Friday, June 25, 2010

TV Networks Dealing With Danica Again


It was an interesting time when Danica Patrick first began driving Nationwide Series cars for JR Motorsports. There was fan curiosity, media doubt and some incredible attention from the NASCAR TV partners.

Now, Patrick is back for another swing at racing the big cars. SPEED and ESPN both get to deal with this elephant in the room over the weekend. SPEED begins on Friday as Steve Byrnes, Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond call Nationwide Series practice from the New Hampshire Motor Speedway at 10:30AM ET.

After a break for Sprint Cup Series practice at 11:30AM and then lunch, the Nationwide cars come back for final practice at 1:30PM ET. Once again, it will be Byrnes, Hammond and McReynolds.

The garage reporters for both Nationwide practice sessions on Friday will be Phil Parsons and Ralph Sheheen. These are the two guys who will be facing the task of dealing with the Danica marketing and PR machine at the track. Since SPEED is the live TV network, they get first crack at Patrick after she gets out of the car.

SPEED will also present a NASCAR Live show between sessions at 1PM ET. If you cannot watch the practice, this thirty minute program will be a good way to get updated on what is going on at NHMS. John Roberts is hosting with Randy Pemberton alongside. Hermie Sadler and Bob Dillner will handle the reporting.

Here are some other TV notes for the weekend:

Jimmy Spencer is back in New Hampshire for SPEED. He will be on the Sunday 10AM RaceDay panel and will then appear on Victory Lane at 8PM ET with John Roberts and Kenny Wallace. Kyle Petty is off working for TNT.

Speaking of TNT, the network announced that Time Warner, Bright House and Comcast have signed on to carry TNT's 3D coverage of the Coke 400 from Daytona. As we know, in order to see the 3D effect you must watch on a 3DTV and also wear the famous glasses. More details on this next week.

SPEED announced that Thursday, July 1 will be the day the network announces the nominees for the 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame class. That will be done at 8PM ET during a special presentation of Race Hub. Krista Voda, Steve Byrnes, Mike Joy and Ken Squier will all be hosting from various locations for this TV special. You may remember that SPEED is the official TV network of the Hall of Fame.

We will use this post for your comments on the topics above as well as the live blog for Friday NASCAR TV. To add your comments, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks!

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't understand this blog's attitude towards Danica coverage. You act like it should be a non-event and that they should just cover her like every other driver.

I guess it's a good thing you aren't in TV production any more, because what a horrible decision that would be.

Danica is the best thing to happen to the Nationwide Series since... well, ever. She is a gift that keeps on giving and I expect and hope that they will give her the full-time coverage she deserves.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Full-time coverage? Oh boy...

Andrew said...

When she can wheel a car -- any car -- to a victory that isn't a fuel mileage one, then she MAY deserve the coverage she is currently getting. Right now, though, it seems way out of proportion as compared to her level of success. NASCAR want her to be a band-aid for the sports' other problems. I think that's it.

Jonathan said...

I dont know im excitied to see Danica back. Im all for the full time coverage all good to me.... Nascar will get the coverage it deserves and should always get but only gets when Danica is around. Danice brings ratings and we need them big time after the past 2 weekends. WE NEED THE RATINGS BIG TIME!!! 2.9 and 2.7 isnt cutting it GO DANICA!!

red said...

hmmm, let's see: danica returning to n'wide versus USA men's national soccer team playing in the world cup. hmmmm. what to do? what to do?

i'll catch up with all this after the match.

but that being said: if it gets eyes on the pre-race and those "casual fans" stay to watch the race, i'm for it. but if the networks play the "all danica, all the time" card during the race, that would be tough to take.

they can't ignore that she's there but they COULD use this as an opportunity to raise the visibility of n'wide racing and maybe, just maybe, focus on n'wide regulars instead of the cup guys.

Anonymous said...

