The Frontstretch: Boob Tube: How Television Is Bringing NASCAR Down by Amy Henderson -- Thursday June 21, 2012

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Boob Tube: How Television Is Bringing NASCAR Down

Holding A Pretty Wheel · Amy Henderson · Thursday June 21, 2012


You see it in the NASCAR headlines almost daily: lack of sponsorship causing teams to sit out races or fold altogether; fans are leaving, TV ratings are faltering. And there are all sorts of reasons offered for the problem. It’s the economy; it’s the boring racing and boring drivers; it’s the cars; it’s the teams’ fault. And it’s likely that all of those factors contribute. But is there another issue contributing to both the lack of sponsorship and the declining viewership? Is the television broadcast of the race each week to blame as well?

The answer is yes. And not only are they hurting the race teams, they’re hurting their own bottom line.

I met a race fan who was in town from Australia for the races in Charlotte. He was excited to go to his first NASCAR race to see his favorite driver, Marcos Ambrose, compete. This fan said that while he could watch the races on television at home, he rarely did, despite his loyalty to Ambrose. The reason this fan gave was that the broadcasts hardly show Ambrose unless he’s leading, it’s a road course race or the driver is involved in a crash. So he simply doesn’t bother to watch.

Ambrose won the pole at Michigan and led 15 laps en route to a respectable ninth-place finish. He got a little airtime early on in the broadcast, but hardly a mention as the race wore on, though he remained in the thick of things until the end. Ambrose is in the top 20 in Cup points, hardly a backmarker. And yet, this fan said he wasn’t watching the broadcasts because his driver wasn’t covered.

And if fans aren’t watching, ratings suffer. If ratings suffer, it hurts the networks both in advertising sales and in negotiations with NASCAR for future rights. It hurts the teams in finding and retaining sponsors. And it hurts the sport’s fan base as a whole.

Frontstretch readers responded through this week’s poll that drivers such as Bobby Labonte are seldom seen on TV broadcasts anymore these days.

I asked 100 race fans to complete a poll on television coverage of their favorite drivers and the responses were eye-opening. Fans were asked to list their favorite drivers and then answer whether they thought all of the drivers they listed received adequate coverage every week. They were also asked if they felt that the networks owed it to fans to cover each driver, and if lack of coverage for their favorites made them less inclined to watch.

36.4% of fans said that they felt all of their favorites received adequate coverage every week (interestingly enough, the majority of the fans who answered that way had also chosen drivers with the most television exposure this year according to Joyce Julius and Associates, who tracks the amount of exposure each driver and sponsor receives during every broadcast.) While only 5.1% said their drivers never got enough coverage, 38.4% said their favorites only got enough coverage when they were leading, and 20.2% said that only those that drove for one of the big teams or sponsors was given adequate airtime. And while the term “adequate” is subjective, it’s clear that fans want to see better coverage of drivers across the board, something television broadcasts rarely do.

When asked if they felt that the networks owed race fans updates on every driver during the broadcast, 47% responded that they should give full-field coverage sometimes during the race. Another 39% said the networks needed to cover everyone often during the race. 11% said no, and 3% said any driver involved in a crash should get covered, but not otherwise. The bottom line? 86% of fans want to see coverage of the entire field at least sometimes during the race. That’s a huge majority, and yet the networks aren’t doing it on a regular basis.

Finally, while 74.7% of responders indicated that lack of coverage for their favorites won’t make them less likely to watch, 25.3% said that they were less likely to tune in every week because their favorites aren’t being shown. Let’s just suppose that number is indicative of NASCAR fans as a whole, in which case the television broadcasts are driving away a full quarter of the fan base by not covering the drivers and teams they want to see. That’s a lot of fans finding something else to do every weekend.

And it’s not just the fans being driven away. Sponsors pay to put their name on the side of a racecar for one reason and one reason only: exposure. Most of that exposure comes through airtime during the race broadcasts, either in driver interviews or cars being shown or mentioned on the air.

