Fox Exec Apologizes To NASCAR Drivers, Owners For Broken Camera Cable At Charlotte
NASCAR on Fox Coordinating Producer Artie Kempner prior to yesterday's Sprint Cup FedEx 400 apologized "during the pre-race driver's meeting attended by drivers, crew chiefs and top NASCAR officials" for the broken camera cable during last week's Coca-Cola 600, according to David Newton of ESPN.com. Kempner said, "It's a personal project for us, cause we work with these guys every week. We want to let them know we don't ever want to be the story. That's the bottom line.'' He added that the investigation by Fox Sports into what "caused the cable to break and fall onto the track and grandstands continues." Kempner said that no determination has been made for "when the CAMCAT system that provides overhead shots across the track will be used again." Kempner: "It was a great tool and it malfunctioned. The company is still working on trying to find out exactly what caused the situation" (ESPN.com, 6/2). Fox' Chris Myers also apologized during the network's on-air coverage of yesterday's race, saying, "At Fox Sports we pride ourselves on bringing you the best race coverage and being a part of the NASCAR family. We regret what happened and we apologize to our partners at NASCAR, the drivers, our friends at Charlotte Motor Speedway and most of all, the fans" ("FedEx 400," Fox, 6/2). In Charlotte, Rick Bonnell noted ESPN had "planned to string an overhead camera" at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the July 28 Brickyard 400. But those plans "are on hold, pending NASCAR’s approval" (CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.com, 6/2).
THAT'S A WRAP: Fox finished its slate of NASCAR Sprint Cup telecasts with a 3.5 overnight Nielsen rating for yesterday afternoon's FedEx 400, down slightly from a 3.6 rating last year (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).
OUT OF FOCUS? In N.Y., Viv Bernstein noted NASCAR entered the '13 season with "high hopes and a publicity blitz" for the new Gen-6 car, which was "supposed to improve racing." But the "talk this season has not been so much about the racecars, or even the races." Bernstein: "It has been about NASCAR and safety. Or NASCAR penalties and appeals. Or NASCAR's decisions to fine drivers -- or not." NASCAR Chair & CEO Brian France said, "We always want it to be on the racing action and the drivers and the teams. I think we have had great story lines if you look throughout the first part of the year, with different rivalries popping up, very, very close racing action at a number of venues. California in particular was just a spectacularly good event for us." Bernstein wrote another "odd story" this season came when NASCAR's appeals panel "overruled the organization after major penalties were handed down to Penske Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing in separate incidents in April" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/2).