Tuesday, June 26, 2007

TNT coverage at Infineon horrible

It’s been a long time since a network did as bad of a job with a NASCAR race as TNT did Sunday at Infineon. Soup to nuts, it was not a good day.
The story in the prerace show with Marty Snider showing photos of race car drivers to people visiting wineries was just dumb. Show pictures of wine makers at the race track and see who could ID them.

Somebody had the bright idea to put the open-air rotating prerace show/in race analysis set inside the track between sides of the Turn 11 hairpin. Even if Larry McReynolds hadn’t been losing his voice, nobody could have heard him. It was an audio disaster.

Then the Kyle Petty in-car commentary thing was just a total bust. Somebody taped – TAPED! – him using a four-letter word as he was being wrecked and played it back. Then Bill Weber "apologized" for the language. Hey guys, you don’t get to say, "Oops, we’re sorry," if you playing something back on tape.

Finally, TNT went off the air after the race without showing the finishing order. That’s inexcusable. Several cars ran out of gas late and that jumbled things up, so maybe TNT thought NASCAR was going to have to sort the finishing order out and didn’t want to air bad information.

Well, they’re in such a hurry to get off the air they don’t have time to wait. That’s a simple ratings ploy. Viewership is highest when the race ends, but viewers start peeling off quickly during postrace coverage. By limiting itself to 10-15 minutes, TNT is trying not to have that drop-off count against its overall average, going out on as high of a ratings note as possible.

Two races ago, I got a lot of positive feedback about the job TNT did in the rain-delayed Pocono race. But the feedback this week has been about as bad as I’ve had in a long time.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you. There was not too many positives about this latest broadcast. A lot of things got on my nerves. Listening to Wally as a driver expert telling everyone how he did things lends no credibility to me. He never won a NASCAR race of any type. The Kyle broadcast from the car never did work and dropping the F bomb made it much worse. (Did you notice how NASCAR has dodged addressing that issue). The open air was horrible. Didn't they test any of this out before they used it? I feel bad for Marty. I love listening to him and feel none of this is his fault, but it still makes him look bad. TNT needs much better direction from the top and they probably need to change some personnel too.

Anonymous said...

i thought i had missed the results, i had no idea that they just didn't show them. i know that they didn't show any plus/minus on the points standings after the race. i was really wanting to know how the results effected jamie in the points.

the open-air deal is cool in the pre-race, but during the race it's terrible. what i don't understand is that there are clear plastic curtains that you can see on the roof of the thing and i would assume that those could eliminate some the car noise and wind if they dropped them down.

TNT only has 3 races left right?

Anonymous said...

last 30 laps, mcmurray and montoya, no other cars on the track...TNT just plain sucked this weekend. Sorry Marty.....TNT just lost this viewer to Sirius radio. I had a much better idea envisioning it in my mind than what TNT allowed me to see.
Let me know when another network takes over.

Monkeesfan said...

A criticism I cannot stand is "they only show the leaders, they don't scan the field." Scanning the field is not TV's job; their job is to cover the race for the win.

Anonymous said...

I feel bad for Marty only because he defends TNT with all his might... TNT doesn't deserve to air NASCAR races. Well, maybe they can start with ARCA and work their way up!!

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, race broadcasts have steadily declined since I began watching NASCAR in the mid-90's. I wish I could remember the last time actual racing exceeded commercial content. I want to see racing, not a steady stream of commercials.

Anonymous said...

TNT dropped the ball. I was glad to see Montoya win his 1st race but to not tell where Junior finished was plain stupid.

Anonymous said...

'A criticism I cannot stand is "they only show the leaders, they don't scan the field." Scanning the field is not TV's job; their job is to cover the race for the win.'

But Monkeesfan... how can you see any of the 'quality passes' if they only show the leaders? DOH!

Statboy said...

I applaud you for speaking out about the horrible television coverage that we the race fans are forced to live with. I don't know where along the line that the networks thought race fans want to see more human interest stories than actual racing. Fox was pretty good up until this year. I still don't know who that clown is with Larry McReynolds on TNT, and ESPN goes on a frenzy when Dale Earnhardt Jr. burps, so I don't know when this will get better.

I hope that NASCAR realizes that viewership is down due to the later starting times and poor coverage and fix this thing before NASCAR's popularity begins to decline.

Douglas said...

My Girlfriend who has been introduced to Nascar via me thought Sunday's race was the most exciting one she has seen.

Granted, I don't like Wally or Weber that much, but hey, noones perfect. I liked the Kyle Petty thing and the "Fbomb"....well..."that's racin". Even if my kids had been there it wouldn't have bothered me. If your kids are over 5 they have heard the word anyway.

Ratings are an odd game and its much more complicated than anyone here cares to learn.

Stop being such haters. Nothing is perfect.

Anonymous said...

TNT will be out of a gig in about four more races ... I think.
As if a RC race wasn't boring enough, we had to watch 20+ laps of TWO drivers. Two. Argh!!
Fox really has NASCAR televising down ... well, they could lose that 3D view/cam thing.
It takes pure grit getting to a live race and back through traffic gridlock. I hear " let's stay home and watch it on TV." Better yet, I'll just DVR every race and FF through the dredge.

Douglas said...

From JaySKI.....
UPDATE: The Nextel Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway was the highest-rated televised sporting event last weekend nationwide. The event earned a 4.7 rating on TNT, with the next closest sporting event being a Major League Baseball game on FOX (2.8). The pre-race show on TNT netted a 2.7 rating, and NASCAR on TNT Live (prior to pre-race) garnered a 1.8 rating. Moreover, it was the highest-rated Nextel Cup race broadcast on TNT this year, and the 4.7 rating was also better than the average rating for a Nextel Cup race that aired on TNT during the 2006 season (4.5). One rating point equals one-percent of all U.S. households. All data used was obtained from Nielsen Media Research.(Infineon Raceway PR), see more and the chart on my 2007 TV Ratings Page.(6-29-2007)

....umm...folks being the highest rated sports event is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

It was TERRIBLE! In addition to everything mentioned they crammed all the commericials in the end when I desperately wanted to know what was happening. It's ridiculous that in my own home, sitting in front of the TV, I had to listen to a lot of the final laps on the radio.

Anonymous said...

As someone who was privileged to watch the race feed, the Petty thing was not taped. You got bad info from somewhere. Furthermore, it was on cable, so there's really nothing wrong with the F-bomb. Had it been on Fox, it would've been an entirely different situation. Now, should NASCAR have something to say to Petty? Of course. Junior obviously would have something to say about that.

That being said, the race coverage is awful. You were spot on about their position. These people do site surveys before they decide where to park their rig. What the heck were they thinking? I personally have never understood why it's necessary for stations to put their set in the middle of the track anyway. 90% of your race coverage is shown with cameras around the track. Isn't there a chance that viewers could care less that the track is behind you in the shot? Plus, while the viewers can't see you during the race, all they hear is your poor audio.

Daly Planet Editor said...

The TNT and ESPN situations are discussed every day at thedalyplanet.tv, please stop by and leave your comments. Thanks

Monkeesfan said...

By not showing the finishing order because NASCAR hadn't set an unofficial order at the time, TNT simply did what MRN did after Talladega last October - it didn't set a finishing order and went off the air with only the winner and the top five known.