be happy to just watch TV, rather than multitasking. If only they would listen to the fans and the many suggestions made right here at TDP.

But hey, what would we know. It's only the sport that many of us have been following since its inception or since coming to TV. Even newer fans know what would work better than the boring drivel we are given by ESPN.

Happy Thanksgiving to JD and my fellow Planeteers.

Jim said...

A special thanks to Sophia who gave me a link to listen to the race on MRN, http://107countrypsk.com/ I listened to a much more exciting race, as I watched it on TV with the sound off. I never heard Dr. Jerry Punch's voice all day! Thanks also to John Daly and everybody here at TDP

bevo said...

I decided to wait before I added my thoughts on the Sunday race. I thought they had a pretty good broadcast on Saturday when compared to their other NW races with the exception of the IRP race which was head and shoulders their best show of the year. I hoped that the momentum from Saturday combined with the last effort of the year would produce a inspired broadcast.

It didn't.

I really feel for all of the folks in the background at ESPN who put their heart and soul into each race only to see it sabotaged by executives with no clue about presenting a race or where to place their considerable stable of on-air talent in positions that take advantage of their skill sets.

There have to be changes in the booth and pits but first there needs to be a change for the director and producer. They've lost casual viewers. Now they have to focus on race fans and give them what they want.

Damon said...

From sports media watch:

Sunday's Ford 400, in which Jimmie Johnson clinched his 4th straight Sprint Cup title, drew a 3.2 overnight rating on ABC -- down 11% from a 3.6 last year, down 16% from a 3.8 in '07, and the lowest overnight for the race since 2000.

JohnP said...

If Damon is correct that is about a 48% drop in TV viewership since 2004. 6.2 rating in 2004, 3.2 rating in 2009. So sad. Can't blame the economy on that. Nascar "use" to be a family tradition in this house since 1996. Now I can't get anyone to watch it except myself. And that is getting questionable.

What ESPN has done this season has absolutly been determental to Nascar. I don't know how else to say it. Absolutly determental to Nascar. Their storylines, Jarret talking about himself as the race is LIVE. Punch asleep at the wheel. Producers who know nothing about Nascar. Wow.

Special thanks to Damon, you did some work there.

Anonymous said...

ESPN needs help. I would rather listen to the race on the radio or follow it on twitter.

Sophia said...

How much of lousy coverage is the Chase?

The HORRIBLE camera work?

Or too much FOCUS on the chase?

I find it interesting NOBODY SPECIFICALLY addresses the lousy camera direction, thus we rarely see spins/wrecks/pit stops live?!

Worst part of ESPN is the dreck cam work.

ChevyJr said...

ESPN waS HORRIBLE they do not deserve to broadcast Nascar anything. They lack knowledge, enthusiasm, know-how, No class at all, it WAS HORRIBLE TO LISTEN 2 ......................... PUT IT ON SPEED CHANNEL ..the camera angles r better, the consistency, the ability to talk about anything that we as fans want 2 hear. I turn the sound off then still the camera work leaves tons 2 b desired. CHANGE THIS !!!!!

Anonymous said...

I found it funny that ESPN had to create drama in the championship chase by again digging up the Texas wreck footage, which I saw as a desperate attempt to keep their viewers.

I also realize they had to emphasis JJ's 4 in a row, but enough already - there were other stories. In the old ESPN days, they used to spend a segment showing each car and then talking about their plans for the next season - would have been nice to bring that back. (Actually, that whole race format from the Ned/Bob/Benny days was what I had hoped for with ESPN's return - guess it was just a pipe dream.)

I also can't get this outcry because there wasn't a "tribute" to Mikey - why??? 1) He's not retiring, and when Elliott (a much more popular and accomplished driver) or Rudd scaled back, there were no tributes as well. In addition, haven't we had enough Mikey and DW tributes from their own mouths to last a lifetime??

The easiest way to sum up my view of yesterday's broadcast was that there was no excitement conveyed from the broadcast team, who, by the way, numbered way too many - a booth AND a broadcast center?? Overkill, any one?

Finally, thanks to JD for this forum - always very entertaining and informative.

David said...

Another typical ESPN product. Underwhelming to say the least. I echo all the remarks above.

As I have said before, I love Jerry Punch but he is in the WRONG role. A massive overhaul by ESPN is needed this offseason though. And it appears NASCAR is watching as well.

hotaru-raganbaby_6 said...

I didn't even bother to watch on TV... knew it would be a drab affair. Now that we have a LOCAL MRN affiliate (so my computer won't conk out during the stream during Cup races), I can bounce around online, checking to see how David Ragan is doing ('cause ESPN sure as heck does NOT care 'bout him or anyone else than the obvious).

I'm glad the season is over and we are free from the trap of ABC/ESPN and their blatant Chaseism.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute -- is this right: There is NO NASCAR NOW ON MONDAY? Or for the rest of the week? No show to wrap up the season, recap the final race, the historic championship? Are you KIDDING ME?

This is like ESPN spitting on the fans. Can you imagine them not running Baseball Tonight the day after the World Series because the season is over and they have moved on? Is this a joke? Please tell me I am wrong.

Chris from NY said...

ESPN has completely blown any chance of getting love from the fans.

