It may not have reached the level of the infamous “Heidi Game” of 1968, but Saturday night’s broadcast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway left millions of NASCAR fans in a lurch. The race was scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. eastern time, but that didn’t happen. Instead of seeing the prerace NASCAR Countdown show on ABC, fans tuned in to see a college football game between Baylor and TCU in the fourth quarter with 12 minutes left to play.
In the past when such live events bleed over, ESPN, whose parent company is ABC has several other channels to choose from and will direct fans via an alert crawl where to tune in to catch the race. That didn’t happen Saturday. As the game progressed, and it was a good one, NASCAR fans took to Twitter in an attempt to find coverage. Near panic set in, as the race’s scheduled green flag time approached.
With no further information from either network, Twitter lit up with fans and media Tweeting that the race would be on first ESPN News, than ESPN 3. On ESPN News however, a preseason NBA game was in overtime; there was no alerts pertaining to NASCAR coverage. Fans on Twitter began saying that ESPN3 was not showing the race and as the green flag fell still with no TV coverage, soon the hashtag #ABCHatesNASCARFans began trending on Twitter. MORE>>>