Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday NASCAR TV/Media Notes

Happy Monday! Things are getting off to a quick start this week. Here are some TV and media notes on stories unfolding right now.

Dustin Long of has a great follow-up story on the surprise split-screen commercial that appeared late in the FOX Sprint Cup Series telecast. That is a TV screen-grab of it above. Turns out there was a lot going on behind the scenes to make that happen.

Click here for the full story, here is a short excerpt:

Fox showed a split the screen during the last commercial break before the checkered flag with the commercials in a larger box than the racing action. That break was the only time in the race the split-screen format was done.

"The idea re-surfaced earlier this week and after some discussions it was decided we would experiment with it if we could get enough advertisers to go along with it," a Fox Sports spokesman said Sunday night. "At this point, the fan feedback we’ve seen via social media has been very positive."

Turner is warming up for its summer season with some rather off-beat promotions this week in Charlotte. This one involves the Charlotte EpiCentre in the uptown area of the city.

The following is from a Turner media release:

The campaign involves branding elements, including the full takeover of a four-story elevator shaft in the main courtyard, staircases, and a 26-foot TNT logo on the ground at the base of the elevator shaft. Enhanced audio technology called “directional audio” will complement the EpiCentre campaign with a concentrated beam of audio (imagine a flashlight, but with audio instead of light) directed to a specific location. When an individual walks through the audio beam, they will hear custom tune-in audio messaging – AC/DC’s “T.N.T.”, engines revving, cars speeding around the racetrack – only heard within the beam. When individuals exit the beam, they won’t hear it anymore.

Well, at lease we know that the TNT theme song will be returning.

On ESPN2 today for the one-hour NASCAR Now show is Allen Bestwick hosting with Tim Brewer, Johnny Benson and Ricky Craven as the "expert panel." Bestwick will also be calling the Nationwide Series race from Iowa next Sunday on ABC. Nicole Briscoe will be handling the Infield Pit Studio and the NASCAR Countdown show.

It might be a good idea to record NASCAR Now this week, the show is going to offer a look at some interesting NASCAR history.

This note from ESPN:

NASCAR Now, ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information show, will take viewers on a five-day tour featuring classic racetracks of the sport starting Tuesday, May 17, with a different track each day through Saturday, May 21.

ESPN the Magazine’s Ryan McGee will visit Bowman Gray Stadium, Hickory Motor Speedway, Rockingham Speedway, North Wilkesboro Speedway and Greenville-Pickens Speedway. Guests will include Richard Childress and Ned Jarrett.

Sounds like a great idea. It should be interesting to watch and get the reactions of both the fans and those directly involved in the sport today.

Update: 3.8 overnight rating for Sprint Cup Series race is just an indication of flat ratings for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this season.

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