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Author Topic: ABC/ESPN Want NASCAR Back?  (Read 1512 times)
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Cheryl
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« on: October 28, 2004, 07:00:24 PM »

Here's an article with excerpts from a "roundtable" among TV executives.  It sounds like the rumors we've heard about ABC/ESPN wanting to get back into NASCAR are probably true:

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/columnist/martzke/2004-10-27-martzke_x.htm

A couple things that I noted.  First Fox executive, David Hill, says they are there "to stop" ESPN from getting NASCAR back.  My comment:  Probably because Fox would be pale in comparison to ESPN's half of the season.

Next, watching Poker on TV?  How boring...

Cheryl
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jw
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2004, 07:42:35 PM »

I saw the same article this morning on USA Today's website.  NASCAR has
to answer the following questions to themselves:

1. Can they take ABC/ESPN back?  If ABC/ESPN come back, NASCAR would have to admit that their treatment of these networks, particularly
ESPN, was a big mistake.  There would be some hard feelings to overcome.
2. Money?  3 major sports TV contracts expire after 2005.  NASCAR(second half of the season), NFL & the PGA Tour  It is widely believed that
rights fees will come down. How much is the question.  If FOX gives up
the NFL, which is a possibility, their reaction indicates that they would try
for the full schedule.
3. NASCAR History-NASCAR needs to make things right with ESPN,
especially since a lot of NASCAR's televised history is locked away in a
video library at ESPN.  NASCAR would like to show their history, but
ESPN has the rights to the video & would give those rights up with getting
things in return.

It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out...
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Cheryl
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2004, 07:56:39 PM »

You make some great points, JW!  Especially about NASCAR wanting their "video history" back from ESPN.  That might be the best bargaining chip that ESPN has going for them.

As to Fox wanting the entire system...ugh...what a thought!  We wouldn't have the second half of the season to look forward to then, or conversely, those who prefer Fox, wouldn't have the first half to look forward to.

Cheryl
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Vivian
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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2004, 09:42:43 PM »

Any way you look at it, everything will not be on networks.  The majority of Nascar, football and other stick and ball sports is on cable or satellite.  I don't really think of FOX as a network.  Also, I think NBC is only showing these last races because it is the chase.  There are no good answers.  My biggest complaint about ESPN was the fact that they always rushed off and switched to something else the minute the time slot was up.  Too many things to factor in and even if we don't want to admit it, ESPN is basically a stick and ball channel.  JMO...
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sally
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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2004, 12:11:18 AM »

Vivian, ESPN may be a stick and ball channel now, but when they started, they weree willing to take the chance that people would watch racing on TV.  They had a LOT of time to fill, and Nascar gave them something every wiikend for 36 weeks.  It was ESPN that put Nascar on the TV map.

Sally
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drpep (brian)
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« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2004, 02:10:25 AM »

Everyone wants ESPN back since this new TV deal. I have a feeling if they did come back we will be in for a rude suprise. I bet we would not get the ESPN we knew and loved. Good or bad NBC/FOX set new standards for Nascar broadcasts. Also has anyone watched anything on ESPN lately?  A bunch of self promoting and backward ballcap wearing type attitude. Sorry the days of country music and Ned Jarret ain't coming back.
 With that said though they have not messed up the IRL broadcasts too bad, but IRL does not have Nascar ratings and Nascar ad money.
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alfers
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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2004, 01:33:15 PM »

A little more information is in order concerning ESPN.  
ESPN made the announcement last year they were increasing their prices charged to cable companies and satellite providers.  It was a very significatn increase and they were also considering pay-per-view.  
A little more history is in order.
When CBS and ESPN had the package, CBS would show races they didn't want to interrupt regular programming with on TNN.  Both did a more than adequate job.  ESPN had ESPN2 to fall back on and did many times.  ABC would also have ESPN to fall back on for those rain dates where they don't want to interrupt programming.
I shudder at the present FOX crew having the whole season.  I wouldn't mind a network executive reigning in some of that crew and forcing them to stick to racing instead of their own comedy hour.  That FOX crew has the knowledge and experience that largely overshadows the talent of NBC.  They just need to learn, IT'S the RACE we want to see, not slapstick comedy.
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old hot rodder
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2004, 04:12:34 PM »

AMEN, Alfers! Thank heaven for XM radio!! At least I have an out if I can't stand the telecast, which with Fox is most of the time.
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« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2004, 04:39:24 PM »

Personally, I don't care on what channels the races appear.  However, bear in mind what NASCAR did to ESPN in 2001 (after Fox/FX and NBC/TNT won the rights).

