Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Race Wrap: NASCAR On TNT From Pocono

Things were busy in the TNT production truck as the network returned to NASCAR coverage at Pocono.

Adam Alexander hosted the pre-race show with Kyle Petty and Larry McReynolds. TNT made a decision not to hire a host to replace Lindsay Czarniak, who departed for ESPN SportsCenter duties after last season.

The plus side is TNT spent less money, but the downside will come when there is a rain delay or long red flag. The only person remaining in the infield is Larry McReynolds standing by his cut-a-way car. As these six races roll by we may see a TV veteran like Ralph Sheheen moved from pit road to the infield host position if something like this happens. Luckily, the weather was great and there were no long delays.

The one hour pre-race show featured a segment with Jimmie Johnson, Bill Elliott and Ned Jarrett talking about NASCAR topics. Rather than just one interviewer, there were several TNT folks involved. It took time away from Elliott and Jarrett, two personalities who are not heard from much on the TV side.

Needless to say, there was an ill-timed and pre-recorded promo for the Lizard Lick Towing TV series that airs on Turner sister network TruTV. This scripted reality show exists on the deception that any of the content or characters are real. TNT executives call it "actuality TV."

Alexander was paired again this season with Petty and Wally Dallenbach Jr. in the booth. It's a crew that likes to offer opinion, but is sometimes slow to jump on activity or incidents on the track. All three seem to sometimes be looking at the TV monitor and not "out the window."

Chris Neville returned as a pit road reporter along with veterans Ralph Sheheen, Matt Yocum and Marty Snider. TNT uses pit reporters much more than FOX and that was certainly true in this telecast. There was a little delay in explaining the early speeding penalties, but finally Sheheen went to the NASCAR hauler and got a map of the new timing lines.

TNT produces a wider race and keeps a broader perspective than FOX. The tone in the booth focuses on the race and there are few personal stories from Petty. McReynolds was actively involved throughout the telecast and continued his best role as a strategist.

A series of late cautions allowed some drama to build, but TNT strangely chose to play a dated Denny Hamlin soundbite with only seven laps to go and the race under green. Alexander should have been calling the play by play and building the drama. The final laps looked great, but lacked the excitement that Alexander should have been providing. This race ended with a thud from the announcers.

TNT also offers the RaceBuddy application online and does an extended post-race online at the NASCAR.com website. There are no side by side commercials until the Daytona race and the Wide Open coverage. There were no technical problems.

We invite your comments on the TNT coverage of the Sprint Cup Series from Pocono. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

65 comments:

OSBORNK said...

The camera work was much better except they missed some of the accidents early (large track?) but my biggest problem was the lack of anyone calling the race late. They ignored what was going on on the track to talk about stuff I didn't care about. I thought they showed the finish well. The many ads were far louder than the telecast and that was distracting. I also thought many of the ads were repeated far more than necessary and some were not appropriate for the race. The race was shown better but I was disappointed with the booth work (but it was still better than the booth babble from Fox)

Adam Wood said...

I was largely unimpressed by the pre-race show. I don't think I'll be watching it next week.

I think TNT is doing some cost-cutting as well. No Million-Dollar Challenge, no new pre-race host, and no firesuits.

The race also had some technical problems, but there were multiple accidents, close calls, passes, etc. missed. I liked the wide angles-but I think the director (and the announcers for that matter) needs to be a little more on top of what's happening.

As for #NASCAR-that was a disaster. The only things I saw trending on Twitter all day (and I was following what was trending in the United States) was Kyle Busch when his engine expired, Kasey Kahne when he hit the wall, and Joey Logono & Mark Martin at the end of the race. That's it. Don't know what to tell you. I think this will hurt race title sponsorships as well-this Twitter partnership failed horribly.

Sophia said...

Didn't use twitter much, didn't use RB (Need RB for other folks NOT TNT!)

Yea the booth was slow & need to look AT the track more but I still love the wide camera angles & Pocono looked beautiful with the cars coming AT ME on tv and NO camera hopping.

Kudos for that.

I'd love to see Ralph S return to the booth w Wally & Kyle.

Agree the pre race show needed less yapping in the segment with Ned Jarrett and others. Would've liked to have heard from them more than Jimmie, etc.

Still, I can't remember the last time I watched a race LIVE from start to finish.

Better pictures make me happy but yes, the play by play could use some work. Too much chit chatting like a couple of girls (can I say that without hacking off somebody? will my girl card be revoked!)

That said, I love the crew, and the race felt like a FUN watch aside from the trashy Lizard lady, and lack of info.

Glad to have TNT Back

P.S. I bet w Sheehan in the booth, more attention would be paid to activity on the track. AA & others were v e r y s l o w to pick up on spins, wrecks.

The Loose Wheel said...

