Friday, December 10, 2010

With Howard Stern Deal Done It's NASCAR Time


On Thursday the second of three big issues for Sirius XM Radio was solved. This time it was Howard Stern announcing a new deal to stay on the air at Sirius.

It is a five-year agreement that analysts value at $400 million. But the important part for NASCAR fans is what is hidden in the fine print.

Here is a paragraph from the Newsday story on Stern:

The new deal does offer a significant bonus to fans. Stern's show will be available on various platforms besides satellite radio including the iPhone, Android phones and BlackBerrys. "The addition of the mobile apps will be a significant one going forward because it makes him more available," said Tom Taylor, news editor of Chicago-based Radio-Info.com. "It was frustrating to some listeners [that] it wasn't available on both [mobile apps and satellite.]"

NASCAR fans can certainly identify with that last statement. Sirius NASCAR Channel 128 is not available online or through a smart phone app. Way back when, NASCAR sold all the online rights (including audio content) to Turner Sports. NASCAR fans must have a Sirius XM satellite receiver of some type to hear channel 128.

It was Tuesday, November 30th when Sirius announced that it had reached an agreement to renew and expand its contract with the NFL. This time, Sirius got what it really wanted. All NFL games beginning in 2011 will be streamed online through Sirius Internet radio. While the cell phone details are yet to be announced, adding the NFL to the Sirius online offerings is just huge.

The third piece of the puzzle has to be next. Sirius, NASCAR and Turner Sports have time now in the off-season to hammer out an agreement that extends the same sort of online streaming deal for NASCAR. Both on Sirius Internet radio and the Sirius apps for devices like smartphones.

Click here to take a peek and maybe even a listen to just how easy it is to load and go with this technology. As with everything in life, there is a price to be paid, but if NASCAR fans had Sirius 128 on laptops, iPads and all types of smartphones the sport would be much better off for 2011.

With so many things in NASCAR just not going well lately, it would be a welcome move for the parties involved to come together and get this ironed out. NASCAR would join Howard Stern and the NFL as moving online in the Sirius world.

We will update this blog with any news on the topic immediately. In the meantime, we are happy to have 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.

22 comments:

PammH said...

Will be totally shocked if this happens. Nascar has it's head soooooooo far in the sand that BZF has NO clue what is available..jmo. And I have lost alot of respect for Mike Helton etc, because they don't SPEAK UP!

uncredentialed said...

I'd much rather Turner replicates what MLBAM does. For $14.99 you get their mobile app which has live audio for every game during season all sorts of live tracking of games. Turner already has something similar with Trackpass, they just need to develop a mobile app for it (unless there is a conflict with Sprint).

Sirius can already put up their NASCAR talk programming online right now. Turner has the internet play-by-play audio rights, but they couldn't possibly have any exclusive on merely discussing NASCAR.

earl06 said...

I don't see this happening. If it was easy, it would have been done years ago.

If it does happen, it will probably be on a subscription basis. And I don't see many people interested in that if they already pay to subscribe to Sirius.

SXM128 itself is in bad need of an overhaul. The programming is stale and repetitive. I can go months without listening, tune in and hear the same old song and dance. I would really like to see the channel realize more of it's potential. My sub is up for renewal in Feb, unless things change, I'll probably drop Sirius altogether.

Christian said...

Still waiting for the channel update on the app. Howard actually said himself this morning briefly after announcing the signing that it was supposed to happen today, or possibly tomorrow for the channels to go live on the apps.

GinaV24 said...

I'm with PammH -- I'll be shocked as well if this happens simply because BZF is so clueless about what the fans are really thinking as to be in an isolation chamber.

"someone told you they don't like the chase" is a fine example of that.

You know what, I think uncredentialed has a good idea there -- rather than worry about Sirius 128 (which has become a wasteland anyway as far as content), have Turner develop trackpass into a mobile app. Now that's something I could use when I'm on the move.

