Author Topic: NASCAR changes race format for 2017  (Read 118 times)


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NASCAR changes race format for 2017
« on: January 24, 2017, 01:42:26 PM »
Segments should allow fans to see more green flag racing on TV: The NASCAR industry introduced major enhancements for its race format and points structure Monday, setting in motion a wave of new looks and incentives for 2017. But the collaboration also provided the opportunity for incentives for tuned-in fans -- more logical breaks for commercials during race telecasts. Monday's announcement made strides toward achieving that, launching the product of months of cooperation among drivers, tracks, the sanctioning body and TV broadcast partners. Based on the spirit of conversation from the group assembled on stage at the Charlotte Convention Center, the contingents from FOX and NBC Sports had much more than a nominal seat at the table.
"Well, you can never guarantee anything, but I can say that sitting in the room all along the way with us were our two TV partners, and that was one of the core things we looked at," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. "We listened to the fans and we see the fans, as well, that we don't like breaking away from live action. Can we eliminate that totally? Probably not. But this format allowed us to do that. That's why we put in two breaks."
The new race format, which involves splitting races into three segments, now provides a natural interlude in the action after each of the opening two stages. Both Jeff Burton (NBC Sports) and Jeff Gordon (FOX Sports) -- two racers-turned-analysts -- said that broadcasters intend to use these intermissions to potentially interview stage winners and to take commercial breaks with minimal interruptions of pit stops or other crucial moments.
"I can promise you, I'm in my second year of doing this, there's a tremendous amount of effort by the networks to bring as much racing as possible to the fans," Burton said. "The fans tune in to watch the races, and finding a way to do that is difficult sometimes. This eases that a little bit. This gives a chance for us to go to a break at the right time so the fans miss as little green-flag racing as possible. There's a tremendous amount of effort put into that."(