Saturday, February 25, 2012

Post-Race Part Two

ESPN got into the act with an abbreviated post-race show after SPEED did the same in leaving the Camping World Truck Series on Friday night. ESPN had a whopper of a Nationwide Series tilt on Saturday afternoon with mangled machinery and lots of stories to pay off.

What these two networks have in common is that they both cover these respective series exclusively. It was NASCAR's intention that these two support series would benefit from being on only one network for the entire season.

SPEED left without speaking to lots of folks for the debut of the Car Warriors show. It was thirty minutes later than scheduled, but it was the network itself that scheduled it after a live event. There is absolutely no guarantee that a race will end at a specific time.

ESPN had a big ACC college basketball game ready to go as the Nationwide Series race dealt with a late red flag period for SAFER barrier adjustments after an accident. The race telecast ran past the tip-off, so ESPN started the game on the website.

After the race surprise winner James Buescher, shown above, got the checkered flag. But it was what happened on the last lap that made the network's hasty escape annoying. Granted, this race was something of a mess but that is the nature of the beast at Daytona.

One driving force behind the discontent with post-race shows is social media. NASCAR race information is available on almost a real time stream on Twitter and a slower but more informative platform on Facebook. These two content streams often reflect what is going on at the track and the resulting frustration is that the network TV coverage has long since departed.

A lot of folks have weighed in on this topic. As we mentioned, on one side is a fan base who just enjoyed a Nationwide Series race with free live scanners, a RaceBuddy video feed and top of the line network TV coverage. More post-race content would have updated the stories of the race.

On the other is those who believe the race is over when it's over. They feel it is not the TV network's responsibility to show an extended post-race for either the Trucks or Nationwide Series.

The point is that the Sprint Cup Series is already surrounded. Four hours of pre-race shows on three different networks precede every single race. Sunday, it will be five hours for the 500. After each race, SPEED offers multiple hours of recap shows while ESPN uses SportsCenter as a platform for post-race coverage.

Minutes after SPEED left the air on Friday, fans were posting pictures on social media of the hole torn in the frontstretch catchfence after the big crash on the closing laps. The network never updated this situation. Questions were being asked about fan injuries or the situation for the race on Saturday.

After the Nationwide Series race, fans were asking if their favorite drivers were OK after the big crash. Also, they asked for a full field rundown and why Danica Patrick did not talk to ESPN after her crash.

In a way, fans asking for more live post-race TV coverage is a great sign. Interest in both series was solid heading into this first race and the action in both races certainly was exciting. The question is, how should post-race live coverage be delivered?

Neither the trucks or the Nationwide Series have the post-race press conference for the winners streamed at like the Cup Series. SPEED has no weekly TV support show about the trucks and ESPN has never had one for the Nationwide Series.

We have seen both SPEED and ESPN stream content online before with great success. The problem is that type of content is scheduled in advance. The very nature of NASCAR is still at the core of the issue. Once the green flag flies, the time of the checkered flag is anyone's guess.

This is the final season for the website to be operated by Turner Sports. Next year, NASCAR itself will be in charge and that should result in some major changes. Post-race content has to be high on the list as this topic has been debated for several years now.

If you watched the ESPN Nationwide Series telecast, did you get the feeling they rushed off the air? What stories or information did you miss? If ESPN has shifted coverage online would you have watched? How about some suggestions on how to handle this situation in the future?

We want your comments on this topic. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


Roland said...

I shouldnt have to go online to find out about the condition of drivers. I shouldnt have to go online to find out about damage to the catchfence. I shouldnt have to go online to get the bio on the winner of the race (referring to John King). And I really shouldnt have to go online to get the results. Heck, I shouldnt have to go online to hear what Danica has to say, considering they have documented her every breath this week. I am very disappointed in the way Speed handled Friday night. But ESPN, I kinda expected that. It happens every week with them. Why cant they just put post race on ESPN news. A good broadcast would dot the I's and cross the T's for me, so I wouldnt have to go to the internet.

Also, Speed let us down today in addition to last night. What did they have on after the Nationwide race? AJ Allmendinger playing pictionary with Kyle and Rut on Trackside. In years past they would have a special edition of Nascar Victory Lane. At least put on a Speed Center right afterwards. I had to wait 2 hours to finally see some post race interviews.

Add in the fact that the race was dominated by tandem racing, and this was a very frustrating day. Lets hope we race tomorrow, cause the forecast is awful.

Roland said...

And you know what? ESPN had a pretty decent broadcast today. The cameras were too zoomed in and replays were scarce but the worldwide leader was actually pretty good today. The pre race was even good. The discussion on Kurt Busch was fiesty and real and entertaining to watch. They really just ruined all the mojo they had going for them by leaving the air as fast as possible. Whoever determines the run times for NASCAR broadcasts needs to be replaced. And that goes for all of the networks. Ok Im done now.

ptschett said...

