Yesterday I started a little series on my thoughts on how to fix NASCAR to make it more exciting. I discussed Double-File Restarts, Qualifying and Track Safety. This is the continuation, dealing with television coverage.
NASCAR did a great thing in 1999 when they got all the Sprint Cup races on three networks, Fox, NBC and TNT. Other than the swapping back and forth of the Daytona 500, you would have one network for a stretch of races with consistent coverage and you didn’t have to flip around to different channels to find the race. The networks themselves did a great job by contracting former drivers and crewchiefs to do the play-by-play and color commentary. This wasn’t new, as I remember Ned Jarrett and Benny Parsons calling races when I first started watching racing back in ’89 and ’90. Hiring people from inside the sport gives the viewers a perspective similar to that of the drivers in the cars and they likely would make their interviewees more comfortable. The coverage was swapped around a little bit in 2007, dropping NBC for ESPN/ABC, but it didn’t suffer any.