With the flag about to drop on the start of the Chase, NASCAR, ESPN and Turner Sports, which manages NASCAR.com, have revved up a partnership that provide stock racing fans with enhanced digital viewing experiences.
During the "Chase for the Sprint Cup," NASCAR.com's RaceBuddy product will be available for the first time ever during the sport's postseason, while NASCAR content will appear for the first time ever in ESPN's WatchESPN.com platform and WatchESPN app.
RaceBuddy, the interactive live video product, will feature two mosaics with a mix of eight in-car and stationary cameras positioned around the track for the nine Chase races airing on ESPN.
RaceBuddy, which has predominantly served as an enhancement to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races on TNT, will return on Sept. 18 for the Geico 400 from Chicagoland Speedway (ESPN, 2 p.m. (ET). In addition to the two mosaics with a total of eight camera angles, RaceBuddy will continue to proffer DVR functionality, the enhanced live leaderboard and RaceView's position tracker.
"Turner Sports is delighted to partner with NASCAR and ESPN to expand the award-winning RaceBuddy on NASCAR.com to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup," said Matthew Hong, senior vice president and general manager, sports operations, Turner Sports in a statement. "Feedback from fans has been that they wish RaceBuddy were available for additional races outside the TNT portion of the season, so we're proud to be able to bring them ‘ChaseBuddy' and extend the interactive and immersive experience of RaceBuddy to nine playoff races."
WatchESPN and WatchESPN.com, which give sports fans access to 24/7 live programming from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPNU, will, for the first time ever, exclusively feature the live ESPN telecasts of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. WatchESPN is available on computers, smartphones and tablets through WatchESPN.com and the free WatchESPN app, which are accessible to authenticated subscribers who receive their video service from an affiliated provider.
Additionally, ESPN2's daily NASCAR news and information program, NASCAR Now, will be available on multiple devices to stock car fans for the first time ever through WatchESPN and WatchESPN.com. Telecasts of NASCAR Nationwide Series races on ESPN and ESPN2 will also be available.
The Chase races will air on ESPN at 2 p.m. ( ET), with the exception of the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 15 (ABC, 7:30 p.m.) and the final three races of the year, all of which will air on ESPN at 3 p.m.
"Our mission is to serve sports fans anytime, anywhere, and with WatchESPN and our new partnership with NASCAR and Turner, we can now extend that mission by making our NASCAR programming available to race fans wherever they might be," noted Julie Sobieski, ESPN vice president, programming and acquisitions. "I can't think of a more perfect time to launch this than the beginning of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup."