Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wednesday TV/Media Notes

Here are some TV and media items crossing the desk this week:

It's been a little quiet as we wait for the final TV ratings from the Sprint Cup Series race in Phoenix. The overnight numbers were a 5.0 rating with a 10 share. That is down from the previous season and is the lowest overnight rating in five years. We will have more on the ratings race when final PIR numbers are released on Wednesday. Click here to view the TV ratings chart.

ESPN is promoting a gain of a little over 10% in Nationwide Series ratings, reporting a 1.7 cable TV rating with an audience of 2.4 million homes. That is slightly above any of the spring Phoenix races the network has covered. One can only imagine how many new fans tuned-in to see Danica Patrick, only to have her fade quickly.

Speaking of ESPN, word is that Ryan McGee and Marty Smith will be hosting the Wednesday 3PM version of the NASCAR Now program. This show does not re-air and there is no show Thursday or Friday due to college basketball tournaments. This is truly DVR theater in any time zone.

This weekend in Las Vegas, ESPN will only be showing the Nationwide Series race. All the practice and qualifying coverage will once again be on SPEED. Allen Bestwick is working the Nationwide Series for ESPN this season with Marty Reid reassigned to IndyCar telecasts, a few Nationwide races and some hosting assignments for NASCAR Now.

SPEED is reportedly happy with the revamped Trackside program. The network passed along that the show got higher ratings in this format than it ever did in the old style with a large panel discussion. That means Krista Voda, Kyle Petty, Rutledge Wood and Marianela Pereyra will be around for a while.

The network also continues the push to get the broadband channel cleared in more subscriber homes. The target is for 30 million homes by summer. You can type in the web address and follow the links to see if your provider has the service. It is like, a place for programming that cannot find a slot on the TV channel.

For those cable TV viewers expecting an episode of Inside NASCAR on Wednesday night, things have changed. "Showtime Suspends NASCAR TV Show" was a recent post that documented the fact that the post-Daytona show was it until September. Neither Showtime or the NASCAR Media Group will explain, but money appears to be the issue. Click on the column title to read it in full.

Despite having the cash, Showtime was a foolish location to put such a large amount of fresh NASCAR TV content every week. The audience was tiny and the fact remains that only ESPN2 and SPEED have weekday NASCAR TV review or preview shows. It would have been nice to have TNT or another basic cable network host a weekly NASCAR show.

Over on the new NBC Sports Network, the struggle continues to get a place for NASCAR in the daily 6PM hour of sports news and interviews called NBC SportsTalk. Marty Snider appeared after Daytona for a wrap-up, but has not been seen since. NBC either needs to jump in the pool or get out.

As NBC continues to struggle with the reality of appealing to cable TV viewers, ignoring a major professional sport is perhaps not the way to go. There are plenty of reporters and journalists available to update NASCAR after a racing weekend.

We will add any breaking news to this post, in the meantime please feel free to comment on any of these topics. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


sue said...

I know 2 age 50 plus that went from being other drivers fans to Danica. Wonder why??

But on a serious note I don't know why espn even bothers with Nascar Now. Its a terrific show but it doesn't seem to have a permanent timeslot. Can't imagine it has many viewers.

Garry said...

Speed is reportedly happy with Trackside?? I think they inflate their own numbers, because they know the show sucks. My friend came over last weekend, right towards the middle of it, and I was so embarrassed, I couldn't find a rock big enough to crawl under. It was like watching a bad rookie version of a freak side show... He was like, "What the **** is this crap?". I turned it off...Again, Speed is lying to our faces if they say people like the new format. No way in Hell does anyone like it. No way. Sorry to sound bitter, JD, but I can't stand liars.

Anonymous said...


Phoenix TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX posted a solid 5.0/10 Sunday for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 from Phoenix. Though off -6% from last year's 5.3/11, yesterday's 5.0/10 ranked as the second highest-rated event of the weekend in the metered markets. It is estimated that once the national ratings are released, the Subway Fresh Fit 500 will be the highest-rated and most-watched event of the weekend. The race rating grew throughout the telecast peaking at a 5.8/11 from 6-6:15pm, but last year's race ran later and faced less competition in the closing laps which allowed last year's race to peak at a 6.4/12 in the final quarter hour. Through the first two races of the season, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing is averaging a 6.4/11, down -6% from last year's 6.8/15. See the 2012 season TV Ratings so far, just overnights as not much info out there yet, on the 2012 TV Ratings page.(3-6-2012)

nan said...

