Marty Reid Will Call ESPN’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Races in 2010: Marty Reid, whose 28-year career with ESPN has touched all forms of motorsports the network has covered, will expand his role and join analysts Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree in the booth as lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN’s full season of NASCAR coverage in 2010. Reid will call the action for all 17 of ESPN’s NASCAR Sprint Cup races as well as many of the network’s NASCAR Nationwide Series telecasts. He was lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN’s IndyCar Series coverage and selected NASCAR Nationwide Series races in 2009.
Returning to a role he helped define for ESPN for more than 20 years, Dr. Jerry Punch will join ESPN’s team of pit reporters for 2010, working both Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races. Punch was lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN’s Sprint Cup coverage the past three years. “This group gives us the most versatile and comprehensive team in motorsports, and strengthens us in the booth,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, studio and event production. “We play to the strengths of our announcers, and Marty’s strength is calling the tactical aspects of the race while deferring to the analysts. And from the early days of our NASCAR coverage, Jerry helped evolve the significant role that reporting from the pits plays,” Williamson said. “He will bolster our already-strong stable of pit reporters.”
All other members of the NASCAR on ESPN race coverage team will return in 2010, including analysts Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty, Tim Brewer and Ray Evernham, NASCAR Countdown host Allen Bestwick and pit reporters Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch. Specific assignments and schedules will be announced later.
In addition to his expanded role with NASCAR, Reid will continue as the lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN’s five-race IndyCar Series schedule, including the Indianapolis 500. ESPN’s 2010 NASCAR season begins with live, flag-to-flag coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series opener at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 13. The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race on ESPN’s schedule is at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 25.(ESPN)(12-16-2009)
Showtime Adds Weekly NASCAR TV Show: Showtime said on Monday it will carry a new series, “Inside Nascar,” that will be shown each week of the Sprint Cup season. The hour-long program will be taped at the new Nascar Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., and shown Wednesday nights at 10pm, starting Feb. 10. It will carry footage shot at each week’s race, as NFL Films does for “Inside the NFL,” with commentary from a group of studio analysts that has not been announced. The 38-week-long series will also have access to the many drivers, crew chiefs and owners who are based in the Charlotte area. Showtime has given the series a two-year deal with an option for a third. Ken Hershman, the senior vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports, said the announcers on the show will be familiar from their work at ESPN, Fox, Turner and the Speed Channel.(New York Times)(12-8-2009)
More races could be shown online: There's a chance you could be watching more races online this season. Right now, the only races you can watch online are the six TNT races since Turner owns all the online rights for the broadcasts. Thus, ESPN, Fox and ABC can't show any race live online. You can watch the TNT races on NASCAR.com's Race Buddy program, which last year featured live shots from four different vantage points. This year, you might get to see more NASCAR races online, so when the race goes to commercial on TV, you wouldn't have to miss anything. Here's what Lenny Daniels, Chief Operating Officer for Turner Sports told [Dustin Long] about the future of having more races shown online: "We are going to attempt to work out a deal with Fox and ESPN. It's an intersectional rights, is what it is. When Turner has all the rights (TV and Internet), we can show it any way we want. If you're ESPN, you don't want us doing anything during that live race window. That's what they bought. That's what they own. So we have to figure out a business plan to work with them and try to get a deal done. Believe me, we would love to have Race Buddy year-round and I think NASCAR would too but it all comes down to the business model. When I [Dustin Long] asked him if it was unlikely that more races would be shown online in 2010, Daniels said: "I wouldn't say that. We're trying. I don't think you're going to see it across the board for every race. We'll definitely do it for our races. We'll work with Fox. We came close to Fox last year on a few things (doing versions of Race Buddy)."(Hampton Roads)(12-9-2009)
No decision on TNT/ESPN/ABC announcers: So, who is going to be announcing where? Remember that Bill Weber lost his job at Turner after a public incident last summer. Ralph Sheheen filled in for Weber. Lenny Daniels of Turner told [Dustin Long] no decision has been made yet but Sheheen remains a candidate for the job. John Wildhack, executive vice president program acquisition and strategy for ABC/ESPN said that no decision has been made on the ESPN/ABC announcing crew as of yet.(Hampton Roads)(12-9-2009)
Aflac and LMS to honor motorsports media: Aflac and Lowe’s Motor Speedway will once again honor the best in motorsports media with the annual Motorsports Journalism Awards of Excellence in honor of Russ Catlin. The 2009 Awards will be presented during the Lowe’s Motor Speedway Media Tour in January 2010. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Catlin Awards, which were created in honor of motorsports media pioneer Russ Catlin. The Awards are presented to individuals who capture the passion, excitement and compelling stories of motorsports through distinguished journalism. Russ Catlin Award winners receive a special plaque to commemorate their achievement along with a $1,000 scholarship to the school of their choice, paid by Aflac. As in years past, professors and faculty from the Indiana University School of Journalism provide an independent review of all entries to determine the winners.
The categories for the 2009 Aflac Motorsports Journalism Awards of Excellence are:
* Writing entries for daily newspapers
* Writing entries for other forms of written media (internet, weekly, etc.)
* Broadcast entries for local radio and television
* Broadcast entries for national radio and television
* Photojournalism entries
Entries must be postmarked by December 4, 2009. More info at lowesmotorspeedway.com/aflacaward.(Breaking Limits)(11-13-2009)
NASCAR takes ABC to task for 'boring' race: Almost everybody who watches TV sports is an instant critic. One exception: Sports leagues themselves, who almost never publicly criticize the networks that cover them. And when it comes to ESPN, and its various TV platforms including ABC, the last criticism you'd expect is that the worldwide leader in hype wasn't enthusiastic enough about something it had paid to cover. But NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston, in a blog posting on nascar.com, specifically knocked ESPN/ABC's coverage of Sunday's Sprint Cup race in Talladega, Ala. At issue: Whether the race was boring.
