Tuesday, March 8, 2011

NASCAR TV Bill Of Rights (Repost)


After Phoenix and Las Vegas, this is a repost by request. Bristol, TN has the potential to be a huge TV weekend for the sport. Here are some fundamentals that we have formed as TV viewers. See if you agree and leave us a comment.

NASCAR is entering into the fifth season of Sprint Cup Series coverage provided by FOX, TNT and ESPN. Each of those three networks are different businesses not inclined to cooperate with each other. News Corp, Turner Broadcasting and Disney are three parent companies who bring very different approaches to NASCAR coverage.

The result has been that fans attempting to watch the entire ten months of Sprint Cup Series coverage have been forced to deal with three completely different styles of TV. From the good old boys of FOX to the tech-savvy TNT and the very formal ESPN, the top level of the sport is chopped into three very distinct pieces.

As we enter year five, here is a compilation of issues that readers have helped to define as basic concerns with the television coverage.

Active owners of Sprint Cup Series teams should not be on the air as network TV announcers. Despite the best intentions of those involved, the opinions expressed by those with a significant financial and professional commitment to the sport simply draw too much skepticism.

The pre-race show is to inform viewers of the ongoing stories involving the teams about to race. It is not for features designed to sell a product, promote a cause or advance a TV network's own agenda. "Face time" on national television should be for athletes, not announcers.

The driver starting on the pole of every Sprint Cup Series race should be interviewed during the pre-race show. This right comes with sitting on the pole and makes an impression on the national TV audience that this is an accomplishment for the driver, the team and the sponsor.

Speaking to a driver and/or crew chief via the team radio during the pace laps makes no sense. Asking the driver a random viewer question is ridiculous. Once again in 2010, this practice provided no new information, resulted in awkward moments and was openly despised by some drivers. The only thing worse is contacting a driver during the race to ask the same set of questions.

There is not one "new fan" watching the telecast. The entire NASCAR TV audience has a favorite driver and knows who is who. Showing a prerecorded "bumper" of a driver posing and grinning or trying to look tough or playing the drums while going to commercial under green flag racing is a travesty.

Updates on the basics of NASCAR car parts should be reserved for specialty TV shows. Inside the live telecast of a Sprint Cup Series race there is no need to review the basics of tires, fuel cells, shock absorbers or any other car part that will be used in every event.

The TV network's infield studios are useless once a Sprint Cup Series race begins unless it rains. Viewers have seen who is sitting where and what they are wearing during the pre-race. There is no new information to be shared by putting the same announcers on-camera once the race has started. This fact has been proven by all three networks since 2007.

A driver who starts a Sprint Cup Series race and suddenly pulls off the track and heads to the garage should be identified on TV immediately. It is not the role of the TV networks to edit "start and park" cars from the telecasts. The responsibility is to report what is happening to those who are watching on TV and are not at the track. Reality is not subjective.

No NASCAR TV network covering a live race should go to commercial under green flag racing in the first ten laps or the final ten laps of the event.

Any driver transported to the infield medical center should be interviewed. Each one has fans and it is not the role of the TV network to use popularity or points standings to determine whether an athlete is worthy of TV time.

The scoring ticker is on the screen to help with information, not to be the primary source of scoring information for TV viewers once the race is underway. A key role of the play-by-play announcer is to update positions on the racetrack. What TV seems to be unable to do, the NASCAR radio broadcasters do on a regular basis. The scoring ticker is not a crutch.

Prior to every restart in a Sprint Cup Series race TV viewers should be told what cars got a wave-around, who is the Lucky Dog and if there were any pit road penalties. Coming to the green flag, viewers should know at least the top ten cars (first five rows) and whether the leader chose the inside or outside.

Full field recaps within a race should be done through the complete field at regular intervals and not just include the top ten or twenty cars. Television often misses the real stories of the race by continually focusing on the front of the race and the current leaders. All the drivers on the track have fans.

After a multi-hour race, TV viewers deserve to see all the cars on the lead lap finish the race live. The race winner, pit crew and crew chief will have TV time in Victory Lane. Watching the rest of the lead lap cars racing to the finish is often much more exciting than seeing the winner cross the line.

The TV commercial mess can only be handled one of two ways. Either move to a side-by-side scenario with a video box of the live race on the screen or offer a RaceBuddy style online application. It has been proven for the last several years that fans are simply not going to watch a live event where one-third of the action is completely blocked by commercial content. Why force fans to record and fast-forward when live viewership is the focus of the entire TV effort?

