Monday, June 21, 2010

Your Turn: Sprint Cup Series From Sonoma On TNT

We knew it was going to be interesting and it was. The TNT telecasts from Sonoma used to be boring disasters when anchored by Bill Weber. Sunday, it was Adam Alexander's turn at anchoring this road course race.

CNN Headline News anchor Robin Meade, pictured above with Kasey Kahne, sang the National Anthem. NFL great Roger Craig was the grand marshal.

Lindsay Czarniak anchored the Countdown to Green pre-race show. She was joined by Kyle Petty and Larry McReynolds. Jimmie Johnson was the live infield guest. Parnelli Jones was profiled on Pride of NASCAR. Wally's World offered a course description.

Several DISH customers reported a lip sync problem during the pre-race. This means that the audio being heard by viewers did not match the video.

The weather was good, the pictures were outstanding and the telecast was accompanied by RaceBuddy. The online companion worked well, providing four camera angles and a pit reporter to computer users.

Alexander had his hands full with Kyle Petty and Wally Dallenbach Jr. in the TV booth. Both of them were more talkative than ever as the rough road course action unfolded. Dallenbach has a long road racing resume and this was perhaps his opportunity in this package of six races to take the lead analyst role.

Petty continued to answer Twitter messages online during the race. Several pit reporters also used social media to updates fans while the social media platform on RaceBuddy was jammed full of users.

The race featured rough driving, hot tempers and even a red flag period. It was perhaps not exactly the best showcase for the talent of the Cup drivers.

We welcome your comments on the TNT coverage. To add your opinion, 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 stop by.


B-Flo said...

thank you nascar for taking a win from marcos ambrose for something that if it would have happened to say jimmie or jr. they would have ignored
complete and total BS

Anonymous said...

It was ok, although Wally's suicide joke in the postrace is completely inexcusible.

Adam and Kyle laughing about it is even worse.

Absolutely disgusting, TNT.

Adam Wood said...

I can echo the DISH problems-but they were fixed by race time. Had similar problems at Pocono and Michigan. Overall great broadcast today, wish TNT would get back with NBC and do the whole season.

Anonymous said...

man robin meade is gorgeous
yeah not a fan of wally and jokes like that are unacceptable

Jonathan said...

Rules are the rules, why did Marcos do that in the first place. nascar didnt steal that win away from him, he did it to himself. he had enough full it dosent make sense. B-Flo come on man!

Anonymous said...

The background race noise (ambience) is so loud it is hard to hear the announcers.

Daly Planet Editor said...

If you want to debate the Marcos Ambrose topic, please go to SBNation and Jeff Gluck's NASCAR blog.

We would like your comments on the TNT telecast from Sonoma please.



OSBORNK said...

I thought TNT did they best they could considering what they had to cover. How do you make a slow paced race spread over that much distance exciting? I figure the road races are thrown in to break the boredom of the cookie cutter tracks and distract the fans from them. The only way to make the cookie cutters seem exciting is to expose the fans to something worse.

Lisa Hogan said...

Road course races are not my favorite. I thought TNT handled the telecast very well. Not perfect, but who is!

Thanks, JD, it was nice to hang out with everyone today. :)

Jonathan said...

I thought TNT did a great job today! Good presentation all around keep up the great broadcasts

Richard in N.C. said...

Really enjoyed Race Buddy, where I viewed the last half of the race. While I am a fan of raod racing anyway, I find it even better on Race Buddy due to multiple views. I enjoyed the TNT booth, and don't have to dislike FOX or EESPN to enjoy TNT. I do fault Kyle and Wally for not at least mentioning what the crew chief's responsibility is as far as coaching his driver late in the race when Ambrose stalled his car, and I wish they had mentioned where the fuel pick-up is on road course cars.

I do disagree with Word Veri = awfle.

Anonymous said...
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Richard in N.C. said...

JD, hope this is not out-of-line, but Randy LaJoie is on the PRN post-race show now. Have no idea what his commitment is to PRN, but might (?) impact what he's available to do at times for EESPN?

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is really no room right now at ESPN for Randy.

Ray Evernham and Ricky Craven are the two stars in waiting.

Randy is also busy with his company which is going great.

I understand he is post-hip replacement surgery and I hope he is doing well.


Allison J said...

I don't know about the rest of you, but I found the endless wandering chatter almost as frustrating as the constant commercial breaks in this race. It sure seemed like there were even more commercials today than ever before. Note to self: NEVER watch a NASCAR race live again. That's what the DVR is all about.

GinaV24 said...

