Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Wednesday TV/Media Notes

Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a primetime TV moment on the Shaq vs. show on ABC Tuesday night. Love to get your comments on how you felt this worked for Junior and also for the sport.

Jack Arute informed us that he will be calling the play-by-play on the new NASCAR Modifieds TV package for VERSUS. The surprise was that Jimmy Spencer is going to be alongside of Arute providing the analysis. Click here to read the details and take a look at the rest of the Mods schedule on TV.

Saturday's Pocono truck series race on SPEED wound-up #2 in basic cable for that timeslot, only losing out to King Kong on TNT. The ARCA rating was also good on the weekend where SPEED announced it had extended its agreement to televise ARCA races through 2011.

Rutlege Wood is off to Los Angeles this weekend to work on the new Top Gear program that is coming to the US on The History Channel. Wendy Venturini will take his place on the infamous NASCAR Smarts program. Click here to review the details of the new 10 episode series. SPEED's Tanner Foust from Supercars Exposed and Adam Ferrara from FX's Rescue Me are Wood's co-stars. The series is slated to debut this fall.

Next week SPEED's Race Hub series goes on the road, but not very far. The show is stepping out of the studio so it can be revamped with a new set. The schedule is Monday at JGR, Tuesday at Roush Fenway, Wednesday at Penske and Thursday at Hendrick Motorsports. This show has come a long way and now with the new one-hour format, it deserved a better studio set.

Despite the strong performance of Ricky Craven and Ray Evernham, ESPN will not be taking a second set of announcers to Watkins Glen. Marty Reid, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree will be handling both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series duties. In the past, that has made for some tired announcers by the time Sunday afternoon rolled around. This trio will handle practice and qualifying for both series in addition to the races. Coverage jumps back and forth between ESPN and ESPN2, so reference the TV schedule on the left side of the TDP page.

ESPN executive John Skipper has said in recent interviews that changes are coming to ESPNEWS and ESPN Classic network. Once again this past weekend, ESPN Classic was used to host the pre-race and early race portions of a NASCAR telecast. As the college football season closes in, viewers know the Nationwide Series telecasts will once again be sandwiched in between football games. Hopefully, ESPN will identify a viable television or online source that can present the Nationwide telecasts from start to finish for fans of that series.

Fans should note that Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series qualifying sessions this weekend are back-to-back on Saturday from Watkins Glen beginning at 9AM ET. This is the road course format, so things should be a bit more interesting. Don't forget, there is also a CWTS race from Nashville on Saturday night. Pre-race starts at 8:30PM on SPEED, the race is at 9PM ET. No early coverage is offered.

Please feel free to leave us your comments on the topics mentioned above. 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 The Daly Planet.


Anonymous said...

I couldn't care less about Juneyer and Shaq doing anything, but if it helps new people gain some interest in Nascar I guess it's a positive.

I'm very excited about the modifieds being covered on Versus. This is what Nascar needs just as much as good Cup coverage. It needs every division covered.

Ritchie said...

I just watched the Shaq vs. program. I thought it was great fun, and Shaq was very respectful and friendly.

I'm sure some of it was contrived, but it was definitely a fun show.

Charlie said...

I hope Espn will put Dave Burns, Ricky Craven and Ray Evernham back in the booth again soon. They did a terrific job last Saturday.

oldnewenglander said...

Something makes me think Jack was the catalyst for Versus deciding to cover the Modifieds.

He knows so much about that series, particularly up north, that he could do the one-man booth Vin Scully routine.

Any word if SPEED or ESPN will cover Bristol?

77KJAX said...

I am NOT a Shaq fan , but I am a Junior fan & I saw a short clip from one of the aft shows, so I decided to check it out ..... It was suprisingly entertaining & humorous, Shaq did a nice job all around, especially with the young spelling kids .... I enjoyed it ..... Jack Arute & Jimmy!!!OMG, probably a disaster , but I will still watch & hope I'm wrong ......

77KJAX said...

WOW , after about a year & half , I've been accepted onto the fan council .. Yippee , so you folks that have applied, don't give up .... JD , do you think the refusal to use separate booth teams is all about $$$ & contracts? I don't any other good reason after last saturday.....

