Monday, August 8, 2011

TV Police: Sprint Cup Series From Pocono On ESPN

Sheriff Andy Taylor is going to come over and investigate as soon as he is done fishing. Time goes by slowly in some places and certainly Pocono is one of them. Almost everyone agrees this race is too long, the track is pretty boring and making good TV is a challenge.

Sheriff Taylor investigates issues without a gun and by simply talking to people about their problems. Despite a good management structure, Pocono has been having a rough time of it for several years. It's off the beaten path and simply is not producing the type of racing that fans want to see.

Mayberry had a cast of memorable characters and Pocono does as well. It just seems that time and time again it's a tough sell to fans. This weekend, a truck series hauler knocked down the flagstand during the load-in process. That's just Pocono.

Nicole Briscoe quickly found herself in the middle of a TV mess during the pre-race show. The TV signal is sent from Pocono back to ESPN. A room called Master Control mixes that signal with commercials and sends that finished program feed out for the viewers.

Right after going on air, ESPN's Master Control experienced an equipment failure that resulted in the inability to switch-in commercials. Unfortunately, it left ESPN's Pocono crew awkwardly without direction and on the air nationwide. Briscoe kept her composure throughout the hour while the Bristol team changed facilities and finally got things ironed-out.

Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty are having a tough time. Rusty's comments are often head-scratching while Daugherty is now just a loud cheerleader. These two are sometimes more comical than informative. That is not their intended role.

Allen Bestwick has made the lap-by-lap issue for ESPN go away completely. The information is passed along, the exciting issues are described that way and the sense of having someone in charge on the air has been restored.

Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree knew going in that the field was going to be strung-out under green and that they would have to work hard to keep the viewers interested. Combined with Bestwick, the team put in a strong effort to keep the conversation flowing and point out the racing on the track. It was not an easy task.

Tim Brewer was a non-issue, but the pit reporters had to earn their money during an extended rain delay. Lots of interviews were done that ranged from outstanding to excruciating. In the infield, Briscoe got everything she could from Wallace and Daugherty. The TV team filled about 90 minutes.

The second chunk of racing quickly resembled the first. Intense on restarts until the tires started to fade and things became single-file once again. Pocono is a different kind of experience for teams and fans.

ESPN made good pictures in the weather conditions. Dual-stream in-cars were not utilized to their potential, but the director stayed wider than usual and showed multiple cars on camera shots. That really made a difference as the race went on.

Bestwick did a good job of bringing the race home with all the excitement one can muster for Pocono. At the finish, ESPN stayed wide and showed the leaders battling to the finish off the final corner. A basic post-race was done since NASCAR was over the scheduled timeslot.

This post will serve to host your race telecast wrap-up comments on the ESPN telecast. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below.


Zetona said...

They went at least the last 57 laps without a commercial break. I think that warrants a mention.

LVI56 said...

Pretty interesting broadcast with all the tech/commercial issues. Amazed to see the last 1/4 of the race commercial free. Guess they just gave up on whatever issue it was, and we were rewarded.

Post-race was understandable, a few hours over run, got the important interviews in. Sportscenter did a quick recap and it wasn't too painful to watch.

Sophia said...

Was on the phone at the end of but I thought the wide shots were much better this week than most ESPN coverage.

Alot going on today with Indycar & Reds so I hardly paid close attention to anything, but what I saw of Pocono was nice pictures.


I also detest the New twitter, buggy as all get out and you can't SEE DM count. Too WIDE for my laptop and more convoluted@

Totally cutting back on my twitter lifestyle & that stinks. Eyes are bad and can't see the small fonts on Tweetdeck or Twhirl :(

Congrats to Brad winning with a broken ankle.

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

Having said that ESPN has been doing pretty well so far. They have cut down on the tight shots and have shown the top 10 finish.

good telecast, but they need to keep it up though.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Working to find out if that was the same problem the telecast had during the pre-race show.

The commercial-free topic was never mentioned by the talent.

Perhaps, they literally could not go to break.

Ben in N.C. said...

Jamie Little is awful. She sounds like she has been out in the backyard and happened to see the replay when she breezed through the livingroom. Did she really say "Oh my gosh, look at Kyle Busch closing in on the 2?" midsentence?

Anonymous said...

Zetona, the last commercial was when I turned the race back on after the engines were asked to fire back up. That was with 76 to go. ESPN went 76 laps without a commercial. That was an hour and a half. I know I found myself saying wait, this is ESPN, and we haven't had a commercial yet.

