Friday, December 11, 2009

Day Two: Is Showtime Right For NASCAR TV?


Over the past several years, we have all watched the amount of long-form NASCAR TV programming during the weekdays dwindle. While we have welcomed NASCAR Now and Race Hub, those TV series are primarily geared at news and daily events.

There was a time when NASCAR had a lot more diverse TV programming. Historical races, behind the scenes programs and shows that featured the kind of high-end glossy editing that has been the trademark of the NASCAR Media Group.

Tuesday, NASCAR.com offered the following press release:

Showtime Sports has signed a multi-year deal with NASCAR to produce and televise premium television's first weekly highlights and analysis show dedicated to auto racing. Inside NASCAR will premiere on at 10 p.m. ET Feb. 10, 2010, on Showtime immediately following the season finale of Inside The NFL, and will consist of 38 one-hour episodes corresponding with the Sprint Cup Series' 38-week season.

Produced in conjunction with the Emmy Award-winning NASCAR Media Group, Inside NASCAR will be taped at the new, state-of-the-art production facility at NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. The host and analysts for Inside NASCAR are to be announced in the coming weeks.


You can click here to read the entire article directly from the NASCAR.com website.

As the news of a major new TV series started to creep through the NASCAR fan base, the emails and Twitter messages began to have a familiar theme. While the idea of a new mid-week series was welcomed, the network location was not.

Showtime is owned by the CBS Corporation and also operates the FLIX and Movie Channel franchises. There are about ten different versions of the Showtime brand, including HD and family channels. The total subscriber base is about 13 million homes. Compare that to 75 million for SPEED or 98 million for ESPN2.

Getting Showtime for cable television users means buying an extended package that is usually centered around what used to be called movie channels. Now, the cable companies package them together but there is an additional monthly charge. Showtime is referred to as a premium network.

Last year, NASCAR also began a multi-year relationship with the Comcast-owned VERSUS cable network. Quest for the Cup was a September to November show that focused on the Chase for the Championship. VERSUS brings 64 million homes to the table, but that short series has come and gone. A big mid-week series like Inside NASCAR on VERSUS would have been a huge boost to the sport.

Currently, fans are waiting to see if SPEED renews This Week in NASCAR. This is the only weekday primetime NASCAR show on for the entire season. ESPN2's NASCAR Now Monday program airs at 5PM ET and then repeats after midnight.

Fundamentally, it kind of rubs me the wrong way that the first major series produced by The NASCAR Media Group from the new Hall of Fame studios is going to a premium movie channel. As with many of those who spoke up on this topic, I do not have any movie channels because my viewing centers around sports and news. Subscribing to Showtime for a one-hour weekly show would be an issue.

How do you feel about NASCAR putting all this time and effort into a major TV series only to have it appear only on Showtime? Are you going to subscribe to the service to see this program next season? Let us know how you feel.

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

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

It sounds like NASCAR might be running more fans off.

Anonymous said...

HBO does this with Inside the NFL and it draws great ratings and is a major selling point of HBO. Good for Showtime for scoring the same deal.

Hey, it's not like networks are lining up to put this stuff on their schedules. Showtime shows an active interest, gives it good promotion and time slot and all you can say "aw, gee, I don't know if this is right for Showtime?" Give me a break.

The other thing is that when you put a show like this on a pay venue, the fan expects something more -- either more raw discussion, more honest and critical analysis, etc. Nascar Now is like the UN it is so politcally correct. On Sirius they get into it. On the NFL post game show they are PC. On HBO's NFL show, they get into it. I expect the Showtime show will get into it.

And if that's not good enough for you: DON'T WATCH

Anonymous said...

Oh yea, NASCAR is running fans off by starting a new show. How idiotic. So not everyone will be able to see it. Who says every NASCAR show is the property of every fan? Driving fans away? Name me one fan who will stop watching racing because NASCAR puts a show on Showtime. Give me a break!

Anonymous said...

OH MY GOD -- what a crybaby! JD can't shill out the $6 to add on Showtime to his monthly cable package which already includes SPEED (so it must be big because they don't put SPEED HD on the basic tier). So for you Showtime "is not right" for NASCAR?

Oh, here we go again. I guess if ABC can't put Burger King dancing book-butts on TV, then Showtime is going to get a column from you for running their series WEEDS (about marijuana sellers) right after NASCAR show and you are going to freak out. Wah wah wah!