She is the most over rated, over hyped thing is sports today...along with her car owner. I couldn't care less if she's running at Loudon. She'll be lapped within 30 laps. How exciting.

jamie in nc said...

andrew.....you are correct. same could be said for her boss at jr motorsports

jerome said...

Danica the Best thing to happen to Nationwide-ever?1?2 Come on. There have been numerous women drivers with more talent that did not generate the hype. Andrew is right-this is all smoke and mirrors to cover up all the ills of the series. Her first three races may have boosted TV audiences, but has it helped attract sponsorship for struggling teams? Has it made the on track product any better? I believe what is happening has happened before-the casual fan is tuning in-and that is a good thing-but thety will tune out quickly once the novelty/hype goes away. What frustrates me is that there are way more talented drivers-male and female-who toil in anonymity, or do get a chance at all, because they lack the PR machine/sponsorships Danica has.It is a sad commentary on a sport I used to love. I don't even bother with nationwide races anymore and I am having a harder tiime wanting to watch a Sprint Cup race.

Vicky D said...

I guess DP is good for the NW series, although I have said this all along, if the telecast only shows her then it's not good for the other drivers. We need a balanced broadcast so we can see ALL the cars on the track. We'll see what happens this weekend and how ESPN handles this. And why am I have trouble with the Visual verification? Anyone else having issues with it?

JohnP said...

I was glad to see that commercial from BK. Clearly pronouncing his own name Kes-louw-ski. I see Parsons has jumped onto the DW theme of mis-pronouncing his name for some reason by calling him Kes-o-louw-ski. That's rude. Glad to see Danica back, good for the series. Hope the media do not act like DW did on TrackSide and overheat themselves live.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Giving Steve Byrnes and the SPEED guys high marks in the first NNS practice for making Danica a non-story.

West Coast Diane said...

I don't want to see Danica "all the time". But, as I recall, there was a lot of coverage for Montoya when he came over. It is something "new", but should be covered in perspective to how she is performing.

Also, regarding no coverage until she wins a race "legitimately"? Well I guess that means TV will only be covering a handful of drivers in most any series, as only a handful of drivers are winning.

Thought we wanted coverage of all drivers in the field or at least a mention? :-)

Anonymous said...

How dumb would NASCAR have to be to treat Danica as a non-event? As just another driver? How stupid do you think they are?

This is just a preview of what it will be like when Danica comes to Cup. And, boy will that be exciting.

I wonder if the reason Robby Gordon is skipping NH is because he is busy meeting with a financial advisor to plan what he's going to do with all the money he gets when Danica buys his #7 so she can keep the number in Cup.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Isn't she just another NNS driver? Are you watching the coverage?

JohnP said...

Anon 11:09 - Interesting thought because Robby Gordon is in fact not listed on the entry list for Loudon on Nascar.com for this race. She would not buy it, but Stewart or Waltrip just might with her as "owner". But, that's how rumors start. Just interesting Gordon is not their this weekend.

West Coast Diane said...

Bobby Labonte is in the 7 car for Robbie G. this weekend.

Anonymous said...

No, Danica is not just another NNS driver, and anyone who thinks so is naive.

Now, Willie Allen - there's just another NNS driver!

Let's say you are the producer in the booth. Let's say you have already interviewed Danica on the air at the top of the broadcast, and now 45-minutes in you get two reports: One is that a reporter is with Danica for some comments on how things went, and Two is that a reporter is with Willie Allen, who not only never gets interviewed - but I wonder if anyone who reads this blog even knows who he is.

Now, if you are in the booth and you choose Allen over Danica because Allen hasn't been covered yet, you are doing a disservice to all the people watching at home. NO ONE CARES ABOUT WILLIE ALLEN BUT THE ENTIRE RACING WORLD IS WATCHING DANICA!

Just another NNS driver? PUHLEAZE

Anonymous said...

I think the coverage of Danica is totally appropriate.

Why? Because she is a star!

