Several things I gathered from Faux King Brian’s teleconference last week. One is to expect the broadcast portion to be “dumbed down” even more than it has been. Why? Remember the last time Faux King Brian talked about creating new fans? We got the massive invasion of the Short Attention Span Crowd.
“I look at the interest level of the sport, and that's growing after having peaked and maybe dropped back a little bit for some reasons a couple years ago. The general interest level is going up and that's what we're going to be working on, is creating new fans”.
And last year when he admitted that the “fans” have a shorter attention span than they use to. Gee, I wonder why? Expect to see more things aimed directly at the Short Attention Span Crowd, like repeating the same garbage over and over and over even more than they do now. A good example would be how many times per race we get an explanation of aero tight and aero loose.
Read the question carefully and then the answer.
Q. You have the races where you grow ratings and attendance, then you have the off week. Can you detail the reasons why you have this off week so early in the season? Are you going to change that for next year?
BRIAN FRANCE: Well, it's historically how many events in the calendar we want to run, regardless when they ran. Historically it has been around this time where we do have an off weekend. Arguably you would like to have that come down eight or ten races later. But that's just how the schedule and the climate issues that we face with certain markets and everything else has played out. The reason for changing it is mostly driven that the other sports calendars are going to change on us - not just the NFL, but maybe some other things. So we're trying to get into the right date. It also does accomplish, when we change next year, moving back the 500 a week, we'll eliminate the early schedule gap here. That will probably be a good thing.
The answer doesn’t answer the question. It’s like a politician speaking. Lots of hot air and words that mean nothing.
Q. Brian, a lot of feedback that we in the media get from fans is about the post-race show or the lack of a post-race show. There seems to be a sense of frustration that fans invest so many hours into an event, then they get under 10 minutes of reaction after from the drivers that they've been watching. Is that something that NASCAR is hearing from your fan council? Do you have any input with FOX to try to solve this dilemma fans are faced with?
BRIAN FRANCE: We do have a fair amount of programming that happens with the SPEED Channel throughout the post race, even into the evening typically. But, yeah, I think generally speaking we would agree, that it would be nicer to have a longer post-race. But if you think about it, most sports don't have a particularly long post end of a game, whatever else. The networks don't stick around for an additional half hour. It's not something FOX should be thinking about because, after all, that's just not the norm with network or even cable television. Once the game is over, there's typically a short post-race. You hope the rest of it, social media, NASCAR online, places to digest good post-race information is where they go.
Considering who really calls the shots on what will and won’t be shown, I’m rather surprised that Faux King Brian doesn’t appear to really care about putting the NA$CAR brand on the winner even more with more post-race exposure of the winner and getting in as many post-race interviews as possible to help extend the NA$CAR "branding" of his brand of racer-tainment. Plus he seems to forget that not everyone gets Speed TV. Folks who don’t have cable or satellite can’t watch it. And even some folks with cable or satellite don’t have it because it’s not included in their package or is considered an extra that cost them through the nose. So they can’t watch the post-race coverage Speed TV offers.
Q. What do you see as the biggest impact on television ratings? Sponsorship revenues you and the tracks can earn or how are they becoming more critical on the rights fees as you start negotiating in the next couple years?
BRIAN FRANCE: We spend a lot of time looking at obviously traditional broadcast television. Our cable partners are critically important. We spent a lot of time recently looking at the other media, which is social and digital media, where that's all going, where people are getting information, content and everything else. We have a plan. We have a robust plan in the long run. We'll try to capture both. But one of the ratings impact is people are getting their news, updates, their fix, if you will, in lots of different ways today. We're going to want to, as a sport, make sure that we're taking advantage of all of them.
If Faux King Brian and his cronies actually spent a lot of time watching the races on TV, they’d see what the fans are complaining about with poor commentary, poor coverage, and too many commercials and the need for split-screen coverage like IndyCar uses to show both the race and commercials at the same time instead of the current running of commercials being briefly interrupted by a lap or two of racer-tainment. “We have a plan”. I seem to remember Richard Nixon saying the same thing when it came to Vietnam only we never found out what the plan was.
“But one of the ratings impact is people are getting their news, updates, their fix, if you will, in lots of different ways today. We're going to want to, as a sport, make sure that we're taking advantage of all of them”.
Notice the word “fix”. Faux King Brian is making it sound like race fans are a bunch of junkies in desperate need of drugs. A Freudian slip on his part? As the TV coverage and commentary is God awful, fans who have the means use things like Track Pass or Race Buddy to actually watch the races and supplement that with radio coverage by PRN or MRN to help eliminate the highly biased commentators and shills. I don’t know how many folks have noticed it but a lot of effort is being put into advertising the sanctioning body’s official web site. They’ve sponsored a couple of trucks and if you look at the tracks you’ll see the web site’s name painted on the asphalt or on the grass. Of course, after the latest changes to that web site and how badly they screwed it up, I can see why they’re trying to lure fans in and advertise it. If they really wanted to get fans to that web site, they’d make it easy to navigate and use. Instead, they make it more complicated than trying to assemble an engine while blindfolded with one hand tied behind your back. Fans use Twitter, Facebook, and various blogs to stay up to date and to get reliable info which isn’t in the same cookie-cutter mold as is presented by the lamestream journalists.
Q. Brian, can you address the ethanol situation and what challenges have you faced with the implementation to the new fuel in the three top series?
BRIAN FRANCE: Well, the fact that we haven't had a discussion is evidentiary proof of how well it's working. We couldn't be happier with it. From the early testing, we got good performance numbers. The teams certainly think it's working well. It obviously takes us another step. Especially now that you see energy prices going where they're going, it takes us a way down the road with a real biofuel that we're using in the car. They've just been a really good partner so far and it's going well.
“The fact that we haven't had a discussion is evidentiary proof of how well it's working”. Obviously you didn’t hear the profanity-laced dialogue between Biffle and his crew chief at Vegas regarding the new fuel and the fueling system. It isn’t working well. You might be happy but that’s only because you’re getting paid to be happy about it. Just what are you going to do when Congress cuts off the funding for ethanol because it’s actually a farce? You want a real bio-fuel? Try running the algae-based gasoline. Or convert to diesel and have the teams run oil from some hamburger or chicken joints and fill the stands with the smell of French Fries or fried chicken. That’s true bio-fuel.
Q. What do you think of Danica's run last week, historically what that did, the highest finish by a female in any NASCAR national series?
BRIAN FRANCE: I think that elevated her. There was some discussion, did she have the right stuff to compete in the Nationwide Series. You know, I think she dispelled a lot of that. There's always circumstances in the start of a new career. But sometimes things are out of your control, people can crash in front of you, a hundred other things. I think she elevated herself quite nicely. That's nice to see. She's a very competitive person. She's always said she's here to compete, not just happy to be here. That fits my criteria.
Anything that makes you a buck fits your criteria. Danica’s finish is not the highest finish by a female driver in NA$CAR. She finished 4th in a fuel mileage race in NA$CAR’s AAA series equivalent. Sara Christian finished 5th in NA$CAR’s top series in 1949 at Pittsburgh. Janet Guthrie finished 6th at Bristol in 1977 in NA$CAR’s top series. So until she runs in the Cup Series and gets a 4th place finish she isn’t the highest female finisher in NA$CAR.
There were more questions asked and Jayski's got the transcript posted for all to read. Check it out, read it very carefully, read what's said, what's omitted, and how the questions are really answered versus what the question asked.