Newracefan said...

I already have HBO but was considering dropping it for financial reasons, I'm planning to wait until after the JJ special. I really don't think many if any will be adding Showtime for this Nascar show. Not sure I get the point.

Nina said...

So they decided go to another network. Gee what a surprise !! I thought that they wanted more viewers - not to lose them. How about those fans that don't live in the US? We can't even subscribe to that channel. SPEED is available in Canada. Most Canadians look forward to Speed Weeks and the All Star Race because they are guaranteed coverage. Most foreign fans can't even view the show on the website because of copyright laws.
This whole idea is ludicrous. Way to go NASCAR ... you lose even more fans AND valuable revenue.

RLDreams said...

I think this quote from Jay Abraham in the Ny times says it all about Nascar's opinion of their "core fan"
Jay Abraham, president of the Nascar Media Group,“This exposes us to a new fan base,” ..“With Showtime it’s a premium, paid, upscale audience and we can be seen by casual sports fans.”

hockeygurl said...

I wish it was only $6 to add Showtime...it's closer to $15 for me. As much as I love NASCAR, I'm going to see if I can tivo it at my office and then just stay late at work and watch it...kinda hard to justify that expense the way the economy is these days. I'd rather save the $15 per month and use it towards race tickets. NASCAR won't lose me as a fan, not at all. I just wish it was on SPEED rather than a pay/premium channel. Oh well, can't make everyone happy all the time I guess :-)

Anonymous said...

I don't have more than expanded basic so i barely get SPEED and i talk to ppl every day where i work that say they'd watch more NASCAR races if they were all "over the air" instead of on Cable. I won't be buying any premium channels and i doubt, in this economy, a ton of fans are any different.

Anonymous said...

$6!, if only it were that cheap.

I already pay $105/month to my friendly cable company so I can view the races. I've never had Showtime and won't subscribe now for 38 hours of viewing a year.

If NASCAR wants to have this program, that's fine. I'm more interested in major improvements at espn and a diggerless Fox.

Makiki
Honolulu

Haus14 said...

For Showtime, this is a good deal. It actually makes me consider adding it to my programming package. Obviously, I would prefer it on a channel I already have, but I am considering adding Showtime and I may add HBO as well at least for a little bit to see the JJ stuff.

If NASCAR fans are willing to pay $50 for one night to see the Prelude to the dream, why wouldn't they pay the $6 or $12 a month to see a weekly NASCAR show?

glenc1 said...

Haus14....a lot of that goes to charity, and that is in people's minds when they order.

I don't even know what I think about this. HBO has had an NFL show for years. I'm a football fan, but had no reason to subscribe to a movie channel to watch yet another football show with similar analysis to what I get on the other channels I have. On the other hand, I don't blame Showtime for wanting to expand its programming to try and rival HBO. There are no real bad guys here...honestly, we complain about too much prerace but the fact that there's a show we can't watch really annoys us. Just don't know what they'd be doing different. Not sure it's any concern for me. They're reaching a fan they don't now. They're not trying to reach the fans they already have (which yes, is something of an issue...)

Anonymous said...

Wah wah wah. Cry me a river. So if you can't afford Showtime, you just have to miss it. You are not ENTITLED to all the NASCAR programming available.

And so what if NASCAR is looking to expand to new markets and get on new stations to find new fans. The whole world can't be Larry Mac on SPEED 24/7!

Darcie said...

Nascar has been preaching and crying about how the bad economy has been the cause for terrible attendance for their races. So, what do they go and do? Put on a new show that will cost fans more money to see. How does that make sense? If the bad economy and a 10+% unemployment rate is causing fans to stop going to races, do they honestly think that fans are going to shell out extra money for a pay tv racing show? Yeah, I know it's not all that much to subscribe to Showtime, but if a family has to choose between the essentials or watching a pay Nascar show, I think Nascar will lose. And yes, it's not that fans have a "right" to see Nascar programming, but when this sport is whining that the economy is greatly hurting the sport, it sure seems that the powers that be in Nascar aren't hearing their own words.

Richard in N.C. said...

