Sunday, April 18, 2010

Online Post-Race Plans Raise Questions


On Thursday, veteran NASCAR reporter Jenna Fryer offered a post on the Yahoo! Sports website. Click here to read the full article.

Here are some excerpts that focus on the topic being discussed:

Fox will offer extended post-race coverage of NASCAR with an online program beginning this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. The Overdrive on FoxSports.com will begin immediately after the network ends its broadcast coverage of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race.

“It’s something we should have been doing all along,” Bill Brown, senior producer for Fox Sports, told The Associated Press on Thursday night.

Brown said Fox will not set a hard time on how long The Overdrive will run since it will be dictated by storylines. “We definitely will have stories to talk about because this is a sport with 43 stories,” Brown said.


Click here to read "TV Viewers Get The Post-Race Blues." It was August of 2008 when TDP once again addressed the issue of NASCAR TV post-race problems.

Here is a brief excerpt from that column:

It is the lack of guaranteed post-race coverage that is driving fans crazy. NASCAR fans do not change their loyalty depending on where their favorite driver finished.

There is an entire story to tell that features teams that finished well outside of the top ten. There are issues between drivers, incidents during the race and questions asked during the live TV coverage that are still unresolved. The whole story is not being told once the race itself is over. There is no time.


Currently, there are on average four hours of pre-race programming offered by the NASCAR TV partners before each Sprint Cup Series race. While SPEED offers the one hour tape-delayed Victory Lane show on Sunday nights, there has been no live post-race TV show since the new NASCAR TV contract began in 2007.

What Brown described to Fryer sounds like an attractive scenario. Free from the time constraints of television, an online environment offers a great alternative for live content. Fox already has all the resources on-site to provide outstanding coverage. Unfortunately, there is still one key issue on the table.

While Fox holds the TV rights to its package of Sprint Cup Series races, the online or interactive rights to the very same races are held by Turner Sports located in Atlanta, GA. It was January of this year when TDP reported that Turner was optimistic on partnering with Fox and offering the popular online application called RaceBuddy for the Fox Sprint Cup Series races. It never happened.

Click here to read the official news release on the contract extension between Turner and NASCAR that allowed Turner to lock-up the online rights to the sport until the 2014 season. Basically, Fox has no legal way to offer live post-race NASCAR content of any kind online.

Despite the fact that Brown's online plans involve the NASCAR on Fox announce team, the FoxSports.com website and races telecast by Fox, moving from broadcast TV to an Internet environment would violate Turner's current online contract.

A Turner Sports representative politely declined to comment on Fryer's story or the quotes from Fox's Brown. There really was no need for a statement. Turner has owned these interactive rights since 2000 and over the years has offered a variety of NASCAR programs and applications, including a live post-race show.

A Fox Sports representative was unable to provide any additional information on Brown's plans for Sunday. Perhaps, if the RaceBuddy deal had been done, Fox would have found itself in the position of already having an online platform that could serve to host a post-race show with little problem. Now any online effort would start from scratch.

Should Fox, Turner and NASCAR reach a solution that would allow for a live online post-race show, TDP will provide the updated information. In the meantime, it's up to the live NASCAR on Fox telecast and the 8PM Sunday night Victory Lane program on SPEED to provide the post-race coverage for fans.

We invite your comments on this topic. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Shirley Buttacavoli said...

Do you think this has anything to do with the fact 'post-race coverage' from Phoenix was covered on twitter?

Daly Planet Editor said...

It has everything to do with the fact that Jenna Fryer from the AP/Yahoo! and Jeff Gluck from SBNation watched PIR on TV.

Anonymous said...
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Shi. said...
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Shirley Buttacavoli said...
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Daly Planet Editor said...

Sorry folks, always interesting here on the net!

Happy to have your comments on this topic.

JD

Joe Dunn said...

Great catch there John, and the fact that Jenna and Jeff were not at Phoenix. I knew Jeff was not there but not aware of Jenna. That explains a lot about them making such a stink about it now.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Joe, I appreciate the fact that they both felt the emotions of fans who watched a multi-hour sporting event and then were upset that the stories presented in that time were not paid-off.

I hope the three parties get together for the good of the sport and get something sorted out.

JD

Gymmie said...

Well that's interesting! I've gone from excited to disappointed :(. There still maybe an 11th hour deal but from the article it seems like if Fox goes through with it all heck will break loose from Turner :(.

