Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"NASCAR Now" Preemptions Continue


Monday should have been a huge day for ESPN's NASCAR Now. Host Allen Bestwick has worked very hard to put together a 5PM Monday hour of solid NASCAR TV. Normally, Bestwick and three panelists review the weekend, preview the upcoming races and talk with a NASCAR newsmaker.

This Monday, ESPN2's time-shifted coverage of the NHRA US Nationals was scheduled until 6PM. Instead of airing NASCAR Now at that time, SportsCenter crossed over from ESPN and took the 6PM timeslot. SportsCenter then jumped over to ESPNEWS at 7PM and ran for three additional hours.

Once again this week, the Tuesday through Thursday 5PM editions of NASCAR Now have been preempted. The US Open tennis tournament also pushed NASCAR Now off the air last week. Tennis has not been kind to the series this summer.

ESPN switched most of it's Sprint Cup Series races from ABC to ESPN in order to deliver a more focused audience, be more flexible with time issues and keep NASCAR content on cable.

ESPN2 is home to the only "support programming" that NASCAR gets on the ESPN family of networks. The single TV series that has aired in support of the sport since 2007 is NASCAR Now. There are no other regularly scheduled NASCAR programs on the ESPN networks.

In 2006, ESPN became the major TV rights holder for NASCAR in a multi-year contract that exceeded a billion dollars. ESPN was back and NASCAR was elated. Just last week, NASCAR media executive Paul Brooks spoke to reporter Dustin Long from Landmark Newspapers.

Brooks told Long that the cross-over promotion on ESPN programs will really help the TV ratings for the actual Sprint Cup Series races. "They're turning the dial up at a time when we need it most," Brooks said of ESPN. "We've worked pretty hard with ESPN to get this to a pretty good place. We're anxious to see the results of this."

Well, Brooks is going to have to stay up late to see his results. The Tuesday through Thursday NASCAR Now shows air at midnight Eastern Time or later with no re-airs. The Monday show was cancelled.

After racing since February, this is the week leading up to the final race before The Chase for the Championship. The entire point of ESPN returning to the Sprint Cup Series was to provide a comprehensive multi-network media platform for NASCAR content.

Once again preempting the original airing of ESPN's daily NASCAR TV news program at this critical time does not seem to fall in line with "turning up the dial."

We welcome your comments on this topic. 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.

28 comments:

Adam Wood said...

I miss the Monday recap shows, rather it be NASCAR Now or This Week in NASCAR or one of it's predecessors. If I missed the race, they were great shows to fill me in on what I missed. Now, I guess I am to use the web service in my non-3G coverage area to watch a 10 minute NASCAR.com recap.

KoHoSo said...

As for the issue of cross-promotion, it seems to me that there have been a lot more NASCAR race promos shown on the "ESPN Family of Networks" this year especially on ESPN-U. However, I don't think that is going to help much as it is all in commercial breaks that get ignored more and more as each year passes. Where the cross-promotion needs to come from (in addition to having a stable schedule for NASCAR Now), is during the heart shows and games that people actually watch. Unfortunately, that's hard to do when so few of ESPN's "stars" actually understand auto racing or at least give it a little respect.

GinaV24 said...

somehow I am just not surprised to hear that NN is pre-empted again. As I've stated before, I am NOT "chasing" programming around on ESPN's channels and timeslots.

I can find Racehub on every day at the same time and the same channel. If I'm not going to be home at 7 p.m., I can set the DVR and know that I'll record the program I wanted to see. Steve is doing a great job and I really am enjoying the show.

I do like Allen Bestwick as well and its a shame that ESPN has decided to do this to the program. I agree that if this is ESPN's idea of turning up the dial to get viewers to watch the chase (who might not already do so), then they have a weird way of looking at things.

But then again, considering the disrespect that NASCAR gets from the hosts on SC, why should I bother tuning in to the post-race coverage either? Turn up the dial? How about if someone gives those 2 clowns a smack on the head?

Anonymous said...

In this age of DVRs, does it really matter what time NASCAR Now is on? Who actually watches it live any more? I have my DVR tape it whenever it is on, and I watch it in my free time. It really doesn't matter to me if it is on at 6pm or midnight - it will be on "tape" for me to watch at my leisure.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 10:48AM,

Of course it does! You can't record the 5PM show and then get the NASCAR news when you come home from work if the show doesn't air.

