Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday NASCAR TV/Media Notes

Happy Monday! Things are getting off to a quick start this week. Here are some TV and media notes on stories unfolding right now.

Dustin Long of has a great follow-up story on the surprise split-screen commercial that appeared late in the FOX Sprint Cup Series telecast. That is a TV screen-grab of it above. Turns out there was a lot going on behind the scenes to make that happen.

Click here for the full story, here is a short excerpt:

Fox showed a split the screen during the last commercial break before the checkered flag with the commercials in a larger box than the racing action. That break was the only time in the race the split-screen format was done.

"The idea re-surfaced earlier this week and after some discussions it was decided we would experiment with it if we could get enough advertisers to go along with it," a Fox Sports spokesman said Sunday night. "At this point, the fan feedback we’ve seen via social media has been very positive."

Turner is warming up for its summer season with some rather off-beat promotions this week in Charlotte. This one involves the Charlotte EpiCentre in the uptown area of the city.

The following is from a Turner media release:

The campaign involves branding elements, including the full takeover of a four-story elevator shaft in the main courtyard, staircases, and a 26-foot TNT logo on the ground at the base of the elevator shaft. Enhanced audio technology called “directional audio” will complement the EpiCentre campaign with a concentrated beam of audio (imagine a flashlight, but with audio instead of light) directed to a specific location. When an individual walks through the audio beam, they will hear custom tune-in audio messaging – AC/DC’s “T.N.T.”, engines revving, cars speeding around the racetrack – only heard within the beam. When individuals exit the beam, they won’t hear it anymore.

Well, at lease we know that the TNT theme song will be returning.

On ESPN2 today for the one-hour NASCAR Now show is Allen Bestwick hosting with Tim Brewer, Johnny Benson and Ricky Craven as the "expert panel." Bestwick will also be calling the Nationwide Series race from Iowa next Sunday on ABC. Nicole Briscoe will be handling the Infield Pit Studio and the NASCAR Countdown show.

It might be a good idea to record NASCAR Now this week, the show is going to offer a look at some interesting NASCAR history.

This note from ESPN:

NASCAR Now, ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information show, will take viewers on a five-day tour featuring classic racetracks of the sport starting Tuesday, May 17, with a different track each day through Saturday, May 21.

ESPN the Magazine’s Ryan McGee will visit Bowman Gray Stadium, Hickory Motor Speedway, Rockingham Speedway, North Wilkesboro Speedway and Greenville-Pickens Speedway. Guests will include Richard Childress and Ned Jarrett.

Sounds like a great idea. It should be interesting to watch and get the reactions of both the fans and those directly involved in the sport today.

Update: 3.8 overnight rating for Sprint Cup Series race is just an indication of flat ratings for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this season.

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PammH said...

No wonder Ryan was geeked on Twitter this wk-end about the upcoming NN's this wk. He didn't say what, just that it was "old school"...this will be worth taping for sure! I'll try to keep an open mind about Brewer on the round table today...

Vicky D said...

There's old Rob Barlett in that picture - he's from the Don Imus tv/radio show and he's a riot! Glad the powers that be liked the split screen! So did we!

starrcade76 said...

I enjoyed the side-by-side commercial break mostly because I figured it would get people all excited.

It coming with about 20 laps to go added to the importance of the pending checkered flag. It did show though you are just as likely to miss nothing of note on the track, as you are to see stuff when away at commercials.

I wonder if the future holds something along the lines of scheduled TV timeouts, like they do in basketball and hockey.

With NASCAR it wouldn't be throwing the caution just to show commercials. But NASCAR keeping the yellow flag out there for a set amount of time in order for TV to get more of their ads in, under caution.

GinaV24 said...

Wow, AB will be calling the race - that's great news. I like the idea of ESPN giving a look at the history of the sport.

My DVR will get a workout since the show is still on too early for me to see it live.

I like AC DC but I was daggone tired of that song by the end of TNT's races.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR is too thickheaded to do anything to help out TV. They want to beat out the NFL for TV revenue and viewers, but don't want to change anything that will help out TV.

Do you think football always had long stoppages after a touchdown, and then after the next kickoff?

Do you think that a extended break after a big turnover may have a direct affect on the game itself by breaking up the momentum of the team now going on offense?

NASCAR needs to get with the times. TV is what ends up dictating quite a bit on how a sport is played, because every sport knows its ultimately TV that allows it to be as big as it is.

Wisconsin Steve said...

Any word on whether or not Phil Parsons will be patrolling the pits for TNT again this year?

MRM4 said...

I don't know why the folks at NASCAR seem to be so surprised the fans like the split-screen. Fans have been demanding this for years. Just shows how out of touch they are concerning the media, TV, and social media. I hope we see more of this. If the TV coverage doesn't start to get better, I'll start recording all races and skip through the commercials.

Anonymous said...

Our gang didn't really notice the split screen too much as we listen to the audio from MRN because of DW being in the booth. The audio carries on so the tv commercials are not an interruption in any case.

Daly Planet Editor said...

A link for Dustin's full story is available in the post.

West Coast Diane said...

I already have a split screen. HotPass. Drivers screen continues while the FOX screen goes to commercial. I can listen or mute and still miss nothing. Well at least of my driver. But then I usually see more of the race that way than FOX showing one car at a time or in car/bumper cams.

Thank the Lord my driver is doing better this year so he has been a HotPass driver every week so far.