Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday TV/Media News And Notes

Here are some items crossing the news desk here at the Worldwide Headquarters in North Cuba:

Hermie Sadler is returning to SPEED in 2012 working pit road for the truck series and also doing other at-track programs. Sadler was informed he would not be returning to the RaceDay program earlier this year, but no replacement for that role has yet been named by the network.

Sadler informed us that his new deal is two years with SPEED. He is expected to work on NASCAR Live, qualifying and practice shows for SPEED on the weekends.

The city of Charlotte, NC has been working hard on a deal to lure Chiquita Brands to the Queen City. Now, the deal has been done but not without a very unique twist.

"The company has been looking for about 150,000 square feet of office space and is expected to make the 19-story NASCAR Plaza office tower uptown its headquarters building, according to real estate sources. They say the 19-story property at South Caldwell and East Stonewall streets could be rebranded as part of the lease agreement." That from the Charlotte Business Journal. Click here for the story.

As many readers know, NASCAR has struggled to avoid foreclosure on the NASCAR office tower and the Hall of Fame that are essentially one big building on a plaza in the downtown area.

Chiquita headquarters is currently a large office building in Cincinnati, OH. It is called the Chiquita Center.

The permanent fixtures currently in the office tower include the NASCAR Media Group on the lower floors, a radio studio used by SiriusXM NASCAR and a TV studio used by Showtime on the first floor. The top NASCAR execs enjoy spectacular views from the top floor. It should be interesting to see just who moves where as the new major tenant comes to town.

NASCAR fans may soon be visiting the NASCAR Hall of Fame in the Charlotte Chiquita Center.

There was an update on extreme sports TV star Travis Pastrana this week from Bob Pockrass of Since Pastrana is the co-owner of his Nationwide Series team with Michael Waltrip Racing, he will be racing around his other scheduled commitments. Pockrass says that will leave Pastrana running in approximately 20 Nationwide Series races next season.

This is the final week for RaceHub on SPEED this season. Steve Byrnes has just finished his second season of hosting the program. SPEED is to be commended for keeping an hour-long NASCAR news and interview series on the air even as ESPN backs off NASCAR Now.

SPEED has confirmed that RaceHub will return in 2012. The series will take December off and return in mid-January probably around the time testing resumes. Hopefully, the network will return the show to a 7PM ET airing with a 9PM Pacific re-air.

In an odd twist, it was Sprint Cup Series champ Tony Stewart at a NASCAR industry marketing function who announced that NASCAR and SiriusXM radio had extended their agreement for an additional five years. This means that through the 2016 season SiriusXM will be the exclusive satellite radio provider for all three of NASCAR's national touring series.

The down side is that the online stand-off between Sirius and Turner Sports, the holder of all online audio rights to NASCAR, continues. Turner wants payment in order to allow the SiriusXM NASCAR channel to be streamed online in the existing player that carries other SiriusXM channels. There was no news released on that issue with the announcement of the contract extension.

During the same function, veteran TV executive CJ Olivares made a point about NASCAR TV during a panel discussion. Olivares is now coordinating NASCAR's West Coast marketing activity. He said it is important for NASCAR to get more documentary-style TV shows on the air.

As we have often said on this blog, that is the only way for both existing and potential fans to experience the sport away from the racing. There is simply no way to develop the personalities of the drivers and other characters in the sport without support from NASCAR's existing TV partners.

There was a time when SPEED was the home to a very strong group of just that type of program presented on Monday nights after the long-running This Week in NASCAR show. With TWIN basically replaced by RaceHub, SPEED has yet to develop any additional NASCAR programming and the network's new TV projects ordered for 2012 do not include any NASCAR series.

Right now, it is shaping up to be a tough off-season for NASCAR TV and this is a big issue. The NASCAR Media Group cannot stream any long-form programming online due to the Turner rights issues.

It's amazing that once SPEED goes dark after the banquet, it will only be YouTube and other online video services that take care of the fan base during the off-season. There is something seriously wrong with this situation.

We invite your comments on these topics. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


sbaker17 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sbaker17 said...

So. If Chiquita leaves Cincinnati, is that a banana split?

I'm so sorry. I had to.

glenc1 said...

sbaker...shame on you, lol.

I hope this thing works out with Chiquita. It's a beautifully done HOF and more people should visit. The only thing was finding it. Charlotte, you need better directional signs.

SD80MAC said...

I was shocked when I learned about the Chiquita Brands deal earlier today. That is another 400 jobs leaving Ohio that we can not afford to lose. I realize this is a big deal for the NASCAR Office Tower. I did not know that the NASCAR Tower was involved until I read this TDP column. We need the jobs, but I do have sympathy for the fact that it will help NASCAR.

For whatever reason, Ohio was not able to, or did not try to match the financial incentives offered by North Carolina. One other issue is the lack of frequent direct flights from Cincinnati to Europe, the Caribbean and South American areas where Chiquita does a lot of business.

Southwest Ohio was hit unusually hard with job losses over the last few years. We lost a General Motors SUV assembly plant, 5 Dephi automotive parts factories, the DHL airfreight hub and all of the collateral jobs that support those industries. The DHL direct losses was over 8000 DHL and ABX Airfreight jobs. DHL closed their hub and subcontracted the business to UPS in Louisville KY.

So this leaves me both sad for our loss and happy for NASCAR's gain.


I think NASCAR gave away the farm when they contracted with Turner for the NASCAR web site. I hope they can gain control of streaming like Race Buddy and SiriusXM audio when that contract is renewed. Having SiriusXM both in the car and the house is really nice, but I know a lot more people would listen to SiriusXM if it was available online.

MRM4 said...

Sounds like a bunch of monkey business to me.

Guess that officially makes NASCAR a banana republic.

AncientRacer said...

Couple of thoughts

...Economic-development officials in Charlotte have been working on “Project Opus” for months. In designating the project were they thinking of the musical meaning or the Penguin?

I can almost hear it now. DW and Larry Mac saying, "Chiquita Brands Rookie Stripe" (don't laugh)

Anonymous said...

Jd why doesn't speed try nascar drivers 360 that fx did a few years ago, that show was great

Dennis said...

NASCAR had no idea the importance of the internet when they made the Turner deal. When that contract is up they need to hold onto those rights themselves and allow others to use it for a reasonable fee so no one that wants to use it is left out.

TEX said...

You know what's GOOD about Turner?

I'm still trying to figure that out myself!

Nascar should give their internet and streaming business to Microsoft or Apple...people who know What the Hell they are doing.

Not some Atlanta shmuck!

Anonymous said...

Turner has been owned by Time Warner for a long time, Tex. They may be headquartered in Atlanta, but it's a big corporation.

And I might argue, lots of people don't care for Microsoft or Apple either. I would expect NASCAR to make a better deal with *someone* the next time around, however.

Kevin said...

Tonight's game show was fun - but the rest of it was terrible.

Anonymous said...

Would love SPEED to show races from the 80's & 90's throughout the off season. It would be a reason for NASCAR fans to watch SPEED during this time period.

Another program idea I suggest is a series, during season, depicting "A Day in the Life of" a driver, crew chief, car chief, or owner.