Usually, TV sports analysts go to great pains to avoid even hinting what they're showing is boring. But Poston suggested ESPN/ABC analysts, including Dale Jarrett, "certainly weren't happy with the race and felt compelled to remind viewers of that virtually every lap. ... And along the way, ABC missed a lot of very good racing." On Sunday's race on a long track with steep banks, NASCAR cited safety reasons for prohibiting so-called bump-drafting to provide extra room between cars on turns. Although ESPN/ABC let viewers eavesdrop on driver Tony Stewart asking his crew during the race to tell him something interesting "so I don't fall asleep out here," Poston says the event had "seriously intense racing." ESPN, in a statement, said only that it had a "strong telecast" and had no comment on Poston's post.(USA Today)(11-6-2009)
Johnson to be chronicled in HBO show: HBO Sports' groundbreaking "24/7" reality franchise, which has captured seven Sports Emmy Awards, will debut its first non-boxing series with 24/7 Jimmie Johnson: Race to Daytona, an all-new, four-episode, all-access series chronicling the driver and his team as they prepare for the Daytona 500. Debuting Tuesday, Jan. 26th (10:00-10:30pm/et/pt), the four-week series spotlights Jimmie Johnson, and gives viewers an inside look at the driver and his #48 Hendrick Motorsports team as they prepare for the biggest race of the year. Ensuing episodes will debut on subsequent Tuesdays - Feb. 2, 9 and 16 - in prime time. The Feb. 16 series finale will debut two days after the race, with cameras tracking all the drama and excitement surrounding Johnson and his team on race day. All four episodes will have multiple replay dates on HBO, and the series will also be available on HBO On Demand. 24/7 Jimmie Johnson: Race to Daytona will provide exclusive behind-the-scenes access, along with in-depth interviews with Johnson, crew chief Chad Knaus, team owner Rick Hendrick and the #48 Hendrick Motorsports team as they prepare for the 2010 Daytona 500. Johnson says that getting his wife Chandra on board with the idea of cameras following them around was not difficult, since they had seen earlier "24/7" shows. "Chandra and I were big fans of the '24/7' series with Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather, and that's kind of how this all came about," says Johnson, who along with his wife founded the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, which has raised more than $2 million for various charities since its inception in 2006. The executive producers of 24/7 Jimmie Johnson: Race to Daytona are Ross Greenburg and Rick Bernstein; coordinating producer, Dave Harmon; Liev Schreiber narrates. NASCAR Media Group, the leading producer of NASCAR on television, will provide production support for HBO Sports.(HBO)(10-15-2009)
Special Pit Suit for Spake: Shannon Spake has been reporting from the pits for ESPN's NASCAR coverage for several years, but Spake is now carrying something extra. Spake and her husband are expecting their first children in January - twin boys. To assist her in performing her duties through the rest of the season, ESPN and Spake worked with firesuit manufacturer Impact to produce a special piece of apparel for her to wear while in the pits during races. The two-piece suit is equipped with a stretch gusset in the back so that it can be expanded as her pregnancy progresses through the fall. ESPN's live coverage of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover will air on ABC, while ESPN2 will air Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race.(ESPN PR)(9-25-2009)
- Pete Pistone joins Sirius' "The Morning Drive": RacingOne's Pete Pistone will join Sirius NASCAR Radio's "The Morning Drive" as co-host beginning on Monday, July 6. Pistone will team up with veteran broadcast Mike Bagley on the popular morning radio show which airs Monday through Friday from 7-11 a.m. ET on Sirius Channel 128. Pistone has been part of the Sirius NASCAR Radio team for more than a year and has hosted and co-hosted a variety of shows on the channel.(RacingOne)(7-3-2009)
- No Bill Weber in the TNT booth at NHMS UPDATE 3 - to miss final two races: TNT will not have Bill Weber in the booth for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 today at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, according to a TNT spokesman. “Bill Weber will not be part of TNT's NASCAR coverage of the Cup Series from New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend,” said a company statement released by senior vice president Sal Petruzzi. “As this is a private issue, it’s the policy of the company not to discuss personal matters involving our employees.” Ralph Sheheen will step in for Weber on today's telecast.(SceneDaily)(6-28-2009)
UPDATE: Sport's Illustrated's/Frontstretch's Tom Bowles reported on RaceTalkRadio.com that Bill Weber will be replaced by Ralph Shaheen again at Daytona. During Monday night's "Doin' Donuts" radio show Tom Bowles from SI.com and Frontstretch.com reported that TNT will replace Bill Weber again on Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway for the broadcast of the Coke Zero 400. Fans can listen to the complete broadcast by going to the RaceTalkRadio.com homepage and listening to the archived show from last night.(6-30-2009)
UPDATE 2: Sources now tell Bowles this is NOT true, no decisions to make a change to the TNT booth have yet been made for Daytona.(6-30-2009)
UPDATE 3: Bill Weber will not be part of TNT's NASCAR coverage of the Cup Series for the network’s last two races. Ralph Sheheen will handle play-by-play duties for The Coke Zero 400 in Daytona and the LifeLock.com 400 from Chicagoland. Sheheen will be calling the races alongside analysts Kyle Petty and Wally Dallenbach in the booth.(TNT)(7-1-2009)
- ESPN’s Jamie Little Appearing on Food Network’s Iron Chef: Jamie Little, pit reporter for ESPN’s coverage of NASCAR, will step out of her element as a guest judge on the popular Food Network program Iron Chef America. The program airs Sunday, June 7, at 10pm/et. The program pits a challenging chef against one of the network’s star chefs in a one-hour contest staged in “Kitchen Stadium.” The chefs must make a multi-course meal using a “secret ingredient” that they only learn about moments before the contest begins. Their work is then judged by a three-person panel to determine a winner. Little taped her appearance in New York City nearly a year ago and was sworn to secrecy. “I even had to sign documentation that I would not reveal what the secret ingredient was,” she said. The program re-airs June 11 at 8 p.m., June 13 at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. and Sept. 12 at 10 p.m.(ESPN)(6-6-2009)
- TNT returns at Pocono; Daytona TNT announced the start of its 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series coverage. TNT covers Sprint Cup action for six weeks, from June 7, at Pocono, until July 11, at Chicago. Jeff Behnke, the executive producer/senior vice president of Turner Sports, discussed the features of the programming. "At Daytona this year, we will be back with Wide Open Coverage for the third straight year. In our last two years of our Wide Open Coverage, we've only missed a total of 12 laps of green-flag racing. That's something that we are very, very proud of," Behnke said. TNT's pre-race segments will include "NASCAR on TNT Live!," "Wally's World," and "Pride of NASCAR," and will feature the "Countdown to Green." TNT will also bring back TNT RaceBuddy on NASCAR.com. Kyle Petty, an analyst for TNT's coverage, will also return, joining Wally Dallenbach and Weber in the booth. Larry McReynolds will also return for the 2009 coverage as an analyst. "I'm excited about this year, I really am," Petty said. "For me to be at TNT this year, it's really cool for me. In the past, I've come out of the race car to do these races, and this year I've been watching the races."(LMS Pit Notes)(6-2-2009)
