Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Barrett-Jackson And NASCAR Collide

It's a scenario that has been frustrating for SPEED viewers for some time now. Classic car fans wonder why the Palm Beach Barrett-Jackson auto auction is interrupted for, of all things, stock cars. Meanwhile, NASCAR fans realize there is a lot going on at the Texas Motor Speedway that will not be seen on Thursday.

There is no NASCAR Live program with John Roberts and company to set-up the Thursday on-track activities from TMS. Thursday's first Nationwide Series two-hour practice will also be without TV coverage.

Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds will be on SPEED with the Sprint Cup Series practice at 5PM ET. This session will be followed at 7PM with a one-hour edition of RaceHub hosted by Steve Byrnes from the SPEED studios in Charlotte, NC.

Byrnes will be on the air while the Nationwide Series cars practice at the speedway. There will be a 90 minute session without TV coverage.

The auction goes on the air Thursday at noon ET on SPEED and runs for five hours. After the break for NASCAR, it resumes at 8PM and goes live for three more hours. It's pretty easy for SPEED to point the finger at ESPN2, the official network of the Nationwide Series. Up in Bristol, it's a familiar scenario. No room at the TV inn.

On Thursday, ESPN2 has a mix of talk shows, men's college hockey and the infamous Baseball Tonight franchise program during the two Nationwide Series live practice sessions at TMS. In case you didn't know it, Major League Baseball is sacred at ESPN no matter how early in the season it is right now.

Ultimately, what is missing for hardcore NASCAR fans is three and a half hours of Nationwide Series practice and several NASCAR Live news shows. Meanwhile, classic car fans want to know what is going on in Palm Beach during the three hours of NASCAR coverage.

Maybe someday, both sides will be able to be served by the kind of online motorsports coverage that both ESPN and SPEED have recently been experimenting with quite successfully.

At a time when some of the Nationwide Series teams are just limping along financially from race-to-race, it certainly would be nice to have some live online coverage available for fans. This webcast could be like SPEED's recent online F-1 effort, no announcers and just the natural sound coming from both the track and garage.

One key issue of the Barrett-Jackson coverage is that a bunch of the cars parading by will be missed by fans who are at work on Thursday. Perhaps, assembling an online highlight show of the afternoon session that could be played on demand or webcast during the NASCAR break would serve to update those just arriving home and getting ready for the primetime action.

The time is right for SPEED to flex it's muscles and for NASCAR to solve some of the streaming issues associated with the sport. That's a ton of exposure lost for those Nationwide Series teams that they will never get back. The technology exists, so why not encourage SPEED to continue to grow the online offerings.

Let's use this post to offer opinions on the coverage of both programs Thursday. There is certainly an element of motorsports blended into the auction offerings. There is also an inherent element of risk anytime the NASCAR teams take to the Texas Motor Speedway, even for practice.

To add your opinion on these programs, just click on the comments button below. 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.

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Anonymous said...

I agree SPEED should expand its online streaming. Their Daytona testing coverage was a great compromise. Everyone with internet at home, work, school, vacation, etc. could check in and see what was going on. will continue to fail with this until 2014.

Let Barrett-Jackson have the time. Less exposure hurts the Nationwide teams, but we can't get everything we want. That ball should really fall in ESPN's court. But that too, has proven to be a failure. Instead to promoting the series more than the 01-06 tv package, ESPN hasn't changed much with the series. Hopefully Speed or Versus will pick up the Nationwide series in 2014 so ESPN can devote more time to SportsCenter. A new network can treat the series as a new opportunity, not an obligation.

Don said...

What I'd like to know is why Barrett-Jackson is not pre-empted by NASCAR but the live LeMans 24 Hour.

I cancelled Speed the year they left LeMans to show Craftsman Truck QUALIFYING. The move to reality shows over racing shows didn't help their cause either.

It's a new world. If these networks continue to value profit over content then we will find a way to circumvent their stupidity. The internet is a powerful tool.