Many teams simply are not getting the on-air time to justify the cost. Say a 30-second commercial slot during a race broadcast costs $30,000 (that’s an estimate based on a few years ago, and does not include the Daytona 500, which commands more). So for $1.8 million or so, a company can get a guaranteed 30 seconds of airtime during every NASCAR broadcast by paying for commercial time. Primary sponsorship of a decent mid-level team is around $15 million for the season. For that to be cost effective, the sponsor needs the equivalent of roughly eight 30-second commercials, or four minutes of coverage.

In reality, the equation is a bit more complicated as sponsors get other considerations, such as appearances, and endorsements, but the bottom line is that sponsors expect to get a return on their considerable investment, and if they don’t feel that the exposure they get warrants the price, they aren’t going to stick around. And that kills race teams.

Several fans commented on the survey that while they felt that all teams deserved a certain amount of coverage, that that should not stretch to the teams that start-and-park, but that’s short-sighted. If they had sponsorship to race, those teams would not start-and-park. But in order to get sponsorship, the teams need the television exposure. It becomes a vicious cycle for those teams.

Meanwhile, the sponsors that do get coverage enjoy a lot of airtime for relatively little money. This makes the chasm between the haves and have-nots wider all the time, and means that those that have less have less of a chance of getting the coverage they need to gain. It makes NASCAR an unfriendly environment for new teams as well as for fans of those drivers. When sponsorship goes away, the fans suffer as well as the race teams.

Many fans commented that they felt that the teams whose sponsors paid for commercial airtime got more coverage, implying that the airtime was being bought. I don’t think that’s the case; it’s more a matter of those sponsors having the money to spend on commercials and on putting a top car on the track. Those companies can afford to put their name on the best cars, and those cars get shown.

But the real loser here is the race fan.

Fans of drivers not among the ultra-elite don’t get to see their drivers very often, and that’s really not fair. They buy t-shirts and diecasts, too, and deserve better than to see a shot of their driver as he gets lapped, or, worse, to see the dreaded “out” next to his name on the ticker and be left to wonder what went wrong, because the broadcast never mentioned it. Even worse than that must be for a fan to see his or her favorite hit the wall and never hear a single word on whether that driver was hurt or not.

There was once a feeling among race fans that they really knew the different drivers in in the field. Even if they had never met in person, fans knew the different personalities of all the drivers, and that feeling of closeness drew fans to the sport. But most of that is gone now, because so many drivers are left out of even the pre-race show, which should provide the perfect time for the lesser-known drivers to be featured. But instead, the networks mostly rotate through the same group of drivers each week, and because we learn nothing new about them, we label them as boring, vanilla.

One fan and frequent poster, “RamblinWreck,” hit the nail on the head on this piece of the puzzle. “I started watching races in the late 1990s, and I probably pulled for over half of the field (yes, I was a fan of Earnhardt and Gordon and Rusty and Rudd and Schrader and both Labontes and Bill Elliott and John Andretti and Bobby Hamilton and Kyle Petty and Ricky Craven and both Burtons) because I felt like I knew them all,” Ramblin’ wrote on the fan survey. “After all, I saw all of them each weekend on TV! I still pull for Bobby Labonte, but I hardly ever see him on the screen. Same with Blaney and Tommy Baldwin. I don’t ever watch the pre-race anymore, since they started doing fewer and fewer driver interviews I haven’t really thought it worth my time to watch. The last few times I’ve been to Talladega, I’ve noticed fewer merchandise trailers than I expect to see. Maybe it’s just a sign of the times… fewer tickets sold, and we have less money to spend these days… but maybe TV coverage has something to do with it, because it’s hard for a driver who is invisible to build much of a fan base.”

And that’s a big part of the problem-what chance do drivers like Landon Cassill, Casey Mears, David Gilliland, or even past champion Bobby Lanonbte have to gain new fans (and new supporters of their sponsors; race fans have proved time and again to be loyal in that category!)? Fans complain of boring, vanilla drivers, but they have no chance to see the personalities of so many that they could choose to cheer for and support. And in turn, some of them turn away from the sport. That’s just not a good thing.