- NASCAR Media Group prepping for NASCAR Network? The NASCAR Media Group is not even two years old, but nowhere is the sanctioning body spending more money or more carefully plotting its future. Over the next few months, the media group will start moving out of its cozy, well-worn offices just south of downtown Charlotte. Its new $45 million home - $30 million in state-of-the-art equipment, $15 million in construction - will be adjoining the sparkling NASCAR Hall of Fame building in the heart of downtown, where it will occupy floors two through five of the 19-story office tower. Inside, the group will have everything it needs to start its own network, from multiple studios and control rooms, to full graphics and high-definition capability. Even though the hall of fame won't open for another year, the office space adjoining the attraction will be ready for occupancy in June. It will give NASCAR nearly limitless options when it enters the next round of media talks - its current deals for TV, radio, mobile and the Internet expire in 2014. And the idea of joining Major League Baseball, the NBA, NHL and NFL in starting its own network will be part of the discussion.(Sports Business Journal)(5-20-2009)
- ESPN’S NASCAR Coverage Earns 19th Sports Emmy Award: ESPN’s coverage of NASCAR earned its 19th Sports Emmy Award, among five presented to ESPN by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Monday night in New York. The NASCAR award was for Technical Team Studio in the 2008 season and honored the ESPN Pit Studio and Craftsman Tech Garage, two mobile studio facilities utilized across ESPN platforms. "We're humbled that our efforts associated with both the ESPN Pit Studio and the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage were recognized,” said Rich Feinberg, ESPN vice president, motorsports. "Both are unique in our industry and are used as key elements of our NASCAR coverage." For its NASCAR Countdown studio shows that precede all NASCAR race telecasts, ESPN originates from the Pit Studio. The studio, which weighs nearly 78,000 pounds and travels all season, allows ESPN to bring the look and feel of its Bristol, Conn.,-based studio shows such as SportsCenter and Sunday NFL Countdown to the tracks. Host Allen Bestwick and analysts Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty man the pit studio for ESPN. The mobile pit studio is outfitted with state-of-the-art LED lighting, robotic HD cameras and a dramatic, contoured, video display fronting the anchor desk. Situated near the pits at every track, the studio is elevated 14 feet while in use and 30 foot glass windows give viewers a look at the cars, grandstands and pageantry prior to the race start. The ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage is an enclosed studio that contains two ESPN Chevy Cutaway Cars. The studio also has room for displays of other race car elements such as engines, transmissions and shock absorbers. ESPN’s Tim Brewer, a two-time NASCAR champion crew chief, and other ESPN analysts report from the Tech Garage during race telecasts to help viewers better understand the technical and mechanical aspects of NASCAR racing. The ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage allows ESPN to present segments in the telecasts that originate from an enclosed, controlled environment with no exterior interference, adding to the viewing experience and giving NASCAR fans more information. ESPN has now won 128 Sports Emmy Awards in 21 years of eligibility.(ESPN PR)(4-28-2009)
- Get well Mike Paz: longtime Daytona International Speedway and may other race track announcer, Mike Paz, was hospitalized on Saturday [3/28/2009] with a possible stroke. He is listed in guarded condition and thoughts and prayers go out to Paz and his family. Cards can be sent to Mike "Paz" Pazdyk c/o Strong Memorial Hospital, 601 Elmwood Ave, Rochester, NY 14642.(nyirp.com)(4-1-2009)
- ESPN Motorsports Coverage Earns Five Sports Emmy Nominations: ESPN’s coverage of motorsports earned five Sports Emmy Award nominations, among an industry-leading 54 nominations earned by ESPN, Inc., it was announced today by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The 54 nominations were the most of any submitting company for the eighth time in nine years. The winners will be announced Monday, April 27. The five nominations in motorsports included the company’s production endeavors for live event coverage and technical expertise.
Outstanding Technical Team Remote: ESPN NASCAR 2008
Outstanding Technical Team Studio: ESPN NASCAR 2008 (Pit studio and Tech Center)
Outstanding Live Event Audio/Sound: ESPN NASCAR 2008
George Wensel Technical Achievement Award: Draft Track 2.0
Outstanding Open/Tease: 2008 Indianapolis 500: The Perfect Storm
ESPN has won 18 Sports Emmy Awards for motorsports in its history, 17 during the 1990s and one last year for 2007 and the network's return to NASCAR. Overall, ABC has won 160 Sports Emmy Awards since they were first given in 1980, while ESPN has won 123 in 21 years of eligibility.(ESPN PR)(4-4-2009)
- Fox earns 5 Emmy noms: NASCAR on FOX received 5 Sports Emmy Noms including Outstanding Live Series and Live Special for Daytona 500 coverage.(4-4-2009)
NASCAR HotPass is FREE in 2009 Feel every thunderous turn of the 2009 Sprint Cup Series with 4 driver channels, compliments of DIRECTV:
* Each Driver Channel focuses on one driver throughout the race
* See the network broadcast and video from the driver's in-car camera on one screen
* Listen to the broadcast network audio and the driver's team audio.
NASCAR HotPass has been reformatted for 2009, but still has many of the same features as previous seasons. Some features have changed and are no longer available.(DIRECTV.com)(2-14-2009)
- TV Rights available for NASCAR HOF: NASCAR has announced who will be eligible and how the voting will be conducted for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, which is scheduled to have its first induction ceremony in May 2010, but no decision has been made yet on the awarding of television broadcasting rights. As part of its contract with the City of Charlotte, which will own and operate the hall of fame, NASCAR owns all broadcast rights for the event. NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said the induction ceremony is not packaged in the current television deal and the negotiation process on the rights is just beginning. Fox, Speed, TNT and ABC/ESPN are the current NASCAR television partners as part of a racing contract that currently runs through 2014, an eight-year deal worth a total of $4.48 billion. Obviously, Speed, which is owned by Fox, would love to have that hall induction ceremony programming. “Speed is totally fired up about working on programming covering the inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony,” said Speed President Hunter Nickell. “In fact, the brainstorming has long been under way, and we are in the process of developing a specific approach to this historical event.”