I was slightly more annoyed with Speed last night than ESPN today, because of the nature of the subsequent scheduled programs. There are so many times in the fall that stick and ball sports over-run their timeslots and put NASCAR in the same spot that the basketball game was in today. I'm willing to give ESPN a little more slack since they were going to another live event and needed to serve those viewers too. (And then for the fall NSCS Saturday night races there are local ABC affiliates like WDAY that have a standing order to do a standard 6 PM news show and therefore don't cut to NASCAR till, say, Lap 8 of the Richmond race, even though Forum Communications knows there are plenty of NASCAR fans in the area if I judge based upon the articles in the Fargo Forum when Tony Stewart comes to race at the RRVS dirt track, but that's another discussion and will be the subject of a letter from me to the editor of the Fargo Forum if it happens again.)

Mark P. said...

Excellent point on the post race coverage today could have easily went on ESPNNews. But, nothing.
And Speed has no excuse. That was an EPIC FAIL. They want you to tune in to the Truck race, then treat Truck fans like second class citizens. Always have. Even when they tape delay qualifying. Nothing surprises me when it comes to how shitty SPEED treats Truck fans.

WickedJ said...

Gunna have to go with Roland. If a network can devote multiple hours of air time to pre-race but cant devote 45 minutes to post-race to talk to drivers who were in the big wrecks then why the hell do they have these TV contracts?

SPEED's stupid car warriors show shouldve been pushed back to the top of the hours. Interviews with all the drivers in the wreck, a followup with the track security people to see if anyone was hurt and how about a interview with John's parents

ESPN should know damn well better than to put live events back to back, every single year theyve had NASCAR back theyve run into this issue of one event running over into the other(Was it Charlotte a few years ago a basketball game JUST ended in time for the pace laps) Worst case scenario bump either the post-race for NASCAR or the pre-game for basketball over to ESPN2/news/classic/3/whatever

Long story made short, its Daytona and theres ALWAYS a billion stories to follow up with after a race and to not do everything possible to follow up with them is just #pfr

Vicky D said...

It was like after the wrecks in the truck race, although the booth said - so and so has been released from the in care facility - why can't they just have someone there to show us and interview them? Very disappointed with the rush to go off the air in both races. Wonder what is going to happen tomorrow?

Paul A. said...

My first thought when the race went past 4 p.m. Eastern today was "there goes the post-race coverage." ESPN's problem seems to be tight windows for their live events. Last year they had college football run past the scheduled times, which cut into the NASCAR coverage, and treated the football post-game coverage the same as today's Nationwide race. While it's not ideal, I don't see it as an anti-NASCAR bias, just poor scheduling and over-booking of live sports.

I'm less forgiving of Speed's decision to end its coverage to go to a pre-recorded program, despite already being 30 minutes long. It is another example of them emphasizing the lifestyle shows over coverage of actual racing (see Race Hub at 6 p.m., although the late night re-air of that show seems to be back). Any idea if Speed is getting paid by the producers of these shows to carry them? That would at least explain their motivation to push them over in-house productions.

Sophia said...

Not looking too promising for things to improve post race. Same old same old :(

DVR'd truck race & watched it hours later. !@#$%? off they cut early for fricking "reality show" after so many crashes. Same today. Dissed

scarletandmaize said...

I was surprised ESPN's post-race coverage lasted as long as it. I thought they would go to the basketball game as soon as they announced the winner.

papaserge said...

I'm not at all surprised and understand why ESPN would cut away from their race coverage ASAP to get to the college basketball game. It's not like they were cutting to "Car Warriors" or another crappy reality show.

However, it should be noted that NASCAR isn't the only sport ESPN gives this crappy treatment to -- oddly enough, college basketball gets thrown into that mix too.

Usually on Saturdays, games will be joined in progress after a previous one, have ZERO recap as to what happened before the national audience was sent to the game and normally signs off without a single post-game interview -- even if the game ends before the two-hour window.

Does it suck that NASCAR post-race coverage gets shortchanged? Of course it does. However, things could always be worse when ESPN has rights.

SD80MAC said...

ESPN has always blocked live sports events back to back. Nothing new there, but then this is Daytona with pack racing huge crashes instead of the 2 car tango of the past year. They should have expected it to go over and planned to switch to ESPN News or ESPN Classic like they have done sometimes in the past when another live event over ran the NASCAR start time. Knowing ESPN's habits, I was fully expecting them to bail out and prepared to switch to SiriusXM for post race (and I passed on some of Claire B Lang's comments on Twitter). What really caught me off guard today was no post race Danica interview, especially after they said she would not talk to the media until after the race (and I just happened to be away from the radio when/iff she was on). SiriusXM, if you are listening, you need to add DVR-like pause-rewind-fast forward to future models, HaHa!

I was surprised by the number of callers Claire B got complaining about ESPN's post race quick exit and the number of Tweets she talked about receiving with complaints.

