NASCAR - Television Ratings Thread

LewTheShoe

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There would be some advantages to shortening the season though. Say for example the schedule got contracted to a 28 race season ending on Labor Day Weekend....there would be fewer races that teams would have to secure sponsorship for, it would make the individual races more meaningful since there would be fewer of them, NASCAR would be the only major sport to have their playoffs in July and August...
@ToyYoda has written an interesting and thoughtful post, but I disagree with most of it. Each race is a positive earnings event for the industry. Fewer races means less money, not more... less sponsorship, less admissions, less TV money. Yes, expenses would be lower, but revenue would be lower by a greater amount, I believe.

I agree with the part about fewer races means each is more meaningful to many fans. But, to make your plan work economically, the financial results of each race has to improve by a very substantial amount... to offset the lost earnings from the races that no longer exist.

The other part I don't get is... what happens from late August through the Daytona 500? I mean, football remains the same under both scenarios. NFL is not going to expand to a third network on Sunday afternoons. The absence of Nascar means what... more TV time devoted to cornhole tournaments and roller derby? I'm like DPK... I'm not sure running from the NFL gets Nascar anything good. Not sure it makes sense to race in the snow in March but then shut down (with massive layoffs too) during the generally gorgeous fall weather?
 

LewTheShoe

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Just saying, sometimes less is more.
In the context of the current discussion, I agree that some tracks could do better with one race successfully built into a big event, rather than having two races. But for the most part, I think the dates freed up should go to new venues. Canada and Mexico should be top priority, IMO. Road America too. Maybe Iowa, maybe St. Louis, maybe a few more.
 

ToyYoda

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I think I might have a solution that will please everyone.....

A 365 race season. One race per day, every day, all year long. Offseason? Between 11:59pm on New Years Eve and 1pm on New Years Day. That’s your offseason. The season ends at a street course through Times Square in New York City on New Years Eve, and immediately after that race is over, the teams have to load up their stuff and book it Smokey and the Bandit style to Daytona in 13 hours to make it to the green flag of the Daytona 500. After that, it’s up to Alaska on January 2nd for a little ice racing, then back down to Atlanta on January 3rd.

You want some new tracks, you say? There will be new tracks. Iowa, Gateway, Rockingham, North Wilkesboro, Bowman Gray, Radiator Springs Raceway, Nurburgring, American Eagle Kartway, and one office complex in Charlotte where the drivers will compete against each other in NASCAR Heat 3 to determine that day’s winner.

The 265 race regular season will be followed by a 100 race/64 driver playoff. This will be whittled down to the Championship 60, who will compete for the title at the Ball Drop 500 in Times Square on NYE. Be sure to also catch the pivotal cutoff race at Talladega on Christmas morning. Sure the drivers and teams will miss out on their children opening their gifts, but screw ‘em, they know what they signed up for.

And with all of these additional races, we will need new TV partners. Fox, NBC, CBS, ABC, the CW, HGTV, The Hallmark Channel, QVC, the Game Show Network, and the DirecTV Setup Channel will all be a part of the action.

It sounds like a lot, but the season will be over, and back on, before you know it. And hopefully I didn’t offend anybody with this incredibly facetious post, just having a little fun. :D
 

IanMcVittie

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Nascar is still supplying the same number of races and series it did during the glory days. IMO the market will sort out how many races and series they should have as time moves along.
 

StandOnIt

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In the context of the current discussion, I agree that some tracks could do better with one race successfully built into a big event, rather than having two races. But for the most part, I think the dates freed up should go to new venues. Canada and Mexico should be top priority, IMO. Road America too. Maybe Iowa, maybe St. Louis, maybe a few more.
sure looks like that is being discussed and acted on with the offer to buy out ISC. Time will tell. ARCA has already changed their schedule and is doing a WoO dirt double header at Vegas, and it is getting the buzz
 

LewTheShoe

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I think I might have a solution that will please everyone... A 365 race season...
Well, that might be just a little more Nascar than even I could consume. Maybe 180 races plus 180 days spent on practice and qualifying?? :D

Seriously, a week with Cup, Xfinity, and Trucks generates about 20 hours of live sports programming. Here's a gruesome thought: how many Stephen A. Smith's would it take to fill up those hours? The 4-hour Cup race on Sunday gets the largest audience, and competes directly with the NFL, but even the Xfinity and truck practice and qualifying sessions are attractive properties in their time slots.

For example, last year we saw NBCSN pulling bigger audiences for Xfinity practice and qualifying than they did for NHL regular season games in prime time.
 

IanMcVittie

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Well, that might be just a little more Nascar than even I could consume. Maybe 180 races plus 180 days spent on practice and qualifying?? :D

Seriously, a week with Cup, Xfinity, and Trucks generates about 20 hours of live sports programming. Here's a gruesome thought: how many Stephen A. Smith's would it take to fill up those hours? The 4-hour Cup race on Sunday gets the largest audience, and competes directly with the NFL, but even the Xfinity and truck practice and qualifying sessions are attractive properties in their time slots.

