Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sprint Cup Series From Darlington On FOX

This is going to be a very big night for the NASCAR on FOX team. It's been an up and down season on TV with the addition of a second Waltrip and the ongoing struggle between the "hyper-tight" coverage and showing viewers the actual racing.

Last weekend in Talladega, FOX surprised many of us by returning to a classic style of NASCAR TV that focused on the groups of cars racing for position and then used tight-shots and in-car cameras to emphasize the speed and danger. It worked like a charm.

What did not work like a charm was the commentary from the Waltrips. Michael continues to be conflicted by his team interests, sponsor mentions and over-the-top promotion of the sport. Darrell is having a tough time focusing on the specific issues on the track and the details of the race.

Many fans told us they used the MRN radio feed which is streamed online for free and muted the TV, keeping the pictures but shutting out the audio. That is really a blow to FOX, a network that features the best group of pit reporters and one of the best play-by-play men in the business in Mike Joy.

Darlington is a great opportunity to finally get the TV pieces together. Mike Joy should have lots of work to do in calling the action on this tough track. Hopefully, he is allowed to do just that. His performance will work much better if we are seeing wideshots and the groups of cars rather than just a chosen one or two.

As a reminder, Darlington features single file racing in the corners and the passing is done down the straights. At the end of the straightaway, one car must yield for the corner and that is where the incidents have traditionally taken place. Keep an eye on whether we see most incidents like or replayed.

There is a blimp cam and Josh the cameraman supplied the picture on this post. Hopefully, especially on restarts, we will see an aerial shot and let the night pictures tell the story of the racing. The darker it gets, the better these pictures look.

We put this post up for your comments during the race, but we chat live this season over on Twitter. Please join us by typing #TDP1 into the search box at Twitter.com or tagging your tweets with #TDP1 to be included in the live stream. Twitter is easy to figure out and there are hundreds of NASCAR information sources that provide content during the live race.

There will be a post up immediately after the race for your long form comments. We appreciate you taking the time to stop by and hope to see you on Twitter tonight!

19 comments:

Charlie Spencer said...

I had my tickets but circumstances have kept me at home tonight. Brasington Tower looks straight into the front stretch, and you can see them trying to decide who's going to have the line coming into turn 1. I'll watch The Lady on the tube for the first time in several years. I wish everyone there the best; enjoy the near-perfect weather!

Anonymous said...

Significant news/change coming from FOX

Anonymous said...

JD, do you have an example of Fox showing two cars at a time in the past at either Daytona or Talladega? And I'm referring to when they race in packs, not the lovebug style of racing they did last year. My point is that I don't know why you would consider the last race a change in philosophy. The very nature of pack racing forces the coverage to be more than two cars at a time. So I'm a bit perplexed why you would think Fox somehow changed their camera strategy based on Dega alone.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon,

They did hyper-tight for Daytona and Jeff Hammond this season showed a feature from the TV truck and how the cameras frame pairs of cars during the race.

Hope we see some real change, it certainly was good last week.

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

oops...."on how the cameras"

DJ BK said...

Care to elaborate anon 06:13pm?

Buschseries61 said...

I missed the first 50 laps or so. Already the FOX broadcast is TIGHT TIGHT TIGHT! While I was trying to view the beauty of Darlington Raceway, FOX was zooming in on one driver at a time. So frustrating!

I do love the long shots of the straightaways. We get to see all the rubber buildup, Darlington stripes, and sideways cars.

That Jeff Hammond piece was ridiculous. Did he really need to be on camera and use a tv diagram to tell the same Darlington 2-by-4 story FOX tells every season? Did the other side of the split screen have to be a bumper cam? I want to see the track!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Man, this is the worst coverage of the season. I am shell-shocked.

Gone to commercial for green flag stops, DW totally out of the loop wanting fights and rivalries and pictures only showing two cars at a time again.

JD

Buschseries61 said...

JD, honestly, I agree with DW on the rivalries stuff. Tension gives people something to talk about. Right now the only tenion this season is the lack of tension causing tension.

less mikey said...

We need less less mikey not more
more mikey. He doesnt know when or
how to tone it down.
the last thing we need is mikey with that high pitched eeeeeeeeek

DexterMorgan said...

Is it me, or has FOX reverted back to its usual boring broadcast of speedshots, single car shots and sponsor plugs?

Buschseries61 said...

Once again, we can't see the battles because FOX zooms in on one car, in this case Martin Truex. Danica slips sideways as he tries to pass her, but we were too tight to see that. Then the director changes the Danica's roof cam, we can't see Biffle coming inside until he's already past her and battling with Truex for third. Just as Joy mentions the battle for third, the director changes the shot to just Tony Stewart by himself. Then we watch an ad apepar and cover half the screen and off to commercial!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Oh, it's an awful flashback to years ago.

Disjointed and focused on the leader and Danica. Maybe some JJ thrown in.

DexterMorgan said...

A flashback to years ago? Geez man its a flash back to Texas 3 races ago. And im not talking about the lack of cautions. These guys have been this way since 2007.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Yep, I agree. Fans telling me they are leaving for NBA, NHL and MLB games.

That's just not good.

JD

Anonymous said...

Tigers game here/international stream. Least I'm not missing 3/4 of the action between poor direction and commercials with the ballgame.

If coverage like this is going to be the norm, I'm happy to reciprocate through sponsor boycotts and just ignoring poor broadcasts.

Anonymous said...

Durrll was a caricature of himself back in the day when he drove. However, NASCAR snd NASCARonFOX has joined him in the caricature department. These people have sold their souls to the debbil. I'll finish my nap now.

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

Its a shame that darlington is now having one race per year instead of two

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up for your post-race comments.

Thanks,

JD