Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Race Wrap: NASCAR On TNT From New Hampshire

Another NASCAR TV transition is complete as TNT ends its summer series for 2012. Currently, the network has two more full seasons on the existing TV contract with NASCAR.

Adam Alexander hosted another pre-race show that was packed with information and features. The "Countdown to Green" has been solid this season. It seems this forum works best for Alexander in a host role. This week, Greg Biffle was the special guest on the infield set.

Kyle Petty and Larry McReynolds were on the pre-race panel. These two work well together in conversation but struggle to cooperate while standing at the TORC car and trying to speak about issues while pointing at car parts.

Pit road reporter Marty Snider was out ill, so TNT went with a three-man pit road team. Ralph Sheheen, Matt Yocum and Chris Neville did the job with no problems. The pit road reporters have been the foundation of this coverage.

In the TV booth, Alexander again led casual and non-excited conversation about the race right up to the end. This is the style TNT chose and they stayed with it for all six races. It leaves a lot of information on the table while the booth talent is joking and talking about the race in general.

The coverage was basic. Tight shots of cars were mixed with in-cars and focus shifted from driver to driver. Beautiful aerial shots were only used as transitions out of commercial. Even in boring racing, the director chose to stick with the identical style of coverage lap after lap. It was tough to watch.

Commercials once again were an issue as TNT does not use the side by side format. Several minutes of racing were followed by several minutes of commercials. This forced fans to use the live PRN radio coverage and the online RaceBuddy to keep some sort of live racing going during the TV commercials. Normally, these commercials cover about one-third of the total race.

This post is to ask you about how you enjoyed the coverage of this race and the TNT season as a whole? Your comments may be moderated prior to posting. Thank you for stopping by.


Bryant said...

TNT is a joke. Poor analyses and too many commercials. I mean who enjoys immature jokes and lame catch phrases repeatedly during a race broadcast? Apparently Adam Alexander and Kyle Petty...

lesleyworth said...

Countdown to Green has been good, but that's about it. I spend a lot of time with the race on mute while I follow along on Twitter. I have zero faith in TNT Keeping me up-to-date on what is actually going on.

w17scott said...

Mr Editor -
TNT came and went with the wind as production quality vanished with ill-timed breaks and commercial overload ...hopes for good effort went by the wayside with absence of professionalism and serious attention from the booth ...racing coverage lacking with continued focus on the leaders or points racers and 'happy talk' ...WideOpen Coverage was simply a tease, rather than portending improved broadcasts ...NHMS: grade 'C' ...overall 'C-'

kbaskins said...

It was a boring race, exacerbated by boring play-by-play and analysis. All-in-all, it was a total snoozefest.

I still don't understand why TNT continues to stick with Adam Alexander for PxP. Ralph Sheheen did an excellent job when he temporarily took over the position a couple of years ago. Don't get me wrong; I really like Alexander, but he's just wrong for the PxP position.

This has been an incredibly disappointing year for NASCAR broadcasts. FOX was awful, TNT was awful, and if history is any indicator, ESPN won't be an improvement. To add insult to injury, most of the races have been totally lacking in excitement. I may just have to find something else to do with my Sundays.


red said...

This one moment summarizes my frustration with the entire broadcast:

Hamlin is racing hard through the field after taking 4 on the last stop. He's making passes, driving hard, and gaining ground on the leader each lap. And the booth says something to the effect of "He's putting on a master class of how to pass right now."

Except -- we weren't being shown that. At all. It's hard to appreciate the skill and drive that Hamlin had in those last 20-some laps when we're not being SHOWN the passing until maybe 5 to go.

I am not a Hamlin fan but I am a race fan. And I sincerely wish the Producer had just left the cameras on the 11 as he made his way through the field on nothing more than sheer determination and skill (well, that & 4 fresh tires!)

On another note: I stayed silent on Twitter today, just read the comments on clusters of 40-50 and tried to watch the race. But the commercial load simply destroyed any sense of continuity the broadcast might have hoped to achieve. (And just how ARE things on the West coast anyway?!?)

Just not an enjoyable broadcast for me.

Mary Dzuro said...

Broadcasters seemed as bored by this race as I was. Maybe it was their blase attitude that made me feel bored. Since they never show racing back in the field that much, there could have been interesting action going on, who knows? Once again, way too many commercial interruptions, at least 2-1/2 min. each time. Really disappointed by TNT coverage. Hope ESPN will be better (we can always hope).

Anonymous said...

