Monday, July 26, 2010

Your Turn: Sprint Cup Series From Indy On ESPN

This is the fourth season of ESPN covering the Sprint Cup Series down the stretch.

The network offered a one-hour pre-race show anchored by Allen Bestwick. Joining Bestwick in the Infield Pit Studio were Ray Evernham, Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty. They offered several pre-produced features, some interviews and discussions of race strategy. Tim Brewer was in the Tech Garage.

The actual call of the race was being done for the very first time by Marty Reid. He was joined in the TV booth by Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Down on pit road were Dr. Jerry Punch, Jamie Little, Dave Burns and Vince Welch.

Reid was thrown a curveball right away with a major incident in turn one that took a while to sort out. From there, the race took quite a while to settle down as cars overheated and needed to pit out of sequence.

ESPN offered good pictures and sound with no technical problems. There were no weather delays and no red flags. The caution periods were limited and the racing was the style we have come to expect from this track.

This post is an opportunity to offer your comments on the ESPN race coverage before you hear mine. Just click on the comments button below and offer a wrap-up of the coverage. This is the most widely-read post on our site. Thanks for stopping by.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I thought todays race was a VAST improvement from last year, although im sure some of you will find something to blast ESPN about. To be honest ill take todays broadcast over FOX and TNT anyday.

I think from the first lap we see that Marty Reid was the right pick. The lap one crash he showed excitement. If it was Jerry, we would have heard "Oh spin in turn one." Jeryr shined on pit road today as well as Jamie Little, Vince Welch, and Dave Burns.

I know some people are porbably upset ESPN didnt show the field finishing BUT in their defense, jsut like Marty mentioned, we will probably never see what Chip Ganasssi did EVER again. I think showing the emotion and celebration was a good choice.

Marty Reid works well in the booth but I do have a question for you JD. Is Marty Reid the first broadcaster to call the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 in the same year? I thhink it says a lot about him.

Anonymous said...

Nothing else matters when the network screws you over that bad at the end. I spent over 6 straight hours watching in anticipation for the finish of this race and I didn't get to see a damn thing thanks to the production truck's direction. ESPN still doesn't have a clue 4 years in. Thanks for nothing (literally, at the finish)!

Ryan said...

Bob Jenkins called both races in 1999 and 2000 for ABC

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

Looks like Carl Edwards is guaranteed a post-race interview to tell us how his day went, no matter where he finishes.

Anonymous said...

Coverage was pretty good, although too much concentration on the leaders. There was a lot of action further back which was missed.

I have to question their choice of Carl Edwards on the panel at the end of the race.

Vicky D said...

Thought the booth guys had a fine day, RW is still yelling at us and saying - he's driving his brains out, or he's blowing the doors off that car, drive me nuts. DJ had especially good comments, I thought. Don't care to see CE afterward in post-race show. Lot of interviews I wish they had my two favs haven't seen them yet.

51 yr. fan said...

The script was written early for
by Mickey Mouse/ESPN/ABC to tie
a Ganassi win to the Indy 500, which of course is covered by ABC.
How many times did they need to
show him during the final stages?
The post race is turning out to
be quite good excluding the Edwards

PammH said...

Most of the coverage was good, considering how the race started. Didn't like the way they showed the finish, like many others. Not happy w/Eddie Haskell in post-race/could care LESS about how that roid rage dude's day went. will be skipping that part every post race. And I NEVER watch the Sunday nite wrap-up. Too late for me.

GinaV24 said...

I miss Racebuddy!

Marty did a nice job in the play by play but I don't need Rusty or Brad on the broadcasts at all, along with Tim Brewer, they are useless.

Lots and lots of commercials which goes along with my point about missing racebuddy.

Not showing the field crossing the finish line is a bad decision. Use a split screen if they want to show the owner/crew chief/wife/girlfriend reactions.

Yes, it was better than last year's since Marty is a good PXP guy and Jerry P does a fine job on pit road.

IMO, better than Fox but not as good or as much fun as TNT.

Still not sold that I'm going to sit and watch another 16 races by ESPN and its overproduced made for TV stories.

GinaV24 said...

and of course, we have JJ's quest for another win derailed as the lead in for sports center! gag me with a spoon.

Anonymous said...

Best ESPN brodcast since november 2000 in atlanta when Jenkins, Ned Jarrett and Benny covered the race. AWESOME post-race show, except for carl edwards. Nice to hear lots of interviews and analysis after the race, something FOX and TNT lacked in big time this year.

Marty Reid is just what ESPN needed, dude gets excited and shows passion, and Punch shined on pit road just like he used to.

Sophia said...

Anon 4:36

ESPN was better than FOX but agree the GYP at the END of no finish line, ERASED the better part of the coverage.

ESPN doesn't have a CLUE? Neither Fox.


They not only have no clue or worse, have their $$$$ and do not care.

They can tweak the Chase, DF restarts, spoiler, etc.

If we are NOT seeing it from our homes, it's all a MOOT POINT.

CRIMENY. I haven't done a YOUR TURN because my gripes remain the same.


It's not the booth.

You could bring Dale Sr back from the dead with Benny Parsons. With the current camera work we've seen and the gyp at the end, INVESTING hours of our time is not worth it

Nobody seems to get that.

+ races too long/too many commercials. I'd rather have NASCAR time races like Open Wheel. two hours is enough racing except for the huge tracks.

