Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Your Turn: "NASCAR Now" Comments


Sometimes, when you get it from all sides the smart thing to do is retreat. Fans have been coming from every direction this week asking the same thing. Why did ESPN2 bump the 5PM airing of NASCAR Now Tuesday through Friday?

The easy answer is that Little League baseball is airing on ESPN2 during that timeslot. The big problem is that this is truly a historic week in NASCAR news. Not having this TV show on the air at 5PM is rough.

From Kasey Kahne at Red Bull Racing to the largest schedule realignment in recent memory, the news has been non-stop since Monday. The Sprint Cup Series coming to Kentucky Speedway and a second time to Kansas has also brought a lot of media and fan reaction. Danica is back this week and the trucks can't even get a full field for Darlington.

It should be pointed out that Shannon Spake is hosting new episodes of NASCAR Now this week airing at midnight Eastern Time or slightly later. While 9PM might work for our West Coast friends, there are apparently some rather unhappy race fans in the other time zones.

NASCAR Now is one of the most popular shows for the DVR because the 5PM airing allows fans to get home and catch right up to date on all the news. ESPN.com has been posting stories on the same topics, but the daily TV show is the heart and soul of the commitment that ESPN made to NASCAR back in 2007.

Over the past couple of years, we have offered suggestions when this situation has happened. Unfortunately, airing thirty minutes of NASCAR Now on ESPN or ESPNEWS or ESPNU or even good old ESPN Classic has just not been something the corporation has chosen to do.

There has been a solid start to the Sprint Cup Series coverage on ESPN this season. The extended post-race shows have been a treat. Coming off a great weekend of coverage at Watkins Glen, there was good momentum heading into Michigan.

The decision not to move NASCAR Now to ESPNEWS or ESPN for the East Coast audience this week is one that may prove to be costly. These days, SPEED offers an alternative in the Race Hub program airing at 7PM. ESPN2 is no longer the only game in town when it comes to a daily NASCAR news program.

This post is simply to get the comments on this topic in one location. Please feel free to offer your opinion. There will be a new post Wednesday updating other TV stories including details of changes at SPEED and coverage of upcoming special events. Check back with us during the day.

As always, this is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and check the TV schedule on the left side of the main page for the latest information including announcers and guests for all the NASCAR TV programs.

30 comments:

Sally said...

ESPN has a nightly Nascar show that is, generally, head and shoulders above Race Hub. Unfortunately, trying to find it consistantly is like looking for the Lost Dutchman mine. It's hard to develope any loyalty to a show that jumps around the time schedule so often. What a shame that a program that has worked hard to come up with a winning formula can't get a reliable time slot.

James said...

Speeds show started out great, then went to an hour. Last night they spent as much air time with fluff as they did with content? They previewed all but the commercials and made it seem like a two hour show. Whats up? Are we going to be commercialed to death at every turn?
It is to the point I am going to VCR the show like a race to bleep out the ads.

GinaV24 said...

I have to agree with Sally -- half the time I record NN (since I don't get home from work until later than 5) and I get something else entirely on the recording.

I am not chasing programming around. If it is supposed to be on at a regularly scheduled time, then do it.

I'm glad that RaceHub got moved to a little later in the evening -- makes it easier for me to get home in time to see it. Last nights show wasn't what I expected -- the sprint girl reading me twitters is strange.

David said...

ESPN's "commitment" to NASCAR is mediocre at best. If we're being honest, it's obvious ESPN only cares about the sport when it's best for ESPN. They gave up on the sport only to come back to it, but only wants to cover the Chase. I'm also not a fan of forcing me to watch Sportscenter to see post-race coverage. How many times am I forced to watch post-bowling or post-WNBA coverage before airing a pre-race show or NASCAR Now. You can't even DVR the darn show because everything always runs long, unless I just choose to record anywhere from 11pm to 2am and hope for the best. Nobody expect an hour long "Decision" special on the sport, but for the love of God be consistent and make a better attempt at PRETENDING you care about NASCAR.

Anonymous said...

Much ado about nothing - ESPN2 is hardly the only place to get NASCAR news.

Stuman714 in Indy said...

ESPN's commitment-sp?-to Nascar is evident in the way they wait for tennis to end before going to any practice sessions or pre-race shows. I've learned to expect to NOT be able to see what is coming up next in many cases when I see what was in the timeslot before the race coverage that may/should be forthcoming.
That being said, when they DO get on the air, I have to admit they have stepped up considerably on actual race coverage, at least in most cases.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 11:51AM,

ESPN2's "NASCAR Now" was the only daily TV source of NASCAR news six days a week for three years.

That doesn't work for ya?

Anonymous said...

Did anyone see the ratings for only the first pre season NFL game? They were WAY up and everbody knows preseason football is as boring as it gets.

