Sunday, April 29, 2012

NASCAR TV Talk Heats Up

As the Sprint Cup Series heads toward the beautiful Richmond International Raceway, the talk about the TV coverage of the sport is heating up. Things got very interesting this week on Twitter.

It started innocently enough late Sunday night with these Darrell Waltrip posts:

"If you watched our telecast today I hope you enjoyed the coverage, thought we did a really good job of finding the action all over the track."

"The Digger shots were amazing, I bet he has a headache after today's race, this was another record setting day, fastest race at Kansas."

"Our entire team, director, producer, pit reporters, worked hard today to be sure we didn't leave anything on the table, emptied the bucket!"

After some fans and media members blasted the FOX coverage, Waltrip continued his Twitter posts on Monday:

"If someone says we covered the race yesterday like we do all the time, they didn't watch the race, from top to bottom we did it differently!"

"We focused on battles thru out the field all day until the end when Truex and Hamlin were battling for the win, pit reports were awesome."

Waltrip is certainly entitled to his opinion and has put in a decade of working on TV in the sport after his long Hall of Fame career as a driver.

Last March, after some TV stumbles early in the season, we offered a post that reviewed some of the fundamental issues fans have been discussing about the TV coverage for the past five years. This is a repost of (click here for the 2011 post with fan comments) a portion of the original column.

After all the changes that Waltrip mentioned, it should open an interesting discussion as to whether FOX has moved toward or away from some of these topics. Thanks to all the readers who helped to compose the original post.

This from March 8, 2011:

Active owners of Sprint Cup Series teams should not be on the air as network TV announcers. Despite the best intentions of those involved, the opinions expressed by those with a significant financial and professional commitment to the sport simply draw too much skepticism.

The pre-race show is to inform viewers of the ongoing stories involving the teams about to race. It is not for features designed to sell a product, promote a cause or advance a TV network's own agenda. "Face time" on national television should be for athletes, not announcers.

The driver starting on the pole of every Sprint Cup Series race should be interviewed during the pre-race show. This right comes with sitting on the pole and makes an impression on the national TV audience that this is an accomplishment for the driver, the team and the sponsor.

Speaking to a driver and/or crew chief via the team radio during the pace laps makes no sense. Asking the driver a random viewer question is ridiculous. Once again in 2010, this practice provided no new information, resulted in awkward moments and was openly despised by some drivers.

There is not one "new fan" watching the telecast. The entire NASCAR TV audience has a favorite driver and knows who is who. Showing a prerecorded "bumper" of a driver posing and grinning or trying to look tough or playing the drums while going to commercial under green flag racing is a travesty.

Updates on the basics of NASCAR should be reserved for specialty TV shows. Inside the live telecast of a Sprint Cup Series race there is no need to review the basics of tires, fuel cells, shock absorbers or any other car part that will be used in every event.

A driver who starts a Sprint Cup Series race and suddenly pulls off the track and heads to the garage should be identified on TV immediately. It is not the role of the TV networks to edit "start and park" cars from the telecasts. The responsibility is to report what is happening to those who are watching on TV and are not at the track.

No NASCAR TV network covering a live race should go to commercial under green flag racing in the first ten laps or the final ten laps of the event. Any driver transported to the infield medical center should be interviewed. Each one has fans and it is not the role of the TV network to use popularity or points standings to determine whether an athlete is worthy of TV time.

The scoring ticker is on the screen to help with information, not to be the primary source of scoring information for TV viewers once the race is underway. A key role of the play-by-play announcer is to update positions on the racetrack. What TV seems to be unable to do, the NASCAR radio broadcasters do on a regular basis.

Prior to every restart in a Sprint Cup Series race TV viewers should be told what cars got a wave-around, who is the Lucky Dog and if there were any pit road penalties. Coming to the green flag, viewers should know at least the top ten cars (first five rows) and whether the leader chose the inside or outside.

Full field recaps within a race should be done through the complete field at regular intervals and not just include the top ten or twenty cars. Television often misses the real stories of the race by continually focusing on the front of the race and the current leaders. All the drivers on the track have fans.