Congrats to Brad on winning. After everything he went thru, including breaking his ankle, wow. I wonder if he will race the Nationwide next wknd or will he only go Cup?

Anonymous said...

Well during the rain delay, is it possible they used up all their commercials? JD, I don't know exactly how that works. Are there special commercials that they use during the rain delays or are they just supposed to use a certain number of commercials and it doesn't matter when they use them? I've always wondered.

Vicky D said...

Good broadcast and really enjoyed AB doing the PXP.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Working on the commercial issue, as I said. Waiting for a response.

Fed UP said...

Have been very impressed with Bestwick in the booth!
Spent MOST of the time WATCHING the broadcast, instead of channel flipping.
The Chemistry of the announcers is wonderful.
TNT brought their "A" game, and it looks like ESPN is bringing theirs as well.

Anonymous said...

weird not even a local break in last hour and no yankees/redsox promos. All strange.

Roland said...

I have to give that broadcast an A-. Once we got out of the pit studio and let the booth trio take over things were much better. This broadcast would get an A if not for technical problems, inane commentary from the studio, and Tim Brewer not stepping up to the plate.

I always defended Brewer cause I thought ESPN was making him look stupid. I thought the producers were making him explain what tires do. Today I realized it is Brewer thats the problem. He never put on his meteorologist hat and never updated us on strategies. Larry Mac does both of those things whether hes in the booth or TNT's spinning platform. Brewers a champion crew chief and he looks like a casual fan. I know hes smarter than he seems.

AB is such a joy to listen too, and Nicole is doing great work in the studio even though shes surrounded by clowns.

A- broadcast, but in the grand scheme of things thats huge for Espn. I find myself less annoyed while im watching their broadcasts than I ever have before. Im a huge ESPN hater, so for me to give it some high marks is saying something. Good job Espn, dont screw it up

Anonymous said...

great without commercial interuptions, glad brad won and as always it is never jimmie johnsons fault. is it me or has he hit somebody in just about every race this year

w17scott said...

Mr Editor -
Kudos to ESPN's on-site broadcast personnel ...from the booth talent to pit reporters and team in the truck, everyone rose to the occasions ...excellent effort from start to finish ...wide shots worked well ...can't blame Pocono crew for issues at the MotherShip ...agreed that 500 miles is too long on track where racing always gets strung-out ...been there, done that ...ESPN has raised the bar for itself, now let's see that standard met next weekend ...@the Glen, road course will present new set of challengs ...for today, thanks ESPN.

Anon/J said...

Broadcast was fine. Race was boring as all get-out and I went to sleep. No fault on ESPN's part - they're doing good enough, and I hope they continue the same.

BToS JD said...

Commercial Free - Great...excellent coverage without all the promos filling the screen during the racing action.

Personally I enjoy races from Pocono, brings out the best in the drivers and crew chiefs. 500 miles is excellent race length on that track.

More like old-school racin' and I definitely enjoy old school.

sbaker17 said...

Enjoyed the wide shots as the laps were winding down. The booth did real well with what they had to work with.
Does NASCAR mandate the tight shots so the empty seats aren't shown? I did not watch during the rain delay.
No R. Wallace for me, he makes my head spin with his inane, useless comments and his butchering of the English language.

Buschseries61 said...

Can't really comment since I didn't see much of the broadcast.

But I did read about and listen to the interesting pre-race accident on ESPN. Rusty & Brad getting a raise...HA! Deep inside, I really don't want them to get the boot because I won't be able to laugh at them anymore.

Have to say, this situation helps put tv into perspective. When the act is rested, the tone changes. We can finally hear real voices & opinions. We had a similar situation back in 2008 or 2009 with DW on SPEED.

I'm not 100% confident how I feel about the topic. In the position these guys and girls are in, it's obviously important to be positive, optimistic and interesting. But some reality separates a genuine person from a talking head.

Michael Stoffel said...

I have no problems with the coverage, and loved the last segment commercial free. Even if it was a mistake.
AB is smooth, alert and positive. And to have BK win another, and KuBu rough up Jerky Johnson made a long day worth it.
I wish I could afford to be at the Glen in person next week, but I'm confident AB will keep up on a tough track to broadcast.

glenc1 said...

in Jamie's defense...while I agree the 'oh gee whiz' voice is annoying....she is at least paying attention to what's going on while she's giving her pit updates. She has gotten better.

I actually don't think Pocono is as boring as many of the rest of you (I understand why people think that, mind you.) I think shorter races would definitely help. But I thought the booth team did a good job, the camera work was pretty good at the end...but not the beginning.