Online information in some form must be provided by the on-air TV staff. Pit reporters updating their assigned teams, infield announcers interacting with fans or even a designated social media producer is needed to fill the demand for interactivity on Facebook, Twitter and the network's own website. This aspect of NASCAR is key to attracting and keeping younger fans.

Since the beginning of NASCAR television coverage, the fundamental idea has been for the TV production team to be the eyes and ears of the fans unable to go to the track. The focus is to capture what is actually happening and pass it along. The play-by-play announcer adds the drama, the analysts relate their own experiences and the pit reporters update the specifics. It all seems so simple.

We invite our readers to add any topic that we may have missed in recapping the issues that have been dogging the TV coverage of the Sprint Cup Series for the past several years. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting.

Update #1 from reader comments: Cameras show debris when any debris caution is thrown. Cameras do not zoom in on single cars under green flag.

Update #2 from reader comments: No bumper-cam during a pass for the lead or live incidents on track.

Thank you for stopping by The Daly Planet. All this week we will be updating the happenings of the Charlotte Media Tour as the teams and NASCAR preview the coming season.

80 comments:

Jonathan said...

Another great post JD! Im with you 110% thats the type of telecast I feel in love with....

But the past 4 years have been BRUTAL I sure hope Nascar is listening!!!! There's a big chance there wont be a football seaon this year now is the time to make things right

RvNGrammy said...

All of the drivers have fans. Excellant documenttion of the issues, John. It would be a good thing if NASCAR and the TV corps. would listen.

Anonymous said...

Wow JD, this is like the 17 Commandments of race car announcing! The networks should be required to read these everyday of their broadcasting term. I have to add that the camera work shalt not be focused only on one or two cars, shalt not jump around every second, shalt not use in-car, roof, bumper cam except for very specific showing of an event that has occurred.

Sally said...

Bravo!!! The only thing I would add is that the used of in car cameras while cars are in the act of passing is totally wrong. It doesn't allow viewers to see how close the racing actually is. Also, following one car running by itself for several laps is not acceptable. There are things going on somewhere in the field, and it's just lazy to do that instead of finding information that could help fans follow the flow of the race.

Rockin Rich said...

Not much left to say after your summation. I think you hit almost all the issues. And, I agree with almost all of what you said.

I am unsure of the intent of your comment on the position ticker. I think you are not saying to do away with it, but for the TV personalities to not depend on it for informing the viewers so they don't have to. I hope you are not saying to lessen the appearance of the ticker. The ticker is the only way I can see who is where on the track. I don't see how the announcers can effectively provide all that information as well as the ticker does. I agree that it shouldn't relieve the announcers of telling us about position changes. I just don't want to see the thing be used less. This was brought home to me when watching replays of old races before the ticker was used much. Big hole in my understanding if what was happening on the track at any given moment!

JD, thank you for continuing to provide this forum. Although I haven't been posting as much as I did in years past, I do read it every day. Frequently I find information here that I see nowhere else. I consider this the Jayski site for TV viewers!

That is meant as a compliment, BTW. I feel some people, (mostly many NASCAR officials, and a few drivers?), don't feel positively about Jay, or you. Too bad! Their problem!

Anonymous said...

A+

Anonymous said...

Well said! I speculate that, if the announcers pretended they were covering the race on radio, the coverage on TV would improve significantly. They don't seem to know how to create verbal pictures for the fans or carry many of the story lines from the race. And, please, get active owners out of the booth!

James said...

As always, you hit the nail on the head! The million dollar question is, are the powers that be listening?

If they do not address the side by side race and commercials this season, they will have lost a great chunk of fans. Between the owner/commentators and the commercials it is a big mess.

I guess you have talked to people who do not care for the Chase.

Thanks again for being the voice of the fan.

Eric B said...

I have no problem at all with talking to drivers or crew during pace laps. It adds insight as to what the team is feeling and experincing leading up to the start. Also, it can foreshadow the direction the race may be going.

I think that is very narrow minded of you to assume everyone who watches a race is not a "new fan" or automatcically has a favorite driver. As a matter of fact, I had a friend of mine who had never wathced a race in his life tune into Homestead. He didnt necessarily have a favorite driver and was skeptical of NASCAR before the race, but after I feel like they at least had a new casual fan. Tge prerecorded bumpers add personaility to the drivers and it gives them props for leading at the time.

Finally, updates on parts that affect the storyline during the race are necessary. I can see it now, "tune into NASCAR performance this week to actually find out what happend to (insert name here)'s car." If its a new part or old part that is effecting the race in anyway it should be explained.

Other than that I agree 100% with everything else.

Todd Crane said...