An ESPN spokesman said the network also would be interested in the induction ceremony. And TNT, whose parent company Turner owns NASCAR.com, also could play a role in the negotiations.(SceneDaily)(2-1-2009)
- NASCAR's TV boss rejects local blackout: Speedway Motorsports Inc. chairman Bruton Smith might like the idea of local television blackouts for races that are not sold out, but NASCAR and at least one television partner do not. Paul Brooks, the NASCAR senior vice president who oversees its broadcasting efforts, said such blackout would create too many problems. "Event attendance is a priority for NASCAR and our television partners," Brooks said. "However, there are many significant issues, unique to NASCAR, that arise around the concept of local TV blackouts. TV partners, advertisers, ratings, team and event sponsors would all be negatively impacted. However, the most significant issue is the negative effect this move would have for our fans. We need to continue to find ways to bring our fans even more television, Internet, radio and new-media coverage and continue to remind fans that the ultimate NASCAR experience will always be sitting in the grandstands watching that race live." George McNeilly, senior director for communications for ESPN, echoed Brooks' position. "We all want to see growth in both attendance and television ratings," McNeilly said. "We will continue to work with NASCAR and race tracks to find mutually beneficial solutions that do not involve blacking out our telecasts."(Charlotte Observer)(1-22-2009)
- No more Tradin' Paint: Speed Channel will not bring back the show “Tradin Paint,’’ the show that featured John Roberts, Kyle Petty and a journalist discussing some of the issues of the day. The show will be replaced with what sounds like a game show based on NASCAR trivia for fans at the track. Roberts and Petty will remain with the show.(Virginian Pilot)(1-20-2009)
- SPEED signs Dave Despain thru 2010: SPEED signed veteran motor sports broadcaster Dave Despain to a new two-year deal, keeping the popular host of the Sunday night program Wind Tunnel on the team through 2010. Closing in on 450 episodes of his popular fan-participation show Wind Tunnel, Despain has interviewed everyone who is anyone in the world of racing. Three-time NASCAR champ Darrell Waltrip has made the most guest appearances (9), followed by Jeff Gordon (7), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (7), Funny Car king John Force (6) and open-wheel veteran Paul Tracy (6). Longtime motor sports writer Robin Miller has enjoyed the most co-hosting appearances at 13. "I love the fact that the voices on Wind Tunnel cover the entire racing spectrum; from the fans in the stands, to the folks watching on TV, to the big time stars putting on the show to the movers and shakers who make it all happen,” Despain said. “We stick our noses into every nook and cranny of racing and always seem to find something interesting." Wind Tunnel opens its 2009 season Feb. 15 at 9pm/et.(SPEEDtv PR)(12-19-2008)
- NASCAR writer laid off: The Winston-Salem Journal is laying off 12 employees because of rough economic times.
The newspaper reported that it will cut jobs in advertising and finance, among other departments. Most of the lost jobs will affect employees who build ads for local advertisers. The newspaper said three employees were laid off immediately and nine others will be laid off between now and February. Affected employees will receive severance packages. One of those let go was Mike Mulhern, who covered his last NASCAR race for the Journal last month. The paper has ended full-time staff coverage of stock car racing. Mulhern has covered NASCAR for 34 of his 35 years at the Journal.(News and Record), no word on Mulhern's plans for 2009.(12-11-2008)
- No Hot Pass in 2009? UPDATE: The email is flying around the Internet, but as of Tuesday evening we [Daly Planet] are being told that DirecTV has cancelled NASCAR Hot Pass for 2009. Official word should come sometime on Wednesday. This service, which provided four "mini-networks" to subscribers, featured two announcers calling the race from the perspective of each driver. Fans got to hear all the in-car radio traffic, see the various in-car cameras and switch between the four feeds anytime during the race.(Daly Planet)(12-10-2008)
UPDATE: from Ray Dunlap's site: If you could look through the telephone lines on Tuesday, you would have seen about fifty very long faces during the final and mandatory conference call for DirecTV’s NASCAR HotPass. The leader of the new to television concept of a true inside view of stock car racing, Chris Long, broke the news to a band of faithful that HotPass was indeed dead.(RayDunlap.net)(12-10-2008)
UPDATE 2: The NASCAR Hot Pass on DirecTV won’t return in 2009 as it has been produced, NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston confirmed Wednesday. Hot Pass typically would feature four/five drivers on four/five different channels with a play-by-play announcer and pit reporter for each driver. The driver’s channel would include video of the car throughout the race from several angles.
It was offered on a subscription basis. “Hot Pass as we know it today is changing,” Poston said in a statement. “Fans are still going to get unique content from DirecTV, but they won’t be getting fully produced channels. We’re still in discussion with DirecTV for enhancements for 2009.”(SceneDaily)(12-10-2008)
- Daytona 500 in 3-D? Fox Sports Chairman David Hill says Fox hopes to let theatergoers use 3-D glasses to watch February's NASCAR Daytona 500. Hill says sports in 3-D is "fabulous," and high-def TV "has just been a steppingstone" to get to 3-D. But even though TV sets already being sold are 3-D-ready, he says don't expect TV networks to lead the way.(USA Today)(12-4-2008)
- Television Exposure during 2008 Cup Season: #48-Jimmie Johnson’s 2008 NASCAR dominance did not end on the racetrack, as the newly crowned three-time Cup Series Champion earned a combined total of $510,161,750 of in-broadcast television exposure, the most of any driver, for his sponsors during race telecasts this past season.
According to research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates, Inc. — which specializes in measuring the impact of sponsorships across all forms of media — 62 brands appearing on locations such as Johnson’s car, uniform and support crew’s uniforms appeared clear and in-focus for a total of 59 hours, 28 minutes, 39 seconds (59:28:39) during television coverage of NASCAR’s premier series in 2008. Additionally, the sponsors were mentioned by Johnson, his crew, or the announcers 316 times. Exposure value is calculated by comparing the on-screen time and mentions to the estimated cost of a commercial spot during each respective race telecast throughout the season.
Johnson’s top sponsor, Lowe’s, garnered nearly $200 million of exposure value, or 39% of the total in-broadcast exposure associated with Johnson, to lead all team sponsors in 2008. Johnson also clocked in with the highest exposure contribution to a carmaker, as Chevrolet collected nearly eight hours of on-screen time and $67.8 million of exposure value from its association with the three-time champion.
Carl Edwards mirrored his runner up status in the points championship by collecting the second-most exposure for his sponsors, as 76 brands monitored with Edwards amassed 58:50:51, 311 mentions and nearly $496 million. One area Edwards did manage to surpass his rival Johnson was in exposure captured during the Chase for the Sprint Cup. During telecasts of the final 10 races, Edwards' sponsors laid claim to $225 million of exposure, compared to $201 million resulting from the Johnson’s effort.