Extremely bad coverage.
For some reason, I'm reminded of NBC's NASCAR coverage of 2006 when they were getting out of the sport.
Could this be a sign that TNT may be selling Fox their share of the remaining contract. (WOO-WOO, more Waltrips!!!!)
I'm interested in hearing ESPN's coverage plans this week. They instituted side-by-side, albeit for the second half of the race.
Too much to ask for the entire race?
They are promoting NASCAR on all of their networks, although I'm tired of that Jimmie Johnson ad.
I just hope that ESPN's coverage is more Jekyll than Hyde this year.

Buschseries61 said...

What a horrible race, worse than the tv coverage. I'm so glad I went to Dover instead of Loudon.

Boring races need a good play-by-play guy to keep fans awake and looking ahead to the real race at the end. Adam Alexander just added to the boredom.

The transition between Ralph Sheheen's reports on pit road to Adam Alexander back in the booth reminded me of Allen Bestwick & Dr. Jerry Punch a few years ago. Allen revived the broadcasts with his rundowns in the infield studio, and the energy just died once Dr. Punch took over with his monotone play-by-play.

Petty, Dallenbach, and McReynolds made the most of what they were given. Credit to TNT for following the weather situation.

What else is there to say? 9 cars parked before the one third marker, the most I've ever seen in Cup. We had 2 'debris' cautions & we weren't shown the debris. We saw minimal passing inbetween commercials. (Brad Keselowski & Denny Hamlin were the only 2 to figure that passing thing out). The only highlights of the race were the #18 speeding on pit road and the #11 taking 2 more tires than the rest. Really frustrating.

Sally said...

I've found that the advantage to the race 'coverage' lately is that it allows me to get a lot more done around the house while I occasionally walk past the TV. I cleaned 2 bathrooms, cleaned and/or polished 2 pairs of riding boots, and took apart, cleaned, oiled, and put back together a bridle. Unfortunately, that left me enough time to see too many closeups of single cars as the race was winding down. Very little useful information, either from the booth or the pictures. I must thank the 'TV partners' for making my Sundays much more productive this year.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm glad my ordeal with Tnt has come to an end. I didn't watch until the young lady sang the Star Spangled Banner. I turned the volume down until I saw something interesting. Then I was insulted by KP commenting on 13# of tire pressure. Off he goes on bouncing a basketball, dodge ball and whatever while cars were jockeying all over the place on the start. KP just can't stay focused. There was obvious friction between KP and AA. Ralph Sheheen should be on standby for 2013. Wally is just useless. He tried to make a point about being out of sequence on pit stops and just lost whatever logic he was trying to conjure up and just trailed off. I never saw any debris. Jimie Johnson was obviously not happy about that last debris caution. Larry Mac was good on the tire strategies and fuel stops. The "closing the gap" visual was useful. There were several high,aerial shots showing the placement of the leaders which was great. The commercials were insane. They replayed several of them 6-8 times today. I'll NEVER buy those products. They even showed one or two racing deals mid-pack. I don't know how that happened. The cars must have looked like the #88. Lol. I'm glad Tnt is over so we can complain about Rusty, Brad, Nicole and the Espn gang. Just kidding....maybe.

OSBORNK said...

I really intended to watch the race. I was in front of my 52" TV as it played but the narrative didn't match the pictures on the TV and I lost interest. Since both the race (I guess) was boring as was the coverage, I did other things and didn't care what happened in the race. My interest in NASCAR has dropped dramatically and I no longer care whether I see the race or not. I DVR every race but I delete the without watching them even when I find something better to do.

Bobby O said...

I went to the pool for some sun and fun with my girl!
Glad I missed it!

A former nascar fan from the 70's....

The Loose Wheel said...

Echoing the sentiments of others, Alexander just isn't the right PxP guy. He was great as a pit reporter. He was great on SPEED as a host. But he is not great calling action during the race. He reports. He does not call action. Bill Weber was the same way. The guy was a reporter put in a PxP role. I credit TNT for trying to use Wally and KP, but AA can not keep them in check long enough to get anything useful out of them most days. You need a Sheheen or Bestwick to keep the analysis on track. Wally tried to cover strategy but what summarized this broadcast up to me was the caution after Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson pitted. You watched Kyle make his mistake and lose a ton of ground, yet once the caution flew, they automatically figured since Jimmie was the first lap down car that Kyle was on the lead lap and thus in control. Quickly they realized their mistake but the lack of communication still showed.

