Tuesday, May 17, 2011

TV Police: NASCAR On FOX From Dover, DE


His stare could strike fear into the hardest criminal. His hair defied gravity. Detective Steve McGarrett pushed his men to solve every crime and made it personal. Once the arrest was made, it became official with the phrase that became a part of our vocabulary. "Book'em Danno!" he would say.

It takes a veteran like McGarrett to solve the mystery of why fans at home cannot see their drivers. Why fans cannot get updates on all the drivers in the field over a period of three hours. Why tight shots and in-car cameras do not show the actual racing that takes place. That's right, McGarrett is taking on the NASCAR on FOX bunch.

There was no outdoor pre-race set for this race, so the Hollywood Hotel served as the launching pad for Darrell Waltrip. Chris Myers questioned Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick about events from last week but neither one broke. Jeff Hammond tried to add his opinion, but instead Waltrip got "Revved Up" about the lack of sportsmanship in NASCAR and drivers crossing the line and spinning others out.

Mike Joy joined Waltrip and Larry McReynolds for the race call. Steve Byrnes, Krista Voda, Dick Berggren and Krista Voda were on pit road. The weather only caused a slight rain delay under caution but never stopped the race.

FOX continued to beat the Harvick vs. Busch drum until the green flag. Of course, nothing happened between those two drivers in the event. Instead, the story was the build-up of rubber on the track and the total lack of actual side by side racing.

Late in the race, FOX ran a side-by-side national commercial break without saying a word in advance or after the fact. There had been no advance publicity about FOX trying that and it will be interesting to follow that up and figure out what went on in the TV truck.

The FOX style is well set. Tight shots, in-car cameras and covering the incidents of the race through replay. Jumping from car to car just drains the excitement out of any event. This was no different. The pit reporters faded down the stretch and no crew chiefs were interviewed after caution flag pit stops or for strategy discussions.

FOX takes a break and SPEED produces the All-Star race next. This post is intended for you to offer a TV race wrap-up of how you felt the coverage was from Dover. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thank you for stopping by.

40 comments:

MikeC said...

Even if it's side-by-side during the last 10% of the race, I can live with that.

James said...

Loved the last 50 laps and the side by side commercial. It took them long enough! I will not miss FOX, and I hope the rumors about McRenolds are true.

Anonymous said...

The side by side was something done by Sprint to introduce their new phone with side by side video capabilities. It sure wasn't something done by Fox. Sprint gave Fox the go ahead to use the SbS, to showcase their product.

Until 2014, we're stuck with what we've got in terms of TV. As far as the racing, we're stuck with KaKa until someone shoves Brian France out the door. People aren't watching or showing up at the races because the broadcasts stink and the racing is nothing but points collecting and testing until the final 10 races.

AncientRacer said...

So, since the sqaud room is the official place to post comments about the broadcast for the record I am going to place back in my three I made during the race all of which relate to the TV show:

First:

So far I am calling this race the "just about boadcast"

There are camera stands at the junction of 1&2 and 3&4 at Dover and they are pretty high up so they can see a lot. Dang truck gets some good action going when they use them, but HEY! we cannot stay with one or the other as stuff develops, can we? Nope we cannot. It is a frustrating use of good shots as a tease and then back to follow the leader tight.

"Just about" got it, but unfortunately, not getting it IMHO.

Second:

Got a caution here, so I will make another broadcast obervation. FOX to its credit has not been shy today about showing the empty seats. This is to me, because I am so terminally odd, a good thing. Humpy said a few years ago that "walk up traffic" had died because of the biggus sellouts of the Dale Sr. Era. I agree, but I also believe showing seats are, in fact, available a good thing. The locals will now believe they can, on the spur of the moment, decide to attend.

Show empty seats, increase attendance. It is counter intuitive, but it works.

At least in my thinking.

Third:

The SxS was a shock. Agood one, but a shock.

I've asked for years (quoting Pink Floyd) "Is there anybody out there (listening to hardcores like us)?"

Maybe someone is. Someplace.


Finally, and for JD, Love your choices so far for the Police, but I should like to nominate "Homicide: Life on the Street" Jus' Sayin' :)

Buschseries61 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 4:46PM,

The commercial had all different spots inside it and FOX said "you're welcome" to fans on Twitter for running a side by side break.

If you get a link to your info or have some additional verificiation, drop me a line please at editor.dp@hotmail.com!

Buschseries61 said...

The broacast started out great the first 70-75 laps. Then things slipped as usual. The highlight of the broadcast was the surprise side by side commercial segment. To all that say nobody is listening - somebody did.

w17scott said...

Mr Editor -
Never heard a word they said ...muted entire broadcast, but saw side-by-side ...good for you FOX ...accident or not, it was a positive ...nothing else to speak of favorably ...repeat offender - fan abuse ...book 'em, Danno
Walter

GinaV24 said...