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

Hey can anybody explain to me why Jamie Little is interviewing drivers instead of Dr. Punch.

glenc1 said... they take turns at VL? Or is it the pit section they cover (if one of them wins, they go?)

Anonymous said...

went back on the dvr and found that last commercial break they came back still under red flag but going to yellow at 5:08 PM ET and 75 laps to go and no commercials for next hour and 52 minutes until Baseball Tonight.

Anonymous said...

my understanding is each pit reporter covers certain drivers and if they win that pit reporter gets to interview them in victory circle.

adamtw1010 said...

Great to see the last 57 laps without commercial. Allen Bestwick has singly-handedly saved ESPN. Absolutely great coverage these last two weeks.

One thing I had an issue with-they showed the Summer Showdown logo next to Menard the whole race. Seeing as how the money isn't distributed until Atlanta and how he finished at Pocono wouldn't affect it, I just don't get that. At Atlanta, yes, I would like to see that logo by the drivers in it. Wish I could have seen a Dash for Cash logo by those drivers in the Nationwide race last night.

17972 B. C. said...

I gotta come to defense of my local track. Pocono is no more off the beaten path than The Glen, Bristol, Martinsville, Talladega, of the tracks i've been to, and I'm sure a few others (Louden for one). Maybe now that Doc retired the shortening of races may happen, as he was a huge 500 proponent. As for the TV effort, solid effort on a long day.

rich said...

This would have been a very boring last 60 laps if there had been commercials.
Allen Bestwick should have a very big bonus check in his stocking this Christmas. He has saved ESPNs bacon.
Thank you for the finish line shot this week also.
The races are fun to listen to again. BTW, had trouble with RaceView today. Could not get it to work in IE or Google. ShockPlayer kept crashing.

Anonymous said...

Adam it was 75 laps not 57 as mentioned early on - To quote Bill Weber - "I looked it up so you wouldn't have to" and verified that it is accurate info.

James said...

I realize the commercials were probably a mistake, but it was nice not to see the same stuff repeated at every break. I like AB and Dale and Andy in the booth, not a real fan if the other three they have nothing to add and Nicole comes off a little sarcastic to me. Rusty and Brad add nothing to the telecast, as I am sick of cheerleaders at this point. It does prove to me how TERRIBLE the coverage has been in the first half of the year. ESPN showed a nice finish line shot, kept us engaged in a rather boring 180 laps that should have been a fuel milage race and than closed out a great finish with out hyping it all up with opinions, just let the racing play out. Knew enough to keep the cameras on JJ and KB and generally told the story of the event. Well Done. Grade A, first this year from ME.

papaserge said...

They haven't been perfect, but ESPN has really brought their "A" game these past two weeks. Bestwick sounds like he never left the booth, and to me he's currently the television "voice" of NASCAR.

Even the rain fill this afternoon wasn't terrible. Little and Welch are far from great, but they're much better than what they used to be. (Punch and Burns have been outstanding as always.)

I don't know why we got the final 75 laps or so without a commercial, but I loved it. To further the "maybe the couldn't go to break" idea, it certainly sounded as if Bestwick was setting up the laps remaining and the top five before a commercial break a few times, but they just changed the focus of the telecast for a bit instead.

In fact -- and correct me if I'm wrong here -- in the final year of the NBC deal, I remember large chunks of Chase races going commercial-free in the late stages when the end of the race was going to run into "Football Night In America." That's the vibe I got from today's race.

Anonymous said...

One thing I had an issue with-they showed the Summer Showdown logo next to Menard the whole race. Seeing as how the money isn't distributed until Atlanta and how he finished at Pocono wouldn't affect it, I just don't get that.

Whoever is paying that $1M probably wants it up there. FWIW as soon as Keselowski crossed the finish they added it to his name as well.

Anonymous said...

The Million Dollar Showdown is an ESPN and Sprint deal so both of them likely have an interest in its promotion. And you do not say no to the title sponsor.

Anthony said...

With regards to the commercials, I don't think it was a "we couldn't go to break thing." I think they used their commercial load and we're done. At about 4:45 Eastern, during a commercial break, they played the "Copyright" sequence that always comes at the end of the final commercial break in each Cup telecast. Usually red flags or unusually long races throw off the "commercial schedules" for the networks. NBC would show the last hour of races commercial-free during their years in the sport. I think this is all that was.

KoHoSo said...

