Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Free Showtime Preview Includes NASCAR

Wednesday at 10PM is the weekly original airing of Showtime's Inside NASCAR series. It's getting pretty good reviews from the folks who watch it. The very small number of folks who watch it.

Showtime is a premium cable TV network that uses monthly fees from subscribers to make ends meet. Recent changes in senior management brought some new sports series to Showtime. Inside the NFL and Inside NASCAR run back-to-back on Wednesday nights.

The current reach of Showtime is small. Only 17 million of the more than 85 million cable TV homes in the US subscribe to the service. The new thrust of the company is to offer original scripted entertainment series, often featuring familiar names in the title roles. Its seems many former TV and movie personalities have found that Showtime is a pretty nice day job.

All sports TV series have what is called "legs." That is the window in which a program can air. Inside NASCAR is a midweek talk show that can be repeated right up until the next green flag waves. It has "legs" until the next race.

To that end, there is an opportunity coming up for most fans to take a peek for free at what Showtime if offering. Here are the official details from the network:

This weekend, SHOWTIME will be available in a record 54.4 million households for an ALL ACCESS Free Preview Weekend on SHOWTIME, SHOWTIME HD and SHOWTIME On Demand. From Thursday, March 25 through Sunday, March 28, viewers across the country will have the opportunity to sample the premium network's award-winning programming via linear service, On Demand and in HD.

Basically, Showtime is throwing open the doors for a couple of days. Inside NASCAR re-airs in my local listings here in South Florida on Sunday morning at 9AM. You can check the local listings in your area using your on-screen program guide or websites like or AOL's TV site.

For those viewers whose cable service has a good offering of Video on Demand (VOD) channels, then Inside NASCAR should be available on the Showtime on Demand channel.

Chris Myers from FOX hosts the program with his panel consisting of Brad Daugherty, Michael Waltrip and Randy Pemberton. This is an interesting mix of personalities. ESPN fans may remember Myers as hosting a very successful afternoon interview show called Up Close in the 1990's.

Daugherty has struggled on ESPN as the network continues to keep him pinned in the Infield Pit Studio. He is not allowed to do interviews, never reports and his only features have been sponsor-driven. Inside NASCAR lets Daugherty speak-up and finally reveal some of his personality.

Michael Waltrip is not the star of this show. His goofy antics that help kill This Week in NASCAR on SPEED are not tolerated by Myers or the producers. On Inside NASCAR, Waltrip is asked to dress and behave like an adult.

Randy Pemberton is one of the best comeback stories in years. Overcoming personal adversity, Pemberton worked his way into a role on SPEED and has parlayed that hard work into a slot on Inside NASCAR. Pemberton goes all the way back on TV to Inside Winston Cup Racing on TNN. The host was Ned Jarrett and the other reporter working with Pemberton was a guy named Bill Weber.

I have very mixed feelings about Inside NASCAR. On one hand, it's great that Showtime paid the bill and the show is being produced. On the other hand, it's sad that so few people see it. Currently, there is no other option but to subscribe to Showtime to get the program.

Perhaps, having NASCAR fans view the series this weekend will get some momentum going toward creating a middle ground. It would be great to offer this one hour of content per week in some other way than just subscribing monthly to a network that offers a lot of adult-themed content. That is just not everyone's cup of tea.

Try to catch Inside NASCAR during this free preview weekend and we will discuss early next week how you liked it. The series also has a Facebook page and is on Twitter at @InsideNASCARSHO.

If you have already been watching the series, give us some comments and tips about what to expect. This should make for a fun weekend project. To add a comment, 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 drop by The Daly Planet.


saltsburgtrojanfan said...