2008 Top Television Exposure Producing Drivers:
Driver, Total Brands, Exposure Time, Verbal Mentions, Exposure Value, % of Value From Chase
1) J. Johnson, 62, 59:28:39, 316 -- $510,161,750; 39.5%
2) C. Edwards, 76, 58:50:51, 311 -- 495,908,515; 45.4%
3) D. Earnhardt Jr., 53, 44:40:48, 99 -- 416,960,760; 25.8%
4) J. Gordon, 84, 36:57:53, 125 -- 352,832,880; 28.5%
5) Ky. Busch, 85, 36:58:43, 291 -- 340,918,000; 17.6%
6) M. Kenseth, 63, 26:37:17, 45 -- 245,898,820; 33.2%
7) T. Stewart, 56, 23:35:23, 123 -- 227,125,660; 23.9%
8) G. Biffle, 56, 22:32:52, 108 -- 204,083,535; 38.6%
9) K. Harvick, 57, 23:23:43, 64 -- 199,881,010; 29.0%
10) K. Kahne, 57, 22:07:30, 112 -- 193,612,065; 13.3%
Note: Number of Brands refers to the number of unique sponsoring entities monitored in association with each respective driver. Exposure received by brands monitored in association with more than one driver is credited to the driver/crew from whom the identity originated. Full PR at Joyce Julius & Assoc. site.(12-1-2008)
- Fox, ESPN look to cut race costs: Facing a discouraging ad market, Fox is talking to NASCAR and ESPN about ways the network can save money on its broadcasts of the sport next year. Fox was expected to meet with NASCAR this past week and ESPN in the coming weeks to explore potential cost cuts on the production side. Also, about 20 members of Fox’s sales and marketing team will meet at NASCAR’s New York office to talk about unique approaches that might distinguish the sport from other properties.
“It’s really going to be a half-day seminar on how we can think differently, approach the market differently and provide different opportunities for advertisers,” said Paul Brooks, president of the NASCAR Media Group, from the NASCAR hauler during last week’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. “What are we missing? What can we do better? We want to make sure we’re looking through all of those opportunities.” On the production side, Brooks said the sanctioning body will work with Fox to find savings as long as the viewers won’t notice a difference. “There are additional things we can look at as far as sharing and managing facilities in an even more efficient way,” Brooks said. Can broadcasters get by with 55 cameras instead of 60? Can they share a production truck over the course of a weekend instead of using multiple trucks? Those are the kinds of cuts the networks will weigh. “It’s something we’re very cognizant of,” said Rich Feinberg, ESPN’s vice president of motorsports. “Every business has been affected by the economy and we’re just trying to stay ahead of those things. Our content will still be there, but we’ve got to take a closer look at how we acquire that content. Are there areas where we can be flexible?” The combined TV rights fee for Fox, ESPN and Turner averages $560 million a year through 2014. Additionally, each of the networks has a multimillion-dollar spend with NASCAR Media Group, which manages the TV compound at each venue and provides additional content, such as unique camera angles and audio.(Sports Business Journal)(11-25-2008)
- No plans to switch more races to cable in 2009: NASCAR already has a dozen of its 36 Cup races on cable (ESPN 7 and TNT 6), with the rest being televised on over-the-air networks (Fox and ABC). That’s a mix that NASCAR likes, so don’t expect to see any more of the sport’s big events moving over to pay TV. While Speed, a News Corp.-owned network in 75 million homes, continuously lobbies for Cup races on its network, that doesn’t appear likely. It does have the Sprint All-Star Race, which is a non-points event. “We think the balance as it is today is good,” Paul Brooks, president of the NASCAR Media Group said. “We worked hard as we put our TV plans in place to ensure the greatest coverage available for the sport. … We have assurances that the balance will be there moving forward.” That doesn’t mean the lobbying will stop. Contractually, ESPN does not have the freedom to move the final 11 Cup races off ABC to ESPN. The first six Cup races of its 17-race schedule are already on ESPN.(Sports Business Journal)(11-25-2008)
- Waltrip gives car to victim of scam: After hearing about an Iraq war veteran who was victimized by an Internet scam, former NASCAR champion Darrell Waltrip stepped in and gave the man a 2004 Honda Accord on Tuesday. The vehicle has a Kelley Blue Book retail value of about $13,000. "It's beyond awesome,'' said Jay Strobino, 24, of Franklin, who lost $5,500 trying to buy a used Honda Accord on Craigslist earlier this year. He wired the money to a scam artist who claimed to be heading out soon for a military deployment, setting up a fake WorldPay Web site to handle the purchase. Strobino's story appeared in The Tennessean on Tuesday in an article about the growing sophistication of Internet fraud. Waltrip said the general manager of his Franklin auto dealership, John Gallagher, alerted him to the story and recommended the vehicle giveaway. "I thought that's a no-brainer — let's help this kid out,'' Waltrip said after handing Strobino the keys at Darrell Waltrip Honda Volvo on Tuesday. "There are so many fake sites,'' he said. "You really have to be sure. We're in the car business, and he got ripped off by someone pretending to be real." Waltrip said he also was motivated by Strobino's military service.
Strobino, who was injured in a firefight south of Baghdad in 2004, is a Silver Star medal recipient, the third highest-ranking military honor.