I'll be glad when the networks and Turner learn to play nicely :(. That they'll think about the fans for once and come with something since no one is starting an all NA$CAR channel. That in itself will stop the majority of the issues. We won't have to worry about whatever sport is on BSPN that is still on because everyone knows it needs at least 4 hours but was given 3 1/2. BSPN can stop tape delaying darn near every practice/HH/qualifying show. With a dedicated network fans can go to ONE channel and stay there! And fans who have to work/otherwise can't be home don't have to worry about missing things due to OT (whether another sport or the race and being moved from network to cable) and the fact they moved between 50 billion channels.

When I first started seeing talk (2K/2K1) many were concerned about costs as some couldn't afford cable even back then and having to upgrade to another package to get it. While others worried if there'd be enough content to support it 24/7.

I wish I could remember the races but there was one that we went to Classic and then to ESPN for the race and then it finally started on the Deuce. And of course the time that due to N'wide going OT they delayed the already tape delayed HH to like 11:30. Well they didn't tell fans that the show would be interrupted half way through so those who stayed up were pissed and those who recorded and went to bed were pissed. While they knew what happened they still wanted to watch the coverage. With one dedicated network there wouldn't be those issues :).

Well this will be very very interesting to see how the planed coverage works out :)

Anonymous said...

I assume Fox could offer an online post race show shot from outside the race track interviewing drivers at an airport helipad.

Oh, and only using still photographs supplied by the AP, Getty Images, or whatever else Fox subscribes to.

JD already knows what I'm talking about, but for those of you who might be relatively new, when ESPN was not party to a NASCAR contract Mike Massaro stood in parking lots on RPM2Nite and The studio had only still images as "highlights."

Matt TSB said...

If Fox doesn't show highlights, just commentary and interviews with the drivers/crew chiefs or whoever, is it still a violation of Turner's rights?

Is it a question of where the show would originate from?

Obviously Turner doesn't have ownership of all "Nascar" content on line-but I guess they do have ownership of all NASCAR(TM) content online. I guess the question is where the line is.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Matt,

It's pretty clear. FOX has the TV rights and Turner owns the online/interactive rights.

Apples and oranges on this one.

JD

David Evertsen said...

I cannot understand that NASCAR Corporate will not step in and do something. To allow on entity to completely destroy the online component of their sport is amazing.. I would love to see someone in the media or Sirius NASCAR family (Better chance for media to ask than Sirius) hold Brian Frances feet to the fire about the online portion of the program to be completely held up. He (France) talked like there was real progress on this issue in the off season, apparently the NASCAR lawyers aren't nearly as good as the Turner lawyers..

Brian said...

As a friend with IMG told me recently, NASCAR has a 21st century TV contract with a 20th century internet deal.

It's one thing to award internet rights to one company and TV rights to another. But it's completely ridiculous that the TV partners can't even really have an online video presence. NASCAR is the ONLY major sports league with such restrictions.

The NFL is the most restrictive league rights-wise, yet NBC and ESPN can still live-stream the games they broadcast.

Ditto for MLB, who makes a ton of money selling video streams to customers, but still allows ESPN3 to simulcast the games ESPN shows online.

NASCAR used to be way ahead of the curve in internet technology. Now, they're way behind. And it's getting worse. NASCAR is literally the ONLY sports property on ESPN that they aren't allowed to put on ESPN3.com. That has to change.

Kyle said...

My personal belief is that if Turner is going to have exclusive online rights, then they need to be using them. They are going to the exclusive on this until 2014, as you said, and they are just going to go to waste. Really, they need to let Fox do this, at least at NASCAR.com or something, becuase its something that could be very good to the sport of NASCAR. Of course, a post-race deal on TV would be better, but this is better than nothing.

Daly Planet Editor said...

David,

NASCAR Corporate did do something. They sold the online rights for millions of dollars and happily took the money. If something is going to give, money is going to change hands. It's only fair to Turner.

Brian,

So much technology has changed in the last couple of years that NASCAR knows it missed the bus on the Turner renewel.

Kyle,

You know the irony. What does Turner need to have to get things rolling from a video content perspective? That is a partnership at the track with a TV network. FOX and ESPN are not eager to jump into that with their competition.

JD

tiamatsrevenge said...

Turner is completely abusing & misusing their "exclusivity" crap with the online stuff ...

They're soooooo SLOW when it comes to actually posting stuff like entry lists / practice speeds / qualifying order / qualifying results / starting lineup / DNQs / etc ...

They're NOT always correct on what they do post ... That stuff should be posted on the official Nascar site BEFORE it shows up on sites like MRN (RacingOne) & other sites ... Today, the Cup qualifying order didn't show up on the site until almost right before qualifying actually started ...

How about NASCAR.com having the live leaderboards for ALL Cup / Nwide / Truck practices / qualifying / races ???? Especially for the events that are NOT on tv ...