Pretty good telecast. The camera work was good and I like Adam, Kyle and Wally in the booth. TNT is much improved without Weber in the booth and they use the pit reporters! Lindsay and even Larry Mac are also fine. As long as I don't have to listen to Waltrip & Co, that works for me. Plus, no one talks down to the fans on TNT's broadcasts. they explain without acting like the fans have never watched a race before.

Love Racebuddy! Are you listening NASCAR?

Anonymous said...

I thought it was a solid broadcast today. Head and shoulders above Fox's best race of the season for sure...if they even had one.

Yes sometimes it's easy to knock on Kyle and Wally but for former drivers I feel they do the best job as analysts followed closely by Dale Jarrett. I wish I could have as much off time as Dale.

TNT doesn't play the 'favorite' game like Fox does.

And I'll add to the bashing of ole DW. Please do not show up on my TV anymore this season. I've never heard one person say I, Me, Mine, etc. so much in my entire life as I did during his TV time this weekend. He's about as successful today as he was at the end of his racing career. He doesn't know when to just stop.

Anonymous said...

I thought the telecast was good, I feel like sometimes people overeact over small issues with the broadcast and make it seem like the whole thing was ruined. I really haven't seen much of a problem with TNT at all this year.

Anonymous said...

I found it difficult to follow the race because I couldn't tell where Turn 2 was.

Seriously TNT - get rid of the stupid "pit out" and "turn" graphics.

It's almost as insulting as Adam Alexander reminding me who is driving the 48 late in the race.

Ken-Michigan said...

After watching today's Sonoma race, I searched for some of the latest TV ratings.

WOW....ratings are real bad recently.
TNT lost nearly a Million households for the race at Michigan compared to last year. Males 18-34 down a whopping 50% !!

The fans have spoken and are turning off TV for NASCAR. Now, TV has to step up to NASCAR and demand changes to make these races more interesting.

NASCAR's entire weekend procedure has been pretty much the same for needs changing. Qualifying procedure's, pit selection, field sizes, points & money payout all need a makeover to bring fans and viewers back.
Qualifying races on friday and/or saturday would be a good start.

I went to Michigan last weekend and saw thousands of empty seats, even with a decrease in ticket prices.

This "old fashioned" NASCAR is hurting TV too. Way too predictable each and every weekend, more people are turning TV off. TV would be more exciting IF the sanctioning body would change some things. For now, NASCAR thinks their way of making it exciting is by throwing a caution flag.

TV has it's own troubles. FOX / ESPN / TNT, whoever, have way too many voices on these broadcasts.

How many times do I need to here the phrase "Wine Country" for a Sonoma race? We know its wine country, tell us once or twice and be done with it....stop insulting the intelligence of the viewers.

As I've stated in earlier posts here on the Daly Planet, Kyle Petty and his constant stuttering & stammering while making a statement is NOT network quality. He offers some great insight and information, but for 3 hours.... its very annoying.
(for the record, I've been in radio and television for 30 years, I have a similar speech problem, but when the Mic is on, I truly have to concentrate not to CAN BE DONE !)

This is yet another household that will not be watching the next race at Loudon. A family of 5....NOT WATCHING.

This week I'll be looking for the Sonoma / TNT ratings to see how many more TV sets were OFF.

bryanh said...

Richard in N.C.,
Race Buddy pauses,then starts back up, even after refreshing several times. I guess its because I have Roadrunner Lite, but all other streaming, and videos work well.
As for the pick-up in the fuel cell I heard it is in the center of the tank for road courses, and there is a small tank with flaps on each side tank to get all the fuel out.

MRM4 said...

Nice coverage by the TNT guys except for the overhead shot at the start of the race. It made it difficult to see where your driver was at unless your driver drives a bright car like Paul Menard.

Camera work was great, picture quality was awesome, and no bandwagon announcers.

JohnP said...

I really enjoyed the race yesterday, I like the road courses because they are different and we only get two of them per year in Cup. Dallenback and Petty did good in the booth. Funny, but informative. I didn't notice anyone in the booth begging for attention by overtalking other booth members. Pit road reporting did lack though. My first experience with RaceBuddy was yesterday. I'll give it a "C" at best. The biggest complaint I had was there was no ticker or plyon showing where drivers where. So I had to go to the telecast for that information. By the end of the race I found myself watching the telecast, then, on commercials, going to RaceBuddy by hitting one entire button - the source button. Sorry advertisers - But I edited you all out yesterday :) Except for Coca-Cola on RaceBuddy. The pit reporting from RaceBuddy was very short, but overall it gave the race a new dynamic that was enjoyable. The combination of a good broadcast by TNT and RaceBuddy was an experience I can't wait to get to next weekend.