JD once again, you've hit the nail squarely on the head. But sadly, the three networks will probably do the same old same old as they have been doing for the last 5 years. Maybe, just maybe someday, they will see the light, but I'm afraid not in the current contracts. In the future maybe NA$CAR should lay down some ground rules???? Keep up the GREAT work!

Jay @ Sequoia said...

AMEN, BROTHER!!!

NASCAR TV Partners: Please read and institute these actions. Really.

Anonymous said...

I think that is a great list for a Bill of Rights. If those are adhered to by the networks, I think we will have a wonderful TV year.

I only think one thing should be clarified. The part about covering the standard car parts (tires, shocks, etc...) is ok to a point. I agree that I don't want to have to sit through a broadcast where they teach me push/loose. However, I also don't want to watch a race in which the announcers totally ignore the mechanics of the car. If all of the Childress cars have to leave the race because of a part failure, I want someone to explain to me what part failed and what failed about it.

I'm not sure how you balance that with an entire broadcast, but I just remember the days when a driver would leave a race and the only explanation you would get was "It done blowed up".

I just don't want to go back to that.

OSBORNK said...

I think you have accurately outlined what would be a "perfect" broadcast to me.

I think a simple money saving change would make the broadcast better. Do away with the talking heads in the booth and simply coordinate the cameras with the radio broadcast. If we hear the radio broadcast team on TV with the TV cameras showing the action, we would have good coverage of the race.

Anonymous said...

Great summarization. Unfortunately, the people who
could effect the changes could
care less as past history indicates.

Keep beating the drums!

MRM4 said...

JD, you make some really good points, most I agree with. But I have a suspicion the three networks (particularly Fox and ESPN) will not dramatically change how they broadcast a race this year. Their excuse will be since attendance is down with viewership, that people just aren't as interested in NASCAR. So they'll use that as the excuse for their declining ratings as opposed to the product they'll put on the air.

I think it's time for Fox to shake things up a bit and make a few personnel changes. Get rid of Chris Meyers and move Jeff Hammond to pit road. This will also eliminate some of the self-promotion they do that primarily comes from the infield studio.

TNT does the best job and they need to find a good PxP guy. Adam Alexander was okay, but they can do better.

ESPN needs to dump their infield studio and tech center. Replace Marty Reid with Allen Bestwick. If after a year that doesn't improve things, then look at replacing one of the booth guys, probably Petree. Add someone with some personality that translates to TV. Their broadcasts are somewhat boring.

Anonymous said...

Good job as always JD. Maybe since the Networks don't really have a clue/plan. they should do the prerace and then TAP MRN audio.( kick back and watch the race and LISTEN TO REAL RACE CALLERS) They are the only ones who have REAL race callers ALL around the track. Bagman, Godfather ETC

Les said...

I agree with most of what you wrote.

Here's one more:
Zooms should be used sparingly. One thing that's always bothered me is how the camera will zoom out as a car drives by, keeping the car always at the same size onscreen.

That means a 200mph car looks like it's standing still. About as exciting as looking at a parking lot.

GinaV24 said...

Awesome summation, JD. When you mentioned "no active Sprint Cup owners", I'd add that includes Nationwide and Trucks, too. You may have meant that, but Rusty, Brad and Motormouth Mikey are a strong reason that I don't watch Nationwide or trucks on TV with as much enthusiasm.

After watching the Fox and NBC guys do their gig for the NFL, the contrast in professionalism is shocking. Geez, Chris Meyers is an intelligent guy, who speaks informatively from the sidelines.

It's a shame that NASCAR and the networks would rather blame all the problems with ratings on the START times. Geez, totally clueless.

The Mad Man said...

I think that none of the on-air folks should be shilling for any product or cheerleading for any team or driver as we've seen week after week, most notably with the Faux crew and the Speed TV crew for the Truck Series races. This would keep a lot of the booth crew members quiet about 50% of the time on Faux, Speed, and BSPN.This is addition to not having any active team owners or drivers in the booth as announcers, commentators, experts, or consultants.

All of the so-called commentators, experts, etc. need to make a full disclosure of just who all "owns" them. Mike Joy has openly admitted that he owns a fuel distributorship for racing fuel. Jabber Jaws, Crusty, Brad, and the rest need to come forward with just who "owns" them.

Split screen coverage is a must, period, no matter what network it is.

As much as I think this is a great article JD and addresses the majority of concerns the fans at home have, I'm afraid it will fall on blind eyes with the netwroks and BZF's bunch. But hope springs eternal.

West Coast Diane said...

JD, best article you have ever written!!

