Friday, December 16, 2011

Day Two: SPEED Changes Raise NASCAR Network Questions


Update: Leaving this as the top story while comments continue. Expect to have more info on the SPEED changes Friday and will update as news becomes available.

Earlier this week we documented the fact that the president and executive vice president of SPEED stepped away from their respective jobs. The network staff is now awaiting word on a new chief executive and the revamping of senior management.

The buzz on the street is that the new head honcho is not a NASCAR person, not a motorsports person and not even a sports TV veteran. Two gentlemen named Randy Freer and Eric Shanks run the FOX Sports Media Group. These two have been deeply involved in changing the dynamic of many FOX Sports offerings and it seems SPEED may be next.

SPEED is clearly the redheaded stepchild of the FOX cable networks. Located in Charlotte, it is a national network that buys most of it's programming from third parties, produces little of its own NASCAR coverage and has never be able to really define itself.

There is absolutely no indication from SPEED that NASCAR content on the network will increase. In fact, the truck series races have been reduced in number and that series, the only one carried from start to finish by SPEED, has never had even a weekly support program.

In the heart of the NASCAR season, SPEED executives moved NASCAR RaceHub out of the fringe of primetime at 7PM and back to one of the worst possible timeslots at 6PM Eastern Time. Suddenly, not only did RaceHub have to go against every local TV station newscast but it also clashed with the final hour of Dave Moody's Sirius Speedway show on SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

Veteran readers of this blog know that the list of programs produced for SPEED by the NASCAR Media Group (NMG) is long. Unfortunately, the list of NMG programs subsequently cancelled by SPEED is almost just as long. This year The Ten and The Day were shows that made a mark, but only a small one.

Once NASCAR got to the banquet week, SPEED bailed on all of the studio-based programming that featured motorsports news, interviews and analysis. NASCAR fans are upset RaceHub is gone in an off-season where the NASCAR news is still going at full steam. Fans of motorsports in general no longer have the new SPEED Center weekend series.

Even good old Dave Despain is gone and while Twitter, Facebook and a bevy of racing websites continue to debate topics from Danica to a safer IndyCar, Dave's voice is silent. Wind Tunnel also left the building.

If SPEED wants to embrace shows like Pumped!, Stuntbusters and Dumbest Stuff on Wheels it is certainly the right of the management. Over the last ten years everything from Texas Roadhouse motorcycle grannies to Michael Waltrip's amateur infield talent show have been on the air. Who can forget the guy in the leather cowboy hat and kilt playing "Low Rider" on the bagpipes?

What has not been on SPEED in a long time is a good chunk of NASCAR programming put together to make sense in primetime. What has not been on SPEED is new programming concepts like sharing content with the SiriusXM NASCAR folks. What has not been on SPEED is interactive NASCAR programs featuring personalities inside the sport in a casual setting.

What has not been on SPEED is the sound of voices outside of the "FOX family" discussing topics in the sport and offering views that may be different from "the TV guys." What has not been on SPEED is historical programming celebrating those other than the Hall of Famers who shaped the sport.

What has not been on SPEED are the voices from the network's own website who readers have come to know and trust. Writers, reporters and online journalists simply aren't allowed to make the kind of smooth transition between media platforms that we see with ESPN's personalities.

There is no branded "morning show," no kids programming and nothing designed for adult women viewers. Mornings on SPEED are simply a waste of time as are weekday afternoons. What many cable TV networks have worked for years to develop has never been touched by SPEED even as dollars were poured into "lifestyle programming" by the millions.

All of this reality brings us right back to the issue that tops the email for the week. Why does NASCAR not have its own 24 hour cable TV network like so many other professional sports? These days, that question is a good one.

What NASCAR did a while back was finally organize itself so that it sold the TV rights to all the races. It also created a company called NASCAR Images to be the official TV production company of NASCAR. Just like PGA Tour or NBA Productions, NASCAR Images was the group that controlled, archived and then distributed footage of the sport.

