Saturday, March 5, 2011
Check Vegas Nationwide Series TV Schedule For Your Area
This Saturday's Nationwide Series telecast from the Las Vegas Motor Speedway starts at 2:30PM ET with NASCAR Countdown and then 3PM brings race coverage. Instead of ESPN2, the Vegas race is on ABC. Therein lies the problem.
As we know from the original NASCAR TV deal, trying to serve all four US time zones with a live sporting event is sometimes pretty tricky. ABC stations not only carry local sports these days, but they also participate in regional sports TV packages and have other weekend local commitments.
This Saturday is a tough day for NASCAR, but give the ESPN/ABC team credit for getting ahead of the issue and offering details in advance of when, where and why the Nationwide Series race telecast might be affected in your area.
Before you read the details, you have to know one term. It's called a local TV station digital-tier or DT. When TV station signals changed from analog to digital, it gave stations the ability to send out more than one stream of programming. That is called multicasting.
Normally labeled simply DT2, DT3 and beyond, these over-the-air DT's are rarely carried on cable systems but are easily received by any current digital TV. Viewers have to check in the markets affected to see if these signals currently appear on cable or can be accessed from an over-the-air source in the home.
Here is the info on the markets affected and the explanation of what will be happening in that time period:
Des Moines, Iowa (WOI-TV) – due to Big 12 basketball game, pre-race show and race will air on the station’s DT2 channel (RTV).
Rochester, NY (WHAM-TV) – due to coverage of a local telethon, pre-race show and race will air on the station’s DT2 channel (CW).
Madison, WI (WKOW-TV) – due to coverage of WIAA state championships, pre-race show and race will air on DT2 (RTV).
LaCrosse, WI (WXOW-TV) -- due to coverage of WIAA state championships, pre-race show and race will air on DT2 (CW).
Wausau, WI (WAOW-TV) -- due to coverage of WIAA state championships, pre-race show and race will air on DT2 (CW).
Bowling Green, KY (WBKO-TV) – due to coverage of SEC basketball, pre-race show and race will air on WBKO-Fox DT2.
Columbia, SC (WOLO-TV) – due to coverage of ACC basketball, pre-race show and race will air on DT3.
Little Rock, AR (KATV-TV) -- due to coverage of SEC basketball, pre-race show and race will air on DT2.
Jonesboro, AR (KAIT-TV) -- due to coverage of SEC basketball, pre-race show and race will air on DT2.
Baltimore, MD (WMAR-TV) – due to coverage of local lacrosse, pre-race show will air on DT2. Race will air on regular channel.
Louisville, KY (WHAS-TV) – due to coverage of Big East basketball, pre-race show will air on WBKI-TV. Race will air on regular channel.
Beckley-Oak Hill-Bluefield, WV (WOAY-TV) – due to coverage of West Virginia University basketball, pre-race show will be pre-empted. Race telecast will be joined in progress at 4 p.m. ET.
Beaumont, TX (KBMT-TV) – due to coverage of local basketball game and Big 12 game, pre-race show will be pre-empted and race will be joined in progress at 3 p.m. CT.
Well, there you have it straight from the ESPN folks responsible for getting this NASCAR product distributed. Let's see if we can address some of the issues that may arise as folks read this information.
First, this Nationwide Series race is not going to change TV networks. It will stay on ABC and these plans will be the ones that will stay in place. Secondly, races cannot be made available online as ABC/ESPN does not own the Internet video rights for the Nationwide Series. Third, there are no plans to add a RaceBuddy style online application for this race or any other Nationwide Series race this season.
Home satellite dish owners living in the affected areas may find easy ways around these problems, but for cable TV viewers the cable companies must simply pass along the local ABC station signal that is provided to them. There are no other options.
Hopefully this will head-off some problems this weekend by letting fans know this information in advance. If you are going to be without TV access to this race in your area, SPEED will be re-airing the program at noon ET the following Thursday.
Thanks again to the ESPN Motorsports PR folks for the information. We invite reader comments and will be happy to try and answer any questions about these issues you may have. Post them and we will work on answers through our contacts. Just click on the comments button below to add your comment. Thanks for stopping by.