I do agree with several who mentioned camera work. Jumping bean shots, single cars, bumper cams, etc. Headlights not tail lights as you always say.

Answering basic questions isn't the real issue. It's how they do it. You don't need to go to TB in the tech garage to show the basic info. Social media could be solution to basic car stuff. They can answer those questions on twitter if people want to know. If there are many of the same, answer on air.

Anyone taking odds on if even one of these televising commandments will be implemented??

Anonymous said...

You nailed it John. The other Bill of Rights amendment should be that all broadcasters in the booth during a race should have watched a race announced by Larry Nuber and Bob Jenkins they did it right.

Greta said...

Here are my suggestions:
1. We want to see the debris that causes a caution every time. If you don't see it on the track, show it to us in the truck that picked it up. Or tell us you didn't see anything.

2. Anytime a car pulls into the pits we want to know about it and know why. We can see them do it on Trackpass, so cover it.

AncientRacer said...

Wonderful column, JD, but I wish you had hammered more on the pictures that are broadcast. I want to see the race not just the leader, not just the bumper cam, not just the driver and the obligatory in-cabin ads.

Anonymous said...

One more thing. Any ex-driver or ex-crew chief should not spend on-air time telling us about their exploits back in the day. If we saw you...we know. If we didn't..we don't care. You drove or CC'd during a different time. You had different restrictions and a lot more lattitude. The tracks are different. This is 2011, and we want to hear about the race we're watching, not about the time you drove this track. And please understand we would like to have a few pauses when there are no words. We want to see the race and hear the sounds without constant yammering. It won't hurt our feelings if you occasionally DON'T fill the airwaves with your voices. Please just let us enjoy the race.

rsatc said...

Excellent list, the three networks need to concentrate on the actual race. There are to many side stories that distract from the racing.

Anonymous said...

yes, thank you! I agree with most of the above, except that the ticker does make the race easier to watch. They should go to a side by side for commercials, like abc doew with the indy 500. I really hate it when they go to commercial, and they come back and, "oh, lead change, lets show a replay." I want to see it live!!! And often they come back showing a torn up car, and say "there has been an accident, lets show you what happened" again, live please!!! It really annoys me how a lot of the action takes place during commercials, the networks are really stupid about when they place them. I'd also like less commercials, and a lot less plugs for stuff.

sue said...

Very good post JD. I liked that we should be able to watch ALL the lead lap cars finish the race.

Being a 14 fan twice last year in the chase Tony finished way back and no explanation was given.
After much serching I found out that these were last lap crashes that espn chose not to view. I'm sorry but not showing a marquee driver in a last lap crash I just am at a loss for words.

rich said...

I can only hope that the suits at ESPN read this and take it to heart. JD, as usual, your summation hits the nail on the head.
Can't wait for the Bud Shoot Out.

Anonymous said...

The number one thing on the list is the TV network has a right to make a profit on broadcast that they paid millions for the rights. That would mean airing whatever paid spots necessary to do so.

Without the networks pocketbooks, there would be no NASCAR on TV.

Whatever could be done to improve the broadcasts is just gravy. Beggers can't be choosers.

Jojaye said...

JD - Thank you Thank you Thank you and Amen Brother ! Preach on and I hope the networks listen.
You have written good columns in the past - this one is mastery!

Vince said...

Great article JD. Might I add cut down on the graphics cluttering my screen. It gets progressively worse every year. ESPN is the worst offender. Also the booth guys need to make it known who they are affiliated with and who is paying them money. I know Larry Mac, Hammond, DW, MW, Parsons, etc have or had affiliaitions with Toyota over the years and it is obvious that they give Toyota way more air time than the deserve at times.

I still think the biggest problem is with the directors and producers in the truck. They obviously don't have a clue how to properly broadcast a race and are not race fans. Until the networks get this problem fixed the race broadcasts with continue to suffer.

clay said...

Best column of yours that I've ever seen. Wonder if any of the networks will even see it.
My opinions. More Dr. Jerry Punch, less "tonite on TNT",more pit reporter stories, less Waltrips,more Kyle Petty, less of that idiot on Fox with the glasses and bad haircut,more Krista Voda, less of the Blondie wanna be of TNT, more in-car audio, less 48, more showing of cautions, less of the guy in the "in garage showing us the cutaway cut tire".

Jojaye said...

@Anon 1:11pm - who exactly are the "beggars"? Would that be us the cable & satellite subscribers? Or would that be the folks that advertisers wish to sell their goods & services to - those are called customers? Either way - we pay, hardly beggars.

