Monday, August 3, 2009

Pocono On Monday: Take Two

Rain has delayed the Sprint Cup Series race from Pocono, PA until Monday at noon ET. SPEED will provide the pre-race show with a one hour version of RaceDay at 11AM.

John Roberts will host for SPEED with Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace alongside. Wendy Venturini and Hermie Sadler are the reporters.

ESPN finds itself in a very interesting position. The Tech Garage is closed and Tim Brewer is in Bristol, CT for the Monday NASCAR Now program. Also, the Infield Pit Studio is vacant. Allen Bestwick, Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty are also back in Connecticut for the studio show.

This leaves Jerry Punch alone with his analysts Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Down on pit road will be Jamie Little, Shannon Spake, Dave Burns and Vince Welch. This is a very different dynamic than ESPN usually has in place, so the coverage will also be different.

Usually on Monday things are a little bit more relaxed as everyone is really concentrating on getting the race done and moving on. Punch actually had some fun on the Sunday coverage and lead the group in telling some great stories. Hopefully, that relaxed attitude will carry over to coverage of the live race.

This is a long grind at a track that does not lend itself to TV. Without an aggressive approach to the directing, Pocono can become something that drives the viewer to the remote control. It will be up to the ESPN director to keep the pictures interesting and the producer to make sure the stories are told.

This post will serve to host your comments on RaceDay on SPEED and the live race coverage on ESPN. To add your TV-related opinion, 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 stop by.

Time To Get Sirius NASCAR Content Online

Every day, SiriusXM channel 128 puts out a steady stream of NASCAR information and interviews. This channel originates right down the street from Lowe's Motor Speedway, NASCAR's Research and Development Center and many major NASCAR team shops.

If you have a SiriusXM receiver in your car, then perhaps you can catch a bit of this content during your daily commute. SiriusXM also makes portable receivers that snap in and out of automobile. Finally, there are handheld receivers that are designed to work indoors. Designed to work being the operative phrase.

While SiriusXM claims to have a total subscriber base of 19 million, things have not been going very well in satellite radio land for a while now. SiriusXM was recently saved from filing for bankruptcy by media mogul John Malone in return for a sizable stake in the company.

While there are some limited NASCAR radio and TV programs during the weekdays, the big fish in the pond is the SiriusXM Channel 128 daily line-up. NASCAR Chairman Brian France called in days ago just to review some topics with afternoon host Dave Moody. Among the scheduled guests Thursday on channel 128 are Greg Biffle, Casey Mears, Steve Addington, Larry Carter, Brendan Gaughan and the list goes on and on.

Today's technology also allows selected Sirius channels to be streamed online. After an initial sign-up, the user can simply turn on a computer or cell phone to get the live signal. Sirius NASCAR Channel 128 is not streamed online and that is the topic of this column.

Back in 2000, Turner Sports acquired all of NASCAR's Interactive rights for a hefty price tag. This included the online video and audio rights. Since 2001, Turner has been the sole producer of the website. This practice of allowing a third party to run a professional league's website is not unusual. Turner does the same thing for other sports, including the NBA.

The situation we are discussing today is the stalemate between Sirius and Turner. Without a payment to Turner, that company will not allow Sirius to go online with NASCAR audio content. Without a dime in the bank, Sirius has little to offer. Instead of NASCAR being exposed to millions of Internet and cell phone users, SiriusXM Channel 128 continues to broadcast to only a very small slice of hardcore fans.

Today, we find NASCAR trying to wade through the muck of a struggling economy that hit the auto manufacturers very hard. The truck series has been decimated, the Nationwide Series is struggling and this week in Pocono there are only 42 cars. If one team leaves after this week, short fields may begin in NASCAR's top series. So, what NASCAR needs from its own media partners down the stretch is some help.

What would happen if the website offered SiriusXM channel 128's weekday programming for free through the end of this season? Think about that one. Just go to, click on the audio player and there it is. would get all the website traffic from fans every time they wanted to listen to the SiriusXM channel. No live races would be carried, protecting the existing copyrights of all concerned. Turner's site traffic would go through the roof, Sirius gets the exposure for its product and NASCAR gets the publicity for making its top stars and personalities finally available to fans without charge.

At the end of the season, decisions can be made about what to do for 2010. No one can predict what business dynamic might be in place by then or what lines of discussion this simple act might open for the future.

Let's get the great comments, interviews and questions being offered every day out to the fans right now while the sport is struggling. This one simple act might build a stronger fan base for all of the parties concerned. There is only one way to find out. Ask the fans.

Would you listen online to SiriusXM's NASCAR channel during the week if it was made available for free at

Leave us a comment on this topic by clicking the comments button below. We are lucky enough to have folks from Sirius, NASCAR and Turner review this site on a regular basis. They have all told us just how much your comments have helped them to focus on various topics that need some attention.

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