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.
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.