Saturday, January 2, 2010

NASCAR's New TV Partner: Showtime

This weekend's topic is very interesting. The buzz has been building since it was announced several weeks ago that NASCAR will have a new national TV series on the air in 2010. Inside NASCAR will run for 38 weeks and feature highlights and analysis of every Sprint Cup Series race.

Click here for the story from Richard Sandomir of the New York Times about this new project.

Recently, the NASCAR Media Group (NMG) began the move into its new high-tech studios and offices located in downtown Charlotte, NC. This group is the official TV production arm of NASCAR and produces the weekly shows from the SPEED Stage and also Monday night's This Week in NASCAR series.

The downside is that NMG has no direct network connection. While the TV networks covering the racing might have to rent equipment and crews from NMG, they bring in their own producers, directors and announcers to cover the events. NMG is there to record footage for NASCAR history, but does not get to produce it as it happens.

A key goal of NMG is to try and develop new and original long-form programming to support NASCAR and also make some money. Why not? Other professional sports like the NFL, PGA Tour, and Major League Baseball have similar organizations.

Over the years, SPEED has been the major player where NMG programs have been concerned. Then, a change of direction left NASCAR out in the cold during the weekdays while SPEED headed for what it called "lifestyle" programming. Unfortunately, during that time NMG was unable to find a new TV dance partner.

Despite the deep racing connections with TNT, there are no NASCAR TV series on any of the Turner networks. Meanwhile, ESPN is struggling with two main cable channels that are already overloaded with existing programming. No help there. Other than SPEED, the only other Fox cable channel is FX, which moved away from sports programming years ago.

This puts NMG in a tough spot. Trying to sell NASCAR TV programs to networks that don't carry the actual races has proven to be a tall task. Even with the wide variety of cable networks interested in sports, the choices are limited. This situation has apparently resulted in one of NMG's most interesting decisions.

Showtime is a premium cable TV network known for adult-themed programming. Series titles like Californication, Dexter, The Tudors and The Secret Diary of a Call Girl are well known to channel viewers. The network even has a program called Live Nudity that features burlesque acts and audience participation. Click here to review the network's official website.

Into this well-defined entertainment channel strolls NASCAR, lured by two simple facts. One, Showtime is currently airing Inside the NFL that was revived after being cancelled by HBO. Two, Showtime has the money to pay for series production. NMG can point to the fact that the channel already has existing sports programming and that this is a money-maker for the company.

Unfortunately, that leaves out some key points that have fueled the ongoing discussion. We have already established that Showtime has a substantial amount of adult programming. We also established that Showtime has a very limited interest in sports TV programs of any kind. Click here for the Showtime Sports website.

NASCAR is a sport that prides itself on image. Sponsors, drivers and owners live in a squeaky clean world. Christian values are openly discussed and there is an invocation before each race. Families are featured on the telecasts as wives and children stand with the drivers before the event. NASCAR's idea of "the show" is very different from Showtime's version.

NMG also indicated that existing TV network announcers will be the hosts and analysts for this series. It should be very interesting to see who steps up to that challenge from the ranks of TNT, Fox, SPEED and ESPN. Again, perception is the issue where NASCAR TV is concerned.

Showtime is small. Only 13 million homes in the US, compared to over 80 million for networks like ESPN2, SpikeTV and SPEED. With perhaps only a small percentage of the adults who subscribe to Showtime interested in sports, that may make the actual audience for this series less than desirable. Showtime viewers may have other priorities.

So, here we go. NASCAR is in a multi-year deal with a subscription cable channel for a full-scale racing highlights and analysis series. Top announcers will be featured with the show produced right in the new NASCAR headquarters in Charlotte.

Will you subscribe to Showtime to see this program? Do you feel this move best serves the fan base? Other shows have highlights. Does this Wednesday show have any real meaning? Does the adult programming on Showtime affect your decision to subscribe?

We would appreciate your feedback on this topic. To add your comment, just click on the comments button below. Check back as our discussion will last through Monday morning on this topic. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by TDP.


Anonymous said...

It'll be interesting to see how it all works out.

I had Showtime when I still had cable but only watched it for Big Brother After Dark. Once in a while I'd be up to date and look at a movie on there.

They gave it to me when I signed up for cable internet.

I hope it works out. I never get the numbers. Like for some SPEED shows I'll see something like a 1.1 share. On network TV that would be the death of a show.

How to they measure "success"?

Anonymous said...