Solid in some aspects, missing in others. Refreshing to be able to listen to the booth for a change without a sponsor selling loudmouth trying to tell us what we should think. I appreciate Kyle being outside the box but the speeding penalty was no conspiracy. It's a black and white system and teams just dismissed the fact that the timing loops changed. Not NASCAR's fault they did it. Kudos for the follow-up after the fact.

Only real gripes are that early there were alot of technical glitches with picture hanging at times or audio hanging but seemed to be resolved by race end. Also would like more passing to be shown as the pass occurs. Buschseries said it as well, we are too often this season seeing passes after they happened or as they are ending.

Glad Pocono went to 400 miles, it really enhanced the race I believe. Made for an exciting finish as well.

All-in-all a pretty good day made out of a typical Pocono snoozer. Minor stuff to work on but is worth watching and listening to.

William said...

The wrap up interview with Dale Jr. sums up how "professional" the TNT broadcast was today:

Ralph "Well Dale you said it, you had a really good race car what held you up, was it just fuel strategy at the end?"

Dale "Uh, well we, we uh can we start over again?"

Ralph "Sure, no problem are you ready?"

Dale - Big Swig of Mt Dew

Ralph "Junior you said it your self on the radio at the end you had a really good car at the end, wht was it that cost you the opportunity to get the win?"

Dale "Well we just didnt wan't to run out of gas..."

TNT was interesting to watch, they did better than Fox's last month, but am afraid this is the best they will do, it will be probably be down hill from here.

One prop to the producer, thank you for showing all the lead lap cars finishing, but no thanks for not showing how Gordon slipped from 18 to 24 in the last 4 laps, a lot of racing wqas happening back there while Joey followed Mark.

Also Kyle and Larry - Great color inforation - didnt realize Logano hadnt won in 3 years. Keep up the good work

KoHoSo said...

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Pre-race: great minus the one abomination of the insertion of Lizard Lick Towing...double-odd since that actually runs on truTV, not TNT. The weekly feature with Ned, Awesome Bill, and JJ is going to be a real winner.

Camera work: generally stellar although there were some times I felt like TNT stuck too long with the split-screen in-car/roof cam shot. There was also the tendency to go to a full screen shot on pit stops and Larry Mac when a split-screen to continue covering racing would have been much more appropriate.

Pit/infield crew: Pit reporters very good, easily rivals Fox's crew. Loved being able to hear actual good information from Larry Mac instead of the reduced role he now has at Fox in the shadow of Jaws.

Commercials: TOO FREAKIN' LOUD! I guess TNT is really going to push the envelope until the FCC's CARE Act takes effect this December.

#NASCAR: While I understand it is a work in progress, today it was a general failure. It was as if the crew at Twitter's HQ in San Francisco gave up and went down to Fisherman's Wharf for crab legs.

In-race announcing: I understand that any crew would be out of sync with no warm-up after being off for almost a year. Still, I found it very grating how much Kyle and Wally talked over one another through the whole race. While understandable as both are strong personalities, this is where the PxP man needs to stop in and set the tone. AA never did that and it resulted in a complete disaster at the end as far as calling the race was concerned...pretty much as bad as some of the Fox calls where DW takes over. I still stand by my position that TNT made a big mistake by not realizing how good Ralph Shaheen was when pushed into PxP duty after the dismissal of Bill Webber.

All of that being said, today's race was still better than anything I saw Fox do all year other than the race at Talladega where they were forced to show wide shots and describe the action. I also realize that TNT has a rough job covering a track where action is often hard to find for long stretches of the race. However, I also greatly fear we will have a repeat of last year where we were all mostly happy with TNT's work at the start only to see it devolve into muck at the end.

MortonGroveDon said...

The camera work is better than Fox...alot fewer in car and bumper cams, also nice to see more than 2 cars in any given shot. The announcers, well its nice to hear a few seconds of silence now and then,but I have to agree with the others in saying they seem to be watching monitors. Did anyone else feel the track sounds were alot louder than they needed to be, at times it was hard to hear Adam,Kyle, and Wally. Im glad the Fox deal is thru for the year, but to me the TNT coverage is like getting a rental car at the airport. Not the flashyist mdeol they make, but good enough to get the job done. My only real peeve Quit showing twiiter messages PLEASE!!!!!!!!! I for one have never looked at twitter, nor do I care too. I want to watch the race, to me having to view someone else's comments is like having to indure the ramblings of the Owensboro Idiots....

Sam said...

Nice and refreshing w/o any Waltrips around trying to sell me something or tell me what to think.

Not the best telecast ever, but it was pretty solid. I do like how they actually use their pit reporters. I was afraid they might make a bigger deal about social media then they did but they talked about it just right.

