Thursday, January 20, 2011

Streaming Experiment A Success




Day one of SPEED.com and other websites streaming practice from Daytona is done and reviews are positive. Basically, SPEED produced the kind of coverage we have come to expect from the TV side of the sport. It was professional, candid and focused.

Before we ask for your opinion, here are some personal observations. I wish there was a new music package for the network's coverage, this one is rather tired. SPEED's info bar at the top of the screen again worked just fine with cameras framed around the graphics package. It was nice to see Daytona once again, but scenic shots of the area might help with new fans who are watching the sport for the first time due to the online coverage.

SPEED is quietly leading the way in social media with several of the announcers taking questions directly from fans on Twitter and answering them on the webcast. In addition, some announcers interacted on Twitter directly with fans and media members.

The social media agenda built around the testing and the online coverage showed the power of the Internet where NASCAR is concerned. Several drivers were tweeting directly from their cars and team PR folks were updating constantly during the day. Finally, the good old media members were playing a key role in passing information along on Twitter all day long.

Email complaints included folks with iPads saying the streaming would not work. In addition, I was unable to open the actual streaming on my EVO phone on the SPEED.com website. I would be interested to know how you watched the coverage and what you thought of the entire presentation.

Please click on the comments button below to add your opinion. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

30 comments:

Becky [@hightechredneck] said...

I loved the fact that they streamed testing online. I had only 2 issues:

1. I only have 1 monitor at work, so I couldn't watch. I had to settle for listening and watching every now & then for a few seconds.
2. My co-workers wouldn't leave me alone so I could listen to it.

In all seriousness ... this was a very good move. I wish they'd do something like this for all practice sessions on race weekends.

Ianthin said...

If NASCAR doesn't look at fan response to todays streaming and push Turner for changes, I'm not sure there is much eles that could convince them to do so. At one point I thought I heard Steve say over 100k had watched the webcast. Thats a huge # in my book. Just think what they could draw for a points broadcast. I'd say The Shootout would be another good test. While the tweeting from the car on a race weekend is very unlikely, the interaction from on air talent was great. As usual, the Speed/Fox team was relaxed, yet sharp and on top the stories of the sessions. Can't wait for tomorrows webcast!

Anonymous said...

I watched most of the Speed streaming as I was home from work ( No cable ). I wish more of the races were covered like this, I liked the twitter question/answer stuff working live. I have a feeling they will beat that to death rather quickly, but who know.

Only issues I had were now and then I would get a 30-40 seconds burp where it would go back in the broadcast, almost like a radio dump, except instead of dead air you got already air content.

Thanks for the coverage Speed !

-Robert

rich said...

Watched on my laptop with GoogleChrome. Nice picture only occasionaly a streaming burp.
Overall I thought this was huge. I mean I got to watch coverage of testing that would have never been covered on TV. What a great fix after a long winter. Even the great weather in Daytona Beach helped my spirits.
As usual, SPEED did a great job of coverage. I was sorry to have it quit at 3PM.
Watched the 2 hr. of later coverage on TV and the only thing better was that they have camera coverage of the pit reporter where online it was only audio.
Hope that it doesn't rain them out tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

When I accessed speedtv.com from my Droid running Android 2.2.1 build frg83d and the latest flash update, I received a warning the stream was not optimized for mobile. Sure enough, not long after the stream began the picture froze leaving me with audio only. After two to three minutes the browser, Dolphin HD, froze requiring a force close. Restarting the Dolphin HD browser and re-aquiring the stream yielded the same results. So much for mobile. There is little doubt the techs at Speedtv are aware of the limitations of their offerings, so these guys are just indifferent to anyone without a laptop or desktop who wishes to view this stream. Since I spent the day in a hospital waiting room I could only view the activities through twitter.

You know, for years NASCAR has offered up what they do with a take it or leave it attitude and since ESPN has returned to the NASCAR fold, they have become infected with this trait. I certainly hope NASCAR's other broadcast partners don't succumb to the disease.

Roland said...

Ok since my last comment didnt appear ill try her again

The online streaming should never replace a broadcast, only supplement one. Today there was ZERO live programming on speed till 7pm. In fact they were showing an old race for much of the afternoon. Why was this not on TV? We know why it wont be on TV Fri and Sat because of the Barret-Jackson takeover, but today just didnt make sense. Why would speed take a financial hit like that?

On the up side it was AWESOME to watch nascar at college. Kudos to my local community college for having fast enough internet! I even got the stream to work on my Droid with the stock internet browser. I was on wifi though, didnt try it on 3G.

I do agree with you that the graphics package is in need of a massive overhaul. The current has been in place since 2006. I expect when speedweeks starts we may see a change if they are going to make one. Speed will probably go widescreen on SD, much like every other FOX owned network. Im no TV expert but I wouldnt be surprised to see that happen.