Well, Well, Well!!!!!
This show does not attract viewers because many people do not have showtime and people cant afford it either. The free preview will enable fans to see Inside NASCAR but it was a stupid mistake to put the show on showtime. I have never seen this show nor will I. I am not going to waste my time on something that i became disgusted with a long time ago.
I think the reason for putting the show on PPV is for the almighty dollar something that has engulfed NASCAR over the last few years.
The sad part new viewers will only see this for only a couple of weeks. Many NASCAR fans want to see NASCAR talk shows and how is that possible on a pay per view channel.
Hope you remember JD that June Pocono races were put on PPV in the late 80's and 90's and was not very successful and Showtimes Inside NASCAR is the same way particularly with the recession. NASCAR has become so money hungry and Inside NASCAR on Showtime is one of those examples

Anonymous said...

I wish the show wasn't on Showtime, so all the haters could see how good it is.

bevo said...

On DirecTV it will air as follows Central Time:
3/25 - 2,10 am 9,11 pm
3/27 - 12:30, 7, 8, am
3/28 - 6,8,11 am

Randy Pemberton should be given more time on the show. He's pretty much the no-nonsense guy who holds the show together. The race highlights are top notch.

Anonymous said...

O Come on Daly. They KNOW Sho had a small audience, they KNEW a sliver of the small Sho audience would watch it.

So what does that tell us? It was all planned from the start. Easing people into the start of Nascar Pay Per View. Just like wrestling.

rich said...

Don't knock it 'til you try it. I have only been watching because I have had a free 3 mo. trial. but the show is good. It is professional all the way. The first show had a few problems but they quickly got those fixed.
The panel is allowed to talk alot and it seems that they then edit it down very slickly. No profanity the first few weeks then last week they played the drivers radio snippets uncensored.
The scripts and directing are very good. The overall balance of the show is good.
Too bad that they won't put this online.

GinaV24 said...

It figures that this would be the weekend that Showtime would throw open the doors! I'm at the race at Martinsville so watching TV isn't going to be a priority.

Oh well, for all of you who take advantage of the "free" offer and can see the show, I hope that you enjoy it.

I'd like to be able to see it to judge for myself. But since I'm not a big fan of Waltrip, Myers or Brad, I'm still not inclined to buy into it.

Anonymous said...

It's too bad that the producers at Speed aren't as smart as the ones at Showtime. If the people at Speed had put a muzzle on MW and made him behave like an adult, TWIN's ratings would have remained good. Then TWIN would still be on Speed and available to the larger audience.

Speed/Fox seems blind to the overall effect of anyone named Waltrip. Both DW and MW have their loyal fans who love them. Most of the rest of us can tolerate them in moderation. MW's over the top behavior finally alienated so many viewers that TWIN was cancelled. DW's ego and behavior have started to cause many viewers to mute the TV or change channels whenever he appears.

Speed/Fox needs to look at the big picture with the Waltrips and recognize the large segment of the audience they are driving away. Listening only to their fans will produce the same results as it did with TWIN.

I do not subscribe to Showtime, but it sounds like they produce shows for adults. I use the word adult in the sense of a mature person, not as an indicator of sexual content. Fox/Speed seems to be pitching their presentations to 12 year old boys.

Randy Pemberton is the only person on the panel whom I regard with much respect, but I will try to catch the show. It will be interesting to watch a show where they treat viewers as knowledgeable adults.

Anonymous said...

FYI, Showtime created this show. This is not a NASCAR-created series. Of course, they are supportive of it, but this was concepted and produced by Showtime. There are no black-helicopters here that planned this to be seen by limited viewers. Showtime created this series to bring subscribers.

Daly Planet Editor said...

FYI, NASCAR Media Group was shopping this show since "This Week in NASCAR," which they also produced, was cancelled.

Showtime happened to be in the right place at the right time and pay the right price.

The series is produced at the NASCAR Media Group studios in Charlotte, NC.

As with every collaborative effort, things were put into the form that Showtime wanted as a companion show to "Inside the NFL."

I like the Showtime guys and have been speaking with them regularly before the series began production.

The only issue that is left is how to bridge the realistic gap between the 17 million Showtime subscibers and the over 100 million potential viewers.

Whoever solves that problem and creates more revenue for both parties is going to be a genius.