After a multi-hour race, TV viewers deserve to see all the cars on the lead lap finish the race live. The race winner, pit crew and crew chief will have TV time in Victory Lane. Watching the rest of the lead lap cars racing to the finish is often much more exciting than seeing the winner cross the line.

The issues added by fans after the original post included showing debris for every caution flag, not using an in-car camera for a pass for the lead and having side-by-side TV commercial breaks.

This post was a composite of the coverage of all three TV networks involved in the Sprint Cup Series. As we have said many times since 2007, the NASCAR TV networks paid the money to show the races and have the total right to present them however they please.

What may be important to remember in this world of DVR's, online streaming and social media is that the NASCAR fan base now has an incredible amount of real time information available during a race. What TV chooses not to show or include in a telecast may be interpreted as incomplete coverage.

This discussion is as much about digital technology, the Internet and the changing expectations of the fan base as it is about announcers, camera angles and commercial breaks. Either way, it's a fascinating time to continue the discussion of how to get the TV viewers to return to the live telecasts.

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


Anonymous said...

Page is defaulting, for me at least, to no post preceding any commentary. For anyone else, You'll have to click the "Show Original Post" at top left.

Why either of the Waltrips are towing the party line as hard as possible - ego? If it's finances, I don't see how. They hardly ended up broke in their respective careers and could sit on their laurels.

Their team failed miserably, as they frequently do, and it takes two monitors, two broadcasts (One Cup, one Truck) side by side to see the differences.

Throughout the field?

Nemechek - running on his own, worked up from mid 20's to 3rd last year in a NW race. ESPN grudgingly humored him at the post-race thinger, and you wouldn't know it to watch their showing of the race.

.Digger is a joke. In disagreement with a fellow fan who like the Crank it Up feature...just show me the racing.

43 cars on track, aside trom Trucks...and it's a pecking list resembling a high school cliche.

I suspect those who provide the dollars - whether in sheer bribery, junkets, or keeping a still-fledgling network afloat...they call the shots.

In that order.

"We'll give you a discount AND put the cameras on your car, if..."

JD - you worked for ESPN; where's some reasonable explanations?

And just for my ethics and skepticism - how involved are you in any of this now?

Something here isn't adding up, whether an NDA, or getting me. Spidey sense is going off.

Anonymous said...

Crud - Clarification! "Team" being the Fox/ESPN ones, not Waltrip's, though it's tolerable at best.

Meant the broadcasters he was elevating to God-like levels.

The Loose Wheel said...

I am humored by how DW hyped that broadcast. As I said in the previous post, it was lackluster at best. There was a great race at the end between Hamlin and Truex, but FOX did not create that finish. It just so happened FOX actually had a camera on the battle at the time the race concluded.

Most of the issues brought up last year have not really been addressed, but I will give credit where it is due that Mike Joy has done his best to update when cars pull off of the track. We never get follow-up interviews but he has made a mission to at least inform us someone has pulled off the track.

I just miss the simplicity of the late 1990's ESPN template. Across the board from race broadcast, practice coverage, to daily NASCAR/motorsport news was much better quality.

It's too easy to tune out of all of the pre-race hype, catch the race on the final pace lap before green, and tune out right after the checkered flag without missing a single significant story or development since the networks offer nothing that can't be achieved via the Internet.

Anonymous said...

I will respectfully disagree with DW. It is a family site and I just do not want to deal with ego. MC

Buschseries61 said...

So you reminded them how to broadcast a race. Hope they read it and listen.

The easiest fix is the starting lineup. In 2012, I still can't believe they chat on the radio with a driver under the pace laps. ESPN is the worst with this, at least FOX goes through the first 6-10 rows of the lineup before wasting everyone's time. ESPN casually mentions the lineup is crawling at the top while they waste 3 minutes with the same uninformative questions every week. The lineup used to be a huge deal on tv, especially at Daytona on CBS. Now it casually scrolls by, cut off on an old SD tv.

OSBORNK said...

DW is like a lot of politicians. He knows what he is saying is untrue but he thinks some of the public is dumb enough to believe it. If one looks at the TV ratings, it is obvious that he is wrong. Long time fans are leaving in disgust and they are not being replaced by new fans. Long time fans watch in spite of the Waltrips and new fans don't watch because of them.

I wish they would go back to KISS. Just show us the racing on the track, explain what is going on in an objective manner and keep us informed on all of the drivers and their problems/situations. Like Joe Friday said "Just the facts".

Anonymous said...

Well what DW sees out the booth window and we fans get shown on TV are at opposite ends of the spectrum. We as fans are force fed tunnel vision viewing. It's like watching a race thru a telescope with all the hyper tight coverage. It's hard to believe that Fox owns the Speed Channel because their coverage of the truck race is TOTALLY difference than Fox's coverage of the Cup race. Speeds shows all the trucks racing on the track the entire race. We are not subject to a handful but most time just 1-2 cars being shown on the track. If you watch Fox's broadcast of a race while listening to MRN/PRN you would NEVER know you were watching on TV what you are hearing on the radio.

Wiresculptress said...

I saw some of the garbage on Twitter - DW and JJ talking together, like a couple of middle-school mean girls, insinuating that fans (including me) only watch to see wrecks. Frankly, it was hurtful to this 25-year fan. I dearly wish to watch racing on TV, but the TV people won't show us any!

MRM4 said...

During the race, I saw a Twitter post from Austin Dillon saying how great the racing was with 3 and 4 wide racing. I replied to him by saying TV wasn't showing it.

I think DW needs to watch a recording of their races and see if the broadcast is actually living up to what he's saying. He just might have a different opinion. I know when I've gone to a race and watch it on the DVR later, I see things that were missed, never mentioned, or was painted with a different picture than what appeared to have happened. TV coverage for all the networks needs to improve.

AncinetRacer said...

I see the "Law of Unintended Consequences" operating here. The media and the sport embraced the technology, but in doing so were somehow unmindful that it allowed the audience to talk back.

Talking only among themselves they had convinced themselves they were performing the best shows ever and that we were in awe of them and grateful to them and they could do no wrong. Now they are shocked and surprised to find instead of cheers and wild applause we are catcalling and throwing rotten tomatoes at the stage.

Oh! The nerve of us!

Anonymous said...

Michael Waltrip, Rusty Wallace and Brad Daurghety should not be on TV period.

They have a vested interest in the race plus it is a total conflict of interest for the television networks.

I am surprised that sponsors have not compalined about the number of time Michael Waltrip has mentioned his own sponsors during a telecast.

Beast1624 said...

" If you watch Fox's broadcast of a race while listening to MRN/PRN you would NEVER know you were watching on TV what you are hearing on the radio."

What Anonymous said...last year DirecTV's Hot Pass had a few races mid season where we had the MRN audio to go with the race broadcast/in car of your fav driver. What a different experience.

1954 said...

Who follows DW on twitter & why? Digger T-shirt sales off? Nothing but a schill for his own brand.

Duncan Macleod said...

Darrell Waltrip is like a raccoon or a monkey. Put a piece of aluminum foil in a bottle and he will die with his arm stuck in the bottle and the aluminum foil clenched tightly in his fist.

Dennis said...

I'm reminded of Vince Lombardi when he first became coach of the Green Bay Packers. The team wasn't executing the basics much less being helped by being fancy. So, he went back to basics teaching proper blocking and so on.

Part of Fox's problem is that they have so many cameras, the director thinks he needs to constantly use them all. What results is something disjointed, resembling Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder.

Less is more.

SPEED knows what to do. Fewer cameras, pan back, show the racing. Life is good.

glenc1 said...

I don't think Darrell would acknowledge the problem even if he watched a replay. I don't think he can be objective. Mike & Larry, maybe...but they have no control over what we see, unfortunately. I found myself wondering during the race whose job it was to put all the STP stickers on the SAFER barriers.

btw, I'm in blue next to the M in that photo.

