Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wednesday: Media/TV News (Updated 2PM)

There are several major NASCAR media stories in progress. We will update the TDP main page continually on Wednesday to see which ones break and are fair to report.

Here are a couple of the topics we can mention:

Still wondering if there is a link between no announcement of This Week in NASCAR being renewed on SPEED and the new weekly Inside NASCAR TV series on Showtime?

Both series have the same exact format, the same production company and the same content. You don't think the TWIN gang is going to Showtime? Can't be...right?

The Fox vs. Time Warner Cable feud is still boiling with only days left until Fox goes dark in many major TV markets including Charlotte, NC. The financial brawl affects over-the-air stations, cable nets like SPEED and also the Fox Sports regional cable networks. Only Time Warner Cable subscribers (15 million) will be affected.

Update 2PM: Looks like Federal arbitration may be the only solution. Click here to read the Hollywood Reporter story on the lastest offer to settle.

Aside from the recent ESPN announcement about on-air changes, December 31st also brings TV and radio personality contracts to an end. We should know who is out, who is in and who may be changing jobs shortly. It's that time of year.

Finally, the new 1PM start times should radically alter the look of the many pre-race TV shows for 2010. As you may remember, SPEED moved RaceDay one hour earlier to avoid the pre-race shows of the NASCAR TV partners. That puts RaceDay at 10AM ET should the show remain two hours long.

What this shift may do to shows like NASCAR Now, NASCAR Performance, NASCAR in a Hurry and even the dreaded NASCAR Smarts should be interesting to discover. We should get a peek at TV schedules shortly

Update 11AM: Travis Kvapil just announced on Twitter his return to the Sprint Cup Series fulltime in 2010. Details to follow.

Check back with us on Wednesday morning when we will open this post for comments and add the news updates as they come in to TDP. Thanks!


Anonymous said...

I still can't see the motive of moving TWIN to Showtime, if that is true. There will only be a fraction of the current audience left watching.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Well, if SPEED chooses not to renew TWIN, then the NASCAR Media Group has a TV team all ready to move to Showtime.

It would all hinge on SPEED renewing TWIN, which is why we are surprised they have not done it already.

The decision has not been made by SPEED and a drop dead date approaches.

Stay tuned...

Ziggy said...

It isn't like SPEED has tons of original programming locked up in a vault somewhere for Monday nights.

But it's probably boiling down to $$$$$.

No Showtime subscriber Ziggy

Andrew S. said...

Hopefully they are smart enough to hire Schrader and leave Mikey at home

Vicky D said...

Yep, we don't subscribe to Showtime either on our DirectTV. Hubby already complains about the cost of that he won't want to spend extra for Showtime even though we really like TWIN.

Chris from NY said...

This fight between TWC and FOX deserves 25 Picard facepalms.

If they don't make up by New Year's, I wouldn't mind trading in NY1 for NASCAR races and a little dish on my roof. There's one every 3 houses in my neighborhood. (What do you expect? I live in the biggest city in the country.) :)

If DirecTV going out is a problem, Time Warner goes out just as often here on Staten Island. One day the system rebooted every 5-15 minutes for no reason. Then, of course, there are frozen HD channels. I don't know how it is for you elsewhere.

I also wouldn't mind a free season of HotPass, whenever FOX and ESPN fail. :)

Chris from NY said...

Then there's also the Dish Top 250, which looks like a severe blow to DirecTV's Choice Xtra (more sports channels with Dish!).

If you have Time Warner and want to watch some races next year, you have two options if you want to keep NASCAR on TV and put TWC in the hole it deserves. Choose wisely!

MRM4 said...

I see more and more of these cable vs. network battles and we're either losing channels because of it or paying more money. I'm on DirecTV and we've already lost Versus because of an ongoing fued between D* and Comcast, who owns Versus.

Since no more comments are allowed on the ESPN story, I thought I'd follow up on something concerning the reassignment of Jerry Punch.

Last week was his first appearance on a local radio station after being reassigned. I waited a while to see if he would bring it up, whether the host would bring it up, or a caller would ask him about it. As I expected, neither he nor the host brought it up. So near the end of the show, I tried calling to see if I could get in and ask him about it. I got in, but it was too close to the end of his time and I did not get to talk to him.

