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Author Topic: Article concerning TV coverage  (Read 1217 times)
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« on: March 13, 2004, 09:39:13 PM »

Please go to JAYSKI'S column section and click on the link for an Orlando Sentinel column by Ed Hinton. I just read it and felt as though I was talking to the other members of this board who are in agreement as it relates to the terrible product that fox puts on the air.
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2004, 11:11:30 PM »

When I went to this article, I saw you had to register to read it.  I actually was registered with the Orlando Sentinel, but had to find my password and such.  To save everyone the trouble I went through, I'm reposting the article here.  You're right, Phillip, Hinton really told it like it is!,1,2011200.column?coll=orl-sports-headlines-motorrace


NASCAR making noise, but not on the track
Ed Hinton

March 12, 2004

I thought I'd be able to see the NASCAR forest rather than the trees while staying home the past several weeks, during recuperation and rehab from shoulder surgery. But no such luck.

The forest is so tempest-tossed on TV that I'm not sure how the average NASCAR viewer figures anything out, amid the frantic format of the telecasts and the Category 5 hurricane of advertising.

Now I understand all the outraged e-mails that have arrived the past few seasons, decrying the endless onslaught of commercials, only occasionally interrupted by a few laps of actual racing - and even then you wonder momentarily whether it's some sort of setup for another ad.

I could only barely tell who was racing with whom on the track at Vegas, but the overriding duels of Madison Avenue were blatant: Budweiser vs. Miller. Home Depot vs. Lowe's. Nextel vs. Cingular. Even Viagra vs. Cialis.

Even long-dignified anchor Mike Joy has been reduced to reading commercials live on the air, so that describing the race and touting products have become a swirl.

As for analysts Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds, you just keep wishing they'd catch their breath, lower their voices about three octaves and cut the overwrought corn pone out of their exchanges. It is simply exhausting to listen to them.

Not to blame them personally - they're clearly obeying orders to juice things up. But I've known these guys for a long time, and they're a lot better, more polished and sophisticated than Fox is allowing them to be. Before Waltrip took the job, I expected him to become the John Madden of NASCAR - not the Dick Vitale.

And, attempting to recoup their $2.8 billion outlay for telecast rights, the networks aren't about to ease up on the advertising. So to the beleaguered millions of viewers I can offer no hope, only sympathy.

Jockeying for an advantage

An old jockeys' technique is creeping into NASCAR, and it may not be a good thing over the long haul.

Before riding in, say, the Kentucky Derby, a jockey might ride in a minor race at Churchill Downs on Friday to find the good ground for the big day. But for years, running in a Saturday Busch Series race - with lighter, less powerful cars with shorter wheel bases - didn't provide much information Cup drivers could apply to Sunday.

In what amounted to the Fox crew's most interesting report from Vegas, they noted that drivers now find Busch and Cup cars similar enough that information from Saturday can now be applied to Sunday.

But here's what they didn't say: Where Cup drivers used to run Busch for fun and profit, Busch now could become a necessity just to keep up with the competition.

From that could stem two serious ills. First, it could put double strain on already-overworked drivers and teams. Worse, a deluge of Cup drivers into Busch could leave young talent squeezed out of what has been NASCAR's most productive training ground.

Taking them on

As usual, it'll be Bobby Labonte vs. all the rest at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Sunday's Golden Corral 500. Labonte has won six of the last 15 races at AMS, and is defending champion of the spring event.

Should he win this time, he'll likely throw up his hands again, at a loss for why. He's won in different makes (Pontiac and Chevrolet), for different crew chiefs (Jimmy Makar and Michael "Fatback" McSwain) and even different track configurations (the old 1.522 miles and the current 1.54 with a dogleg in a front stretch that used to be the back stretch).

Ed Hinton can be reached at
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2004, 11:19:59 PM »

Either the print and online media have a vendetta against Fox, or the coverage they screech at us is as incompetent as we've been contending all along.  The growth of the advertising and the shrinkage of actual race coverage has gotten beyond ignoring.  I don't believe I've ever read such sweeping condemnation of race broadcasts as I have this week.  The ratings are dropping.  Could fans be getting tired of the overselling and self promotion?  At first it weemed that TV would be a blessing for race fans.  Now, they seem intent on killing it.  Quickly.
Sally :cry:
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2004, 09:24:13 PM »

Great article. I am sure some of the stuff they say is a directive from someone else and they definitely have no control over the commercials and sad to say, I personally think it is going to get a lot worse.
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2004, 10:30:44 PM »

I just read that the TV numbers were down 11.7% from last year.  That's 3 races in a row now.  Kinda makes you go "Hmmmm", doesn't it?
Sally :wink:
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