Even fans of the bigger teams recognize that there is a problem. “I don’t have any complaints as it relates to coverage of my favorite drivers. Mine are all “mainstream, top level” guys. But I can see how disheartening it would be for someone who is as much a fan of a mid- to lower pack driver as I am for mine. Coverage seems to be only for the upper eschelon(sic) teams and drivers. And that is a shame,” said Karl Schraut on his survey.

The other element that the current broadcasts take away from the fans is good hard racing in the pack. Often the races that are deemed “boring” by fans watching the broadcasts had plenty of action if you were there in person. If the drivers up front are spread out single file but there’s a side-by-side contest for 25th spot, why not show it? It might give a driver new fans. It will give the sponsor those valuable minutes they’re banking on, and the fans of those drivers a rare chance to see them race. And if fans knew they’d see the action, more of them might tune in. It all ties together.

Finally, if a quarter of race fans aren’t tuning in because the drivers they want to see aren’t getting covered, or they don’t have a favorite because they don’t want one of the usual suspects, the television ratings take a hit. So in essence, by not covering all the action on the racetrack or all the drivers and teams in the field, the TV networks are hurting themselves as well as the teams and the race fans. It just doesn’t make sense.

There should be a sense of community between the television networks, fans, and race teams. After all, all three depend on one another. Fans depend on television to bring them their favorite racers every week and on teams to provide their favorites with a competitive car. Teams depend on the fans to support their sponsors and on television to bring them and their sponsors to the fans. Television depends on strong competition to keep the fans watching so the sponsors will keep on advertising. They should be working together toward the same end.

But instead, the television broadcasts are either fulfilling their own agendas instead of showing what the fans want to see. Or maybe they really think fans want to see a few popular drivers. Or worse, they’re trying to tell race fans what or who they want to see. Yet 86% of fans said they want to see every driver at least sometimes during a race, and yet, that rarely happens. As a result, teams are losing sponsors and fans are missing out on both personalities and race action every week. Everyone loses.

It’s time for the television networks to reconsider the quality of their broadcasts. They need to bring the fans all the drivers and all the action and let the fans decide who’s important to them. The future of the sport depends on it. Sponsors are leaving because they no longer get a return on investment. And many fans are finding other ways to spend Sunday afternoons. In allowing this to go on, the networks are shooting themselves-and all of NASCAR Nation-squarely in the foot.

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Beyond the Cockpit: Alexis DeJoria On The 300 mph Women of the NHRA
A Swan’s Broken Wings Equal NASCAR’s Next Concern?
Thinkin’ Out Loud – The Off Week Season Review
Pace Laps: Swan Racing’s Future, Fast Females and Dropping Out
Sprint Cup Series Facilities Can Build Upon Fan Experience by Looking to Their Roots


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06/22/2012 04:12 AM

This box isn’t big enough to tell you how much I hate the TV coverage, so I’ll stick with one point.

Advertising on the cars, sponsored special segments, race sponsors, shilling by the broadcast crew, sponsor callouts during driver interviews.

There’s just too much advertising and we’re expected to tolerate a commercial every seven minutes as well.

I’m so overloaded with crass commercialism that I’m ignoring whoever’s name is painted on the side of the car. And it changes every week. So all that sponsor money is going to waste.

DW has to go too.

06/22/2012 06:27 AM

If your name isn’t Junior, Jimmy, or Jeff you aren’t going to get tv coverage. It’s that simple.

06/22/2012 07:14 AM

Every season the tide changes…a different group of drivers are the “darlings” of the media. We see them over and over during the races, pre-race shows, post race shows, and network regularly scheduled programs. This group of “darlings” are the same yearly..just shuffled in order of standings or if your name is “Dale Jr”! I stopped watching the pre race shows..I turn the race on as the green flag drops..and I don’t watch any racing “news” programs. I find it totally mind boggling that there are 43 drivers on the track…we are treated to seeing only the top 10 weekly and Junior…no matter where he is on the track. I am not a junior hater…but I honestly feel the sport is driven by what the media feels is best for the sport. Your article is about tv coverage…but I think you are being short sighted…I feel the entire media is running NASCAR into the ground.