This would seem to not bode well for NASCAR television ratings with the approaching football season.

Tracy D said...

I'm not into NN so much these days. Race Hub gives me the same news, generally speaking, and its time slot is much more convenient. I do like Ricky Craven when he's on NN, however. Wish Race Hub had him!

Anonymous said...

I have not watched NASCAR Now for a couple of months. I used to DVR it, but as noted by other fans, you never know what you will get. I don't bother anymore, as I found myself just erasing it without watching.
I never really liked the shows personality. Always seemed somehow negative and aloof.

On the other hand, Speed's people that are involved with NASCAR, all seem to live and breathe NASCAR. Their enthusium shows.
I don't even mind when the hosts are rotated. I know we will have someone who cares about the people and the fans involved in the sport.

Harry in Calif

Wisconsin Steve said...

I recorded last night’s NASCAR Now (I set the DVR to record for 2 hours to be safe) and watched it this morning before work. It was worth the effort. Shannon Spake and Marty Smith were outstanding, and DJ Kopp could have a great career in TV if he wants one.

The thing that really amazes me is the unbelievable amount of promotion and hype that SportsNation gets. It is the stupidest, most pointless waste of airtime I’ve ever seen. They even air versions of it on ABC on Sunday afternoons! WHY?!

glenc1 said...

NN is not the only source of NASCAR news--11:51 is right about that. It was just the only one (until RH) that was on TV since the old RPM2Nite. Frankly, I just go to the Internet & read Jayski's links or other news sites. However, hearing things directly, having interviews, etc on TV is a valuable promotion for a sport that's *carried* on the network in question. If there was something better on, I could see--but why do they find time for crap like SportsNation? Or rerunning the same stories 12 times in an hour? Makes no sense to me. They have the nerve to criticize the athletes who make stories out of themselves, yet they feed into it like moths to the flame, as if someone put a gun to their heads & forced them to camp out on TO's lawn or whatever.

Daly Planet Editor said...

glen,

Here is what I said:

"ESPN.com has been posting stories on the same topics, but the daily TV show is the heart and soul of the commitment that ESPN made to NASCAR back in 2007."

What we are talking about is making an effort to keep the only NASCAR news show on ESPN in a consistent timeslot for the millions of fans of this major professional sport.

ESPN is not getting off the hook by having employees tell me that the Internet is the same thing. It's not.

This was a HUGE programming mistake and I hope someone has to answer for it.

JD

Anonymous said...

Not only is there ESPN.com, there are a host of other internet sites, SIRIUS radio, and yes, another daily TV show - RaceHub - to get NASCAR news and information.

You say this is a "HUGE programming mistake" - huge for whom? You can't convince me that it is so detrimental to fans, just based on the other outlets I've mentioned above.

Huge mistake for ESPN, then? Just take a look at the picture you've used on this column. I would imagine that just the families of these kids alone probably outnumber the regular "on-time" viewers of "NASCAR Now". This is, after all, coverage of a live sporting event, not to mention the thrill of a lifetime for these kids, which in my opinion trumps airing a sports magazine show.

Just my opinion.

glenc1 said...

hey, I'm on your side! But I just wanted to point out, for actual *news*...well, if an announcement is at 11am, and NN is on at 5--well, I'm gonna go elsewhere for the scoop, obviously. But I would still like NN to be there for the on the spot interview (say...like Bruton on RH talking about KY...) and I totally agree, I hate them moving it all around. When there is clearly nothing pressing on the other channels, why not just move it over? It's promoting their own *network*; and I agree, a mistake since it could bring viewers IN.

Richard in N.C. said...

I really enjoy and look forward to N-NOW on Mondays (when Allen is on) and get very PO'd when it gets shuffled around - and used to feel likewise about the weekady N-NOW's. However, since Race Hub has expanded to 60 minutes, I now feel it is no big deal if N-NOW on the weekdays gets shuffled. At least NASCAR gets far, far more attention than NHRA, which never gets any S-Center attention unless there is video of a wreck or explosion to show. Apparently the folk at EESPN aren't aware that NHRA is carried on EESPN2.

David said...

Another thing that really pisses me off about ESPN and N-Now is how they ignore when the race actually is until they have the coverage. Up until then, they litterally promote the Nationwide race and the IRL race only when it's on Sunday. I understand promoting your own programming, but it's NASCAR Now, not IRL Now and they do that crap alot. To the previous commenter - Bestwick is great, one of the gems of the ESPN crew, miss having Doc in the booth, not sure Marty Reid knows what he's talking about half the time, except the start and parks.

Anonymous said...

I always try to watch NN on Mondays. The shows seem to get worse as you go through the week. Same with Race Hub. I watch on Mondays. Hub has proven to be a big disappointment.

