Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Another NASCAR Online Hurdle Falls


In the midst of Wednesday's breaking NFL news about Tebow, Manning and suspensions there was one little sports news item that you may have missed.

After years of haggling over contracts, payments and Internet rights another key hurdle in NASCAR's digital transition has fallen. The SiriusXM NASCAR channel will now be streamed online for all types of computers and smart phones. In our little world, this story is huge.

It's been six long years of hitting NASCAR, Turner Sports and the SiriusXM gang over the head with a big stick. Turner Sports owned the rights and wanted to get paid. SiriusXM had little cash on-hand but yearned for a larger audience. NASCAR just shrugged and pointed to the contracts. It was a classic media stand-off.

It was January of this year when things began to change. "NASCAR Regains Digital Rights" was a TDP column that documented the radical move by NASCAR of finally stepping-in and buying Turner Sports out of the old digital rights contract.

The ramifications of this move continued Wednesday with the announcement that NASCAR's SiriusXM channel was expanding availability through online streaming.

Here are some excerpts from the announcement:

Sirius XM Radio and NASCAR announced today an agreement to simulcast the programming on the SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel in its entirety – which includes live broadcasts of every national series race, plus daily NASCAR talk – online for SiriusXM subscribers nationwide.

Starting with this weekend’s races in Fontana, CA (March 24-25), subscribers who have SiriusXM Internet Radio access can listen to live broadcasts of every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on the SiriusXM NASCAR radio channel through their computers at siriusxm.com and through the SiriusXM Internet Radio App for smartphone and wireless devices.

The channel’s daily talk programming will begin simulcasting online on Thursday, March 22. Throughout the season, NASCAR fans get a daily lineup of call-in talk shows that feature up-to-the-moment news, expert analysis and interviews with the biggest names in the sport.

“Extending our broadcasting agreement with SiriusXM was a big off season move for the sport,” said Brian France, Chairman and CEO of NASCAR. “A dedicated NASCAR channel is important for our teams, tracks, drivers and sponsors and is crucial for fan engagement and audience growth. Being able to simulcast SiriusXM NASCAR Radio online to subscribers nationwide will allow us additional opportunities to take our product to new fans in new places.”

“SiriusXM NASCAR Radio has become a part of many NASCAR fans’ daily lives and with so many fans now connecting to their sport through handheld devices, we want to give them an easy way to access the sport they love online and in mobile settings,” said Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM’s President and Chief Content Officer. “NASCAR is an excellent partner and its programming continues to be a key element in the SiriusXM lineup. We’re very pleased to now deliver to our subscribers live coverage of every race broadcast, plus our unparalleled daily talk and analysis, through their computers and mobile devices in addition to their satellite radios.”


Are there still some issues to overcome and some bugs to work out? Of course there are. Purchasing SiriusXM just for NASCAR is not possible, it's a package deal. Ultimately, it is now up to SiriusXM and the NASCAR program producers to get new fans to migrate to the service with quality content. A free trial period would be a nice touch as a start.

In the past several weeks, we have seen both the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and the Performance Racing Network (PRN) expand online to offer streaming from both their respective websites and through a variety of easily available radio apps. Suddenly, races and featured weekly programs were not just limited to the radio.

The new announcement of SiriusXM's NASCAR channel now joining that group with online access is a final step in having all the "radio" coverage of the sport available to fans through a variety of devices, including smart phones.

Before we turn our attention again to the online video and television topics, it's just nice to be able to take a moment and enjoy the fact that finally the sport seems to be moving in the right direction where digital technology is concerned.

We welcome 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.

47 comments:

PammH said...

Thanks for the info, but Sirius wants ANOTHER $3.50 a month for me to get them online or wherever. That is highway robbery, imo. NO thanks! It should be rolled into the acct you already have...grrr. I think this may bite them in the butt.

LoriFromPeru said...

Major fail because listening to any SiriusXM channels online is EXTRA. It isn't included in your membership. No one seems to be discussing this.

Roland said...