TLE said...


You know most fans go to a race and listen to MRN or PRN call of the race or drivers channels on their headsets. Could you imagine trying to listen to the TV broadcast while watching the race! Remember that commercial when Mickey W says " I must be at the wrong track".

It would be like listening books on tape, BORING!

Anonymous said...

TV never does a race show - what I actually call the on track competition part of the entertainment - justice. Therefore it is always a show with the announcers all having their own agenda and rooting for their drivers. So much bias that new fans have no idea of what real, pure racing is.

As an aside, JD, a lot of us don't twitter or do Facebook and are not on the computer for long periods of time and we miss your articles when they are not on often enough. Thanks.

GA Red

Anonymous said...

There was one new person watching the race last weekend. Friend of mine who's not really a race fan. Thinks it's just a bunch of left turns. He watches about 5 minutes with me and asks "How many cars are in this race?" I said "43 started it". He said "I think I've only seen ten". While later he says "I thought they wrecked a lot". "Not this season" I replied. "Hmmph" was his reply. Finally he says "Ya wanna go over to the driving range?" And that's how the Kansas race ended.

Anonymous said...

The coverage of the race was abysmal at best. If not for DirecTV Hotpass I'd have completely missed the 10 lap battle between the 24,18 and 29 for 10th place. DW has no perspective on how horrible Fox' coverage has been this year.

Jonathan said...

It was a good broadcast I thought. I still dont see how people think the ratings are that bad. I read all the ratings and Nascar is still the most watched program during the weekend and yes even in the 18-30 demo. Yeah ratings are down from past years but they have to be down for all other shows/sports cause we still beat all of them

Anonymous said...

MLB, NBA and NHL are more watch their own teams' games, not necessarily everyone else's. NASCAR has only one show on Sunday. Golf is a better comparison, and their ratings haven't been great for many reasons. I don't think NASCAR ratings are 'tanking', exactly, but they certainly are not robust.

bowlalpo said...

It's no wonder NHL playoff ratings are more than doubled.

But look at the other competition. CBS used their 2nd and 5th-string announce teams for their two golf tournaments, whose leaders had NO star power. The NBA teams are resting their stars/starters for the playoffs (except for World Peace who earned his 7-game vacation). The Sox and Yanks were scheduled for a night game, which got rained out! Which means weather was horrible in the Northeast, like it was in February of 1979...

Cup should have trounced all of its Sunday competition, but it did not. I think FOX did some things different, but only in small doses, like the accidental aerial shot of a restart. HotPass lost their telemetry, which didn't help me as a DVR viewer. Heck, they could have focused on the battle for the top-35 for a few minutes while things were stable at the front.

The fact that DW has to use Twitter to post-shill the telecast proves that DW knows something is lacking. You don't have to embellish something good that can speak for itself.

GinaV24 said...

It's nice that DW and JJ have a way to pat each other on the back and commiserate that the fans are just too stupid to get it. Rather than face the problems with the TV broadcasts, NASCAR and the media have never wanted to correct things and now apparently some drivers think that's the right approach too. Just keep telling the fans that everything's perfect, eventually they'll believe it. Except it hasn't happened like that - we aren't buying into it, the fans are leaving altogether or only following it in abbreviated fashion via DVR. The fact that I have had to turn to RADIO to "see" the race as it happens instead of TV speaks volumes.

Ancient - your post is right on!

I resent it very much that DW and JJ think most fans tune in for the wrecks. I'm insulted by that. It shows how out of touch with the fans both of them are.

b said...

Watching the broadcasts over the past few years has had a calming effect on me, as I always fall asleep during the race. This is either due to the boring racing, or a self-defense measure by my body to prevent me from having to listen to a Waltrip. As a result, I have found better things to do on Sundays than listen to two brothers talk over themselves and others for three hours.

Jonathan said...