Seeing what type of program is on Showtime, don't really know why Nascar would go there, but then again, nascar seems to be more about money then anything these days, and I'm sure Showtime is gonna pay them a pretty good penny.

Will I get Showtime for this show? That would be a negative. I'm not even gonna go subscribe to HBO for a few weeks because of the show that's gonna feature one of my favorite drivers, that being Jimmie Johnson. And while I would love to see those 4 episodes. I'll live. There was a time when I would do that because I was afraid I would be missing something, not so much anymore. The same for this show. Its just another weekly update show....there are so many other weekly update shows through the week, don't really see the reason for another one. And also the pre-race shows also cover the previous weekend's highlights to, so really not gonna miss anything, except maybe some interviews that might not on somewhere else, but you know what? Oh well.

Honestly though the only weekly update shows that I really enjoy is This Week In Nascar. Don't really care about the others. I'll watch Victory Lane, and Nascar Peformance, (not an update show, but a weekly nascar show...which I hope they also bring back this season) Don't really care for ESPN's Nascar Now. Used to set my DVR by it, not so much anymore. Race Hub kinda lost my interest about the time Phoenix rolled around.

KoHoSo said...

From Mr. Daly's article...

NASCAR is a sport that prides itself on image. Sponsors, drivers and owners live in a squeaky clean world. Christian values are openly discussed and there is an invocation before each race.

Unfortunately, to me this illustrates an area where NASCAR is blatantly hypocritical. If NASCAR were truly concerned about image over money, they would have put their foot down during the time when races were run on FX between promos for Son of the Beach that contained language that made even my jaw drop considering its meaning and context.

During the NBC days there was a "pop-up" ad that ran for a while where a woman appeared to be stripping. NASCAR said nothing.

Promos during races on TNT are often for very violent and possibly even "demonic" movies. NASCAR has said nothing.

As for Fox proper...well, do I even need to say anything there?

Now, before I go on, I'm no prude. I consider myself to be a student of America's greatest modern philosopher, George Carlin, and I even watch parts of the Adult Swim block on the Cartoon Network.

However, there is a time and a place for everything. There also used to be a consideration for the core audience.

Now, with Showtime, this program -- which I welcome even though I am not a subscriber nor will I become one -- is aimed mostly at an untapped audience in addition to the fact that those who subscribe to it know full well what they are getting. I would also add that this show is not taking anything away from fans at large because we will still have most of the same programs on the same channels in 2010 (plus or minus whether or not TWIN is renewed).

However, I always have to laugh when this thing about NASCAR's "family values" image comes up. Other than when drugs are involved, when is another time that they have stood up to any major entity in recent years against things that are obviously not family friendly in the traditional sense?

The only image that NASCAR really cares about is the one is shows to its bankers. Upsetting traditional fans by allowing its television partners (and, some of its cars) to show ads for male "enhancements," jiggling female body parts, violence, and so on is just fine with them as long as the dollars keep rolling in.

Of course, if that's the way that NASCAR wants to go, that's their choice. I would be fine with it personally except I have something that they don't -- true respect for those many NASCAR fans that hold more conservative values than I do. I am frankly embarrassed to see some of the things advertised in and around races because I know it is driving some people away from our beloved sport of racing. Maybe those people shouldn't have bought into NASCAR's "family values" line but, then again, NASCAR is the one that built it, sold it, and started ignoring it when money started to always come before values and tradition.

Unknown said...

This is just another example of how NASCAR puts money ahead of common sense buisness pratices.


Every single time NASCAR makes a decision, and you find yourself wondering, "Why are they doing that?", just follow the money, and your answer will be close behind.

Bobby said...

Not for me. HBO and Showtime are earning more than ESPN in their revenue stream of per-subscriber rates (which Fox complained is helping the push to premium cable; the big scare is Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 could go to ESPN).

Also it's clear premium cable has become the place to go for "television" because of the language they have used on the shows -- language network television cannot use, and while basic cable could use it, they're scared.

The could be similar to Inside the NFL. 20 years ago NASCAR tried a PPV with Showtime's SET division (PPV), but it was a flop.

Sally said...

No way will I subscribe to a premium chammel. Cable already gets too much of my money with little return. They constatnly change the channel lineup, of ten replacing something I watch with several channels of garbage I have no interest in, and also boosting rates. Recently, Charter moved SPEED to a digital only channel from the rspanded basic lineup. Now I have to pay more for the digital service just to view SPEED. This is the last time I will pay more money to watch something that is basically racing related. And I still don't get ESPN Classic with my 'upgrade'!