NASCAR and Turner need to seriously get with the picture ... Turner's taking advantage of NASCAR and screwing the fans ... Not everyone can be home when the stuff is on tv, so being able to follow online is a big plus ...


Jennarex always finds something to complain about when she's NOT at the track ... especially if her two favorites (James & Jim) are not focused on ad nauseum ...

I didn't have a problem with the lack of post-race coverage with PIR ... because we already knew that Denny ("James") wasn't in a mood to talk because of the pain in his knee ... Kyle wasn't gonna talk because he lost ... Jimmie ("Jim") was still the points leader ... Even if they had talked to them, I would've already had the tv changed ...

Let FOX have their online post race coverage, because Turner sure is NOT doing anything now ... They only seem to do stuff for their 6 races in the summer ...

Vicky D said...

So many previous race finishes, we saw so few cars cross the finish line and one or two interviews, then station put on reruns of arm wrestling or tiddly winks. Prior to this, I guess Fox thought that everyone was a fan of the first place car when they are not. I'm curious how this test will turn out. Plus JD, I was not aware until after, that Jenna & Jeff weren't even at the Phoenix track!

majorshouse said...

I am bitterly disappointed that Fox won't be able to have on line content or chat after the race and think that if Turner is going to have the total exclusive, then it is a shame that TNT is not covering all of the races and frankly I ahve enjoyed their coverage better than Fox.

51 yr. fan said...

JD, you nailed exactly what I was
thinking while reading the responses: Na$car took the money!
Thats ALL they were concerned about. The Beach Bums are technoplegics and road kill on the
information highway. At best they
should dictate to FOX that their
presentations to the fans be
upgraded which should include an
extended post-race show.

Anonymous said...

This is just another case of NA$CAR selling out. One would expect that NASCAR would hold the rights to their product, & liscence these on a case by case basis. Instead they chose to sell out, & as Mel Brooks says "Count De Money" while their fans are faced with sub-standard content.
Todays NASCAR is all about $$$ first, everything else is secondary.

Ken said...

It seems to me that Turner is not taking advantage of their rights purchase. They don't need to do any production or broadcasts themselves. Why could they not sell the rights to others on a per race, per broadcast or other period? They could make back their initial investment with a profit and benefit the racing world at the same time. As it stands now, it's like using a race horse by having it pull a plow.

Anonymous said...

Some things never change. Here it is, another season and Nascar fans are disgusted with the Cup race coverage. Four hours of pre-race coverage is about three and a half hours too much. Especially with Kenny and Kyle. Can you imagine how many times they will rehash the deal with Casey? Of course,they'll speculate to no end the potential repercussions of the move. The post-race coverage has been just awful. The races are WAY too long compared to the Nationwide and Truck races which are a pleasure to watch. With the invariable two-wide shootouts at the end of the race, why sit and watch 300,400,500 miles of racing which then becomes meaningless with a 2-lap shootout(s)? Four hours for a race at PIR is just insane. Almost as insane at what awaits us at Pocono and Charlotte in a few months.

Matt TSB said...

Mr. D,

Where is the line? There are innumerable websites out there presenting news about Nascar.

I completely understand that you can't show video of the race or other on track activities without Turner's permission.

If I wanted to create a website with me and a couple of friends sitting around talking racing in my garage (think "Wayne's World") nobody would watch, but if I didn't stream video from the race that would not be a violation of Turner's rights.

What if my uncle's cousin's son in law sweeps floors at Stewart Haas or something like that, can I interview him?

What exactly is Turners? The authority to stream video filmed at the track on race weekends? Just video track/gartage activity? All online video of anyone affiliated with Nascar in a professional role, regardless of place or time of origin of the video?

I'm sure this is clearly laid out someplace (well ,I would hope they were smart enough to do that) but I don't know that it has been clearly explained to fans.

bevo said...

Wouldn't you think that a reporter for a national news organization working on this story be a bit more proactive and think "hey, Turner has the exclusive rights for online content - I wonder how this will work"?

Thanks for doing the work JD.

TVtrucker said...

Fox has the same rights to report the news just as you do on the internet. News is news and if you added video to your blog about NASCAR racing you would be able to. However, NASCAR does control and own any content and or images derived from their properties, including all photos and video/audio of racing.
So, it would seem that since Fox has the Cup show rights they can hang around and do a post race show unencumbered. What it all boils down to is television is all going to be internet based soon anyway so everyone needs to ramp up for that day.

Daly Planet Editor said...

TVtrucker,

FOX can hang on TV and do a post-race show with no problem. Once they end the TV presence, they are done.

As you said, there has to be some changes from NASCAR that allow for greater flexibility by the TV partners.