NASCAR Images was ultimately rolled inside a bigger organization called the NASCAR Media Group. This was done because NASCAR created a television, radio and digital production center in the new NASCAR Plaza in Charlotte, NC. It seemed at the time that things were being prepared for a cooperative effort with SPEED to become a TV network with additional NASCAR product. Well, nothing could be further from the truth.

The relationship between SPEED and the NASCAR Media Group is not good. SPEED is currently twisting toward becoming even more of a truTV and MTV network clone with over-hyped "lifestyle programming" created by LA-based production companies in the FOX inner circle. None of the new series ordered for 2012 are even motorsports-related.

Meanwhile, back in Charlotte, NMG has moved into college football documentaries and non-motorsports series to pay the bills. That's right, NASCAR's TV company has college football programs showing up on ESPN and other networks that were edited in the shadow of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in NASCAR's own TV facility.

SPEED was the only viable option for NASCAR to develop a national cable TV network years ago. It was the reason SPEED moved to Charlotte. Unfortunately, personalities and politics did not allow a merger to happen. Too many agendas and too few people were involved who truly had the best interest of the sport in mind.

Now, there are several major media companies looking at NASCAR as a source of content that could easily support a national cable network. Ten months of racing, wonderful personalities and a fully-stocked TV production company just raring to go help that cause along quite nicely.

In the new world of HD cable networks, there are several corporations who operate multiple channels. Sometimes, these channels change themes and types of content just like a Country FM radio station suddenly changing to pop music overnight.

The NFL, MLB and NBA all cater to the fan with tons of news, stats and information as the foundation of their cable networks. The big games are still on the big networks and serve to bring in big money to help these themed cable networks to develop. Certainly, that would make sense for NASCAR in the beginning.

If NASCAR stepped away from SPEED and partnered with a different media company for a dedicated cable network what we would expect to follow would be the Camping World Trucks, the weekend programming from the tracks and the edited weekday shows like The Ten. All of that content is currently on SPEED.

The upside for NASCAR to pursue this concept is that the NMG folks could get to work maximizing the NASCAR brand in every way. Concepts long on the shelf could be brought out to actively involve the fan base through the growing social media technology. Any new TV network has to be totally interactive, available online and repeat primetime content for the West Coast every day.

The FOX Sports Media folks have their own agenda and are not owned by or partners with NASCAR. This is a relationship that may have run its course depending on who steps into the lead role at SPEED and what agenda he brings to the table driven by the LA-based management group.

With TV contract negotiations being conducted in 2012, we may see NASCAR strategically pursue a relationship with a major media partner other than FOX Sports to explore the possibility of launching a dedicated cable network under the NASCAR brand. This past week, SPEED may have made the first move in this direction a lot easier to take.

We welcome your comment on this topic. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. We ask that you refrain from hateful speech, derogatory comments or posting links to other websites. Comments may be moderated before posting. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

52 comments:

iworkhere said...

Hummmm
Deep and oh so true.
Nice story JD.
Keep up the great work.

Patrick said...

I think NASCAR could look heavily to the NHL network for inspiration. They utilize their SiriusXM deal to air one of their shows on TV. As you have mentioned before, this would be great for all parties.

Consider the opportunity for official partners of NASCAR to have their products and services highlighted on The NASCAR Network in a half hour block to help both parties fill time and grant further awareness of their partnership.

Replay classic races, and replay current races. Take the Nationwide races that ESPN is too busy for, and put them on The NASCAR Network with the truck series. Invest in people and equipment, and go cover the Whelen Modified series or the K&N series.

Imagine a weekly recap show running thorough the highlights of NASCAR Canada and NASCAR Mexico races. Development driver diaries.

You think of it, there would be a place for it. They should totally do this.

Anonymous said...

@Patrick I agree with you with your views. I'm a motorsports fan and I'm starting to wonder that without Nascar programming. I wonder if the other motorsports races will disappear too. So maybe as a motorsports fan. No matter how much Nascar overload Speed is. I think it's best to have Nascar on Speed for motorsports fans to watch non-Nascar races.