I got digital cable to get SPEED and HBO for boxing, then got hooked on The Sopranos. I keep thinking of dropping HBO and then boxing picks up and I keep it, but I see that Showtime seems to be having more boxing - seems to come and go. I might drop HBO and pick up Showtime, but first I want to see who is going to be on the NASCAR show. If they're going to have some of the NASCAR bashers from what was the print media, then I'm not willing to pay for bias.

I find it hard to fault NASCAR if Showtime is willing to pay to carry the show - or at least pay the production cost - and none of the non-premium channels is.

Anonymous said...

The same anonymous poster who writes the same thing in different ways is missing the point.

Instead of catering to the fans that they've had for the long haul, they continue to do things that alienate them with the decisions that they make.

While it's true that another network with another show is normally a good thing because it expands to the casual fan, that constant catering to new fans instead of making decisions that might keep the old ones hanging around tends to annoy us and just adds another notch to the belt of a sport that makes decisions that push their old fans away.

Everyone is right about the cost of the channel...adding a Premium would be about $13-$15 per month, so unless you already have the channel, I can't imagine anyone really wanting to shell out money for this.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could afford HBO and Showtime. But I can't. Life is tough and then I die.

Why are so many people upset? Why aren't more people rejoicing that a major media outlet deems NASCAR worthy of a significant investment in schedule and capital? Isn't that a GOOD sign?

What if the added exposure to a wealthier demographic leads to more sponsors entering the sport? Does it make sense that CEOs of major corporations would be the ones who can afford HBO and Showtime? What if one takes a liking to NASCAR?

bevo said...

With the decreased viewership of what was once called free tv, Comcast buying NBCUniversal and Fios/Uverse expansion along with corporate control of the regulatory process I don't think we will have any sports or quality entertainment on the platforms we are used to now by the end of the next decade.

All of the major sports leagues will have their own subscriptions and will have total control of all associated programming. This is just another small step on the road.

Vicky D said...

We don't purchase the premium channels on DirectTV so instead of watching the Nascar programming, I'll be tweeting and playing Mafia Wars on facebook and wasting my life away!

FreeThinker said...

For years, i have heard from fans about NASCAR moving to cable TV -- whether it is ESPN or TNT, there are a lot of folks who just don't subscribe to additional channels. A move to Showtime is one more way for NASCAR to raise $$, but at what cost -- alienating more fans at a time when the economy is struggling and NASCAR is struggling to retain viewers? It seems to make no sense other than for lining NASCAR's otherwise already deep pockets.

Anonymous said...

This will be a one-season flash-in-the-pan.
It won't work for ShowTime and it won't serve the ShowTime viewer.

and i dont think hbo has a nfl show anymore............

Matt TSB said...

Inside the NFL has already moved from HBO to Showtime. This could be part of an overall strategy by Showtime to draw move subscribers from HBO. As far as cost, I think I pay 12/month for it on DTV, and it covers Showttime east and west feeds, two other Showtime channels, two or three versions of The Movie Channel, and about 10 Starz Channels - so I'm getting each channel for under a buck a month.

Right now I think Showtime has far superior offerings than HBO, and this just adds to it. Other than Sopranos I don't think there has ever been a single show that drove subscriptions, but I moved over for Weeds & Tudors. This new Nascar show will just be a bonus.

Finally, given recent ratings, I can't believe the reaction to a new outlet WANTING Nascar programming and going out and getting a deal done.

Earl said...

I doubt this will turn out to be very successful. If I felt like adding $15 to my cable bill, which I don't, there are better values than a channel I don't want, with a NASCAR show that might be interesting.

This show sounds like some of the shows that used to run on SPEED which hardly anyone watched. I have a feeling that with the Comcast/NBC merger, Versus might come up with an improvement on their chase show. And, hey, I already get Versus!

Donna in FL said...

I have reasons other than financial that I don't subscribe to Showtime or HBO, and this will not change my mind. I think it's too bad that Inside NASCAR probably won't be the viewership boost both entities are looking for. But, I think it's a good sign there's more interest from outlets, hopefully it's an experiment that leads to either The NASCAR Channel or a move to a channel with more eyeballs (like VERSUS).

Anonymous said...

I have to say, I don't quite get the hostility toward NASCAR Media. Again...they're not trying to ignore the current fans...there are already PLENTY of NASCAR shows on regular networks. I really don't think we need NASCAR 24/7. So they want to try and reach some different people; as others have said, that could be a good thing. Why should it alienate fans to have *ONE* show on a network they can't watch? We don't even know if it's going to be a good show at this point, and what if it tanks and is gone in six months?

