Saturday, February 25, 2012

Post-Race Debate Rages Again

It only took about ten minutes and fans on social media, email and this blog were already yelling about it. I was yelling about it too.

The debut of the Camping World Truck Series was held Friday night at the Daytona International Speedway. Basically, it was a freight train ride for the first three-quarters of the race mixed with some isolated accidents. No one was injured.

The final portions of the race consisted of several accidents involving key personalities in the sport. Ultimately, the final laps were marred by an accident that saw one driver's truck get up into the catch fence in front of the grandstands.

The race ended at 10:20PM, which was 20 minutes longer than SPEED had scheduled for the event. After getting the drivers back around to pit road, the network did some brief interviews of the top three drivers and the winning owner before departing in what some called a hasty manner ten minutes later.

What was scheduled for 10PM was the debut of a new season of Car Warriors. This "reality" TV show was panned last year and resulted in a lawsuit claiming the producers manipulated the outcome to make the best TV, not produce an honest result. On Friday night, this show started 30 minutes late.

A pretty hefty debate quickly got underway with folks making points on both sides. Here are some of those issues and then you can throw in your two cents.

Here were my points to argue:

The Camping World Truck Series is the only major NASCAR series carried on SPEED from start to finish. The focus should have been to take as long a time as needed to take care of the stories that unfolded during the race.

This is the best opportunity for SPEED and NASCAR to get fans involved in the personalities of the drivers, including the rookie winner of the race. That gives the fans a reason to then tune into the next event and develops fan interesting for the season.

The final accident put a truck into the catch fence and appeared to completely flip the truck over while airborne. TV should have updated the viewers on the status of those involved and any injuries to fans before departing. Also, significant damage to the catch fence could affect Saturday's on-track activity.

Here is the other side of the coin:

The network had already run 20 minutes past the scheduled off time and allowed ten more minutes for interviews prior to departing. The entire telecast ran 30 minutes long.

The trucks are not a major series and the fact that they kept wrecking over and over again is what forced the race to run long in the first place.

TV is not obligated to stay past the checkered flag and in this case allowing time for interviews made sure viewers got to see some key drivers before departing.

Where do you come down on this issue? Did you watch and were you confused that the network left hastily to a non-live program? Did you know where your favorite driver finished prior to the end of SPEED's telecast? Do you think SPEED did the right thing and the network's own business and programming agenda comes first?

We invite you to share your thoughts by clicking on the comments button below. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


DougS said...

You missed one key point. Speed has seen it's truck series ratings INCREASE the past THREE years. No other series in NASCAR can claim that. Where did those ratings come from. Fans telling other fans how good the product was. How many new first time viewers, are wondering what we loyal viewers have been bragging about? This is the reward loyal viewers of the truck series receive.

I can't understand the thinking of the new executive committee at Speed. Why would you promo a series premiere following a live event that has an unscheduled ending time? That had to be talked about at programming meetings.

I saw one comment that Speed's new direction is not NASCAR oriented. I would argue that with amazing coverage of speed weeks up to tonight. And I'm sure Race Day and victory lane will not disappoint on Sunday.

I do hope that tonight's programming issue will be discussed and resolved, as 14 of 22 races are to be broadcast in prime time slots.

I only access my social media, web based information during commercials and mostly wait until after the race. However, I will have my laptop plugged in and have the website running for the new MRN streaming feed, in case of any of the networks prioritizing other programming over NASCAR.

Zetona said...

What sort of ratings does "Car Warriors" get? If they're not near the Truck ratings, maybe the short postrace was a ploy to get more people to see the season debut. None of that justifies leaving the postrace so soon, not when there's a great story in Victory Lane and possible injuries in the stands. It's sort of like when ESPN deigned to interview AJ Allmendinger after he'd flipped on the final lap at Talladega back in 2010. No fans were at risk, but it was a strange decision--as was only showing two very limited camera angles of the wreck when they'd hyped the Big One for the whole race. That's in the past, but I'd think Speed would have done better with the Coulter incident, especially given how they covered Paludo's huge shunt.

bevo said...

I can see both sides but to me it comes down to this - surely a live race gets higher ratings than anything else SPEED has except Barrett Jackson. Simple logic would dictate that you please the larger audience.

I can't imagine that there was anyone except the production staff of Pinks Dumbest Garage Warriors or whatever other lame show they have that was sitting by the channel counting down the minutes for it to burst upon the masses.

RPM said...

I think the technical problems are a bigger issue than a 10 minute post-race. For some reason the audio is full of gremlins at Daytona this year. That needs to be the #1 issue addressed before Sunday.

I've seen FOX do similar quickie post-race shows when Sprint Cup races ran long. If they had cut away with no interviews at all then it would have been a problem.

Ken said...

I agree JD, someone at SPEED made a boneheaded decision to leave the end of Camping World Truck Series without all the stories being told and interviews of all the key drivers.