All in all was the streaming a success? Yes, depending on your connection speed. But I have more questions than answers about this whole deal.

Cant watch tomorow cause Ill be home with the good ol' DSL. Oh well it was fun while it lasted

Lisa Hogan said...

I only got to watch a bit of the online coverage when I got home from work. Can't watch there. :)

I was very pleased with both online and TV coverage.

Anonymous said...

I just want to make a comment about something I heard over and over during the streaming. Often the subject of the proposed new points system came up, and over and over I heard drivers and others say "this will be much easier for the fans to understand."

If nothing else - from a pure PR standpoint - someone needs to tell these guys that THE FANS ARE NOT STUPID. For the last 35 years, we've been able to follow the points system just fine. I've never ever EVER heard a fan says "Gee whiz, he passed one car and gained three points. How could that be? Me confused. What is 3+3 again?"

I understand all the myriad of reasons of why they might change the points system (I disagree with all of them, but that's beside my overall point). But one reason I don't want to hear again out of ANYONE'S mouth is "this will be easier for the fans to understand." It is so absolutely insulting to the fans who helped build this sport to what it is to be told we are too dumb to understand the points system.

Anonymous said...

One thing I --hate-- about NASCAR.com is that I can't seem to get to the website from my phone. Every time I go to NASCAR, I am re-directed automatically to "m.nascar.com" which is the "mobile version" of the website.

Guess what, my phone can handle the full site and I want the full site. I don't want a dumbed-down and infrequently-updated "mobile version". The very least they could do would be to provide a link to the full-version of the website, like other mobile versions do.

It is really stunning to see what Major League Baseball has done with the web in the last two years. They have gone from almost zero web presence to an absolutely comprehensive and incredible website that is a must-visit for any baseball fan. Meanwhile NASCAR.com has all the appeal of a reading a week-old newspaper.

NASCAR should hire away MLB's web guy at double the salary. They could more than make it up if they could produce as great a website as baseball has.

Gymmie said...

Roland--why can't you watch with DSL?

I enjoyed it! Didn't have issues here :). I felt it was covered well and great to hear some Old School stories.

earl06 said...

I'm usually pretty harsh on the coverage, but this was a bigtime win. If the eyeball numbers are close to the initial reports, this shows that folks are more than eager to consume NASCAR online. Even single-car runs at a plate track. Great! So hook it up! We want both normal and extra content streamed online, NASCAR. Now get busy and make it happen.

racingfool said...

Do you think, do you think now, that they may be trying or planning to limit the Stream to Sprint Phones only?
Humm, now thats an angle.
I'll bet a you s Martinsville Hot Dog it's been discussed at least once. Hum?

Anonymous said...

Thank you SPEED.A true pioneering effort.I could deal with the freezups and boreing single car runs,but otherwise it was typical SPEED stuff.When they started talking about football,basketball I left cuz next thing was going to be the tattooed guy and Mr.Jerk Wood.I'll watch some tomorrow if multiple cars are on track and be ready with the mute button.

Anonymous said...

It was great!

Anonymous said...

JD any word on that odd looking new SPEED logo? Saw it on their twitter as well as website for link to streaming. Also saw it used on the network for a couple shows. Is this a new logo they are rolling out?

Some people might not notice the changes but the font us different and the border around each red box is missing.

Palmetto said...

It was a no-go on my W7 - Firefox system, but maybe that's because I was at work. I've never had trouble accessing other streaming events, but I also don't try to very often; maybe once or twice a year. Since others don't seem to have had a problem, I'll write it off to internal proxy or firewall configurations.

William said...

Watched some of this yesterday - was nice - had a few issues with breaking up but I thinkthat was due to volume of people watching. My thought - is Speed considering this a revenue stream now that they seem to have gotten past the nascar.com and turner owning everything nascar online? How many hours of practice each week are there that are not covered on TV that they could broadcast and make money off of (either through advertising or a subscription)? Does Turner own all the online rights to all things nascar?

Trina said...

I had the same problem has everyone else did on my EVO. Why in the world this wasn't on Sprint Cup Mobile I have no clue.
Anyway, what I saw on TV was good. Much better then anything the fools at ESPN have done.

DonDahlmann said...

Over here in Germany, it was great. German Fans would love to see more streaming, esp. the races. We have no live coverage since two years, only the 45min recap on the monday, following the last race. I don't understand, why NASCAR/Turner is not able to show the races to the international viewers, like Indycar is doing it since last year. I know, that FOX is blocking a streaming in the US, but there many, many fans outside the US, who would be glad to even pay for a good stream.

Anonymous said...