Wooooooooooo

and might I add

Hooooooooooo

Long overdue!

OSBORNK said...

I already pay about $13.00 per month for Sirius in my car and they want an additional $3.50 so I can hear it on-line. That is no bargain and not something I would consider. It should be included in the basic subscription to keep their current subscribers.

Anonymous said...

I can only say that there are an awful lot of us out here who will go to great lengths to listen to a race broadcast that does not have a Waltrip involved. If they can promise me that then I will sign up pretty quick.

RacingGirl88 said...

This is great news! I already pay for the extra $ for the convenience of being able to listen to SiriusXM on my smartphone and online. This nominal fee is worth the price for me to hear the programs and music I want to hear on demand. Nothing in this world is free. Easy for people to gripe about a fact that will never change. You get what you pay for period.

This NASCAR fan is completely pleased! Thanks for talking about it JD! Appreciate you talking about this topic year after year. Glad things are changing for the better.

RacingGirl88

SD80MAC said...

Anon 8:57...
You got it. No Waltrips! The people calling the races will be either MRN or PRN announcers, depending on which track the races are at. The people hosting the other programs, with a couple exceptions (Chocolate Myers - Ol' Ironhead's gasman, and Buddy Baker) are also MRN or PRN people. The only time you will hear a Wltrip or a Wallace will be if they are interviewed for some reason.

Anonymous said...

$3.50 is dirt cheap and so is $13.00 a monthe for SiriusXM. Spend a little less on coffee, beer and cigarettes. If you are a NASCAR fan SiriusXM is a most and so is the streaming.

AncientRacer said...

It's been six long years of hitting NASCAR, Turner Sports and the SiriusXM gang over the head with a big stick.

And John Daly's 12 Angry Ants.

Don't leave out the 12 Angry Ants who live on this odd little Planet, Far, Far Away

I cannot remember who first said that, might have been Pockrass, but I like it. :)

Mike in Pittsburgh said...

I have 2 lifetime Sirius subscriptions pre merger so those have the free online but my XMs that came with my newer cars don't. When the mobile app came out it wouldn't let me use it because for some reason they think that should cost extra. No big deal I just used the website. I just tried tonight to see if the nascar channel is live and now for some reason I can't log in from my phone. I see another class action lawsuit in their future if they are blocking it to try to get me to pay again for what I already paid for.

Anonymous said...

Do you now understand the diversity SiriusXMNASCAR will have? The captive audience will be no more, more content more folks to chime in. The same folks wont be calling in over and over to clog up the airwaves. Yes that means those certain shows that are Standing up and such will have to not be so how shall we say so Anti Fan??

Anonymous said...

Maybe for you, John. Rest of us? Why bother?

I'm trying to figure out where to beg, borrow, or steal a full sized jack, got a cat that is acting weird, and I gotta figure out where to get a timing belt and probably a half dozen nuts and bolts for my motor.

I ain't signing up for a thing atm. Nice of Nascar and gang to screw me out of enjoyment unless I pay a ton of money - at which time, I can still get screwed....or I can just skip everything, fix my timing belt, hopefully, go "meh!"

Nah. Nascar can go hang.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize Americans had to pay extra for Sirius online. Here in Canada it is included with the radio subscription. I'm even more surprised Sirius Canada had channel 90 online at the same time as USA. They usually take their time when it comes to making such changes.

Anonymous said...

I am an XM radio subscriber in my vehicle. You think the Serius people have a problem with the extra $3.50?

Well, if I want the NA$CAR channel in my vehicle, then I have to pay an extra $3.50 over my existing plan for that, and another $3.50 if I want to hear it on-line and on my phone.

No Way is listening to NAS$CAR worth shelling out another $7.00 a month.

Sorry, just isn't worth it!!
J.R.

OSBORNK said...

Anon 11:04....