I do agree Ralph would be a better fit with KP and Wally. I wish TNT had the first thirteen races and Fox only had six, or less.

Lou said...

Hi JD,

Short and sweet. What a pleasure it was to listen to the calm and informative voice of Wally Dallenback during the race over the voice of DW, as I did watch part of the prerace. But to me Mr.Dallenback offers much more to me watching a race than DW. And Mr.Dallenback only has a speck of a racing career compared to DW. (If you read this Mr.Dallenback, that is a high comment to what you do in the booth.)I only watched about a third of the race and channel flipped between the Oriole game and the race. And both finished about the same time.

Thought pictures and sound were good and good to watch cars cross the finish line.

Noted the above positive comments of others and in general I agree.

Although this is race one of six. From what I watched, this race was so much easier to watch from the booth announce crew.

Thanks JD.

Lou

Buschseries61 said...

It was decent, but there is plenty of work to do.

For the technical side, the rust had to be scraped off - there were some mistakes cutting to different shots, some volume issues, and some confusion throwing it to the wrong reporters.

The pre-race isn't as strong as when Lindsay Czarniak hosted it from the spinning stage. Larry McReynolds hosting in the infield along with Adam Alexander hosting the program from up in the booth just didn't work for me. Let Ralph Sheheen host the beginning - NBC Sports Net had Kevin Lee host the Texas Indycar pre-race last night, then jump into his firesuit and report in the pits. And for the record, the Lizard Lick thing was horrible.

Adam Alexander has improved from last season, updating the field at each restart. He used the pit reporters for information he did not have. But he still comes off as the odd man out with Wally Dallenbach and Kyle Petty. His play-by-play is still a work in progress.

I like Dallenbach in the booth, but he needs to show he has some interest in this, a decade since he stopped driving in NASCAR. When Adam Alexander wanted Wally to describe a lap at Pocono using the #14 in-car, it was like Wally woke up out of a nap and needed Kyle Petty to update him where they were.

Kyle Petty is still the TNT MVP for me. He can ramble off at times, but he has no problem being critical of NASCAR - a perspective we really don't see much on NASCAR TV. He is unafraid to ask questions to the pit reporters. And he doesn't turn the broadcast into a show about his own universe.

Larry McReynolds excels in his role on TNT. Kyle and Wally did a good job keeping Larry in the coverage throughout the race. But if Larry wants to show something with the cut away car, please don't take up the whole screen under green!

I thought pit road was pretty strong today. The booth kept the reporters on their toes. Ralph Sheheen did a great job reporting on the timing lines. TNT could still improve with more than 1 edition of through the field next weekend at Michigan, it's a great segment. I would have liked to have heard from AJ Allmendinger, it seems like his crash took a lot out of him.

The best and worst aspects of the coverage were the pictures. I saw the TNT pictures I expect every year - wideshots and aerial shots. They were beautiful with restarts, we saw so much action on the track we wouldn't see with a tight single car shot. But in the second half of the race, it just became lazy. It would be one car on the screen (usually the leader) and a lengthy in-car or bumper cam for no reason but to burn time. This format continued until pit stops and would restart again once the pits were empty. The viewers were missing battles for position on the track while the shots on tv indicated the truck was on cruise control. It took all the momentum away from Alexander and turned a great broadcast into a bore. Find the battles, find the cars moving forward, the cars moving back, or just go through the field.

Despite all the issues I brought up, I still enjoyed it better than a FOX broadcast. TNT makes me feel like I am at the race, compared to FOX where I feel like I am watching the race on a small tv in a noisy bar. I feel the raw race energy on TNT, compared to feeling trapped in the Waltrip-Hill universe on FOX. So TNT can certainly do better, but they already beat FOX for me.

AncientRacer said...

TNT pictures were much better than FOX. I did not listen to the TNT booth. I had MRN on and they called a fine race; the final duel between Mark and Joey came over wonderfully. The TV pictures were running just a hair behind MRN so it was, and I must admit pleasantly for the most part, like being able to know several seconds in advance what was going to happen on the screen.

I also liked the 400 mile length. I did not miss at all the missing 100 miles.

Did not see any RaceDay or Pre-Race so I was, if he was anywhere nearby, blessedly and gratefully totally DW free all day. No "B" words or "Me" words scorched my delicate ears.

Anonymous said...

Wide angles showed a LOT of empty seats and empty RV spots.

Brenda said...

I had some difficulty with the audio cutting out. Not a huge problem but irritating.

I liked the less intense announcers in the booth. Sorry DW but it was easier to watch without you.

Anonymous said...