But congrats to Jimmie. I know it may not have been good for some of us to have seen the same guy stand in the same spot on this weekend for four years, but cooler heads have prevailed, and the three teammates who swept the top three spots just happen to be among the nicest men in NASCAR, as well as the guys on their teams.

ESPN HAS to go. Nobody likes them. I don't know why they love Hendrick, because they are the complete opposite. While I've never seen Jimmie Johnson fight someone, or Mark Martin wreck anyone intentionally, ESPN wrecks us, the fans, and we're the ones they're supposed to be serving. Likewise for that Fascist who goes by the name of David Hill who works for another conceited, money-grubbing company which ripped its name from an animal. You know who I'm talking about. It's time for change. Only TNT and Speed know how to do it right.

glenc1 said...

well...I hesitated to comment because I only used the race for visual (and only after the Giants game was over.) I heard an exciting race on MRN; too bad it sounds like that didn't happen at ESPN. I could reiterate what everyone else has said, but it would be pointless. They *have* to know by now what's wrong, they just haven't tried to fix it. Well...maybe they will make some changes; we can only hope. Getting it right once in a while on NW races is not good enough, and the ratings are reflecting that. Surely Arbitron or someone gauges the MRN ratings..I wonder if they've gone up as TV's gone down (just thinking aloud...) Anyway, I enjoy blogging with the Planeteers and our dialogue about NASCAR TV. Highlights include every truck race I saw plus Halloween. Low lights were most of ESPN's Cup coverage and the gopher cartoons.

Dot said...

@ red, brava, take a bow.

Regarding Mikey, we know he is going to race some in 2010. Would it have killed BSPN to at least have a little interview with him? He was mentioned during the race as an after thought. The same could be said for SPEED (his network). With 3 hours of coverage, someone could have talked to him.

I really hope BSPN takes our constructive criticism to heart. Who's the David Hill of BSPN? I hope whoever it is, they are reading our comments.

Anonymous said...

ESPN's coverage for their portion of the NASCAR season was about as exciting as reading all 2000+ pages of the proposed public health care bill...

They didn't listen, they don't listen, and they won't listen in the future. Ratings will continue to drop during their tenure and they still won't accept responsibility. There is a name for ESPN, but JD would appreciate me keeping it to myself.

SrRaceFan

Anonymous said...

@ Damon
Thanks for the ratings info.
How will NASCAR/ESPN spin these numbers?!

Makiki
Honolulu

OSBORNK said...

I felt throughout the entire ESPN portion of the season that the network and all of the employees were just doing a job for a paycheck. There was no enthusiasm or emotion from anyone. I had a feeling that they didn't especially want to show up for work and couldn't wait for the race and season to end. They sounded tired and bored.

Anonymous said...

The last race of the year is always overshadowed by the championship. This is why the idea of a “playoff” in NASCAR is never really going to work. In the final event of the year, the champion usually doesn’t win the race. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for an off-road truck-like finale, where the top ten in the standings battle in the last race, winner take all.



I’ve read several calls for the last race of the year to be moved to Daytona or somewhere else. There might be some small advantage to that, but this reconfigured Homestead track is a favorite among the drivers and often produces a great race. For the most part, this was an exciting race with several lead changes, side by side racing, and plenty of passing. The double file restart rule really pays off at this track.



Unfortunately the call of the race was absolutely horrific. Dr. Punch, DJ, and Andy could hardly go five minutes without reminding the viewers of the omnipresent, perilous danger surrounding Jimmie Johnson at every turn. THIS ISN’T OVER BY A LONGSHOT! KEEP WATCHING BECAUSE ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN! Those listening to the radio call of the race were the lucky ones. Credit must also be handed out to ESPN’s pre-race, which managed not to say anything that hadn’t already been said over the last three weeks, many times over.



The highlight of the race would have to be the Stewart/Montoya heavyweight match. And I do mean “heavyweight.” After the second incident, these two threw down helmets in pitlane and beat the crap out of each other for four rounds. Well, that could have happened. ESPN couldn’t be bothered to follow up on their on-track fracas. It would have just distracted them from covering Jimmie Johnson’s imminent, championship-ending crash. WHICH COULD HAPPEN AT ANY MOMENT! KEEP WATCHING!


Like I said, it was a pretty good race, but for the end. After that last caution… What was that last caution for anyway? ESPN refused to be distracted from their story line by anything, like reporting on why the caution came out. Maybe Montoya and Stewart were shooting at each other. Or perhaps…



Dr. Punch: Folks, the smoke you see on screen is coming from a massive fire. A fighter wing from Homestead Air Force base has started bombing the track. We’ve been told they’re a group of disgruntled Junior fans. CAN JIMMIE JOHNSON DRIVE AROUND THE CRATERS AND STILL WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP!



Andy: Yeah, he’s gonna want to avoid those. That would really mess up his suspension.



DJ: Well, I’ve driven in a lot races in less than ideal conditions, but never through a war zone. I don’t know what advice I’d give Jimmie here.



Dr. Punch: Jimmie Johnson chasing history and dodging shrapnel. Folks, we’ll be right back after this message from our sponsors.