When hearing the Honda dealership was going to give him a car Tuesday, Strobino, who described himself as being "broke," said simply: "Are you serious?"(Tennessean)(7-2-2008)
- Jenkins honored: Broadcaster and race historian Bob Jenkins received the Bob Russo Founders Award from the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association on Saturday. Jenkins, one of the first announcers hired by ESPN when the cable network debuted in 1979, later served as host and play-by-play announcer for the Indy Racing League and the Indy 500.(AP/Sports Illustrated)(5-25-2008)
- Gopher Cams at the Daytona 500: Gopher Cam, a small, stationary high-definition point-of-view camera buried underneath the asphalt track surface, inches below the yellow line at Daytona International Speedway will be used Sunday. There are four Gopher Cams in-place for the 50th Daytona 500, one in each of the track's four turns. This is the first instance where a camera has been installed below the surface of a superspeedway, and this is the first time that a sub-track surface camera is HD caliber. The cameras have also been paired with high quality condenser microphones, another first, for an unbelievably realistic audio/video experience. The camera hardware and electronics have been installed six inches below the asphalt, and is housed in a cylindrical stainless steel fixture. The lens is less than a half-inch in diameter, and camera is angled slightly to see oncoming traffic. The assembly is covered by a protective dome that is four-inches in diameter and rises less than one-quarter inch above the track surface. Cars rolling over them will have no idea of their presence. The cameras are connected to Fox's mobile production units outside DIS via copper wiring that was trenched in below the track and grass and run to where it meets up with the network's advanced fiber optic wiring system. Installation of Gopher Cam, with the cooperation of Daytona International Speedway and NASCAR's Competition and Media Group department's, was conducted over a three day period last week and tested during the Budweiser Shootout Saturday night. The wiring and stainless steel housing for Gopher Cams remain behind in-place after the race, but the actual cameras travels with Fox to be used at the next race location. A plate replaces the dome that is used on raceday. Gopher Cams are currently being installed in all NASCAR in Fox Sprint Cup race locations, including California Speedway in Fontana (Feb. 24) and Las Vegas Motor Speedway (March 2). While most tracks will have as many as four Gopher Cams, similar to DIS, the number at any individual track may vary.(Fox Sports PR)(2-15-2008)
- To 'Boogity' or not to 'Boogity': Long time readers of Darrell Waltrip's columns know that every year he likes to take an annual poll as he try to keep my finger on the pulse of fans, the media, the TV critics, and the racing community as a whole. DW would like to see where everybody is concerning one issue in particular: To "Boogity, boogity, boogity!" or not to "Boogity, boogity, boogity!" DW takes a lot of heat, and it seems like it's mostly from insiders, about using the "Boogity, boogity, boogity!" catchphrase before every race. DW has been told that the saying "is ridiculous," and that "it doesn't make him sound very intelligent." Every year he feels like he almost have to defend starting a race with those words, but he does travel a lot all over the country and talks to fans — from little guys that are five, six, seven years old, teenagers, old race fans, new race fans, senior race fans, perimeter race fans, you name it, but they always come up to me and say, "Man, I can't wait to get the NASCAR season started again and to hear those magic words..." and they are not talking about "Gentlemen, start your engines." The last three years the vote has been held and it's been 60-40 pretty much across the board, 70-30, 60-40. As long as it's above 50%, DW is going to keep doing it.(vote at FoxSports.com), it was at 15% as of Saturday evening, then the poll was removed due to technical difficulties.(1-12-2008)
- SPEED signs Randy Pemberton, expands Sadler's role: SPEED has added veteran NASCAR reporter Randy Pemberton to its stable of experts supporting multiple SPEED programs for the remainder of the season. Pemberton, who already has appeared on the popular Tradin’ Paint, will take an expanded role beginning in mid-August in Michigan, working on NASCAR Live!, Go or Go Home and occasional SPEED qualifying and practice sessions. In addition to adding Pemberton, SPEED also will elevate the role of NASCAR driver Hermie Sadler, who has driven the SPEED 1 demonstration car for the popular SPEED pre-race show NASCAR RaceDay. Sadler also will report for NASCAR Live! and Go or Go Home.(SPEEDtv.com)(7-26-2007)
- Petree partners with ADI: Accelerating Developments International, LLC (ADI) announced the acquisition of the diagnostic
testing division of Andy Petree Racing, Inc. (APR). APR has been at the forefront of designing, developing and servicing diagnostic equipment for the automotive and motorsports industry for the past seven years. Effective immediately, ADI will be responsible for all design upgrades, construction, sales and servicing of the APR rigs. "We're very excited about this new joint venture" said Andy Petree. "As the motorsports industry continues to evolve, it's important to be part of a team that can provide solutions with winning technology. I really enjoy being involved with the development of new technology and with this new partnership; I can stay involved to an even greater degree utilizing all the resources available at ADI". ADI is pleased to announce that Andy Petree has joined ADI as a member of the Board of Directors and will continue to be instrumental in the future development of all ADI products. Jeff Swan, a long-time technician working with Andy also joins ADI as a key member of the team. For more info visit www.acceleratingdevelopments.com.(ADI PR - hufcopromotion.com)(PR)(5-3-2007)
- FOX to Unviel new 'Hollywood Hotel' at California: Where better than California Speedway for FOX Sports to unveil its brand new, high-tech "Hollywood Hotel" traveling NASCAR prerace studio? Host Chris Myers and analysts Jeff Hammond and Darrell Waltrip move into the next generation mobile studio unit prior to FOX Sports' live coverage of the Auto Club 500, Powered by Q Motor Oil on Sunday, Feb. 25 (3:00pm/et). NASCAR on FOX's traveling prerace studio is the most technologically advanced mobile unit ever employed to cover sporting events. It captures the charged atmosphere and flexibility associated with on-location remote broadcasts, yet also includes the state-of-the-art equipment of a premier network center. The new and improved Hollywood Hotel was designed to provide maximum opportunity to accommodate guests. With plasma displays replacing the windows that adorned the back wall of the original Hollywood Hotel, the new mobile studio is no longer forced to occupy an area within the speedway's infield that offers an attractive view. This allows the new studio to set up shop each week in areas closer to the pits, garages, or drivers paddock in order to provide greater accessibility to the key individuals shaping the day's action.(FoxSports PR)(2-24-2007)
- SPEED Adds 50-Foot 'Fan Tower' to help fans locate SPEED Change: Fans won't have any trouble locating the SPEED Stage this season, as the network has commissioned a 50-foot "Fan Tower" to ensure fans can find their way through the crowd. The rotating SPEED logo at the top of the tower will be lit in the evenings. The SPEED Fan Tower will make its debut at Daytona, directing fans from anywhere on the 480-acre property to the main SPEED Stage outside the Turn Four Tunnel. At Speedweeks, SPEED will have multiple additional stages, including one in the Fan Zone, one on top of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series garages and another on a barge in the middle of Lake Lloyd in the infield of Daytona International Speedway.(Speed PR)(1-13-2007)
