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NASCAR’s Impending Broadcast Disaster?

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Joshua Lipowski

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What’s Happening?

NASCAR recently unveiled the new NASCAR Productions/Studios building. The 58,000-square-foot facility includes three studios, eight control rooms, and four broadcast booths. The studio will be home to plenty of NASCAR social media content, but, some fans are not happy about what it means for broadcasting.

  • Many fans focused on the TV booths and control rooms at the facility. It opens the door for more remote NASCAR broadcasts, particularly in the Xfinity Series. NASCAR will start producing Xfinity Series races in 2025.
  • Shane Connuck of the Charlotte Observer reported that NASCAR wants to “Produce more live events out of this building instead of having entire crews on-site”. Brian Herbst, NASCAR’s Senior Vice President of Media and Production told Connuck regarding remote broadcasts, “You’ll probably see more of that in the future”.
  • Many fans do not like remote broadcasts, and they criticized the remote Truck Series broadcasts in 2023. Despite this, NASCAR has infrastructure in place to continue those.

Why is NASCAR Going Towards Remote Broadcasts?

Saving Money

The main reason behind NASCAR going towards remote broadcasts is to save money. Sending an entire broadcast and production crew to a race is an expensive endeavor. The costs include food, lodging, transportation for the workers, and transporting all of the equipment. The cost adds up over a 38-race season.

What NASCAR, and many other sports are beginning to do, is keep as many elements of the broadcast as they can off-site. Cameras and camera operators need to be on-site, but a remote control room and broadcast booth move some of the production staff and production equipment off-site. This means NASCAR does not have to spend the money to send everyone out to a race track week after week.

Less Travel For Crew

Another benefit to remote broadcasts is less travel for crews. This is likely a secondary reason to cost, but, it’s still worth noting.

The NASCAR schedule is a grind, and being far from home for 35 or so weekends a year is exhausting for everyone involved. Remote broadcasts allow workers to drive in to work, produce a broadcast, and head back home the same day. It’s more like a typical 9-5 job. However, that doesn’t make remote broadcasts popular.

What Makes Remote Broadcasts So Unpopular?

Broadcasters Not on Site

Having a control room off-site is likely not as big of a deal to fans. That can barely be noticed on a broadcast, but, the announcers being off-site is very noticeable.

When announcers are off-site, they cannot feed off of the atmosphere at the race track. They are also watching the race on a TV screen instead of with their own eyes. This makes their job tougher because they cannot take advantage of seeing and feeling everything at the race track.

LtxResistance brought up that he notices a drop-off in quality when announcers are not on-site.

When 2025 comes, NASCAR will be producing more of its own content. NASCAR will be in charge of producing the Xfinity Series, and, that means there will likely be even more remote broadcasts in the future for the series. This concerns fans like Chrome Diesel.

Regardless of how fans feel, remote broadcasts are a part of NASCAR’s future. It seems it will happen more often, and, not everyone is a fan of it.

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Joshua Lipowski

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