The late show is actually the re-air slot for the 5PM ET program and will only let West Coasters get NASCAR news that day.

The exact reason that the 5PM show is so vital is that it let's East Coast NASCAR fans come home from work and do exactly what you described, watch the program at their leisure.

JD

JohnP said...

I'm with GinaV24. I've stopped chasing Nascar around the dial. I know right where and when the NFL will be this fall. The times, the channels. I don't have to look it up to see where everything is. Because with Nascar, it changes everyday.

On a somewhat similiar subject of viewing Nascar I have a question to anyone here. I have a friend in Australia in love with Nascar. They don't air the race untill about a week later there for some reason. I told him about TrackPass and was asked to check into it more. So I have. The question is: Is it just a cartoon racing video image?? Because it looks that way to me from the advertising on Nascar.com. If so I can not recommend it at all. We grown ups. Or is it a real racing video stream like TNT had?? Thanks to anyone that answers.

BToS JD said...

ESPN management not at all oriented toward NASCAR beyond PROFIT from NASCAR.

ESPN IS ESPN...they do things THEIR OWN WAY and nothing else matters!!!

I only watch ESPN for NASCAR races when I have no other choice, I use them for nothing else. They are entirely too SELF CENTERED for my taste and especially for my TIME.

If more folks would turn them off and their revenues drop, they might respond to viewers. They have no need to with today's 'tuned in' viewers.

PammH said...

Gina sums up my feelings perfectly. If they didn't air the races, I would NEVER turn on BSPN, because I don't watch any other sports.

TVtrucker said...

JD, so when do all the Network contracts expire? Then we can watch online like the rest of the modern world.
And--
When does the contracts for the FOX talent renew. My guess they were contracted for 7 years in 2006 so that should bring some chance too!

Dannyboy said...

I've said it before, but I'll say it again; no - actually, GinaV said it for me!

And for Anonymous re: DVRs: Well, I've had one for about a month now, and even though I'm on the West Coast AND get home late evening, the late re-air almost NEVER comes on at its "as listed" time due to carryover from other events. So therefore I have to set the recorder from before the listed time until after the listed time. Since I might also want to record something else, and my DVR will only tune 2 signals at one time, either I have to stop watching tv during the overlapping record times, or drop one of the recordings. My choice has been as Gina's: I ain't chasing ESPN around the dial (or the DVR schedule), as much as I love AB, RC, et al. ESPN is for my sports viewing purposes a "necessary evil".

Daly Planet Editor said...

TV trucker, four more years on the TV and five on the online deal.

TVtrucker said...

That's a long time to wait on online viewing.
They need to grow fast with the times and get something going on the internet by next year and help the sport.
Or, will it hurt the sport?
That is a good question.

Lisa Hogan said...

As others have said, I only watch ESPN when it is the only option to watch a sporting event.

Although I enjoy Bestwick, I gave up on Nascar Now some time ago.

Anonymous said...

Here in SF Bay area - DirecTV - all last week even though it showed Nascar Now on at 9:00 pm or 10:00 pm (to match midnight or 1 pm Eastern broadcasts) - every show recorded was something else - didn't see a single Nascar Now.
Same problem as Dannyboy except I refuse to do the manual record and tie up hours of DVR space.
Will it be the same this week??????

David said...

My question is just how much "swing" the personalities have. You have to believe AB, Marty Smith, DJ, etc. have voiced their displeasure. Surely someone of importance at Disney reads blogs like this to figure out what they're doing right/wrong. Say what you want about Fox, but there is no way Mike Joy, DW and Larry Mac would sit around and let these problems happen week in and week out. Maybe it's just because of the difference in timing of th season? Maybe ESPN should kick off the season when nothing else is on and let FOX pick up the rest of the season. I just feel like at some point, AB or someone of his stature and credibility has to stand up, give the finger to an ESPN exec and say "Stop destroying the sport I love."

Anonymous said...

Time shifting might be OK... provided you're cool with that, I'm not, and provided the show actually airs in the secondary time slot. Unfortunately, ESPN has shown little interest in airing NASCAR Now no matter what time you're talking about. Often NASCAR Now's secondary slot also get's preempted by something else... usually something totally arcane which only adds insult to injury.