"Gravy" you say is what improvements would be. Really? Actually it would be scraps, as you must not have watched the last few years, sir or ma'm.

The Networks ( all of them now including "free broadcast" or over the air as we called it back in the day) all get a cut from cable/dish providers, they get multi revenue streams - excuse me I should get to view a live sporting event with commercials, not commercials interrupted by a few laps of racing.

uncredentialed said...

I don't think it's necessary for the networks to place phony drama on winning the pole. I'd like them to take a journalist approach. Talk about how one single hot lap is typically irrelevant in a 500-mile endurance race.

If time trials are meaningless to overall speed at the restrictor plate tracks, then disclose that. For impound races where GOGH and S&P teams are using qualifying setups for the race, explain why. And when you get to places like Sonoma and Pocono where track position is critical and there are few cautions, then you discuss the importance of starting up front.

Anonymous said...

Some of the things we have to live with. The in-car cams are showed specifically to placate the network sponsors. It's part of their deals with the companies that they'll show their driver's in-car so that everyone gets a good look at the logo. Watch a race, you'll notice the companies that have both a car in the race and are a network sponsor are the ones that get the in-car cams repeatedly.

The network is ponying up big money to show the race, plus all the costs that go into broadcasting a race. It would be stupid of us to expect them to not try to get some return on their investment by getting some of that money back, and in-car cams of the Budweiser car probably raises the price of their deal with Budweiser.

Most of the other stuff I agree with though. I'd like to see more stuff like Mike Joy's historical features from last year. Those were really good journalism. Chris Meyers should be fired. More Larry MacReynolds please, more Lindsey Czarniak because she does a good job, more Kyle Petty, and find a different network to take over everything from ESPN.

Vicky D said...

Thumbs up for this column JD. Everything we have been dealing with in the last few years is right there for the networks and Nascar to see and perhaps even improve on. I was hearing that the drivers who were down at Daytona want hash marks in the corners so when they go into them 3 wide they can hold their line. I can only chuckle to myself thinking about what Marty Reid will say with the 3 wide racing, all race long we'll hear, which driver is meat in the sandwich! Can't wait! I thought I wouldn't get another chance to mention that I know that wasn't in your column.

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

Another excellent article JD. I would like to add a few good suggestions.

One, drop the pre race show altogether. There is no business for a pre-race show in NASCAR. Back in the day they just showed a opening, a quick informative piece, the starting grid and then the green flag. i would like those things instead of a pre race show.

Two, I want fox off of NASCAR altogether. DW and the Three Stooges don't do it for me, with no disrespect to Mike Joy and Larry Mac.

Three, I would like different networks at different tracks not a consolidated TV effort becuse it leads to problems and already does.

Four, I want producers to know what to do. Why in the name of Larry Nuber are producers clueless with too many in car cameras dictating the viewing of the race.

Five, Please pay Bob Jenkins a large sum of money to come back and do NASCAR on ESPN.

and lastly, I want the telecast to use the KISS method: Keep it simple stupid. No graphic cluttering the screen. A majority of us still have 27" or less TV's not huge flatscreens and just use simple cameras on the races, use the in-cars once every blue moon.

If you do all these things, maybe we will come back, maybe.

Oh BTW, GO STEELERS!!!

SBTF

AncientRacer said...

JD, SBTF wrote:

"Oh BTW, GO STEELERS!!!"

I am shocked. Is not the use of this type of profanity discouraged on this blog?

Anonymous said...

I'll 100% with you on your Bill of Rights JD. All of it is summed up very nicely indeed.

Sam

Daly Planet Editor said...

AR, I can't believe that slipped through! And me a Redskins fan!

Anonymous said...

Good ideas except counting back through the field. Top 20 is fine (thats what the ticker is for) & ALL debris cautions ID'd. I still say some one needs to hire Ken Schrader for colour .. the guys hilarious. Earner

Anonymous said...

How about Fox not explaining what aero loose or a tight race car every broadcast, and get rid of the gopher.

Greg said...

I agree with every point you made 100%.
If you want to see a great internet racing app checkout the formula1 app for the ipad.
They also offer free internet timing & scoring direct from the track.
I have been a nascar fan since the 60s, this could be my last year unless things improve.
Thank you Daly Planet.

Chadderbox said...

This article provides a solution to everything that most of us here have been complaining about for at least 2 years!

Thanks JD!

Is anybody listening?

Anonymous said...

You are seriously stating that I should need a computer to follow the race??

If I can't watch it on the TV, I am not going to watch it!! (i used to watch races on tv, no reason i shouldnt be able to now)

Anonymous said...