Err… Where was I? After that last caution and final round of pitstops, the race went mostly single-file. The call of the race became agonizing as the announcers struggled to find things to say and find action on the track. You know it’s bad, when you start wishing they would go to commercial. When it did finally end, Denny Hamlin took the top spot in the race and probably established himself as a prime championship contender for next season. Mark Martin has done that as well. He’s obviously just going to keep racing until he does win it.



Meanwhile, Jimmie takes the championship, IN SPITE OF ALL OF THE CATASTROPHIES THAT MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED DURING THE RACE! You’ll notice the first thing he did when he got out of the car was thank the fans. After four championships in a row, can the guy get a little love or at least some respect here?

Haus14 said...

I can't speak for anyone else, but ever since HotPass switched to radio announcers, I haven't been on ESPN regardless of whether or not my driver was on hot pass.

It was so frustrating to watch ESPN's coverage of the chosen few. Not only did that really alienate those who are fans of other drivers, it left the race fan in general in the dark about what was actually going on in the race. There was no perspective given to the overall flow of the race. It was iso cam after iso cam of a few drivers. Unfortunately, this continued consistently throughout the entire race. If it didn't happen to Jimmie Johnson or whoever was the chosen story-line driver, it is as if it didn't happen at all in ESPN's world.

I enjoyed watching the HotPass channels and listening to the radio broadcast. Even though it was still the ESPN feed on hot pass, the radio feed was there to fill in the gaps as to what was happening around the race track.

It would be interesting to see if the HotPass ratings went up after the audio switch was made. I would say it is a pretty safe bet that they did.

Dot said...

Here's my take on the lower TV ratings.

BSPN is the sole blame for this during their time and especially during the Chase.

I read somewhere that there have been over a 1000 passes in a race according to the timing loops. Gee, we probably only see 2% of them on the track among the chosen ones. Someone commented about how the camera shifts at the moment a pass is in progress. We've all noticed how the camera then shows us one of the chosen ones all by himself.

During the Chase, BSPN is totally blind to the other 26 drivers in the race. (I excluded the 5 usual S&Ps). Those 26 drivers have fans too. Those fans are tired of being ignored, so why watch? Until all the drivers who run most every lap week in and week out get some kind of TV time, ratings will continue to plummet.

Maybe the Chase needs to be addressed. You can't have a playoff and have the "losers" play too. Not a fan of this in the NHRA either. It's too bad that BF didn't implement the Jr rule at the last minute. We would have had 25 drivers in the Chase. I bet ratings would have been up too.

Please no one mention how "your" driver just needs to run better. They all try. More coverage of more drivers might just bring in more sponsors. Why pay all that money not to be seen or talked about?

Another thing that might help is split screen or breaking away from commls to show a good spin or crash. The advertisers need to get behind this. I don't care if it's a local comml or not. You want to advertise during a race, that's the chance you take. The fans would love you for it. Times are changing in TV land. What worked in the past just isn't working now.

OK, I'm done.

Nick Doyle said...

JD,

The coverage was not as bad as it could have been, but it is certainly time for 56-year-old Jerry Punch to wander out of the booth and back to the pits where he used to do some good work.

I was surprised that 56-year-old Jerry Punch did not update us on the 'Rookie of the Year' standings. I believe that it was Joey, and had he given it any thought, 56-year-old Jerry Punch could have mentioned that it was Joey's first time as 'Rookie of the Year' in the series and that he would likely be back to try again next year.

All in all, 56-year-old Jerry Punch did not have quite the year that Mark Martin had. While I'm not especially a fan of Martin's, I sure recognize and admire his achievements this year.

As usual, 56-year-old Jerry Punch failed to call out the quitters (start and parks) -- although in fairness, this race seemed to have very few compared to the past few races.

For those of us who are fans of one of the 40 drivers that 56-year-old Jerry Punch was unable to cover due to apparent memory failure, I regret wasting my afternoon watching the Homestead race. Many folks who post here state that they want excitement from the announcers. Well, you can get that from watching the truck race when nothing much is happening and the announcers are besides themselves with enthusiasm and excitement. Personally, I just like competent announcers discussing what's going on and leaving out the hype and false excitement. I can't stomach the thought of 56-year-old Jerry Punch getting all excited about single file racing -- in fact, that would be a great time to update us on who has fallen out of the race or who is in the garage or who the drivers are who are more than one lap down -- you know, interesting things that otherwise don't get covered.

Anyway, JD, thanks for all of your posts, and I hope you come back next year -- and that 56-year-old Jerry Punch does not.

Cheers,

Nick

Dannyboy said...

What else is there to say? We get the programs we deserve (kinda like politicians).

Anonymous said...

A 3.2? A THREE POINT TWO???!!!
On broadcast tv??? Holy Crap-oly!

Thats the number that Busch races used to pull.

Wow. And I'll bet that management at ESPN are walking around patting themselves on the back for a bang up job.
I admit I am one of those who did NOT tune in. The Punch-drunk sounding drivel passed off as play-by-play kept me on the NFL regular season instead of NASCAR Super Bowl.

And all we can look forward to is Fox and their self agrandizing gimmicks and bloviating.
Yuk

Happy T-giving all

Bray

John B said...

The wife and I were driving back from a trip when the race started, I listened to the first two hours on MRN. It sounded like a great race, from what the MRN people said there was stuff happening all over the track. When we got home I couldn't wait to see the rest of the race. I turned on the TV and thought I was watching a different race it was horrible. It is amazing that the two broadcasts can be so much different.

