By admin | May 5, 2013
By Richard Allen
One of the biggest targets in the sights of NASCAR fans when they decide to complain is the sport’s television coverage. And among the most common complaints is the number of and timing of commercials during each broadcast. Sunday’s race at Talladega demonstrated why those complaints come so frequently.
On lapÂ 124 NASCAR threw a caution flag for rain. Significantly, the race could have ended at that point being that the halfway mark had been surpassed. So, theÂ event could well have been determined in those laps preceding the yellow flag had the rain lasted long enough to force NASCAR to call the race.
The trouble was, the Fox Network was away in a commercial break while there were apparently a number of wild moves taking place on the track. Scanner chatter among spotters and drivers had certainly amped up and Twitter posts among those reporters on the scene confirmed that racing had intensified.
It’s not as if Fox did not know the rain was coming. Their own announcers had just stated that the action was about to pick up due to the possiblity of inclement weather. Team spotters, who Fox monitors, were urging their drivers to get going as the rain approached. But just after the hype by the announcing team that the intensity was about to pick up, Fox went to commercial.
And this rather long set of commercials came after only a brief return from another set of advertising spots.
The broadcast did not return until the moment the yellow flag waved. TheÂ viewers had missed the entire sequence of intense racing. Knowing that rain was coming, the network’s director and producers had to know they would have time for commercials during the inevitable rain delay. But even with that knowledge, they made the decision to break away at one of the race’s most pivotal moments.
But not to worry, there was plenty of uninterrupted talk of the relationship between Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. as well as lots of air time for broadcaster turned racer(or vice-versa) Michael Waltrip during the rain delay.
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