Unlike the Fox broadcasts, I never touched the Mute button all afternoon. Early in the race, I was having trouble hearing the booth over the sound of the engines. I thought the coverage at the beginning was chaotic. They were showing a wide areial shot at the beginning where you could see Landon Cassill starting to spin. Unknowingly, the production truck cut to show the leaders. They did a lot of back tracking to show what actually happened as well as the incident between Hamlin and Edwards. Again, this year, KP and Wally were undisciplined. They get caught up in the emotion of a bunch of things happening on the track and start yapping about theories, possibilities and BS. Meanwhile, they miss even more things happening on the track. They need to stay focused and guide the viewers to the key points of the race. Victory Lane reported 18 pit road speeding violations and true to form, Robin Pemberton said that Nascar did nothing wrong. Mark Martin lived up to his classy reputation in his post race interview. Great for Joey and Jason Radcliff on a well earned victory

Sam said...

Quote of the year so far:
TNT makes me feel like I am at the race, compared to FOX where I feel like I am watching the race on a small tv in a noisy bar.

Fed UP said...

I liked what I saw and heard today from TNT.

It wasn't all about one particular host who's best years are behind him.

I look forward to the next 5 races, I'm just disappointed that TNT doesn't broadcast more of them.

53 said...

Watched most of the race on Hot Pass and thought the camera work
was much improved over Fox. I would vote to loose the cut-away
car. Anyone watching racing already knows what valve springs, etc, are. They could utilize it
during the yellow flag laps while NA$CAR is manipulating the
outcome..

Anyone who watches the Lizard Lick
farce shoud read the N. C. Statutes
covering reposession.

Maverick24 said...

My viewing experience today consisted of MRN on satellite radio combined with the visuals of Racebuddy and the occasional tweet from various NASCAR reporters to fill in the gaps.

As luck would have it the usual lags in Racebuddy and MRN lined up in almost perfect sync so with the exception of no replays, it was almost as good as TV.

I was initially disappointed not to have the option of a 24 in-car, but the large selection of other cameras more than made up for it and gave me a great view. The battle cams especially were excellent at finding the racing and I hardly ever missed a pass made by the 24. The only negatives from the battle cams were for a long period after the 16 had motor problems, one of the cameras kept following him around which was useless. As well, at the end they chose to ignore the winning battle and instead focus further back which was unfortunate.

There was also a period towards the end of the race where there was some background audio of producers discussing the next segment for Miss Coors Light that were bleeding into the video.

I hope not to have to watch another race solely via Racebuddy again, however, there's something to be said for not having your visuals interrupted by a gajillion commercials.

Matt said...

I liked the guys in the booth
No Walltrip's or Wallace's is a big bonus for me
I think they got to hung up on the speeding through pit road but a nice change from FOX

Matt said...

Good intentions, flawed result.

I had frequent audio and video scrambling that sometimes went on for ten seconds at a time.

The Lizard Towing "skit" was the dumbest thing I'd seen since Hammond and Meyers showed up in the hot tub at the Harvicks suite. We've been down this tow truck and repo man road before on reality TV and it hasn't worked. At least this time there's no transvestite operator.

Poor cordination between what's being discussed and what's being shown esp\. during green flag stops where they were showing one car and discussing another. Then they'd flip to the correct video while the pit road reporter switched to talking about the car we'd just seen.

Don't need Petty or Dallenbach exclaiming, "What was that?!" I don't know. I'm at home. You're there. You tell me. Isn't that what you get paid to do? Seemed sometimes Petty was too busy tweeting to look at the monitor or out the window at the track.

Complete disaster with missed video of the first crash. Saw what happened to Cassill but not the other drivers.

Nice use of overheard shots and wide angle cameras. Hope someone at FOX was watching. Long pleasant quiet interludes just letting fans watch what was going on and commenting only when it became necessary to explain a nuance.

A lot of comments on and conjecture about the rash of speeding penalties but no real explanation of WTF was going on. Would have been nice if they sent someone next door to the NASCAR suite to get Hoots, Pemberton or Heltom to comment or explain the issue.

Anonymous said...

Too much talk from Wally and Kyle and not enough play by play. Half way through the last lap before the white flag was even mentioned.

Get rid of twitter! If I want that stuff I will get on my phone.

Maybe the crew needs a race to get back into it. Guess that is what happens when you change teams through the year.

E-Ticket said...

My wife asked whats up with the race this week it is really good, did they change the announcers or something? I said yeah listen, she says I was wondering why I was enjoying it so much.. Can't make that up..

Tim S. said...

Disappointed to have missed Jarrett and Elliott on the pre-race, but refuse to endure still *more* Jimmie Johnson to see them. Hendrick, Hendrick everywhere.

Sally said...

This is the first race this year I found myself actually watching the TV instead of checking in occasionally as I did other things around the house. TNT came much closer to making me feel more as if I was actually AT the race. The booth wasn't perfect, and AA is still a work in frogress (I hope), but they certainly weren't irritating and making me want to throw things as the TV. All in all. one of the best races so far...because I felt I actually got to see more than 10 cars all day.