I agree with every single point that was mentioned except the Twitter, Facebook, social networking stuff. If the broadcast staff does it's job, nothing else is needed. It's easy to fix it. Just go back to the 80's and 90's and watch how ESPN did it then with Bob Jenkins, Benny Parsons, Ned Jarrett and Dr. Jerry Punch. Do it like they did it and add Buddy Baker for an occasional funny story and a whole bunch of right now, relevant, this is what's really happening information.

Cotton

Roland said...

Pre race shows should never be more than 30 minutes except for major races. They should also include a minimum of 6 interviews.

Post race shows should last a minimum of 30 minutes after the conclusion of a race and should include interviews with the entire top 5.

A play-by-play guy should be able to put together sentences without stuttering or mixing up their words. We shall call this the Marty Reid Rule. He is awful.

There should be no more than 9 people on a broadcast. 3 in the booth, 4 on pit road, and 2 for a pre/post race show.

Each and every race, qualifying session, and practice should be available online and for mobile phones.

And now for something that has bugged me for ages and hasnt really been addressed: During practice there should be a countdown clock so we know how much practice is left. F1 does it, why not us? And during practice at the plate tracks, it should be a felony to spend 5 minutes at the beginning of practice so each "analyst" can get there 2 cents in. We are missing on track action, and by the time there done talking half the cars have pulled in.

Watching the NFL broadcasts Sunday (my first 2 of the year) I was embarrased by how much more professional their broadcasts are than ours. Its past time for a major overhaul of TV networks lineups and this is something that needs to be addressed.

tonybct said...

I know it won't hapeen, but please,please, please, can we end the, B, B, B, at the start of the Fox races, I can't remember where I read it this weekend, but it was written, no other professional sport starts their gams, matches, contests, in such a ridiculous way, it was cute the first hundred times, but it's really time it went away! A great column though, love it!

PammH said...

Great column JD! Too bad it will be totally ignored by TPTB. And messing with the point system-that was on NO ONE'S list of things to "fix" with our sport. BZF is just soooo friggin' clueless...:(

KoHoSo said...

In response to the esteemed Mr. Daly's NASCAR TV Bill of Rights...

Amen, hallelujah, and [multiple hyphenated expletives withheld] yeah! :-D

Anonymous said...

Ohhhh boy - did Larry Mac stir the pot up today during the NASCAR Media tour !

Anonymous said...

here's a wake up call that NASCAR cannot ignore

ESPN just committed to the NFL to the tune of $70 million per game. Yup.

Nascar, there went your next ESPN/ABC deal

that sucking sound????
any increase in rights fees in the next round, going right down the drain


bray kroter

Anonymous said...

JD, is it okay to plug Dustin Long and his Backseat Drivers Fan Council? He is asking decent questions and even better, he his giving the results. I feel the more people who will participate, the more accurate the surveys will be. If you go to the bottom of his first survey result article (http://hamptonroads.com/2011/01/i-hear-you-backseat-drivers-new-fan-council-wants-points-change-worries-about-tv-coverage-ha), you will see instruction on how to join. Thanks, MC

Palmetto said...

There is no reason to use a camera angle that shows only one car. Showing a single car gives no perspective regarding the distance between that car and the ones pursuing or being pursued. It tells no story and provides no information; it is as pointless as broadcasting a publicity photo. Zoom out.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon, no problem with that! I've had my own fan council for the past five years. It's kind of fun.

Anonymous said...

This is perfect. I don't know what could be added to your great list here, J.D. Thanks!

patrick said...

As a WDAY viewer I have one more thing to add... unless a local affiliate preemption of the broadcast is required due to weather or another emergency in the area, the race viewers deserve to see the whole broadcast including the pre-race show, opening ceremonies, the entire distance of the race, and all the post-race activity until network sign-off, under penalty of losing shared advertising revenue at a proportional rate to the amount of time pre-empted, multiplied by some factor high enough to adequately discourage the practice. (I'd say 3x is a good start... pre-empt half an hour, lose 1.5 hours of revenue.)

Dot said...

Bravo JD. Take a bow.

I read elsewhere that David Hill said that sponsors won't go for side by side racing/commls. I wonder how true this is. Would they prefer fans at home hitting the FF button instead? How many here record the race? Do you watch the commls? At least if they were side by side, you'd be less inclined to FF through them.

My 2011 wish is that someone comes to their senses about the TV coverage.

Gymmie said...

Preach it brother! Yes the first year some of the bumps & things were "cute" but it's old 10 years later!

