SBD/Issue 56/Sports Media

You've Heard Of In-Car Cameras, But In-Car Commentators?

Wally Dallenbach's five-year extension with NBC and TNT to continue as an analyst for Winston Cup and Busch Series races "includes an interesting twist," as NBC/TNT "will allow him to compete in select Winston Cup events as 'an announcer in a race car' and run" the '02 IRL season, according to Godwin Kelly of the Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL. Dallenbach: "They said, 'If your [IRL deal] is going to happen, we're willing to work with you on that. If you want to run the Daytona 500, we'll figure something out to have you commentating from the car'" (NEWS-JOURNAL, 12/1).

THE UP SIDE: While Fox, NBC and Turner have reportedly lost a total of $100M during their first season of NASCAR coverage, NASCAR VP/Broadcasting Paul Brooks said, "There are additional benefits to any broadcaster who has a sports property. Look at FX, how they drove cable penetration with the NASCAR product." In Charlotte, David Poole noted that FX was in about 55 million HHs before the net began carrying NASCAR programming, but that number has reached 70 million HHs. Brooks: "I assure you there are more NASCAR fans watching Fox programming and NBC programming because they've been able to market to our audience" (CHAR. OBSERVER, 12/1).

MAX-IMUM EXPERIENCE: DAILY VARIETY's Michael Fleming reports that Imax and NASCAR have agreed to "collaborate on a film that will seek to capture in the large-screen format the experience" of NASCAR. Imax execs said that the film "could well become the biggest-grossing Imax effort to date." The film will premiere in '03 (DAILY VARIETY, 12/3).

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