Michael said...

I kept seeing action on the track that was completely ignored by the commentators and cameras.
Little frustrating

Michael said...

One more thing, does Kyle's garbally voice bother anyone else but me?

Donna in FL said...

RaceBuddy! RaceBuddy!! We watched the whole race this way again, with scanner & radio accompanying it, and had a great time, the 4 different cameras worked out awesome for this track! Overheard shots were great. Hey TV we LOVE being able to see & hear the live driver intros! Since they pipe in the TV audio we could tell there were alot of commercial breaks, sorry to hear!! We love that there was always something in view, even during the red flag.
I LOVE this track type & agree this race wasn't the driving showcase I like to see, didn't really care for the demol derby but I can't believe anyone thought it was boring!!!!!?

Vicky D said...

I read where Randy L is going to do Nascar Now tomorrow night. I think he is spending time to get his son's racing up and running. I also enjoyed the telecast on TNT. I actually didn't think there were as many commercials as on Fox. A road course is difficult to broadcast the race was pretty good I could somewhat follow it. My fav had issues at the end so wasn't happy with the finishing order. I don't think Nascar should schedule NW and cup road courses in the same weekend either.

Anonymous said...

Your solution is the problem. NASCAR is nothing like it was ten years ago when its popularity was growing tremendously. The sport was unlike any other sport played. Now increased rules (yellow line, no racing back to the caution, single file on pit road, wave-around), "playoff" system, phantom entertainment debris cautions, no manufacturer identity (Used to be intense real rivalries), and the dumbing down of tv broadcasts have killed the integrity and individuality of the sport. If I wanted to watch scripted sports entertainment, I would be a WWE fan.

The TNT broadcst was pretty good for the 30 minutes I watched.

Anonymous said...

I liked the use of the blimp shot to follow some of the battles on track. I almost wish they would use it more when guys are in tight packs.

Was not a fan of Wally during the BP days, but you sense that he is being forced to step up his game a little more with Kyle in the booth. I'd give Kyle a little break with the stammering - he only gets six races a year and it's different to be in the booth versus on the prerace show. KP has become my favorite in-race analyst of the current crop on any network.

I never cared for NBC-TNT coverage in the past, but since the new contract took over, TNT has been the best of the three. I'd replace ESPN with them in a heartbeat.

majorshouse said...

Personally I had no real problems with TNT's broadcast and if Fox would keep it exciting like they do and get rid of Waltrip, things would be better for them. I like the combination of Adam Alexander, Wally Dallenbach and Kyle Petty. they make the races exciting and don't seem to dumb down the racing to those of us who have been following NASCAR for years.

Barry in Tennessee said...

I listened to the PRN broadcast yesterday while working in the field, and then watched the race last night on the DVR.

It was like 2 different races.

The PRN version was extremely difficult to follow. The announcers seemed to have no clue what was going on and were totally confused by the different pit strategies being used (2 stops vs. 3 stops).

I don't think they live-called a single incident on the track. Instead we would hear about "trouble in turn 7" and then have to wait for someone to review a replay to describe what happened.

Several times during the broadcast they stopped calling the action so they could do in-booth promotional interviews (Mike Helton, Roger Craig, a Pixar executive promoting Toy Story 3, etc.).

This added up to 10 minutes or more of time that racing was totally ignored on the track.

If Fox or TNT did that on the tv broadcast, everyone here would be ripping them.

When I finally had a chance to watch the race last night, I was amazed at the difference.

The TNT crew did an excellent job at covering the action on the track, and the booth was great at explaining the different pit strategies.

I like how Kyle doesn't mind shooting off his opinion, and I love Wally's wit and dry humor.

TNT did an excellent job with the broadcast, all things considered.

PRN on the other hand was a total joke.

Jayhawk said...

I like the announcing team during the race. They are focused on the race rather than on themselves, they are unpretentious, and they sound like they are having fun.

Anonymous said...

@ Ken-Michigan said...
"The fans have spoken and are turning off TV for NASCAR. Now, TV has to step up to NASCAR and demand changes to make these races more interesting."

I find this statement perplexing. Why would you make whoelsale changes hoping to blindly hit upon the right combination. Wouldn't it make more sense to try to put things back to how they were when ratings were continually rising?

As for yesterday's broadcast I thought it was fine. The race was ridiculous. Double file restarts do not belong at a road course, it is a recipe for wrecks (unless that's what you watch for). I have to admit it was interesting to watch but it wasn't a good race.