World is changing. Not that we are ADD but races have gotten LONGER/more convoluted/more "manipulated" and the endless THREE GWC. Most of us are done with wasting our time.

My parents & few relatives I knew were from Indy area & the history of the track.

ONLY reason I watched today live.

JD, thanks for the blog and the great people here to keep me entertained.

To sit through these long races is a form of torture.

Life is too short. Other things to do if the weather is more suitable.

Sorry to ramble on.

I just get worked up realizing our gripes of three years have gotten us NOTHING except SIX great directed races on TNT.

Darcie said...

Overall, not horrible coverage UNTIL the end. They can show the happy team and all that AFTER they show all the cars get to the checkered flag.

I will not be watching the post show because of Edwards. What does he have to offer that enhances the show? Does ESPN think it's cool to showcase this jerk? I'm surprised that, hearing all the bashing Edwards has received this season, ESPN would be smart enough to know he's toxic.

JD, do you think that after the tumbling ratings, Nascar will take a wallet hit with the next TV contract?

While I know Sprint has paid big bucks, could the Sprint woman just give a little bit of space to the winning team?

Adam Wood said...

Continued to have issues with the commercials. I actually paid attention to the ads today and noticed something-why are there so many ads for ESPN during the race? They aren't gaining any money...they are LOSING money if they have to air their own ads during the race. We have got to get to a side-by-side format for NASCAR. I heard a stat on Twitter-66% racing 33% ads. It seems that in the middle of the race it is more like 30% racing and 70% ads. Thank goodness for Twitter, otherwise I might have changed the channel.

Anonymous said...

I wish ESPN would have showed cars across the finish line but I guess they were interested in capturing the emotions.Ahh the coverage could have been better though and I would also prefer Ricky Craven over Rusty because Ricky chooses his words carefully before talking.

Richard in N.C. said...

I thought the ending of the race was shown just the way they would have drawn it up at PEOPLE magazine. Just shows again that entertainment comes before sports at L'EESPN. I think the race was still a sports event and seeing the finish of the event live it seems to me should take precedence over watching Chip G. celebrate. I thought the coverage was good until the last handful of laps, especially when the PEOPLE graduates took over.

I have criticized Carl E. a good deal in the past week, but I thought he did a very good job in his post-race analysis.

rich said...

I miss RaceBuddy. Had to go back to DirectTv Hotpass.
Other than not showing the cars crossing the finish line, I thought the broadcast was a hugh improvement. Marty showed excitement (this has been the one major difference in radio and TV) and DJ and Andy continue to improve. The pits reporters all did very good jobs.In-car shots were kept to a minimum. Lots of wide shots. I felt they did not use the cable cam to it's full advantage.
Lacking in resetting the field after cautions. The early action kind of threw the crew off stride but they recovered fairly well. I did not get all the info that I wanted about the early action and it's ramifications on different cars.
Liked Marty calling out the start and parks and lack of butts in the seats.
I used Twitter and the blog to fill in the gaps.
Liked the post race coverage. Noticed no commercials there. Why can't Nascar make the network frontload more ads to prevent breaking up the flow of the race in the last 20 laps.
Overall it was more watchable that last year but there is certainly room for improvement.

Anonymous said...

I did see bits and pieces of the broadcast today.

- The 2010 booth is a vast improvement compared to 2007. It's good to have Jerry Punch back on pit road where he excels.
-Camerashots were mixed, but it wasn't as brutal as Friday & last night.
- This weekend has really shown Rusty to be the weak link in the chain. Ricky Craven continues to impress, Rusty continues to decline.
-The checkered flag was a disappointment.

Lisa Hogan said...

I am not a fan of ESPN. I only watch the network when it carries a sporting event that I want to see. That would be NASCAR, some college football, and now tennis.

The decision makers at HYPE have no respect for the viewers. They have not learned that a script is not going to work for a race.

The race today was as usual. Every time I hear "Tim Brewer" or "tech garage", I reach for the remote. I already know that the tires go on the bottom!

And as usual, it is more important for HYPE to show the viewers the crew and the owner who is winning the invented milestone than showing the viewers the cars crossing the finish line.

I really believe that Bestwick could handle that anchor desk by himself and the viewers would actually get more information.

I have no interest in watching Carl Edwards give his views of the race.

As always, thanks to JD for this "sane village" for NASCAR fans.

Jonathan said...

good job ESPN vast improvment from last year. Love Marty Dale and Andy together! Leaps and bonds ahhead of JP!!!!!!!!!!! Sucks for Juan but im happy for Jamie pure emotion is great to see in this sport...... ok crowd still good for these time over 100,000 so hey not bad

all and all I give this a B- better camera shots than Fox and TNT good stuff woooowooo

RJ_Number8 said...

Did she actually say to bring Dale Sr. back from the dead ...

ESPN did a great job! No complaints here.
The Moderator here said that the fans at home should expect to have the same experience as being there. Well, we CAN'T experience the same thing because we AREN'T there. Every single tiny thing cannot be perfect. There are analysts who are former drivers, owners and crew chiefs. They ARE there and they DO know what it's like to be there. I listen to alot of them and what they have to say. Some are good at their analyst job and others do not have the right journalist skills. It's really that simple to me.

It gets so old to bag on Rusty every single week. The man is a racing champion. He knows what that feels like, not you. Just like earning that Super Bowl ring, it's a thing called mojo. You either have it or you don't.


