Nascar Pros and Cons: TNT Wide Open Coverage

Michael VarratoContributor IJuly 8, 2008

On Saturday evening TNT introduced a partial commercial free coverage for the Coke Zero 400, but it was not quite what I had expected. 

Personally, I came out of the night with very mixed emotions.  I actually felt like I had to watch twice as many commercials as usual.  I thought it was sort of annoying, but there was so much action in the race, especially early, I liked it. 

But then TNT started mixing in "90 second" breaks, which started just during commercials, which I was fine with, but later had the nerve to mix full commercials during racing action.  So were we swindled into actually watching more commercials than usual?


1. For the most part, the fans are able to see non-stop action.
2. Caters to the average income fan who does not have a wide screen LCD to make the picture better and the action wider.
3. No downtime or frustrating commercials (Yes, you have to listen to the commercials, but you can still see thing you would never see during full screen commercials).
4. TNT has the fans in mind, and coverage like this will only increase the ease of future race coverage.


1. Despite the non-stop viewing, TNT still does not keep the camera on the best action and are always behind on accidents where we only catch the absolute end of the accident.
2. The advertisement area at the bottom of the screen takes up half the television, although they give an old TV a wider view I can't imagine what this race looked like on any non- wide screen TV under 40 inches.
3. At least two times during the pop-up corner commercials, something significant happend where all I wanted to hear was the broadcast and what was going on.
4. Why are you showing full screen commercials during action? There is nothing wide open about that...

Anything else? I would love to hear what other people think.  I understand I should not be complaining about the one or two "90 second" breaks during the action when it could have been 15, but I was very excited about the race being on the entire time and was a little disappointed, especially with how large the bottom half of the screen was. 

On the upside, this is a good sign as to where we may be heading with race coverage.  Fox is not a station who sits back, they like to be innovative, so I see a feature such as or similar to "Wide Open Coverage" only improving.

TNT Wide Screen Coverage...Yes or No?


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