Split screen option for NASCAR?

Fans hoping that NASCAR’s move to ABC/ESPN next year would improve their viewing experience may be in for a rude awakening. Although the networks employ a “Side-By-Side" split-screen feature for its Indy Racing League coverage that allows viewers to continue watching the action while commercials play, NASCAR has forbidden ABC/ESPN or any of its other TV partners from marketing that kind of advertising. “We’ve looked at a lot of options to enhance the fan/viewer experience but feel that a split-screen presentation of ads and racing serves neither the fan nor advertiser," says Ramsey Poston, NASCAR’s managing director of corporate communications. “Our TV partners do an excellent job of immediately returning to significant track action when it happens during commercials. With replays and other technology, the networks make sure NASCAR fans get the best, most comprehensive race coverage anywhere." But according to George McNeilly, senior director of communications for ESPN/ABC Sports, the networks would be interested in exploring the split-screen option. “We are engaging focus groups and other research in an effort to quantify the positive feedback we’ve received from people who’ve enjoyed the viewing experience," McNeilly says. “allowing the split screen would be a NASCAR decision. We’re in discussions about that and many other things." Long Island Press

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