Anonymous said...

I give the broadcast a B-. It could have easily been a lot worse (see fox), but it was on track to be so much better. Kudos to Marty for the job he did, plus calling out the start and park, and the comment about the empty seats. Two simple, truthful statements were all it took to give the entire broadcast tons of creditability – sad fox and na$car just can not grasp the concept. Because it has been SO OVERUSED, I HATE single car, two cars, in car, and bumper cam camera shots, this cost them a grade. I did enjoy the cable cams, this helped the grade. I can not believe they did not do a split screen after the pit stop when Juan and the Biff took four tires. You knew they were going to come through the field one way or another. Also, how smart do you have to be to do a split screen at the finish? Sorry JD, but whoever made that call is an idiot! This cost them. We would have better coverage if suits, tv media, and reporters had to watch the same thing I do.

Anonymous said...

OK it was better than last year when I literally turned the TV off for the entire espn portion after 60 laps & used other sources for racing.
The booth changes worked well & with the exception of cRusty I have no problems.Loving Doctor Jerry on pit road.

Still - show the cars crossing the finish line, less bumper side & whatever cams. Show wide angle racing more
And Tim Brewer less. And not full screen please. Also showing MM pit stop under green, in full screen, is just wrong,Thanks.

Let me end with - I really miss RaceBuddy.

longtimeracefan said...

As a fan of racing, with no particular favorite driver, it seems natural that the finish of today's Brickyard 500 focused on McMurray's #1 car and the Earnhardt/Ganassi/Sabates team in the pits. The rest of the field was running single file.

It was a historic day for the sport of American auto racing and ESPN presented it well. B+/A-.

But is combined coverage starting at 9 am and running to sometime past 5 pm a good idea? It just seems to dilute the overall effect of the event.

Sometimes, less is, truly more.

By the way, just watched McMurray's post race interview on ESPN with Bestwick, Wallace and Evernham. I may have a favorite driver after all.

Anonymous said...

Oh I forgot CE is now in the DW column, meaning when he is on as post race whatever, TV is off. No I don't want to watch his Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde routine.

Why am I not surprised espn got him? After all how long did they stick with Michael Irvin?

Brian Fletcher said...

This was the first time since ESPN started covering NASCAR again that I have been this satisfied with their coverage. Their camera work was pretty good (I'll forgive them for showing Ganassi after the checkers, since this was such an unprecedented occurrence.)

As for Marty Reid, absolutely no complaints. I love his habit of pointing out the start and park cars, and he showed emotion, which was definitely lacking with Jerry Punch.

I was torn with the amount of use the infield studio got. While I would have loved to see more of Alan Bestwick and Ray Evernham, I was definitely glad with the little amount of Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty we got.

And the post race... I'll admit, I had my doubts when they said they were going to implement it with SportsCenter, but I thought they did a great job. My only complaint about the post race was the inclusion of Carl Edwards. But it gave us a sense of what every post race Edwards interview will be: a politically-correct blurb about his feelings on the winner, then they talk about his race. Nothing too interesting.

All in all, I enjoyed today's broadcast a lot more than most this season.

Anonymous said...

RJ_Number8: Are you serious on your Rusty comments? At ORP, he said it was a clean start as cars were wrecking. He still thought Hornaday cut a tire despite Hornaday stating himself it was not a tire failure. He restated the obvious from AB today. It has been the same old all year from him. He may be a Winston Cup champion, but he struggles as a television analyst.

Wisconsin Steve said...

Biggest improvement: Jamie Little. She was terrific today.

Anonymous said...

What in the world is the idea behind switching away from a car rolling down the track on fire to a car with body damage? Good gravy, isn't anyone paying attention in the truck?

Anonymous said...

ESPN was covering a historical moment in racing. I give them a break. They cut to the crew celebration after Dale SR won Daytona. I know. Not quite as historical, but you wouldn't complain here would you?
A massive improvement over the cup TV coverage so far this season.
Enough said.

Anonymous said...

Ricky Craven on the rise, Rusty on the decline. I echo that !

Melissa said...

Anon 7:28-

It was a good idea to cut away from Papis. The safety crew was there, his window net was not down yet, and the car kept moving. 9 times out of 10, if a car is on fire and the driver is told, he's getting out of the car as fast as he can; he doesn't continue driving. At that point there was no way of knowing, unless we were listening to Papis' scanner, what was going on inside the car. Someone at ESPN probably had to switch over to Papis' scanner, and the decision was probably made to switch away from his car until they knew what was going on with Max.

On another note, was it ever mentioned if Robby Gordon made contact with anyone or the wall or if his tire just went?

Mustang Mark F said...

Ok lets start with the positives - and to be honest I'm struggling to find them.

I loved the little previously used camera angle at car roof height from the pit lane. It realy gave a great impression of just how fast these cars go - which isnt easy in a place as big as Indy.

Second positive - Jamie wins award for being able to make a firesuit look good.

Ok now for the down points. ESPN completely missed how the crash on the first turn happened. Ok in their defence its impossible to predict when a crash is going to happen - but it was always a distinct possibility. They should have had the cams static on the entry and exit of the corners with a wide field of view.