Kate said...

For the many NASCAR fans in Canada, it's not a cost issue. Showtime is simply not available here at any price, except with an illegal satellite dish. (Neither is ESPN, so 'NASCAR Now' is something else we never see). We're basically at the mercy of one Canadian sports broadcaster that carries all the races, but little else.

Chris Taitt said...

OK i think everyone is off base, its plain and simple. I'm willing to bet this inside Nascar isn't for the typical nascar fan. it's why they made the deal with HBO its to try to draw in more fans.

JohnP said...

I simply don't see how it will work. 13 million viewers on Showtime vs 80+ million on regular cable. At the end of the day, Showtime does not pay for anything, their there to make money and not be a charity for Nascar. The advertisers pay for the show and those rates are completly set by the number of eyeballs watching. Pure economics. A lot of people, for various reasons, simply don't want the movie channels. For some it's economics. And it sure the heck is more then $6 for Showtime here. That channel is packaged with a slew of other channels. For some others its the morality of what is on those channels. And the nudity. Parents have to protect there kids where ever then can. Having access to shows that glorify mobsters, murder, adultry, nudity is not something I want in this household.

GinaV24 said...

NASCAR will do what it thinks is right, no matter how it impacts the fans. This was the year that they supposedly celebrated the fan, but they are making a choice to put a program that would probably interest a great many fans onto a premium channel. Let's see, the economy has been playing a role in people's decisions to attend races for the past couple of years and yet the "new" programming goes onto a channel that a lot of fans do not get in their regular package and don't plan to buy.

I'm all for new NASCAR programming - better NASCAR programming to be more precise and I'd like to be able to see it but let's see $15 x 12 = $180. That's a couple of race tickets. Which do I want to do more? Go to a race or watch the program on TV?

I see Pistone is over there on twitter whining about the fans as usual about "no one wanting to give this a chance". Blah, blah, blah, Pete. How about if NASCAR gives the fans a break?

Anonymous said...

If they moved the actual races to Showtime with no commercials, I would spend the $15 easily.
For this....no way.

Ken said...

I think the deal with Showtime is a test. NA$CAR is testing the water to see if a PPV or premium channel for racing will work. If the test is successful, I think you will see more content moving to premium or PPV channels.

I won't be paying for a premium channel to watch anything NA$CAR. With some of the content I have watched in recent months, I feel the time I invested was worth more than the value I received.

I hope Showtime doesn't regret their move to NA$CAR programing. Some of their "upscale" audience hates anything related to the sport and they may lose some subscribers.

alex said...

I primarily subscribe to Showtime for the shows Californication and Inside the NFL. I'll watch this one too.

Tom said...

Wow! Pete Pistone has a lot to say today!


Tom
Inverness, FL

Anonymous said...

If it in the same format as Inside the NFL - it will be a winner. The key piece is who they choose for talent.

50 yr. fan said...

Thinking about the end product that
will be produced by Nascar Media
Group, what could they possible
come up with that won't be covered
by the other media? How many times
would they have shown JJ's wreck on Showtime? It will probably be
just more of cheap filler to make
a buck.

Buschseries61 said...

With TWIN's future uncertain, this was not the right move to make. Cablevision keeps taking away channels, so you need to buy the upgraded package, cable box, and special remote to recieve the channels we lost the past 2-3 years, all for only 1 tv. That does not include Showtime. One Anon does not understand that $ can't grow on trees.

This would have been a great idea to put on Versus, with over triple the viewers Showtime has. (Didn't they have an agreement for the Quest for the Cup show? Why drop Versus like a hot potato?) They would have their new casual fan market, whatever that is.

The only casual fans I know go to a race with their job (the fall Dover race) to party and watch the wrecks. They find NASCAR boring and too safe, except for the flips at restrictor plate tracks. Besides Daytona, Talladega, and the fall Dover race, they have no interest watching other races. I don't see this as the ideal market NASCAR should be chasing.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe how many people are complaining that the show is on a pay network. They are acting like they deserve any and all NASCAR shows for free.

Guess what: It's about to be 2010. If you want something, you have to pay for it!

If you don't want to pay for it - fine. But stop complaining about how it is "unfair" that a pay network decides to do a NASCAR show -- you are embarrassing yourself!