Bill B
06/22/2012 07:27 AM

Wow. Where do I begin. Lack of coverage of the field is just the tip of the iceburg.
They don’t cover the race. MRN covers the race. If someone has a problem you hear about it. If there is a penalty you hear about it. When someone goes a lap down you hear about it. Wave arounds, lucky dogs, they tell you who took them. Get it! They actually cover the race and let fans know what’s going on. The TV guys either talk about the two cars being shown on the screen at that time or ramble on.
What idiot decided fans would rather see Chris Myers and Michael Waltrip recap the race during green flag laps than the actual race? That’s the guy that doesn’t get it. That’s the problem. Find out who that guy is and slap him until he gets it.

06/22/2012 08:04 AM

I agree with many here.

The issue involves more than just the broadcast media but also print media as well. You all swoon with any mention of Jr. regardless of what he has or hasn’t done. Same thing with Danica.

I don’t have a problem with Jr. (but Danica…) but rather the coverage surrounding him. It’s non-stop. I’ve dropped subscriptions to racing publications due to it. Why pay when I can get the same coverage for free every weekend?

It’s unacceptable for the TV coverage (or lack of?) to not show the reason for the caution and not follow up on crashed drivers.

It’s very true that going to the race is better than TV even if one excludes the excitement, atmosphere, etc. because one definitely can watch the racing going somewhere else than where the cameras are pointed.

It’s funny that you point out vanilla drivers being a problem set the media cries foul every time a driver steps up and shows some personality that’s not in step with the expected response during an interview. Unless, the media likes them of course, e.g. Harvick’s smart mouth vs. Buschs’ retorts.

06/22/2012 08:07 AM

The basic problem is all the commentators think of themselves as personalities in and of themselves and therefore worthy of coverage. They don’t get that the reason we tune in is to be informed about the race itself and not about them. If you want to see it done right just watch a Formula one broadcast and you will quickly come to appreciate the competent professionalism exhibited by Hobbs, Varsha and Matchett. Then compare that to the NASCAR clown act as represented by Michael Waltrip.

06/22/2012 08:21 AM

While I agree with most of the points you make I think a couple of other things need to be said.
It is difficult to think that the networks are deliberately putting on a show that they dont think is what viewers want. (Cost is always a factor of course) After all if people weren’t watching they couldn’t sell advertising for it could they?
Secondly nobody deserves anything. Sponsors know what they are getting into, and if the results aren’t satisfactory they move on. Same with fans.
Not excusing anything, but nascar has so many problems that is hard to pick one.
But ultimately change is effected when people vote with their pocketbooks. Obviously thats not happening yet.

06/22/2012 08:26 AM

I wonder if, as the negotiations for the new TV contract come up, if BZF will have the cojones to demand better coverage as part of the deal? More relevantly, does he even have a clue how much the lack of total coverage of a race is hurting the sport? Has he ever sat down and tried to watch an entire race just from the TV coverage? I would doubt it, since he seldom bothers to attend a race unless it’s somewhere he can rub elbows with ‘B’ list ‘celebrities’. He doesn’t seem to comprehend that, unless the coverage is good, his bottom line is going to suffer. And, since that’s the only thing he seems concerned with, maybe that is what it will take to have Nascar set some standards for media coverage of the races.
But, I never have felt that he understood why fans watch Nascar in the first place. Maybe that’s the problem. It starts at the top.

Sherri T
06/22/2012 08:58 AM

Great article Amy!

I have thought the TV coverage was a big part of the problem for a long time. I wonder if some of it has to do with the WAY they try to cover the race.

Camera shots for racing need to be different than any other sport and in the age of instant gratification I think the directors are zooming in too close (not covering enough of the field at once) and flipping from shot to shot too quickly.

Think about how you watch racing at the track. You follow the pack with the folks you want to see, pick out the car or cars you like and keep an eye on the racing. If you’re stuck with screen flipping back and forth between pictures of two (or in a lot of cases only one) car – you can’t follow and as quickly as the screen changes – you can’t even pick out the car you were looking for.

To me, they need to take a long hard look at how they are filming the race first. Get directors that are race fans and have them start at the beginning and totally change the way they cover the race photographically.

