Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday TV/Media Notes

Here we go with some mid-week NASCAR notes:

Aretha sang "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" and that was the NASCAR Fan Council email topic this week. Do your friends and family respect you when they find out you follow NASCAR? Are your personal values the same as the sport of NASCAR?

Other marketing research questions concerned the quality and length of the Kansas races as well as TV viewing habits. The Fan Council is a group of volunteers used to get timely data about various topics within the sport. Click here for the website.

It's true, the boys from South Park have a NASCAR-themed episode ready for airing Wednesday night at 10PM on Comedy Central. "Poor and stupid" is the title of the show, so it's probably a good idea for folks not familiar with the adult content and harsh comedy to take everything with a grain of salt. Click here for a brief preview.

The TV ratings for the Sprint Cup Series race from Kansas are out and the trend of smaller audiences continues. Here is the official scoop from

ESPN's live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 3, earned a final national household coverage rating of 2.3, averaging 3.7 million viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. Last year's race aired on ABC and earned a 3.2 rating.

To put these numbers in yet another perspective, last week's Jersey Shore on MTV attracted 6.7 million viewers on cable while Sunday Night Football boasted 15.9 million on broadcast TV.

Just a heads-up that next Wednesday is the Hall of Fame selection day. TV coverage is on SPEED at 3PM with an edited preview show and then the live announcement in the 4PM hour. One of the potential nominees is working for SPEED.

"I’m going to be crying either way," said Darrell Waltrip. "If I am lucky enough to get in this group, it will be very emotional and if I don’t I will be really disappointed and sad. I’m one of those guys who can’t cover up his emotions."

"I think my record as a driver is as good as anybody’s," Waltrip continued. "In the modern era, since 1972, I’ve won more races than anyone."

Ironically, Waltrip will be joined on SPEED for the telecast by Mike Joy, Ken Squier and Kyle Petty. All three of those NASCAR personalities are also voting members of the selection committee.

In reference to the audio problems on Sunday's Kansas pre-race show, ESPN is in deep denial. Nationwide on ESPN2 there was nothing but static for 33 minutes on both cable and satellite providers. Hundreds of fans confirmed the problem from coast to coast. The ESPN2HD feed was fine, suggesting the problem was in Bristol, CT.

Here is the official ESPN response to NASCAR fans who emailed about the situation:

Your feedback is appreciated and will be passed on to our technicians for review.

However, please note that the feed send out by ESPN is being monitored constantly for quality assurance and no such technical problems have been detected.

Please contact your local cable or satellite provider regarding the technical difficulties you're experiencing, to make sure the problem does not stem from their transmission or your outlet.

Part of the problem with denying the issue was the fact that ESPN2 never ran a crawl telling affected viewers to tune to ESPN2HD if possible. As a matter of fact, no crawl appeared at any time to help viewers understand the overall situation.

ESPN did remind us that a Twitter message was sent and Allen Bestwick apologized on the air once the problem was fixed. The network is still trying to determine exactly what happened.

On the TV scheduling front, BET moved Changing Lanes from 8 to 10PM ET Wednesdays without even a press release. The series will finish the season at that time. Not a classy move by the network for a new original series.

NASCAR - Next Generation is a quiet little show at 7:30PM ET Wednesday nights on VERSUS. Produced by the NASCAR Media Group, it's a nice look at the up and coming racers. Great show to record for later viewing.

If you are a fan of classic NASCAR tracks, the ARCA Series returns to Rockingham Speedway on Saturday for the season finale on SPEED at 1PM. Always good to see that track back in use with stock cars. Steve Park, Ty Dillon and Tim George will mix it up with ARCA regulars Patrick Sheltra, Craig Goess and Tom Hessert.

The full TV schedule is on the left side of this page and is continually updated with announcers and show guests. Please click the comment button below to leave your opinion on any of the topics mentioned above. 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...

Uhm OK...Denial isn't just a river in Egypt!

How on earth can they say that? If EVERYONE on SD is having the SAME problem and each using a different provider how can that be a "local" problem?

I have no idea how this all works, but even if it were a situation where the cables and wiring are "owned" by one company say Comcast and they lease out to TWC, Cox, Charter, etc. I don't see how it could affect everyone across the country and how do they explain the issues with those on Satellite.

They really need to get their heads out of the sand and come to reality!

Finally got a chance to watch a few episodes of Changing Lanes really enjoyed it :). I liked the Gong Show from a few years back. A shame only a few have been successful but they're trying to make their way. Hope Max and his group can bring some good talent up the ranks.

bevo said...

Are your personal values the same as the sport of NASCAR?

What in the heck is this supposed to mean? Are they asking if I cheat routinely and hope I don't get caught? That if my customers complain about me I ignore them or even worse tell them they're the ones who are at fault? That anyone who criticizes me has their livelihood threatened?