Vicky D said...

Nick - you're killing me!

50 yr. fan said...

I see by PPistone's twitter that
he's still on the WRASCAR Kool Aid.
Does anyone know if he has ever been to a race or just living off
his family heritage?

Any Planeteers go to the Mayfield
auction?

Donna in FL said...

@Anon 11:57 LMAO.

I was rather taken aback that there wasn't one final NASCAR Now roundtable on Mon! What?? ESPN's NASCAR coverage hits the bottom of pathetic. So, thank god for Race Hub and TWIN to wrap things up. Really enjoyed both, even MW didn't bother me so much this time because I much prefer him in his new role as fulltime owner, parttime driver. Glad to see Greg one more time (felt bad when he said resignedly, "Winless season. First time ever.) hope he's invited back as well as Spencer for next year's madness.
2010 is promising some heat. Hope ESPN gets a clue.

Happy T-Day y'all.

JohnP said...

To Anon: 4:55pm Nov 23.

Sorry, can't tell you that your wrong. ESPN did not follow up with a post-season show with Nascar Now.

But wait, there's more. Speed didn't show "This Week In Nascar" either. Went to Speed at 8pm (my time)and the show was not there. Have watched it all season. Click. Off to another channel.

eric said...

It's like ESPN is so big that they don't need Nascar. They love football and b-ball, and Nascar is the step-child they're forced to provide for. Wish they'd do it right, or break off the relationship.

Bobby said...

Some of the DW criticism, after learning about which books he reads, could be it. He has read Rick Warren.

The irony is that the Sprint Cup boys will be readying for the off-season while the rest of the NFL season goes, while Mike, Larry, Darrell, Chris, Jeff, Dick, Steve, Matt, and Krista will be in Daytona for qualifying, the ARCA Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200, and the Budweiser Shootout before Super Bowl XLIV is even played.

And that doesn't even include the fact all the major off-season races start this week -- USAC Midgets in Irwindale Thursday. Of course race fans know next week it's Kyle Busch in the Snowball Derby while the Top Ten are at the banquet in Las Vegas, and of course the Rumble in Fort Wayne (Tony Stewart usually is there), the Chili Bowl, and the real end of the 2009 NASCAR season, the Toyota All-Star Showdown January 30 in Irwindale. That takes place while the Grand-Am sportscars race at Daytona, and Jimmie Johnson likely makes his racing debut for 2010 in in the Gainsco #99. That means Jimmie is part of two championship winning teams in 2009 -- Grand-Am Daytona Prototype and NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Also in January is the Bodine Bobsled Challenge where drivers are invited to help raise funds for the US Bobsled Team (and being an Olympic year it matters) towards a world title, and this year, the Olympic title. Todd Bodine and Joey Logano are committed as part of Team NASCAR this year, and I hope we see more short-track stars do this. Who could have imagined 18 years ago Geoff Bodine seeing what the US Bobsled team needed were home-built sleds, and deciding those who build race cars could build a better sled that today we see racing champions sledding for the National Team? It would be a shame if NBC assigned it to Universal Sports. The heroes we cheer each week are doing it in sleds for the country. Home Depot's Olympic sponsorship could make for a great ad campaign with Joey Logano talking with the US national team has he pilots a sled in the Bodine Challenge.

glenc1 said...

I just had to comment on the Pistone comment. Yikes. We've stopped watching (or stop in the middle of a broadcast) because of the horrible coverage, but it's all our fault for being so negative (says the guy who works for NA$CAR.) Open your eyes, Daytona...take a gander at those ratings.

And I'm sure it's TDP's fault too for giving us a place to tell everyone what we think. At least it would seem they noticed us, eh?

eric said...

I now realize what a blackout there is if your diver falls out of the top 10. When Montoya went to the back, he disappeared completely (and even wrecking 14 only got a moments notice). No wide angles, no comments. The back end of the group is essentially censored from t.v. How about that method of helping fan support?!

Delenn said...

I agree completely with Bray
A 3.2? A THREE POINT TWO???!!!
On broadcast tv??? Holy Crap-oly!

There is no way ESPN or Nascar can spin this. At some point, someone will wake up to a 3.2 and do something. I worry their idea of a fix may be to go the wrong way.
A 3.2, together with poor coverage of the "non-chosen ones" will drive sponsors out, unless Nascar and the broadcasters do something.

So, for starters, put Punch in the pitlane, Bestwick in the booth, get rid of Brewer and the Tech Center and Brad. Use the other pit reporters better (how about one to do the infield care center and roving reporter). Better camera work, direction etc. Whilst we are at it, get Fox to dump the gopher, and get DW to calm down a bit.

Speed need to reduce Raceday to a quality hour, rather than 2 hours of waffle. Too much Spencer and "my brother Kenny". not enough Wendy and Hermie. Nascar Race Hub and Nascar Now are ok as they are. TWIN still needs tweaking.

Bascially, if PRN/MRN can find racing, TV should be able to. Finding RACING is what will turn round the ratings.

I am sad to say I am glad this season is over. Thanks JD for this place. See you next year. When can we start complaining about Digger and David Hill?

Zieke said...