I just wish that Nascar and very other racing series had the same love that Versus/OLN treated the NHL in early 2005. B/c the NHL is treated like royalty on Versus/OLN and that's what every brand should be treated. Not like the way how Nascar gets treated with ESPN in the 2nd half of the season. Sometimes ESPN treats Nascar like a big on going joke. Why on earth do they have a 147 ex-NFL player analysts on their network and create stupid shows to give their 147 ex-players work. Lol.

b leeper said...

As a hard core Nascar fan from the 60s< If Speed drops the brand and progamming they will loose me. My cable Co. in Vanc. WA makes me pay 3 extra tiers of shows/sports just to get speed on my 2 flatscreen digitals in my house. If Nascar is off, so am I and about $30 mo. to the cable Co. Whomever has Nascar and Pawn Stars has my advertising eyes and buying power. Do Not FU Speed on what even made you a cable network.

Anonymous said...

Ecellent article and would be a great business plan for nascar. But as I stated yesterday, bf will follow the money. MC

Jesse Jones said...

Fox's suits will make the decisions they think will best serve their financial bottom line, and NASCAR's suits will make the decisions they think will best serve their financial bottom line.

You yearn for people who "truly had the best interest of the sport in mind." The decision makers know no fealty to "the sport," only to what they perceive is "the market."

When I see what Speed did this season to "Trackside," which once was worth watching, it makes me fear where the network will go next. ESPN has some excellent people covering NASCAR, but they serve at the discretion of suits who still just don't get NASCAR.

Whatever expanded television programming NASCAR itself may come up with is still going to be suspect (although the content on NASCAR.com tends to be quite good). Cable networks, like unsigned potential team sponsors, should be able to realize the tremendous commercial potential of more NASCAR coverage. But it's not happening yet.

OSBORNK said...

I think Fox will continue to move Speed away from motorsports and more into reality shows. I think it will evetually have a name change to reflect its new direction.

I doubt that the little king would go for a dedicated NASCAR channel that would have NASCAR races or even replays of the races. He would not be willing to give up the big bucks paid by the current TV networks. He sells the future for a minimal payment (like the internet rights) because he is not a forward thinking individual.

I think the old addage about business operations will be true with NASCAR. It has been said that the first generation develops a business, the second generation maintains it and the third generation destroys it. We can only hope he sells the business before it happens.

w17scott said...

Mr Editor -
Thanks for your hard work, persistence and diligence in bringing this and other NASCAR-related topics to light ...the ineptitude of 'these and other suits' of the broadcast world is shown clearly as they again shape a network in their image ...my Christmas to myself may well be a lower DirecTV fee that does not include SPEED ...got better use for that money ...again, JD, a tip of the hat to you for your passion and perseverance to demand quality programming for NASCAR fans and prospective fans ...all the resources are close at-hand, just waiting offstage to be displayed ...btw - while I check your column faithfully, it was your tweet and the tweet of Bob Margolis that led me here today
Walter

Vicky D said...

Yep, JD, it all comes down to money and how much Fox can make!

Vicky D said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Flint Stone, the cable beer guy said...

In my opinion, Speed has been stunting-a radio term-since the conversion from Speedvision. There are so many great concepts floating around in the ether that could be implemented in a motorsports channel of any type. But what the brain trust at FOX are doing defies logic and the brain trust at NASCAR have no better a handle on a coherent business model either. Many models exist presently that could be adapted to fit what NASCAR needs and what FOX and SPEED need is a profitable cable channel-something OTHER than "The Dumbest Stuff On A Cable Network".

glenc1 said...

