TNT’s innovative Wide Open television format will return for the fifth consecutive year during the network’s exclusive coverage of the primetime Coke Zero 400 at Daytona powered by Coca-Cola on Saturday, July 2. The network’s Wide Open coverage debuted during the 2007 Daytona 400 race and has resulted in only nine missed laps of green flag racing in four years, and zero laps in the last two races. The groundbreaking format provides continuous race coverage free of national commercial breaks and features more than 20% unobstructed race action, than that of a standard telecast, by using a letterbox widescreen format, which allows for a continuous scroll of race information. In place of the national ads, the telecast features a variety of animated sponsor messages, unique branded content and distinct on-screen graphic elements.
The six national sponsors featured in this year’s innovative telecast include Coke Zero, Coors Light, Pfizer, Sprint, Toyota, Warner Brothers Films’ Horrible Bosses and Crazy, Stupid, Love. This video model has proven successful for advertisers during previous coverage. According to Nielsen IAG Research, advertisements featured during the 2010 TNT NASCAR Wide Open Coverage race delivered a 68% brand recall score, a significantly higher recall score when compared to standard ads featured during sports and NASCAR coverage.
No stranger to televising NASCAR racing with uninterrupted coverage, Turner was the first network to use side-by-side coverage in 2000 during the UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR Race on Oct. 8 in Charlotte with TBS’ “No Breaks Coverage.”
“We look forward to our fifth consecutive year of providing viewers with continuous green flag racing and more information on the 43 drivers in the field for the signature race of TNT’s NASCAR Summer Series,” said Jeff Behnke, Executive Producer/Senior Vice President of Turner Sports. “Through TNT and NASCAR.COM, we look forward to providing race fans with an all-access pass to all the sights and sounds of our primetime race in Daytona.”
The network will rev up its pre-race coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET with Countdown to Green delivered by Pizza Hut with Lindsay Czarniak (host) and Kyle Petty and Larry McReynolds (analysts). TNT’s acclaimed Pride of NASCAR series will feature a profile of the three-time National Motorsports Press Association Driver of the Year Cale Yarborough who won the Daytona 500 four times (1968, 1977, 1983 and 1984). Joining the studio show prior to the race will be No. 29 Kevin Harvick for an interview to talk about his season. Other pre-race features include McReynolds in a wind tunnel with No. 14 Tony Stewart’s crew chief Darian Grubb to explain how the two-car draft works and why it’s important at Daytona International Speedway.
TNT will air the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona powered by Coca-Cola beginning at 7:30 p.m. (ET) with play-by-play announcer Adam Alexander calling the race alongside analysts Petty and Wally Dallenbach in the booth. In addition, McReynolds will make frequent contributions from the infield as he breaks down crew strategy and analyzes car adjustments using the TNT Offtrack Robotic Car (TORC) presented by Toyota. Pit reporters Chris Neville, Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider and Matt Yocum will provide reports throughout the race.
TNT RaceBuddy on NASCAR.COM will once again provide live companion coverage online. Fans can choose from a total of ten camera views, including two Mosaics. Eight individual camera angles include four In-Car Driver Cams, two Battle Cams highlighting head-to-head competition between drivers, a Backstretch Cam and a Pit Road Cam. The two Mosaic Views allow fans to view four streams at once. Returning features to the site include the DVR Function, an Enhanced LIVE Leaderboard and RaceView’s position tracker: Fans can also connect throughout the race on Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo! Messenger and MySpace in a seamlessly-integrated social media experience.
2011 NASCAR on TNT Summer Series:
ALL TIMES EASTERN (ET)
|SATURDAY, JULY 2|
|6:30 – 7:30 p.m.||Countdown to Green delivered by Pizza Hut|
|7:30 – 11 p.m.||Coke Zero 400 at Daytona powered by Coca-Cola (Daytona International Speedway)|
|SATURDAY, JULY 9|
|6:30 – 7:30 p.m.||Countdown to Green delivered by Pizza Hut|
|7:30 – 11 p.m.||NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Racing from Kentucky presented by KFC (Kentucky Speedway)|
|SUNDAY, JULY 17|
|Noon – 1 p.m.||Countdown to Green delivered by Pizza Hut|
|1 – 4:30 p.m.||NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Racing from New Hampshire (New Hampshire Motor Speedway)|
Turner Sports, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is an industry leader in televised and online sports programming, airing championship level sporting events on TBS, TNT and truTV, and managing some of the most popular sports sites on the Internet. Turner Sports’ television line-up includes the NBA, Major League Baseball, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, NASCAR and professional golf. The company’s digital portfolio includes SI.com, NASCAR.COM, NCAA.com, PGATOUR.COM, GOLF.com and PGA.com, as well as an accompanying collection of mobile websites and connected device apps. Turner Sports and the NBA also jointly manage NBA Digital, which includes NBA TV, NBA.com, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NBA Mobile, the NBA Game Time App, NBADLEAGUE.com and WNBA.com.
TNT, one of cable’s top-rated networks, is television’s destination for drama. Seen in 100.5 million households, the network is home to such original series as The Closer, starring Emmy® winner Kyra Sedgwick; Rizzoli & Isles, starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander; the Peabody Award-winning Men of a Certain Age, with Ray Romano, Scott Bakula and Andre Braugher; Leverage, starring Timothy Hutton; Hawthorne, with Jada Pinkett Smith; Memphis Beat, with Jason Lee; and Southland, from Emmy-winning producer John Wells (ER); as well as the upcoming Falling Skies, starring Noah Wyle, and Franklin & Bash, with Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer. TNT also presents such powerful dramas as Bones, Supernatural, Las Vegas, Law & Order, CSI: NY, Cold Case and, starting in 2011, The Mentalist; broadcast premiere movies; compelling primetime specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards®; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR, the NBA and the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. TNT is available in high-definition.