I agree that $3.50 per month is not much nor is $13.00. I had a hard time signing up for Sirius and I got it only because I live in the sticks and there are not many broadcast radio stations. I did not get it for NASCAR and I have found it boring and biased. I was taught years ago that if you watch your pennies the dollars will take care of themselves. That is one reason I don't smoke, drink alcohol or buy overpriced coffee. By watching the pennies that are not important to you, I retired debt free at 55 with enough assets to buy the toys I want.

GinaV24 said...

Well it's a step in the right direction. Thanks to the folks here who posted that it will be an EXTRA fee to have that capability. I gave up my subscription because the NASCAR content IMO had lost the quality that I was interested in - no qualifying and the fans calling in were being abused. Reading the news made me think I should renew it. I'll have to consider what I'm going to do if its subscription PLUS extra for online.

JD, when they say simulcast does that mean I can indeed get qualifying on the radiio or on my computer again?

glenc1 said...

if someone said to me "$15 a month for all", I'd think that was fair. But if I'd been a loyal Sirius customer (I'm not) I'd be pretty po'd that they wanted me to ante up another $3.50 a month for the online. But I think they'd have to go a long way to convince me that the content was fair & unbiased and I'm just not seeing that from what others have said about the shows. I personally dislike almost all call in talk shows since I don't really care what Joe in Des Moines thinks about Bristol. Once in a while there's a good question, but too much other stuff to have to listen to. I think it's a good move to add it, mind you, but I just wouldn't be willing to pay that much for it under those circumstances.

GinaV24 said...

Like others, Waltrip and Wallace free zones are worth the price!

TEX said...

Lol GinaV24...
That's sooo true!

Anonymous said...

Great, now everyone who has been missing out can experience for themselves the utter craptastic programming that is NASCAR radio on Sirius/XM.

Oh, sure, it is nice to be able to stream the live race... but that isn't really any different from listening to MRN/PRN... ok, maybe not as good.

And then the rest of the week: Call-in shows. Day after day of call-in shows. So if you feel like you've really been missing out because you don't get to hear what "Dwayne from Texarkana" thinks about the Bristol layout... here is your chance to soak up all that wonderful programming.

The only good non-race thing that ever happened on that channel was Tony Stewart's radio show -- which hasn't been on in years.

Bruce Simmons said...

At first, it seems like a win-win development. But on principle, getting charged additional fees for content you're already paying for seems a bit counter-productive.

In this economy, it might be a better choice to let subscribers crank out their streaming access and let their co-workers and friend become envious of the feed of content info for NASCAR.

On the other hand, having to not be dependent on being out from under trees, cities, bridges and anything else that blocks a signal as one might stream to their smartphone does have its appeal.

I'm torn on the principle issue.

I already pay a subscription for a receiver, an additional fee for an additional receiver and now, I have to ponder streaming. (Like another, additional receiver.)

I'll probably buckle because SiriusXM Channel 90 does have great content and good race calls.

I said probably!

Charlie Spencer said...

Anon at 9:57, you can often find MRN streamed for free.

On the other hand, I don't know why people expect to get content delivered over the Internet for free. Existing Sirius subscribers, sure. But as to the rest of us, Sirius, like many web content providers, is in business to make money.

Anonymous said...

Sirius is just more button pushing on my car radio. Horribly programmed radio. The NASCAR channel is more proof of it. Clair B Lang after all these years still can't do a decent interview. And when she plays back audio she tells the audience 2 or 3 times what they're going to hear before she plays the clip and THEN tells us what we just heard. She makes herself part of the story i.e "I'm there ain't I cool?" Half the time she gives the driver the answer in the question and she refuses to ask the hard questions because she wants drivers to like her. No journalistic stones whatsoever. Free radio may be horribly programmed too, but at least I ain't paying for it.

Shayne Flaherty said...

I'm a SiriusXM subscriber and have been for several years. I love satellite radio. Music is the main reason I subscribe. My All Access package already allowed me to use SiriusXM on my desktop, tablet, and smartphone. Prior to yesterday, I could only listen to Channel 90 inside of my vehicle.