The broadcast was not perfect, especially early. However, in the spirit of this week's chosen mascot for the TV Police, I can't really be Ernest T. Bass and throw rocks at it even though any appearance of Rusty and Brad makes me want to go on a binge like Otis Campbell.

Bestwick is making a huge difference in the entire telecast. Andy and DJ are fitting with him well and a finally starting to shine consistently through a race.

A live sporting event can never be 100% perfect as the improvisational nature of sports simply prevents it. Still, I believe we are on the right path toward getting most what we have wanted. I still have major issues with ESPN as a whole but I would not be fair if I did not give them a truly heartfelt "THANK YOU" for the improvements we have seen so far with the Cup telecasts.

Anonymous said...

Now that Bestwick is in the booth, there is absolutely no reason for the infield desk

GinaV24 said...

Broadcast was pretty good considering that the pocono races are too long and usually very boring. I've been there twice, once with free tickets, I won't waste my time going back.

Allen did a great job in the booth. Although Nicole was probably doing a decent job in her role, listening to the tower of babel that is rusty and brad, well, there was just no way I was going to deal with that for the rain delay.

I did catch some of the interviews. I'm not sure what the heck Almendinger was babbling on about during his, but since I'm not a fan of Jamie Little's either, I just sort of went "what?" to myself and switched channels again.

Camera work was better after the rain delay than it was at the beginning of the race. I thought it was great that we got commercial free during the end of the race - I'll bet it was related to the technical problems, but whatever, I was able to follow the race since it wasn't chopped up.

for the post race - I did laugh when Little Mr. Can't be Wrong (Johnson) and Ears had their issues at the end of the race. My only regret is that they didn't wreck each other. I knew Johnson wouldn't fight - he's too righteous for that.

I thought Brad K did a nice interview and was very surprised that SC didn't do their usual nonsense - they actually spoke nicely about the race for the few minutes of coverage they gave it.

MRM4 said...

I thought the coverage was just okay. Too many times with the announcers talking about one thing and the picture showing something else. At least they didn't do the constant "points as they run now". I suppose that will come in a few weeks.

Nature Boy NC said...

Somebody needs to give Brad Daugherty decaf before the pre-race show.

Andrew Maness said...

I'd like to focus on the post-race very briefly.

I thought that Vince Welch did a commendable job of handling the Jimmie/Kurt situation. I'm a big supporter of Mr. Welch, but I cringe during moments like that (I think back to his interview with J.P. Montoya). But Vince made certain to be unassuming and to let Jimmie explain exactly what happened.

Pamela said...

I thought the coverage was very good again this week. Bestwick is really good at this. Period. DJ and Andy are very good too. (I personally could live without nicole, Rusty, and Brad.) Did anyone else notice they also dropped the sports ticker on the bottom of the screen toward the end? Thanks ESPN, please keep up the good work.

GinaV24 said...

Andrew, just one comment - he let Johnson explain HIS point of view of what happened. LOL, I think Kurt had a different idea.

West Coast Diane said...

For a long, pretty boring race, not ESPN's fault....broadcast was pretty good.

I like that Allen isn't afraid to talk about other things on the track independent of what the picture is showing. Maybe the truck will start to follow his lead. We can only hope.

Lots more wide shots, or so it seemed. Thank you. And showing the finish. Greatly appreciated.

I just wish they would show intervals on the ticker all the time. Not sure why they don't. Only way to know what the gaps are, how many on lead lap, who's fighting for the lucky dog and if your driver is gaining on driver in front of them.

Rusty and mas, please.
Brad tries so hard and seems like such a nice man, but provides nothing. Rusty...well, he's just Rusty.

No matter the reason it was great without the commercials. Took me a bit to realize I wasn't grabbing the remote every 3 minutes to

NASCAR...please shorten this race.

Anonymous said...

ESPN is doing a decent job right now. My biggest complaints are for Rusty and Brad. Listening to them is painful. You know what I'd like to see? A call in or Skype in video chat with fans. I'd rather hear opinions from some ole grandma in North Carolina than Brad "Tell me why he's relevant again" Doughtery. Let Rusty and Brad go, hire a couple producers to screen the calls instead.

Anonymous said...

Bestwick is the class of the field and needs to be promoted as "The TV Voice of NASCAR". The ESPN broadcasts (and to a lesser extent, the TNT broadcasts)make the horrible first half of the season on FOX seem almost unbearable at this point. Let's get a collection started and buy FOX out of their contract and use any money left over to send DW on a one way trip to a deserted island without communications!

Sophia said...