Sounds like NASCAR is grasping at any straw it can to reverse it's decline to avoid dealing with the real issues that require actual leadership.

glenc1 said...

DW probably deserves to be in the HOF eventually--but I wouldn't put him in this class. Frankly, we don't need anything that makes his ego any bigger (and I used to be a fan of his when he was driving.)

I was disappointed in BET's decision to move the show without a word. 8 pm would have reached a lot more people, I think. I've been enjoying it.

There probably isn't much that South Park hasn't poked fun at. It's what they do (while priding themselves on being as outrageous as possible). Years ago the HBO show 'Arliss' had a NASCAR episode--I thought it was hysterical, but a lot of fans were insulted. We all have a different sense of humor I guess.

GinaV24 said...

Thanks for the info on the programming, JD. I'll probably just catch the internet version of the HoF stuff. Gotta work during the day.

ESPN can continue to keep its head in the sand if it likes. The problem is that exposes their posterior to random angry fans.

Of course these days, getting info out of any of the cable providers seems difficult. I pay for the service but get less of it.

Anonymous said...

I live in Tx and got nothing but static. ESPN doesn't give a d*** about Nascar fans.

Nobody praises DW nearly as much as he praises himself. It's disgusting. Does the man know what humility is?

Anonymous said...

A little bit of DW goes a long way, just ask Richard Petty, Junior Johnson and Cale Yarborough! :^)

That being said, he deserves to be inducted into the Hall of Fame with David Pearson and Bobby Allison. I'd bet most of of his critics today never saw DW when he was the top racer from the late 70's, 80's and early 90's. If his ego had not got in his way he'd probably have his 4th, 5th, and who knows, 6th or 7th Cup championship. He could wheel a car, promote the sport and his sponsors with his headlines and wins.

JohnP said...

Ohhhh. You mean the static on espn during the pre-race was just not me? I thought it was. Could not understand a word said. In maryland with comcast. I kept flipping back from the noon time football shows on Fox and CBS est. And all I found was static over and over again and finlly said heck (well maybe a little more)with it. Then got into the Ravens/Steeler game. Good game. Oh well, such is life for Nascar anymore.

As far as DW. No-one currenty active with Nascar should be inducted. That's called a conflict of interest. Simple as that.

Newracefan said...

Well didn't get this Fan Council too bad I would have like to answer some of those questions. People are shocked that this 50ish female professional with BSN and high level managerial position is a NASCAR fan. Too funny.

I like the show on versus it reminds me of the old NMG stuff. I DVR changing lanes too so time switch didn't matter but it's a shame they didn't put anything out there, it is a decent show but still what to know who driver X was in the legends car from a few shows back. The one that confuses me is the Chase to the Sprint Cup (or something like that) since it is not just about Cup drivers. Not that I mind but title makes it confusing.

Anonymous said...

Better than a half-dozen questions about Monica Palumbo, which is what last week's survey featured.

I don't know about you all, but in the last question - when they ask every week if there is anything else you'd like to comment on - I make sure and voice my distaste for The Chase. I hope eventually someone reads these things.

Anonymous said...

At this point of the year, I have had too much bad nascar coverage (specifics would include DW and KWallace) to be interested in watching anything nascar. Because of what is put on tv, shorten the race year. 'Too much of bad things' is not the same as 'any publicity is good publicity'. MC

glenc1 said...

JohnP, I sort of agree & disagree on DW. He's retired as a driver, so I'm not sure I have a problem with him being eligible, but since he's younger & still involved on TV, there are a lot of behind the scenes or media people on that list that accomplished a lot, and I think they've been forgotten. I know it's tough making these calls. If the rumored list is true, it'll be 8 of 10 of the first 2 years were drivers. The 'expert guess' was Pearson, Allison (those two are no brainers, IMHO), Waltrip, Cale Y & Lee Petty. I just have a hard time seeing DW before, say, Dale Inman.

About that static thing--Gymmie said it best; I can't believe ESPN won't admit it was their fault. They must've been the ones to fix it, right? How can you fix it if it wasn't broken? And we (on the blog) were reporting the problem with DISH, different cable companies, different cities, everything.

Vince said...

The following is a quote from an AP article today on the latest NFL TV numbers:

According to Nielsen, viewership is up for all four of the networks that televise NFL games. CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN each are averaging their most viewers ever to this point for their current packages.

Games are averaging 18.9 million viewers, up 9 percent from this time last year. That's more than double the average prime-time viewership of 9.2 million for the big four broadcast networks in the new TV season. The gap has grown from last year, when the NFL averaged 17.4 million to 9.3 million for prime-time programming.

A record nine game telecasts have topped the 20-million viewer mark.

Tell me again Nascar and ESPN how it's the economy and start times effecting viewership.

Vince said...