It no different than if Jimmie Johnson races in Rolex series and gets tons more attention than someone who has been racing in that series for years. Or if Ryan Newman shows up at some local dirt track and races, he gets way more coverage.

It's all about what the driver brings, and in this case, Danica brings star power. That isn't something you can manufacture, and it isn't something that the Busch series has had in years.

hotaru-hockeymaiden87 said...

Anon 12:01- It's the same problem with the Cup drivers, only with less stat-related coverage and more hype.

I got up late, but watched a bit. It was nice NOT to see that violent electric green car every other car. :)

Anonymous said...

She's one media personality I don't mind watching. Afterall, NA$CAR is simple entertainment like the WWE. If it means we see less of Michael Waltrip, I'm all for it!

longtimeracefan said...

Speed's coverage of the first Nationwide practice session Friday morning was a well produced, matter-of-fact, typical report. Good on them, no Danica mania there.

Patrick ran the most laps (35) but was second to last on the speed charts, 1.22 sec. behind Steve Wallace, the fastest non-Cup regular. It will be interesting to see how much, if any, she picks up in the afternoon session.

What was not shown on TV, and where the mania began, was the coverage of the driver's media interviews which began at 9:30 am online at nascar.com and included, in order: Harvick, Kyle B, Edwards, Burton, Martin, Johnson, Stewart and ended with Danica.

The media's, print/online/photo, interaction with the various drivers was interesting to watch. From the perspective of a single static camera shot, with sometimes poor sound, it almost seemed like you were in the cramped looking room. But the biggest difference was the way everyone reacted to Cup boys and the new girl.

Danica's session went on almost twice as long as the regular 15 minutes. It was actually fun to watch and ended with the track manager, Jerry Gappens, presenting Danica with a pair of cool looking high heel shoes. She was then introduced, for the first time, to track owner Bruton Smith, was just happened to be in the audience.

Danica mania is alive and well, it just wasn't show on TV . . . yet.

Richard in N.C. said...

It fascinates me to see the media complaining about the amount of media attention Danica is getting.

Anonymous said...

I see this as a win/win situation. Danica single-handedly saves NASCAR from oblivion. And I am bombarded by so many Go Daddy lascivious commecials that I can cancel my subscription to the Playboy channel.

Vicky D said...

I just noticed the practice speeds on nascar.com and DP was 43rd but I think she's already guaranteed a starting spot so her time doesn't mean much except maybe being lapped in the 30th lap of the race. She needs to pedal faster.

Anonymous said...

Is it by chance that DW is not on Pre Race the weekend she is back, was she and everyone else too creaped out by DW behavior around on her on trackside.

I know I was....

megan Steele said...

What ? No interview with Lady
Danica ? U talk about a wasted
chance.
But we all get a chance to hear
Ralph Shaneen scream and yell with
the voice from hell.

JohnP said...

@ West Coast Diane.. Thanks about the 7. Not like me to jump on a comment like that. Got a case of dummy today I guess.

Have enjoyed the day with speed (had the day off). It's so great to see Larry Mac away from his normal group. His broadcasting and maturity level goes up a lot.

Martin Vincent said...

During the Sprint Cup practice coverage earlier today, one of the announcers said Clint Bowyer's #33 Zaxby's-sponsored car was possibly the first "chicken car" in the Cup Series since Stroker Ace in Clyde Torkle's Chicken Pit car (I know, it was fictional).

Actually, Rich Bickle drove a #26 KFC car for Darrell Waltrip in the 1997 Brickyard 400.

GinaV24 said...

I was flipping through channels when I got a chance to sit down last night - found Race Hub - just in time for them to "talk" to Danica via satellite. I promptly switched to another channel.

Since the focus of all the tv coverage will be Danica, Danica, Danica, I am very glad that I have a ton of personal things to do this weekend so I don't have time to watch the Nationwide race.

If they would cover her like she's just a regular driver, I wouldn't mind so much but its like hearing one song played too much on the radio -- its easy to get sick of it.