The narrow field of view was also a feature throughout the race and at the finish. Thereby robbing the viewer of opportunities to see how cars were gaining or losing time on each other. At one point a comm exclaimed "look at how (Biffle I think it was) is closing on him" but the picture only showed a close up of the car being caught. So Mr Comm - I would love to see this but your director was trying to get the cameraman to read the stickers behind the front wheels.

As for the finish - epic fail. Sorry but this race is only 13 years old. It has the historical signficance on world motorsport that a mayflys lifespan does on world history. Trifector my butt. The motorsport crown is Indy500 Daytona500, Lemans 24 hours and Monaco GP. The "trifector" strikes me as a meaningless statistic made up by tv networks to give themselves something to talk about. As such ignoring all the other finishers was completely uncalled for. However, winning both races at Indy and the Daytona is good achievement - so well done Chip - its just not as momentus as ESPN is making it out.

Well done ESPN for commenting on the empty stands - but as viewers we're not idiots and could see them (especially after a piece of computer animation telling us how well attended the event is). I for one would be interested in the reasons behind them. OK I know the economy is still hurting for one. But what are the other resons you mentioned? What's your views on them? How can it be rectified? "Lets not discuss it" doesnt cover it for me".

Similarly when the last pitstop happened - 6 cars took 2 tyres and the rest 4. The next 10 mins were filled with a discussion along the lines of why 2 tyres was right. No discussion at all of could 4 tyres be right? Once the green fell JPM had issues trying to push too hard, yet Biffle worked his way to 3rd. Yet the comms stuck with the original assumption that 2 tyres was the way to go purely due to JPMs performance- what about the others???

I didnt see much of last years ESPN coverage - but if this is an improvement - it must have been chronic

Travis B said...

Loved the post race! Finally, someone gets it!

Marty Reid is great. I'm glad ESPN put him in that role. I think he will make the most out of this.

I still have a problem with the commercials though, but I do have trackpass, so it's not as bad as it is for others. But, I would love to see side by side and Racebuddy.

I would like to see a new driver in the post race analysis though every race. Having Carl there every weekend will get old I think. If it was rotated, then it would be cool.

But I was really impressed with ESPN. They have the right people in the right roles.

Lisa Hogan said...

Mustang Mark F
Thanks for the laugh and I agree with your comment.
except, I thought Delana already had that firesuit thing covered. :)

Richard in N.C. said...

Post-race call-in show on WLW radio from Cincinnati had calls from several people who attended the race and commented favorably, several of whom apparently decided to go to the race without tickets and found them reasonably cheap outside the track.

RJ_Number8 said...

@Buschseries61 -- What I said exactly on that portion of the blog was that not one of the three commentators said a word when the initial crash started. When Rusty said clean race, none of us knew what was going on. The camera angle was too far away and no one said anything about it. That was my impression. Then all the posters here went completely ape shit over it.

And what I just posted, that which you commented on, was that some people have good journalist skills and others do not. In the grand scheme of things, would you take Kenny Wallace calling a race or take Rusty? And don't say neither because it's not the choices. You know you would take Rusty.

Let's be friends. :)

Vicky D said...

Travis B, maybe ESPN should rotate Carl Edwards one week and then Brad Keselowski the next and back again. I also feel every week of seeing/hearing Carl might get stale.

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed the presentation of the race. Exciting commentary made what has recently been a somewhat boring race interesting. Liked how they showed and discussed the racing back in the field and called out the start-and-parks. Enjoyed the wider camera angles (especially the overhead cam on the frontstretch) and less use of in-car cameras. I also liked the close up shots of the cars coming on pit road. Nice follow-up of stories during the postrace coverage. Definitely an improvement over several races I've watched this season. Hope ESPN can keep up the good work!

MRM4 said...

As bad as ESPN was the last few years, they were that good today. Reid is a major upgrade over Punch as PxP guy. He clicked with Jarrett and Petree.

Pit reporting was good, something we rarely saw from Fox this year.

Replays were excellent. The one negative here is not having anything that showed the lap 1 spin by Busch. But you can't cover everything unless you have 43 in-car cameras.

The only negatives were still piping in fake crowd noise to start the race, use of the Tech Center, and having Daughtery on the coverage team.

OSBORNK said...

As race coverage goes, this race was much better than most. They would save money and make fans happier if the booth was occupied only by DJ and Marty. The rest don't add anything and are a distraction. I think th coverage of the race was better than the race itself. You can only do so much when you attempt to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

red said...

pre-race: still not watching it so i have no opinion
* cable cam makes me a happy viewer and i would have liked it more.
* i assume there is an "out" button on the zoom lens of the cameras? too many tights shots, altho' a VAST improvement over fox's work (& tnt's, to be honest.)
* a field reset was desperately needed several times today but never really happened
* the ending was a big fail. it should be a set-in-stone moment that the checkers show at least the top 5 cars crossing the line at a place like indy. there as something ultimately dissatisfying about not seeing who finished in 2,3, and 4 after all that.
* and as someone else has posted, that whole "trifecta" language was artificial and forced as well. not every milestone needs a catchy buzzword.
* booth was fine; lose the 4 talking heads in the infield and give me bestwick and evernham each week.
* i did not like the edwards segment. it feels forced and a case of "look how hip we are: we have a real, honest to God race car driver here after the race." maybe he's being groomed for a career after racing which, until last weekend, i thought was a perfect choice. but all in all, i was underwhelmed.
* as for the rest of it: awesome job! it cannot be easy getting drivers to stay around after the race is over but they had a nice selection and they also spoke about issues from the race. very nicely handled.
* i couldn't face SC so i turned off at the top of the hour. i don't watch SC normally & had seen all i needed in re: nascar in the post-race show. i will give espn props for promoting nascar by weaving it into their premier recap show, however.
* noticed when they did sign off and recapped next week's coverage? no word on any programming from speed next week, including trucks. can't we all just get along?