The commercial load sucked. I did notice that AA did not pitch a "see you next season" or anything so perhaps that is an indicator too. Larry again was the star of TNT.

My biggest issue with TNT was there was no real depth in how they called the race. They would mention someone having a good run or particularly bad run after we were looking at results rather than follow up during the event.

They tried, but it just didn't shake out.

papaserge said...


You posted something about TNT possibly not coming back for 2013.

If Turner Sports can't sell the races to Fox, I'm willing to bet this same terrible coverage becomes "NASCAR on TruTV" next season.

Anonymous said...

It didn't take much of this forsaken broadcast for me to switch over to Ben Sheet's debut for the Atlanta Braves. Much better play by play and analysis both and the booth there followed the game instead of pre-scripted storylines.

Tracy D said...

Watched Game of Thrones replaying on HBO instead. Saw the last few laps, ho hum.

Anonymous said...

Gave it a chance, gave up and watched Aussie SuperCars. NH bored me to tears when I wasn't watching commercials.

I wonder how these folks can look in a mirror and think they did a good job. I'm not talking just about the broadcaster but also NASCAR.

I think back to the glory days of ESPN coverage, and I don't even think that they could make these races interesting.

GinaV24 said...

Very disappointed in TNT's coverage today and for most of their 6 race stint. There may have been racing at NH, but we didn't see much of it. Commercials, commercials, commercials. NH always has long green runs and today was no exception, but without any PXP, you couldn't follow any of the action.

Once again, I used trackpass (which had problems of its own), twitter and the radio feed to find out what was going on.

The one good thing, TNT did show at least the top 10 crossing the finish line.

DewCrew88 said...

TNT Recap:

Racebuddy is Great. Should be required for all network coverage.

Larry Mac is great, Kyle petty is great 50% of the time, other 50% confusing. Wally is good no complaints there.

Adam seems like he is either being fed evrything he says from an ear piece.

Shots are good, much better than fox.

Commercials are horrendous.

Anything I missed?

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness for Nascar Hotpass,is what i have to say.What a joke with with the commercials covering a third of every race run.Brian France is a younger,modern day Nascar version of Mr. Haney from Green Acres,and we are like Oliver Douglas having to stand there and take his "industriousness".

Zetona said...

The dullest NASCAR season I've ever followed is happening alongside the worst TV coverage of the sport I can remember. Shame—maybe if one were good, it would hide the other's faults.

E-Ticket said...

I usually watch/listen to the race and view twitter while editing pictures. My moral compass is my wife who relaxes and watches TV while I am working and turn around for important stuff.. Today she looks at me says are they going to show the race?? All they have done is commercials over and over.. Then I get is Denny Hamlin the only car on the track? TNT abused its viewers and never looked back.. My daughters have a saying that applies to this.. Sucks to Suck and TNT sure does.. We got abused by the powers that be as NASCAR fans for our Brand Loyalty don't forget that... EVER they know it and will not let it go.. Horrible race coverage today..

You know what I find funny? I don't see as many pro TV comments with TNT as FOX had those folks seemed to have vaporized, imagine that wonder who it was??

Doug said...

I’ve not been a fan of FOX’s and TNT’s coverage so far this year. My current grade for the NASCAR TV coverage is a D (on a sliding scale). I have many issues with the FOX TV booth and the TNT TV booth. As much as I complain about the poor commentary, the numerous commercials, joke about Darrell Waltrip, Michael Waltrip, Kyle Petty, Adam Alexander, and KFC’s “Mac and Cheese/Mashed Potatoes” commercials, there is one thing in common with all of us on this blog – The majority of us continue to watch every week. Some watch the broadcast to see the race and others watch knowing they will be pissed off and voice their opinion on Twitter using #NASCAR or #TDP1 hashtags, or vent on Facebook. I have done all of the above. It feels good but it actually accomplishes nothing. FOX, SPEED, TNT, and ESPN could care less about how we feel about the TV coverage. They know, as much as we bitch, we will continue to watch. I recently sent a tweet to Adam Alexander complaining about the number of commercials during the broadcast. His response to me was; “Thanks, I’m glad you watched”. I’m grateful for the #TDP1 hashtag to be able to vent during races and chat back and forth with frustrated NASCAR fans. Hell, there’s even an occasion or two on twitter where we chat about NASCAR in a positive light. Bottom line is, we all love NASCAR or we wouldn’t be watching it or spending time replying to blogs, and most of us will continue to watch it no matter how bad we think it is just to see our favorite drivers. What other choice do we have? Sure, we can watch on DirecTv’s HOTPASS, NASCAR’s Racebuddy, or listen to PRN, MRN, or SIRUSXMNASCAR radio but nothing beats sitting on your favorite couch or recliner in front of your big screen TV sipping on your beverage of choice. As much as I hate the TV coverage I have no choice but to continue to watch it unless the race is at a track within a reasonable driving distance.

