Sunday, September 02, 2007

ESPN - It Was Pretty Ugly!

ESPN has stepped on my last nerve!

A few weeks ago, August 18th, 2007, I was sitting in my local Goodyear store while my car was being prepared. (Yes, I am a NASCAR fan, and choose to use NASCAR sponsors whenever possible. Fortunately, I find this particular Goodyear store to be excellent!) This Goodyear store happens to have a flat screen tv set up, and I was able to watch the Busch race while work commenced on my car!

Watching that race was challenging. I had to change channels several times to follow the channel switches, while ESPN was waiting for the tennis match to finish. Trying to follow the directions on the scroll bar was a struggle, as I had to figure out what channel was where. Thankfully, the other Goodyear patrons were patient! I was willing to forgive it happening once. I do remember at least one time in the past, with the former broadcast package, where it happened and the start of the race was held up. So, I shrugged it off, and resigned myself to not having a TiVo recording of that race.

But then last night, it happened again! This time the scroller directed the watcher to ESPN360. I searched my channel guide frantically to find that channel. When I could not find it,I 'googled' it, and discovered it was internet content only! I clicked on it, and received the message:

Sorry, your internet service provider does not carry ESPN360.com. Please contact your service provider to add ESPN360.com as part of your service.


At this point, I was pounding my keyboard in frustration! I quickly went over to NASCAR.com, and started up their pre-race coverage. Well now, I received more content from TURNER than I received from ESPN. Then to add insult to injury, I instant-messaged a friend in Canada, to vent about the situation. She had no idea that there were any problems. You see, TSN had the whole feed! She even got to see OUR Anthem sung!

Last night was a travesty. I can forgive quite a few of the perceived errors with broadcasting. I understand the need for commercials. I understand that we can't predict when the cautions will happen, and that they can happen during commercials. I do understand that it is especially challenging to get the commercials done during a caution period at a short track. I even understand that sometimes some one pushes a wrong button. I can even forgive that I don't like the folks in the booth. I get ALL of that, and forgive it, as long as it looks like a effort is being made to improve the product. I don't see that effort being made here!

I see this as being a huge negative for the Busch series. In fact, it is probably it's death knell! There are commercial purchasers who did not get their value of having commercials during the countdown. NASCAR is already stressed about finding a series sponsor, and they are running a 'blue-light special' to try and attract one. With constant snafu's from ESPN, what potential series sponsor would want their name attached to something so negative? If the broadcaster does not care enough about the series to schedule it properly, why would any sponsor care?

In fact, if ESPN does not care enough about the Busch series, why should I care?

NASCAR, you have a problem here!

1 comment:

Nascar and the Canadian Curmudgeon said...

I have to echo your complaints..it's bad....I even had a nightmare the other day with blue and yellow air with Rusty doing a monologue on downforce..thank god I woke up