Friday, February 19, 2010

Nationwide Series TV Coverage Expands Again


ESPN did it for Daytona and SPEED is doing it for Fontana. In the blink of an eye, the Nationwide Series Friday practice sessions from Auto Club Speedway are now live on SPEED at 2 and 4:30PM ET. Imagine that.

It seems that the TV ratings increases from the ARCA and Nationwide Series races in Daytona did not go unnoticed by the powers at SPEED. It should be interesting to see how they present the practice coverage knowing all too well that there is an elephant in the room they must acknowledge.

Steve Byrnes hosts the 2PM practice coverage. He is paired with his regular partner Jeff Hammond but SPEED has a surprise in store for viewers. Kyle Petty will be the third man in the booth for the first session. Reporting from the garage will be Wendy Venturini and Hermie Sadler. No word on which reporter has Danica.

In the late Nationwide Series session, Sadler moves into the broadcast booth to join Hammond and Byrnes. The spinning wheel of reporters yields Dick Berggren and Krista Voda to cover the garage. Sadler, Hammond and Byrnes are the normal Nationwide Series team for SPEED.

The network will also slip in that other series, I think it's called the Sprint Cup. Those guys practice at 3PM and qualify at 6:30PM live. As usual, it's Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds to call both sessions. Dick Berggren and Matt Yocum handle practice while Krista Voda teams with Yocum for qualifying.

Mike Massaro and his NASCAR Now gang over at ESPN2 have a show at 6PM and SPEED's Trackside will round out the night at 8:30PM. Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray and driver Clint Bowyer are the guests.

ESPN was under the Danica microscope last weekend, now SPEED gets a turn for practice on Friday. The network will also handle qualifying on Saturday at 12:30PM before handing off to ESPN2 for the 5PM race telecast.

This post will serve to host your comments about this Friday on NASCAR TV. To add a comment about the coverage, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for stopping by The Daly Planet.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Say what you want about Danica on the track, but the numbers she was able to generate for ARCA and/or Nationwide series are really remarkable. I can't think of any driver in F1, Indy, or any other form of racing who could race in the ARCA race and draw that kind of attention.

Can you imagine if she wins or contends strong at Indy this year how much those numbers could still jump?

Amazing.

Phathead said...

It's the beginning of DanicaTV! Brought to you by GoDaddy.com of course

hotaru-raganbaby_6 said...

I don't see how this was an expansion of the coverage, my guide has been saying they'd be on at 2 for the past week now.

Eh, I won't be watching, so none of the Hype Machine, part deux for me.

cdh said...

For die-hard fans like me, its going to be almost unwatchable. For casual viewers who flip through channels and want to see an attractive girl race a car then its their lucky day. I'll still watch but only after I DVR it and fast foward as soon as they start talking about Danica.

Daly Planet Editor said...

hot,

SPEED added these two sessions after Danica signed-up to race. That is the focus of the headline and story.

JD

Bucky B said...

I'll be watching because it's racing. Doesn't matter the series or who is on the track. Yes, the focus will be on Danica from the outset. But I believe the first practice will find her coverage to be more subdued overall. Second practice, with more viewers and casual viewership, will find it to be more Danica focused. It's just the nature of the beast. BTW-I loved the comment about that "other" racing series in Fontana this weekend. CLASSIC!

GinaV24 said...

Since I work the usual 8 to 5 hours here on the east coast, I won't be home to see it and I never set the DVR for practices any more. Once upon a time, I enjoyed watching the practices, now I don't seem to get the same level of information so I don't watch any more.

And if they are all just drooling over Danica, it wouldn't interest me anyway. I have no problem with them paying a normal level of attention to her in practice and on the track, but this obsession with her every move gets old -- the same as it does for me when the media overdoes it with Kyle Busch, Jr or "insert drivers name here".

Just tell me about what is really going on during practice and the race and skip the overblown nonsense.

Since Cup qualifying is on late for east coast viewers, I may get to catch that, but since I'm still not over DW and Larry Mac and the 500 coverage, I'm not sure that I'm going to tune in. I can find out where my driver qualifies on the internet and not waste my whole evening listening to drivel.

Donna in FL said...

DVR is set but not for her- glad to see practice draw TV time for NNS sponsors on the cars who are driving around her. What might get interesting is which drivers realize that and jockey for position :)

LOL! veriword is "brovents"... more neg driver comments perhaps on DP TV coverage?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Looks like rain is possible for today and tomorrow in Fontana.

Bucky B said...

Uh oh! That's not good news. Can you say "weepers" at Fontana?

GinaV24 said...

Loved Kyle Petty's tweet about the practice schedule for 2 p.m. "Danica's first practice. Other drivers will be there, too."

That's funny!

Nan S said...

All hail the mighty DVR. I never watch anything except the actual race and I never watch a Nascar race unless its recorded. That way I fast forward through all the "up close and personal" garbage and if they spend too much time on their knees in front of Jr. and now Danica, I just fast forward until they shut up about it.

Anonymous said...

I plan to watch the Nascar shows today, but will do so with my finger near the mute button. As soon as the announcers start wailing that they actually saw Danica exhaling,I'll hit the button. Part of the problem is the unreasonable expectations set by the media. Does anyone really believe that she will master Nascar vehicles after a couple of races? Does anyone remember Hornish, Franchitti, Carpentier and Speed? Does anyone really think Danica will do what they couldn't?

Damon said...