Best parts of the race:

-the side by side commercial (more please) and
- Fox showing the top 10 finishers across the top of the screen.

Otherwise, it was what I've come to expect from Fox's TV coverage. More zoomed in than zoomed out which makes this viewer zoned out.

I can't comment on the audio portion of the broadcast because I watched the race with the mute button enabled.

This seemed like what has become typical of the racing in NASCAR. The cars are all alike -- thanks to Brian France and all those who have put the kit car on the track and the "box" that the NASCAR rules have made for the teams -- the result: ugly look alike race cars and all the passing has to be done on pit road -- parity = boring and no passes on the track.

All that equals no fans in the seats.

I'm sure the weather played a part but if the anticipation of the race was worthwhile, I'd have gotten up and gone.

GinaV24 said...

one more very important thing - you thanked us for sticking with it, JD. I'd like to thank YOU for sticking with it for all of us.

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

The fox Guys may not like you or us for that matter but frankly we don't give a rats a**. We are going to to keep bothering them until they give us a better telecast. Fox will have to grow tired of being stubborn mules eventually. Their ratings will continue to decline and fans will continue to lose interest in NASCAR. It is unfortunate that the powers that be are ruining what was once a great thing. And NASCAR and Fox are doing jack diddly about it. They continue to have their money from their residual checks.

JD you said earlier this year that the producer is also one from the NFL package they do. Doesn't he realize that NFL and NASCAR are TWO DIFFERENT SPORTS. They should be broadcasted differently as well.

Fox can say Tough to us all they want but until we see better broadcasts we are going to continue to bash them. Their stub borness will have to get old.

Daly Planet Editor said...

What's fun about sports TV is that it is a moving target. With technology changing hopefully FOX will revamp soon.

sbaker17 said...

For me the FedEX 400 was more like the Fed Up 400. Fed up with the camera shots and the all Waltrip all the time nonsense

Anonymous said...

What are the rumors about Larry Mac? I know that he won't be doing the all star race, but I haven't heard anything else.

DewCr3w88 said...

Another day, another time I pat myself on the back for spending the $ for raceview.

William said...

Watched about 10 laps today, none yesterday (nationwide) nor Fridays truck race. Getting worse by the day and I think my feelings on NASCAR are probably felt by many.

Bill H NY

Anonymous said...

Good postrace coverage. To me the story was again the attendence (or lack of fans) It will be interesting to see the TV ratings this week - if NASCAR interest continues to spiral downward.

Anonymous said...

As far as DW goes, I think they should...."book him Dano!".... I appreciated all the post race interviews. DW dominated again today. Chris Myers is useless. They need to dump the entire Booth and Hotel. Better use of pit reporters.

Anonymous said...

Watched this one from the garage while trying to finish putting my motorcycle back together. So I had MRN on all day (much like yesterday when I was *at* the N'wide race).

If you only watched TV, there was a great swap from Johnson to Edwards back Johnson and I think back to Edwards for the lead. You missed it since the TV was on a commercial. Then again, even MRN goes to break.

It's a real treat listening to the radio when you're at the race, you can follow the action, figure out why someone has dropped out, etc. even if you're not listening to them on the scanner. There's no substitute for listening to Elliot Sadler beat himself up over speeding on pit road and then trying to figure out does he line up behind the the wave around cars, or in front of them. Then trying to figure if they are going to make a stop in that last 50 laps sprint. Or Carl Edwards talking about the 81 that was loping along and in the way all the time. Or Kyle Busch pitching a fit about hitting Logano. Or Edwards' reaction with that wild ending. I tried listening in on Jennifer Jo Cobb to figure out why she was so slow, but couldn't sort it out.

Anyway, about today's race. I came in an watched the last 30 laps in HD with just the TV sound. OK, I get the tight shots, they actually could have a purpose. Say you don't know who "Mark Martin" is when they are discussing him. But do that stuff at the beginning of the race. By the end, we have invested 3 hours into it...we know he's in the green car. The end of the race, if camerapeople/directors are tired, the wide shots would be easier! You'd think.

What amazes me are the MRN guys, esp during the N'wide race, they can track 43 cars with multiple rotating drivers from week to week, constantly changing sponsors and schemes and still refer to them only by name. The TV guys get lazy and say "the 5", "the 48", etc.

Jojay said...

Thank you JD, and all the Planeteers for keeping me sane every week. Watching without you all was mindnumbing.

Thanks Fox for the side by side commercial. We spent the afternoon with friends (at their house) So while the race was on I had no access to the Net, this blog or MRN.
What a mess.

Palmetto said...

The side-by-side caught me totally flat-footed. On nice days I watch the race in the garage and do yard work during the commercials. That late in the race I began bringing tools in for the day and was surprised to find the SxS. I don't know what motivated Fox to try unannounced something we've wanted since the technology made it available. Maybe it was a trial balloon? Regardless, I hope they repeat it regularly. I may have enjoyed listening to the commercials more than the booth crew, and I knew Digger wasn't going to raise his useless head.

Vicky D said...

I watched a little bit of the race and liked the side by side commercials. Missed a lot of the race so therefore, I missed a lot of DW's yaks! I saw the attendance at Dover at 82,000 that is less than half the capacity. Glad my man won, though. JD love the pic of McGarrett! What's the rumor about McReynolds I haven't seen anything on it.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Vicky, I will deal with the Larry Mac item during the week. Trying to keep this post for race wrap-up stuff.

If you want more details, review the comments from the live race post!

Thanks.

JD

RWar24 said...

Isn't it sad that the highlight of a broadcast was the side x side commercial spot? It speaks volumes to how far the coverage has fallen. Fox needs a revamp for sure but NO, two Waltrips are not better than one.

OSBORNK said...

I saw a glimmer of home with the side by side and the finish. If DW is trying to get a switch from Larry to little brother, I hope he overplays his hand and it backfires. As I previously said, I think DW is in the Championship Provisional part of his broadcasting career and hopefully he will be switched to a smaller role that will be unacceptable to him (and he will quit).

As has been suggested, the tight shots must be for the paid ads on the rolling billboards. Fox is being paid for their product placement camera shots and the bean counters don't care what we think. I think they might change their mind when they see how poorly their strategy has been working with the drop in ratings. Drops in ratings directly impacts the amount they receive for commercials.

KoHoSo said...

Today, I was treated to an exemplary broadcast where the entire crew kept me informed about all of the action happening on the track plus periodic updates on every single driver still running.

Yes...the return to Sunday racing means I returned to the competent radio coverage.

I'm just slightly sorry I did that because I just finished reviewing all of the TDP live blogging and Twitter tweets and it seemed like many were at the top of their game today in poking at the atrocious Fox coverage. It was also cool to see the collective jaw-dropping the NASCAR online community had when the side-by-side happened.

That being said, I saw nothing in todays comments that makes me want to go back to watching a Fox NASCAR telecast even off of my DVR except when I have to because my local MRN/PRN affiliate won't run the Saturday night races (and I like to be mobile when listening to the radio, so I can't tie myself to a computer stream).

As for the other big story that TDP will probably be covering later this week...I am almost drooling in anticipation.

Zetona said...

No quality of coverage could have saved that race. Dover has become one of the dullest races on the schedule. Almost impossible to pull up along side someone, and if you couldn't pull off the pass right away the guy behind you would pounce. This is at least the third straight year when I tuned out for large chunks of the broadcast and played video games or watched something else.

The usual camera work and focus only on the sharp end of the field, et cetera. The side-by-side commercial was a pleasant surprise. Like last week, the camera zoomed out near the end of the race, begging the question of why the rest of the race isn't shown the same way.

As for DW and Mikey in the booth: DW's personal motivations are obvious, but he's been saying so many dumb things recently (especially last weekend) that Mikey will show him to be obsolete. Or vice versa. They weren't too bad at Richmond though, were they? Though that was without the FOX directive to have Mike Joy say something and then let DW elaborate on it.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to all that I waste your time saying I can't watch much less listen to Nascrap anymore.
But I watched GOLF today! It was much more interesting than what I am used to from anything nascar.
I did flip to the race (on mute of course, during golf commercials, which were life givingly short)and the video just sucked!
And I loved nascrap from the 70's.
Damn I'm old!

Mule said...

Sad to see the FOX credo "take it or leave it" still applies to the racing broadcasts. On the brighter side I noticed FOX was annoyed by this blog or postings. To that I say, find out what they don't like and give them plenty of it!
The s by s Sprint commercial was a nice touch, but don't expect it to last. BZF has told us the sponsors won't allow it. Didn't seem to bother Sprint too much, the sanctioning bodies primary sponsor!
Don't want to see Larry Mac go, but just like DW, too much of him is not a good thing. FOX really dropped the ball putting all their apples in DW's basket. Their broadcast booth needs a strong p by p anchor who can snap all the mindless babbling and give it a sense of direction. I truly believe Mike Joy is fed up with it and that is a shame.
I still believe without a major shake up in Daytona starting at the top, we've already seen the best days in Nascar.
The COT, the Chase, Goodyear's inadequacies, the networks unwavering stance on how they do it, have turned Dover and Bristol into a shell of what they once were. What track is going to lose a date in favor of another mile & a half down force track?
The thing that is most aggravating is the one simple fact that people want to be treated like people. Not like mushrooms with the old feed em s@#% and keep em in the dark routine.

MRM4 said...