There is no question the need is there for us, the fans--but we need to be realistic about not comparing it to the NFL (however I do agree with anon 12:34--everytime an NFL player retires I groan in anticipation that he will now be added to the way too large group of TV analysts...). The NFL just has WAY more fans. Golf Channel would be a closer comparison. And I guess that is my thought, how is it that golf and hockey and tennis make it work and NASCAR won't try it? Even figure skating has the Ice Network, where fans can watch live events online that are no longer televised. It would take people with the background & knowhow to figure out how to make it work, how to, as Patrick suggests, work in sponsors & such. Golf and tennis are sports that 'ordinary' people can play, thus I'm guessing they have their share of 'how to' shows, which NASCAR wouldn't have, but there are plenty of other things they could look at. As others have pointed out, it would be a 'homer' network so I guess we would not expect shows like 'Pitbulls', since NASCAR is so afraid of criticism, of which the NFL is more tolerant. Step one might be opening them up to that, and then finding a way to make it financially viable. I don't see why that would be any different from the other sports who have managed to do it. Even if they started working on it tomorrow, though, I still have to think it's a long ways off.

AncientRacer said...

When Patti Wheeler came aboard I had hope. At least I could point at her and say, "She knows," but she is gone and her legacy is not what I would have wished.

Combined, on both ends of the red-eye route, I know maybe a dozen and a half, maybe that many, people with an understanding of NASCAR that exceeds the "toofwess good ole boy rednecks drivin' cars in circles" image and fewer than that who have an appreciation for (I know this sounds precious) the finer point of the sport -- and those people are reluctant to admit as much except, usually, in a bar after a few pops if and only if I am their primary audience and no one who can materially affect their careers are within earshot.

No programming decisions that attract casual or new NASCAR fans interested in NASCAR subjects, much less attract or win the approval of the hardcore crowd that gathers about this small campfire, are likely to come out of such places with their stick and ball is all -- and for gawds sake keep the crazy aunt in the attic while company's here mentality.

Sad but true. Maybe we could try Occpuy Speed, but then again maybe not

PS: on the NFL contracts thing. When I read about that yesterday aftyernoon two thoughts passed through my head: 1. Nine Years! OMG if BZF signed a nine year contract imagine what he could (would) give away. 2. Nine Years! OMG. For the first time in my life, given my age, that contract could easily outlast me -- another one of those niggling reminders of mortality.

Anonymous said...

I seem to recall a channel called Fox Reality a few years ago that was either dropped or re-branded. It would appear to me that Fox is possibly trying to bring that concept nack at the expense of SPEED. Quite a bit of the new programming look awfully close to what aired on the defunct channel.

GinaV24 said...

Your column had so much information in it, I had to read it twice to try and understand it all.

For whatever reason, Fox and Speed have come to a point where it no longer makes sense to me to watch it often.

I've always liked the shows that NMG has put together - in fact, if they'd offer The Day series on DVD, I'd buy it for my collection.

What I won't do is watch the silly lifestyle programming. I pay extra on my cable to get Speed and ESPN. Considering the "content" I often wonder if it is worth the money.

Bobby said...

Very good questions. Keep in mind South Carolina's men's basketball programme (the school where Kerry Tharp worked before joining NASCAR, and where Humpy Wheeler was a lineman and Jim Hunter lettered in football and baseball - on my Facebook page there's a photo of both men I took in 1996) used NASCAR Media Group for the introduction video this season.

INDYCAR has done the same with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Productions group, as IMS has produced NBA games, assisted Fox Sports for Colts home games on the network, Professional Bull Riders, and events at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Now in the "Pinks" era, when that format went All Out, it was an example of a format that worked. If you stripped all the "preliminaries" and the criticism for the old-school pre-Christmas Tree era drag racing, it was plain grassroots drag racing for $10,000, something that weekend warriors in Late Model, Limited Stock, Street Stock racing need for NASCAR. The game opera GT Academy US (a Yank version of a European show) is another example of a show that works for sportscar racers as gamers received a chance to test real race cars, and the winner won a fully funded ride to the Dubai 24 Hours.

But the MTV-ish route that some leaders in Hollywood want is wrong. With WTCC, V8SC, and DTM having either US rounds or versions (DTM 2013), and NASCAR effectively letting Grand-Am's Rolex Series GT class use the FIA GT3 standard, changes must be made for more racing and documentaries about motorsport history, not reruns of MTV (and remember, ALLI, which MTV co-owns with Comcast, shunned Speed/Fuel in the new AMA Pro Motocross deal that ALLI produces broadcasts, as that goes to Comcast, which is a co-owner in ALLI) shows.