- NC County asks NCDOT to name section of highway after Parsons: Wilkes County commissioners unanimously approved a resolution yesterday asking the N.C. Department of Transportation to name a 5-mile section of U.S. 421 in honor of racing legend Benny Parsons. Parsons is building a home in the Wilkes County community of Parsonville, where he grew up. He plans to live in the county and open a vineyard. Work on this request has been going on for several months, and the timing wasn't linked to Parsons' announcement last week that he is being treated for lung cancer. The 5-mile section would take in a stretch of highway between the Maple Springs community and the Watauga County line. Wilkes is putting the request on a fast track by faxing the resolution to the state in hopes that the N.C. Board of Transportation can consider it during Thursday's meeting. A section of U.S. 421 in eastern Wilkes was named in honor of racer and team-owner Junior Johnson in May 2004. If the latest request is approved, drivers would travel on the Junior Johnson Highway on one end of Wilkes County and the Benny Parsons Highway on the other.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-4-2006)
- Bill Weber Staying with TNT: With NASCAR's current TV deals expiring this season, networks with new deals kicking in next year are putting together on-air lineups. A piece of those puzzles settled early: TNT, airing six midseason NASCAR Nextel Cup races next year, will announce Monday that Bill Weber will be the host and call play-by-play on its races. Weber said he "talked briefly" to ABC/ESPN, which next year inherits NASCAR late-season coverage from the current joint venture of NBC and TNT that Weber currently hosts. But Weber says he always figured he'd stick with TNT. Turner Sports executive producer Jeff Behnke says Weber won't be allowed to appear on any other network's NASCAR coverage, given "he'll be the face of our coverage." But Behnke says its possible next year TNT will use announcers who also appear on ABC/ESPN or Fox, which next year will continue to cover early-season NASCAR races. ABC/ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys suggested Sunday that the Disney network probably will require exclusive use of its NASCAR announcers given that, in picking up all NASCAR Busch Series races and adding a daily show on car racing, ABC/ESPN will have "a year-round commitment to covering racing." (USA Today)(7-31-2006)
- No Split-screen option? No says NASCAR: Fans hoping that NASCAR’s move to ABC/ESPN next year would improve their viewing experience may be in for a rude awakening. Although the networks employ a “Side-By-Side” split-screen feature for its Indy Racing League coverage that allows viewers to continue watching the action while commercials play, NASCAR has forbidden ABC/ESPN or any of its other TV partners from marketing that kind of advertising. “We’ve looked at a lot of options to enhance the fan/viewer experience but feel that a split-screen presentation of ads and racing serves neither the fan nor advertiser,” says Ramsey Poston, NASCAR’s managing director of corporate communications. “Our TV partners do an excellent job of immediately returning to significant track action when it happens during commercials. With replays and other technology, the networks make sure NASCAR fans get the best, most comprehensive race coverage anywhere.” But according to George McNeilly, senior director of communications for ESPN/ABC Sports, the networks would be interested in exploring the split-screen option. “We are engaging focus groups and other research in an effort to quantify the positive feedback we’ve received from people who’ve enjoyed the viewing experience,” McNeilly says. “[Allowing the split screen] would be a NASCAR decision. We’re in discussions about that and many other things.”(Long Island Press)(7-20-2006)
- Fox Sports Signs DW to extension: FOX Sports and Darrell Waltrip have agreed upon a multi-year contract extension that expands the top-rated NASCAR network's relationship with the sport's premier analyst into the new television rights contract that commences with the 2007 season. The announcement was made today by FOX Sports Chairman David Hill and FOX Sports President Ed Goren. "I love FOX Sports," said Waltrip. "I love being part of a big sports family. David Hill and Ed Goren have embraced me. I have said it before, it's like being part of a championship race team. They have surrounded me with the best of the best - Jeff, Larry, Mike, Steve and all the others. Plus, FOX also has the best folks that work behind the scenes. I love my job and now I get to do it for a long, long time!" Prior to joining FOX Sports in 2001, legendary stock car driver Darrell Waltrip compiled 84 wins and three Cup series championships in an outstanding NASCAR career. He was voted the Most Popular Driver twice (1989-90) and was the proud recipient of the prestigious Bill France Award of Excellence in 2000, honoring his lifetime of achievements. In 2003, Waltrip was elected into the National Motorsports Hall of Fame, an honor followed by an induction into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2005. In 2004, Waltrip's autobiography, DW: A lifetime Going Around in Circles, debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list. FOX Sports drops the green flag on its 2006 NASCAR on FOX season this Sunday, Feb. 26 (3:30pm/et) in Fontana, CA, with a live presentation of the Auto Club 500. Over 60 cameras and 100 microphones will be strategically placed in and around California Speedway as NASCAR on FOX presents the first of 14 Nextel Cup races in high definition and Dolby 5.1 audio. In 12 years of existence, FOX Sports has earned 63 Emmy Awards, including six in five years of NASCAR coverage, more than any other network during the same stretch of time. David Hill and Ed Goren are the Executive Producers of FOX Sports. Bill Brown is Senior Producer. Scott Ackerson is the Coordinating Producer of the NASCAR on FOX Prerace show.(FoxSports PR)(2-23-2006)
So why no 5-second time delay on race coverage? Some wondered why the "five-second rule", implemented after Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s slip last fall [at Talladega after winning], is not still in force [on Sunday at New Hampshire when #7-Robby Gordon said the 'S' word. That was not explained, although cable-vs.-network may have something to do with it. NASCAR vp/communications Jim Hunter said NASCAR had no plans to call for such a policy. "We're going to tell our athletes not to use bad language when talking on television, that's all," he said.(Speed Channel)
NOTE: last October, NBC announced plans to use the 5 second rule for the rest of the season, and supposedly beyond, no idea if that was carried over to TNT, which is on cable. Fox never implemented the rule and when asked a few months ago, said they wanted to keep it live. MRN Radio also went to a 7-second delay, but PRN Radio did not. Also, since I get questions all the time on this when a driver says damn, hell or a*s, those words are not considered 'bad' by the FCC and are said daily on network TV during the day and primetime and have been for years.(9-19-2005)
- NASCAR TV deal near? UPDATE 4 OFFICIAL: NASCAR could announce as early as this week a TV rights deal that would see Fox broadcast the first half of the Nextel Cup season and TNT and ESPN/ABC sharing the back half starting in 2007, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal reports. The sanctioning body could get as much as $550 million a year from TV rights, a 38% increase over the estimated $400 million a year it gets under the current arrangement with Fox, NBC and TNT. The story says industry insiders say the ABC/ESPN commitment alone is expected to be about $270 million a year. TNT and ESPN are expected to air six races each, reporter Scott Warfield writes, and ABC will air the final 11 races, including all 10 events [and Indy] in the Chase For The Nextel Cup.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter), so that would be 36 total races: ESPN gets 6, TNT gets 6, ABC gets 11, so Fox/FX would get 13 [plus Bud Shootout and Nextel Challenge].(11-29-2005)