Gina im sorry but im not in that group. While the broadcasts can be 100% better my life is still nascar and I dont have a DVR! Dont Twitter and watch everything I can from Speed ESPN FOX live. all weekend long its Nascar. Race day I get pumped and we have Nascar parties with many friends... Most are older fans who are older than me im 30 and they still love Nascar! Call me old school but I cant get enough. Its just hard to pay the money for races for many and tv ratings dont factor in computer, radio, twitter, cell phones, and all the new ways to follow a race. Many do it that way.... seems like many just want to find a way to hate nascar dont know why

larry said...

I think I DVRed the race. I certainly didn't see it live. I'll have to go and look at it...or maybe not.

I'm the old former core nascar fan. I guess I've lost interest.

Nascar doesn't want me around, so I won't impose. I think they are catering to the druggie crowd now.

Joj said...

As a 40+ year race fan I was deeply insulted that DW & JJ think we just want to see wrecks.

Remember we lost Dale in a wreck.

DW would not know a good race on tv if it bit him. Shame he does not realize fans make or break a sport (IROC, INDY-CART?)sponsors won't pay if it isn't got eyeballs on it.

Nothing changes if nothing changes. Our only hope for better TV coverage of Our Sport is in the new TV contracts. Hopefully they will include conflict of interest clauses & what ever else the NFL/NBA/NHL/MLB/F1/Indy/PGA have in theirs to make the coverage for "stuck at home watching the TV FANS" viewing experience better.

That would mean showing the cars on the track.Make the race the Main Event & not some over the hill gas baggin booth monkey.

Anonymous said...

Nascar has huge issues in front of them with little hope of resolving them. The total Nascar world is incestuous with Nascar management holding a club above anyone daring to be truthful about what is going on. The races are long, drawn out boring parades. Charlotte's All Star race has an exciting format with short sprint races we're all used to at our local tracks. The 500 to 600 mile races on the big tracks are insane. Across the Networks, the broadcast teams are tired and boring. All the Networks need to clean house and bring in fresh blood. I can't tell you how many long time Nascar fans I know that have virtually given up on the sport.

Anonymous said...

DW and JJ should understand that fans want passes and close racing. With that wrecks do happen but is not why we watch. I will never understand why anyone wants to watch a long single file line of cars run around for three hours.

I try not to miss the plate races. They stay close together with changes almost every lap. To me that shows the talent of the driver, cars on your bumper at your side, back and front. Heck most of us can drive good on the interstate but much more difficult on a two lane road with bumper to bumper traffic.

The sport of racing should be about the talent of the driver not who built the fastest car.

Why DW and JJ can' t understand how boring the single file races are is beyond me. Maybe if they were made to sit and watch a race for three hours with almost all running in the same position from start to finish they would understand.

glenc1 said...

anon 9:26--at some of these tracks there IS racing going on, and FOX isn't showing it to us. People who are able to attend come back with an entirely different view than what we saw on TV.

Daly Planet Editor said...

I'm aware of the recent comments Darrell Waltrip made in Bristol. Cannot find a transcript of his comments about TDP and our readers.

Rather than get angry and respond, it makes more sense to wait until after the RIR weekend.

Thanks for the emails and tweets. Waltrip is obviously upset with the fans having a voice. The real issue is that he can no longer control what fans think.

We will get back to this topic next week.


GinaV24 said...

Jonathan, I hear you and I'm really glad that you and your friends enjoy NASCAR and watching it on TV. I am comparing the current product to the one that I saw when Fox first started the TV contract in 2001. It is a very different feel and presentation. I, too, used to watch every minute of NASCAR that I could find on TV, but I don't do that any longer as IMO none of the broadcast partners are actually showing the races in a way that keep my interest.

It's a shame but that is how I feel these days. I miss being excited to watch a race on TV.

Jonathan said...

Gina I look at it like this while yeah it could be much better and I feel you the Fox broadcasts use to be better. I cant go back to 2001 but I started watching in 04. Fox broadcasts were amazing up till I say 2008. But I still get pumped every weekend cause with all the crap on tv now nothing compaires to Nascar. Its the only thing worth watching on tv now a days. If there wasnt Nascar I wouldnt watch tv much

Zieke said...