Tom From Kansas said...

Just when things were getting better with coverage we get someone who doesn't care about cars, running the show. Sounds like the car company's run by Bean Counters. That did not work well either did it!

Anonymous said...

The day Speedvision died so did motorsport in the U.S.A. Whats left is little more than the gongshow and about as interesting as a paid advertisement.

Darren said...

It might be a good time for NASCAR to try new media. Skip the partners and go direct to the consumers. RaceBuddy seemed to be a hit except for the limitations put on it by the partners. Take NMG to direct streaming for a monthly fee. Produce your own shows at a lower cost and get your own advertising. Nearly everyone has an Internet connection now. Stop the network madness. Give us a stream with real content.

Anonymous said...

Don't lose sight that FOX now airs UFC. UFC Network anyone...

Anonymous said...

The worst thing that ever happened to NASCAR was Fox and David Hill. Speed should have changed its name a long time ago. What a waste. Maybe Dr. Laura or Hannity could tell how they drive to work.
Now, I have NFL and MLB and love the programming. As you do JD, whonder why NASCAR hasn't done the same thing? Problem is too much power concentrated in too few persons' hands.

Anonymous said...

West Coast Diane said:

Ditto Gina. We pay a lot for Directv. We probably watch on a regular basis 5 or so stations. Most of TV is garbage. Why do we pay so much? Same as a lot of us...to get SPEED and ESPN. Both which we only watch for racing. I am very close to giving it up. I find myself fast forwarding thru practice & qualifying. We do love the Trucks, but how much is it worth?

One other annoying thing which gets tiring the search for NASCAR programming. JD, I am sure if it weren't for you posting the TV schedule on your blog I would have given up. Ther is no consistency. Can't use a season pass, because most everything runs over or how it is identified doesn't insure always catching all practices, qualifying, races, etc.

We may still be going to Florida this winter, but are pretty sure for the first time in 8 years we won't be attending the Daytona 500 and all the accompanying events the week prior. It costs a king's ransome that in this economy we think is better to pass on.

As always JD, thanks for a place to let us rant. Good for our mental health :-).

Buschseries61 said...

This is a very thought provoking column, JD. It brings up the question, what is SPEED without motorsports? If NASCAR dumped FOX & SPEED, all SPEED would have left are F1, ARCA, and their prized reality programs. Their programming would be very similar to Velocity Network. Without motorsports, whatever identity SPEED built up in 15 years would be the same vague concept as a brand new network. Embarrassing.

A Nascar Channel is a great approach look into at this point.

Anonymous said...

Great. The new Fox executives will make sure any programming has the full hillbilly NASCAR on Fox crew. With that in mind, I'm all in favor of Speed dropping NASCAR coverage all together. Anything to silence those boobs.

Anonymous said...

I really think David Hill is the biggest problem. I don't think he understands anything about racing and NASCAR in particular. I have friends who are huge sports fans but don't understand auto racing one bit. I've heard Mr. Hill speak about the NASCAR coverage and it's clear he does no have a fans perspective or understand it at all. Actually when he talks about his views on TV racing it's scary and depressing.

Anonymous said...

We should be careful what we wish for. We may get a NASCAR channel anchored by a pair of hilarious brothers and featuring an adorable stuffed animal mascot.

DJ BK said...

I get the feeling FOX Sports will chose to no re-bid on NASCAR during the next contract and they are working at moving SPEED away from NASCAR/Motorsports over the next few years.

Anonymous said...

I have already brought this issue up on the NASCAR Fan Council and I intend to keep bugging them about it. I suggest everyone hear do the same. Eventually they will have to get it. There won't be any other choice.

old97fan said...

The current state of television managment is pretty much the nail in Speeds coffin for most racing enthusiast. Look at the state and viewership of the rest of tv including the specialty channels. It's obvious that most of the upper decision makers don't have a clue about their audiences, and even have less imagination. This isn't just true in racing, it's true in sci-fi, science, history, learning, and yes the music channels. Watching the egos at the top of the programming food chain is akin to watching 5 year olds at an easter egg hunt. If one finds an egg, the rest will run over dozens of eggs to look in the same place where one was found.