They ordered RPM 2Night, the only specialty racing program on TV at the time, to stop airing NASCAR highlights.  Those portions of the show were represented only by pictures, like boxing matches or the Olympics.  Didn't look like TV, didn't it?  This show, which was must-see in the "motorhead" community, was cancelled in 2003, largely as a result of this stupid policy.

And don't forget that reporter Mike Massaro had to go to racetrack parking lots and airports to interview the drivers.  When RPM 2Night was cancelled, Massaro returned to the track.  Can't be a coincidence, right?

Of course, Fox came back with Totally NASCAR, which has gotten worse over time.  Have you seen the "Pet Stop" segments?  Gee whiz!  Certainly, that show is no place for real discussion of serious issues.  Everything is from the NASCAR perspective.

Whoever wins the NASCAR contract, the announcers and reporters must be allowed to remain objective if needed.  Here in the Los Angeles area, it's worked for years with local voices like Vin Scully and Chick Hearn.  It didn't work with Steve Stone in Chicago and he resigned yesterday from the Cubs.

On the other hand, NASCAR's definition of objectivity is nonexistent, which is what could kill Pit Bull.

We're all eager to see what the new contract(s) bring.
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Cheryl
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« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2004, 02:06:15 PM »

More on this story in light of the new NFL contracts.  I like that ESPN is willing to pay more to get racing back.  Of course, knowing Brian $ France, he'll probably just use that to drive the cost up and still award the contract to an over the air network.  :evil:

http://www.racingone.com/column.asp?artnum=21070

Cheryl
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ronbarnes77
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« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2004, 04:21:00 PM »

hey cheryl don't assume that france will use espn to drive up the price and still award the contract to an over the air network.i think nascar knows it needs a cable network and espn is better than tnt any day of the week.
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Cheryl
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« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2004, 04:57:10 PM »

Quote from: "ronbarnes77"
hey cheryl don't assume that france will use espn to drive up the price and still award the contract to an over the air network.i think nascar knows it needs a cable network and espn is better than tnt any day of the week.


I guess what I always heard was NA$CAR wanted to be on an over the air network because they think that way they get the most exposure to viewers.  I've never understood that philosophy myself, since most everyone has access to cable or satellite these days.  But that's what I read.  Of course, one school of thought is that was just an excuse to lock ESPN out after 2001 too.

Cheryl
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alfers
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« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2004, 07:53:53 PM »

Sorry, I can't agree with the "lock out" theory with ESPN.  
N8$CAR offered up the new television contract when the one with ESPN ran out.  N8$CAR set such a high price, ESPN wouldn't oblige.  ESPN got locked out of the tracks because they refused to be robbed by N8$CAR.  FOX couldn't afford to allow ESPN to run around in their backyard after they layed out all that money to get the television package.
I'll agree ESPN did a better job than either of the present stations handling coverage.  But ESPN's "lock out" came because they wouldn't succumb to N8$CAR.  It was strictly a business deal.
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Desmond
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« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2004, 04:06:14 PM »

Alfers,

I understand where you are coming from, but that is still no excuse for what happened to ESPN.  Its TV coverage helped build the audience for the sport and grew it nationwide.  Without ESPN, many of us would never have heard of NASCAR racing.  You would think that it would be treated better.
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alfers
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« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2004, 04:22:08 AM »

I guess we'll agree to disagree.
In this business, money talks and BS walks.  
You're only as good as your last event.  ESPN did make television coverage what it is today.  However, that was yesterday.  They did such a good job they felt history would keep them in a deal at a lower price.  Tell that to Wilkesboro, Rockingham, and soon Darlington.  
ESPN did not bid high enough for the contract and when they were beat out I don't blame the other networks for locking them out.  They layed out a whole lot of cash for ESPN to come around acting like they had a horse in the race.  They don't!
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