NASCAR, ESPN and Turner Sports will announce plans Wednesday to air nine of the 10 Chase races live online, allowing fans to view the end of the Sprint Cup season in ways never before available. Fans can view the nine ESPN races via NASCAR.com’s RaceBuddy and ESPN’s WatchESPN.com platform and the free WatchESPN app, beginning with Sunday’s Cup race from Chicagoland Speedway.
The lone Cup race fans won’t be able to view online will be the Oct. 15 event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. That race airs on ABC, which does not air events live online to protect its affiliate stations.
Here’s what fans can see online:
# NASCAR.com’s RaceBuddy will feature two mosaics with a mix of eight in-car and stationary cameras positioned around the track. Team radio audio will be associated with each of the in-car cameras.
ESPN’s live broadcast can be viewed via computer, smartphone and tablet through ESPN’s WatchESPN app and at WatchESPN.com
“Enhancing the viewing experience and improving the sport’s digital and social presence for our millions of fans, at the track, at home and everywhere in between, is a goal we never lose sight of,” said Marc Jenkins, NASCAR’s vice president of digital media in a statement. “Being able to offer this series of interactive products during the Chase will further engage our fans with a robust digital presence that will forever change how the championship points battle is consumed.”
NASCAR.com’s RaceBuddy will continue to offer DVR Functionality, Enhanced LIVE Leaderboard and RaceView’s position tracker.
“Turner Sports is delighted to partner with NASCAR and ESPN to expand the award-winning RaceBuddy on NASCAR.COM to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup,” said Matthew Hong, senior vice president and general manager, sports operations, Turner Sports, in a statement. “Feedback from fans has been that they wish RaceBuddy were available for additional races outside the TNT portion of the season, so we’re proud to be able to bring them ‘ChaseBuddy’ and extend the interactive and immersive experience of RaceBuddy to nine playoff races.”
Also, it will be announced that ESPN’s daily NASCAR show “NASCAR Now’’ will be available for the first time through WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app. Telecast of NASCAR Nationwide Series races on ESPN and ESPN2 also will be available on WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app.
“Our mission is to serve sports fans anytime, anywhere, and with WatchESPN and our new partnership with NASCAR and Turner, we can now extend that mission by making our NASCAR programming available to race fans wherever they might be,” said Julie Sobieski, ESPN vice president, programming and acquisitions, in a statement. “I can’t think of a more perfect time to launch this than the beginning of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.”
So what does this mean? The fans get more of what they wanted! We all learned that the only good thing that came out of TNT’s racing coverage was RaceBuddy and ESPN has listened to their NASCAR fans are brought their own version of RaceBuddy to the fans and its come at probably the best possible time with the Chase races. I believe that the fans are going to enjoy ESPN more now than they already have.
I applaud NASCAR and ESPN for taking the fans voice seriously and delivering more of what they like to see.