Anonymous said...

Basic Telvision Mathmatics

Modifieds + Versus = 0 Ratings

bad move

51 yr. fan said...

I read with excitement about VS
carrying the Whelen series (except
Spencer). Then I looked at the viewing schedule. Are they kidding??? 11PM...
Will the working public be awake to
watch? Oh, wait, it's 8PM prime
time on the other coast. I guess
that is their target audience, just
ask Brian.

GinaV24 said...

Can't say I'm interested in the Jr/Shaq deal either, but others may be so that's fine.

I am excited about the whelen modified series being shown - the times I've watched its been good racing, but since I'm not as familiar with it as NASCAR, it needs a good announcer to follow the action. I don't know the person you named, but hopefully he will do as nice a job as Mike Joy & Dick B did when I watched this series before. Spencer should be good at this since he raced in the series once upon a time.

Glad to hear that ARCA will be renewed -- it gives me more reasons to watch Speed -- when they concentrated on various forms of racing, I watched more since I'm not into the "lifestyle" programming.

I'm sorry to hear that ESPN isn't bringing 2 announcing crews to the Glen -- I thought the Burns, Craven and Evernham broadcast from Iowa was really really good.

the good news on the people they are bringing -- no Rusty!

Blue Duecer said...

What better pub to get than having Shaq, who brings the black fan and young fan in, race JR. in PRIMETIME TV. If Nascar wants to expand its fanbase, these types of things have to happen more often. I say bravo to ABC, NASCAR and Shaq. Props to Shaq for telling all the haters/doubters out there that Nascar driver are athletes

glenc1 said...

JD--just wondering if you think (or know) if the schedule changes this year at the Glen are TV driven--they've never had qualifying on Saturday before, and the Grand Am race was always Friday night.

I have tried hard to like Rusty--but honestly, he's just not getting better; he can't retrain himself not to use the tired catchphrases, so I tell you what, I'm glad he's not there. But I don't think the booth will be tired with Marty there, he'll prop them up.

I don't have Versus, but if there IS something Jimmy knows about, I guess it's gardening and modifieds. Who knows, he might be good (and I'm not generally a fan....)

Daly Planet Editor said...


SPEED was quick to answer your question this AM.

The network will cover the Mods at Bristol again this year.

Wednesday night will be CWTS qualifying, the Mod race, the CWTS pre-race and then the race.

Nice line-up! Thanks to the SPEED folks for the info.


Daly Planet Editor said...

ESPN has used one announcing team on the combo weekends since 2007 and it has never worked well.

Watkins Glen, especially on Saturday, is going to wear these guys out.

Maybe ESPN will wake up and get a clue on this one.

No idea on the Saturday qualifying doubleheader. Doubt it's TV driven because those shows are not a big ratings item.

If anyone has a suggestion or clue why the Saturday Cup qualifying at The Glen, let us know!


Dannyboy said...

Re; TOP GEAR America: Yuck. Double Yuck now that in addition to the baby Tanner Foust they've shown me exactly who their demographic is with the addition of Rutledge.

Thank God I just got BBC channel! There is only one TOP GEAR and its host is Jeremy Clarkson.

Mr Excitement is an obvious choice for color on Whelen VS. He's a 2-time champ of that series. Looking fwd to his "piquant" commentary ;-)

TexasRaceLady said...

I had some great laughs during Shaq vs Junior. It was a fun show and not at all serious.

I'm thrilled to see the mods being televised. Am especially happy to see the mod race from Bristol.

Anonymous said...

I tuned into Shaq/Jr only because Jr was on. They made you watch the full hour if you wanted to see the actual "racing" between them.

It certainly didn't hurt Jr's branding. It presented him in a positive light. Surprised by Shaq. Thought he interacted well. Acknowledged racers were athletes.

I actually liked Shaq with the spelling bee kids. Put him in a much more positive light than I had him as a basketball player.

Iowa Marsha

West Coast Diane said...

Although a JR fan, I reluctantly DVR'd the show. Much to my surprise (and my husband's, who groaned at first) it was good fun.