Anonymous said...

Best coverage of the year.. So nice not to have the Waltrips in the booth.. Very Professional Coverage.. Dallenbach is an underrated analyst and Alexander has done a great job in the pbp booth.. I even thought Chris Neville made a smooth transition from Grand Am Rolex Racing to Nascar.. Pit Reports were excellent and announcers were not afraid to criticize NASCAR over Pit Road Speeding Problems..

Joj said...

I was not near a computer for the race - new greatneice we went to see.

All in all I gave the TNT crew a solid B grade. Was it perfect no nothing is. Was it as bad as its predecessor - NO. We were ok with it.

Race was on TV, good view, nice wide shots, yeah a few tech problems, nothing huge.

It was so nice to have the race start without boogity, sounded very much like a professional sport.

Listen to the radio for laps 140 - 155 on ride home - caught the end here.

Next week I will pay better attention.

Sophia said...

+1
Sam said...
Quote of the year so far:

TNT makes me feel like I am at the race, compared to FOX where I feel like I am watching the race on a small tv in a noisy bar.

June 10, 2012 6:25 PM

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For the record, seeing Tweets on tv does nothing for me

Maybe cause as an early adopter, it's pushed in our faces everywhere now w tons of corporate folks, in the media along with FakeBook! :)

Love the color pictures as they 'fly through the air' from TNT (To quote the late great Tom Snyder)

P.S. Does anybody else wanna trim Larry Hagman's eyebrows on those 'new Dallas' promos! Those things have a life of their own. There's even a FB page of them, lol.

Anonymous said...

Know he's retiring but compare Bob Jenkins during indycar last night with Adam Alexander today. TNT should offer whatever it takes and convince Bob to be semi retired and do their six races a year.

fbu1 said...

I was generally pleased with the broadcast. Despite a few glitches, the direction from the truck is much better than Fox.

I too wish Ralph Shaheen was the lead announcer. He can lead the commentary without stifling the creativity of Wally and Kyle.

Just my opinion

fbu1

Anonymous said...

@e-ticket lots of folks online asking for DW and FOX.......cant make that up

Nascar_Gamecock said...

I loved all the aerial shots and catching most of the racing on the track vs being made to feel like a hood ornament when Fox shows a race. There were a few glitches but that's to be expected and I'm sure improvements will be made next week at Michigan.

Not having either Waltrip involved in the broadcast was my first Sunday not having to take my BP meds nor listen to my better half screaming at the TV for DW to please shut up. Also not having the Fox (meaning DW) guys in the booth show favoritism towards any one particular team, no preconceived agendas/stories was quite nice.

Not sure if some people know that the HDTV's that are 3 years old and newer have a feature in them they can activate to keep the commercials at the same volume as the show you're watching. You can see if it's turned on by using the remote that came with the TV and going to the menu and choosing the audio and make the change there. Nice feaure until the CARE Act takes effect.

Roadgeek Adam said...

First thing that made me happy: The TNT firesuits are gone. I was not a fan of their firesuits for reasons such as that some of them just looked utterly terrible in them.

Whether or not you agree with Kyle and Wally's opinion, honestly, they have good chemistry and as former drivers each, aren't afraid to speak their mind.

Michael said...

Things TNT did better than FOX:

- wide camera angles
- no commercial bumpers
- no Crank it Up
- no halftime show
- restart reset graphic
- finish line camera angle & results graphic


Things TNT did worse than FOX:

- green flag pit stops (no split screen, no graphic down the right side and they covered up the running order with the words Green Flag Pit Stops)

- lack of crew chief in the booth

- the Towing Licking thing during pre-race; of all the shows on the Turner networks this is the one thrown onto NASCAR - nice stereotyping!

- very very very slow reactions to covering crashes as they happened

- technical glitches and slopiness (i.e. Dale Jr. and Ralph post-race)

- no side-by-side commercials

AncientRacer said...

I just saw the photo (taken in what looks like for all the world a meeting room at a downscale motel) of the Twitter NASCAR "curation" "War Room" (it is attached to the Yahoo News article today on the topic of NASCAR/Twitter.

Boy Howdy ... but one has a kinda like Weasley beard.

Oh, did I mention the "curators" are, according to the cut line, located in that notable hotbed of NASCAR fanatics, San Francisco? I didn't? Well its true and it still looks like a cheap motel meeting room.

All of which, at least for today, makes @53's comment, "... Anyone watching racing already knows what valve springs, etc, are...." somewhat questionable. #PagingTimBrewer :)

James said...

I share the same thoughts as posted here. Very nice to hear talking not screaming. No selling or pre scripted race calling, nice pictures, did not miss the camera jumping. It was the first time all year I did not get a headache or feel dizzy from all the trick camera angles. The biggest plus for me was the race was shown like I was there! Someone finally understands how to put pictures on the screen like a real race fan! I did not miss the Waltrips, really enjoyed seeing Ned and Bill, Kyle and Wally are a better match than the "Other Guys"? Ralph should be the PXP man in the booth, AA will never be as good. Really enjoyed how the on air talent would defer to each other and not come across as a know it all. I am not a twitter fan even if they are the race sponsor, but I did not feel it added anything to the broadcast. The production team did a better job and at a much more boring track, proving the theory less is more.

Colorado said...

Anything is better than FOX. TNT did a pretty good job of showing more racing, and more different drivers in my opinion. I actually watched this at the bar instead of home, and even with the sound up, the bar was pretty loud, and the patrons really got into it, more than when I watch it there during FOX's time. TNT knows it's only 6 races, but what a diverse 6 race package: Road course, Daytona, newly repaved Michigan, etc. I think TNT, for what they are given, do a helluva job. Yes, Kyle and Wally could look out the window more, and Ralph in the booth would be better, but all in all, a good telecast. People, remember, FOX destroyed most everything known to man in 4 months! So TNT has to rebuild from ashes. Give them a chance, and see what they can/will do in this 6 week stretch.

GinaV24 said...

Pretty good broadcast, it was nice to see wider shots, which Fox just never seemed to want to do. One glaring exception seemed to be when Jr was leading when the camera followed him around and around and around.

Since NASCAR let that last caution go on and on, it took whatever potential drama of the fuel mileage out of the equation - not sure if that was intentional or not, but that was the effect.

I think that I've gotten very used to following the race via computer. I use trackpass and twitter and now with TNT, I have racebuddy up. I did think that the booth was spending too much time talking about nothing rather than actually calling the race so once again I find that I am depending on information on the computer to update me, long before anyone in the booth thinks of it.

Reading the twitter feed was a pure waste of time during the broadcast.

Tony said...

Most of my issues were technical. The picture/feed break-up was annoying. It also bothered me that they didn't "wide-screen" their graphics now that they show their programs in 16x9. That ticker is the worst-designed one I've seen since NBC's 2006 edition. It'd be nice to see the names crawling across the entire screen.

Pit reporters were great, and I liked that they didn't wear firesuits. Just felt more laid-back that way.

Pre-race was okay. I expected more from that Generations series. And a few more driver interviews would have been nice.

Anonymous said...

I thought viewing this race was quite refreshing!

Camera shots were better!

The booth crew of Alexander, Petty and Dallenbach was fantastic! Actual analytics instead of babble, babble, me me me!

Also, Larry Mac was in his element! Love him!

Yes a few passes and accidents were missed live, but Pocono is ONE BIG RACETRACK! You have to expect that!

I believe TNT and this booth crew will help make the Boring Michigan race better to watch!!

JR

mrclause said...

I did something this weekend that I hadn't done for a while and found the racing interesting again.

I tuned in to the Indy car race and the Pocono race and found them both renewing my enjoyment of the TV broadcasts. In both cases there was no uncontrolled mouth running by the announce team and no dumbing down of the fans. It was as if both teams understood that the fans actually knew something about the racing they were watching. That certainly is something a lot different from the Fox team isn't it? Neither broadcast team had much of a problem dealing with issues pertaining to the sanctioning bodies.

What I realized was just how much DW takes away from my enjoyment of a race. His constant babble and repetition just takes so much from the actual race. When the show is all DW all the time and you have others to compare it to, it's easier to see that TV viewership declining is even more understandable.

I tried watching the truck race but just couldn't get any enjoyment due to the almost unending blather from Mikey. I love the trucks but just cannot stand hours of Mikey talking, talking, talking. Neither he or his brother must have had anyone to talk to while growing up.

Maybe, just maybe, when the new TV contracts come about someone will watch the TNT crew or the Indy car league crew and figure out that Fox is actually turning fans off. That DW and Mikey just aren't the be all end all in broadcasting. Maybe NASCAR is happy because they have these two shills that hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. The TNT crew isn't perfect BUT they were a breath of fresh air yesterday.

MRM4 said...

Was the Pocono race better than previous races or was the broadcast that much better?

I really enjoyed the broadcast. It was a breath of fresh air compared to what Fox has put out since February. The wider shots were much better. I thought it was because TNT still frames their shots for SD broadcasts where Fox frames theirs for HD broadcasts. But I noticed an effort to show a driver or battle being discussed, then zooming out to show what else was going on behind the initial shot. Very well done.

The Mad Man said...