GinaV24 said...

Vicky - I'm having trouble with the word veri too

I hope that my favorite driver has retired from NASCAR by the time that Danica comes to cup, then I won't have to watch the races or hear her name.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Gina, turned it off. Sorry for the hassles.

Anonymous said...
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GinaV24 said...
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GinaV24 said...
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GinaV24 said...
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GinaV24 said...

No problem, JD, its been acting a little wonky for the past couple of days.

Hey Anon -- I didn't say that I hated her, I said I didn't want to listen to the media talk about her. If you want to, it’s a free country and you can, so enjoy.

But I get to choose who I root for, too!

and if you want to talk about being hated -- try being a long time Gordon fan. Believe me, I've seen HATE first hand, up close and personal. From the guy who told me he hoped my driver crashed and burned to having a full beer can thrown directly at me.

So while I may not be a fan of Danica or want to hear the media fawn over her every word and the camera follow her every move to the detriment of other drivers out there who are also deserving of attention, I am a very long way off from hating her.

OSBORNK said...

I think Danica may do harm to the Nationwide Series. The constant attention to Danica is at the expense of all of the other drivers and their sponsors. Why would a sponsor spend their money on a Nationwide team when they will be totally ignored? Sponsors spend their money for exposure and even if the ratings are up, what good does it do if there is no exposure?

saltsburgtrojanfan said...
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Darcie said...

Why does Danica "deserve" the coverage for the Nationwide Series? What has she actually done? Sure, she's a master at showing her "brand" and marketing her body, but what has she really done to deserve all the attention in racing? She's been driving in a watered down series with very few great drivers. She races with 20 other cars during a very short racing season. She's won ONE race, on a fuel mileage gamble (which points to a very smart crew chief and not driving skill) were most of the good drivers stayed back in the USA. So, again, what has she proven in racing?

Until/unless she actually produces results on the track, she should be treated like any other back marker, human chicane, driver. When she wins a Nascar race, then give her credence, but not until then.

Anonymous said...

Why does Danica "deserve" the coverage for the Nationwide Series?

I'll tell you why: Because ESPN reported that ticket sales at NHMS are up more than 30% for the Saturday race.

I'm sorry, but I can't think of any driver in the world who could spur that kind of ticket sales. Seriously, if AJ Foyt announced he would try a comeback race in the NNS, of if Jeff Gordon said he would do a Nationwide race, or if Michael Schumacher announed he would race a stock car at NHMS, or name any star past or present in racing... I don't think any or all of them could increase ticket sales by 30% for the Saturday race.

Now, that unusual uptick in fan interest may be unwarranted -- but you cannot ignore it!!!

Bobby said...

Although she was one of a few drivers to play the alcohol fuel management strategy at the end of Motegi, she outsmarted the League's other major superstar, Hélio Castroneves, because he blundered on his alcohol conservation game.

What's wrong with fuel conservation games, besides? This is an endurance race, not a sprint. Beating your opponent by taking one fewer stop than your opponents is racing. It's the hare and the tortoise again. And she was competitive at Texas recently.

Don't forget the past year and a half. the entire Andretti Autosport was shut out of the winner's circle until Kaanan's win.

Zieke said...

Danica's going to put lots of fans in the seats, so I guess it's a good thing for NASCAR.

Anonymous said...

OSBORNK said...
I think Danica may do harm to the Nationwide Series. The constant attention to Danica is at the expense of all of the other drivers and their sponsors. Why would a sponsor spend their money on a Nationwide team when they will be totally ignored? Sponsors spend their money for exposure and even if the ratings are up, what good does it do if there is no exposure?


Wow..this logic is plain scary...
Higher ratings..more media coverage..more press..more stories on Nationwide series....No none of this will help other sponsors???
If she races full-time, sponsors will flock to the series..

Lisa Hogan said...

I find it difficult at times:
"Don't feed the trolls" :)