Then, as my fellow readers have stated above, have them look at radio coverage as a guide to WHAT to talk about. I really liked the NASCAR coverage in the late 90s when the broadcasters didn’t take themselves so darn seriously! NASCAR is not a suit coat and tie kind of sport.

I think the broadcasting companies are hurting themselves as well as the sport by the way they are covering things and your article just scratches the surface. Thanks for talking about the elephant in the room!

06/22/2012 09:02 AM

For some reason the broadcasst crew at FOX has made raceday about them. They present themselves as stars of the show with expert opinions which change with every lap of racing. Programming has become a rehash of their past. SPEED has become a horrible joke. There is nothing but idiotic discussions by idiots and pathetic comedic efforts. The producers at both networks must be talentless teenagers.

06/22/2012 10:09 AM

You know…the tv coverage of NASCAR..races, pre race, post race, and so called NASCAR “news” programs are all to fault. If you watch a race it doesn’t matter which network is covering that day..the coverage is the same. It’s ALL about the “stars” (i.e. Those in the booth). If you watch a weekly or daily NASCAR’s about the “stars” (i.e. Hosts of the program). If you read online articles it’s all about the “stars” (i.e. Writers/reporters). AND not a ONE of these so called “stars” has a new idea or point of interest to call their own! Kurt is a jerk, Tony is sarcastic, Jimmie is vanilla, Kevin is a smart ass, Junior is the saviour…and on and on and on! What has any of this got to do we racing? I myself would love to see more actual racing all through the pack on TV, hear what actually happened on the track on the NASCAR news programs, and read more about the races.. not the dirty personal secrets of the drivers.. in articles. THAT would be MY idea of great racing coverage.

Michael in SoCal
06/22/2012 11:19 AM

I think Amy struck a nerve!

06/22/2012 11:41 AM

Great article!
Besides the poor calling of the race and only showing the three J’s (Johnson, Jeffy & JR) all the time, there is one more huge thing to consider. Anomosity.
There is no anomosity in the sport. All drivers are best friends with each other.
How can you be the most competitive when you’re racing you best friend. There should be no friends.
How many times I’ve heard “I didn’t want to push the issue” or “it was my fault for getting into him, please tell his spotter I’m sorry.

Tin Man
06/22/2012 12:46 PM

Tremendous insight Amy!
NASCAR & the networks are too busy patting themselves on the back for all their unwanted bells & whistles to worry about a TV production. Even The Daly Planet has changed course and is only worried about Twitter land.

06/22/2012 01:07 PM

I can’t muster any hope that things will change. After all, how many brilliant decisions has Brian France made? I keep getting this image of him setting on his big leather couch on Sundays, big glass of Scotch in hand, and yukking it up at how funny those Waltrips are.

06/22/2012 02:14 PM

I just want to give a shoutout to all the fans who took the time to answer the survey this week! You all provided some valuable insight-the responses were very thought-provoking! Thanks for taking the time to help me out. I’ll notify the two winners of the drawing later!

Carl D.
06/22/2012 02:19 PM

I’d like to echo what Sherri T said about the cameras zooming in too close. There was a time when, if Ned or Benny said “Uh-Oh! Trouble on the backstretch!”, there was a good chance that you saw it unfold because the camera shots covered so much more of the track. These days it seems like you never see an accident when it actually occurs because the camera is focused so tightly on one car. What’s ironic about this is that, in those days, that was ESPN. When ESPN left the sport in 2002, they undoubtedly lost every bit of expertise they had, because since their return in 2007 their coverage is pathetic. Only Fox is worse, for reasons thoroughly explained in just about every comment on this column.

Yes, Amy, you definitely hit a nerve, and your assessment was spot-on.

