Tuesday, March 11, 2008

"Raceline" Still Going Strong

Since the start of this NASCAR season, The Daly Planet has been full of stories about Fox Sports, ESPN2 and SPEED.

We talked about NASCAR Now's changes, the NASCAR on Fox Gopher Cam and the big crowds for SPEED's RaceDay chaos.

Flying under-the-radar through all this network chatter is a little weekly TV show that has stood the test of time. More than that, amid the changing landscape of NASCAR's TV partners, this thirty-minute syndicated program has outlasted all the rest.

Raceline truly is the little TV engine that could. Veteran MRN announcer Joe Moore and a small but dedicated cast of characters put together a straightforward show each and every week of the year. You heard me right. Raceline is on-the-air 52 weeks a year across the nation with NASCAR news and features.

Moore has outstanding access to NASCAR personalities, and his hard work pays-off with exclusive interviews and footage that is hard to beat. Walking a fine line between the big NASCAR TV partners and the NASCAR Media Group, Raceline is not heavy on race footage. Instead, it uses Moore's behind-the-scenes access to get candid reactions from the top personalities in the sport to the news stories of the week.

The success of Raceline can be traced to its ability to be used in a wide variety of ways by TV stations and cable TV networks. Moore's show is often used by local TV stations as the lead-in to the broadcast network's Sprint Cup coverage. In addition, the cable networks love the fact that the show is not "dated," and can be used on a variety of days of the week.

Moore also has a deal with the Armed Forces Television Network that makes Raceline available to the US troops worldwide. That is a true statement about the quality of this program. Being chosen as the TV show that gets the NASCAR information across to this hardcore fan base is a true accomplishment.

In this Internet world, Moore has put the control of viewing the show ultimately in the hands of the computer user. Clicking over to racelineonline.com, the shows and clips and features are all available for viewing anytime. In a way, Moore has quietly established a fascinating worldwide chain of distribution for this series.

The website has a forum, direct email to Moore, and a preview of the next show. It also has an affiliate list that helps fans to figure out the best way to catch the show on TV in their area. Trust me, there are plenty of options.

In this year of "big TV" for NASCAR, it is nice to know that there is one independent TV producer still cranking-out a weekly NASCAR show from a family-run business that lets fans enjoy a little bit different perspective on the sport.

Joe Moore is a US Army veteran, a family man in the Norfolk, Virginia area and has been working with MRN Radio since 1983.

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