Ernest T Bass= first rap song. youtube Ernest Courts Charlene for the link.

I'm really sorry I was bouncing around other races/Reds game to enjoy the last 90 minutes.

But during the Rain delay I must confess I miss guys on Fox or TNT like Kyle Petty, Steve Byrnes or Matt Yocum. They could get lots of fun interviews from drivers & would even go into the motorcoaches.

Still, it's great to see ESPN camera work improve AND show the finish line as we've clamored for (Since Foxs director/producer REFUSE to show more than 1 car)

I've hated on ESPN for years for many things (Still hate what they did to the Truck Driver they claimed used drugs, thus not mentioning his name here) I thought that was TMZ type journalism.

That said, bottom line for me is "Show me the Race" and ESPN seems to be trying to do that the last 2 races. Also Pocono may be boring but looks great on tv. I miss just the trees swaying and the addition of the silver fence. Wish they could've had the fence blend in with the trees better. Of course I know fences were added for driver safety to keep cars on track...but there are colored fences available.

I enjoyed the parts of the race I saw and I've not said that ALL YEAR except for TNT.

old97fan said...

I was a little baffled at the raves over last weeks race coverage, had to chalk it up to the fact the coverage had been so bad before that ok coverage seemed great. Personally, thought last weeks coverage was about a "c".

Didn't get to see the prerace for Pocono so can't comment on that, and missed the rain delay coverage. However, I thought there was much improvment and would give them a "B" for this week. Thought AB was a little more in his groove this week and overall didn't see the usual manlove that AB and ESPN seems to have for Jeff Gordon or other Hendrick racers.

Rusty and Tim Brewer still need to go, they only detract from the broadcast and add nothing. Jaime Little is still very annoying BUT I do like that she seems to keep her head up and maintains situational awareness. Maybe, a veteran could give her some pointers on presentation, as annoying as she can be, she has potential.

Watching the last hour of the race was incredible without commercials. Even though it was Pocono (which I happen to like but can be very boring), you had much more of a sense of drama building without the distracting, ill timed commercial breaks. Obviously without a monster sponsor you can't go commercial free, however it would be interesting to see if going to split screen or finding another way to effectively present sponsors so there was less break up in the action would improve fan perceptions of the races.

Finally, not sure how to articulate this but I'll try. Mega kudos to the post race coverage of the JJ/KB interaction. I think that is the first time I saw coverage of something like this where the reporter didn't interject themself into or influence what happened. They just observed and asked appropriate questions. There still seemed to be a little bias to one driver BUT it was influential on the conversation or perception. WOW! The only thing that would have made it better was to make both drivers back up their version by having them comment on the replay as THEY watched it. Anyway, that was great.

Anonymous said...

Great broadcast. My one complaint was they did not show all the replays of the JJ and Kurt incidents which clearly showed that JJ aimed and drove straight down into Kurt which made the start of their on track antics his fault, not Kurts.

They did great showing more drivers and more competition on track rather than zeroing in on only a few favorites. AB was great as was DJ and AP.

Wade Baker said...

I never realized the commercial thing as I was channel flipping, but major props to ESPN for that.

Did any of you Rusty bashers like him when he drove?

Thought so.

Zieke said...

It's a good thing ESPN did the race. AB is very good at his profession.Their booth guys are at least interesting, but that track is just like Indy, too long and flat to have a cup race on. 1 race a year and 300 miles is all I could tolerate, thank you. Let's re-open N. Wilkesboro or re-up with Rockingham to replace Pocono.

Anonymous said...

Been watching Nascar since 1985..did'nt like Rusty then, nor do I now! Bill Elliott is still the man!

glenc1 said...

Wade...I liked Rusty when he drove. I also like him as a person in spite of some aspects of his personality that others don't care for(and I've reminded a few people here of that from time to time). I thought he'd be a natural at broadcasting and expected the best. And that turned out not to be the case, he was awful. Personally, I'd like to see him go spend more time building his race teams.

Chris said...

Love Bestwick but it seems like no one has a good handle on what is going on in the race. There was no mention of Kurt Busch and Brad K. pitting before the rain until BK talked about in his interview. It was kind of a big deal. They missed the same type of thing a few times at Indy as well.

The Loose Wheel said...

I avoid ESPN's pre-race at all costs. Really, I avoid all 3 networks if I can. TNT had a Terry Labonte piece in Kentucky and that made my year but aside from that I could not tell you a single memorable moment from any of them. There is no depth in them anymore and with NASCAR over-saturation during the week by Race Hub and NASCAR Now, a pre-race that just repeats the previous becomes useless.