MikeC said...

I know the current TV deal doesn't end for several years, but I wonder if NASCAR isn't start to test the waters already, by having this show on a CBS property, and the Quest show on Versus, which is owned by Comcast, which could soon own NBC. Kind of interesting they're getting working relationships going with someone else besides ABC/ESPN and Fox/SPEED.

GinaV24 said...

I've been thinking more about this -- NASCAR MG has the ability to do some really good stuff. I really enjoyed the show, Beyond the Wheel (at least the first year before it became so focused on the chase stuff). And I would love to see more GOOD NASCAR programming on TV, BUT that said, I am not currently planning to increase my spending on additional cable channels. I didn't choose to subscribe to Showtime in the first place because there isn't enough content on that channel to warrant the cost. Adding new NASCAR programming may well be a great idea and as someone said, it may be a trial balloon to see if fans would be willing to do a PPV for NASCAR. They would have to offer a great deal better TV coverage of the sport for me to buy into it. Several years ago (before chase and CoT) I might have been interested, but right now, the product I am seeing on the cable channels that I am already buying time to see don't offer enough reason for me to watch as much as I did. Why would I buy more?

allisong said...

I am also surprised at all the hostility about this. I applaud Showtime for showing interest in having NASCAR on their channel. I am not now a subscriber, but if my personal economy improves, I will definitely consider it. I hope the show does well, even though I won't see it.

I'm not opposed, as some are, to the business model of paying for content. I became a SIRIUS subscriber solely because they got the NASCAR channel, and I expect there are some out there who will do the same with Showtime. It is just a personal decision each one of us has to make.

I'm not much of a football fan, but I could be, if I watched it more. Do you think, if I complained loud enough, DirecTV would give me the Sunday Ticket for free, just to benefit the sport?

Anonymous said...

There is no constitutional right for you to see everything NASCAR on OTA television or basic cable.

If it became public that NASCAR Media Group turned down the Showtime opportunity, therre would be readers of this blog that would have attacked them for such a decision.

It's very simple. If you want to pay to see a Showtime broadcast, then do so. If you don't want to pay for it, don't do it. But at the same time, don't blast NMG or Showtime for making a good business decisiion.

Anonymous said...

50 yr old fan...that's exactly what I've been thinking. For all the anger that people aren't going to sign up for Showtime to get Inside NASCAR...what makes anyone think that, however well done it may be, it's going to be that much different/better than what we have through other outlets? There are roughly 50 drivers or so, 50 crew chiefs, 50 crews, etc...and everyone wants to interview the same 10 guys. And yes, once in a while they find a little love for the 'forgotten' teams. But I can't see myself feeling like I'm missing something special or innovative...at least not yet.

As for anyone thinking Showtime is somehow 'highbrow'...it's just a movie channel, folks...some people, even 'ordinary' folk, buy movie channels as a package because they'd rather watch movies than TV shows. And they buy it because they save money as opposed to going out to the movies, especially with related costs such as babysitters.

JohnP...I don't have kids but even I know how to 'code' channels to lock them out.

Anonymous said...

Count me in with the group that doesn't understand the angst about a NASCAR program on Showtime. I say, it's about time! HBO started "Inside the NFL" in 1977. It has since moved to Showtime. When I cared about the NFL it was must see TV in my house from day one for 20 years. But if you didn't get HBO or want to pay for it, so what? It's not like there isn't other channels to watch NFL highlight and analysis shows. The same now for NASCAR. It's not like you can't go somewhere else to find whatever it is you are looking for. NASCAR analyis and highlights are very prevalent, to the point of nausea. All of them regurgitating the same pablum about the race we all just watched and the next race to come. So why not one more on a premium channel? Personally, I already have Showtime, so I'll check it out. If for no other reason, because it may not have a Waltrip on it. If it's good and gives me something that none of the others are doing (doubtful) I'll keep watching. If not, I don't have to watch but I will keep Showtime for the reasons I have it now. The Tudors, Californication, Weeds, Penn and Teller's Bulls*&% and of course the movie selection. Showtime is in the business of making money. They produce shows to entice people to purchase their channel. Some people will subscribe to Showtime for the first time just because of this show. You don't have to if you don't want to or can't. No one will fault you but don't complain when they produce a show you may want to see. From a practical standpoint I'm sure it won't be all that different from what we get now. It'll just be an hour of NASCAR highlights and analysis, but with out commercials and hopefully with out any buffoonery that we get on some other shows.