I can't tell you how many times a "no name" was in an incident with a "name" and the "no name" was 30 seconds from making a sign & holding it up so their Mama knew they were OK. Because they're sitting there in the back, patiently waiting, smiling, only to be ignored. TV can't bother to interview them much less even MENTION the fact that they were in an incident.

When we see on a ticker that So & So is out & have seen that for 20 laps with no update, that's not right. It doesn't matter that it's a S&Per, it still needs to be updated.

If it were a "name" not only would we know 2 seconds after they left the track because there would be a camera on him following him to the garage. But we also would have the garage cam in a HUGE box, with that pesky race in a small box so everyone has to bring out the magnifying glass to watch, Captain Obvious speaking non-sense and TV interviewing everyone on the team short of the Spotter.

They need to get with the technology & get with the times! Yes its not necessarily ideal to watch on a phone, but sometimes folks have to be out & about & want to watch. Many have wanted to watch while flying using the plane's wifi. You can hook up computers to many TVs these days, so folks can hook up their computer & watch via Race Buddy on their 52".

MC--I joined Dustin's Council too & I think it's going to be fun!

MRM4 said...

Here is something to be deflated about. I just saw on Jayski's web site where Fox's David Hill says he is still against online streaming of NASCAR races. He's also in favor of shorter races.

RFMjr said...

"Hill believes there are too many entertainment options to hold a fan's interest over the length of an entire race. Fox has three years remaining on its television deal with NASCAR, and Hill says it's too soon to tell if the network will renew."

If there are too many options, then give them the one they want...RACEBUDDY!!!

It's RACEBUDDY, stupid.

Robby said...

Great post! If I could add anything it would be, no more boogity boogity boogity nonsense.

AncientRacer said...

Friend called, said she read someplace that Brian the Clueless is supposed to give his State of the Sport speech tomorrow and that it will be streamed. I can find no mention of this, so anybody know?

Still a great column and the responses are similarly great

Daly Planet Editor said...

AR, I will have a full column on that topic tonight. It will be carried live, but I am waiting to see if it will be SPEED.com or if "Race Hub" will expand for it. Approx time is 6:30PM ET from NHoF.

JD

Anonymous said...

I want a faster scroll at the top. I don't want to see a driver's wife sitting on top of the pit box reacting to whats happening on the track, show ME the drama on the track! Stop zooming in on the checkered flag at the end of the race and show my guy finish even if he's 23rd, it matters to me. Ditch the cut-away cars, I don't care where the fuel pump is. Talk to different drivers in the pre-race once in a while, we don't need to hear from 48 every Sunday. Stop the "boogity boogity boogity" its just as annoying as Digger. Ditch the "comedy" skits in pre-race and just be more professional.

Anonymous said...

How dare you write such a thing. Did you not listen to what Larry Mac said to the NASCAR media?? You're not supposed to write negative things about "our sport". Even if something is negative, you're supposed to put a positive spin on it. If there are 50,000 empty seats, you can't write that. If you don't lime how a network is broadcasting, you're supposed to ignore those things and only focus on what was good about the program. Sheesh, JD, get with the Larry Mac whistle a happy tune program.

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

Hey Anon @ 3:54 pm

This is america and we have freedom to criticize as we see fit. If a company does wrong and is doing very little about it we are going to criticize the living daylights out of the company. The negatives are a plenty, not only in NASCAR but their TV partners as well. Until that changes we are going to criticize them until the sun goes down. If NASCAR is going to alienate fans in sake of the almighty dollar, you are going to anger many longtime NASCAR fans, pure and simple. What fans want is not that difficult, just keep thing simple. Longtime fans and myself want the NASCAR and TV partners of old back.

So if you want things to remain the same thats OK, but do not say things are all right with NASCAR because they are not.

SBTF

Anonymous said...

Use some common sense and trim the number of cars shown on the ticker late in the race.

If, for example, they are at Martinsville or Bristol, where positions change in a hurry, they could show just the top 10 or lead lap cars once there is only, say, 50 to go. Or at least do that every other run of the ticker.

If there are 10 to go at Pocono, that leaves plenty of time, but not so much that I want to see a string of DNF and laps down cars on the ticker every go around.

Tom said...

Speaking of nonsense...
Not sure if everyone's heard, but ESPN has signed Rusty Wallace through the 2014 season, which by no strange coincidence, is the final year of the network's NASCAR contract.
Revealing quote from ESPN Executive VP for Production, Norby Williamson:
"Rusty Wallace is a NASCAR legend,” Williamson said. “We’re very happy that he will continue to share his knowledge and experience with our viewers for the remainder of our current relationship with NASCAR. It’s a very strong property and we look forward to the next four years."

