TNT’s Embarrassment To The Sport Coverage Needs To Go

As I sat down ready to watch some of the road course action at Sonoma this past weekend, I was looking forward to a solid race where I could see the action. No doubt the action was heated on track with the feuds, though the coverage took away from that greatly.

[media-credit name=”CIA Stock Photo” align=”alignright” width=”238″][/media-credit]For starters, how much coverage was actually shown? Every seven minutes or so, it looked as though they were going to commercial. The statistics show that that there were 143 minutes of the race shown with 52 minutes of commercial. That works out to 26% of the race being commercials, instead of racing action. For the race at Michigan, it was 22% while Pocono was 27% commercials.

Of course, if you look back to FOX’s final race at Kansas where there were 52 minutes of commercials equaling 27% of the broadcast, I guess you could say that they’re on par.

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Though even if they’re on par, they’re not doing a good job. FOX was good at showing different angles, keeping fans informed with what’s going on with a bunch of drivers and giving you the full recap of a wreck.

For the big wreck down in turn 11, TNT showed multiple angles of the wreck to show how Brian Vickers got shoved in there by Tony Stewart. However, the only damage they showed was the damage to Vickers. What about Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kevin Harvick who were in that mess? We heard them say at the end how Harvick came back from the incident to finish well. How much do we know of that comeback when you don’t show each car involved with their damage? Then, when Earnhardt Jr.’s motor blows up later in the race, how are we to know that’s caused by the front end damage when we didn’t see how serious it looked?

TNT missed opportunities to report nuggets during the race that should’ve been discussed, including issues for points leader Carl Edwards. While watching the race, it was twitter first where I heard of Edwards having a crushed quarter panel and it causing him issues. Meanwhile, TNT was more focused on Kurt Busch and his lead and whether or not he could be caught.

Speaking of the lead, how many times did they come back just after a pass for the lead had been made? Or how many pit stops did they miss? There’s some key story lines right there as they help in telling the story of how the race is going to play out.

NASCAR keeps wondering why fans complain about the race coverage on TV and are turning away from watching it. They can’t be losing fans because of the racing action as any fan will tell you that Sunday is exciting. So until either TNT fixes their errors or NASCAR drops them off the wagon, the trend of losing fans is going to keep happening.

If you want an example of what coverage should look like, watch an IZOD IndyCar race as their coverage was beautifully put together and might I add, I got to see lots of action while knowing all the top story lines.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

23 COMMENTS

  1. every race TNT has aired has had skipping audio (what a joke). and the Daytona 400 had a commercial break every 7 minutes or less. I really miss the old speed network, at least they did not try to broadcast other sports. even nbcsn is better. all I can say is money grubbing nascar picks the network that pays the most.

  2. Kyle Petty ( captain obvious ) is awful, the comercial breaks are unbearable and TNT should only get road courses because, lets face it , no real fan like road courses.

  3. I am glad the Fox races are over for the season and we don’t have to listen to DW and MacMumbles any more.

    I find it interesting that most complaints are because TNT didn’t follow JR like a lost puppy all race like uncle DW does. Now the JR fans know what it is like when FOX follows him and the other HMS & JGR cars and don’t let other fans know what is happening with their drivers.

    The coverage sucks because nascar is all about money and can get more by dividing the season between 3 networks. In the old days ESPN had almost the whole season and made nascar, but now we have the 3 networks trying to out do each other instead of just putting out a good product (like digger). And because of these big TV contracts the networks have to cough up big dollars. So they need to recoup that through countless commercials, especially since nascar isn’t selling like they did a few years ago so the price per minute of air time is down but the check to nascar isn’t, so more commercials to cover brian’s bank account and we the fans suffer.

  4. FOX was no better at doing the races. TNT broadcasters at least do not have some kind of personal agenda (Toyota, Michael Waltrip racing, Kyle Busch, Dale Jr) that they continually stuff down our throats.

    And this comment: “Though even if they’re on par, they’re not doing a good job. FOX was good at showing different angles, keeping fans informed with what’s going on with a bunch of drivers and giving you the full recap of a wreck.”

    At what point during the season did FOX provide all these great camera angles and keeping fans informed? Do you mean endless bumper, digger, roof and side cams of the cars so that you can’t get any perspective of what you are looking at? If so, they did a wonderful job.

    Lets face it! All the networks are terrible, and until the contract runs out I don’t think there is any hope for any of them to provide a quality broadcast on a consistent basis.

  5. Kyle Petty is awesome. I can handle “and let’s be honest” a lot better than I can “boogity boogity boogity” from DW and “Back when I was racing” from RW.

    Too bad all three networks can’t get together and put Mike Joy, Kyle Petty, and Dale Jarrett in the booth for the whole season. Throw Andy Petree and Larry McReynolds down there at a cutaway car and/or second stage for strategy discussion and put Jeff Hammond on pit road in the action with Jaimie Little, Alan Bestwick, Shannon Spake and Krista Voda and you’d have an unstoppable force.