Is it me or does most of the Fox crew seem like they're mailing it in this year? The pit road reporters are rarely used, especially in stragedy situations like the final pit stop when many teams opted for two tires. Most of the season has reeked of a lazy effort.

The side-by-side commercial break was a pleasant surprise. That seemed to come up out of the blue and no mention of it.

Andy Wells said...

Hey guys. I don't think I ever commented before, but I've been following this blog forever. Just wanted basically to echo everyone's comments about Fox's inability to present the race to me in a way that I can actually understand what's going on, who's where and why, and actually remember what happened the next day.

The side-by-side commercials were nice and unexpected, although I know FedEx and Pizza Hut and Sprint were three of the commercials, all Nascar "partners" I guess, so they would be more likely to go along with it.

I too, like Larry Mac and don't want to see him replaced with another Waltrip. One is one too many.

By the way, am I the only person in the world that doesn't get Speed? I have Dish, with America's Top 120 package. Oh well, at least I won't have to listen to Micheal Waltrip next week.

GinaV24 said...

JD, I didn't see an announcement -- did DW make the HoF class for this year? When we were at Darlington, they announced Pearson & Bud Moore's names and wondered then.

I figured if DW was going to be inducted, we'd have heard it endlessly so silence I assume means "no".

The reason I bring this up is because if Fox thinks that making DW their "face" will make people vote for his induction, I think it may be having an opposite effect.

Anonymous said...

We fully expect D Hill/FOX/ and company to take credit for "creating the side by side commercial format"

Like their tread cam, just another idea created by the folks who produced motorsport on ESPN in the 1980's

Ryan said...

Long Time Follower. 1st time comententing: What would you think of Alan Bestwick going to play by play on fox? Also it would be real sad to see Mike Joy. I am19 years old and began following the sport because of his brodcaste. Will never forget some of his memmerable calls. Like engin engin number 9 coming across the finsh line. Would love to see hime go to radio. As for DW when he is contained his is great. When he is not then it goes down hill. Larry Mac is good on tech stuff but feel like he thinks he is better than he is. I just pray they do not take Mike Joy out though. Without him i may have never became a nascar fan in the 1st place

Daly Planet Editor said...

We have had a significant number of comments on this topic that could not be posted.

Please keep in mind that all views are welcome and have been on NASCAR and TV/media topics since 2007.

Posts with profanity, hateful speech or those that call other readers or me foul names will not be posted.

Why waste the energy and have a comment deleted just for one sentence or even a word?

This is a crucial time for the sport where TV and media are concerned. Take advantage of this opportunity and get in on the discussion.

Hope to hear your opinion on the NASCAR on FOX telecast of the Sprint Cup Series race from Dover!

Anonymous said...

JD, they were Tweets yesterday by Jenna and one other who said the side by side were all because of Sprint and their new phone. That's where the information came from yesterday.

allisong said...

I truly hope that FOX does not push Larry Mac out of the booth. I'm still upset that they cut him from Trackside. I still haven't seen an entire Trackside all year, and that used to be a must-see for me. Larry was the one guy on that panel who you could tell was well-prepared and eager to focus on the guests. Whenever DW, Hammond & Byrnes would be off giggling amongst themselves over some private joke, Larry Mac would seem to roll his eyes, turn to his meticulously prepared notes, and get the show back on track. And I would silently cheer.

You also have to respect his commitment to bringing the spotlight to the role of crew chief. He will never mention a driver or team without, in the same breath, naming their crew chief. It's not "the 48 team is still a top contender for...", It's "the 48 team, Chad Knaus and those boys, are still..."

Out of all the talking heads that you see on FOX/SPEED, he's probably the only one that hasn't worn out his welcome with me.

Anonymous said...

Michael Waltrip replacing Larry Mac? Might make me pull an Elvis. I'd have to shoot my TV to put it out of it's misery.

longtimeracefan said...

On Saturday, before the Dover race, we bought our first flat screen TV to replace our small 15+ year tuber, so Sunday's race was going to be a special treat.

Ooo boy howdy, near perfect moving images plus superb sound on a wide HD screen brought a smile to one long time NASCAR guy. Nice production work from FOX on those two fronts. While preferring to have somewhat of a self-directorial option via a RaceBuddy style online app, FOX's shortcomings of on-air talent and super tight, rapid cutting shooting techniques will not be missed after TNT takes over in a few weeks.

FOX's overall race coverage was a bit on the plus side of average, with somewhat limited bits that were best described by SweetHeart as: "Why are they babbling on about that crap?" The answer remains a mystery. But things picked up nicely near the end of the race.

And suddenly there it was for all the world to see: side by side, race broadcast with commercials . . . see what can happen when a mouse roars.

Cheers!

Palmetto said...

Ryan from May 16, at age 19 you probably don't remember, but AB used to do play by play. Many of us regarded him as the finest to ever cover a race from the booth and wish he would resume doing it immediately.