Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Buzzwords Flying In Latest Media Mess
This time, the topic was the late debris caution at Richmond that was called out by various drivers, crew chiefs and fans as being thrown only to bunch up the field for the finish of the race. NASCAR disputes those contentions and apparently has some other issues with the topic of justifying cautions.
Here is how Jeff Gluck reported it over at SBNation:
"Sometimes, some people are a little more needy than others and they want to see that for whatever reason," NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton (pictured above) told reporters attending a function at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "And whatever their thought process and beliefs with the governing body (are), they think they need proof.
"Sometimes you see (the debris) and sometimes you don't, and that's based on TV coverage, basically."
But Pemberton said FOX "didn't do anything wrong" and he doesn't mind TV not showing the reason for debris caution because, "I don't have an issue with (the reason for the caution)."
He also said NASCAR does not keep the debris as evidence of why it called the caution. "We don't inventory it, we don't tag it and put it a library anywhere or anything," he said. "It's just trash."
"A lot of times, you call it for one thing and then you pick that up and anything else that's in the vicinity," he said.
So what was the debris at Richmond? Pemberton said there may have been a water bottle on the track, but there was also a beer can or piece of aluminum that had been run over.
The ripples from Pemberton's rock thrown into the pond did not take long to spread. This same issue has risen to the surface several times over the last couple of years. It's basically a shame that it had to be discussed at all, but it just comes down to one simple truth.
The FOX telecasts are not produced to serve the hardcore fans. They are produced to serve the network, the advertisers and the production team. FOX paid the money to telecast the races and that brings them the ability to pick and choose what to include and what to exclude.
If FOX chooses not to show viewers the debris that brought out the caution, NASCAR has nothing to say about it. As Pemberton stated sometimes you see the debris and sometimes you don't. That mostly depends on which Sprint Cup Series TV partner is televising the race.
If FOX chooses only to show the winning car cross the finish line, NASCAR has nothing to say about it. Fans of the other lead lap drivers who have been watching the telecast for hours may be frustrated, but the FOX production team can decide that it is more important to show the winner slowing down, the pit crew jumping around and the crew chief smiling than the field racing to the finish.
As Jeff Hammond detailed in a recent report, the FOX team focuses the cameras on two cars at a time under green flag conditions. Jumping between tightshots of cars instead of presenting the best racing on the track at the time is their right as the official TV network. Mixing these tightshots with in-car camera views serves to top-off the production approach to green flag racing.
The network does many things well including having the best corps of pit reporters, a flawless record of making superb pictures and sound as well as adding side-by-side commercials this season for the final scheduled hour of the races.
What they do not do well at FOX is respond to fans. Gluck wrote both last year and this year about his experience and subsequent frustrations of watching a full race on TV away from the track. He and I exchanged views on Twitter recently about that. His words serve as a popular view on the relationship between FOX and NASCAR fans.
"Those words from last year ring true today. The TV networks don't care about fan input, and that's my point then and now," tweeted Gluck. "It does need to change, but they don't care what you or I think. They're going to do what they want."
There are four more Sprint Cup Series races this season that will televised on FOX. The existing NASCAR TV contract runs through 2014. This means there will be two more full years of coverage by the current TV partners after this season.
We invite 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.