ESPN’s telecasts of the final 10 races of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season will have a new look with the introduction of “NASCAR NonStop,” a commercial format designed to bring more racing action to viewers while also providing value to advertisers. The new format will be in effect for the races that make up the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship and will debut with the event at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 18, at 2 p.m. ET.
In NASCAR NonStop, ESPN’s commercial breaks will feature a split-screen format showing the advertisement on the left side of the screen and a continuation of racing action on the right side. In addition, ESPN’s scoring ticker will continue to move across the top of the screen, allowing NASCAR fans to follow the running order of the race during the breaks.
When going to break during NASCAR NonStop, ESPN will utilize a screen wipe tied to an advertiser, with that advertiser occupying the wipe for the rest of the race. NASCAR NonStop will take effect at or near the halfway point of the race, with the first half of the race presented in the traditional commercial break format.
“Since we returned to NASCAR racing in 2007, one of the most common questions from our fans has been ‘why don’t you do the commercials side-by-side?’” said John Skipper, ESPN executive vice president, content. “We’re very pleased to be able to do it now with NASCAR NonStop and showcase the advertiser while still showcasing the race. ESPN’s mission is to serve sports fans and this is a way to give the fans more racing action during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.”
Skipper said that ESPN worked with NASCAR to create the format for NASCAR NonStop.
“NASCAR has the most dedicated and loyal fans in the world, and we are constantly trying to enhance how those fans consume this great sport,” said Paul Brooks, president of NASCAR Media Group. “ESPN’s ‘NonStop’ format will ensure our fans maximize their viewing experience during the most intense and thrilling time of the season – the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.”
The final 17 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule will be televised on ESPN Networks, with 14 airing on ESPN and three Saturday night races airing on ABC. ESPN’s NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage begins with the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 31, at 1 p.m.