glenc1 said...

just one comment about the 3 race thing---this is not an 'invented' statistic. I thought of it myself last week while they were on an off week--just a 'wouldn't it be cool if' moment. For those not aware, when Franchitti won Indy, they flew Jamie Mac & the Daytona trophy to Indy and had photos taken together. I am biased, yes, but the fact that the winning Daytona/Indy/Indy occured to me long before it was mentioned by any media (and that came because of JPM's performance last year, not McMurray's) shows it was not something they just pulled out of the sky to talk about.

As for it only being he & Penske--just remember, they are not the ONLY open wheel guys to try NASCAR. Just the only ones who were successful at it, so it IS a big accomplishment. I'd love it if Rick Hendrick decided to put Tony Stewart in an Indy car next year for that Bruton purse, but I doubt he's planning on it any time soon (obviously Tony could choose to try it himself...)

Honestly, I don't like it when TV overdoes a story (Carl & Brad, for example; big time overkill), and this one they did a bit, but I don't think it was the overwhelming thing some are suggesting.

I am recusing myself from much commentary on the race ending, but I did like Marty Reid, I thought Jamie Little was better than usual (even pulling the spotter thing with Kyle out of her hat--did a director tell her to ask?). Jerry P, THANK YOU for going back to the pits where you are the benchmark for all to follow. I thought the camera shots were okay; maybe could be better; we will see next week. Pocono is not everyone's favorite race so they may be a tough test.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Sophia. There are just too many announcers battling for airtime.
Bestwick should be the play by play guy. Period


Norm said...

Coverage was OK. Certainly not the worst from ESPN. In Canada, It was picked up by TSN, who play the same commercials over and over and over again. Very tiring. What's with all the Carl Edwards bashing? Go Carl Go!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't care less about what Carl Edwards has to say.

Mary in Richmond, VA

Donna in FL said...

Have come to conclusion that the purpose of RaceBuddy app is to hold interest in the TV race. Between ESPN's don't-give-a-crap coverage & the commercials, I was definitely ONCE AGAIN spending more time reading Twitter & listening to scanners & radio to get info on the Cup race. And the lack of showing the end of the race was unforgivable. This isn't a knock on the booth, it is an improvement over last year (except Rusty). But I was so upset after terrible NNS coverage at ORP (which I couldn't understand because ESPN has been doing such a good job with those races all season), I came into the Cup coverage already angry about that. So I hope my perception was skewed although reading comments here & elsewhere, maybe not.

I wasn't happy with the pre race, mostly because they were repeating previous NASCAR Now segments. The SportCenter addition just had segments I'd already seen on post race, so that's great for people who missed the post race but useless to me. Thank god SPEED still has Victory Lane, I'll stick with that as proper followup. The late late NASCAR Now followup was too delayed & a useless snipe-fest not worth watching. PS ESPN. Edwards has to go. I couldn't hear most of it because of the heckling. His credibility is shot. I think having a race participant in studio for analysis is great (hello TWIN), but why not rotate drivers? How about the in-race reporter? We will not be watching if they keep Edwards.

Anonymous said...

For those of you who were as disgusted as I about Carl showing up for the post-race, send ESPN an email letting them know. If Nascar has a fan council, let's be the voice for ESPN. I immediately turned my TV off and will continue to do so as long as Carl's appearances continue.

Darcie said...

I cannot believe what I'm reading today. Brian France had the audacity to say there's nothing wrong with the TV broadcasts this season. In a number of stories and blogs, this head in the sand idiot doesn't think the fall in viewership has anything to do with how bad the broadcasts have been. He obviously hasn't read anything in the mainstream media or on blogs such as TDP to realize the outcry of a vast majority of fans against the likes of Fox, TNT and ESPN. OK, so he doesn't think the problem is with the broadcast, so the only other reason has to be that Nascar is putting out a crappy product. What will be interesting is when the TV contracts are up for renewal, will Emperor Brian see a huge fall in his income when networks refuse to pay the billions of dollars for broadcast rights? Will that be the ONLY time France admits there's a real problem with the sport his Granddaddy started? I'm not so sure because it's obvious France and his cronies are so out of touch that nothing will wake them up unless there are no takers for Nascar other than Versus.

goat said...

I know some here are not fond of DW and Larry Mac, but the problem with ESPN is that the commentary is inane, and often just wrong. Fox doesn't do as bad in that area.

Also, Regan Smith lost his rear end running in the top 20, and ESPN never even mentioned him leaving the track.

Anonymous said...

Lisa Hogan said Every time I hear "Tim Brewer" or "tech garage", I reach for the remote. I already know that the tires go on the bottom!

Amen sistah! LOL

I think ESPN did okay. B is a fair grade. The cable cam was awesome, but I think that's a permanent thing at Indy. We won't see it elsewhere this season so don't get your hopes up.