JD

Anonymous said...

Once again, another insult. "There are 43 stories to tell." Gasp! Since when did the networks ever cover anyone other than the Hendrick teams, Kyle Busch, or Denny Hamlin? What about the people that aren't online? I know, I know, it's the 21st century, but there are some people like my father who is 76 years old, doesn't have the internet.

Anonymous said...

I hope Pizzi is the host of the post-race show. His talent knows no bounds.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Matt TSB,

It's not about text, it's about audio and video content.

An amateur website can say the word NASCAR and type stories and use pictures.

What they cannot do is originate any audio or video from the track. These are the same type of rules we find gaurding other pro product like NFL football or NBA basketball.

JD

Anonymous said...
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TVtrucker said...

Yes JD changes will be coming fast as more and more networks and other providers broadcast online. I am at the point myself that I may not need cable or a dish anymore as most of my shows I can watch online.
Maybe the pivotal word in contracts of old is "broadcast" and not TV or television. But since television is now online what do we call it? Telenet? Intervision?

Daly Planet Editor said...

The topic of this post is the online comments from FOX and the post-race issues. Happy to have comments on this topic today.

JD

Anonymous said...

Correct to assume this also means ESPN would be prohibited from streaming additional practice or qualifying coverage on the new ESPN3.com?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 11:50AM,

That is correct, but ESPN would just have to appproach Turner and work out a deal like they would with NFL or NBA.

The difference in this one is that NASCAR sold their own online rights to a third party.

Anyone who wants to offer online content like that must now deal with Turner, who is the third party.

Don't let NASCAR off the hook in this deal. They took the money and ran very happily.

JD

Anonymous said...

It seems NASCAR was very short-sighted in their contractural agreements. It's only logical that if the company holding the rights declines to cover an event or portion thereof that any other company should be free to do so.

matriarch said...

Fox still doesn't get it. Most fans want to see post-race coverage instead of the pre-race opinions from the booth. We don't want to go to the internet. We just want to see the post-race extended.

Anonymous said...

So somebody at Fox says there are 43 stories at a NASCAR race. It's too bad he didn't bother to tell the Fox crew that broadcasts the actual races. Maybe if he had we wouldn't be subjected to endless in-car cameras, bumper cams, gopher cams, close-ups on single cars, etc. And maybe if he had we wouldn't be subjected to endless concentration on a few favorites of the booth monkeys. And maybe if they had done a better job of covering the race there wouldn't be such a dire need for extensive post-race coverage.

There are no contract conflicts which prevent Fox from improving their broadcast of a race which includes 43 cars and drivers.

Count me among those who would prefer to see a reasonable post-race show on Fox rather than be forced to go to the internet. Many people, including me, are limited by connection speed because of budget or lack of availability in the area. Forget the hype and sideshow atmosphere that Fox seems to favor. Keep it simple with interviews of drivers and crew chiefs by intelligent reporters.

Fox has it within their power to do all that without getting an OK from NASCAR or Turner.

Gymmie said...

@anon 10:54--yup I 'member those days with RPM2Nite quite well :(.

We fans just want options. We don't like 8 billion hours of pre-race and then 8 seconds of post-race because we ran out of time.

An above post reminded me...yes there are 43 stories to tell and it would be nice to hear about them DURING the race and not just as an "oh by the way...." 2 hours after they fell out! But having online content will allow folks to tune in (as long as it doesn't get embarrassing like it did with TNTs online show a few years ago) and do a proper wrap up of stories from the day.

Due to time zones TV OT doesn't always work out as some time zones may have news next and others the millionth rerun of COPS.

Robert Eastman said...

Obviously, the choice to have extended post-race coverage depends entirely on economics. Yes... there are 43 stories to every race but... how many folks will stick around for the rehash? Many of us die-hard fans can't get enough of "everything NA$CAR," but when ratings continually erode away, the bottomline must dictate the policy. My concern is the future value of NA$CAR on broadcast TV. It seems that NBC was more than happy to bail-out. How much less will NA$CAR have to settle for in future TV contract negotiations? Though NA$CAR will surely survive in some form, it probably won't be at the big-dollar levels experienced over the past decade. Today's harsh economic realities dictate that every sponsor, tv executive, media buyer, race-team owner, promoter and race-fan gets maximum bang for their bucks and it's questionable whether or not NA$CAR delivers that bang! It's time that "proven professionals" take control of NA$CAR, instead of the "milk-it maids" that are "skimming the cream," to the detriment of the sport's future! NA$CAR needs to follow the lead of the IRL and send the "family amateurs" on permanent vacation with the promise of a "regular deposit in the personal bank account," IF... "You Just STAY AWAY!"