06/22/2012 02:36 PM

First, I have to qualify …one of the networks who broadcasts Sprint Cup races is also who signs my paycheck, pays my rent, buys my gas, and puts food on my table. Also … everything Amy has said here is absolutely 100% correct!! I grew up in a racing family and have been attending races since the mid-60s (I’ve seen several hundred races in person). Yes, the broadcasts provided by my own employer leave a LOT to be desired. On the other hand, especially in the 60s, we were lucky if there was even a RADIO broadcast of many events! And, until the 80s, I was wearing my ears out listening to radio broadcasts just WISHIN’ & HOPIN’(to quote Dusty Springfield) that SOME-day these races would actually be broadcast on television. I guess we are all spoiled … I have the EXACT SAME COMPLAINTS every other TV viewer has concerning the broadcast … and then I think back to how GREAT the broadcasts are compared to the (few) TV broadcasts from the 70s and even the early 80s (when finally [almost] every event was televised). BTW … I have sent this article on to the “powers that be” at my network. Perhaps they really aren’t receiving the fans’ feedback(?).

06/22/2012 02:44 PM

Great article Amy. I agree with the comments from just about everybody above. But I keep wondering why WE don’t seem to be able to have our voices heard. I am so overloaded with advertising that I could kiss the person that invented the DVR. I’ve written about it many times on this forum….The TV coverage(especially FOX) doesn’t provide the same feeling of excitement and urgency that you get at the race or even on MRN. Here’s an idea; Put the cameras in the seats facing the track and let us see the race from the perspective of someone in the grandstand. Change from turn to turn the way the announcers do on MRN. That way you get a feel for what is actually happening on the track. But alas, I realize any dream I have of fixing the TV coverage is just a dream. BZF and FOX don’t dive a darn about what the average fan thinks or likes or wants. They probably don’t even care. Finally, AMY…PLEASE TAKE OVER THE TV REVIEW ASSIGNMENT AT FRONTSTRETCH. You understand what the fans want and you don’t seem to be content with the idea of “that’s just the way it is”.

sylvia richardson
06/22/2012 02:45 PM


Bill B
06/22/2012 02:50 PM

RE: “But ultimately change is effected when people vote with their pocketbooks. Obviously thats not happening yet.”

Are you REALLY Brian France? Attendence is down, ratings are down, souvenier sales are down, what needs to happen for you to realize people already have started voting with their pocketbooks? The complete collapse of the sport?

Bill B
06/22/2012 02:57 PM

…or was that sarcasm and I just missed it?

Bad Wolf
06/22/2012 03:28 PM

@Old Timer

Just because we did not have poopcicles in the old days we should enjoy them now that the networks give them to us eack week?

06/22/2012 03:38 PM

You’ve hit the nail on the head – even the Kentucky Derby, which is only 2 minutes long, shows the entire field, including the horses at the back, at least once. Yet in a 400 mile race we can only see the top couple of cars and have to study the ticker at the top of the screen to find out where our favorite drivers are. So frustrating.

06/22/2012 03:51 PM

@Bill. You took what I said too literally. Yes all those things are down, BUT, and it is a huge BUT, have you looked at the earnings statements for ISC, SMC? Profits are still in the hundreds of millions of dollars. So why do you think they are in such dire straits? And as long as the money keeps rlling in like that….. No I am certainly not BZF, but I do sponsor a racecar. Perhaps we have a different viewpoint on the situation.

06/22/2012 04:34 PM

Nice article, Amy and I see lots of comments here that I agree with.

If you want to get people interested in spending the $ needed to GO to a race, first you have to show them the reason why they should spend it. In years past, including the first TV contract that Fox had, the broadcasts did a lot of that. As you’ve pointed out, the fans at home got to “meet” the drivers, like or dislike them and became excited about the racing.

Now the TV partners are so busy either being “stars” in their own right (Fox) or stuck in the middle with their “drama” (TNT) or gee we are the WW leader in sports so we had to get NASCAR back, but now we can’t fit it into the schedule (ESPN)and the fans are the ones left out.

I have to use trackpass, twitter and the MRN feed to find out what’s going on unless I’m at the race. That’s absolutely ridiculous. It’s on TV, why can’t I just watch the race?

That’s the question that fans are asking and it’s up to NASCAR’s management to put in place some rules for broadcasting to the TV partners in the new contract. I would bet $ that the NFL and MLB have it in theirs.

But then again, this is Brian France we’re talking about so I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for it.