Joseph said...

Watch SPEED's always brilliant Grand-Am and Continental GT coverage, then tell me how NASCAR gets handled this badly. The incompetence is stunning. If the new car doesn't improve the racing, and the networks can't get their act together next year, NASCAR is in for a long, slow decline. This series is practically unwatchable.

Anonymous said...

Man am I tired of getting pummeled with commercials. It's almost like they are trying to force people to DVR the races.

I called that first debris caution before they went to the commercial break. Am I psychic? Heck no, I just have been paying attention. When 20 drivers get a lap down you can bet your A that a bogus caution is a comin'.

AllisonJ said...

There's not a lot of difference between races and between broadcasters. There are only two truths:

1. One-third of every race is commercials, no matter who is hosting the race.

2. NASCAR has devolved to one of the most boring forms of autosport. The races are too long, the tracks too similar, and the story lines are simply variations of a standard set of themes.

Both of these issues can be fixed. But since the money is more important than the racing, they won't be fixed. Greed permeates NASCAR, from NASCAR, Inc. to the drivers to the team owners.

Colorado said...

Ditch New Hampshire. One race a year should be enough for that snoozer. Add in a substandard product on the track, with poor telecasts, and the integrity of the sport is going way downhill very fast. It seems that the action on the track has caught with the telecasts. It's hard to emote excitement from mile and a halfs, New Hampshire, etc. Next week is going to be just as boring. NASCAR never should race at Indy. Talk about a snooze fest! by lap three, the leader will be out front by 7 seconds. Hard to generate excitement there.

MRM4 said...

Two big complaints about this year's coverage by TNT. Too many commercials and poor PxP.

If my math is correct, Sunday's race had 31% of the broadcast with commercials. That's too many. Just when you get settled in, up pop ups another commercial break. And for a race that featured few cautions, a lot of green flag racing was missed (not that there was a lot going on as it was).

Alexander is a poor PxP person. He drags Wally and Kyle down to his level. If TNT has any notion of staying in NASCAR, they need to upgrade. There are too many good race announcers out there not to have one in place.

Poor TNT gets some of the worse races on the schedule, so they don't have a lot to work with. Still, this year's coverage has been disappointing aside from Pocono.

53 yr. fan said...

I also left the merry go round to
watch Ben Sheets & the Braves. Only watched during inning breaks.
Most cars were just points racing.
The 11 car proved that when he
drove back to the front. No one
even attempted to challenge him.
The Chase is killing the race!!

Tex said...

Yesterday I sat down to watch commercials and a race kept interrupting my day.

I was total frustrated.

I'm gonna write Ted Turner and let him know.

Lemon Lyman said...

E-Ticket said...

You know what I find funny? I don't see as many pro TV comments with TNT as FOX had those folks seemed to have vaporized, imagine that wonder who it was??

We have done a good job on here of correcting those people that would defend FOX or TNT. We showed them why they were wrong to think their way. And now, we don't have to deal with their corrosive nature. We may have a smaller community, but at least we are one in our march to improve NASCAR to our liking.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to add a few points to what I offered earlier. It's true. As much as we complain, most of us watch the race albeit some of us with the volume turned down,etc. But I, for example no longer watch Trackside, Nascar Performance,Race Day, Victory Lane, Nascar Now,etc. I record Hub and blow through it later. Hub really is a half hour show with an additional half hour of "lifestyle" television. If I were Brian France, I wouldn't get too excited about how well Nascar is doing. I'd dump the Chase. Initially, I was opposed to it. Then I embraced it, now I can't stand it. Too much can go wrong in 10 races to mess up a great season. With 36 races, it should be clear who deserves to be Champion. But BF isn't looking for a Champion. He's looking for a Marketing tool.

GinaV24 said...

Doug, you make a good point about "we're still watching". It looks more and more likely that my favorite, Jeff Gordon, will miss the chase this year. If that is the case, I will tune out since ESPN's coverage will only be about the 12 cars in the chase. About the only good thing I can say about that is that the chase races are all in the fall, when the weather is usually the absolute best it can be. I can find something else to do with my time and if Gordon's not in the hunt for the chase for the chumps, well, I can do it w/o feeling as if I'm missing something.