JohnP said...

Interesting, but not so much. I can see very very few nascar fans that would want to watch a race on a phone of any kind. I know absolutly I would not waste my time with such a small screen. Yippie - lil 1/4" car passed that other lil 1/4" car. Just my opinion of course. I would not watch the NFL on any of them either for the same reason. Or MLB. The screens are simply to small. As far as satellite radio. Well, I got XM years ago just for Nascar. Then Nascar bailed out on me for Sirus. After the merger I checked for Nascar on XM. Um - not on my XM after the merger. Maybe their there now, I've not checked back. Put the XM unit in my wifes car and said bye bye. Once bitten, twice shy. All this fan wants is high quality TV coverage in my den on Sundays. And I've not seen that in several years now - and my interest in the sport is the lowest it's ever been because of it. Good quality TV coverage is NOT to much to ask for. Until they get that correct I don't think Nascar needs to worry about cell phones and other tech toys quite yet. They have to get their MAIN product (TV) fixed first.

West Coast Diane said...

I have no desire to subscribe to Sirius radio, no matter what they do. We had XM radio because we travel by motorhome 3 months out of the year. Too much money, too little content we cared about.

I'm with 'uncredentialed'. Just got an iPhone 4. I would be willing to pay for an app at a reasonable price.

Off topic. We go to Daytona 500 with an RV organization. They take 35 rigs. As of yesterday, they have 11 takers. Several years ago, if you didn't sign up immediately (beginning of Nov) you would end up on a waiting list.

Anonymous said...

just some general comments--only 15 - 20% of Americans have a smart phone. And fewer than that have satellite radio. Figure in the percentage of the people who have those things who are NASCAR fans...Just saying...you are a small but vocal minority. Not that there's anything wrong with that; but I'm with JohnP--even if I could afford those things, it wouldn't be worth watching, and I think the broadcasting quality is a more important issue. I have a friend with an IPhone & even trying to look at the weather radar is a challenge for these old eyes...

The Mad Man said...

If they can't use the computerized fuel injection systems that are on today's production model cars there's no way they'll use apps.It's beyond their mental capabilities or grasp.

GinaV24 said...

JohnP -- sort of the way I feel about the raceview part of trackpass -- little cartoon cars chasing each other around a pretend track

Anonymous said...

I've had XM for almost 7 years...mostly to listen in my car because FM radio as a listenable format is dead to me. Not much interested in it Nascar wise except maybe to listen when DW is flappin his gums on my TV. I wouldn't pay extra for it.

I too want to watch a real race live on my HDTV..not a cell. Just my opinion of course.

Sam

Anonymous said...

It has been five years or so since FOX or ESPN has been capable of broadcasting a race well enough for us at home to grasp what it occurring at the speedway. If those two entities cannot do broadcast basics, what difference does it make if NASCAR successfully embraces convergence? Two of the three television partners of NASCAR have been out to lunch for years now and no one in NASCAR cares. With that level of apathy why would anyone conclude that convergence in NASCAR media is just around the corner?

"Who told you they didn't like the Chase?"

Charlie said...

Nascar sees no reason to add more places for people to get information about Nascar.
Nascar sees no reason to add a live audience to a Nascar show at the Hall of Fame.

Why -
Because Nascar has no pride in what they do and don't care.
Nascar believes they are on the right track and the fans just don't understand.

David said...

First of all, if you do have a Smartphone you can stream MRN by using the Clear Channel "I Heart Radio" App and finding a station that airs the race. I stream Rock 104.9 out of Asheville, NC on my phone when I can't get it on radio or something. Also, I think PammH hit the nail on the head, there's no way Sprint would allow all of this unless it's only on their phones. Agree with most everyone, let's get the TV product fixed first and then worry about these additional items.

uncredentialed said...

J.D., do you know if Sprint has any sort of exclusive on mobile applications? This could be even more complicated than we think, if Turner has only "traditional PC" rights, Sirius with satellite rights, and Sprint with the mobile rights.