JD,
Thanks for the posts and giving us fans a chance to vent over the lousy TV airing of the Cup races. The vent holes seem to be quite large these days, and with good reason.
I rate TNT as # 1 in race broadcasting, followed by Fox (might be #1 without Waldrip) and ESPN far in the rear with just totally incompetant people doing their races.
It's too bad that the worst NFL TV games are better than most of the races simply because the announcers know what to say and what not to say.
Happy Holidays to all.

Delenn said...

Best question on Yahoo answers I have seen for a while?
"Will Danica Patrick pose with Digger the Nascar gopher next year?
"

Which will ESPN pick to fawn over? The Danica or JJ?

GinaV24 said...

I see Pete Pistone has been drinking the NASCAR koolaid -- he makes reference to hoping 2010 brings less "internet pollution" referring to negative comments about NASCAR racing.

I'll make a suggestion for that -- improve the racing and the TV broadcasts and there will be less negative posting BECAUSE people will enjoy it more.

In 2001 when NASCAR first came in with the full season contract, I was ecstatic and did as much as I could to never miss a minute. I can't say that in 2009.

Honestly, I'm tired of so much of the media being angry at the fans because the fans are unhappy. If this were a regular business, this many dissatisfied customers would mean that the business is bankrupt.

GinaV24 said...

@Delenn -- do you think Danica or Digger will be in a swimsuit?

is there a poll on that? I want to go vote!

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

Just what the idiots that run ESPN (or the idiots who run NASCAR for that matter)damn well deserve.

Richard in N.C. said...

It does seem to me that there is a significant segment of the NASCAR press that will always find something to criticize NASCAR about regardless - but then the media in general has become more sloppy and negative in my lifetime.

Ruckus said...

I don't think the coverage on ESPN is ideal by any means. But racing has to be one of the toughest sporting events to broadcast. Stick and Ball sports generally have one major place to focus on: where the sticks and balls are. They also have natural breaks in the action to reset and refocus.

It's easy to say "just show the best racing no matter where it is on the track". But in reality every fan has a different agenda. Some do want to see wherever anyone is going 3 wide or 2 guys banging on each other. Others only want to focus on "their driver" no matter what, even only to see if he made up half a tenth on the guy in front of him that lap. There's no right or wrong there.

At the track you can watch what you want when you want. If there are 100,000 people at the venue, every single one will chose to see a slightly different part of the same race. TV makes that choice for you. And it's frustrating. But with 43 different drivers there is absolutely no way any network could show everything everyone could want to see.

But none of that is to say they can't try to improve. Hopefully, they'll look at feedback on sites like this and try to incorporate as many things as possible to improve for next year.

Anonymous said...

Couple of of comments on this stuff. The reason MRN is more exciting then the TV is because MRN has to "paint a picture" of what is happening on on track. TV does not need to do that since you see what is happening. However TV should show some better racing if the leader has a huge lead and also not concentrate on one particular driver.

On Jerry Punch and ESPN: What the heck happened! When i saw that ESPN was coming back is was hoping for the old "Speedworld" type coverage back in the day, Nope. The coverage slowly digressed and now i want ESPN gone. What really gets me upset is ESPN trying to consistently cause controversy after almost all on-track incidents.

ESPN used to be the best in NASCAR coverage. When the "Speedworld" music would play and you heard Bob Jenkins voice, you got excited and pumped up for the race.

One of the best races the "old" ESPN did was the 2000 Winston 500 (big E's last win). The intro was awesome the race was good and Jerry Punch called an awesome race that day.

We will never get back that magic of "ESPN Speedworld" which is sad.

Sorry for the Novel ..lol

Keep up the good work DP

Jon

Ritchie said...

Gina V 24, you wrote:
I see Pete Pistone has been drinking the NASCAR koolaid -- he makes reference to hoping 2010 brings less "internet pollution" referring to negative comments about NASCAR racing.

I think what Pete is saying is that a lot of people on this site post comments about the race coverage and they are not even watching it. Some openly admit to this, and others say they have watched it and then make comments about the coverage that anyone who actually watched the race know is incorrect or false (label as you will).
I have commented about this several times only to be ignored.

This doesn't mean that I feel the coverage shouldn't be drastically improved, but if you post a comment anywhere that is inaccurate, it only provides ammo to those wishing to dismiss your opinion as meaningless.

David said...

Wait a second here! Pistone at Talladega goes off on US about how we are complaining over nothing, now in a span of FOUR races has completely changed his tune!? Now he realizes TV has issues?! I know he was sick and was not at Texas or Phoenix and was actually AT Homestead but as Keyshawn would say: "COME ON MAN!!"

Very few people here have blurted the "NASCAR sucks" line and several times when we have offered concerned we have offered solutions as well yet we took heat for weeks...

Now the guy backtracks without so much as an apology? This is what disappoints me, the second NASCAR changed THEIR tune, he changed his. Several others as well. Now how do they expect us to NOT think they are in bed with NASCAR and are not biased when something like this is so painfully obvious to the rest of us?

I've long believed the product at the track was much better than the product ESPN has shown us simply because of the "script" and Phoenix reinforced that. How can SPEED week in and week out put on a great telecast with the same tracks the Cup guys race on, Hornaday and Busch dominating the series, yet still showing increased ratings even when the championship was clinched?