I believe if we want to see a good motorsports network with good Nascar coverage we are going to have to see someone who is fairly independant start their own channel that embraces most motorsports not just Nascar. In turn it will need to see dependable support from the Nascar community as one of its stronger bases. Instead of a stock car fan whining about F1 or motorcycle coverage we should support them to at least a lessor degree knowing that a rising tide raises all ships.

while this might not have been possible in the past, with the advent of online programming which is where a larger percentage of the under 30 age gets their television, (in some segments 70%+) it is now possible for and independant network or channel to start up with comparatively minimul funding. This could in turn be leveraged into complimentary ancillary programming.

Speed is probably toast, much like most of the other special networks but we do have some new possibilities if someone has the vision.

Anonymous said...

Now is the time to see if the overpaid and over-inflated egos of Hill, Shanks and Freer can fix Speed. Highly doubt it.

Whomever they pick to run the channel, they really have to clean house at that place, too.

Roland said...

I dont know if I want a NASCAR TV channel or not. Everything shown on the network as far as news goes would be spun to favor NASCAR. Of course you can make the same argument about Speed right now. Its one of the reasons I dont watch Race Hub.

Anonymous said...

Race Hub has been a major disapointment this year. My sense is that it's become a mouthpiece for Nascar. It may not be entirely Speed's fault because they have tow the line if they're to get the access they require. Some of the stuff on Hub would just make me laugh. Eliott Sadler occaisonally commenting on issues KHI and Childress were having comes to mind. I don't remember what the issue was early this season, but Nascar made a change that was largely viewed to be negative. Larry Mac and someone else jumped on the bandwagon and tried to tell the audience all the virtues of Nascar's latest edict. Across all the Networks, Nascar race coverage is really sad.

Fix This said...

anon 6:35, that is, and has always been, the basic problem with NASCAR & the media.

NASCAR is protective in a way that other sports never could be. NFL, MLB, NHL--they could never have that kind of control of the media. They couldn't stop a newspaper reporter from reporting or and editor from editorializing....not very effectively, anyways. Too many teams, venues, too many papers. And when that grew to include television, you ended up with even more people spouting opinions who were not trained 'journalists', they were just people who played/coached who had opinions. Nothing wrong with that, just a different mindset. But still, Pete Rozelle and those who followed always managed to handle the criticism; the NFL survived it; thrived on it, even. I'm sure there were times they weren't happy, and maybe phone calls were made or pressure applied, but in the end, media members are able to pretty much express any opinion. I personally think this is healthy for sports. It keeps everyone accountable for the consequences of their decisions; and if you're debating something, it's still publicity for the sport.

Bill France apparently didn't see it that way. There were media people who lost their jobs because they weren't 'NASCAR apologists.' I don't blame the networks or the reporters for this, I blame NASCAR. Of course, one could say the networks shouldn't have bowed to it, but if they wanted to carry the races and have the proper access to the drivers, teams, and facilities, they needed to cooperate. When people heap praise on Bill France, I always have this hesitation...yes, he was a great leader, but at times it was through intimidation and threats. I don't see that as a good thing, as amusing as the anecdotes might be. While I would expect 'in house' material to be less critical (ie, MRN, Sirius), I expect media partners like SPEED, FOX and ESPN to be honest as they are with other sports, and they are not *allowed* to be. Until that problem is fixed, we are always going to have issues. I don't know how you get to that place; where a reporter could criticize without fear of his hard card being taken. NASCAR seems more determined now on molding its television coverage, particularly, more than 'print'.

Russ said...

In my opinion this is a futile argument.
While many would agree that the print media is one that has past its zenith, fewer see that television is on the same path.
Why is print a dinosaur? Because it cannot deliver its content in a timely fashion. Well television has the same problem today although its not as apparent. By the time a show airs on television (including cable)it is rehashing yesterdays news.
The webcasts and bloggers have already presented the material to the majority of those people who are interested. And can do so in as much depth and detail as they desire. And the audience isn't limited to siting in a chair in front of a screen for an hour.
The only arena that television remains the undisputed king is the actual sporting events themselves. That despite the claims of some is something a laptop or tablet cant replace. (at least not yet)

Anonymous said...