I noticed they had that fake sign in Turn 2 but didn't notice it in any other turns. What's so special about turn 2?

Anonymous said...

I thought TNT did a much better job than Fox - but that is really lowering the bar. The two road courses and Talladega and Daytona are the only NA$CAR races worth watching anymore.

Anonymous said...

TNT does a much better job, imo. They call the race in the 'now' rather than 'back in the day' which the Fox crew does. I find myself wishing they had more than 6 races to broadcast. They get along great, it seems and I really don't think they are trying to out talk each other and they are not as quick to jump to conclusions and place blame. Racing itself gets boring with runaways so at least we get to see more of the field rather than the leader making laps alone.
GA Red

GinaV24 said...

Anon 12:27 -- thank you very much for confirming what I thought too: double file restarts don't belong on a road course. It's narrow to begin with and there are passing zones, but when you have to push and shove the way they were doing during this race, you can't setup the pass and it made for what was essentially a brawl.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the overhead camera shots as well as the in-car cameras. Petty needs to be quiet and just highlight or accentuate what's happening on the track. His motor-mouth style is totally irritating. Wally was a little better,but I could do without him.

Richard in N.C. said...

I watched the last half of Sonoma on Race Buddy and listened to the TNT - Race Buddy call of the race. I lost track of Dave Blaney after he had run 70 or so laps. I did not hear and I don't know when or why he went out of the race. In light of his unusually long run Sunday, I wonder whether FOX or EESPN might have reported such and the circumstances for his exit.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the telecasts are that bad. And as far as the racing being boring, statistically speaking it has been the most exciting ever in history. So I'm not sure what the problem is... maybe it's the fans.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Yea, it's the fans....

David said...

Well I thought that was a pretty solid effort all the way around. RC's are Wally's specialty so he was strong. I do question if AA is a long term PxP guy, but I am not turned off by the effort thus far.

Ambrose, well....he blew that race on his own. Shame but it happens, you CANT stop on the track and expect to keep your position regardless who was behind him. They made a good call.

Lindsay, she has found her role and it works. Even more obvious when they pair her with Larry Mac.

Hard to really get a great impression though out of a RC since they are so rare, so off to Loudon we go. Lets see if they mention Bruton's latest threat to yank a date.

Barry in Tennessee said...

@Richard in N.C. said:

" I did not hear and I don't know when or why [Blaney] went out of the race."

TNT did show Blaney had stopped on the track with his window net down... Presumably with a blown motor.

Anonymous said...

Wally's "Golden Gate Bridge" comment is reprehensible.

Is NEVER okay to propose suicide as a solution to anyone's struggles.

I hope the announcers take an opportunity to educate themselves and the viewers.

Anonymous said...

TNT is by far superior compared to FOX and Disney. The amount of quality information they will give us in 6 weeks is more than the other guys give us in their 15 each. I am truly sorry the core race fans are so against road races because the Road America course NASCAR ran Saturday would be a tremendous addition to the Cup schedule as a third road course. The Nationwide guys handled it very well and it would be a premium addition for the Cup drivers.

GinaV24 said...

Anon 6:07 - of course the fans are wrong! Kenny Wallace tells us so EVERY week.

Zieke said...

I agree that Lindsay has found a niche in the broadcasts, and it's working for her. She's not a big phony like the Waltrips, and her efforts are greatly appreciated. Kyle struggles a bit, but his opinions are sincere and genuine, so I can put up with the rest. It seems that KW just doesn't put in enough efforts with his race team because of the TV gig. These half-hearted ploys just don't work if you are trying to be a "top 10" or etc.race car driver. He's already been fired by an owner and was rather vocal about it. I don't think he gets it. One or the other Kenny.

Anonymous said...

I would rather listen to kyle stammer than larry mac murder the english language.

Anonymous said...

TNT did a better job than Fox and I thought the blimp shot was helpful. It is a bonus not to have to listen to a Waltrip during the race - either Waltrip.

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Palmetto said...

One comment: The camera work in the Turn 11 hairpin yielded several great shots. The long shot used often showed not just the turn itself, but a few hundred feet of the entry and exit straightaways. This was particularly effective the first time the cars entered the turn after the start and restarts. Gotta love a long shot; close-ups of a single car don't tell a story.

longtimeracefan said...

Anonymous posters comments should be highly suspect, if not dismissed out of hand.

Does anyone take what these people have to say seriously?


Who are they and where are they coming from, think about it.