I hope the folks on this site will bear with me , as I'm a bit more pointed than some of you. I used to watch the races nonstop until the Waltrips infiltrated the whole TV deal. They are simply too much to have to endure. Victory Lane is quite enough because of them. The only wreck I would like is if they were in them, so is it time for TNT yet?

iworkhere said...

What they Hammond doing is the most boring part of the broadcast. I cannot believe the Producers would actually give him the "air time" he so yearns for during a green flag.
Save it for the cautions if we have to tolerate his redundant information at all.

Buschseries61 said...

Pre-DWized Mike Joy came out of hiding tonight in the K&N race. He's a databank of racing knowledge. I like that side of him over conversation moderator for Larry and Darrell. Phil Parsons has grown into a fantastic analyst, just like his brother. Joey Logano was pretty good too, he knew a lot of people in the field but did not play favorites.

The race itself was fantastic, and will probably be the best race of the weekend.

If we had the good broadcast/fun race combo in Cup, I would be one happy race fan.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure it is fair to blame FOX for a boring broadcast when there is a boring race. The last few years, FOX seemed to get a bunch of great races and then when they went to Pocono, TNT got screwed with a series of boring races in a row.

This year, the racing has been spaced out with little passing... and that is not FOX's fault. I think they are trying to do the very best that they can with what is clearly an inferior product.

GinaV24 said...

NASCAR, Fox, DW AND the drivers had better take a few minutes to do a reality check. Without the fans watching at the track and on TV, they are playing to an empty room.

I think there are a lot of people running the sport and the tv networks who thought that the upward trend would never end. They have been proven wrong - unfortunately, those same people tend to be pretty convinced that they are always right and so choose to bash the fans - instead of doing something practical to satisfy them. I don't shop in stores that treat me badly - at least not more than one time. I've stuck with NASCAR even though I have been a less than satisfied customer, but I'm not going to sit down and let TPTB, whether it is DW, Brian France, Helton, Pemberton or whoever's in charge at Fox now, tell me I should just shut up and take what they give me.

Buschseries61 said...

Now the Denny Hamlin race is being presented like a FOX race. The cameras are TIGHT TIGHT TIGHT! This could be a great race, as great as DW describes the Cup races, but when I can only see 2 single file cars out of the 30 racing on the track - it's boring. Also standard for FOX, they just missed the caution flag while on a commercial break.

If this is a preview for Saturday night, lord help us.

Daly Planet Editor said...


I got frustrated during the K&N race and then sent Denny's race to the DVR.

That was embarrassing. On a short track, a continual effort to zoom into two cars at a time.

There might be some viewer fireworks if they try to pull that on Saturday night.

Just sayin....


Anonymous said...

Honestly, don't you guys think the tight camera angles are to hide the fact that there is NO PASSING and little SIDE-BY-SIDE RACING? I think they are trying to mask the spaced out cars, or the aerodynamics that prevent a faster car from passing a slower car. I think if there was something to show with wide camera angles, they would show it. But what are you going to see? A parade, not racing. Empty stands, not cheering fans. I don't totally blame FOX. I think they are trying to do the best they can with a zero product. The new cars have turned the sport into a pit road contest. When 4th place is 12 seconds back, when the only racing is really just side drafting, what can you do? I blame NASCAR way more than FOX. They have to fix these cars and these crazy rules that are killing the on-track action.

Anonymous said...

Denny's event deserves a lot of support, but last night's "production" was pathetic. They decided to zoom in on the first 2-3 cars as well as co-host Marcos Ambroses car in an environment were cars were immediately being lapped. As usual, the position tracker at the top of the screen appeared to be an after thought. Could be some great racing this weekend. Question is, will we get to see it on tv??

Jonathan said...

I enjoyed tonight! What racing that was edge of your seat stuff

Friday night and Saturday night are going to be WILD!!!! YEAH

everyone enjoy a great race weekend

Jonathan said...

Let me be more clear about that comment, K&N race was edge of your seat racing for the lead that was off the charts! Dennys race not so much... k im done :)

Garry said...