I can't wait to be in Rockingham in a few weeks for the truck race. Perfect timing.

My TV will be muted on Sunday's until the stooges are removed from the broadcast booth.

I see nothing but GOOD things, as a result of this long awaited access.

Anonymous said...

As far as I have been able to find out I as a XM subscriber with the Best of Sirius for the NASCAR channel can not get the online content for the $3.50 a Mo. I was willing to pay that to be able to listen while working on the computer in the living room. Not going to pay the $13.95 or what ever it was for it though.

Ir42nate2bhere said...

Well this was interesting. As a non Sirius subscriber i took the 7 day trial to "kick the tires" as they say. The NASCAR channel is not included in the package for the free trial, so, no chance for this guy to spend $15.00 a month for internet radio. A Fail in my book.

Anonymous said...

Thanks sirius but I prefer to eat on a regular basis

Anonymous said...

Have a friend who spoke to customer service this morning. It is only available online if you have the ‘Premiere’ package (own a radio) and have the online capability in addition to that (an extra $3.50). It’s not available if you are only an Internet subscriber.

Ir42nate2bhere said...

So if anonymous 2:07 is correct, they did not add the option of new subscribers with internet only interest, just gave the option to current or future radio subscribers to listen ( for an added fee) on their computer or mobile device. Now it went from Fail to FAIL!

Anonymous said...

Wow, some of you people will complain about anything. I already paid the extra amount for the online listening as I listen to Stern when I am at work. If $3.50 a month breaks the bank, you need to get off the computer and get a real job. I just renewed my Sirius and they gave me both subscriptions (car and internet) at half price for the full year. Great that NASCAR is now included on the App and online.

Anonymous said...

An extra $3.50 shouldn’t be a deal breaker. But there is no reason it shouldn’t be available for those who are already Internet only subscribers. Stupid. If you are one of those and want to have the capability to listen to the NASCAR channel online you have to buy a radio, etc and sign up for the Premiere plan AND pay an extra $3.50 for online capability…which are already subscribing to!! That is an extra $50-100 for a radio, and another $5/month from the Internet only subscription.

The Loose Wheel said...

About 4 years ago, streaming SIRIUS/XM was free online for their lowest quality. Then, they did away with it. My subscription is already 15 dollars a month, and I am having a tougher and tougher time justifying it with as many online alternatives as there are that exist. I can back door NASCAR's site and listen to in car audio on my smart phone, I can also get MRN if I choose to. And, since the merger, the personalities for the daily talk shows have gotten progressively worse. Aside from Buddy Baker, there is nothing I want from their daily shows. It becomes a repeat of the previous show. Ever since The Driver's Seat got killed and Kernan got axed, it hasn't been as good. Just my two cents anyways.

But, this is an important step forward for the sport. That much I am more than willing to admit. Kudos NASCAR. The satellite company is ruining this one for me.

Anonymous said...

On a really positive note, NASCAR is listening to the fans in regards to social media, content streaming and other things. This is really big whether you want to use it or not.

Shayne Flaherty said...

Contrary to popular belief, SiriusXM is a satellite radio service that you have to pay for.

I pay $199 a year for everything. That's less than $17 a month, which now includes NASCAR channel 90 on my desktop, tablet, and smartphone.

I wouldn't pay $17 a month just for channel 90. I listen to music 24/7. That's the primary reason I'm a SiriusXM subscriber.

I don't have satellite TV or cable. Gone is my $91 a month DishNetwork bill. I pay a private service $4.99 a month for HD television programmimg which includes all Cup races.

Now, I can look forward to the upcoming race at Rockingham, knowing I'll have SiriusXM Channel 90 on my smartphone and tablet.

Seems that many posters feel they should get SiriusXM's premium programming for free. What's up with the entitlement mentality?

bobbydjr said...

Great news for me, because I already have the online subscription, which I use here at work. So adding the NASCAR channel, which is something I've been wanting, comes at no extra cost to me. Finally, it's here.

Anonymous said...