Anonymous said...

I am really disappointed about this show move to Showtime. I didn't subscribe it now and will NOT subscribe it in the future. I paid enough money on my cable bill, this Showtime thing is only add to my financial burden.

CP from New Jersey

bevo said...

I've had Showtime since I became a DirecTV subscriber in 1997. They are still primarily a movie channel. I'm a fan of most of their original programing and thanks to them, HBO, FX and AMC we still have quality dramas, comedies and documentaries which have been abandoned by network television in favor of cheap to produce, mind-numbing drivel that passes itself off as "reality" shows.

It seems to me that the concept of partnering with "family-friendly" networks is very narrow. Fox and ABC have plenty of shows I wouldn't want my children to watch. The political messages and violence of shows like "24" are never an issue it seems even though they are promoted ad nauseam during the races when children are actually watching. Same goes for movie ads which go so far as to have the stars interviewed by the announcers and being grand marshals of the races. A little balance of what is considered "family-friendly" is needed in my opinion.

Showtime isn't forced into anyone's living room that doesn't want it. If someone wants to watch the NASCAR show they have three options. Buy Showtime, get a friend who has Showtime record it or do a little work on the internet and download it.

As an aside HBO will have a series leading up to Daytona about Jimmie Johnson and the 48 team. You can see previes for it on HBO's website.

Newracefan said...

I can't afford to add to my cable bill, heck I'm actually considering cutting out HBO (but after the JJ special is aired) so while I would like to watch I won't be doing so. My biggest fear is that TWIN disappears on Speed and reappears on Showtime, that would just crush me.

Donna DeBoer said...

Will you subscribe to Showtime to see this program? No.
Do you feel this move best serves the fan base? No.
Other shows also have highlights, does this Wednesday show have any real meaning? No.
Does the adult programming on Showtime affect your decision to subscribe? Yes.

I understand trying to reach new audiences & partnering with money. But in my perception, a large number of Showtime subscribers don't goto NASCAR races, or watch them on TV, and no matter how well this show gets made, I don't see it changing those subscriber's tastes.
Just one question, and no pun intended, does NASCAR plan on adding more "raciness" to its live show? I have to admit during 2009, some bands chosen to perform before races were not exactly family oriented either.

TexasRaceLady said...

I'll probably watch --- IF I remember that a NASCAR program airs on Showtime. "Senior moments" happen, you know. LOL

Anonymous said...

Well, we can be certain that radio chatter won't have to be Bowdlerized for Showtime.

Anonymous said...

i would not spend a dime to get Showtime, just to see the new NASCAR presentation. There is more then enough content out there for me to get my NASCAR fix.

Tracy D said...

Had Showtime. Dropped it. Won't re-subscribe just to catch one show.

I'm praying TWIN will stay on Speed, but it's not looking good.

Ken said...

This leads to a few issues. Let's start with Showtime.

Showtime: I have the channel and have no issues with it. Will, I watch this show, sure if I happen to be around the television but I am not going to go out of my way to watch it. I have parental controls, which everyone else with Showtime or Digital Cable/Satellite should have.

People should actually use parental controls to stop kids from watching shows that aren't for them. It really infuriates me that people don't just "turn the channel" or "turn of the tv/radio" when something is on they are offended by. Also, actually parent your kids and you shouldn't have an issue.

Second issue: Sirius NASCAR Radio. 128 keeps me up to date easily, so television shows are continually less valuable. By the time ESPN and SPEED air their shows, I have already heard the news along with input from those making headlines with fan feedback.

Third issue: NASCAR could move full-blown web-based production. For instance, why can't NASCAR produce these shows with NBC or FOX and place them on Hulu? There is a great distribution model right there. Oh wait, the draconian Turner Internet contract probably negates that idea and Turner doesn't have a competing product.

Fourth issue: NASCAR needs to start it's own television channel similar to the NFL network. However, the NFL has so many games it can sell that the games still have value. NASCAR has three races and I bet they believe the value of the races would drop once doing so for the next TV contract. Well if the channel followed the NFL network's model of showing races on Monday or Tuesday, they could still sell the live events. Also, think about the lower level series such as Modified and Camping World East and West that could get some exposure here.


West Coast Diane said...