I was unable to view the stream @ work on my computer. I tried the multiple websites and CHROME & IE and both wouldnt work. I'm chalking it up to an IT lockout.

When I got home the loop was playing that said the balance would show @ 5pm. I wonder if they cut the 3-5PM off the stream because the numbers were just that good and convinced the advertisers they should do it or what? Also, it could be they didn't have enough time/ resources to produce a 2hour recap show that would immediately follow the conclusion of the stream-cast.

Overall I thought the 5-7PM broadcast was fair. It seemed like the camera quality was dumbed down a lot and pixalated. I'm thinking this had to do with the fact they were streaming. I would have liked to hear from more of the drivers during their off track time if that was possible. Also, it seemed they were a little shy about using the speed run down.

A+ for the fact that i probably wouldnt have seen this without the stream. (That means stream more content) C- When comparing it to an actual broadcast. It got my fix thats all I care about :-)

Anonymous said...

Excellent step in the right direction. I enjoyed the morning group's "style" (could not think of a more appropriate word) over the afternoon group, but I was able to enjoy even DW. Like someone mentioned on another thread, there was no shilling. I agree with JD about the cameras could have found other things to show - pit area, garage, pit reporter, etc. Please take that as a suggestion, not a complaint. MC

GinaV24 said...

I thought it was great. The streaming feed worked well for me using my laptop. I was at work so I had to jump on an off depending on what was going on. I had twitter on in the background and having the speed folks and the drivers tweeting made it a good real-time experience.

I have a tablet, but I didn't get to try and see if the streaming would work on it. It doesn't have flash capability but I did want to try it and see.

NASCAR take note -- this works! Good job by the Speed folks.

GinaV24 said...

Anon 9:09 p.m. I agree with you about the points system comments. I feel that the drivers positive comments are once again, NASCAR spin happy talk. We fans understood the points system just fine - not liking it is another thing altogether and it is the issue that NASCAR would prefer to pretend doesn't exist.

I've said for a long time, just because my favorite driver says how wonderful this, that or the other thing is about NASCAR, doesn't mean that I will believe it.

The Mad Man said...

This definitely was a far cry better than what we usually have to put up with on TV. Somebody must've put doppelgangers in for DW and Larry Mac because they only flapped their gums about 25% as much as they do on TV, which is still 25% too much, but a big improvement. Speed did slip in one commercial for their shows. That's much better than the 1-2 laps of racing for 6 commercials we usually get for Daytona. Plus being able to communicate directly with the Speed folks is much better than what we're limited to during normal TV coverage. I was able to ask a couple questions via Twitter and got answers, not PR pieces or a doctoral thesis.

This is the direction that they need to go with their broadcast coverage. Live TV plus the streaming video with commentary and interactive communications. This would allow fans to find out more about their favorite drivers who aren't the usual NAPCAR pets that get shown week after week, all season long.

One thing though and I know Speed has no control over it was with the driver interviews in the press center. Did they interview a single Ford or Dodge driver or was it just Chevy drivers they interviewed? I had to make a trip to the can so I may have missed an interview or two.

Roland said...

@Gymmie - I live in a very rural corner of western NC where the only provider is Frontier Communitcations (formerly Verizon. My internet was fast when I got it a couple years ago but now a lot of people out here have it now so theres a lot less bandwith available. My internet is slower than Steven Wallace was yesterday lol

MRM4 said...

I had a problem with everything backing up and replaying. It would do this about once every two minutes. It did it several times, so I stopped watching.

Kim said...

Absolutely loved it.

Watched the entire thing on my MacBookPro with wifi internet at home.

Re the iPad - it doesn't allow Flash (yet), but there is an app called "Cloud Browse" that pulls up a browser that does allow Flash. I'll try it today (if the rain in Daytona stops) and see if I can get the streaming on the iPad. I only have WiFi, not 3G, so I won't be able to comment on that aspect.

Anonymous said...

Great to see the streaming option. Would have been even better if I could have got it from my mobile. I've got a Droid and couldn't make it work for more than a few seconds.

Donna in FL said...

Looking at it this morning! I didn't expect it to be a full TV production with commentary & roving reporters at all, so streaming has been absolutely great!! Bet you kids didn't realize DW could talk even MORE non-stop with no commercials :) loved hearing some stories from those guys.

I definitely agree that this presentation has been a smashing success, I'm sure the Twitter company is smiling with all the references to their product (how bout some sponsorship!) & NASCAR should take notice for changes to the regular season TV supplemental handling ie Race Buddy for the whole season!!

Thank you SPEED!!!!

Henning Holtschneider said...

The stream worked great over here in Germany on Thursday. However, it is geoblocked it since Friday. I wonder whether this is due to rights issues on Speed's side or whether they just don't want to pay Akamai to deliver the stream overseas.