The 2nd good part of that is that I have tickets to 3 of the 10 chase races, so regardless of ESPN's coverage, I will be able to watch the race on MY terms.

Anonymous said...

On a quick note,i implore everybody that has Directv to turn to channels 795-798 during the commercial breaks to not miss any action.For those of you that dont know Nascar Hotpass is free to anybody that subsribes to Directv,no matter what package you have(and has been since 2009).If you have Directv and arent getting Hotpass you are getting ripped off.For every points race there are 4 dedicated drivers channels.These channels show a split screen shot of both that driver's onboard camera and a simulcast of the network/cable broadcast along with a grid "ticker" and a couple of other graphics.The channels also play the teams radio communications as long as the network isnt in commercial.As you might expect the network broadcast goes to commercial breaks,however the onboard camera shot is completely COMMERCIAL-FREE.For those of you that have a favorite driver check out the lineup each week to see if he's on there because it makes watching his race so much easier to follow and more entertaining.Even if you dont have a specific driver you want to watch it can be very useful.Once again,ANYBODY that has Directv Should flip to channels 795-798 while FOX/TNT/ESPN are in commercial because as i said before,the drivers onboard cameras are comm-free.By doing this you wont miss anything that goes on during commercials.Trust me,it's a LIFE SAVER.It's kinda like Racebuddy,but there are some differences worth noting.For one thing,unlike Racebuddy,Hotpass is actually about 5-10 seconds ahead of the regular broadcast because ever since Robby Gordon called Michael Waltrip a POS they run on a 10 second delay.Also,unlike Racebuddy you wont hear any onboard camera sounds, (execpt for team radio of course)that "window" is silent.They always play the audio from the regular broadcast at a soft but hearable volume.Whenever the team comes over the radio they play it a fair bit louder so you can hear it good but you may still have to crank up the volume depending on your TV .The big thing though,is you dont have to deal with the constant skipping troubles that Racebuddy has.That's about it.A lot of people A lot of you already know about this of course,but there are a lot of people that are still in the dark about this because Directv dosen't Advertise it on TV anymore.As most people Know,Hotpass started as a pay per view package in 2007.What many people dont know is that at the end of 2008 Nascar and Directv decided to drop it and change it completely.They downgraded the features but also made it free to all subscribers.however,for some reason Directv also completely stopped advertising it on TV,thus many people dont know about it to this day.I myself didnt even know about this at all until early last season.I was flipping through the channels during the las vegas race and stumbled upon these channels.I didn't even find out until a few months ago that it was even free!I had just assumed that they were giving it to us free for a limited time as a gift because of some problems we'eve had with them.But alas,it is free and has been since 2009.Im sorry if i've went on too long and made this sound like an advertisement,but i just want the people that are in dark about this to know what the deal is.Hotpass is the absolute best way to follow a specific driver and is a life saver during commercial breaks.I implore all of you that have Directv to read my above tip.It will make the commercial breaks so much easier to take.Thank you all and God Bless you.

AveryNH said...

Fortunately I avoided the TNT debacle entirely. Being there at the track was phenomenal. I'm sorry everybody at home got slammed with this commercial fest. I had the sprint vision scanner and saw all the tweets slamming TNT and their awful coverage. PRN was great again yesterday. Always on top of whatever I was focusing in on. Best moment from yesterday was JPM blowing up at his crew chief over how bad his car was plowing the corners. Lotta F bombs

Fed UP said...

Why can't they do open wide with commercials on the side for all races?

I don't mind the booth. At least I don't have to listen to the broadcasters shill for one maker over another. I don't even mind Larry Mac and his massacre of the english language.

What I am disappointed in is the lack of SHOWING the fans the action. And that unfortunately is the common demoninator in all three broadcast partners. I don't want tight shots, don't care about bumper cams, and please can you show at least the top 10 crossing the finish line.

I know that its only going to get worse with ESPN, especially with the chase. I guess if your driver isn't it, why bother watching? Its not like they are going to get shown.

Like others have said, the TV partners have made it much easier to multitask....however, I don't think it was the intention.

Robbie Mac said...

TNT coverage was painful on many levels.

Blown video including the finish at Sonoma.

Alexander doesn't do it for me and Wally seems to be chewing gum, Kyle drifts in and out.