Tyler West
06/22/2012 04:40 PM

I really hate what Nascar has become. It’s all what the media wants it to be. There are no personalities, if there are they get crucified by the media. IT SUCKS!!!!! They only cover Hendrick, Childress, and Rousch, and sometimes Gibbs. But the media went on a witch hunt after Kyle so now Gibbs doesn’t get as much attention. Waltrips teams is the in thing now but he’s pathetic in how he constantly plugs his sponsors. The sport is supposed to be about hard nosed racing and not being a performing monkey for the idiots at the tv networks. The tv coverage SUCKS and what they have turned this sport into is a crying shame.

06/22/2012 04:44 PM

Russ, ISC has been losing $ for a while. They are still making a profit, partly because they keep making deals with companies that would be sponsors on cars but instead are now the “official whatever” of NASCAR.

It’s a bad business model since I don’t tune in to a race to see the official sponsors of NASCAR, I tune in to see the cars and drivers.

IMO quite a few people have voted with their remote and with their $, attendance is down, so are souvenir sales. Yes, some of it is the economy but a lot of it is the lack of interesting things to talk about. I know NASCAR thinks that Jr will save them, but they can’t put all their eggs in one basket.

Count me as one who stopped watching all the prerace shows several years ago. They no longer present relevant information – I’m interest in driver interviews, not what one of the talking heads – on any of the networks wants to tell me. I only had to hear Kenny Wallace say “listen up, race fans” and then proceed to tell me how stupid I am and how I don’t understand a couple of times for me to declare myself free of that crap.

One other thing, for those people saying that it is only Johnson, Gordon & Jr getting the coverage, let me just say that I disagree – at least re Gordon. He made on heckuva drive from the back of the field at Pocono and there was very little of that shown on TV.

Bill B
06/22/2012 07:04 PM

LOL. The fact that a bidding show is pre-empting live qualifying says about as much as any other indicator can. I think we all agree that watching a tape delay of the auction and watching qualifying live would be preferable.

Don’t get me wrong, I like looking at the purdy cars too but it’s still only an auction.

06/24/2012 01:26 PM

I have been telling Nascar this via Fan Council for the past three years on a weekly basis! TV bobbleheads refuse to cover more than have the field of a race. Unless a fan subscribes to raceview, have mulitple browsers with scanners up, they will have no clue why “their” driver pitted, how long the pit took, why they are in the garage, etc.
TV bobbleheads have so much nepotism involved with their reporting, either connection to a race team being close friends or a vested monetary interest. Kenny Wallace in raceday spouts the virtues of MWracing and low and behold Kenny winds up in Waltrips Nationwide car. So not cool!
The other Juggernaut that Nascar has on teams is the sponsor blacklist. Because sprint and sunoco, etc are the official sponsors of nascar drivers can’t have competing companies as their sponsors. Tracks are the same way, if Red Bull is the track energy drink, no other driver sponsored energy drinks can be present at the drivers merchandise trailer, is this fair maybe, but it is driving away potential dollars in sponsors, teams and fans.

06/24/2012 01:31 PM

@rgmfan Thanks for your comment, but I must correct one thing: Kenny Wallace was signed for six races in the RAB No. 9 BEFORE the merger with MWR and number change to 99. It’s been his ride all along. What was or was not said on TV had no bearing.

06/24/2012 01:45 PM

I agree with most of what has been said here but I really like the statement made about the media in general and how they seemed to want to tell us how to feel! And I like Larry Mac and can even deal with DW for a short time but Michael Waltrip is way too “Company man” for me. Its great he loves the sport but it comes across as Butt Kissing most of the time.

Most of the media personalities only cover certain things and tell us thats what we want to hear about! Its constant! For example: don’t tell me I should be happy and amazed at what Jimmie has accomplished. Don’t tell me we ALL MUST LOVE DANICA! And I could give a rats butt about Jr’s beard! It drives me insane! And the NASCAR news shows have become a joke! Trackside is ruined! Race hub has become boring! NASCAR Performance? Ugh! Can they possible give the snooze queen Danielle Trotta one more show to destroy? How bout we stop pandering to one portion of the fans and get back to racing which is why we the fans, the media, the drivers AND the sponsors are all here for?

06/25/2012 01:20 PM

There is one solution! DO NOT WATCH


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