UPDATE: look for an announcement Thursday, Dec 1st in NYC.(12-1-2005)
UPDATE 2: NASCAR CEO Brian France said Thursday that NASCAR was on the "final lap" of its TV deal, in which ESPN is expected to replace NBC for 2007 and beyond. An announcement is expected before the end of the year.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(12-2-2005)
UPDATE 3: Big Apple buzz included the TV partnerships for 2007. Apparently, NASCAR has signed an eight-year deal across the board that will include FOX Sports, TNT and a reunion with ESPN/ABC. FOX will get the rights to the first half of the season, including the Daytona 500. TNT, a NASCAR partner for more than two decades, inherits the next part of the schedule, and ESPN/ABC picks up the final portion of the season, including the Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup. ESPN2 will cover the entire Busch Series schedule, providing much-needed continuity. The return of ESPN promises fans a wide range of programming that was limited to Speed Channel under the current deal. We probably won't know for a while which announcers and analysts will end up where. For example, the NBC regulars can't discuss future opportunities until their contracts expire. Expect Rusty Wallace, who has lent his experience to TNT in the past, to find a role somewhere.(Sporting News)(12-6-2005)
UPDATE 4 - OFFICIAL Announcement: NASCAR announced the completion of comprehensive broadcast agreements that will benefit the industry and its fans for years to come. Under the new eight year agreements NASCAR races will be broadcast on a combination of networks that includes FOX, SPEED, Turner’s TNT and ABC/ESPN beginning in 2007. “NASCAR’s new network agreements mark a historic moment for the entire NASCAR community,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “This is a major accomplishment for the NASCAR drivers, teams and track operators that have made this sport what it is today. It represents a significant reward for the competitive side-by-side racing our fans have come to expect. It also validates the marketing and production enhancements our current media partners have brought to the sport. The new broadcast partnership is also good for the fans because they will have so much more NASCAR content from a variety of media and new media sources."
“NASCAR is proud to continue its relationship with FOX, SPEED and TNT, while welcoming back ABC/ESPN into the family of broadcasters,” said NASCAR Vice President Dick Glover. “By signing deals with three of the largest and best media companies in the world, NASCAR will meet the growing nationwide fan demand for more NASCAR content into the next decade,” Glover said.
NASCAR expands its relationship with News Corp as FOX becomes the official home of the Daytona 500. FOX’s broadcast agreements for the NFL Playoffs, the Super Bowl, the Bowl Championship Series and American Idol provide an excellent opportunity for cross promotion around the Daytona 500 held each year in mid-February. The deal also includes a brand-new comprehensive multi-media distribution program which includes Internet, wireless and broadband platforms. “FOX is extremely excited to extend its relationship with NASCAR for another eight years, and come 2007 be known as the official television home of the Daytona 500, by far the most watched auto race in this country,” said FOX Sports President Ed Goren. “Our production team has done an amazing job over the last five years to put NASCAR broadcasts on par with America's most popular sports, and we look forward to pushing the production envelope further as we move forward.”
SPEED will increase NASCAR programming as the continuing exclusive home for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series as well as the new home for the Gatorade Duels, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Pit Crew Challenge and NASCAR Nextel Cup Series All-Star Challenge.
NASCAR looks forward to continued great exposure and coverage of the sport from TNT, which will be entering its 22nd year with NASCAR, the longest continuous relationship of any media company with the sport. TNT will broadcast six consecutive races in the middle of the season including the July 4th weekend extravaganza, the Pepsi 400 from Daytona.
ABC and ESPN will provide comprehensive coverage of NASCAR on their numerous outlets. The final 17 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events will be broadcast on ABC or ESPN with the last 10, the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, on ABC. All NASCAR Busch Series races will be broadcast on ABC, ESPN or ESPN 2. In addition, ESPN will bring NASCAR coverage to its full suite of media including its cable TV networks, ESPN360, Mobile ESPN, ESPN.com and affiliated international networks throughout the world. “This agreement totally embraces NASCAR’s multimedia future,” said George Bodenheimer, ESPN Inc. and ABC Sports president and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks. “NASCAR is a strong and growing property, and the ESPN of the 21st century – an array of new media platforms and content outlets reaching fans wherever and however they consume sports – will take the sport to even higher levels of exposure and growth. ABC Sports first exposed sports fans to the racing excitement of NASCAR in the 1960s, and ESPN and the sport grew up together in the 1980s and ‘90s. Our tradition is rich, and our future is bright. To NASCAR, its drivers and fans we say, ‘Welcome back.”
“NASCAR thanks NBC for its stellar coverage and commitment to the sport for the past five years and looks forward to another great year in 2006,” Glover concluded.
About the agreements:
Beginning in 2007, each NASCAR season will be launched on FOX with the telecast of the Daytona 500. FOX will also carry NASCAR “Speedweeks” events including the Budweiser Shootout and Daytona Pole Qualifying. FOX will also broadcast the 12 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races following the Daytona 500.
TNT will broadcast six consecutive NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races (races 14 through 19).
The final 17 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series points races will be broadcast on ABC or ESPN. The final 10 races, the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, will be broadcast on ABC. The NASCAR Busch Series will be broadcast on ABC, ESPN or ESPN 2, with no less than four events on ABC.
SPEED will be home to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series with the exception of two events, which will be broadcast by FOX.
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series qualifying practice and “happy hours” will be broadcast on a combination of SPEED Channel, ESPN and ESPN2.
SPEED will broadcast the Gatorade Duels held each year during “Speedweeks” to determine part of the Daytona 500 starting order.
SPEED will also broadcast the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series All-Star Challenge and its companion all-star event, the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Pit Crew Challenge.
ESPN will launch specially NASCAR-branded news and information programming.
All broadcast partners will have new interactive rights, special “season preview” and “season end review” programming rights and other ancillary content. NASCAR fans will be able to receive NASCAR coverage from an expanded range of outlets including highlights and live streaming, content from and on each network’s Web pages, datacasts and newly-developed multimedia programming.(NASCAR PR)(12-7-2005)
AND see a column at ESPN.com: NASCAR agrees to 8-year deal with ESPN, ABC and from Speed Chanel: SPEED's Hunter Nickell Explains NASCAR Television Package
- MSN Money/AP: Wall Street Pans NASCAR TV Deal.(12-8-2005)