NASCAR on TV: Win, Lose or Draw


Video killed the radio star. Internet killed the video star. Apps might kill the internet.

While watching events live might be far more entertaining, TV rules the sporting world. So when news happens about NASCAR broadcasting, it impacts the sport almost as much as the action on the track. Here’s a quick breakdown of recent events, Bert Convy style.

Win: NBC

Broadcasting hires never go smoothly, especially in the social media age. For every person that love Charles Barkley, there are others hate him. Ditto with Ray Lewis, Jim Nantz or anyone who covers sports.

This is why the Jeff Burton and Rick Allen hires are wins. Fans are excited about new voices who have extensive experience in the sport. Both also have mainstream appeal.

Judging how NBC has covered the English Premier League, it will go hog wild promoting NASCAR on all its platforms. Allen and Burton passed an important first test surviving the social blitz. Should this trend continue, all of NASCAR wins.

Lose: Allen Bestwick

It looks like the ESPN voice of NASCAR is without a chair. Bestwick has been involved in every element of NASCAR coverage on ESPN. With FOX, CBS and others bidding for ESPN talent, one would think Bestwick would have multiple options. Right now, Bestwick doesn’t have a racing home for 2015. That would be a loss for racing fans.

Draw: ESPN

Most believe ESPN will reduce its NASCAR coverage once its broadcasting deal with NASCAR expires. What happens to that talent? Shannon Spake is sideline reporting for college football. Marty Smith reported on Auburn/Alabama aftermath. Nicole Briscoe just had a baby. All are exciting opportunities for different reasons.

ESPN takes great pride in having a deep broadcasting lineup in every sport. Its NASCAR coverage isn’t an exception. Will it stay that way when it doesn’t have to broadcast the races? How does that impact coverage of a sport we all love?

The more racing coverage, the better. The way we watch is changing. Time will only tell if its for better or worse.