Not going to win an Emmy. Nor will I ever watch the show again. But, like someone said previously, if it brings attention and a few new fans to Nascar, great.

Yes to Ricky & Ray in the booth, Pretty please, with sugar on top

Lisa Hogan said...

I had never watched the Shaq program until last night. I thought it was cute and really enjoyed it.

I thought that the Nationwide crew did a good job covering the race last weekend and I’m sorry that they won’t be around this weekend.

Just a general note: Just because a viewer in Montana has access to all the cable TV channels and special websites, that doesn’t mean that a viewer in Maine has the same. ;)

GinaV24 said...

JD, do you know if Mikey is in the booth for the truck race on Saturday?

Daly Planet Editor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sbaker17 said...

The Shaq vs show had a few hilarious moments. It also gave JR a chance to win a race :). I just wonder how much WD-40 was used to squeeze Shaq into the seat.
I don't get Versus, so hopefully it will be broadcast on the net. The best race each year for quite some time now has been the Whelen Mods at New Hampshire.
Top Gear w/Rutledge - I won't watch. There has to be someone better.
NASCAR Smarts - isn't.
And,as always, when there is a program with an announcer whose last name that begins with 'Wal' I will not be in front of the TV

Daly Planet Editor said...

Yes, he is Gina. The complete TV schedule is on the left side of our mainpage.

51 yr. fan said...

I'm sorry for the bad comments on
the Whelen Tour presentation times.
They are at 7 PM with a rerun at
11 PM. It took a second reading
to recognize my error. Should
be a great addition to the racing

GinaV24 said...

Thanks, JD.

Anonymous said...

I had never seen Shaq's show before but liked it last night :). But now I have to watch it again because I missed our twitter buddy Christa :(. Glad to see Andy get quite a bit of airtime :).

Shaq seemed to have a great time doing the show. :)

Anonymous said...

JD do you have an insight on why ratings for the Pocon race on ESPN were rather high? I think its great and would love to see it continue.

But I read somewhere it rated higher that the Brickyard 400 and Coke Zero 400......but why? The race also wasnt that steallar exciting till the end?

glenc1 said...

Anon 3:09--a lot of times that is based on its competition. Maybe there was just nothing else on. (Personally I like Pocono, it's just too long.)

got to admit, I haven't watched the Glen Cup race on TV in a while since I'm there in person. Sometimes I go back to see soemthing I missed. Road courses are tough because it's hard to know where everyone's going to come out in the end with pit strategy.

The Loose Wheel said...

The quote from Shaq Vs. that I laughed tirelessly at...: "The NASCAR legend scores yet another victory!!!"

Sorry but WHAT?!?!?!?!

Didn't know going 70 plus race between wins in your prime was legend status?

But anyways, I tuned in for a few minutes so I'm sure it did it's job in getting some ratings, kudos to them there.

Interesting package for the Modified thing, lets see if Spencer is himself or a character.

Not totally against using the same crew for the NW race since it is at the same location. If it helps save some money and MR can give us a good call both days then whose to notice. I just hope some oddball can win to take some focus off the Cup drivers.

Jonathan said...

Well this week has so far been a great one for Nascar, Ratings up all across the board very nice! Saw the Jr. Shaq thing on ABC it was ok I guess a little lame if you ask me! Was getting tired of Shaq saying ok coach??? But hey any exposer is good. JD any word of when the vs races will be on the air I cant wait to see some young guns going at it! Looking foward to WG this weekend woohoo

Daly Planet Editor said...

The first VERSUS race is on the air tonight at 7PM. The complete schedule is contained in the link on the blog page about the Mods.

Richard in N.C. said...

I enjoy watching the Pocono races, mostly because it is a unique track and challenge to the teams. Maybe ratings indicate fans found the race better than the media told them it was ?

Vicky D said...

I agree with you JD, this double duty races for these guys will never work out. They are really tired by the cup race and a lot of time, DJ even loses his voice by then. I like RE, RC & DB doing the NW races, but I still have missed Randy LaJoie on some of the NN shows. Wonder when he'll be back on the air, if at all. I don't think Jamie really worked out last Monday and we missed Shaq vs Jr's race too.