The Phoenix NW race in person had good moments but was not an all around amazing race to watch but still had very compelling stories during it which it sounds to me that Marty Reid and company tried to cover and get through. Guys like Keller, Kenny Wallace, Trevor Bayne all fighting for their livelyhoods, Bliss making a heck of a run late in the season chasing a win. Even Brad v. Denny.

The stories and ratings are there if networks like the WWL would unfixate it self from the top 5 of the field.

Dot said...

I'm guessing ol Pete never read our comments during TNTs tenure. Especially after Weber was unboothed.

We can sing praises just like we can bag on the TV coverage.

peggyann said...

I was indeed sad that the season is over, but then I've relied on radio commentary for the past several months. TV is on; I only look up when the radio guys start yelling. ABC rarely is showing it...

While watching some of the ESPN shows that JJ was on, I sure can see the problem. Just about everyone on that network is a jerk, IMO.

And finally, Pete Pistone. I never had heard of him before 2001. I can clearly recall my niece and I driving to dinner the Friday night before the first races at Chicagoland, and Pete was carrying on about something on WGN radio. That's the moment I started ignoring him, not sure what planet he is from.

JD and the Planeteers add a lot to the fun of NASCAR. Hope you all have a good holiday season.

Sophia said...

Somebody said TWIN was not on SPEED? Yes it was both 8pm and Midnight in Ohio. Fun show.

TNT shows FABULOUS CAMERA work and makes me feel like I am seeing the entire race. Racebuddy lets us watch during commercials.

Love, loved, LOVED TNT & the fun in the booth.

but most of all the pictures flying through the air made NASCAR FUN AGAIN. But only for 6 races. :-(

TNT, we hardly knew ye. . .

Chris from NY said...

According to Daytona's website, it is now:

74D 00H 01M to the Shootout, and
81D 17H 01M to the Daytona 500, on Tuesday at 7:58 PM.

74 days until the FOX crew comes back. Nice to finally get rid of ESPN temporarily again.

David Hill (the conceited one) got a taste of his own medicine when it came to race start times. I hope it happens again when it comes to that infernal Digger BS.

Gymmie said...

Add my love and thanks to JD for the site. It's been great being able to chat with folks and air frustrations.

Sad that we're all sounding like broken records. The SAME complaints every week. I tell the writers and all to come here pick any race thread doesn't matter as the complaints are all the same!

Dr. Jerry needs to go! Allen needs to be the PXP. Brad needs to go and his "begging" for food segments are old and pathetic. I had hoped they killed that idea but then brought it back under the guise of pimping his sponsor.

Captain Obvious needs to go. We don't need NA$CAR 101. He's had what a billion segments and if we're lucky *maybe* 2 or 3 were relevant/educational.

I agree with Pamm and others. This season has been exhausting! Nothing to do with the races but having to have 8 billion things going at once to TRY to figure out what the heck is going on!

I'd rather have 8000 tweets telling me the samething than BSPN sitting there going *cricket* *cricket*

Regardless of the TV situation either streaming or MRN/PRN through TrackPass will keep me sane during the BSPN Cup portion. If Marty stays on in N'wide I'll be happy :)

Vince said...

OK what is really starting to irk me, other than ESPN/ABC's lousy coverage of the races, is being talked down to and chastised by so called media types and NASCAR itself. I don't need to be told how great the racing is. I've got eyes.

Yeah if I was able to afford to be at the track, I'm sure the racing would be great. But if the media and I mean all media and NASCAR would actually sit down and watch a whole race on tv, commercials and all; they would hopefully understand the fan's frustration.

The Waltrip's, Kenny Wallace, Pistone, France, Helton, and the drivers themselves need to quit saying the racing is great and we are all dummies because we can't see that. The reason people are so negative is because the racing used to be good AND the networks showed it to us. I am sick and tired of NASCAR, media types and drivers telling us we shouldn't be negative. I've been going to and watching races since the 60's and what I've seen this year from ESPN/ABC has been a joke.

Keep talking down to the fans and treating us like idiots. Go ahead. See how many fans come to the races next year and watch on TV. Improve your product instead of telling us we are being negative.

JD, thanks again for this site and letting us vent. I'm sure you get lots of flack from some of the so called media types about your articles and our comments.

Anonymous said...

The ratings tell it all. The ratings for Fox dropped well over 10%. However, over on ABC, their ratings managed to hold up much better, an over 20% improvment from the Fox decline.

I think America overall has a much higher opinion of ABC/ESPN's broadcast than you do.

Trident said...

@Vince 9:08pm,
Bingo! Well stated, and I agree wholeheartedly.

As you, I've been watching since the 1960's.

I recall Helton proudly boasting recently that they've made some 20-plus changes to the Crud Of Today, but as fans we don't see them (to the head-nodding agreement of Roberts & company on Raceday, I believe.)

Damn right we fans don't see them - the car is still the same POS that can't race for more than three laps, as Punch blathers 'and there goes the (fill in number) blah blah...'

But this talking down to and chastising the fans is clearly the totalitarian NASCAR's lamestream media in lock step with the emperor. It reminds me, in an uncomical way, of an old Colonel Klinck saw - paraphrased, "You will watch it and you will like it!"