Carl was okay at the end, his haters sound like immature first graders having temper's NASCAR and the networks trying to cater to backwards race fans like this that have ruined racing. Ya know, rocks and hard places. But I will say I would prefer ESPN have a different driver after the race each week. Maybe then MY driver could be featured!

Bill B said...

I thought the coverage, of what was a pretty boring race after the first 15 laps, was OK given what they had to work with.

Best thing they did was address and dismiss the attendance issues. Yes we all know attendance is down. Thanks for not trying to hide it or tell us everyone was shopping for souveniers.

Worst thing... giving Carl Edwards a voice that he doesn't deserve.

Anonymous said...

I started the day by turning on Race Day. Three minutes of DW,Kyle and Kenny and I turned it off. On ESPN, I like Brad,but I'd have to let him go. Rusty is just obnoxious. I'm not a fan of Tim Brewer,but thought he did a good job Sunday. I'm not a fan of Marty Reid. He makes a lot of mistakes on air. Like getting the leader of the race wrong a couple of times. He made a comment about Kyle Busch moving up from 16th to 9th. Heck,after spinning out,he started at the back of the field. Edwards is a good speaker and did well in the post race show. I'm not a fan of Montoya. I think he's a hot headed little punk. McMurray is always a class act. All things considered,I don't see a big difference between the three networks covering the Sprint races.

stick with the Biff said...

anon 12:00--I have to agree on the Edwards thing. He did something wrong on the racetrack and he paid a different than Kevin Harvick or Tony Stewart or Kez or any number of other drivers have done. I am not an Edwards fan, I'm more a Biffle/Kenseth fan, if you catch my drift. But this is getting ridiculous. Carl is good on TV. Simple as that. He's a current Cup driver with a lot of insight on what goes on on the racetrack; his bad temper doesn't mean he has nothing valid to say. If you hate him, don't watch, but I think it's over the top to say he has no credibility because he wrecked someone. Good grief, check out Dale Earnhardt's career....

Kevin said...

Good coverage by ESPN. Of course there were too many commercials...but there always are. Who would watch a race these days without DVR??

I was actually very happy to see the extended post-race show on ESPN. I hope they do something similar after the other races, too. Carl Edwards is a good commentator, I don't know why people hate him so much. I will say that I didn't care for the ridiculous number of advertising patches on his fire suit. I swear he has more ads than any other drive. I wonder how much they all paid him to get him on that post-race show? If putting the races on ESPN instead of ABC means more post-race, then forget about ABC. Who needs pre-race? We just want post-race.

Marylee said...

I get so tired of the announcers talking about the Brickyard 400 and the Daytona 500 being the "Big 2" of the entire racing year. I normally don't like to listen to Rusty, but at least he pointed out that the Coca Cola 600 should be included as one of the "must win" races. BUT, that was one comment versus probably 10-15 times from the others.

Anonymous said...

I thought the broadcast was better than last year. To me they were on a par with TNT this year and better than FOX.. I especially like the way they talked about the smaller teams and mentioned the stands were half empty. Something FOX would never dream of. Like all of the other comments, I didn't like Carl on the post race show. If it were me I would replace him with Jamie McMurray.

GinaV24 said...

I think one of the most aggravating things I heard all weekend wasn't on ESPN - although Rusty did a great deal of that. Brian France's comment from the press conference when he said that the "complaints about the TV coverage didn't concern him". It darn well should, but he's more worried about tweaking the chase to turn off MORE fans.

I forgot to say that I did watch the post-race coverage on ESPN after the race - although I switched channels when they went to Edwards segment. I am NOT going to watch his stuff - not one little bit. I thought they did a pretty nice job of it although the whole SC thing makes me twitch.

Adam Wood said...

Just read commercial report from Interesting-30% of the broadcast spent in commercial break. Average of 6 minutes of racing for every 2 minutes of commercials. Plus more advertisements were for ESPN than anything else besides restaurants. 16 ads for ESPN-aren't you losing money?

Chadderbox said...

I don't know if making Nascar Suits watch a NASCAR Telecast would be enough punishment for what they have done to this sport the last couple of years. But it would be punishment, nonetheless.

I attend 5 Nascar races a year and I know what it's like to be at the racetrack. What happens on these network broadcasts on Sunday is torture. Viewers who have never been to race don't have anything to compare it to, but I do! What I see when I tune in to see the race on SUNDAY is 99 percent junk, bad producing, bad decisions from directors, or whoever it is who make the decisions on what we see on tv. It's a joke. We don't even get to see the race! The whole race! The whole field!

The directors or producer (whoever they are) think that they are doing an Academy Awards Production or something. The truth is...a nascar race does not need a script. Something different happens every week at every race, so just show me that,ok!

There are too many personalities during the broadcast, too many talking heads, too many panels, too much tech talk. They could cut the personalities in half. Keep the pros and get rid of the jokes.

Rusty can go
Time Brewer can go
Carl can go
Brad D can go

The tight camera shots can go.

Just show me the race that is happening at that moment and quit trying to give us a made for television movie!!!

Anonymous said...

The Carl Edwards commentary each week doesn't sit well with me. I like the idea, but would prefer a rotation of different drivers.

Anonymous said...

ESPN seemed to have a few more minutes of commercials than TNT did thus cutting the race viewing time short. I know they need commercials to pay for the broadcast, but it gets old when they keep using more time for them. Sort of like mfgs giving you 14 ounces now for the price they used to get for 16.

