Thursday, December 16, 2010

Time For Some Daytona Streaming

We don't normally see tracks streaming NASCAR content online because the rights to footage and interviews are actually owned by other companies. Thursday, the Daytona International Speedway starts the season off right by streaming a press conference for all the fans through the track's own website.

At 12PM ET from the Infield Media Center, track president Joie Chitwood will be joined by NASCAR's Robin Permberton live online. Drivers attending will be Jeff Burton, Kurt Busch, Jamie McMurray and Bobby Labonte.

Click here for the direct link to the webcast. The address is for you folks who prefer to type.

Although it's only an hour long, the reason I am so excited about this is because it moves slowly toward breaking down the technology wall for NASCAR fans. Normally, we hear reporters ask questions on webcasts but it would be just as easy to get some fan questions live on the phone or from Twitter or Facebook.

Letting down the walls and streaming from the various track websites in advance of races would allow fans to begin to feel involved behind the scenes. SPEED and the various NASCAR partners deliver the on track action and some news recaps, but social media and online streaming is different. It's portable, it's personal and it's interactive.

Right now, there is absolutely no opportunity to use a laptop, iPad or desktop to access NASCAR video content from the tracks. Sure, TNT gives us RaceBuddy but I mean the meat and potatoes of the Friday practices, qualifying and live news.

Turner Sports is the online audio and video rights holder for NASCAR. The website they operate,, does not even provide a live garage cam with sound for the racing weekends. It just might be time for the tracks to step-up and get in the game.

It should be interesting to see the fan response to the press conference tomorrow. There is no NASCAR Now or Race Hub, so there is only a slight chance some video might leak onto SportsCenter or the FoxSportsNet recap show. Slight being the keyword.

Since all the Sprint Cup Series tracks have professional PR folks who are very familiar with online technology and social media, it would be great to have them open up the online window for the action at their respective tracks with a garage cam, some live streaming of media events and even hosted news updates.

TV might be the big dog on the block, but after what the tracks have been through with attendance over the past season, it might be worth the risk to get some active streaming and social media interaction going early and carry it through the racing.

Let's get the fans back by getting them involved long before they have to tune-in to a TV network at a set time to watch something once again that excludes any interaction and instead sandwiches NASCAR content between all too frequent three minute commercial breaks.

Thanks, Daytona for starting the ball rolling. Let's hope it picks up speed once the season starts. You can click on the picture above or any of the testing pics below to see them fullsize. Right click to save to your computer.

We welcome your comments on this issue and the live press conference on Thursday. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.