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SBD/Issue 40/Sports Media
Move Of End Of Sprint Cup Race From ABC To ESPN2 Questioned
Published November 10, 2008
|Last 39 Laps Of Sprint Cup Race Moved To
ESPN2 To Maintain ABC Primetime Schedule
WRONG TURN: YAHOO SPORTS' Bob Margolis wrote the move was "a real slap in the face to race fans and a measure of the lack of respect that the ABC/ESPN network has for NASCAR" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 11/9). In Orlando, Matt Humphrey wrote if ABC "wants to bill itself as the home to NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup, it should show this race to the finish on the main network." Humphrey: "What a bush-league move by ABC" (ORLANDOSENTINEL.com, 11/9). Hendrick Motorsports Owner Rick Hendrick said of the switch, "It doesn't say very much" (K.C. STAR, 11/10). NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson: "To go to 'America's Funniest Home Videos?' Man, that hurts" (WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL, 11/10).
LACKING STAR APPEAL? Johnson won yesterday's race and leads by 141 points in the Sprint Cup standings, and YAHOO SPORTS' Dan Wetzel wrote Johnson's "brilliance should be enough to lift the entire circuit's relevancy, exciting not just core fans" but also "drawing in casual viewers who appreciate greatness and history." Wetzel: "Instead, neither has happened." For Johnson, the core issue is the "corporate personality he projects. It's so polished and vanilla many seem incapable of caring much about him. At this point, wide-spread hate would be preferred. At least it would be something." NASCAR is "in a lot of trouble and not even a champion of epic proportions can help it." If driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. were "making a mockery of the competition," there is "no question ABC would have shelved" "America's Funniest Home Videos" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 11/9).