While the camera work was far better than Faux, you could still tell they were following the script from Daytona by who they showed and talked about during the race. Hendrick & its subsidiaries, JGR, MWR, and the occasional Roush driver. Although they did do something Faux wouldn't do. Show guys like David Gilliland and David Ragan and not because they were in a wreck or because the blew a tire or engine, but because they were racing.A concept Faux seems to have forgotten about.

There wasn't the ungodly shilling and cheerleading we get inundated with during the Faux broadcasts. No Motormouth brothers placing themselves above the broadcasts nor the highly biased views. It was great to actually see some racing and hear actual race commentary. I can overlook some of the shots they may have missed. It wasn't nearly as bad as the numerous wrecks, bumping, and racing that Faux missed.

As to the Twitter thing, my TV's in one room and computer in another so given a choice between the two, I'll watch the TV and skip Twitter when the race is on.

Good to see you back JD.

Bruce Ciskie said...

Alexander is really not any better than Jerry Punch was at calling races. I didn't mind one bit when Bill Weber was shown the door, but I never expected that TNT would downgrade at the play-by-play position.

Anonymous said...

We were there yesterday, and that Lizard thing was all over the place, and we had no idea what it was about! We thought that maybe it was sunscreen.

OrangeTom said...

Saw probably the first 30 and last 30 laps of the race. Director seemed to be having trouble getting the right shot at the beginning; Wally was uncharacteristically tentative throughout. I thought chatter and graphics at end made a complete hash of the viewer understanding what was going on with fuel and laps remaining. Hate to sound so negative, I usually prefer TNT's coverage the most, but this race was a mess

chubby4 said...

JD TNT must have had new equipment at the track yesterday or qualified
personel there knowing how to twik it.Haven't seen a broadcast soooo
clear and sharp for along time.Use
to work with AV TV people that really cared about the picture that
they put out,and I seen it again yesterday.
Tks.JD Ron Il.

ThinkingBrian said...

Simply put despite the fact that I like the camera shots and covering more of the field, it was the three guys in the booth and Larry Mac that ruined this broadcast hands down.

It was terrible to watch on TV. The guys never shut up and your right "Alexander should have been calling the play by play and building the drama", but instead Kyle and Wally never stopped talking. It made the race boring despite all of the action on-track.

TNT needs to pick it up, Kyle and Wally need to shut up, tone down Larry Mac and let Adam and the pit road reporters call this race. Otherwise the next 5 races are going to be terrible.

I give it a grade of "D".

cwts33fan said...

I agree with most of this, I think they need to muzzle Petty, he goes way of on tangents about the old days, and doesn't discuss what's happening now. Dallenbach plays right into it, and that leave Alexander searching for a place to wedge in his play by play.

Andrew said...

I'd give TNT a "solid" C+. This telecast was forgettable, but in a great way. In other words, TNT did nothing remarkably stupid or positive. From what we've had this year-to-date, I'll gladly accept that rating.

I like having no host - a very old-school feel to the race. It creates some struggles during the pre-race. Perhaps the ESPN 2012 model of having an infield booth for pre-race only (and never checking in with them during the race) might be the best method.

I enjoyed wider shots, though they certainly could be wider. I also appreciated having Kyle and Wally in the booth. They know when to provide an analysis and when to let the race unfold.

Adam Alexander - God bless him, but he is very plain and boring. That could be the kind of guy TNT needs to work with Kyle Petty, though.

MRM4 said...

To expand on my earlier comments, here are things I liked about yesterday's broadcast:

- Showed more than one or two cars on the track.

- Announcers didn't get face time during the middle of the race.

- Pit reporters were active and gave good reports.

- No active car owners or drivers that have an agenda.

- Interesting pre-race show, not a bunch of silly goofball antics.

- No constant in-car camera shots.

I'm not saying TNT is perfect. Their graphics could be a bit better and framed for a HD picture. I'd prefer a better PxP guy. Put Mike Joy or Allen Bestwick with this group and you have an outstanding broadcast production.

JONATHAN said...

I just wanna say thank you TNT for a great broadcast! I give this race a B- A few improvments here and there and you will get an A from me! I was glued to the tv from start to finish and I cant say that for Fox! JD I feel you the booth did fall apart at the end! I feel as soon as JR hit pit road the booth fell apart.... You could here it in the voices they wanted a win from JR Beautiful pictures, they trearted the race with respect, madee me feel like I was there at times and I love that! Just ask one thing give me a segment where I can hear the race cars sorta like a crank it up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE AA, Kyle, and Wally were a breath of fresh air thats for sure looking forward to Michigan already

Jonathan said...

Chubby I agree the pictures were simply amazing! Thats why I say its was like I was there at times! Nascar eye candy if you ask me LOVE IT

Jack from PA said...