I have no interest in watching or listening to Edwards do his double talk crap. He has lost respect from a lot of people and will continue to run viewers off rather than gain them. Ryan Newman said it all when he was questioned about that Gateway incident and I believe most fans will turn off the tv as I did when Edwards comes on.

Anonymous said...

I read this blog and wonder what the problem is? What's with this finish line complaint? The finishing order is on the screen so you know where each guy finished. Commercials are part of TV so get used to it. Marty Reid has done well and as long as the broadcast isn't hillbillied up by Larry, DW and Hammond I enjoy watching racing on TV.

Charlie said...

I have been watching Nascar for 30 years or more. Remember when Greg Sacks drove the 41 Kellogg car. I guess you could say I am an old timer in Nascar.
Watching the races this weekend and hearing and seeing people post how the telecast was good is sad. If these 3 races were telecast like they were presented this weekend in the 1980's the telecast would have been questioned about what happen. The races were poorly shown and changes have to be made.
I think what is happening is that Nascar is doing such a poor job that your long time race fans have stopped watching and going to races because of such poor broadcasts and presentation of the sport. All you have left now is new Nascar fans and they have nothing to use to compare to a good broadcast from a bad one. Nascar and the groups telecasting the races don't care what was before. They have made a decision to change the way a race is watched and they know better then the old time fans. They want new fans and they want them to accept what is being shown because it is the best that can be done. New fans won't complain.
In-car cams, roof cams, bumper cams are all the cool thing. Zooming in on one car and watching it go around the track is cool to.
There maybe 43 cars out there but the only important one is the one that finishes first, forget the rest. Fans watch to see who won not where the other cars finished.
This is Nascar now. If you don't like it, leave and go do something else. Nascar figures new fans will take the place of these old timers and their old ways.
The problem with this thinking is new fans aren't climbing on board to grasp this new way of watching and being apart of Nascar.

Anonymous said...

I thought Marty Reid did better than last year, but they still have a ways to go to beat Fox. I am sick and tired of ESPN trying to compare racing to football/basketball/baseball. Racing is racing, not stick and ball sports. Espn just does not get it. Nascar has its own fan base, you dont have to convert NFL,NBA,MLB fans to racing. I talked to a person who was at the race, he asked if I saw this and that. Apparently, TV coverage did not cover a lot of things.

Trident said...

Not a terrible start for BSPN.

-Ray Evernham's commentary.
-ANY camera selected to show a group [or groups] of cars (there were a few.)
-Jamie McMurray - smooooth. (Oh wait, he was a participant.)

Minuses, and there were plenty:

-ANY in-car camera during green flag conditions [Fine for post-wreck analysis.]

-ANY camera angle that does not include a group of cars and their relative positions showing gain/loss.

-ANY single-car camera angle, especially ANY car on pit road under green.

-ANY down-time to the running order scroll. It's the only way a TV-only viewer can place relative gain/loss while the director chooses one of the many 'no-info' cameras.

-Rusty Wallace. Continuing proof that a former champion/racer/participant does not necessarily make an engaging TV color commentator.

-No 'at-the-line' finish. The jubilant Ganassi and team could have been inserted during the cool-down lap, after BSPN showed the lead-lap finishers crossing the line. FAIL.

- Does anyone really consider BD (and other conflict-of-interest TV personnel) seriously in their commentary on ANY of the big-3 series broadcasts?

- CE on post-race analysis. Huh? Perhaps a weekly driver float, including, perhaps, the start-and-park drivers (heaven forbid a candid participant!?) If this is a weekly CE contract with BSPN, it was, and is, an out-of-the-gate FAIL.

- 'Screetch' Sheheen learned how to do the tough interview, in the standard set by Chris Economaki; Punch should watch their replays and learn (not re-learn; JP has always a softball questioner.)

Hmmm... Maybe my lead statement is overly positive and the BSPN troupe needs to do some homework.

David said...

I don't know, I didn't think ESPN did all that bad a job personally.

Skipped the pre-race but was very impressed where their post race was concerned. Give credit where it is due they have been the most serious in a post-race effort on the same station then anyone else has been this season.

I don't mind in-cars when they are used sparingly, but I do mind when the bozo in the truck tries to keep joysticking the camera and it keeps moving. They need to learn to use the camera less and move it less when using it. They keep moving it trying to get "ahead" of a shot and 99% of the time they miss what they were trying to catch to start with and had they left it alone it would have done the job.

The camera work was about on par for the season, glide cam was cool but all of the partners need to show more wideshots though after Reid addressed the poor crowd you kind of knew what we were in store for.

Marty Reid is a huge plus, I love his honesty and it is quite refreshing. He may not have quite the play by play skills of a Bestwick or Jenkins but he keeps his guys on point and isn't afraid to say what he needs to.

Rusty Wallace needs to go though, I really do not feel he adds enough. If you use him with LaJoie he actually is worthwhile but since it appears ESPN may not use Randy much if at all anymore, Rusty should either get with the program or take a hike. BD, I like the guy as a person but I can't take him as a credible race guy. Brewer AND Evernham is overkill, pick one (Ray please) and use Brewer during the week for NASCAR Now, or vice-versa.

My two cents on it.

I can take or leave the finish line stuff, I was used to it prior to 2001, I can live with it now.

Anonymous said...

still dont know why allen bestwick isnt in the booth

Trident said...


