Sunday is the beginning of ESPN’s new policy to go all-in with NASCAR which means going double box when it goes to break, an ad in one box and the race in another meaning fans won’t miss any action. It’ll begin with the Sprint Cup Race in Chicago and will continue for the rest of the season.
Fans have been clamoring for this as they feel they miss key moments of the race when it’s in commercial. Now ESPN can run its ads and fans can eat their cake too by seeing the cars continue to make four lefts around the track.
And this is also the first weekend for subscribers of Time Warner Cable, Bright House and Verizon FiOS to be able to see the race online on the WatchESPN app. So plenty of NASCAR firsts this weekend on ESPN’s platforms.
NASCAR NonStop Commercial Format to Debut in Chicagoland Race
With new production and technological elements debuting this week in coverage of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, ESPN is taking its multiplatform NASCAR programming and content to the next level.
ESPN’s telecasts of the 10 races in the Chase will have a new look with the introduction of NASCAR NonStop, a split-screen commercial format that will bring more racing action to viewers. The format will show the advertisement on the left side of the screen and a continuation of racing action on the right side. ESPN’s scoring ticker will continue to move across the top of the screen, allowing NASCAR fans to follow the running order of the race during the breaks. NASCAR NonStop will take effect at or near the halfway point of the race, with the first half of the race presented in the traditional commercial break format.
And for the first time ever, all of ESPN’s NASCAR television content is now viewable digitally through WatchESPN and WatchESPN.com, the groundbreaking online-accessible authenticated version of ESPN. WatchESPN is available on computers, smartphones and tablets through WatchESPN.com and the free WatchESPN app, which are accessible to fans who receive their video service from an affiliated provider.
“ESPN has a history of taking a leadership position in finding new ways to serve sports fans and NASCAR NonStop and WatchESPN are extensions of that philosophy,” said Julie Sobieski, ESPN vice president, programming & acquisitions.
Other new elements for ESPN’s coverage of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup:
NASCAR Now — The weekend wrap-up edition of ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now has returned for the Chase. The program will air on Sunday nights after the nine Sunday afternoon races in the Chase. The one-hour race morning edition of NASCAR Now will continue to air on the morning of all NASCAR Sprint Cup races for the rest of the season. Both programs will also be viewable digitally on WatchESPN. NASCAR fans should check their local listings for the times of both weekend programs.
ESPN Radio – ESPN NASCAR analyst Dale Jarrett will appear each Friday morning at 9:50 a.m. ET on ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike in the Morning program (6-10 a.m. ET M-F, simulcast ESPN2) during the 10 weeks of the Chase. Analyst Rusty Wallace will appear each Thursday afternoon at 3:35 p.m. on ESPN Radio’s The Scott Van Pelt Show (1-4 p.m. M-F, simulcast ESPNEWS).
ESPN.com — In addition to the enhanced coverage ESPN.com will provide via WatchESPN, the site will include seven-day-a-week analysis of all things related to the Chase. NASCAR Now will provide up-to-date coverage Monday-Friday, including the daily “NASCAR Now Minute.” Race day video highlights from SportsCenter as well as analysis from the ESPN booth crew will round out ESPN.com’s video offerings.
ESPN.com writers Terry Blount, Ed Hinton, David Newton, Ryan McGee, Marty Smith and Matt Willis will lead coverage with insightful columns, features and blogs while on-air analysts Ricky Craven, Jamie Little, Rusty Wallace, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree and Brad Daugherty are committed to providing ESPN.com-only analysis with podium picks as well as a weekly fact/fiction look at issues in NASCAR.
And that will close up the blog for the night.