I think he or she got caught up in all the hype of the premier of season #2 of Car Warriors, and forgot, or for that matter, really didn't care that all the loyal NASACR truck racing viewers were left hanging as the post race unfolded and SPEED deserted them and switched to Car Warriors.

They need to get their priorities in order and realize that the Camping World Truck Series is numero uno on their schedule.

Chadderbox said...

I was at the race and there is a huge hole ripped in the catch fence past the tri-oval. One section of the fence is wide open.
I took photos and thought it was huge development. I really don't know if there were any injuries. I was on the scene minutes after the wreck taking photos. I personally did not see any injured person. I am shocked the tv coverage did not follow this story. That is crazy. There is a major section of the fence missing at Daytona. This is a story that should have been followed.

Vicky D said...

We wanted interviews of the drivers who came out of the infield care facility and didn't get it. I don't see a point "racing" to finish up the broadcast to show a reality show. Very disappointed with the end.

Anonymous said...

I really don't see this has a bad thing. Yeah, it sucks that they couldn't run longer but it was already passed it's time slot and I only care to hear from the first few drivers anyways. I know some people wanted to hear from the drivers that crashed but after hearing one driver talk about the wreak, you have pretty much heard all the drivers talk about the wreak. No big deal on my end, SPEED has already given us enough NASCAR coverage the past week and I'm sure they will talk about it tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I had to watch on RaceBuddy since I don't have Speed (thanks TWC). So everything was in real time, could see no reply. Better than nothing. Thanks for the Twitter link to RaceBuddy.

If you have them, Twitter link some fan photos of the catch fence damage.

And do you use a hashtag for Twitter chats during races?

Great columns.

Anonymous said...

Theres really no reality show like nearl ylaunching launching a truck into the stands at DIS.

Compared to the Danica wreck, they did a terrible job in updating us on the driver and fans conditions.

AncientRacer said...

I could not agree more as having seen the race in person the ONLY thing I was really interested in were the interviews, etc at the end of the broadcast that I DVR'd.

Also, as to "Car Warriors", you gotta know the criticism hurts when at the end of the show the host looks dead into the camera and says "This is inot fake!" ;-0

Off this topic: I gave in to inevitability and got a racing twitter account, but #TDP seems to be (for lack of a better term) a "party line". Wonder if there is another hashtag we could (or do?) use?

red said...

first up, before i forget: a major "thank you!" to the entire SPEED team for the great production of the race last night. The camera shots were spot on, the booth was intelligent and engaging, pit road reports were informative, the use of tweets was interesting. the entire "package" was a ideal for getting the truck series season off to a wonderful start.

as for leaving the stories hanging like a florida voter's chad? i truly understand the business concerns that were in play at that moment. from that perspective, there was no other decision. the new season of that "show" was being plugged all race long, including with a countdown clock. race fans would seem to be an ideal audience for such a show (note the use of the word "seem": i'm a race fanatic & i've never watched the show.)

but how are new fans going to be "created" if they can't hear from drivers after a race, if the stories that developed throughout the race aren't immediately covered? there were MANY questions to be answered: how was coulter? how were the fans in those stands? how was the fence for today's race? what about the condition of the SAFER barriers? basically, a race recap show was needed.

perhaps the real issue is, as DougS has suggested, that the programming team, months ago, didn't take all this into consideration and plan the premiere of this new piece of SPEED programming for a different spot.

Daytona races always run long: it's the nature of the beast. by leaving this first race of the season so abruptly, SPEED programming team opened their network to the criticism that SPEED doesn't care about NASCAR. i completely understand that line of thought: anyone who understands the reality of the truck series would have known that the Daytona race would run long and program accordingly. at worst, there would have been time to fill. at best, there would have been a terrific wrap-up to an opening race, a great way to capture fans for next week.

for me, it's a damn shame that such a terrific broadcast is being overshadowed by this. i truly enjoyed the race, was totally captivated by the entire event and can't thank the SPEED team enough for bringing the excitement of the track to me, to home viewer.

Buschseries61 said...

Honestly, SPEED needed only 5 to 10 minutes at most to finish off Daytona coverage. They did an excellent job the entire race until then. In this economy, its frustrating to see a good reality cut short for a fake one.

Michael Stoffel said...

Speed has been spitting out the bit all week. From the horrible audio problems Thursday...(fox's problem, but they carried it.) to putting up a countdown clock immediately after the race telling us they were TNTing us. Scanty follow up interviews, progress reports on drivers dropped and so many other interesting info they just ignored. We've come to expect better from them. Big FAIL!

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Speed execs didn't know how that episode of Garage Wars was going to end so they had to get there not to miss it!!!???

What a boneheaded decision SPEED

starrcade76 said...

It was a quick exit considering how the race ended.

The problem was that for the first time that I can remember, SPEED had been pushing this show as coming on after the Truck race. It seems like in past years it may just been a replay of Trackside or of the race itself, after they signed-off live.

I'd think there must be some sort of research done, where they know how long the audience is retained after a race is done. And tried to carry over the truck audience into that next show before losing them.

But they probably could have used a few more minutes of past-race, to sort things out last night.

Garry said...

Let me get this straight: The networks strive so hard to gear their programming to "lifestyle based" shows, re:reality, yet the one TRUE reality show stares them right in the face, and they are too stupid to see it. A show where raw emotions boil over into heated debate, where contestants face death on a weekly basis, where the audience is live and raw and right there, and the audience faces the chance of being invloved, and can face the same dangers as the contestants.... Hmmmm, why would you want that, when they can fabricate story lines, bore the hell out of people, dumb them down, and get sued?

tommy1946 said...

Regarding the quick end - disappointed but not surprised. Why would the race fan expect "reporting" vs. "hype"? However, I really enjoyed Speed's use of cameras and angles as compared to the other networks. Wished they could put the whole package together. Hang in there Mr. Daly. I saw some Twitter comments (defenses) from media that defended their quick show end. Basically, they mostly boiled down to we were tired and had worked all day. Well, there are a lot of folks in this country that would love to get a paycheck again and be tired from working hard and having a long day!

Anonymous said...

I thought the coverage was really good! I didn't realize that they had finished coverage until I got on here this morning. I had DVR'd the race and finished watching after they had interviewed a couple drivers.

don't get me wrong, I am a big fan, but had seen all that I needed before tuning out.

Good show!

Sophia said...

I've given up on TPTB on sPeed. they are nothing but chuckleheads that cater to the bottom feeders of fake McTv 'reality' shows. In their defense (Playing devil's advocate) just like any other network. Remember when History Channel & Bravo & Biography had good shows? yea, i hardly do either.

I dvr'd the truck race & came home & FF thru it towards the center because I was tired. First, i could not believe all the wrecks (Why were the trucks wrecking like the cars with shorter spoilers) They're a different vehicle set up.

the last few laps were expensive pieces of mobiles turned into junk with firey crashes.

I hope all the drivers are ok and the fans hit by debris as well.

I love Mike Joy & Steve Barnes, and the gang, but their head honcho on SPEED continues to disappoint true fans.

On the other hand, JD & Others, after the Superbowl network tv ran off quickly to show some reality show why should the truck series be any different :-(

It would've been nice to get follow up but sadly, we've come to EXPECT disappointment from Speed & Fox correct?

Bad camera angles (missed in of shootout race w bad camera, could only see on the replay) too much camera switching, zoom, only one car-finishes-the-race-etc. And the tasteless in car cam of Danica Patrick after her very hard hit.

I am glad they kept the camera farther away after Miguel's crash last night but I bet that's a different director. Even tho i ff much of the race there were lots of wide angles from what I could see.

I've been through a lot this past year & really want to gripe less about the racing coverage but it does no good.

Also if my rinky dink CCh radio station can stop their robocomputer from switching from MRN to other shows midstream, I shall enjoy the voices on MRN this summer!


By the way, any updates on Barney Hall? If his friends are reading this, do send him healing thoughts & prayers from Ohio. I miss his voice but he needs to take care of himself.

Dot said...

I didn't find out until today on Twitter that there were 2 fans hurt by the debris in the Joey Coulter wreck. Minor, and they'll be OK. Of course SPEED couldn't tell us that because they left early, even though they ran over.

Are the new guys at SPEED old ones from BSPN, or are they using the BSPN model for race coverage?

@red, I loved your comments: "as for leaving the stories hanging like a florida voter's chad?" and "Daytona races always run long: it's the nature of the beast. by leaving this first race of the season so abruptly, SPEED programming team opened their network to the criticism that SPEED doesn't care about NASCAR. i completely understand that line of thought: anyone who understands the reality of the truck series would have known that the Daytona race would run long and program accordingly. at worst, there would have been time to fill. at best, there would have been a terrific wrap-up to an opening race, a great way to capture fans for next week." Summed it up pretty well.

I don't know why we race fans are treated like crap and the ball sports fans are treated like gold. You see it everyday on BSPN. Six shows of Sportscenter and we lose the Roundtable on Mondays. Now SPEED has joined in with their precious reality shows. Face it fellow race fans, we're screwed.

Charlie Spencer said...

Okay, I'm getting mixed signals here. Everyone keeps talking about what wonderful resources are available on the Internet. Then some complain because the post-race broadcast doesn't interview everyone.

I thought ten minutes was plenty. I'm happy with hearing from the top three or four finishers, regardless of which series I'm watching. I love Ward Burton, but he wasn't a factor and didn't merit being interviewed. As to waiting for fan accident reports, those could take considerable time. How long would some of you have the network hang around?

And no, I'm not a 'Car Warriors' fan and hate 'reality' programs.