This week, someone else calls in and ask him about his reassignment. His comments were rather low-key. All he would say on it was he goes wherever they tell him and he has been told to go to the pits. He didn't sound very enthusiastic about the change. He tried to put on a good face, but I could tell it wasn't a move he wants to make.

Dot said...

Do the cable/satellite companies operate under different rules than OTA TV? There seems to be some kind of "agency" missing that could get involved here.

@ MRM4, thanks for the JP update. I kinda feel bad for the guy. However, he did have his chance.

Vicky D said...

Dot, yes JP had his chance for 3 years and he'll do fine in the pits. Looking forward to the Daytona 500 soon.

Newracefan said...

If TWIN or some form of it goes to Showtime and leaves Speed I may have a brick through TV issue. I really can't afford to add showtime the cable bill is already too much.

Anonymous said...

Everybody complains all season about wanting more NASCAR programming and then they add a show and people complain about having to pay for it. What a shocker.

I'll definitely add Showtime if the show sounds like it will be good.

The prerace shows will be interesting. I, for one, will be watching a lot less of them than I ever have due to the early start times. I predict the early start times will be a total disaster. If you want to watch the race now, you basically have to cancel your Sunday - which many fans will not do.

Sophia said...

Our local affiliates in SW OH will not be affected by the TW & Fox fight. but of course FX & SPEED, others will be affected. Story was in our paper today.

If it ain't satellite fights it's cable. Nobody is exempt from this nonsense of gypping customers.

Chris from NY said...


TWC always picks fights with the top networks, or it's always the networks trying to be smart a*ses and picking fights with TWC. I heard that WABC (our ABC affiliate) once threatened to pull off TWC if they did not carry SOAP Net.

The fights the satellite companies pick are ones I could hardly care about. They will always have 200-300 channels available to them, and they haven't picked any fights with the local channels as far as I have heard.

I will, from now on, liken the roof dish to the red revolution flag. That is a sign you will never again stand for cable BS. I've never had satellite TV, but I just hope that's how it is, and I hope I can get DirecTV or Dish before Daytona.

I have also heard that the "Roll Over" button on Roll Over or Get Tough does not actually work, and that they only post comments that are on their side. I've been on and have seen posted comments on both sides (albeit only one on the Time Warner side, it still is a level playing field). Time Warner looks like the real Nazi empire when it comes to this dispute, and they will, without a doubt, come out the big losers of this, which I hope they do.

Palmetto said...

Chris, the 'Roll Over' button does work. I just used it. I also notice several comments opposed to TWC. Not a majority, but about one out of six or so. I posted the comment I've paraphrased below.

I just dropped TWC in favor of Dish Network. When I called to cancel TWC, the rep offered me a reduced rate for 12 months. I told her if TWC wanted to keep me, they should have called me with that rate like Dish did BEFORE I called them to cancel.

KoHoSo said...

Eight hours to go on the TWC vs. Fox standoff and it doesn't look good since Fox declined arbitration. Ironically, I will be at my sweetie's house tonight where TWC provides the cable service. I wonder how many people will be watching a Fox station tonight to see if it shuts off at midnight instead of the ball in Times Square? :-)

In least in the Inland Empire area of California, as I inferred in a comment elsewhere on this blog, we will indeed lose our two Fox Sports Net stations in addition to the others. Thus, I say again, this will mean disaster for TWC if people here cannot see the Lakers.

On a happier note...

Happy New Year, everybody!

GinaV24 said...

Hmm, so still no news on TWIN's renewal - well, I like Steve Byrne well enough, but Mikey is the reason I stopped watching it and if they move Mikey to Showtime, I will definitely NOT spend additional money to add that channel to my already expensive lineup. I'm planning to take a "wait and see" attitude to the new show -- if people start giving it positive feedback, I may consider it, but I'm going to need convincing.

Boy, I'm glad I don't have TWC as my provider. It seems that when the Feds deregulated all of the cable stuff, they only hurt the consumer, when the law of unintended consequences came into play, plus the Feds continue to allow monopolies to exist instead of their being competition between vendors.