I never thought I'd say it but they actually make NBC and FOX NASCAR coverage look good.

boyd said...

ESPN has shifted not only NASCAR NOW, but Qualifying, Practice and even pre race for years.
This support program appears to be on life support.

Haus14 said...

I will concur with those who rightly pointed out that the DVR doesn't do you any good if NN doesn't show in the listed time slot.

Also, it seems that ESPN needs to re-evaluate their programming priorities. How SportsNation keeps its timeslot over Nascar Now is beyond me. Nascar Now is a show that is directly linked to a sport that ESPN has a vested interest in having views watch.

It just seems there isn't much consistency or rhyme and reason to the way ESPN chooses to shift and move their regularly scheduled programs when there is conflicts with live sporting events.

Anonymous said...

And they want me to buy what?

A "Checkered Flag ESPN® "Cause its Racing" Hat?" Are they catering to the Fox viewers that bought DW's Digger & Friends crap?

By the time I DVR a midnight version of NASCAR Now, it's stale news.

My captcha word was "icalic" - kinda sums up how I feel about NASCAR on TV.

Gymmie said...

An absolute shame! People will not chase this show for much longer :(. It's like when it seems networks want a show canceled they give it the death kill by putting it on at a time they know no one will watch.

@boyd--yup :(.

I 'member I think their first year CFB (as usual) went long and then the N'wide race went long so they delayed the already tape delayed HH to around midnight. I know folks who recorded/stayed up and were PISSED. TV never said that HH would be interrupted half way through for some silly Baseball show. So folks who stayed up on the East Coast were pissed that it was interrupted and folks who recorded only got half of HH. We have to chase N'wide every Saturday and came close to it on Sunday. I wonder how much longer folks will be willing to Chase N'wide especially since if we're lucky Countdown gets put on a channel that some don't have :(. And a lot of folks skip Countdown since 99% of the time it's All Cup Drivers All The Time & if a N'wide regular is featured it's a true miracle! With one exception (that I recall) they've missed a GF for all markets.

51 yr. fan said...

I can't believe all my Planeteers
would not tune in NN. You may miss
a chance to hear Brewer explain
brake bias or why wheels wooble
when the lug nuts are loose.

Seriously, I gave up on it a long
time ago, unless I stumble on it.

Lots of coverage in Race City on
the HOF and how they may be short
on "donors". Few are reporting
that NA$CAR takes 10%.

hotaru-hockeymaiden87 said...

They don't seem to care, as much as they tell us they do.

But I'm up late, and since there's nothing on at that time, I keep track of how late the delay from the actual scheduled time is. (unless I fall asleep)

Sally said...

ESPN finally had a good quality show about Nascar, and they are killing it. You can't record a program that isn't on when advertised. It's as big a joke as most of the race 'coverage'. Nascar is the only thing I watch on ESPN. Now I can eliminate even that.

PammH said...

Sally-it's pretty sad, isn't it? AB had made a credible show on Mondays & the addition of Ricky Craven was gold! All for naught, since BSPN thinks Nascar sucks! I say that from the way they treat the fans. And they really don't give a @@@!...sad.

boutitbenza699 said...

i bet Speed is gaining viewers for NASCAR Race Hub in both it's 6PM CT and 1AM CT time-slots since ESPN2 like to mess up the schedule for Tennis and then lets other sports run over and screw the late night pre-taped lineup.

Donna in FL said...

I'm sick of chasing NASCAR Now. I really like the show, Booo ESPN for not finding a different predictable slot for it.

Thank god there's RaceHub snug & secure in its slot when scheduled. Guess they get my whole weekly NASCAR attention NOW.

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

ESPN should not have acquired U.S. open tennis as a matter of fact they should not try to be big bad ESPN and acquire TV rights for sports because there have been issues with airing other programming that people seem to like such as NASCAR Now. ESPN is not the only TV channel under the sun

FloridaMatt said...

I chased NN when Racehub was not all that good, and all I got for my efforts were hours of dvd recordings that often didn't have a smidge of Nascar in them.

And even now, when Racehub is a lot better than it used to be, I still have a slight preference for most of the folks on NN. Nevertheless, the dvr's been switched to racehub instead of NN.

Heh. capchta word is "voiding"