Bucky
South Florida

JohnP said...

Shoot, I messed up. Since I don't have the premium channels I forgot there are no commercials so the advertiser part of my post is wrong.

I'll stick to the rest of the post though.

Just wanted to correct myself on the advertisers.

Darcie said...

To the person who said this is just a first step for Nascar to test the waters on new ways to show their product, I think they're totally correct. We're having a situation here in Wisconsin with Time Warner Cable. They have a new thing going on that says, "Fight or Give In". Basically, TWC is trying to railroad their subscribers into backing the company against higher rates from their suppliers. Everyone knows that this is a totally bogus promotion that will lead to changes in the basic tier of programming. What they will eventually say is, we've got to pay more for all these basic channels, so you either have to upgrade to a different service or lose channels. We've already lost a number of channels in our basic package, and we'll lose more. I just wish there was more competition between these cable companies, but where I live, we have no choice---it's either Time Warner or nothing.

I really think Nascar is testing the waters to see if their fans will be gullible enough or passionate enough to pay for Nascar programming. If they see that's the case, I'm guessing we're going to see a dedicated Nascar channel or else we'll see the biggest races on a pay per view basis.

yankeegranny said...

Stupid, stupid,stupid, but when nas Nascar done anything that wasn't stupid. Oh ya, double file restarts weren't stupid. I cannot imagine paying for showtime just to see a one hour a week show about NASCAR. Dumb move Nascar, really dumb.

GinaV24 said...

to answer Anon 10:55 a.m. -- There is very little NASCAR content that is for "free". I pay a cable fee to get ESPN and TNT, I pay for Trackpass because the broadcast coverage is insufficient in my mind to allow me to enjoy the sport ONLY by watching it on TV. I have a Sirius radio subscription that I also pay for so I can HEAR the race called by people who actually do that job, rather than the favoritism and unprofessional job that I often get with the cable TV coverage. So, please, don't insult me by saying "you just want to get NASCAR programming for free". Nope, I just don't want to have to buy ANOTHER package to watch an unproven show. I already made that mistake once when I bought an XM package and then NASCAR pulled a switcheroo by only having XM have the races ONE year and moving it to Sirius. I was pretty ticked off, but I wanted the races so I sucked it up and bought the Sirius package (which actually I liked better anyway).

I will consider whether or not I can fit ordering showtime into my budget, as I'm sure a lot of other fans will, but not until I am sure that it is WORTH paying for. I guess NASCAR doesn't think it's worth trying to attract the MOST viewers, so unfortunately since NASCAR is going to put it onto a channel that I won't have an opportunity to view, it will be hard for me to decide that it is worth watching, won't it?

philgoodstory said...

the outrage at NASCAR is comical, sad and likely misplaced. there is no conspiracy theory against core fans. the sport would never grow if NASCAR didn't market it to new people. and if it doesn't grow, there won't be ANY shows for you to watch on ANY network. so wake up: the world doesn't revolve around you. if there is a new show that you can't see, you will make it through, the world won't come crumbling down and the sun will still shine.

still indignant? then chances are you should be mad at SPEED, ESPN, FOX, Versus and every other TV network. why? well, there's a good chance NASCAR Media Group tried to sell this show to those more traditional networks -- and guess what? all those networks may have passed on it! left with nowhere else to go, NASCAR Media Group may have then shopped it to Showtime. is that actually what happened? we don't know. but it could be. so don't get all hot and bothered when you don't know all the facts. NASCAR Media Group very well could have done everything reasonable in its power to get this on a more accessible network. but even if it didn't, that's its prerogative and its gamble to take. nothing is being taken away from you!

plus, the full TV lineup for 2010 hasn't been announced yet. there could be more offerings yet to be announced on a network that's more accessible to you. so hold your horses, take a deep breath and be thankful the sport's profile has a chance to grow -- so more shows like this one can eventually be produced on more networks.

(and for the record: no, i don't have Showtime, either. but i'm not letting it ruin my day...)

JohnP said...

