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SBD/February 21, 2011/Media
Fox' Daytona 500 Telecast Earns 8.2 Overnight, Up 17%
Published February 21, 2011
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COVERAGE NOT HELPFUL FOR CASUAL FANS: USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand writes Fox "didn't do much to draw in casual fans" during its coverage of the race yesterday, especially during the "dramatic final laps." In those final laps, Fox forgot about something "crucial in big-time sports meant to reach broad audiences -- basic storytelling." The net should have "avoided identifying cars by their numbers or sponsors," as it is the "drivers who should be emphasized because they're the stars." Also, the "on-air analysis lapsed into too much jargon, like talking about a 'green-white-checkered' finish when it would have been clearer to say the cars would race a couple of laps to the finish unless there was another wreck." Hiestand: "In a complicated ending, there was too much emphasis on replays and analysis of car damage and wrecks rather than setting up viewers for what could happen next" (USA TODAY, 2/21). In St. Petersburg, Tom Jones writes Fox' coverage "was both interesting and infuriating." The production and direction "were among the best you are going to find on sports television." However, with broadcasters Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds and Darrell Waltrip "so loathe to criticize anything," the race often felt "like an infomercial for NASCAR" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 2/21).