Russ, ESPN and SPEED sometimes broadcast *live*...as do other networks when they have breaking news....how is that not timely? If there *was* a NASCAR network, they could easily break into programming. Also, some people have limited or no access to the outlets you mention, or are not able to access them while they're working. Not all fans are attached to their PC's at the hip. And even those who do--I have a computer so I can pretty much check the news whenever I want--and yet I still watch Racehub every day. Why? It's not just about the news. It's about seeing people interviewed, and yes, hearing other people (even idiots) give their opinions. Could I read them instead? In some cases yes. But I like to hear the words come from someone sometimes.

OSBORNK said...

Anon 9:47--The "live" breaking news has normally been leaked and has been tweeted or blogged to the world before the breaking news is made public.

Russ said...

OSBOURNK 9:55 Thank you for reinforcing my point.

I am not preaching, and nobody has to believe me. However, as smartphones,tablets and whatever is next become more and more commonplace they are becoming the medium of choice for more and more people.

If you want to see the future look at the webcast "the Flying Lap" by Peter Windsor. Now I know its not Nascar, but it could be. You get a few chairs, a webcam, a guest or a telephone and away you go.

Russ said...

BTW folks to those who dont believe what I said in an earlier post -- you happen to be reading this on a blog, over the internet.

Now tell me what television series, gives you the variety and in as timely a fashion?

From the time of my first post to ANon 9:47's response was 7 minutes. Case closed.

Dennis said...

NASCAR is in a bad position. They need their own channel to ensure coverage/promotion and, yet, they'd wreck it because of censorship and because they don't know racing anyway.

I'm tired of IROC homogeny being promoted as actual car brands. That's one area that the V8 Supercars from Australia are clearly superior.

Dot said...

Why can't SPEED do an experiment and run a nascar race marathon for a day? If viewers tuned in, they could gauge if a nascar channel is warranted.

anon 9:47 said...

OSBORNK, that's because traditional news outlets have to obey the rules of journalism (well...most of the time); they can't report something as fact unless they have confirmation. So we find out about it a half hour later (or whatever.) How does that change the world? In business it may, but not for entertainment purposes.

Russ, only a third of US users have smartphones. I'm not saying it's not growing, or that most people don't have access. But believe it or not, some people don't have it as an option. A guy working at a body shop can't be on a PC for 8 hours a day. Some people *choose* not to, for a variety of reasons. The people who read/respond on this blog are ordinarily people who are tech savvy, but that isn't an option for all, and some just aren't interested. The same options are available for football fans, right? Yet the NFL Network seems to be doing well, and the Golf channel has been around for many years. So what's the difference?

Sally said...

Some of us just want to use our phones to make calls, not to try and replace a real computer or TV. I really don't want to try to watch things on a teensy screen instead of a big one. I'm also not interested in spending that much time going from one electronic device to another. I find it totally inconvenient to be expected to spend hours a day poking at some new gimmick, squinting to try and read it! For those who think they need to be at anyone's beck and call 24/7, that's fine, but it's not something I aspire to. Somehow, a 3 inch screen isn't going to replace my 42" TV, anymore that watching on TV is really an adequate substitute for actually being at the track.

Russ said...

Let me say, I dont have a dog in this fight.

All I was pointing out what I believe to be the wave of the future. And if you look back to my original post. I said that television was still the best way to watch a live event.

But you are all missing the obvious. I daresay each of you log on to Jayski several times of day. A Jayski is nothing but a collection of blogs about Nascar news. So just be posting you are doing what you deny.

Have a great holiday season. I myself will go back to F1.

anon 9:47 said...