Will you subscribe to Showtime to see this program? NO

Do you feel this move best serves the fan base? NO

Other shows have highlights. Does this Wednesday show have any real meaning? NO

Does the adult programming on Showtime affect your decision to subscribe? NO

Bizarre, what is the point? Will be interesting to see how it does.

Since our Directv bill is going up, why would I add to our bill for one show.

Regarding squeaky clean, family values, etc. Not enough to pass on sponsors like our fav...Extenze :-)

Rockin Rich said...

I suspect that very few of your followers will be signing up for Showtime.

So JD, my question is:

Will you, be subscribing to Showtime, and providing us with a review?

Maybe if you like it and give a positive review(s), it could help drive more of us to see for ourselves.

Personally, I am too cheap, (my own words), to sign up for a premium channel just to watch one program once a week. I am not very worked up that this channel shows content that some might find objectionable. After all, I have the channel changer; the service provider doesn't!

On an off topic, but related, note (TV costs & choices), I am about to experience a rarity in today's TV environment. I am going to lower my TV viewing bill while dramatically increasing my viewing choices. My local phone provider, (nTelos), offers a TV service over their wired infrastructure.

They will install new Cat 5 inside wiring for their service, (one time fee of $47.50), without destroying my coax cable. I can return to cable TV if I desire.

They are providing full digital and HD signals. I am replacing my ComCrap Standard Service, analog only, 62 channels with 152 channels.

My bill will drop from $60/mo. to $48/mo., and includes 2 set top boxes. This is for their minimum package, and is their regular pricing, not a promotion. There are 34 HD specific channels included. Their next tier provides an additional 32 channels at a total cost of $66/mo.

Plus, my current Internet service, (DSL), goes 10Mb, (megabit with a small b), at a discount because nTelos is providing both services.

A comparable digital/HD service from ComCrap with 2 boxes would cost $87/mo.,(regular pricing and no installation fee).

Showtime, (or HBO, etc.) would cost $14/mo. extra with nTelos, and $17/mo. on ComCrap.

The minimum nTelos tier includes ESPN Classic and NFL Network. I do lose Versus unless I sign up for the $66/mo. tier.

I expect that there must be other phone companies elsewhere in the country that offer a similar service. It may be worth asking about???

I will post my opinion of the service after I have had it for a short while if anyone is interested.

Best wishes, and happy viewing to all of you in 2010!

West Coast Diane said...

Posted before reading comments.

@KoHoSo Ditto regarding your post on NASCAR "values".

@Donna in FL Great minds think alike :-)

It would be nice if NASCAR would take a stand on commercials or show previews that cross the line for a "family" sport. If the products or shows are so great why do they have to take a salacious approach to attracting viewer or buyers? Quality can sell itself.

Think that's why God invented the DVR?...LOL!

Anonymous said...

Remember when Jr said the "S" word and got penalized? And now we get to watch an unknown quality show on a mini-porn site? So what happened to the family sport I started watching so many years ago? Perhaps Nascar should just drop the invocation, the anthem, and any reference to family values, and just admit they're going for the gold ($$$).

NMG has reached a new depth in programming. I don't have Showtime, and as much as I love race programs, I won't be watching this one.

Kyle said...

If NASCAR would get their own network, stuff like this could be avoided. They are the only major sport in America that doesn't have one! Seriously, get with it NASCAR. If golf and tennis have their own network and you don't, there is a problem.

As far as the show, I think for people w/ Showtime, its going to be great, obviously. I'm not sure when this program is slated to come on, but hopefully its on during the day so people who record on their DVRs don't get a special surprise later on when the recording starts a tad earlier or end a tad late, if you know what I mean.

It had to go somewhere though, and like you pointed out in your article, there wasn't many places for it to go. There are other subscription channels like HBO but they have their share of adult programming to. Versus would have been the only network that could have took it. They seem to be testing the NASCAR TV waters and in their announcement of that chase show they had last year, they left the door open for other series in the future, I believe.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Great comments so far. Like many of you, I am going to wait and see what happens with TWIN on SPEED before making a decision about adding to my cable bill.

While I can understand the financial dynamic, I sure wish we had a behind-the-scenes, personality profile or even a reality style series as the new offering from NASCAR.

After The SPEED Report, Victory Lane, Wind Tunnel, NASCAR Now, and TWIN I am not too sure what value a recap show has on Wednesdays.

Should be interesting to see if Mikey and company wind-up on Showtime should SPEED decide to cancel TWIN.