Because the more I think about, I'm really just dumbfounded Turner doesn't a killer Trackpass mobile app by now. Turner has the NBA's online rights too, but they have a mobile app on every platform out there.

Sally said...

I find it irritating enough that I can't sit comfortably at home at watch a good, complete broadcast of a race on my TV. I need to divide my attention between the TV and the computer now (thank you, Planeteers!) just to keep informed with what is happening on the track. I can't imagine wanting to do that on a teensy phone screen! Until Nascar addresses the problems with how the races are portrayed on television, I think worrying about anything else is putting the cart before the horse. Or closing the barn door after it's gone.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Uncredentialed,

That is exactly what the guy are trying to sort out. Technology has changed, time for the Turner contract to change as well.

JD

Anonymous said...

JD, I may be wrong, but I feel the problem is nascar not turner. I would bet it is nascar wanting way too much money to make this happen. I also think nascar should get their fox and espn tv production fixed first. And I see nothing happening on that front. MC

Anonymous said...

These comments are from an old fart who had been a NASCAR fan since the early 60's:
I bought an XM receiver when they were first introduced because they carried the races and I was on the road a lot. Then they switched coverage to Sirius and I bought a Sirius receiver. Then Sirius hired Howard Stern and I cancelled my Sirius subscription because I refused to have my subscription payment go towards his salary. At the time I cancelled, the only thing I was listening to on Ch. 128 was the races. All the airtime between races was a total waste of time. There was about 30 minutes of NASCAR "news" that was spread out over six and a half days. It took me a couple of weeks to tire of listening to commentators try to make something out of nothing. There is way too much coverage of NASCAR on every conceivable means of communications now and nobody cares anymore. My solution is to put all Cup races on pay-per-view, eliminate the radio coverage so if you want to have live race coverage, you have got to buy the pay-per-view. NASCAR will instantly know how many people care anymore and, for those of us who just want racing and not all the B.S., we would get to watch a complete, uninterrupted event.

MikeC said...

Big difference between NASCAR and the NFL & Stern for the time being. Sirius' current deal with the NFL expired after this current NFL season....and their deal with Stern expired on December 31st of this year. So, those 2 contracts were up for renewal. Sirius' current deal with NASCAR goes through the 2011 season....so, the earliest you'd be able to get any sort of new languge included in the contract would be for the 2012 season. I'll guarantee Sirius-XM will push for some sort of streaming/mobile device language in the next contract, but whether they get it is another story. Also getting Turner to change their current contract is another story, too.

Brandon said...

*****I'd much rather Turner replicates what MLBAM does. For $14.99 you get their mobile app which has live audio for every game during season all sorts of live tracking of games. Turner already has something similar with Trackpass, they just need to develop a mobile app for it (unless there is a conflict with Sprint).****

This is a great comment. I am always busy in the summer, but I go out of my way to continue to support NASCAR. The least they could do is make it easier by giving me races on SIRIUS no matter how I am accessing it (mobile, online, or satellite). They should ALSO make a mobile app for all platforms (Android & iPhone) and simply give bonus content to Sprint customers for free (ie:in-car audio for Sprint customers and everyone else must pay). NASCAR YOU ARE BEHIND EVERYONE ELSE WITH THE FAN EXPERIENCE AS USUAL. FANSCAN IS GREAT, BUT YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE STOPPED THERE!

David said...

This new "age" of technology doesn't explain the TV ratings explosion in the NFL world. This just goes t prove that if you put together a great product, people WILL watch. NASCAR's biggest issue has been it's idea of "change" the last few years, I think they need to focus on the major product platform for now, which at this point in time, is still TV by a large margin. Sure, work on the mobile stuff for us younger fans, but let's face it, it's the hardcore fans from way back when that need to be rejuvanted, and a mobile app isn't going to do that.