WOW. WOW IS ALL I CAN SAY ABOUT LAST NIGHT! Mike Joy called two of the best races this season, and the race played out in front of the fans and viewers the way it should be! He actually called the action on the track, with no one talking over him, and when there was silence, it was only the roar of the engines to keep the viewer happy! It proved a point that you don't always have to open your mouth EVERY lap to say something. They even had THREE, count 'em, THREE extra guest booth announcers/drivers: Logano, Hamlin, and Ambrose, and not once did it get overwhelming! What a bright ray of sunshine for the race fan at home! But, and you knew there would be a but, someone "planted" a Digger coat on Jeff Burton's son, and during the interview, one of the network pit crew tells him to turn around and show it behind Hermie Sadler, and then...... Mike Joy says to the world: "Hey, Hermie! Look at Jeff's son! He has a Digger coat on!" As if that was a surprise....It's like having a dream that you won the lottery, and you swear it's real, and then FOX/Speed comes in and kicks you in the gut and tells you to get up!

GinaV24 said...

Some interesting articles over on jayski - one from Matt McLaughlin in particular was really good and had some long and detailed comments if anyone is interested in reading them.

It's a shame that DW and TPTB would rather blame the fans for the problems than try and do something to correct the situation.

Sally said...

Interesting that it's always the fans that too stupid to know a 'good thing' when we have it, isn't it? Have these guys forgotten that without fans in the stands and watching at home, they have no jobs? I'm not sure that insulting the people who pay your freight is a wise move.

bowlalpo said...

Approaching this from a different perspective. What made us WANT to watch NASCAR when:
1. The winner was the only car on the lead lap?
2. The Winston Cup points race was settled well before the final race of the season?
3. Our favorite driver blew his engine on the 20th lap?
4. The coverage only consisted of 8-10 cameras with maybe one in-car?

The answer to me...every individual race MEANT something. The race wasn't just one in a series. The TV crew made SURE that the race stood on its own.

It had its own title, spoken without censorship by the TV crew.

It had its own identity, marked by location and the climate. It wasn't a "chase race" or one that would lead up the the chase.

The cars were referenced by driver, number and sponsor by the TV crew, and usually shown in groups when groups were racing.

Remember all the times ESPN would cut to a battle and Benny Parsons would say "there's a mess." All FOX needs to do is show us more of the "messes."

Keep us up-to-date on the top-35 and the lesser names who fall out. Would FOX interview a Lake Speed or Rick Mast today when their top-15 run came to an end?


GinaV24 said...

Sally, that's my point as well. Why insult your customers? I've thought it was odd the way NASCAR has handled its PR for years. They seem to employ the "mushroom method". You know, cover them with crap and keep them in the dark.

Bowlapo - exactly! Each race was a standalone event that led UP to the championship. Even if your favorite driver was out of contention, he could still improve his position in the final points standings. Now, the top 13 are locked in and they are the only ones that matter - according to TV and NASCAR - except that from a fan's perspective, I just want to watch the race.

Show us the messes indeed!

Jonathan said...

just thought i'd throw this out there for those who say viewers are leaving in droves from Jayski!

Final Kansas TV Ratings: FOX posted a 4.3/10 (6.8 million viewers) on Sunday for the STP 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race from Kansas Speedway. Though that’s down -17% from last year’s 5.2/13 (9.0 million) for the race from Talladega, it’s up +10% over last year’s 3.9/10 (6.3 million) Kansas race which aired later in the season [June 6, 2011]. ****Sunday's 4.3/10 also ranked as the highest-rated and most-watched event of the weekend. Through eight races, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX is averaging a 5.2/11 (8.6 million viewers).(4-27-2012)

Nascar is fine.... you know how many would die to be the most watched event of the weekend

saltsburgtrojanfan said...


You obviously are not a longtime NASCAR fan. You should go on YouTube and watch some NASCAR races from the 1980's and 1990's and you will be amazed at how different things were and how races were telecasted back then.