We will keep everyone posted. Please take a moment and sign-up for Twitter please. It is easy to use and will be the top source for NASCAR info and direct contact with drivers, teams and media.

We are and you can look us up under the "search people" button at the upper right of the main page.

TDP is second behind our pal John Daly, the always colorful golfer!


Dot said...

Has anybody noticed that TV is way different than it used to be? Take the History channel, Pawn Stars? A&E, Dog the Bounty Hunter? Not too many years ago, these would only be seen on FOX and channels like that. I believe we can thank overpaid TV stars for this.

If SHO was the best deal, there you go. Maybe SHO will get more subscribers. Maybe NASCAR will get more fans. Who knows.

I have Showtime and will watch the new Inside NASCAR show. Imagine TWIN if they could've turned themselves loose? We could have heard the entire "blew a seal" joke.

As for the kids. Do they really want to watch this show? Growing up, Sandra (daug) watched racing only, never TWIN, NN, etc. As for the adults, we already know about the colorful language.

Happy New Year, Planeteers.

Anonymous said...

Saying that the adult programming on Showtime is bad for the new NASCAR is like saying that Sirius NASCAR Radio is hurt by Stern and Playboy Radio. Watching one has nothing to do with watching the other. I love NASCAR on FOX. Does that mean I have to watch that cursing screaming chef on Hell's Kitchen? Nope.

I'm just excited that places that were once slamming doors in NASCAR's face, like HBO and Showtime, are on board with racing!

Anonymous said...

Quick answer: No way is cable getting any more of my hard earned money. If these 2 new shows on HBO and Showtime are any good, you all will be chatting about them on Twitter and Facebook and I can catch up there.

Vicky D said...

When we have free weeks of Showtime every once in awhile on DirectTV, we have found there's nothing worthwhile to watch so we've never signed up for it, and we probably won't do it now.

bevo said...

I sure wish we had a behind-the-scenes, personality profile or even a reality style series as the new offering from NASCAR.

No! No! No!
Please, No!

Daly Planet Editor said...

You didn't like NBS 24/7 or NASCAR Confidential? Not suggesting they revive NASCAR Wives.

We call that docu-tainment.


Jimbacca said...

In today's economy etc...

How many watch all the ESPN, Speed shows currently? Everyone doesn't have speed. ESPN Classic replays races. Everyone doesn't have that. There has been a constant stream of content on channels that cost money to view.

This is just another avenue. As far as Showtime not having sports. They have for years. Boxing, now MMA with 'strikeforce'. Maybe they are trying to expand their offerings to get new customers. As far as nascar holier then though. Please. Look at it. It has been almighty $.

Richard in N.C. said...

From looking at its website it appears to me that Showtime is very similar to HBO, but maybe with some more adult oriented programming. Like HBO, I note that SHO has a "family" channel.

It does seem to me that the interest by CBS-SHO in carrying a new NASCAR show is a vote of confidence for NASCAR, despite a segment of the NASCAR press essentially predicting only doom and gloom for the sport.

I have not decided whether to switch from HBO to SHO, but am more inclined to in light of new NASCAR show AND the fact that Penn and Teller are on SHO.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Haven't seen any gloom and doom stories since the Sprint Cup Series ended the season with the lowest rated TV telecast in recent memory.

NASCAR changed everything but the kitchen sink for this season in response to the obvious problems.

If NASCAR truly wanted a strong presence outside the existing NASCAR TV partners, they would have established themselves with a major cable network.

13 million pay households makes very little sense from a strategic standpoint, but a whole lot of sense from a financial one.

Just who you choose to believe...


Dot said...

@ JD, do you think NASCAR is testing the waters? If viewers tune in, maybe they will start a NASCAR channel.

bevo said...

Sorry JD, I see "reality" and I think "Real Housewives" and that Jersey show.

A real documentary series? I'm in.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Well, Showtime wanted another sports program and NASCAR has all the highlights already cut for NN and TWIN, among others.

Three days after the race, so it does not make a lot of sense.

Pure guess is that Showtime has the cash. In these tough economic times, paying top dollar for a 38 week series is impressive. That is a very big number.

It also gets NASCAR's new studio and facilities in Charlotte working and up to speed. Just a shame that few are going to see the end product.


Richard in N.C. said...

JD, while I stopped reading them due to their bias months ago, from their headlines it appeared that NASCAR-bashers like Ed Hinton, Lee Spencer, and Mike Mulhern were still preaching doom and gloom at the end of last season - and I did not see any mainstream articles at the end of the season putting any of the blame for low ratings on EESPN.