No where did I 'deny' that people here are heavy Internet users---bloggers and smartphone users (and those of us here) of course are using those sources. But we are only a small portion of NASCAR fans, that is the point I'm trying to make. And the blog is about whether a NASCAR network should be something that NASCAR would want to use to promote their product. That's a no brainer if you can support it financially--and why is it (presumably) working for other sports despite them having the same Twittering, blogging and Internet sources that racing does? I certainly agree that NASCAR needs to embrace the future, but that would still include television. People didn't buy these 72 inch monstrosities for nothing.

GinaV24 said...

Diane, your comment about needing JD's schedule to figure out where to find NASCAR programming made me think about something else.

When the TV contracts were signed back in 2001, one of the reasons cited was "the fans would know where to tune in each week". Obviously THAT plan has gone out the window along with the rest of the fan friendly ideas.

ancient, your post cracked me up -- gotta keep that crazy aunt out of sight indeed. It used to be I had no problem explaining to people that I am a NASCAR fan even if they thought it was dumb. Now, the sport has gotten so far out of whack that I have trouble admitting it.

PammH said...

Sally-you took the words right out of my mouth! I only have a cell for emergencies-no texting, no pics, etc. I hate that I have to be on twitter, TDP & RB to watch a friggin' race as it is.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Still no response from SPEED on the topic of adding some NASCAR TV news programming before next season.

Anonymous said...

Sally and PammH,

I'm glad to see I'm not alone.

All the alternative advancements are fine for those who want them.

But, all I want is a decent TV broadcast of the race. (and TDP, of course).

I no longer watch any pre-race, post-race, or other cult of broadcaster personality programming.

A NASCAR channel with solid race coverage and quality race programming would be terrific.

I can dream, can't I.....

Makiki
Honolulu

Dot said...

@ Sally, PammH & Makki, Ditto!

GinaV24 said...

funny isn't it? Sounds like most of us fans want just a simple thing - decent coverage of the racing and yet that is totally beyond all the broadcast entities who want to crap it all up with so many bells and whistles.

For the record, I use my phone for calls, too.

SD80MAC said...

Curmudgeonly Old Fart Mode On. I fail to understand the rational of watching sports or entertainment programming on a computer, tablet or smartphone. I think it is ridiculous to use those small screens when you have a widescreen flat panel TV? Why listen to sound on a pair of microscopic sized speakers or earbuds when you have a stereo system with 5 great sounding speakers and a floor rattling sub-woofer?

For the record, I have a computer, a laptop, a 7 inch tablet and a smartphone. I use a computer or tablet to supplement what I get on the TV. I read TDP, Jayski, Race Journal Online and other web sites for the information they present. I use Twitter to communicate with other race fans. But Twitter and all of those other web sites can't give me the interviews with drivers, crew chiefs, owners, etc., or the sites and sounds at the track or in the shops. I do not use Race Buddy - there is already too much use of in-car cameras on ESPN!

And BTW, I use my phone for texting and talking. I have a dictionary app, an app that helps me find the cheapest gasoline when I am traveling, and an app to find restaurants.

Curmudgeonly Old Fart Mode Off. I definitely want a TV channel that is all motorsports all day, every day. TV and Radio can not provide the up to the minute breaking news that we get on Twitter, but I would like to see the followup interviews later the same day.The motorsports TV channel could be all NASCAR, but I would prefer that it cover all kinds of auto racing. I watch all the auto racing I can get except for some of the F1 races. If they were available, I would watch every ARCA, K&N Pro, Whelen and even local short track races on TV.

I listen to the SiriusXM NASCAR during the daytime. There have been a few times this and last week that I heard news there before I saw it on Twitter!

If Fox screws up Speed worse than it already is, I will keep paying extra for it as long as they carry the truck and ARCA races, but if those go away with the new TV contract in 2014, Speed will go away from my cable bill.

Russ said...

You would think that with all the marketing resources available today, and some cable networks having to buy content, that if a need were there somebody would have done it by now.
Particularly as, like JD mentioned the Nascar media group is doing college football games to stay busy.
Businesses operate to make a profit,nothing else and there has to be a sound reason that such a network doesn't exist.