Unknown said...

I actually have no problem with Nationwide coverage being interrupted by Barrett-Jackson.

The vast majority of race fans are car nuts, B-J only happens a few times a year on Speed, the Nationwide race will be won by the 18, 20, 33 or 60, so Nationwide practices arn't really must see TV in my opinion.

In a weekend where The Masters are happening, MLB is in full swing, Sprint Cup runs on a Saturday night, heck...even the NHL is coming to the finish line, somebody on the sports landscape has to lose...

The loser is the Nationwide Series. I can live with that.

majorshouse said...

I am afraid that the Nationwide series is something that will be a thing of the past because who cares about watching the Cup regulars stink up the show so that the rest of the regulars are ignored, and besides I would rather hear the announcers on Barrett-Jackson anyday over DW.

Anonymous said...

why no coverage of happy hour 2-3:30 central time?

NW isnt only series losing.

MRM4 said...

Missing some practice, particularly NNS practice, is no big loss. I don't think every practice session needs to be shown on TV. That's why so many people have grown tired of NASCAR - everything is on the air. There is nothing to crave or want, it's all right there.

Spencer said...

why can't Speed/ESPN also show the practices at a later time than live like tonight or tommorow like speed sometimes does every friday, and i thought speed was the motorsports authority?

Vicky D said...

I don't particularly like the B J show as it gives my husbands ideas in his head about wanting to purchase a new vehicle! To me B J could be taped delayed in order for Speed to show the practice I'm with majorshouse in regard to the cup guys stinking up the NW show. The Busch series was much more enjoyable to watch back in the 90's.

Ziggy said...

I agree with what Darren posted.

It's the same old same old finishes in NWS. So until that changes who cares about practices.

In the near future I'm seeing another network with very very deep pockets making a bid for NASCAR television rights.(VERSUS). Maybe that'll change the current on-the-air and on-line fiascos.

Shawn Morgan said...

Speed 2? I think that would be a good idea one channel for racing and car related programing and one channel just for news programing it would be so awesome!

The Mad Man said...

Since Speed went to reality garbage and turned most of their NASCAR coverage into fluff and shilling when the Waltrip brothers are on, about the only thing I watch on Speed is the actual racing. Bad enough having to put up with the Waltrip brothers during the Truck or Cup races. Why push my nausea level beyond endurance by watching any other show they'll be on?

The Bondo-Jackson auctions have all the thrills of a race at Fontana and the same sleep inducing effects. Why waste my time on them when I can be doing something more productive, like trying to find some live streaming of some other form of racing?

By not using streaming video or webcasts, NASCAR and Speed are really hurting themselves in the eyes of the fans. But then, as we've seen over the last few years with both Fox (David Hill) and NASCAR (Brian "I think the coverage is great" France), the fans don't really matter as long as the money keeps coming into NASCAR's bank account and they can dictate what will and won't be covered.

Come 2014, NASCAR is going to be in for a very rude awakening when they only get 20% of what they got this time around on the TV contracts and are sent to the nether regions of some obscure cable channel and squeezed in between the Underwater Basket Weaving Championships and the National Play-doh Eating finals where Brian France may be an actual contender.

Unknown said...

To make all of us happy, why doesn't SPEED do a split screen? So that we can see both at once. We could have the main screen and audio be B-J and a much smaller screen be NASCAR. Even as a hardcore NASCAR fan, I can do without the audio from NASCAR, as long as I can see practice. I think a solution would be a good compromise for everyone.

I also agree that NASCAR and SPEED need to do more streaming. NASCAR already mandates that anytime a car is on the track that cameras have to record the cars, so why not let us see the raw footage!

Anonymous said...

This is an example of one of the things wrong with Nascar!

Barrett Jackson type of events is where "Car Guys" that have left Nascar to see such events!

Nationwide has had its day in the sun, I personally would rather watch Barrett Jackson than Nascar now that its a 'spec series"!

