By admin | April 26, 2010
By Richard Allen
I know nothing about producing a live television broadcast of a NASCAR race, but I do know how to watch one. And unfortunately, even in the midst of such a great race as Sundayâ€™s Aaronâ€™s 499 in Talladega, the broadcast was frustrating to watch.
First and foremost, I know Foxâ€™s ultimate goal as a corporation is to make money but while the drivers were setting records for lead changes the network seemed to be trying to set a record for most commercials shown in one race.
At one point late in the event, announcer Mike Joy proclaimed that the upcoming commercial break would be the last. There were at least three commercial breaks after that. I know there were caution flags, but still, the advertising seemed to reach a point of overkill.
Perhaps it could be that there were no more commercials than any other broadcast. It may be that in the hum-drum racing on â€˜cookie cutterâ€™ tracks the breaks are just not as noticeable as compared to a place where the action is essentially nonstop. Nonetheless, the commercials stood out.
Hereâ€™s one thing I am certain of. It was extremely poor planning to join back in halfway through the first round of pit stops when the yellow flag that brought those stops about was a planned caution. NASCAR had told everyone there would be a competition yellow and had told everyone when that caution would come. Yet, Fox almost missed the action on pit road.
And the best and worst of all in the broadcast came during the interviews of Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. Fox did a good job of getting to Gordon quickly after his race ending crash and letting him spew his venom toward teammate Johnson. However, pit reporter Dick Bergerren did a terrible, almost inexcusable, job of not pressing the issue in his interview with Johnson. Instead, Johnson was only asked about his spotterâ€™s role in the crash that eventually ended his day.
I did read a number of comments from fans of other SEC schools regarding the periodic mentioning of Alabama football but I will let that go for now.
In numerous blogs I write I get numerous responses criticizing the television networks coverage of NASCAR. As I said earlier, I am in little position to offer much criticism myself other than to say as a viewer I do not feel as though I witnessed the best effort Fox could offer on Sunday.
Follow @RacingWithRich on twitter.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.
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