Strong property and ESPN in the same sentence? Hmmm...

Anonymous said...

A coupla things about the ticker. Please leave the darn thing up. Every network is guilty of this. They put it up, then it's down... then it's back up. They go to a replay and they take it down, they go to an studio shot and they take it down.

During qualifying it goes down after each car makes it's run. That might be OK if you're talking about Daytona but if it's a short track then only the first 15 or so cars ever show up on the ticker.

Sometimes I can't sit down and watch a broadcast from start to finish. Life and all that sometimes dictates that I do other thing. This is particularly true during practice and qualifying. I rely on the ticker to let me know what's going on on those occasions. It's very frustrating to have to play tag with darn thing.

And, it's even more frustrating when they (ESPN) manage to keep a ticker of other sports scores on screen the entire time.

I'm just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

Saltsburg, did you not get the irony? My attempt at humor went above your head. I was not serious in what I wrote, just pointing out how stupid Larry Mac appeared when he admonished the media to only write the positives of NASCAR.

w17scott said...

Mr Editor -
This message needs to be kept on the front burner ...who knows, TNT may become a bigger player on the NASCAR scene ...since ESPN has upped the ante w/NFL, NBA, MLB, et al, they may need another channel and may well squeeze themselves out of the picture for primary coverage ...oh well, we can hope.
Thanks muchly for the reprint.
Walter

Sophia said...

NASCAR doesn't care we see the race.

I've decided Fox in their arrogance does not either. Just read a local Ohio blog that FOX OH Sports screws up ALL THE TIME cutting off end of games when things go over time. A lot of "Heidi moments" that still continue to happen.

Did recently past few days with reshow of Reds game playoff where last bat HR won game. Cut it off prematurely but will re air the show. Who cares? some sat thru it for 2 hrs already & got robbed? (Sound familiar?) Blog comments spoke of detesting Fox handling of sports period & the PLETHORA of screw ups on the OH station.

Reminded me of what we say here & on Twitter...but it still makes me sad.

I like all the guys on tv ok (Well not all of ESPN's booth but love FOX/SPEED guys for the most part)
Sad really. Fox on air guys giveth(Comfort food voices) and Fox truck booth taketh away (ENJOYMENT of race, thus RUIN it)

I expect no changes & when weather is nicer, NASCAR will be a fond memory, sadly. Who in their right mind could ENJOY the abuse of lousy camera work, endlessly!

I've never been a fan of abusive relationships.

I do miss watching every single moment of quals & practice when I could & the tv shows. Now the crowds scream/wave fans so I turn OFF shows I like with drivers I LOVE.

Just not worth the investment to get ripped off visually/emotionally after investing time to try and WATCH a race, live.

GinaV24 said...

JD, this column hits all of the points that have been talked about for the past several years on this site and they are all items that would make a better viewing broadcast for people watching at home.

Also, it seems to really upset the people in the business when they are criticized so instead of listening, they just get defensive.

I read someone's post yesterday that pointed out the weather is bad right now in a lot of areas (regarding the ratings upward motion) and I agree, better weather, if the same old same old tv style continues, will probably have less people watching.

Unless of course Jr's revival continues, then the Nation will probably keep things afloat.

matriarch said...

Just to add to the Bill of Rights.

1. No broadcaster should have any affiliation with any driver, car brand, or sponsor.

Anonymous said...

Most of us have widescreen TV sets so why not put a 10 position listing down a small side of the screen show who is where? Maybe rotate that through the field instead of the top screen ticker.

PammH said...

anon 1:35-really?? most of us have big screen TV's?? not sure that is the case. certainly not at my house, but then I still use a VCR!

glenc1 said...

PammH, I still have my VCR too. And still use it. I have a Tracfone, not a smartphone. Some people just have the idea that everyone lives like they do.

I like the ticker, and I want interval times. And it should move a little faster. Seems like whenever I get to what I want to see they take it off.

But yes, JD, your column is still correct. We need a 'Don Quixote' picture though. :)

Anonymous said...

Agree with most, except for the idea that nobody watching a race is a "new fan". Honestly, weren't we ALL a new fan at some point? Think about it. I have several friends that had never watched a race until I convinced them to give it a try. They didn't know the drivers, or who was in what car. They do NOW, but as I said, at some point, we were ALL a "new fan".

Anonymous said...

Great Artcle. Just one thing. 2-3 hours of pre race bs and post race when emotions run strong we get 10 minutes and out. I understand some of the reasons but it is very anti climatic. And yes many other sports broadcasts are similar.