It seems to me that there were only 3 options for a major expansion of NASCAR TV at the end of the 2009 season - Turner, NBC, and CBS - and NASCAR hooked up with one.

Seems to me it never hurts to have a foot in a new camp.

Dave in OKC said...

I'm one of the fortunate ones who still has SPEED as part of my basic cable package. I'm not pushing my luck any further.

If there's anything noteworthy on the Showtime series, reading about it here will suit me just fine.

Anonymous said...

All these people complaining about the programming on Showtime have probably never watched it. Californication, Dexter, even the marijuana-themed Weeds are all fantastic shows. They are unique original programming. Do they sometimes feature nudity and swearing? Yes. But they aren't porno. They are quality shows. Just like The Sopranos was on HBO. I mean, every single episode of the Sopranos the gangsters walked into the Bada Bing strip club where there were nude women on the screen. But The Sopranos isn't a show about nudity any more than Dexter or Californication are.

The viewers of Showtime seek out quality, unique, original programming -- which is why they will like the NASCAR show.

People who complain about nudity and/or refuse to watch a NASCAR show because something else on the same channel has nudity are closed-minded prudes who feel everything has to conform to their world view. Hogwash.

Anonymous said...

I am really tired of everyone trying to make everything acceptable for children. You can have a family sport without having a kids' sport.

NASCAR is a competition between grown men. These men regularly cuss on the radio scanner that virtually every fan in the stands listens to. These men regularly flip the F-finger out the window of their car. These men drive cars sponsored by alcohol.

I'm sorry if there are some boobs and some f-words on some Showtime shows... but I am sick of people trying to turn NASCAR into Walt Disney, where everything is acceptable if and only if it is safe for a 6-year-old. The sport I watch has a family atmosphere and families love it... but I don't want NASCAR turned into Disney.

Lots of NASCAR fans subscribe to Showtime and like Showtime. If Showtime wants to put the money into producing a show because they think it will get them more viewers -- I say GREAT! Bring it on... and please put some nudity into the show so the complainers will stay away!

Vicky D said...

JD we liked NBS 24/7 plus I enjoyed the Nascar 360 but that was several years ago. Wonder if RL will be back doing the NW races with Marty too.

GinaV24 said...

Right now, the answer is no, I won't subscribe to Showtime to see the show. They will have to prove to me that this show is worth my paying an additional fee to see. Based on the description of the other shows on the Showtime network, I wouldn't be tuning in to see anything else, since most of it doesn't appeal to my tastes. Ironic, considering that I used to watch Speed all the time because they covered racing, but now I am not a regular viewer since they have nothing to offer me.

Maybe going to Showtime all fits in with NASCAR's new image of itself to capture the "casual" fan. Even though NASCAR currently holds itself up as "family friendly", I think they have gone quite far from that. With so many commercials for male enhancement and EDD products constantly shown on the networks, along with the titillating ads for some of the shows and then there is the new GoDaddy stuff and the showgirl that will represent it. The invocation at the beginning of each race is simply lip service, not for the fans or the drivers, but for the corporate interests that are NASCAR and putting this show on a network that has more "adult" programming than anything else seems to demonstrate that shift.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 7:11PM,

I read all the comments and also re-read my column. Don't think anyone is complaining about a pay channel that was built specifically for one style of programming.

The discussion is about whether or not that location is the best for a new NASCAR show. We debate pros and cons here on a regular basis.

This is another topic with lots of issues that makes for good opinions.


GinaV24 said...

I liked NBS 24/7 and Beyond the Wheel very much. Programming like that on Speed would be awesome.

Darcie said...

I could care less about the program content of Showtime. Every channel out there has some kind of questionable content, be it TNT and their shows Saving Grace or Men of a Certain Age, to Spike and their highly adolescent-disguised-as macho programs. Unless you're talking the Trinity Network, every channel carries some kind of non-family friendly programs.

I still cannot see the tie in between Showtime and Nascar, except for the money aspect. We all know that to the detriment of the sport, Brian France is nothing but making as much cash as he can, and all else be damned. So I guess when you look at the dollars of this decision, it probably looks good in France's personal spreadsheet, while making absolutely no sense to fans. But when has Nascar done anything lately that has made great sense to fans?