I'm a 30 year NA$CAR fan and it can be trying. Why do commentators have to be former drivers or crew chiefs? Allen Bestwick, Jerry Punch and Ralph Shaheen all stand out for me.

While the racing was boring it was nice to see the stands quite full. NHMS deserves two dates and they had a very full schedule on for the weekend.

If I had my pick of the weekend it would be Whelen Modifieds hands down!

Anonymous said...

West Coast Diane said:

Countdown to Green....great!

Start watching race on TNT on DVR.

By lap 20 switch to HotPass on DVR.

Would never watch live...too painful.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

rowdygirl1851 said...

Honestly, I *know* the racing isn't as boring as TV coverage makes it out to be (with IMS being the possible exception). I've been out to some of these tracks and I see the action going on further back in the pack. When I'm at home, I sit and watch gaps close and passes happen with PitCommand that you never so much as hear a peep about on TV.

As much as everyone says the economy is what's killing attendance at the tracks, I believe that's only part of the problem. How on earth are you going to get more people interested in spending their money to actually go to a race themselves when even the TV guys seem bored by/uninterested in what's going on?!? Simple answer - you can't!

I agree with many who've said Adam Alexander is a good reporter but he just flat-out flops in the PxP role. Sheheen really showed he could do a good PxP in the past - they really need to give him another crack at it and allow Adam to do what he does best - report.

If you want to talk about what can be a very boring race, I watch the Tour de France every year. Admittedly, there are stages in that race where there really isn't much happening but Phil Leggett and the rest of the group (cameramen, directors, etc) that cover that race always find whatever action is going on and (novel concept) they cover it! Amazing how that can transform what would otherwise be a "boring" stage into something I enjoy watching for 3 hours/day for several days.

If only we had the right people in the TV booth (paging the MRN/PRN crews, please!!!) who were allowed to call the race as it happened without having to fit in some pre-written script, we wouldn't be complaining about boring races and we'd actually *know* what was going on throughout the entire field instead of just maybe being lucky enough to know who the top 10 cars are...

I swear the TV people are on a Rocky Mountain High of some sort! And no, I wasn't born on the bayou and I have no idea how things are on the West Coast... smh (After yesterday, I'd sincerely be embarrassed if I was somehow associated with AT&T. Good grief!!!)

Daly Planet Editor said...

Fed Up,

NASCAR has put the whammy on side by side commercials for years. We will see if ESPN again uses the format for the last half of the Chase races.

The theory on this is that the networks can only charge a reduced rate for ads not run full-screen. This, in turn, would eventually lower the dollars NASCAR can charge the networks in rights fees to show the races.

Pretty viscious circle, huh?


Ancient Racer said...

All I can say is this: PRN. Thank god for PRN.

They had a lot of commercials too, but the glory of radio, as anyone who has ever cracked a mike knows, is you cannot -- simply cannot shut up as the worst sin is dead air. So when you are in program you must be making noise talking about something so in a race you hear much more about what is going on.

Had the TV on too, but from radio audio i could not believe the pictures I was seeing were from the same race.

It was ... surreal ... don't let thew door hitcha, TNT :)

Anonymous said...

Memo to all pit reporters: If you're tempted to ask "What does this win mean to you?" please turn in your hard card and go work somewhere else because you will NEVER EVER get an answer that means anything more than a vapid soundclip. It's lazy reporting and you know it. In fact, it's not even reporting. It's just standing there giving the driver an excuse to say his sponsor names and practice what his PR person tells him to say.

Ralph Shaheen deserves huge kudos for watching the race, understanding the sport and asking specific questions of the drivers. So big respect due Mr. Shaheen. I'd be very happy if he was part of the ESPN crew, but I know we'll probably have Miss Ponytail asking "Tell us what winning here means to you" before you know it.

obrook said...

TNT had the best opening song with AC/DC which got us pumped for the race.
TNT coverage was solid except to many commercials which all three networks are guilty.
Thank goodness for DirecTV and hotpass.

What really bothers me is next week with ESPN and there sports scroll at bottom of page. PLEASE ESPN if your listening drop the scroll during the race. Nascar fans don't care about baseball and lacrosse scores.
At least this one.

Anonymous said...

Well I would grade the TNT coverage this year as a B over a D I would give the Fox coverage. All networks blow for commercials during the races, Fox was no better than TNT. Even when Fox wasn't in commercial, they wasted time with the "mid-race report" or roving Hammond. To me both of those segments are equally as bad as commercials.

