Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Split Screen Racing

Foxsports TV tried something new (to them) during the last commercial during the Fed Ex 400 on Sunday. They aired three commercials on a split screen while the race played simultaneously. I missed it, as I usually find something to do during the commercials. But, it is the discussion of the week according to the racing interwebs.

The split screen is nothing new, ABC was using it at least five years ago on their IRL race broadcasts. ABC/ESPN plans on using it on all ten of the Chase races later this year. Which brings the question, did Fox jump shoot ABC by airing one split screen commercial, 100 days before ABC pulled the trigger?

I believe that the advertisers relented and agreed to the split screen for one reason... TIVO. No more speeding through the ads, leadfoot. Now you will watch every lame Napa, Aaron's, and Gillette commercial, whether you like it, or not. Nonetheless, it seems like a win for us race fans.


  1. Not only did the steal ESPN's thunder they did it 2 days before ESPN was going to announce they were doing it thru the Chase.

    I missed it too and it was the subject of the Fan Council questions this week - mostly they wanted to know if I;d be more inclined to support the brands sponsoring the split screen. Ah nope!

    Wont miss anything in theory but ya, no more speeding thru lame ass commercials!

  2. Yea for us! And about time... There was a race earlier this season where three different commercial breaks had race altering mishaps. The audience had to be brought up to speed once the bean counters had been satisfied...

    I know, I know, we're talking about the lifeblood of "free" television... The necessary evil...

    There was a time when cable TV was coming on-line that we thought since we had to pay to have it there wouldn't be any commercials (kinda like we thought that was how FM radio was supposed to be)... Boy were we wrong. Now we pay for cable because we have little other options and still get to enjoy the commercials. Somebody is really nailin' the bucks!

    A very nice bone they're tossing to the racing crowd and it's driven by technology for a change...

  3. Kris... Unless Fox plans on using the split screen full time, this was a cheap shot. Maybe we will soon see ESPN's cartoon gopher, Gigger?

    Dwindy... I think they even missed some wrecks at Dover during early commercials.

    Same thing with satellite radio. It began with a promise of no commercials, that didn't last long.

  4. still miss Sky Sports in NZ....when you guys go to ads, they put in-car footage until you come back, lol

  5. I have been watching the NASCAR Hot Pass dedicated channels in lieu of Fox. I still get the Fox commentators, but when they cut to commercials, I have the in-car camera coverage and the position of the driver (usually Kevin Harvick) highlighted, with the first-place car number and the car numbers behind and ahead of him. Unfortunately at Darlington, he didn't have the dedicated channel; three of the four Hendrick drivers had the channel along with Denny Hamlin.