Then adding insult to yesterday's Speed injury, I watched Trackside on DVR after Claire B left the air and what did I see? A fricking STOOPID first-up segment the called "The Real Trackside" poking fun at a certain reality series on another network. Later in the evening, I just happened to see a twitter conversation between Krista Voda, Becky Blankenship and a view who complained about Trackside. The reply I saw was either Krista or Becky asking that person for suggestions. Being my normal not bashful self, I chimed in with my suggestion for "more serious interviews, less goofy comedy and please bring back Larry Mac." I never got a reply from either of them. Maybe that is good or bad. I did not get into a round of keyboard fisticuffs like I did last night with Steve Byrnes.

And Speed probably did have a bigger than normal money issue with Car Warriors yesterday, since they most likely had to pay out some bucks for a law suit that was "settled out of court with an undisclosed settlement" regarding an episode last season. Regardless, yesterday was the first time I remember Speed cutting ridiculous short on post race.

NASCAR is obviously the "red headed stepchild" to ESPN and TNT who both have a history of cutting post race short. I guess we can add Speed to that list. It will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow. The weather forecast is for a 50% chance of rain during the afternoon. Joie Chitwood was on The Weather Channel this evening talking about how weather affects races and the drivers and contingency plans, which do not amount to much. With the possibility of rain delays and pack racing "Big Ones" that take a lot of time to clean up. I'll be prepared to switch to SiriusXM on short notice tomorrow.

The only suggestion I have is when viewers feel dumped on by the networks, they should voice their feelings to the offending network people on Twitter, Facebook and by email directly to the network. Let them know you are unhappy and you will remember that when it comes time to spend your hard earned dollars wither with one of the network's sponsors or a competing sponsor. That's what I did on Speed's "Contact Us" form on their web page. It will probably not get any further that some underling in the company, but someone will see it.

Bill Hicks said...

I have to disagree with you on having a long post race show. I believe there are two kinds of fans. The fan that watches a race for the race, and the fan that watches the race for their favorite driver(s). I believe that the majority of viewers are the second kind of fan, and when the race is over, if their driver didn't win, they change the channel. I would not be surprised if ratings dropped severely as soon a the checkered flag flew.

With other sports you could assume that 50% of the viewers are interest in watching the post game show cause their team won, but with racing, it could be as little as one fan in 43 (36 for trucks) that would be interrested in the post race show.

On a personal side, if my favorite driver is in the top 3 I'll watch the post race, but if he isn't the broadcasters would be lucky to have me watch the cool down lap.

So how do they fix this, or can they!

Anonymous said...

I truly admire the Planeteer's perserverence! I gave up on watching nascar last year. I watched the shootout until I saw it was the same old, same old, then I walked away. It is not about the race or the fans, it is about espn, speed, waltrip, etc. I will continue to get my nascar news from this site and Jayski. Thanks JD for your work. MC

Garry said...

With weather being a possible factor, if the race is pushed late, and Danican't/Daniwon't gets caught up in a wreck that puts HER in the catchfence, and FOX 's coverage is going to bleed into Animation Domination Sunday, will they interview her, or will the Simpsons, as usual, take precedence?

Charlie Spencer said...

Yes, ESPN went to a basketball game pretty quickly. As I recall, they've left other events quickly to jump to a just-started race. Whether this is good policy is arguable, but I don't see them handling overtime racing events any differently than they handle other sports. Some of y'all scream bloody murder when networks stick around for post-game interviews in other sports, even when all it steps on is the pre-race show and not the race itself.

earl06 said...

I understand why the networks leave after the end of a race, they are being paid to show other programming as well, and I don't fault them. Only hardcore fans are really interested in an extended post-race show.

NASCAR should provide a post-race online that is easy to find and consistently available. TNT tried this but it was poorly done, with a little effort it could become something special.

bevo said...

Since I gave up on pre-race shows a few years ago they would pick up a viewer here if they would devote that time to a scheduled post-race. For me it's much more informative and interesting. Pre-race is basically "experts" making predictions that never come true and drivers with the obligatory "we've got a good machine today thanks to the boys back in the shop" remarks.

LoisOlivia said...

ESPN's story wrecked out on lap 50...there was no reason to "hang around"...

ddsbstrb said...

I had to work yesterday afternoon and did a DVR of the race. I watched it, late last evening and after the race was finished, I thought I, accidentally, hit the "Live" button on the DVR, because a basketball game seemed to come out of now where. After checking things out, it was just one of those hasty conclusions of a race, which ESPN has done, frequently, in the past.

Oh, well!

Ir42nate2bhere said...

I also believe that when it is over, and the show ran over, it is over. Now i did not agree with the TNT style of cutting before their window was over. Everyone typing opinions on here have internet access, so why not trust these journalists and websites to tell the stories after the race. What makes it different to see it on TV, especially since many here seem to think those broadcast reside somewhere near Hades. Honestly very few nation sports telecasts have post event shows on the channel they are shown, Heck even the Super Bowl post game is just the trophy celebrations, news and analysis is left to others. And there are also cost involved with extended telecast, these are businesses after all.

Ben Worcester said...

I am still not sure if Kyle Busch is ok. I'm certain he is, because of the coverage it would receive if he were not, but they didn't fill us in. Ever! Some sort of contingency plan needs to be in place for this.