Anonymous said...

I think everyone is barking up the wrong tree. Brian "I don't care about tv" France has given us what we are getting. espn will always have their priorities first, understandably, and Brian was more worried about the money than the fan. MC PS: I will take little league over weak, politically correct nascar coverage any day.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 2:34PM,

The best part of your opinion is that is makes no sense at all. I love those comments.

If "NASCAR Now" can be dumped for a week in the heart of the season after being on the air six days a week since February, why do we need it at all?

Maybe we can just let all the fans go online and end the series?

Little League baseball is not the issue and you know it.

This show was not shifted in time or moved to another network because stick and ball sports of any type routinely pound NASCAR into the turf at ESPN.

Just give it a couple of weeks and watch the Nationwide Series drop off the map when college football begins.

Either you're in it all the way or just paying lip service to the sport. This week for ESPN, it's lip service.

JD

Anonymous said...

Crazy NN gets ditched so much but I've only caught a couple of Monday shows...did enjoy them.

On Hub..who is the blond barbie girl with long hair...sigh...I thought I was going to see Byrnes on here.

Not a fan of the females hosting just to get the EOE or diversity numbers up.
signed, a female.

StickwiththeBiff said...

anon 4:40...the part you're missing is that ESPN is screwing *themselves*.....

why would you not promote a sport so you can make its ratings higher? That is certainly what even the Frances would want so they could make more money at it. That's the part that just defies logic (for me.)

It isn't the stick & ball vs NASCAR priority...it's that they're taking away from their own network the opportunity to promote. PT barnum would be turning over in his grave...it's just dumb....

PammH said...

I am with Sally & Gina on this. I have to tape NN at 5, because that's when I get off work. So I catch 15 mins & then watch the beginning after. I WILL NOT chase it around to various time slots! Especially when 9 times out of 10, when they say midnite, it's already been pre-empted by some other dumbass show like Sports Nation! Not willing to tape from 11-3 to TRY to catch it. And I HATE missing Marty or Ryan or Ed...:( But our sport needs more respect from BSPN, imo.

Vicky D said...

This is crazy, tried to watch NN from last night's 11 PM recording and the first 10 minutes was women's basketball and of course, missed the end since it's only on 30 minutes on Wednesdays. I'm with Sally, you never know where to find it on ESPN, although it's a very good show it should always be on at 4 here in Houston how hard can that be?

Richard in N.C. said...

L'EESPN wouldn't possibly be trying to downgrade the value of N-wide broadcasts with a view to contract renewal would they? I suspect that there will be a NASCAR channel when the current TV contract comes up for renewal and N-wide and/or Truck as the centerpiece would provide a lot of content and the opportunity for more emphasis on that series.

Dot said...

For my own peace of mind, I quit watching/DVRing NN. Like the others, I too got tired of playing time roulette with it.

What I am more upset about is the way BSPN treats racing and race fans. The lack of respect is getting old.

Anonymous said...

Something is wrong when Sportsnation gets more slots on ESPN Family of networks than Nascar Now. Sportsnation is the most pathetic show I have ever seen. This is the time that Nascar Now needs to be on the network whether it is on ESPNU or ESPNnews to promote the sport. As the "football" season approaches Nascar once again will be the step child on ESPN.

Anonymous said...

Sorry if my opinion makes no sense to you, but I'm just looking at this from my perspective as a fan, and a diehard one at that.

Unlike you, I don't see the demise of NASCAR around every corner and behind every programming decision that doesn't mesh with my particular preferences. It is my opinion that you overstate the impact of this prgramming move. This is a "truly historic week"? Let's see if in five years you remember what all of those things were that happened this week, and that you weren't able to see them on NASCAR Now.

Tom said...

I too, would like to see more consistency with programming schedules, although I believe there is a glut of NASCAR on tv right now and I think that leads to lower ratings. Why watch a race when you can get it condensed for you on any given night...twice!?

JD, as much as I share your concern, using the little league picture on this article was not a wise choice. You have adressed that this is not about little league, but using it was in bad taste. Little League in August IS a big deal, and quite frankly IS more important than a daily rehash show. Better to use a photo of some ESPN stick and ball blowhard than some kids really at the top of their game.

Tom
Inverness, FL

Rita said...

And finally someone else pointing out the gloom and doom you portray on these issues. My point being that on the West Coast, I can still watch it! Do you think I'm the only one? Think of all the states between yours and mine in a different time zone where we fans are still watching Nascar Now.
It's not the end of the world Mr. Moderator. They shifted for Little League to a later time slot, sure, but the show isn't CANCELLED. They are keeping their committment...the show is still on.
To appease EST viewers, the show should be aired earlier instead of later, is the answer you are looking for.