ESPN Will Begin Showing NASCAR Commercials On A Split Screen

By Mack Rawden 2011-05-17 15:43:20 discussion comments
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I don't watch NASCAR, but if I did, I would imagine I'd be incredibly annoyed by the commercials. With nonstop action from the start to the checkered flag, there's no good way to incorporate advertisements without missing some of the race. There likely never will be a perfect solution to this quagmire, but ESPN has come up with a workable answer: split screen.

In its upfront presentation, the sports leader announced it will begin showing all commercials during the second half of races on the left side of the screen, leaving the right half free for a silent live feed. Called NASCAR NonStop, the new technology will only apply to the final 10 races during the season beginning on September 18th. If it's a raging success and profits don't take too much of a hit, it's possible the practice may be expanded to include the rest of the season the following year.

It's about time something was done. The majority of popular sports in America are either randomly suited for television broadcast or have adapted to make themselves suited for television broadcast. Baseball, football and hockey have all, over the years, incorporated special television timeouts to allow advertisers to get their say, while baseball and tennis have intermittent stoppages after each half inning or changeover already built in. Golf and soccer don't cater well to television, but the former frequently airs its major tournaments almost commercial-less during the back nine and the latter typically has each half sponsored by an individual company. NASCAR was the only real holdout, at least until today's announcement.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, once the split-screen begins in September, it may take a bit of an adjustment for viewers to settle into the dual broadcasts, but it seems like even half the race is better than nothing. We'll see how well it goes over.
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