Wednesday, July 15, 2009

UFC Dents NASCAR's Chicagoland TV Ratings

Maybe NASCAR can work out a deal with the UFC next season about blockbuster pay-pre-view telecasts going up against a live Sprint Cup Series race. Apparently, waiting for another Chicagoland restart just couldn't compete with Brock Lesnar and his idea of fun for many TV viewers.

Here is the official blurb from Bob Pockrass over at

TNT reports that its coverage of Saturday night’s 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway drew a 3.0 rating from Nielsen Media Research, 18.9 percent lower than the 3.7 rating it earned for the race last year.

Over at Yahoo! Sports, reporter Kevin Iole offered this UFC tidbit:

Pay-per-view sales are almost guaranteed to surpass 1 million and there is a chance that the final number would exceed 1.5 million, which would make it the biggest non-boxing PPV in history.

At about $50 a pop, the UFC was having a very good night at the exact same time NASCAR was struggling with boring racing. While restarts for various debris issues provided some late excitement, it looks like many viewers were already long gone.

So, this is the hand-off that ESPN gets from TNT for 2009. Despite a positive reaction to the TV production and Daytona's Wide Open coverage, NASCAR is struggling on TV and ESPN is wading right into the middle of it.

Hopefully, some storylines will emerge that can drive some viewer interest in the sport and get fans back to watching the live races. With more and more recording devices in the home, NASCAR is becoming an attractive program to record and zoom through to find the action.

NASCAR has moved to solve this problem with the new restart rules and it may well be the Brickyard 400 that gets fans back into the racing. Putting the leaders side-by-side on this narrow and high-speed track is going to change the very nature of the racing. It may also go a very long way to erasing the memory of last season's tire debacle.

ESPN will once again come at this final stretch with eleven on-air announcers, an infield pit studio and the tech center. The technical operations staff is tremendously experienced and the pictures and sound should be superb. It all comes down to the ESPN producer and director choosing the pictures to show and the stories to follow to bring the viewers back to the TV screens.

As we like to say here at TDP, it should be interesting to watch. To add your opinion on this topic, just click the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

Kenny Wallace Is Tweeting "Shootout Style"

NASCAR has taken to Twitter like a fish to water. Free from the boundaries imposed on them by TV networks, NASCAR's on-camera personalities are almost all on Twitter and typing away like maniacs.

Just last week, TDP got in hot water for posting a Tweet from Michael Waltrip that suggested his Monday night This Week In NASCAR show may not return for 2010 due to low ratings. Waltrip got upset, some of his fans got upset and the funny thing was TDP became the target of that anger.

Now, Waltrip's friend Kenny Wallace posted on Tuesday the following:

Listen Up!..Nascar Sent Memos out to The TV Networks..We have to say Shootout Style...I know it's Crazy...But I saw The Memo With My Eyes.

Well, maybe the 140 character limit on Twitter caused Wallace to eliminate some of the reality behind the NASCAR information. Here is Nate Ryan from USA Today responding to some of the issues caused by the Wallace message:

Despite Tweet by @Kenny_Wallace, NASCAR apparently sent no memo demanding "Shootout Style". However, there were "terminology guidelines."

As the final seventeen races of the season approach, NASCAR is apparently trying to get the TV personalities to move away from some terms that have stuck for a variety of reasons.

NASCAR introduced the "free pass" and almost immediately it became the "lucky dog." Once the Car of Tomorrow was racing full-time, NASCAR suggested "new car" while many media members kept the COT term alive and well.

As fans know, NASCAR has used double-file restarts for a very long time. The difference this season is that the lapped cars go to the back and the entire field lines-up in order with the leader choosing either the inside or outside lane. The term that NASCAR suggested to make this clear for fans was "shootout style."

It was SPEED's John Roberts, Jimmy Spencer and Wallace on the two hour RaceDay show who began to have fun with the term. After a while, it was clear they were using it every chance they could get. As a result, fans told Wallace very clearly on Twitter during a recent RaceDay show that they needed a break.

Here at TDP, we have been using the term "new restart rules" because of the same "shootout style" overload. Maybe, we should leave it up to the fans to suggest some new terms that could apply for this as it spreads through the NASCAR series.

So, basically NASCAR was trying to remind the media members that the Car of Tomorrow is racing today. They also included the fact that the "free pass" does not mean that driver is a "lucky dog." No Aaron's gift certificates come with a wave-around in the truck series.

If you have any reaction to the "shootout style" issue, please leave us a comment. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for stopping by.