Also be more will be watching than Nascar Nationwide!

Car Fans have left Nascar for other hobbys and Barrett Jackson which is doing well, is and example that the brand of car matters!!!!

Anonymous said...


We talkin' about practice, man! Practice!

Alright, I'm done with my Iverson impersonation, but the point is still valid. I can understand people being upset about a race being missed, but practice? Really?

What other sport allows practice to be shown?

Let's be real.

AncientRacer said...

Wow. I've been thinking about the Jr, column all yesterday and up to now. I had so many things to say. I'm glad we have moved on....

Bucky Butler said...

MRM4 at 9:22 and Anonymous at 12:11 are SPOT ON! It's practice! Motorsports fans are obsessed with practice. Who cares? Quite honestly, qualifying isn't any great shakes thanks to the top 35 rule. But the NASCAR product is everywhere. We are constantly spoon fed it and it has become too much. We don't crave it like we used to. I can't wait for the F-1, Grand Am & Indy Car races because it's been weeks since we had one and it's not in our living rooms every day/night of the week. I have to go seek coverage. If I miss a NASCAR race or practice. No big deal. There will be another one or endless hours of coverage to catch up. A little break is a good thing. Even if it's a car auction. Damn, would you look at that '65 Mustang!

17972 B. C. said...

To quote the great A.I.- Practice, you're talkin 'bout practice. I understand you have a mission as an advocate for more NASCAR access, but let's do it with a bit of reality in your ideas. To staff the track and buy satellite time for the B series, like it or not, it is the B series, gotta be very cost prohibitive.. baseball tonight is the filler program between the 2 hockey semis, and it is probably at least a 10%chance that the early game runs long. much easier(cheaper) to pre-empt a studio show if hockey runs long, than to piss off NASCAR fans if that happens. And i really want to know when NNS practice is shown live on a stand alone day, without the Cup cars on the schedule.

OSBORNK said...

I don't see any reason to televise the practice sessions. We get to see practice sessions already. The first 90% of the race is a practice session where the drivers and crew chief are getting ready for the actual racing in the last 10% of the race.

Stick With the Biff said...

really...I'm a race fan, not a car fan. I would rather watch grass grow than watch rich people buy cars at an auction. But if there is enough ratings to justify it, which is apparently the case, live streaming of other events is a possible solution.

I actually do like watching practice--but mostly so they can talk about the teams that *don't* get all the attention, and even the occasional interview of an actual N-wide regular.

Anon 12:11--I get what you're saying, but as we've said repeatedly here, NASCAR isn't *like* other sports. A football or baseball field is pretty much the same and requires little 'specialization' other than for weather or turf. Tracks and their conditions are different each week and always changing & exposure for the series is always a good thing.

Anonymous said...

We hate to miss anything that has to do with the Nationwide series because thats the only prerace stuff we watch. Everything else is dominated by a mighty mouth Walltrip yelling about me me me.
Nationwide needs help and we don't like to see them pre empted.

Palmetto said...

I wouldn't go to any trouble to watch N'Wide practice, so it doesn't bother me as much as if a race was bumped. But could someone explain the appeal of B-J to me? I've looked at it a couple of times when I turn on the set early before something I plan to watch, but I don't get it. Regardless, it doesn't look like something that would suffer from tape delay; it's not like the results are going to be on that night's sports coverage.

Don said...

Palmetto -

There are live bidders on the phone throughout the auction. Although they have agents at the show and have researched the cars that are being auctioned, I believe that they still want to see the cars that they are bidding on and the enthusiasm of the person they are bidding against.

Some of the people that finance and produce the programming on Speed and those that buy advertising time are the same fat cats buying the cars at Barrett-Jackson.

There is no need for an additional Speed Channel. They have very little ambition to show any racing other than NASCAR and the reality shows are cheap to make and generate a lot of money. Fox has a major stake in Speed. If the contract with NASCAR is not renewed the channel will be reduced to only reality shows and powerboat racing.