Anonymous said...

The Versus broadcast was decent. At the track, I was worried watching the cameraman next to me that Versus was glued to the leader and ignoring the chaos mid-pack. Luckily, I was wrong. Jack Arute did not bother me, but Jimmy just kept blabbering garbage. Must have gone to the DW school of color commentary. I was suprised there was a ticker, and shocked they even had time intervals. Thank you to Versus for putting the mods on tv.

The race was incredible in person as usual. Those modifieds are LOUD! I managed to find myself on tv, the white blob left of the press box. :)

Tom said...

Okay, Richard...enough of your garbage.
WHO (and that means give me a specific name, not just a blanket indictment) in the media said Sunday's Pocono race was bad?
Give me a link, including the name of the publication, and what the writer said. If you can't, I don't believe for one second that you're telling the truth.

As for the ratings: Jayski's page reported that Sunday's Pocono race was the highest-rated and most-viewed Cup race on cable so far this season (4.4 rating, viewed in more than 6.2 million homes).
The rating and viewership was almost identical to the 2008 August Pocono race (4.5 rating). The 2009 race was rained out and aired on Monday.

Should be interesting to see, Richard, if you can tell me why the media would tell their viewers/readers the racing was "bad."

I'm waiting...links and reporter names, please.

Tom said...

Also: Watkins Glen had a similar situation as Pocono did last year. Cup race was rained out and aired on Monday.
Rating to beat at the Glen is a 3.6 from 2008 (that was down from 4.1 in 2007).

Richard in N.C. said...

Tom, good question, for which I'll need to go back to reconstruct what I've read since Sunday. I probably did use a poor choice of words and should have said boring instead of bad.

Trident said...

"Jack Arute informed us that he will be calling the play-by-play on the new NASCAR Modifieds TV package for VERSUS. The surprise was that Jimmy Spencer is going to be alongside of Arute providing the analysis..."

Brief summary of NASCAR Whelen Modifieds at Riverhead Raceway on Versus:

1. HD cameras = SUCCEED.

2. Jack(ie) Arute - has lived and breathed the Modfieds all his life. It resonated in his commentary, and we KNOW his Dad is proud of him.

2. Jimmie Spencer, as a former CHUMPion of this series, was an overwhelming FAIL.

This clown-impersonator didn't even scope the pits to do a Bob Sheppard - i.e., learn how to Pronounce The Competitors' Names!

Yada-Yada-Yada yakyakyak during the race. BORING, No add Jimmie S., exit stage left.

Donna DeBoer said...

I've never liked the show, but where NASCAR was concerned, I was happy with Shaq's attitude with the whole thing. He seemed genuinely interested & definitely respectful to his "coaches". I think any mainstream exposure like this is a positive thing for NASCAR.

Mods looked GREAT in HD!!!

PS I sure can't figure out why Pocono had such high ratings but I dang well am not complaining about it!!!!! PPS I liked the race just fine.

glenc1 said...

not exactly about the media notes, but in regards to last year's rain out...WGI just sent me a weather report, lol. Hey, whatever you have to do to get fans in the seats.

Tom said...

If it's anything like what weather.com told me, it should be delightful for racing all weekend long. We can safely say this with today being Thursday.

Gotta hand it to the folks at the Glen, though. Qualifying was washed out for (I think) four years in a row at one point, and the Cup race got hit last year, so any chance to spread the weather positivity is welcome in my book.

Earl said...

Marty Reed never fails to say
something NOT FUNNY. Sat morning
he says " We know Jeff ( Gordon )
has Pruett standing by to take
Now are u ready "Standing by
JUST in case SOMEBODY ..goes
into labor today "

Uh " SOMEBODY " ?? Now isnt that
cute ?
NO IT ISNT. only marty reed can
figure it out. Thats why he should
go see the new movie ...
"" Dinner with Schmucks ""

earl said...

marty reed does it again just so
we dont forget .. how truly great he is. Talking about Gordo and how
he won 4 times at the Glen..the
grand gentleman himself mr marty reed says
" Jeff did so well .. back in the
day ..that they were thinking
about changing the name to ......