I thought SPEED did carry some of the Nationwide practices/qualifications last year?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Damon,

This is all a part of the new NASCAR TV contract that began in 2007.

ESPN and SPEED share the practice and qualifying rights for the NWide Series events.

Both networks have the choice of televising the early practices.

JD

Ryan said...

Where's Kyle Petty?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Ryan, good question!

Richard in N.C. said...

Ryan B. McGee was only super last night on NASCAR Now.

IF it is not overdone, the attention to DP just might, hopefully, open doors for other lady drivers and maybe attract some sponsors who have not before been involved in racing.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Totally agree Richard, still not too sure why we have not seen Ed Hinton on NASCAR Now this season.

Anonymous said...

Speed coverage balanced so far as far as Danica vs the field.

Richard in N.C. said...

JD, from my perspective I believe it's called luck. In any event, Bondo McGee is much better.

Anonymous said...

I hear all the complaining about Danica loud and clear -- but what should they do? Ignore her? Treat her as a non-factor because she's not competitive? The Nationwide series is struggling. Not as bad as the Truck series, but they are struggling. Danica is a gift for all drivers.

When Tiger woods came into golf, he sucked all the attention from every other golfer. But the attention he drew brought so many new eyes, new sponsors, new attention that the purses for golf tournaments nearly tripled, and every golfer in the field got a major pay raise because of all the Tigermania.

Now I am not saying Danica is Tiger talentwise, but the attention she brings can and will have the same positive effect on everyone in the long run. So I guess the message is: get used to it.

Bucky B said...

I think the question that needs to be asked about the media attention that Danica has brought to the Nationwide Series is, how many viewers does she bring to her races in Nationwide and how many of those will stick around on Saturday's when she disappears for six months? Tiger does bring a lot of attention to golf and to the tournaments he plays in. HOWEVER, Tiger only plays in the mandated minimum number of tournaments and their are countless viewers out there that will not watch a golf tournament that he is not playing or in some instances, not competitive in. So if all the attention that Danica is getting doesn't produce viewers for the long haul, what is the net gain? Meanwhile, the networks upset the regular viewers, who will be there every weekend with their over the top coverage. No one has ever advocated "ignoring" her. But there is such a thing as being over board. The fact that her accomplishments in motorsports in general doesn't deserve all this attention is another subject and argument for another time.

Anonymous said...

Danica is the story. Diehard race fans just need to deal with it.

There were never enough regular viewers of the Nationwide series to begin with, so upsetting them is no big deal.

West Coast Diane said...

Thought they did a good job for a boring NW practice. Didn't overdo Danica, IMHO.

Ps...never thought I would even be watching practice being as we are in the Keys. It is totally overcast, never saw sun once, windy and about 60 degrees. Where is global warming when you need it?

Richard in N.C. said...

I heard someone on a racing show on the radio say that EESPN reported that the ratings for the Daytona N-wide race dropped only very slightly after DP wrecked.

MikeC said...

Hate to see them have to change the rules because of just one driver. But them talking about Danica can't get to her stall because of so many media people there.....NASCAR needs to implement some sort of policy in regards to that. When the track is live like that, about the only one that should be allowed near the garages is race team crew members and whomever is televising practice.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Got to give SPEED the nod today, really good coverage through Cup quals.

David said...

Kind of off topic but it draws to the SPEED coverage today in general. First is to NASCAR. The whole "loop data" push needs to just die a quick death. I am sick and tired of people trying to make this sport more and more like stick and ball sports with useless stats that still in many ways can be proven invalid. I just don't get it, I feel results are a better picture than "loop data"

Secondly, DW is just horrible this season. When he can stop peddling product or sticking up for a driver he is excellent but so far today I have heard "I think" "I feel" and I-isms too often already and his sticking up for certain drivers or being hellbent to throw others under the bus is just sickening. Basically DW can not admit when he is wrong. Denny Hamlin's tweet has never been more true than it is today.

Daly Planet Editor said...

From Twitter minutes before your post David.

@samziam24: Seriously DW shut the effe up!!!! AND the weekend is just beginning! Does FOX not get the hint that it's not working?!!

Anonymous said...

Baloney or Bologna....that may be the single funniest thing I've ever heard Mike Joy say.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

lol JD, guess I'm not alone. I like DW I really do but it seems clear he has an agenda. There are DW faves out there and if your not one of his faves, your SOL. Making excuses for Jr on his qualifying lap yet again is crystal clear of that.

If something like pulling back the pads makes no sense then dont speculate until you interview him after his lap. It's not rocket science.

Joy seems back on his game, hope it carries over to Sunday.

Anonymous said...

David, I'm not a DW hater (he used to be a favorite driver of mine), but the constant selling of product & defending Jr is getting really old (and I happen to like Jr.) His agenda is just getting more and more obvious, Junior or Toyota or Fox.

David said...

Oh I'm not either. But today while I was napping throughout practice every time I heard DW speak it just made my stomach churn. The guy was money last season when he is looking out the window seeing what is going on. In the moment as a commentator he is great. Give him a couple seconds to think about what he is going to say and it's just junk that comes out. He really is quite lucky to have such a great cast around him which actually makes him look alot better than he does on his own.

Happy for Jamie Mac!

Gymmie said...

Me too David! Great job Jamie Mac :)! Of course we still have to see where the roll goes but it's great to see him have an awesome couple of weeks :)

Bruce Simmons (BruSimm) said...

"Elephant in the room"... DP: Do these pants make my hips look big???