Hmmm. Maybe we won't.

Both NASCAR (& their paid shills) and ESPN are trading spades for steamshovels as they accelerate digging their holes and burying themselves.

The supplier NEVER angers his consumers by talking down to them.

NEVER.

Truly a death spiral, not unlike other current events.

Pathetic.

Richard in N.C. said...

I do sincerely believe the best solution for EESPN (other than removing the top layer or 2 of management) would be for JP and Allen B to switch jobs. I believe JP could handle the host slot just fine and it would be a shame to not have him involved in NASCAR broadcasts in light of his extensive background in the sport.

Anonymous said...

While espn followed the 48 Lowe's endlessly, other sponsors were not seen. Why should sponsors spend $$ to be ignored?
These are tough times. Thanks espn for not supporting Sprint Cup not only with your terrible coverage, but also with your flipping off other sponsors.
espn philosophy seems to be screw any sponsors who don't pay up to them.
"Go team" espn.

Makiki
Honolulu

J_Fellenbaum said...

I listened to the entire race on MRN and used Pit Command to follow the race along with Twitter. This was a totally boycott. I didn't even sneak in a look every now and then.

And I proved to myself, that I don't need the pictures to follow a race. It's nice. I'm going to do it more often..like all of next year when ESPN has the races. And probably for some fox and TNT races as well. Because overall, there are way to many commercials in all the coverage.

I will keep hoping the rating drop in this sport to the point that the only option for coverage is few commercials, no gimicks, just calling the race. Wide shots, all the crap we all beg for on here.

But I am 100% done with ESPN/ABC. They were once great..but since the return, they are terrible.

As for the racing on the track..Nascar stop calling debris caution, let the race play out naturally. Get rid of the cookie cutters and get back on more short tracks. Throw in another roadie...and blow up Dega.

Glad we get 2 months off before this all starts back up again!

Jimbacca said...

Coverage was average. Funny how points of the moment wasn't every moment. Coverage was lacking on the field.

For those calling internet negative etc.

Fox- Not looking forward to it. You will get race breaks from commercials. But they do have decent coverage just the amount of in race and commericial promotion is obscene. If they had the end of year piece of the contract it would be interesting to see the responses.

TNT- how much more right can you do coverage??

Espn- It's incredible coverage if you are a JJ fan. If you enjoy coverage from the rear view mirror they have that nailed down. Coverage was too small for the whole field. I don't care if they cover the S&P as the year progressed that virus shrunk. But there were cars running UP FRONT that got zero mention. So the run up front crowd can find another excuse. Cover the race. It really isnt that hard just watch TNT for pointers.

For those complaining about people voicing their displeasure.. Interesting how your opinions are more valuable. Interesting how you can express your opinion and be right but others are not. Mirrors are a great thing. Look at yourself and see the contradiction that is your opinion. YOU CAN ONLY SPEAK IF YOU AGREE WITH ME. Burn in hell. That is just wrong to disregard long time fans opinions because they differ from yours. You can disagree with people that do not favor the current coverage but disregarding them because they point out the inept coverage is bs. It's not even a koolaide deal.

Speed truck coverage. Great. Look they can cover races that have at some times 1/3 of the field S & P. Even in those races it still was more interesting then some other networks.

Damon said...

From the good people at Sports Media Watch, the final numbers for the Homestead race and The Chase for 2009
-----------------


Sunday's Ford 400, in which Jimmie Johnson clinched his 4th straight Sprint Cup title, drew a 3.6 rating and 5.6 million viewers on ABC, down 10% and 15%, respectively, from a 4.0 and 6.6 million for last year's race.

The 3.6 rating is tied as the second-lowest ever for the Ford 400, ahead of only the inaugural race in '99 (3.5). Since hitting a peak of 6.2 in '04 (the inaugural year of the Chase for the Cup), ratings for the race have declined each year.

------------------

ABC averaged a 3.5 rating for the 10-race Chase for the Cup, down 8% from a 3.8 both last year and in '07. Since averaging a 4.7 in '05, ratings for the Chase for the Cup have dropped 26%.

----------------------

Overall, 33 NASCAR races averaged approximately 6.6 million viewers on FOX, TNT, ESPN and ABC. That does not include the Coca Cola 600, Pennsylvania 500 or the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen, each of which was rained out.

Of those 33 races, 25 had declines in ratings and 26 had declines in viewership.

glenc1 said...

Trident, I think that attitude bothers me more than anything. If we don't like something, it's somehow our fault because we're just the ignorant fans; we couldn't possibly be sophisticated viewers who actually understand things like the choices made in a production truck. We know when we're being talked down to, whether it's David Hill, Brian France, Mike Helton, Pete Pistone...

we are the customers, and it's about time they started treating us like ones.

JohnP said...

@ Sophia.

I'm the one who said TWIN was not on. I'm wrong. It was on as you stated.

Not sure how I missed it because I did go look for it. But either way I missed it and that's totally operator error.

But a mistake was made on my end, and I'll live up to it.

Sorry for the mis-information.

bowlalpo said...

Homestead would have been CAN'T MISS TV if the old points system had been in place.

Did ANY of the NASCAR Media outlets even mention this..."if the Chase had not been invented," that three drivers (14, 48, 24) were 54 points apart?