I am a Nascar Fan Council member also. When I saw the question "Are your personal values the same as the sport of NASCAR?" my answer was I Strongly Disagree. H*ll no!! As Bevo said "Are they asking if I cheat routinely and hope I don't get caught? That if my customers complain about me I ignore them or even worse tell them they're the ones who are at fault? That anyone who criticizes me has their livelihood threatened?".

I am truly amazed as time goes on how clueless BF and his gang are.

The Fan Council surveys are getting to be a joke. I wonder if the questions are coming from BF and the higher ups in Nascar or some marketing intern.

Anonymous said...

Nascar should not just keep blaming low viewer ratings on the economy and football season. There are so many reasons but I think the main one is that fans are so disenchanted with the way they run things, the favoritism, lack of consistancy in the rules, the broadcasts and broadcasters. Thank goodness for dvr, tivo and the fast forward buttons on remotes. A lot of the race shows, including the races, seem to talk down to people, try to convince people they see what they don't and who to root for. And that seems to be getting worse. I could make a long list of things I would love to see televised or not, but we can't change it, even if and when we voice our opinions. As far as the chase goes, maybe 4 races at each disciple (short track, road course, super speedway and the hated cookie cutter) and that would show who may be the best. Note that I wrote "may". I never watch anything with DW involved and as far as the Hall is concerned, he will get in now but should not yet.

GA Red

Bobby said...

It was only Week Four of the NFL season. As the season goes through, the markets which tune out of the NFL will be interesting to see. The winless teams' markets will be the first to leave the NFL.

I've said NASCAR's Hall of Fame needs to adopt what the World Golf Hall of Fame has adopted for women (the 27-point system from the old LPGA Hall of Fame -- ten years on tour, must win a Major, be Lowest Scorer of the Year (Vare) or Player of the Year, and win 27 times -- each major counts as two wins, and each Vare or Player of the Year counts as a win).

The standard should be 50 wins in NASCAR touring events (National and Regional) with the Four Majors -- Daytona 500, Talladega April, Charlotte May, and the old Darlington September -- as two wins for each win) and a Championship counting as five wins, or five championships overall as a driver or owner combined, and ten years of racing. Drivers and owners who cross that line will not be voted into the Hall of Fame. They will simply be inducted by acclimation. The Hall of Fame voting should be for drivers who do not cross the automatic line.

Darcie said...

In an article I read on jayski, the woman in charge of Nascar on ESPN said they were pleased with their ratings because, and get this, those watching are staying tuned in longer than before. WHAT??????? That makes no sense whatsoever. Wouldn't sponsors want quantity over quality? Wouldn't it be better to have 10 million viewers who may tune in for maybe half the race, than a million who watch the whole race???

With regards to the Fan Council questions, my non Nascar friends view me as stupid for wasting my time watching cars go round in a straight line, in cars that are nothing better than Iroc, run by a beast who can't even control his own vices. Yet, these same people have no problem going to Slinger Speedway, Madison Speedway or Great Lakes Dragway to watch real racers and race cars----guys who haven't been tainted by millions of dollars. And as far as having the same values as Nascar, no way in hell do I have their values. I don't see cheating, manipulating rules, double secret probation, muzzling free speech, worshiping the almighty dollar to the detriment of others, lying, self appointed judgement systems (the panel who hears penalty appeals), owners who buy themselves out of felonies and ripping off the public to be values I hold. Sorry Nascar, we all hold higher values than you, but that's not a difficult thing to do seeing how amoral and valueless Nascar has become under the leadership of Brian France.

Anonymous said...

DW is a sure-thing vote for the Hall of Fame, but they should make him wait. There are so many legends on and off the track who came before him, and they deserve to be honored first.

DW's racing accomplishments make him a hall-of-famer... but not #6-10 of the most important NASCAR figures of all time.

glenc1 said...

I know we're not live blogging Racehub, but can I just say what a great interviewer Steve Byrnes is? Just watching him make Johanna Long laugh and helping her get over being nervous, that was genius.

Anonymous said...

What were NASCAR's ratings in the 80's and 90's? That is probably where the comparisions should be made. The overall popularity gained in the 00's just couldn't be sustained.

GinaV24 said...

Glen, I agree about RaceHub. Steve is doing a wonderful job and this show is so much fun to watch.

Anonymous said...


I thought the SAME THING about the NASCAR values question. Ugh. I've ignored Fan council for weeks due to lame questions but that took the cake.

Also asking what my FRIENDS think of me due to watching NASCAR? What does THAT have to do with MY OWN personal status as a human being??

And for what it's worth, my two brothers watch NASCAR but none of my friends do. My friends & acquaintances think I am nuts to watch such a redneck/gasoline wasting sport.

Frankly I have lost interest this year but it's NOTHING to do with what they think. I think the racing broadcasts STINK!

oh and we had the SD sound issues too cause when i saw it on twitter, I turned on the tvs to check. HD was fine though.

too lazy to log in again...sigh