Enjoyed coverage as a whole, much better than what we've put up with from FOX. Thought the booth was just a little too relaxed as they missed a few big events (wrecks, cautions, passes for the lead). Camera shots were great! Really liked aerial camera on the intense restarts.

Anonymous said...

I need to be up front and state that I am not a fan of KP. I think I experienced a bad case of Petty Fatigue a few years ago where he seemed to be everywhere on Nascar television giving his opinion whether he was asked or not. If you are in the booth calling a race, I do not want to hear about your on-track experiences 15 to 25 years ago. I want you to call the race. KP and Wally like to talk and it occaisonally becomes a case of who gets the last word. Last year on one of the shorter tracks,they went back and forth over some obscure point while all heck was going on out on the track. They need to focus on the race and shut up unless its a caution or rain delay. The Waltrips, Mike Joy, Hammond, Crusty,etc ALL do it. I don't know how to break it to these guys,but it's not about YOU!

oldirtracker said...

Plain and simple, looked like a bunch of amateurs but i will take them anyday over DW or his brother. nuff said.

Dennis said...

Some problems, sure. But, I`ll take that broadcast any day. I liked the camera direction and the panned-back look. If all the races were broadcast like this one was, I`d be satisfied. Also, liked having race buddy. I like being able to `ride around` with the drivers for part of the race.

Dot said...

For once Pocono wasn't boring. I think it was the speeding penalties that did it. I enjoyed TNT's coverage much more than FOX's.

When the Lizard Lick Towing comml came on, I swear I thought one of the cats changed the channel. I had to check to be sure.

My wish is that TNT takes over the BSPN part of the TV contract. And I hope Dale Jarrett & Andy Petree get hired there if it happens.

E-Ticket said...

@Anonymous lots of folks asking Waltrips to be quiet during the Fox Broadcasts... Can't make that up.. I signed my name...

Keith Murray said...

It was a welcome change for the narcissistic rambling form the FOX booth. Kyle Petty always does a good job. Wally has grown on me over the years. At least we don't have to hear the whiny voice of Michael Waltrip anymore this year!

sue said...

What a breath of fresh air was this production of the Pocono race by TnT. We saw side by side racing, great wide camera angles of pit road. A little problem with the scroll not working.

Not home on many Sundays due to work but got to watch both Raceday and the prerace on TnT. Wish they could coordinate that they don't have the same person interviewed on both prerace shows. This week it was Jimmie Johnson. In the past this was also a problem with Fox and Speed.

procarry23 said...

Too. Much. Hendrick. Seriously, leave Dale Jr. alone and focus on the 42 other drivers that just HAPPEN to be racing, too. What's going to happen when Danica makes a return to the series?

Cangal said...

The TNT broadcasting was less than impressive, announcers tripping over each other's words, interrupting one another, talking over each other, totally unprofessional. If you are providing colour commentating, you should look representative of the part. Shirt, ties and jackets. Hair should be styled appropriately, Kyle Petty's hair needs to be cut, styled to make his appearance more suitable for international broadcasting. You certainly don't see this lack of dress code in other sports. Have some diplomacy NASCAR and station managers, adopt a dress code to be at par with other sports commentators. Do your research prior to telecast.

Zac said...

The TNT camera crew does a much better job of making sure the viewer doesn't get claustrophobic; what I mean is shots of the cars and track that AREN'T so zoomed in it feels like that I'm not allowed to look at anything else.

The commentating crew is the best as far as NASCAR goes. I highly enjoy Kyle Petty, Wally Dalenbach and Adam Alexander (to a much lesser extent, anyway).

The social media aspect of this has a lot of high aspirations, but it's still very rough. I tend to use Twitter as a means to keep updated while the race is going on and the only time I saw someone trending is when they blew up or wrecked. The other bad part about '#NASCAR' is the fact that a lot of people are using it and, therefore, it scrolls at about 50-100 tweets a second. It's nearly impossible to keep up. It's a never-ending cavalcade of tweets that get lost in the shuffle. Nothing is ever perfect right out of the gate. I'll give it some time before I deem it a success or failure.

Overall? I enjoyed the broadcast much more than FOX. My only knock is that Wally and Kyle tend to go off on diatribes about things while there's a race going on; much less than FOX, however. It's not too big of a deal when you watch most of the races on mute nowadays.

Jacob S. said...

Still not a big fan of Kyle Petty or TNT in general. However, for a Pocono race it wasn't all *We'll be back after these commercials you saw 7 minutes ago*

Jeff Placer said...

My main complaint about all of the broadcasters is that they need to stop focusing the cameras on whichever driver the announcers are discussing. Show the best action and let the announcers comment on what they see.

Also, just less talking. Let us watch the race and hear the engines. It's not radio where we can't see what's happening.