If one of the NASCAR-run media branches had the guts to put the truth out there, HATS OFF TO YOU! Somehow I fear that this fact was kept under wraps.

Yes, everyone has to toe the NASCAR line. ESPN cannot make in-season changes because (gasp!) that means they'd be "caving" in to the "stupid" fans, whom ESPN thinks (in the words of POTUS) are acting all "wee-weed-up."

But, in the pre-Chase system, just think how big the Stewart-Montoya incident would have been??? Think about all the resultant off-season chatter by the fans AND teams, giving everyone a REAL hunger for more action in 2010?

Is anyone out there really HUNGRY for NASCAR 2010? One way to do it...get rid of The Chase.

This is one year when we could REALLY use the Winter Heat Series. Oh, those were the days!

Dear ESPN/ABC...take a good long look inward at what ESPN did with a microscopic budget on NASCAR from 1979-2000. I wouldn't mind a Jenkins/Jarrett/Parsons booth reunion, with Dale and Phil filling the latter two slots.

And Pete Pistone...there's probably a place available on the Huffington Post for you to blog.

One final thought...I didn't get to watch as much this year; two new foster kids in the house. But I watched at least some of every Cup race. TNT was excellent (they told us the Lucky Dogs, the Wave-arounds, and reset the field) and Fox was very good (I didn't mind Digger...it was fun in moderation).

But I agree with the forum...ESPN/ABC left me wanting. Maybe we expect too much, but if you're going to invest 70 cameras on an event, don't you think they could CAPTURE THE ACTION?

I'm wondering...and please help me. Was it REALLY THAT BAD, or did JD just steer us to what WAS bad, wherein we all followed like sheeple?

Thanks JD for your forum!

Al P.

Tracy said...

I remember 2008, when ESPN took over the Chase, and how its broadcast killed the fun for me. Same this year. The product from ESPN just came nowhere near the excitement happening at the track. Homestead is on Tivo, I may watch one day. Saw the last laps live, okay, can say I watched history being made, now back to raking leaves.

ESPN never could quite bring the race to life on TV. I'm not an expert, I don't know why, but it was as if a wet blanket settled on the TV when ESPN took over.

I'd attend a race in person, check later with the DP comments, and realize we weren't at the same race. On the track, there was always a story, I could follow (on my scanner) my drivers, and be as involved in the back of the pack as TV was with JJ et al. Forty-three stories would be happening live - ESPN found one it liked and stuck to hit, come heck or high water.

BTW, I'm enjoying HUB. Slugger Labbe's interview was great, even if Slugger looked nervous, LOL.

Dot said...

@ John P, when I read your post that said TWIN wasn't on, I freaked out. I had recorded it to savor later. I checked my DVR and it did record.

Bravo to you for writing and admitting your mistake. If only BF, the TV partners and certain NASCAR reporters had that much class.

GinaV24 said...

@ritchie -- sorry but I don't agree with your interpretation of what Pistone meant. I think he meant EXACTLY what he said that the fans are being "too negative".

As far as the coverage, heck yeah, if I get to the track, what I see is totally different than on TV, BUT in the past couple of years, I have sat through more than a few boring races and wished I could take a nap. At home watching on TV, what I've seen over the past couple of seasons is getting worse not better, but at least I can get something done around the house and just have the TV, radio AND computer as background., but that's the problem, I have to use too many resources to keep up with the race. That is a recent phenomenon for me, pretty much since the COT and the Chase garbage. So yes, I agree with you, I watch much less NASCAR on TV than I have since the 2001 season BECAUSE the coverage has gotten worse. I don't need to be inundated with a prerace show about nothing for several hours, then a race broadcast that doesn't really show the race, but concentrates on an outside agenda or worries about the chase from July on, rather than making each race be an "event".

Buschseries61 said...

Damon- That is eyeopening info! Thanks for the update.

I think those numbers will force France, Helton, Poston, Darby, Pemberton etc. to get their heads out of the sand and do something. The Chase ratings have fallen 26% since 2005. You can't blame the economy for that. It is the second lowest rating ever for the Ford 400. Since its peak in 2004, the ratings have tumbled every year. You can't blame the economy, drivers, weather, horoscope, or lucky 8 ball for that. It all comes back to NASCAR & ESPN. They have nothing else to hide behind.

Smokey_14 said...

3.2?! Wow! Says a lot about how much we hate ESPN for their disrespect towards NASCAR. As a matter of fact, I was one of those people who caused the low rating by not tuning to the lame excuse of a telecast they produced! IdiotSPN deserves the low rating, because their coverage is like watching paint dry!

Kenn Fong said...

@Vince @Nov. 24, 9:08 PM, the reason why those people said the racing was good was that they saw the racing at the track. You couldn't tell me the racing was good. To me, ESPN makes the races look like IROC events.

My grandfather taught me if you can't say anything nice about someone, don't say anything. So here's my comment about ESPN's coverage.

.

.

.

.

Thanks J.D. and fellow Planeteers, for a great season. You had a better season than NASCAR did.

Have a great Thanksgiving and Chappy Chanukah and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

West Coast Kenny
Alameda, California

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thank you for all the great comments. We are taking a break for Thanksgiving and will return after the holiday.