@annon 12:21. You misread my post. Never said I had kids, I don't. But, I know plenty of parents that complain the kids know how to use the technology better then them though. Including figuring out the codes. Had a friend of mine catch his son watching Playboy Channel. It was code protected. He figured it out. He was 14. Some base it more on general moral issues in general. Personally, I don't give a darn either way about what they show. What I tried to point out is some people do care. Some base it on economic issues. Either way, as JD pointed out, 13million people vs 80+million people as potential viewers. You do the numbers, it's clear to me.

I'm old enough to remember when the Olympics tried ppv in the 80's. The viewership died, has bairly recovered actually. I'm leary Nascar is headed that way. This is a baby step in that direction.

Interesting that Speed and Espn aren't broadcast in Canada. If that is correct that's ashame. I have several friends from Canada that drive down to all the races in Michigan. There fanatics about the sport.

KoHoSo said...

A couple of things that I find very interesting about the reaction to this topic...

1. I think this shows how upset a significant portion of the NASCAR fan base is over everything that has been happening over the past three to eight years. A show that, not all that long ago, would have been greeted with cheers and congratulations regardless of whether or not one subscribed to Showtime is now being seen as yet another slap in the face to the traditional fan.

2. I also find it quite curious in how certain sectors of the supposedly independent NASCAR media cannot understand the anger coming from the disgruntled portion of the fan base. It is as if certain people want to solely blame the "complainers" for the downturn in NASCAR's popularity -- something that began long before anybody even though about the possibility of a severe economic recession. It is also as if they feel this portion of the fan base is not intelligent enough to know what it finds to be useful and entertaining. Such people should be careful of engaging in such elitism before losing all credibility and creating a situation that permanently puts us all in "Us vs. Them" camps just like with our current choices in cable news -- something that will be good for nobody and do nothing but, in its own way, continue to hurt our beloved sport.

As for me, I welcome this show. I expect it to be a high quality product and think it will be another great step in gaining stock car racing more attention and general respect. However, I must also say that this will not get me to subscribe to Showtime even once I am back to working full time. Despite the quality of that channel's original productions, it is still basically a movie channel. Personally, I gave up on movies long ago as most of them these days are so poorly written and badly acted that I would rather clean my home rather than watch them. I just don't find adding that package to what is already a $98 per month cable bill (with no other premium packages) to be worth the expense. There's just too many places on the Internet to get reviews and analysis for no additional cost...especially since I am one of those "disgruntled" fans who finds NASCAR so predictable now that it's almost pointless to need further input.

Anonymous said...

JD,
Doesn't SPEED have right of first refusal on all NASCAR shows? If that's the case then hey too bad, they turned it down. Boo hoo people. Pay to watch it or don't who cares and if it's going to be so much like all the other stuff that's out there then don't worry about it. You won't be missing anything.

boyd said...

I think that this is a trial balloon by NASCAR to see if there is enough interest to launch a NASCAR network.

NFL has a channel. NHL has a channel, and baseball has a channel.

If there is enough interest, we could see in 3-5 years a NASCAR channel.

I don't have premium movie channels and don't plan on adding them, so I will miss out.

That is my choice.

I do hope that it is a successful venture.

Anonymous said...

Every show on Showtime, from Weeds to Californication to Dexter (all great shows, by the way), sneak in gratuitous nudity at some point.

Danica, are you thinking what I am thinking?

Anonymous said...

Why do you feel that there will be no more "NASCAR video's" on YouTube in 2010.

TheDalyPlanet: Nothing is online due to the Turner contract. I hear YouTube may be off limits next season for all things NASCAR.

Is Turner Sports really going to go and take all of those down? If this is true, this is a BIG story for NASCAR fans - and a reason to hate TNT....

Jonathan said...

Im not getting showtime just for this even though I would love to watch this show! Im waiting for the day that we have a Nascar Network!!! Hey but im not complaining kudos to Showtime for respecting Nascar and giving the secound most watch sport in America the respect in deserves!!!! and stop complaining its not like we get enough Nascar during the season w speed, espn, espn2 and so on! You have nascar now and the hud everyday, TWIN, all the Thursday stuff when they show the older races on speed, then fri and sat we have all the qualifying, pratice and races so hush!!! I watch so much nascar during the season I can hang w not being able to watch this

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic news! I have been looking for a reason to subscribe to Showtime and now I have one! Thanks Showtime and NASCAR!

Dot said...

I just read something encouraging about the NASCAR show on SHO. They're going to use familiar faces from the TV partners.