TNT does offer RaceBuddy to balance out commercials to some extent. The TNT pre-race is not a bad pre-race at all. They tended to interview drivers, hit on some big stories and had the interesting legends conversation piece. Adam in the booth does leave a lot to be desired and would have been better being left as the pre-race host and staying down there with Larry Mac. I wouldn't have minded seeing Rick Allen doing play by play with TNT.

A question I have for everyone is, did anyone notice that when TNT was doing the pit road pre-race thing they only showed 36 cars being on pit road, when there are 43 in the race? I know the start and park guys barely count, but not even showing that they exist on pit road doesn't do them much justice.

Anonymous said...

I am really tired of seeing half a pit stop. Especially when you can see a guy scrambling to pick up dropped lug nuts, and the jack man has to back track, and then CUT to another pit stop or a driver leaving his box. WTF? Let us see how the stop ended! I see this all the time on stops, but this 18 stop was the worst example of bad coverage.

Anonymous said...

Can only hope & pray that NASCAR does better with contracting TV coverage after TNT's contract comes to an end... NASCAR is a GREAT sport very sd it is not represented as such via it's TV coverage....

Anonymous said...

Just finished this week's nascar Fan Council survey - my comments in summary: Lasted about 4 laps watching Sunday's Sprint Cup race on tv, then turned on PRN streaming through Computer - which is great if I happen to be at home near the computer - but doesn't work if I have to dvr the tape. TNT needs a play by plan announcer. Fans are expressing how boring the races are - but I believe that is directly related to what is shown on tv - the race via the radio sounds pretty exciting. I am not sure NASCAR people negotiating the TV contracts understand how important being able to see a good race on TV adds interest for the fan. After Fox and TNT, I'm pretty disgusted with trying to watch a race on TV - and ESPN is notorious for only following the top 10 cars (in points standings - regardless of their position on the track). I beg you to look closely at this. Someone on Twitter mentioned watching an old race on Youtube - so I clicked an old race and watched for a while - a race on ESPN with Bob Jenkins, Benny Parsons and Ned Jarrett - I remember watching races with them and the broadcast team did an incredible job. What is being aired today is a disgrace to the sport.

Name intentionally withheld

fbu1 said...

In my opinion, TNT regards NASCAR as a "smash and grab" opportunity, milking every possible dollar from the NASCAR cash cow and putting a barely credible product on our screens. TNT broadcasts make one look back fondly on Fox's periodical updates from the Hollywood Hotel. At least the race's major moments would be revealed to the fans. The race-long conversation in the TNT booth is almost incidental to the action on the track, and is not always accurate. Any racing activity that does not involve the top ten or a marquee driver is treated like a state secret. They are saved from total embarrassment by their excellent pit reporters.

Most of us here have our own issues generally with how NASCAR is presented on TV. However, the problems with TNT transcend our quibbling about Rusty's grammar or too many Waltrips etc. My personal concern is sustaining interest in the sport. I am not engaging in hyperbole when I say that, among my peers, interest in watching NASCAR is fading. The fans who have an emotional investment in their favorite drivers are content to get their information online after the race. What does that mean for NASCAR's growth or sustainability as a national sport? I don't know.

With the exception of Daytona, in my opinion the TNT schedule of races has been a failure. I am sure, however, that when TNT adds up their commercial receivables, they will consider their run of races to be a rousing success.


Tiffany Todd said...

Thank goodness for race view, trackpass, race buddy and twitter! Otherwise we would have no idea what was going on with the racing behind the top 10. If I am not at the track I always have my computer on watching race view and the tv on in the back ground. All year the networks have missed a lot of great racing and battles because they concentrate on the leaders or certain popular drivers. If I were new to the sport and just watched the broadcast on tv, I would have lost interest.
As for the commentators, Kyle Petty needs to stick to trackside with his jokes and antics. He has no place in the booth doing play by play. Kyle was never that great of a driver. He found his success on the coat tails of his father. So what qualifies him to be a commentator? Allen Bestwick is great and probably the best one to be the head commentator in the booth. I miss Ken Squire.
All and all, yesterday's race was lack luster. I ended up falling asleep after the first 5 laps and woke up just in time to see the last 10 laps and Kasey win the race. If all the networks don't get their act together they r going to continue to see low ratings ause there are now so many other ways to listen or watch the race.

bowlalpo said...