51 yr. fan said...

Totally off topic, but I am watching the Braves & Phillies on
ESPN and to paraphrase the announcer : We're bringing you
some different angles today. We've
gone to wide views to show more of
the game that real fans will appreciate. I wish we could get
that director for NA$CAR.

Tracy D said...

Gina24, we'll be in Martinsville too! So no Showtime for us either. Wish I could check it out.

I'd pay for a Nascar channel that's a quality product. Showtime produces shows I'm not interested in as a rule. Didn't they have The Tudors? Rented the dvd of one season, took it back almost immediately. Nudity galore. Just not our cuppa.

Palmetto said...

This could be the finest program on television and I still would not pay Showtime's monthly rate to get one hour a week.

Anonymous said...

This show is really good. I also enjoy their highlights.I say is right there with inside Nfl.

TexasRaceLady said...

Just caved in and watched --- not a bad show.

Mikey is still a bit hyper but not as bad as TWIN.

I still wonder why Brad is included, but .....

Robin Pemberton is outstanding.

Chris Myers comes across as knowing something -- not the clown act he gives out on Sundays.

RPM said...

I equate Inside NASCAR on Showtime to NASCAR Radio on Sirius/XM. You want the show you have to pay for it. I don't hear any complaints about Sirius/XM being pay per hear.

Donna DeBoer said...

Thanks for the alert, I will be setting the DVR to capture it. Hope the quality is as good as advertised. If so I would love seeing it franchised out to another channel or online next year (which SHO has done with others before). But I agree with the person that said this could be the "best show ever": not paying for a channel just to watch one hour per week.

Anonymous said...

I think anyone with any interest in this subject should read Anon 12:10's column, the 2 paragraphs about the Waltrip effect.I believe if there was ever any honest, accurate way to get all NASCAR fans views, FOX/SPEED, Showtime,and NASCAR Media Group would be very surprised by how many people feel as Anon 12:10 and I feel.I know they have some very loyal, vocal fans, but the numbers who cannot watch them anymore are large and growing.That's why even with free Showtime I would never watch this show.

GinaV24 said...

TracyD -- hope we get decent weather for Martinsville. I hadn't thought about trying to record the show, maybe I'll do that and watch when I get back.

I still don't think I'll subscribe to a PPV for one hr per week and I have to agree 100% with Anon 12:10's post. Those who love the Waltrips, more power to you, for the rest of us, one of them on any NASCAR related show is too many.

Anonymous said...

TWIN was the first thing I watched on Monday's after the races, have really missed it. Mikey did get on my nerves sometimes, but still enjoyed the show. I have not watched it on Showtime as I can't afford to pay for it. It will be on tonight at 9:00 (central time) so I will get to watch it and am looking forward to it. Marilyn

PammH said...

I checked-no freebie on Dish. Don't really care anyway. I really don't like anyone in the cast but Randy P. Just hate that they didn't follow thru w/what they promised in the promo..:(

Ann_Ominous said...

AT&T upgraded me to get Showtime for free for 6 months. I looked for but missed Inside NASCAR last week. I just saw it for the first time. It is a good show. Mikey is tolerable. Chris is definitely tolerable. Wish he acted like that on Sunday!

It's very interesting to hear the driver's radio unedited. Yea, they have potty mouths. But, you do get the full emotion unedited. It gets bleeped out with the words, or more often the bit doesn't get played because it would be almost all bleeps.

But, as good as this show is, I'm not paying for it. So far I've watched 2 movies. One I liked and the other I didn't finish. I wouldn't do PPV for this show only either, unless it was some rediculously low token amount like a quarter.

Jeff said...

I watched this morning on the free ST weekend. It was OK, but thats it, definitely now worth paying for a ST subscription. About the only thing different from other shows of this type is the raw unedited radio chatter, not for everyone I know and if you took that away and put the show on Speed it would just suck.

Too much Meyers and Daugherty for my taste.