Friday, March 18, 2011

SPEED Delivers Friday TV From Bristol

This is the time of the season when SPEED is in all its glory. ESPN's entire on-track TV contribution from the Bristol Motor Speedway consists of the Nationwide Series telecast on Saturday afternoon. SPEED dominates the weekend and begins in a big way on Friday.

SPEED has a flexible little show called NASCAR Live that has been working well for years. John Roberts and Randy Pemberton anchor the early edition at 11:30AM with Hermie Sadler and Bob Dillner as reporters. This show does a great job setting up the day for fans with stories, news items and previews.

When the big boys hit the track at noon, the big boys come out in the TV booth as well. Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds call the first Sprint Cup Series practice session. Dick Berggren and Matt Yocum are the reporters.

It's an interesting little study in contrast when Steve Byrnes, Kyle Petty and Jeff Hammond come along next at 1:30PM with Nationwide Series practice. This trio has been clicking in the TV booth and is fun to watch. Dillner returns with Wendy Venturini as the reporters.

Qualifying at BMS is always interesting. Joy, Waltrip and McReynolds return at 3:30PM to cover the Cup session. Yocum and Krista Voda are reporting. This should be a good time for interviews with track position meaning so much even in the new configuration.

The final session of the day is at 5PM and is Nationwide Series practice. Byrnes, Petty and Hammond return with Voda and Hermie Sadler reporting. There are some good stories in the Nationwide Series and once again SPEED will essentially be working hard to set them up for ESPN to deliver on Saturday.

One of the most frequent questions asked during the season is why the Nationwide Series races do not switch from ESPN to SPEED once the college football season begins. TV does not work that way but Byrnes, Petty and Hammond certainly show that SPEED could handle those events if and when the offer came along.

Nicole Briscoe pops-in on ESPN2 at 6PM with NASCAR Now. Mike Massaro and Dr. Jerry Punch are going to be handling the on-site reporting duties for this show from BMS. Basically, ESPN will be updating what SPEED has been showing.

Steve Byrnes has returned to Trackside on SPEED during this FOX portion of the season and he hosts the program at 7PM. Waltrip and Hammond are alongside Byrnes. SPEED moved McReynolds off the series this year and that is a shame. He prepared well and asked good questions but apparently SPEED felt there were just too many voices on the program. Marcos Ambrose and Kurt Busch will be the guests.

As we all know, the biggest drawback to this Friday coverage is that so many more people could access it if the content was streamed online. There would be a lot of iPads, laptops and cell phones with the SPEED coverage on live. Hopefully, this is a goal for NASCAR as we have seen SPEED increasing the content being made available over the Internet.

This post will serve to host your comments on the Friday coverage on SPEED from the Bristol Motor Speedway. To add your TV-related comment, 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.


Anonymous said...

so who is the guy in the pic?

Don said...

Won't be watching any of this since I don't have cable, but I fail to see how they can fill that much airtime without resorting to gossip and fluff.

Bristol's a fine race, one of the better ones. But this weekend I'll be watching Sebring. Modern technology beneficial to manufacturers, varied cars and classes, right turns. And a few weeks between races to build anticipation.

Thankfully, it's available on the web because once again, no cable. And NASCAR might get a little love during commercials, because it is readily available on Fox. If it were Vegas or most other tracks I wouldn't even bother.

Wisconsin Steve said...

I see that the "Saturday Night Special" will not be returning for a third year. I will miss it, but I can understand why it is not returning after the near-disaster in 2010.

Could Larry Mac being removed from Trackside have something to do with the new "showcasing the drivers" idea from FOX Sports? I've noticed he has also stopped assisting Waltrip with the green flag call at the start of the Cup races.

Daly Planet Editor said...

It's little Bobby Dillner!

bobbydjr said...

Not sure if this is permissible, but it's not necessarily true that Speed's NASCAR coverage is not available online. Maybe not officially from Speed or NASCAR, but I've been watching their coverage for the last 2 years every week on Just like I'm watching it right now.

Anonymous said...

I'm watching the Sprint Cup practice. The track is not taking rubber. A number of drivers have right rear tires showing the cords including the #18 who was at the top of the chart. The booth was careful to mention that a number of tracks had experienced this problem (remember Indy?) in the past. You could see the rubber piled up at the edge of the track. Before the Sprint Cup cars came out, they showed the jet driers blowing off a lot of rubber. After the booth made a few comments, DW quickly changed the subject. I blogged year a few weeks ago when DW did the same thing. Unfortunately, I can't recall the situation. This weekend's right side tires are softer according to Larry Mac, but the rubber isn't sticking to the track resulting in the black groove we're accustomed to seeing. Let's see how the analysts deal with this.

Charlie said...

Been reading today that Sponsor Exposure is down for the first 3 races on Fox. I am wondering what Fox will do to correct this problem. Will they do more tight shot, in-car cams and bumper cams to show the sponsors name or will they do more through the field and talk about each cars sponsor like Speed does with the trucks.
Will be interesting to see what happens.

GinaV24 said...

well, I'll be at work for most of the daytime TV so I'll see how they qualify by checking the website (not to find out how they qualified.

Steve's back on Trackside? That's very cool.

longtimeracefan said...

The cable service in our area has SPEED on the most expensive tier, so it's not an affordable option now. Online streams of Speed are available, as was mentioned, but with backgrounds in the arts, we would rather use copyright compliant sources for NASCAR coverage.

In this case, we fudge . . .

If not mistaken, their were 16 different on-air talents mentioned in JD's article. If only two were omitted, the level of satisfaction for a lot of folks would be raised ten fold.

By the way, yesterday CBS Sports started streaming every NCAA March Madness game. Every. Single. One.

Hello, NASCAR, anybody home? Hello?

Roland said...

Didnt plan on going to Bristol today so Ive been glued to the tv all day. Speed has been rock solid all year long. Theyve had a few issues though, namely Speed Center, but they have done a great job this year. Speaking of Speed Center im tired of these "updates" throughout the day. I love all types of racing but If im watching Cup practice I could give a hoot whos leading motogp practice in Qatar. Adam Alexander has been awkward and uncomfortable in his role this year and its been more of a mess than an improvement. I used to watch the speed report every sunday night but since AA took over ive stopped watching. No disrespect to AA but hes not the guy for this job.

On a side note im glad Goodyear made the tire change. Spending a lot of money to go up there this weekend and if it turned into a 2008 Brickyard 400 deal I would be furious. Kudos for the change but a huge thumbs down for not having their act together before they showed up. Im sure teams would be giddy with excitement to test a track they actually race on.

majorshouse said...

I could definitely have lived without DW's over exuberence during Cup practice. It would be nice if Speed and Fox could replace him with someone like Randy LaJoy.

Vicky D said...

I really like that picture too, JD. I've only watched a little bit today and so far it's been fine. I think the NW has actually been better than the cup but there was DW yakking about this being his favorite track!

Anonymous said...

I think that Speed have got a major new network challenging them for the next round of tv rights to NASCAR

Big rumors in the cable world


jerry said...

Any article that uses John Roberts and good in it at the same time makes me wonder. He is in a neck and neck race with Rick Allen for worst TV personality across the NASCAR TV networks.