But let me throw this out to all of you---quite a few posters here, on this thread and on the first one that discussed this issue, said that having this program on Showtime will attract a new audience. So, let me ask all of you. Let's just say that your favorite cable channel starts a program of something you know nothing about, something you've never been interested in previously. Just because they start this show, will YOU watch this program? I'm not an X Games fan, so just because ESPN televises this show doesn't mean I'm going to turn in, and this is exactly what will happen with this Showtime program. Those that know Nascar and have the channel will probably tune in, but those who have absolutely no interest in Nascar will ignore it.

Richard in N.C. said...

I'm still curious whether Ricky Craven might be a regular on the SHO NASCAR show since he will not be writing for Yahoo in 2010. If he is, that would make me give SHO more consideration.

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you what, when HBO first started "Inside the NFL" (which is now on Showtime), a lot of football fans said a lot of the same things we are reading here. They said they wouldn't subscribe to HBO just for another clips/analysis show, they didn't think HBO was the right venue to reach new NFL fans, and they simply didn't see any need to care one second about a show on pay-cable.

Zoom ahead a few years and "Inside the NFL" quickly became a must-watch show if you were an NFL fan. The show stood out quickly as being head-and-shoulders above any other NFL show, partly because of the free discourse and discussion you find on a pay-channel that doesn't have to please sponsors, or even take them on (Don't you all hate how TWIN is riddled with sponsors?).

In time, "Inside the NFL" developed such a great reputation that people DID subscribe to HBO just to get it. I know a lot of football fans who did.

Now, I don't know if Showtime will be able to pull off the same kind of thing HBO did by creating original sports programming that even sports-addicted fans found to be necessary-viewing.... but at least they are trying! No doubt Showtime sees this as a way to draw more subscribers, and unless they are all high-school dropouts over there at the network, my guess is that they also know that to achieve this, they are going to have to carve out a reputation that goes beyond simply "TWIN on a pay channel."

We as NASCAR fans should be encouraging Showtime to make the best and most innovative NASCAR show on TV... even if we don't subscribe or don't plan on subscribing, I can only see this as a positive for the sport. If nothing else, having a top-notch NASCAR show on Showtime will put pressure on the other NASCAR shows to improve, too. After "Inside the NFL" became a big draw for HBO, almost all the other NFL shows on the free networks attempted to copy their success, format, and vibe. We as NASCAR fans should consider ourselves lucky if Showtime can pull off what they say they want to do.

Anonymous said...

Here is a great YouTube clip showing the Inside the NFL guys on Showtime talking about the new Inside NASCAR show. They start laughing hysterically and look like they are having 10x more fun than Mikey and Steve on the TWIN set. If Inside NASCAR can have half the fun as this clip, it will be a hit:

PS Hilarious that Chris Collinsworth got tricked into saying Cale Yarborough had more wins than Richard Petty. HILARIOUS!!!

Anonymous said...

One thing I noticed about the Showtime show --- they say they are going to make 38 shows to go with the 38-race season. And the season debut is on Feb 10, BEFORE the Daytona 500, not after.

That sounds like each of the 38 shows will do more looking ahead to the weekend to come than look back at the weekend that passed, especially if the show is on a Wednesday!

Anonymous said...

Negetive,nada,no way ,never,nyet,no comprendo.How much are they going to pay me to subscribe?

JohnP said...

Daily said.. "Will you subscribe to Showtime to see this program? Do you feel this move best serves the fan base? Other shows have highlights. Does this Wednesday show have any real meaning? Does the adult programming on Showtime affect your decision to subscribe?"

No to question one. Not going to get Showtime for one show. Question two, no, it does not serve the fan base at all. Question three, nope, no meaning at all as no-one will be watching. Question four, yes, I have enough adult programming on the regular cable channels without worrying about the premium channels. Just trying to be short and pithy.

Delenn said...

Now JD, putting a picture of Mary-Louise Parker will wake me up (especially that picture!). She is a fantastic actress and is wonderful in Weeds.

However, back on topic, I am not sure what the problem is here.

1. Is everyone upset at the possibility of TWIN going missing?
That would be a shame, although I personally did stop watching it, as Mikey was annoying me.

2. Is everyone upset at a program being on Showtime?
Not sure why that would be the case. Each and every one of us has to make a choice as to how much TV we want to pay for/can afford to pay for.
If they were talking about moving races to Showtime, that is a different story, but ancillary programming. I do not watch everything Nascar on Speed, so would be unlikely to subscribe to Showtime just to watch.
Nascar offers fans the choice to get DirecTV to get Hotpass, Sirius to get Nascar radio, Raceview, Pitcommand and Scanner on This is just another choice. I do not see why this is causing such bad feelings.