    Time robbed us of Benny Parsons (who I still miss to this day, even if he did pronounce McMurray as “Mack-Mary!”) or he’d be on my list of who would make a good team too.

    Thankfully Bill Webber did himself in, but who’s going to help us get rid of Wally Dallenbach, Darrell Waltrip, and Rusty Wallace in the broadcast booths?

  6. This is exactly the reason I watch NASCAR hotpass on directv. The coverage on TNT is joke. Going from Mike Joy to Adam Alexander is horrendous. Alexander has no clue what he’s doing in the booth and it sounds too much like we are watching three friends in a living room talk about a race they are watching instead of a network tv broadcast. Oh and Mike O’Reilly, RaceBuddy is through NASCAR.com, not TNT. Good try though!!

    • Um Cole, actually it is TNT that supply’s the camera shots that make Race Buddy happen, Race Buddy is usually only available for the TNT races… Oh also, NASCAR.COM and TNT are owned by the same company, so you are incorrect that its just nascar.com who run racebuddy…

      • No Billy you are also wrong. RaceBuddy’s cameras are supplied by the broadcast networks, that’s why it was available with FOX and through SPEED for the All-Star race. FOX and SPEED are run by the same company btw having no connection to NASCAR or TNT other than covering races, practices, etc. RaceBuddy is essentially NASCAR’s own version of directv hotpass. Though NASCAR.com and TNT might be owned by the same company, RaceBuddy is available no matter what network has the race.

  7. At least the coverage is better than Fox!! I as sick of D.W. and his Boogity garbage and all the toyota love he goes on with. I want to see and hear anyone else do the races than Fox. At least someone not on the toyota payroll!!

  8. Ashley,

    How much did Fox pay you to write this article? At least we didn’t have to listen to the most famous words in motorsports “Boogity, boogity, boogity”.

  9. I used to like listening to Kyle Petty, but for some reason he has become Kyle “…and lests be honest…” Petty. If I hear Kyle Petty say “and lets be honest” one more F-ing time I will lose my mind

  10. I agree with this writer. I totally missed how Jeff Gordon went from 29th to second. Where did all of these people in the front come from? Half the time you had no idea who was out or lost laps during the race, or who got to move up a lot of spots. It was very confusing and I went to the internet!

  11. Wow, I am sorry you didn’t get enough action in an almost non-stop action race. TNT does a very good job compared to the other broadcast networks. Plus they have the Race Buddy thing that gives multiple camera shots the entire race even during network commercials. I am truly saddened that TNT only has 6 races per year because I know ESPN/ABC will disappoint almost as much as FOX did on a weekly basis. Thank you for your views.

  12. Thank you so much for writing this. I have been so upset at how they haven’t mentioned issues that drivers were having.

    After seeing Jr in that wreck, I assumed, because they said nothing, that he was ok and just had dented the front end. Color me beyond shocked and angry when I found out that he had worse damage and they neglected to report it on the broadcast.

    Even last week at Michigan they neglected to mention issues that Jr. had on pit road and why. Yes they said at one point that he lost 11 spots, but why did he lose those spots? It’s something that a fan would like to know.

    I agree as well on the issue with the commercials, it seems with TNT the commercials are worse, even if the numbers are comparable to Fox.

    • Get trackpass/scanner from nascar.com if you want to know every little thing about JR, I for one have Raceview so I can watch & listen to my driver the entire race, that way I know for sure if they put two rubbers in or added a round of wedge…

      Can’t count on whom ever is covering the race to cover everything…

      I knew JR was in trouble by listening to his scanner…

      I enjoy TNT’s talent, Lindsy is great at what she does, and I’m excited she’s going to join ESPN for their coverage of NASCAR, I’ve never liked Wally, when was the last time he actually raced in a Cup race? 1996?
      I think Larry Mac is one of the best in the business, I wish they’d go to him a little more often during the TNT races, cause he’s great at understanding exactly what everyone is doing to the cars, and explains it all well, his english is a little rough to take at times, but heck that’s most of the sport…Marty has been a staple on Pit Road for years now, he knows how to get the job done, not to sure about this new cat Chris whom TNT has down there this season also, I don’t mind Alex as the lead booth guy, Wally as I said bugs the sheet outta me, Kyle rocks, I realize he repeats that phrase a ton, but he usually is brutally honest about what he thinks…

      And thank our lucky stars we don’t have to hear “boogity boogity boogity lets go racin boys” bs, I didn’t hear him say it once this season, they even cut larrys “Tighten up those belts one more time”, boogitys got to go…

      • I would get trackpass but money is tight at the moment. But to me I shouldn’t have to get that to get a basic update about a driver that was involved in a wreck. Info like that should be told no matter who was involved, if there was a wreck, each driver/car should be updated, and not just because everyone can or can’t get trackpass, it’s just good coverage of the sport to update drivers who have had some kind of issue.

        I agree, I haven’t missed “boogity boogity boogity lets go racin boys”.

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