Thursday, September 16, 2010
Online Radio Stalemate Continues
Wednesday the line-up of personalities on SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 128 was amazing. Chase drivers mixed with TV personalities, crew chiefs, owners and a host of other great guests.
As the sport heads into the Chase, this week is the big media push to get the word out about the first race in Loudon, NH. Here is just a partial list of some folks who appeared on SiriusXM Wednesday:
Steve Addington, Brad Daugherty, Gil Martin, Bob Osborne, Darrell Waltrip, Matt Kenseth, Greg Erwin, Tony Stewart, Todd Berrier, Jeff Gordon, Dave Rogers, Shane Wilson, Denny Hamlin, Rusty Wallace, Jack Roush, Jeff Burton and Carl Edwards. The list goes on and on.
For those fortunate enough to have SiriusXM in their vehicles, the day was memorable. For those fortunate enough to be able to access the SiriusXM satellite signal at home or in the workplace, it was just as memorable. The problem is that millions of NASCAR fans are not on that fortunate list.
The picture above is of the SiriusXM online app for cell phones. There is also a program for streaming the SiriusXM signal online for desktops, laptops, iPads and other devices. What all of this wonderful technology has in common is that none of it can deliver Channel 128. NASCAR audio cannot be streamed online.
Turner Sports Interactive holds the total online rights to NASCAR in a contract that has years to run. Turner wants payment from SiriusXM before any signal, including Channel 128, is used online. Needless to say, SiriusXM just avoided bankruptcy recently with a bail-out from a top media executive. Cash is the last thing Sirius has lying around.
Once again this year, as the NASCAR season gets ready to head into the playoffs, there will be no solution to this problem. Nothing has changed.
Off Season Priority: Online Streaming Of SiriusXM Channel 128 was a TDP column in December of 2009. Click here to read the post which has references and some good reader comments. Here is the opening paragraph.
After the television disaster that was the 2009 Chase for the Championship, it's very clear that solutions for bringing fans back to the sport in 2010 have to include more options than just TV.
This season ESPN has proven the issues affecting the 2009 coverage are continuing despite some new faces in new places. The current ESPN production philosophy of focusing on a handful of stars for the short segments of racing between commercials just does not work in Sprint Cup Series coverage.
While Sprint has a phone app called NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile, the program features scanner chatter on races and some online text links to SPEED and the NASCAR.com website. Sirius is the only outlet that provides fulltime weekday radio support for the sport.
Sirius, Turner and NASCAR are all representing their own interests as business folks do, but there has to come a time when those parties realize that the ship may be taking on water. Between the NFL, the economy and the wide variety of other TV and online sports options, NASCAR is just not the same product it was five years ago.
Distributing this viable and important Sirius signal through modern technology to as many fans as possible simply has to be a priority at this time. Let's hope someone with character does the right thing and breaks-up this stalemate soon.
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