If this isn't the perfect vehicle for Jerry Punch, I don't know what is. A script reader's delight.

@ Sgt JD Schultz, you got any insight on this? What about your other secrets you alluded to?

Daly Planet Editor said...

I know nothing! (Sgt. Schultz)

Bullhockey33 said...

This is yet another example of the France influence. Cluelessness and being out of touch with the core fan is his hallmark. I have cable TV and a big screen HD for racing enjoyment, as well as 2 suite tickets for all events at TMS. This makes me a core fan, I believe, and I will not buy Showtime and run my already high cable bill through the roof. Bullhocky33

red said...

i wish showtime nothing but the very best of luck with this new show. i won't be joining them b/c of finances but that doesn't mean i don't want them to succeed. selfishly, i could wish they had chosen a channel that wouldn't cost me more $$ to watch but, hey, it's a start, ya' know?

i can't rake showtime and nascar over the coals for at least trying something different on this cable channel. not to go all "pete pistone" here but it's worth a shot. again, i hate that i can't watch it as well but i'm glad someone's trying to give nascar more air time.

the more nascar on tv -- both cable, premium and standard channels -- the better!

Sophia said...

TW offering FREE Showtime for 3 months so I got it. I like some shows because they ARE from the 70's or so, and movies were better. I get one SHOWTIME on Demand stations plus 8 more.

Hardly watch it as modern stuff is crap, but I watch little modern tv shows. I will NOT pay for this when it runs out as we got rid of digital on one tv.


NASCAR on SHOWTIME? well, I find my interest dwindling.... If they want to take away from more viewers than on regular stations their loss. Guess the BIG SHOWS are crappy fake reality shows that are the money makers (I NEVER WATCH !!)

Those that think 'so WHAT?' about it being on stations many don't get, have never lost a race mid race due to BSPN channel roulette.

So, until NASCAR gets it's act together, and I don't see that happening, I don't care much anymore...ESPN made me lose my appetite and I found other things to do than scream at the tv. :(
I don't miss ESPN annoying me every weekend.

Debbie227 said...

I pay extra to get the Speed Channel and have a package that includes Showtime so I'm not so upset about this. I look forward to seeing this show. I can't knock something I haven't even seen yet. Would I pay to get Showtime to see just this show? Maybe order it for a week ot two to see how the show is, if it was crap, then I would cancel the Showtime.

But like I said, I already have it, so no problem. Keep in mind though, I DID pay extra just to get the Speed channel. So I guess I would pay extra to watch something about my passion!

JS said...

How about the following hosts for Inside NASCAR: Ned Jarrett, Stephanie Boyd-Durner, Randy Pemberton? ;)

(For those that don't get it, they hosted TNN's Inside NASCAR in the late '90s).

I've got Showtime on a 3 month free trial, but won't be picking it up after that, even for a NASCAR show. I've got a bad feeling this could lead to NASCAR Pay Per View.

Also, I didn't get to add this to the last NASCAR TV comments because the comments are closed, so concerning the current TV deal:

FOX- Leave it as it is. Can't complain really at all about them. Best NASCAR coverage out there. Chris Myers can stick around.

TNT- Since I mentioned TNN above, if Ralph Sheheen isn't kept on as the play-by-play voice & ends up back on pit road, how about our old friend Eli Gold...? Crimson Tide football isn't going on at that point. It'd be fun to hear him back on TV again with NASCAR.

No need to change anything else, I like TNT's coverage. (Nitpicky stuff here, though. Can we go back to Born to Be Wild as the intro music?)

ESPN- Allen Bestwick to the booth, bring Mike Massaro back to pit road, find something else to do with Jamie Little or Shannon Spake.

Please limit the amount of time ESPN can talk about Danica per weekend, because God only knows how much she's gonna be forced upon us each week by that particular network. It can't get any worse than 2005 in the IRL with Todd Harris & Scott Goodyear's droolfests over her...or can it...?

SPEED- I didn't really watch RaceHub due to personal time constraints & lost interest once it became apparent that JJ had the title won. There's always next year.

RaceBuddy- This. Feature. Rules. TNT's got a huge leg up with this, either as an add-on to watching the race or if you're sitting in an airport, etc. with no way of seeing it. I'd love to see ESPN or FOX find a way to make something similar.