GinaV24 said...

So this sounds like a bunch of "wishful thinking" on the part of Fox if they have no way to deliver it to the fans.

If it happens great, but I'm not holding my breath. Plus, Fryer has also become one of the people who IMO has lost credibility in her reporting.

GinaV24 said...

RobertE -- I'd contribute to any collection taken up to get someone who might give a darn about NASCAR put in charge!

And if Fox would just get smart enough to reduce the seemingly endless pre-race garbage and "save" that time for the end of the race and do a decent post-race show, they don't need to take it online. I know I'd be more likely to watch. Since Fox has gone to their current method of covering the winner and then some random group of people to talk to at the end of the race and out, the fans don't know what to expect, so why stay tuned? They used to try and interview whoever they could catch up with. I also agree that the fans shouldn't have to wonder (or find out by twitter) what happened to a driver who's car is off the track -- that should be reported by the booth when it happens. That's what pit reporters are supposed to be used for.

joe said...

why don't they cut back in all of the drivel they spew out during the prerace show all they do is talk about things that happened the week before that would make some time afterwards, the prerace stuff is just horrible I can't watch it, it makes me want to jump out the window there is no need for all that stuff do they still have digger cartoons in the prerace show on fox?

Ken-Michigan said...

As a few others have stated, I too wish that the TV networks would continue the post race coverage on TV not online.

For years they (the networks) have done poorly with post race coverage. Too much pre-race, not nearly enough after the race.

AFTER the race is when the stories of the day have unfolded, many stories for many race teams and drivers.

Way too many times the network leaves the air with stories left untold. Cover the event & covered it until the stories are told.

Moving post race to the internet is great for some, but for me, I won't jump from my recliner OR my bar stool at the local pub to get online.

Tell the stories of post race on TV.

And if you've ever been in the garage area AFTER a race, these drivers/owners/crew chiefs are outta there in a hurry. I dont expect many to just "hang around" for an internet post race show.
Some are out of the garage area before the winner has been interviewed in victory lane.

I wouldn't expect a whole lot of "news" to come out of these post race online shows. waste of time !

Joe Dunn said...

JD, a lot of good comments on this subject, but I think that all the slams at Turner is just what Fox wanted with this deal. They have a TV contract to BROADCAST the races. That includes the way overboard pre race commercial filled zone and the "who really cares about the fans" post race attitude.
I find it hard to swallow that this was an oops by Fox, but rather a calculated statement with the intent of turning the viewers anger away from them and onto Turner. Any post race coverage by FOX belongs ON THE AIR.
Folks, don't let FOX derail your concerns. Don't turn your anger against Turner and let FOX slither away like a snake in the grass.
I am not at all defending Turner, they have been a nightmare since they took over the NASCAR internet contract, but that has nothing to do with the post race lack of coverage by FOX.

Anonymous said...

So what if FOX chooses to do an online post-race show after they go off the air?

If Turner gets pissed, let them sue FOX.

Maybe it's time this whole NASCAR online screw-up gets some mainstream news publicity.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Well, it's already year four of this new TV contract. Kind of weird that suddenly, even with the new earlier start times, FOX has discovered the need for an online post-race show.

Something tells me other issues are at work here as well.

JD

Anonymous said...

well reading on Twitter Fox canceled online POST race show due to Turner conflict. what a joke of a contract that is.

Like most here, if any thing is needed it's POST RACE ON TV. then again, i've not seen an entire race in recent weeks due to shabby, in car cam views of the race.

TV is killing the sport with horrible camera work. Multi tasking should NOT be mandatory to enjoy a race.

TAPE or DVR & ff thru until the last 20 laps so you don't get so mad over investing time, only to get gypped at end by HORRIBLE camera views & no real post story.

The hours of pre-race stuff is just fluff and junk. very sad. Also Monday nights on SPEED are a joke and there is no follow up show to keep us in touch without TWIN..that show helped me 'feel connected' to the sport.

Funny with the cancelling of TWIN i've cut back in race watching 75 per cent.

Adam Wood said...

Just announced via twitter that due to contractual limitations they can't do post-race coverage on FOXSports.com.

"Unfortuantly, due to contractual limitations that we hoped to overcome, we're unable to extend post-race coverage on FOXSports.com. Since this would have been a commercial-free undertaking, our goal was to have all parties agree that this would only benefit NASCAR fans, but obviously that didn't happen."

Good F1 race on SPEED right now if anyone is looking for some racing in this rain delay. They don't care if it rains.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new column up referencing this issue. Just return to the main page by clicking The Daly Planet logo above.

Thanks!

JD