David said...
I don't know, I didn't think ESPN did all that bad a job personally.

-"I don't know" is rather noncommittal...

Skipped the pre-race but was very impressed where their post race was concerned. Give credit where it is due they have been the most serious in a post-race effort on the same station then anyone else has been this season.

- Yep. But the replays of live coverage seriously fouled their credibility.

I don't mind in-cars when they are used sparingly, but I do mind when the bozo in the truck tries to keep joysticking the camera and it keeps moving. They need to learn to use the camera less and move it less when using it. They keep moving it trying to get "ahead" of a shot and 99% of the time they miss what they were trying to catch to start with and had they left it alone it would have done the job.

-Yep. FAIL.

The camera work was about on par for the season, glide cam was cool but all of the partners need to show more wideshots though after Reid addressed the poor crowd you kind of knew what we were in store for.

-Not sure what you mean by that; Oh wait, yep. Try to exclude the AWFUL pittance of a pitifully-empty grandstand.

Marty Reid is a huge plus, I love his honesty and it is quite refreshing. He may not have quite the play by play skills of a Bestwick or Jenkins but he keeps his guys on point and isn't afraid to say what he needs to.

-Marty's 'adequate' IMO, and it will rest there.

Rusty Wallace needs to go though, I really do not feel he adds enough. If you use him with LaJoie he actually is worthwhile but since it appears ESPN may not use Randy much if at all anymore, Rusty should either get with the program or take a hike.

- YEP re: Rusty. At least Randy makes a good seat!

BD, I like the guy as a person but I can't take him as a credible race guy. Brewer AND Evernham is overkill, pick one (Ray please) and use Brewer during the week for NASCAR Now, or vice-versa.

-Yep. NO conflict-of-interests.

My two cents on it.

-And I'll up you to a nickel! :>]

I can take or leave the finish line stuff, I was used to it prior to 2001, I can live with it now.

-The finish line 'stuff' is basic coverage. Flying heads at the screen-top takes the viewer's eyes away from the subject camera. FAIL.

David: Good take; NO foul intended here. Alternate viewpoints work.

Trident said...

"I don't know, I didn't think ESPN did all that bad a job personally."

If you don't know, why type the words?

"Skipped the pre-race but was very impressed where their post race was concerned."

Their post-race on Sportscenter was replays of their 'post-race' on BSPN. Imagine: A Live Replay, 15 minutes later!

"Rusty Wallace needs to go though,..."
An Emphatic YES. Just look at his stooping to the commercial in the old wagon. Probably his everyday disguise, except it's his pre-BSPN-coiff. Awful.

Sorry David, that neither your JPM nor KB took the checkered.
Consider -
Oh, never mind.
Stuff Happens.
'still dont know why allen bestwick isnt in the booth'
July 26, 2010 8:23 PM

Maybe at Bestwick's elevated experience he does not want the responsibility and pressure of the play-by-play commentator?

Perhaps Alan B is very secure and comfortable as the secondary host?

We all deal with the pressure/deliver-the-goods differently. Alan's an experienced and smart guy. I have no take, but would suggest that Alan could fill ANYONE's shoes anywhere at ANY position - ESPECIALLY THE DIRECTOR'S CHAIR - at the track.

Trident said...

Just a general comment or three:

- The telecast should present, at the minimum, the equivalent of the 'live-at-the-track' viewer's viewpoint.

- The telecast should present additional viewpoints that the 'live-at-the-track' viewer's viewpoint cannot 'see' from his/her seat, but which allows them to enhance their live experience.

The 'truck/director' needs to present the selection(s) of a 'floating' camera, which will select and share with ALL viewers, both live and watching their TV, a perspective that will enhance and present the experience that a 'floating' live camera/viewer could experience when live at the track.

(This is a Very Difficult presentation and perspective to type into words.)

David said...

Well I guess I should respond here, I don't know was just how I started it since it was still hard for me to gauge ESPN's efforts so far.

It has been alot better then they have been their first few years back but yes they do have quite a ways to come still.

While we keep asking for wideshots here, I don't think they are going to happen because for 4 years now we have asked and it is seemingly the only aspect of the broadcasts no one is willing to touch.

Also, I said I like Reid's ability to keep DJ and Petree on point and not let them wonder or have to pick up his slack. From a true play by play standpoint he is no where near a Jenkins, Bestwick or Joy. I don't expect that out of him, but he is honest and is a far cry from Jerry Punch doing play by play which means they are going in the right direction.

I don't have much of a anti-in-car sentiment as others do here so my view on it is what I stated before. The way CBS and ESPN did it in the late 90's was ideal I felt.

As for the finish line stuff I am saying I dont necessarily care if all the cars are shown across the line or not. Flying heads are disorienting and distracting I will give you that. If everyone is coming to the line single file and there are no battles for position its not as compelling to watch as an emotional crew and driver celebrating a huge victory.

I'm glad we can have opposing viewpoints, not saying either of us are more right then the other we just like different aspects.

I can easily do without Rusty, Brad, or Brewer so I won't go up to bat for any of them.

Also, what is this about NASCAR fining star drivers for critical remarks? Anyone know anything more then what was on Jayski?

Also not upset JPM nor Kyle did not win...Kyle was a lower top 10 car all day and Juan's crew just got caught out by pit strategy.

I like Jamie so it was great to see him finally win one off of a plate track in his own ride