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Author Topic: Interesting Comments from John Close  (Read 586 times)
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Cheryl
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« on: April 07, 2009, 03:25:38 PM »

Showing single cars during a race when you know there is side-by-side racing going on somewhere has been one of my pet peeves since Fox took over in 2001.  The little bit of the race I saw on Sunday, Fox barely got back to the lead cars as passes were about to happen up front (another thing that drives me crazy).  Anyway, here's part of John's article from this week that deals with TV:

"And Now, Another Word From Our Sponsors

As we see it, a big part of the problem with NASCAR these days is the television coverage.

What used to be a telecast of a stock car race is now an endless string of promos disguised as racing. Every in-car view, track or race fact is accompanied by a plug for a company or product. Toss in a slew of commercials featuring the drivers and their sponsors, and it’s hard to tell where the race starts and the promotion ends.

Some of the promos, like FOX’s FedEx race trends, are downright misleading to the viewer. The stats shown at the start of an event tout the kind of past race averages that crew chiefs and team engineers look at in trying to determine trends at a particular track. While team personnel do study these trends, our guess is they don’t only look at only the stats from races telecast by FOX, which is what Sunday’s Texas pre-race graphics were based on.

Evidently, FOX doesn’t believe the statistics from the 1997-2000 Texas races – those not telecast by FOX – count and subsequently they weren’t figured into their equations. As such, the statistical trends for Texas that FOX presented the fans Sunday were completely inaccurate. To mislead the fans in this manner is inappropriate and to suggest that any crew chief would use the numbers FOX presents to plan race strategy is completely laughable.

The commitment to commercialism has gone so far that large blocks of the race are now dedicated to thinly veiled commercials developed by producers. As such, the viewer ride for laps at a time with one car – watching it circle the track for multiple laps while the announcer waxes poetic about the topic of ‘interest.’ Meanwhile, 20-car lengths back, a side-by-side battle for position goes unnoticed. Evidently, the racing isn’t interesting enough anymore.

As a comparitive, can you imagine an NFL telecast focusing on only one player for four or five plays, developing a 'story' while the action rages on over the rest of the field? Neither can we.

While we can appreciate the challenge of filling four hours of airtime, the content of the television coverage of NASCAR races should always be – first and foremost - about the action on the track. When NASCAR allowed the producers and ad men to take charge of trying to create excitement, drama, and action, they let the proverbial horse out of the barn. Unfortunately, those folks have replaced it with an animated gopher.

Maybe it’s why NASCAR television ratings have been in a double-digit free fall this season."

The complete article can be found at:

http://www.closefinishes.com/cgi-script/csArticles/articles/000009/000941.htm

Cheryl

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Desmond
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2009, 04:22:07 PM »

It is getting to the point that I no longer pay total attention to the picture on the screen, but avert my eyes to the ticker.  That's the only way I can find out what is happening in the race.

The "Home Depot Rookie Report" is the most symbolic example of what the article is talking about.  Joey Logano is shown on the track alone, he's being interviewed, and all the action is otherwise ignored. Sad
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