I'm unable to comment on any TV from NH since I was at Iowa Speedway or in transit. But from what I heard on PRN, both races were parades, unless you had a great car, or (in the case of Hamlin) 4 tires and desire. TNT was good in the first race and at Daytona, but I could not watch the others without HotPass. Some sports programs can make commercial breaks less obvious, but with TNT, the breaks were magnified.

When at the track, I always try to find the frequency which has both the TV announcers and the director. The SPEED director for Iowa's ARCA and CWTS worked his crew hard to find battles in the field, which was not always easy during ARCA. He often told his camera operators to widen out, and he held the finish line shot for several seconds before cutting to a celebration shot.

Perhaps that director is JD's puppet (/sarc), but after hearing that director's commands, and then watching most of the two Iowa races' replays in my hotel, I have to ask, "why can't everybody cover a race that way?"

Auto racing is a difficult sport to cover, but JD is right. The producer and/or director have pre-determined agendas. At Iowa on SPEED, the agenda was to present the most action. For everybody else, the agenda is to dumb-down the coverage because the new "fan" can only pay attention (or loves being force-fed to pay attention) to the race-leader. They don't let the race play out.

Finally, in NW and Cup, the ads get in the way so badly, they completely shut down most of the excitement. That's where I can't blame Adam Alexander for the style he uses. Why waste the energy when the race is only on for 5 of every 8 minutes?

larry said...

After the first TNT broadcast, I stopped watching the races. NASCAR doesn't want my demo to be a fan any more, and the TV coverage is so bad, so I just don't bother.

Twitter and TDP are my NASCAR sources now. I guess I have finally lost interest after over 50 years of rather fanatic support for the racing.

Racefan323 said...

The only time that it sounded like an exciting race was when the pit reporters were talking. It seemed to me that the guys in the booth were never really talking about the action on the track and just in casual conversation. I found this VERY frustrating!!
I don't really like AA as his humour and talk seems too forced especially on Speed Center.
Frustrated in Canada

Dennis said...

Brutally bad broadcast. Hey, that's alliterative!

Frustrating to watch. If they would just show the race mostly from panned back cameras that are at the top of the grandstands, I'd be satisfied.

There were brief moments where there were some appropriate shots. The usual non-sense of hyper-tight shots and hyperactive bouncing from camera to camera.

Someone on #TDP1 pointed out that for Canadian Bell dish users, the NASCAR HotPass was on free preview. It's not bad although you do see all the commercials though in side-by-side format.

Was using RaceBuddy as well but it seemed to be having trouble yesterday. Still, it was better than nothing plus looking at the leaderboard on the computer helps to know what's going on.

Really disappointed in TNT's efforts. If the camera director for SPEED's truck races could only be cloned, I'd be satisfied.

While the booth blather could be better, it's really the camera work that frustrates me to no end.

I really need to just plan going out on race day and catch the highlights. The Nationwide and Cup broadcasts have become unwatchable.

Jack said...

I can appreciate some of the PXP comments but, after watching the FOX circus, I find Wally and KP refreshing and their dynamic entertaining and informative.

r squire said...

The product on the track just doesn't transition to the tv. TNT coverage at Daytona was ok other 5 stunk. Brian F is to busy counting his money to care about the fans only the stock market guys. I wish someone would come up with a new series that competed against this regime, that has killed our beloved sport.

G Fowler said...

I like Larry and KP Is good for round table discusions, thats about it. Not so much a Wally fan. At least he did a better job this year in paying attention. Just give these races to Fox. Speed and Fox have so much of it anyway, and they do a heck of a lot better job. Well, except for Spencer.

Anonymous said...

All 3 of the broadcast's are bad in my opinon. You have hour long prerace show's that rehash what they talked about in the first half hour. You have DW with his sumb saying at the start of every race and him and Larry Mac. talking about the same thing just using different word's like the viewer's are dumb.You have more ad's the the sunday paper. You cam pretty much tell when the ad's are fixing to pop up. You pretty much figure at the start of a fox broadcast you will get ad's on or about every 7 min's. Then they move up from there. I can remember when you use to watch a race and no ad's for at lease 15 min's or better . Nascar has gone for the $$$$ to get there product on the air not for quality of the show on the air. The races should just be one station with half hour prerace show and just 2 guy up in the booth. And nomore gimmick like the hollywood hotel and the such. You don't need those or those damn race recap's with somebody else tell the veiwer what happened. That is what the guy's in the booth are for. stream line the broadcast.