Speaking of useless, Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty, Tim Brewer should all get the ax. They add nothing and the talking head syndrome is really making me tune out during races now too.

Thankfully AB has made it worthwhile on track but the production crew is still lost. Camera shots and replays don't get cued up when they should and downright baffling ones get called when they shouldn't. One that stuck out to me was the final restart, Kyle Busch either misses a shift or Jimmie gets the jump on him, instead of cuing up a replay after the restart sorted out, they went back into the lull of events as the race concluded. Credit them for following Johnson and Busch as the race ended but how can you show 5 replays of that and not a single one of the race deciding restart?

All-in-all for Pocono it was a fine effort especially with the rain delay.

I hope for better at the glen. Petree shined here a year ago and has nailed it on the road courses this year.


sbaker17 said...

Wade Baker said...
I never realized the commercial thing as I was channel flipping, but major props to ESPN for that.

Did any of you Rusty bashers like him when he drove?

Thought so.

I had read about Rusty in NSSN long before I saw him race in person for the first time around 1977 at Saugus Speedway in California. Thought it was neat that someone from Missouri would come all the away out here to race on a short track. However, I could take him or leave him as a Cup driver. The point is, he is way out of his element as an announcer and needs to go help his race team on a full time basis. Or he can do what Ned Jarrett did and go to Dale Carnegie. For at least a year.

GoLittleE said...

JD - Please Follow Up.

Did you ever find out Why/How ESPN could go 75 Laps without a commercial?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Nope! Ran the copyright around the actual scheduled end time but I have a hard time believing that any of the commercial inventory from SportsCenter could not move up into the extra-racing time.

I was told there were no additional equipment issues, so it was a decision from someone in charge.

Pretty interesting, all things considered.

GoLittleE said...

JD - So your saying that ESPN got their commercials all in during the Rain Delay, allowing to the last part of the race to go Commercial Free? A Very Good Thing?

Mattwrotethis said...

Dear ESPN:

One thing I'd change, ditch Rusty Wallace and you'd be damn near perfect.

You're already there in the booth:

Andy Petree actually doesn't sound stupid when he's got intelligent partners in the booth. (I'm serious, I'm a southern redneck, admit we don't always sound bright, and Petree furthered that stereotype until this year, he actually has a lot of good commentary with the right co-commentators, who knew?)

Dale Jarrett is every bit as good as his dad was at this... and now he's even better than he already was because of having...

Alan Bestwick??? man he got on my nerves hosting Nascar shows on Speed, but put the man in the booth with Dale and Andy and he's awesome!

Someone must've given ESPN a chemistry set for Christmas, because they now have a killer formula in the booth, three great talents that go so well together!


(BTW, I'm serious, ditch Rusty though.)

Daly Planet Editor said...

Normally when they run the commercials during rain delay, the commercial rotation is just started again whenever the race starts.

The spots run during rain delay are what is called "made good" by running them again in the live race.

I still have absolutely no clue why ESPN would give up a full hour worth of commercial revenue for NASCAR, right down to not running spots under caution.

It's a head-scratcher.

Arthur said...

No commercials at the end? I absolutely LOVED it. Especially since at one point much earlier in the race ESPN ran 3 breaks in a 15 minute window. THAT was just plain nuts!

Perhaps because of the rain, this became a test session? "What would happen if ...?"

I know I loved watching the RACE and not being constantly and incessantly interrupted by the same commercials over and over and over...

I know change is hard but the wider shots must mean someone at ESPN must finally be listening to us fans, and they are being allowed to make some "minor" adjustments to the broadcast product.

I'm a former broadcaster (and I would love to get back in) and I understand all too well that there has to be commercials to pay the bills, but there are ways other than the constant commercial onslaught forced upon us currently. It's just too hard to keep up with the race with all those interruptions, which then translates to fewer viewers. So maybe this was just a "Thank You for (still) watching", or perhaps it became a test to see how many of us would watch straight through to the end without constantly flicking the remote (and thereby getting more "eyes" on the show and a higher viewership rating number, which could translate into slightly bigger revenue numbers).

Either way, kudos to ESPN.

DewCr3w88 said...

I for one thought the pictures were outstanding, first time I can honestly say I was extremely impressed with the views we were given.

I loved TNT's take on incar wit hthe behind the driver seat view, wish we could get more of that but in moderation obviously.

I would still pay $100-200 for a permanent year long race buddy.

Alan in the booth is fantastic as usual.