NASCAR TV Coverage: The Good and Bad

By Jason Schultz

A way millions of fans view each NASCAR race every weekend, has turned into a big issue. There are some good things about NASCAR broadcasts but there are some bad things as well.  

This season the TV coverage from FOX Sports and TNT has been disapointing. A few of the bad aspects of the TV coverage are; not seeing great racing action because the TV is showing a driver running by himself without any cars around, and missing a spin, most notably this past weekend at Sonoma. 

Most years ESPN comes in at Indianapolis with great coverage, usually the best of the season. 

In Danica Patrick’s three races of the season, we’ve seen more coverage of a car three laps down than ever before. Without NASCAR being broadcasted on TV, many people wouldn’t be watching the action all weekend long. So fans shouldn’t be complaining about the lack of good coverage when they’re lucky they can view the race each weekend. 

Another issue is the commercials. We’ve seen a ridiculous amount of commercials. FOX attempted to do side by side coverage at the end of the race, but that wasn’t enough. Some commercial breaks came so close together that in a time span of ten minutes, we saw more minutes of commercials than actual track time. We all know that TV needs to show commercials during any broadcast, but do they need this many? 

This year’s TV coverage hasn’t been all bad. Some of the good aspects of TV coverage this year are the interaction with twitter and more in-depth analysis. Twitter has become a huge part of the sport this year and TV has adapted to the new form of interaction. 

It all started in Daytona for the 500 when Brad Keselowski sent out the tweet heard ’round the world. During the red flag period for the famous jet-dryer issue, Brad Keselowski took out his Sprint iPhone, which was in his car, and took a picture from inside his car of his view of the jet-dryer issue. That tweet gained him over 150,000 followers and he became the name associated with NASCAR and twitter. 

That started a trend where FOX showed different tweets throughout the race broadcast. TNT has picked up what FOX did with twitter and they’re showing a bunch of tweets from drivers, media members and even NASCAR executives. Tweets during the broadcast help fans better understand different events happening on the track. 

Another good aspect of TV coverage this year is the in-depth analysis provided by lap-by-lap announcers. Larry McReynolds has been on FOX and TNT’s coverage and he is great for helping fans better understand what happens under the cars’ hood and why different cars have certain issues. On TNT’s coverage Larry has his “tool box” of little gadgets he uses throughout the race to enhance the broadcast. 

During FOX’s broadcast they used Jeff Hammond to venture around the track and find different and unique aspects of the race. During the Kansas race, Hammond went out to the track viewing area in the new casino that sits outside turn two. 

These good new aspects of TV coverage almost make up for the bad aspects. 

Overall, NASCAR TV coverage has good and bad things about it, and as fans, we should be thankful for the coverage because at least we get to view the races each and every weekend. 

Most of the bad issues will eventually be fixed and we can watch the race without the problems. For now, we should enjoy NASCAR coming into our homes each weekend.

2 thoughts on “NASCAR TV Coverage: The Good and Bad

  1. oh great, another blog on how we fans should be "grateful" for any TV coverage of NASCAR, not matter how poor it is. We got better coverage before the latest TV contract, when it was on TNN and ESPN. ESPN no longer provides the "best" coverage of NASCAR, they have their own agenda and do only a marginal job of actually following the racing on track. I like Allen Bestwick the best of all the PXP guys, especially since apparently poor Mike Joy is now just a setup guy for DW and Mikey to make comments about Toyota and their sponsors; Adam Alexander has no talent for PXP. I have to use multiple methods to actually follow the race, TV no longer provides enough information about each event to let me use just the TV.Actually I don't feel particularly "lucky" or "grateful" either for what I get as NASCAR on TV coverage.

  2. TV Coverage has been lacking for a while in my opinion. For those relying solely on TV coverage, it's no wonder they might find the racing boring…they're not getting the full picture of what's going on. The TNT coverage last weekend was absolutely one of the worst efforts I've seen by any TV team in quite a while. Thankfully, I had twitter feeds and my Sprint Cup Mobile to keep me informed because the announcers on TNT missed a good portion of what was going on during the race and either didn't mention events at all or well after they occurred.The announcers need to focus on reporting the race vs. telling their personal stories and promoting their own interests. Once the networks get that point, fans might finally get better race coverage on TV. But then, I'm just a fan and apparently, that means nothing to the networks or the announcers. Just Sayin' because there has been no improvement for at least the past decade, imo.

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