3. Anon @ 7:17pm suggested they should put nudity in the show to keep the complainers away. Is that why Danica came to Nascar? ;-)

50 yr. fan said...

I think NMG sold Showtime a "Bill
of Goods" just to get more $. Why
would anyone want 4 or 5 day old
race information. JD and The
Daly Planet will make their production "old news".

Tom said...

Thank you Bevo, your comments seem to echo what I am thinking...

Inverness, FL

Anonymous said...

To the one that say the ones complaining have not watched Showtime shows. Yes, I've watched them. I like Dexter, that's all. Not enough for me to keep the program.

I have kids to feed, bills to pay, I'm not dropping more a month to DirecTV for Showtime because of a NASCAR series.

As for as a reality series, these guys already have a camera shoved in their face enough. Please let them have some privacy.

This is like throwing stone into a lake. It's going to sink.

glenc1 said...

I think the shows on Showtime are probably good quality and perhaps someday I'll see them (I know people who watch them via rentals.) But one NASCAR show is not enough to make me subscribe. I see it as reaching out to some new fans, plus an experiment to see if you can draw some sports fans in. Count me also as one who sees the farce of the 'family values' attitude, especially after what most of us have seen *at* the races. That aspect of Showtime's programming would not influence me one way or the other (just as I don't watch much on SPEED anymore except racing). But I agree that those 'family' fans do exist and they should be respected also (I see Fox and TNT promos as pretty r rated sometimes.) But this being a stand alone series--NMG doesn't 'owe' us a more common network; they are a business making busiens decisions, and if this fails they'll figure out that they need to find more accessible places. I don't object to them trying something. As for 'Why
would anyone want 4 or 5 day old
race information?', well--what do the current prerace shows do? Rehash everything that happened last week first. And that's week old news--and people still watch.

Anon 3:28 said...

@ Anon 10:46PM: Hilarious video you linked to. If TWIN panelists had this much fun on their show we would have no rumors of a cancellation, would we? This is a must see video. Phil Simms pwns Collinsworth bigtime. This is what NASCAR programming has been missing for years.

Karen said...

Anon 10:46, your YouTube link was great. I watched it three times and the more I watched, the more I laughed.

I have Showtime and can't wait for it. Of course, the personalities of the on-air talent will make a world of difference. Just a thought: Maybe that's where Randy Lajoie will end up.

Vicky D said...

That was a great youtube video for sure.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:46, your YouTube link was great. I watched it three times and the more I watched, the more I laughed.
Me too! Oh that was so funny when he said "Cale Yarborough" and the guy on the left falls onto the floor laughing and screaming "I'm from the South!" Oh man it is hilarious.

I have Showtime too and can't wait. I understand why people wouldn't subscribe for one show, and they shouldn't. The main thing I hope to see is fresh faces. New voices. New talent. Not a repackaging.

bknotts said...

Heck, no!

I pay enough for satellite as it is, and I'm more or less a closed-minded prude. OK...I aspire to be a closed-minded prude, at least.

Seriously, there is a lot of rubbish on television. No one is forced to watch it, but at the same time, there is a paucity of quality family-friendly content.

Can't figure out NASCAR's thinking on this. Then again, that's often the case.

Tom said...

You know, I find this concept of "family friendly" vs "adult" very interesting. I find that many of the reality based shows like "Survivor" and even "American Idol" to be far more offensive than a show like "Dexter" or "weeds". Shows like Dexter are shows that are scripted and feature actors playing parts. Reality shows that are allegedly "family friendly", often show real people behaving in the worst possible way, even "American Idol" has a large following because people are looking to see that loud mouth insult contestants or coworkers. People lie, cheat and steal to win "survivor" Hmm, can't really see how that is family friendly... of course if your only barometer for "family friendly" is curse words or "racy images" then I guess you are easier to please than I.

Inverness, FL

RPM said...

I've been waiting to hear about this since I saw the first promo on Showtime. I'm already a subscriber, so cost is not a problem.

I fully expect this to be produced along the lines of Inside The NFL. Just because they show boobies on other shows does not mean they can't produce a first rate sports show with the usual network pc muzzles.

Imagine, you might actually get a couple of honest interviews from some drivers.