Its nice that "SPEED is reportedly happy with the revamped Trackside program. " I'm not and won't be watching it in its current happy talk incarnation.

matriarch said...

I can't improve on what Garry said. Trackside was a disaster. I watched about 5 minutes and turned the channel. I can't believe any Nascar fan would think that show was anything but a disaster

I've always liked Nascar Now. Moving it and constantly preempting it is a mistake on the part of ESPN.

GinaV24 said...

Wow, Speed is happy with Trackside? Since I don't watch it unless they have a guest I'm interested in any more, that's amazing. Guess someone is watching.

Speed2? There's not much of interest to me on Speed1, so I am certainly not going to pay money to get this channel added.

AncientRacer said...

Aside from the column which was fins, as usual, I am struck by the photos, top right, where it says Official Hastag #NASCAR

I know #NASCAR has an official everything, but I am really curious how much being branded the official # cost the # ;-)

glenc1 said...

I'm guessing the only reason Trackside got highter ratings is because people were tuning in who hadn't seen it recently (start of the new season.) I'll admit I only got about five minutes in before I groaned & turned the channel. And I'll say it, I like the people on it (well, haven't seen Marianela actually do much...) It's the format of the show and the ridiculousness of it all. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

Who are these viewers that like trackside? How many drivers will come on to make a fool of themselves?

It is not about racing anymore just another stupid show.


Jim_812 said...

I haven't paid enough attention to Trackside to give a fair review, so I'm out of that loop for now. I can say this though; I've never been a fan of Rutledge Wood. He's a little to goofy for me. I prefer a more serious approach to NASCAR coverage. But that's just me. I know he can show an intelligent side at times, because I've seen it. I might add that I do like humor and if someone has something funny to say I want to hear it, but not by goofing around on a set.

Anonymous said...

you are entitled to your opinion of thinking Trackside is "crap," but ratings are what they are. you can extrapolate demo's if you want, but to call SPEED "liars" is incorrect. Ratings either are, or they aren't.

Anonymous said...

I did watch both Trackside shows last weekend from Phoenix - probably won't bother again. They were SOOOOOO bad. Shame on Krista Voda for taking part in such insanity. I very much respect Kyle Petty's opinions and commentary and his actions and comments on Trackside greatly diminish his image. Tell Speed they are WRONG!

Bill Hicks said...

That was a waste, 10 minutes of jumping through hoops to find and get me username / password for time Warner only to have speed2 say am not allowed. That's ok don't want to watch pinks on my iPad anyways.

Anonymous said...

Speed may be happy with Trackside but this fan thinks it stinks! This is going downhill at warp speed. Having said that its not the players, they have talent. Whom ever set the stage for this half baked comedy should be institutionalized. I'll stick to Leno for my comedy fix, Speed should do the same. I'll watch one more time...3 strikes your OUT!

Anonymous said...

What is so difficult about scheduling one slot per weekday for NN on ESPNews and then making the show available over the internet. A rational stakeholding entity should be able to instantly understand this to be a bonus for all stakeholder and subnit.

Rational? There is the keyword.

Anonymous said...

That NASCAR Now with Marty and Ryan was great. You feel like that could really be something with some practice. Not sure why Brad D. was even on there.

Buschseries61 said...

It's interesting if the ratings dowturn becomes a trend. It's not like there is an online component available that could lower the number of viewers. I figured more people would watch once the Johnson streak was broken.

Charlie said...

Speaking of ratings, since Speed is already at the track why doesn't Speed telecast the Sunday race along side the Fox telecast and we can choose which channel to watch.
Wonder how the ratings would be then.

Scott said...

Yeah, I agree. Trackside blows. Come on, Speed. Who are you waterboarding to get those 'opinions'?

AND, as usual, if you're a DirecTV subscriber, no or Where we live satellite is the only option. Wonder why it is that DirecTV doesn't get along with these internet carriers?