I don’t think anyone expects to get it for free but if it isn’t online for everyone then say so.
Don’t have this big announcement where you advertise the channel being available online when it isn’t really. Even now it is promoted on the website as being “available online” but those who subscribe online only, which is still $15/month, are not able to get the channel without spending an extra $100 to buy a radio and paying close to $20/month to get access to a channel that is not significantly different from several others (NFL or NHL for example) which are available under the online only subscription.
If I am either on a computer or “mobile” (on a bus/train) 75% of the time I shouldn’t be forced to buy a radio that I will only use at home just to have access to a channel that is similar to others that I already have access to.

Ken said...

I am very pleased. Good work SiriusXM. Well played! Listened today at the office for the first time ever!!!

James said...

Sirius...are you listening to the paying
customers? They want more for less.
Better listen and drop those $3.50 fees for
This or that.
You can't nickel and dime us for stuff we already
Have and are paying for.

Let me say it another way.

I got the money to pay extra but I'm not going to.
Not going to pad your bottom line.

Anonymous said...

I have been an XM subscriber sin ce 2001. I only get the NASCAR channel sometimes on special offers. Have they changed it so that XM subscribers can listen without buying the best of "serius" or whatever?

Dylan said...

In case it's not clear, you cannot just sign up for their SiriusXM Internet Radio service (14.99/mo) and listen to NASCAR (channel 90). You must be a Premier subscriber (17.99/mo) and add the internet service to that (3.50/mo). According to their customer service you cannot currently even be Premier without buying a Satellite radio.

Sucks to figure this out the hard way.

The press release says outright that "subscribers who have SiriusXM Internet Radio access can listen to live broadcasts of every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race," so I imagine they will at least make Channel 90 available during races to internet-only subscribers.

MortonGroveDon said...

OSBORNK......No beer????? I woulda traded retired at 60 to buy some beer.....
Ill just keep pulling in the MRN station out of Milwaukee.......

Daly Planet Editor said...

Dylan,

Thanks for spelling it out. I have emails in to SiriusXM and NASCAR about the situation.

Perhaps we can get a free trial that includes the NASCAR channel and subsequent online access to that channel without all the bells and whistles.

I will update this story early next week.

JD

MikieJ34 said...

Anybody who has been a Sirius or XM Subscriber has known about the $2.99 online fee (I jumped on mine as soon as they started charging). The reason they started charging this fee was cause when Sirius took over XM (it was never a merger) they made a deal with the FCC that they could not raise the BASE sub price for a few years, so gone were the lifetime sub offers & free internet listening. I saw someone comment on wanting qualifying to be broadcast again. MRN/PRN gave up on that snooze fest cause their affiliates would not give up prime drive time radio to put people to sleep.

Buschseries61 said...

Good to hear things are starting to change JD.

Anonymous said...

Dropped Sirius (a 3 radio subscription) in 2007 for MOG (similar to Pandora or Slacker, but CD quality music streaming to my iPhone & iPad & desktop computer all for just ONE monthly fee of less than $10)....Lost the NASCAR station because of it, but the music and content is SO much better sounding, never a commercial, can make unlimited playlists and/or personal radio channels, AND I can cache ANY song/CD in their catalog I want on my mobile devices (this is huge).

Sorry Sirius, $20 a month for one station I want to listen to in low quality streaming and commercials all the time? Not happening.

And no....I don't work for MOG in any way. Just a very happy customer that woke up to quality streaming content.....at a quality price.

MRM4 said...

That's good news for those with Sirius who are willing to pay the extra money to get this. I don't have it, so it doesn't affect me any.

Erik in Thailand said...

SiriusXM Internet Radio only subscribers lost their access to NASCAR channel 90 effective today. I phoned them (from Thailand) to ask them why and they said it was an "update" and that they would register my complaint with someone with "higher authority". The nice lady told me I could regain my access to NASCAR by purchasing and activating a new SiriusXM radio with a new subscription. Sort of hard to do when they don't have service outside of North America. I'm bummed.