For example, last year we saw NBCSN pulling bigger audiences for Xfinity practice and qualifying than they did for NHL regular season games in prime time.[/QUOTE

I’m sure you could take it all in, Lew.
 

Turtle84

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There would be some advantages to shortening the season though. Say for example the schedule got contracted to a 28 race season ending on Labor Day Weekend....there would be fewer races that teams would have to secure sponsorship for, it would make the individual races more meaningful since there would be fewer of them, NASCAR would be the only major sport to have their playoffs in July and August (though they might have to compete with the Summer Olympics and World Cup every other year) instead of having their playoffs trounced in the ratings by the NFL every year, drivers and teams would get to be with their families more, and a 5 month offseason would build a lot more anticipation for each new season than a 3 month offseason.

I love NASCAR, but I have to admit I get a little burned out on it by the end of the season. 7 months of racing every year would still be plenty IMO. I would welcome a 21-race regular season followed by a 7-race/12 driver playoff.
I share a similar sentiment except for the playoff part (especially in a 28 race). I think now would be the perfect time for NASCAR to go back to a season long champion and (possibly however unlikely) regain the former disgruntled fan that hated Brian France changes. I am fine with Logano winning this year since he got jobbed by Kenseth previously, but really he was no where near the performance of a season long champion, it provided good excitement for a number years and guaranteed a finale (that's fine), I think it's now time to go back and have a true reflection of who should actually win a championship be a thing.

In any case, Golf has already beat them to it, they get crushed in their FedEx Cup playoff ratings once football hits, they see it, they moved it up to end in late August now. Tiger, baseball, tennis, cycling is easier comp to go against than football, baseball, basketball, hockey with a school year on full blast.

I like what you said about building anticipation, very very important, singular race dates with no duplicate option later in the year plays into that, as well as the TV marketing leading in.

When people that love NASCAR are giving you feedback that even they get worn out in their viewing pleasure during the season, I think reality has hit, it is a hard sell across the board, change or no change.
 

Team Penske

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Just leave things alone for 5 years and if needed make adjustments for the next 5 years.
Give the CC's time to get their cheated up cars right. Oh and all you feetball people just change the channel and record the race or watch highlights on YouTube.
 

Turtle84

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@ToyYoda has written an interesting and thoughtful post, but I disagree with most of it. Each race is a positive earnings event for the industry. Fewer races means less money, not more... less sponsorship, less admissions, less TV money. Yes, expenses would be lower, but revenue would be lower by a greater amount, I believe.

I agree with the part about fewer races means each is more meaningful to many fans. But, to make your plan work economically, the financial results of each race has to improve by a very substantial amount... to offset the lost earnings from the races that no longer exist.

The other part I don't get is... what happens from late August through the Daytona 500? I mean, football remains the same under both scenarios. NFL is not going to expand to a third network on Sunday afternoons. The absence of Nascar means what... more TV time devoted to cornhole tournaments and roller derby? I'm like DPK... I'm not sure running from the NFL gets Nascar anything good. Not sure it makes sense to race in the snow in March but then shut down (with massive layoffs too) during the generally gorgeous fall weather?
This is the correct assessment of the situation from an economic standpoint, and the sticking point of why they haven't done it. However, from a fan perspective, and an outside optics looking in as a sponsor, I would say it is actively harming them seeing poor attendance and declining TV ratings, due to them forcing themselves into repeated volume. That is the equivalent of receiving auto-email to me, and hearkens back to the original point of offering less to achieve a higher quality product both on TV and live track attendance turnout.

There may be a breaking point where they are willing to condense down slightly and provide variety, while improving what our eyes see.

I am not sure running from the NFL nets NASCAR anything good either, but I know what it looks like as is. Can NASCAR exist during NFL? Yes of course. It has proven that. It can survive. Can it thrive during NFL? Not that I can see. It experiences a down tick yearly from what I have seen in the current landscape. They seem willing to withstand that dip to maintain volume wise for financial reasons despite a suffering optic, at least so far.

Also, it's not just NFL that they would be relocating from, it's College Football, MLB playoffs (World Series), NBA, NHL, kid's school year. This leaves little time, and spreads the numbers thin for NASCAR on live ratings and live attendance imo. It is not about personal ability to watch football, it is about realizing where they fall on the priority list and how long their season has already been running.

That's just my opinion. Regardless of the schedule, I think NASCAR has an opportunity ahead with new ownership to gain back some previous fan base, including but not limited to scrapping the playoffs to determine a season long champion.
 

IanMcVittie

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Same ones will be crying WWE next year, it never ends.
It doesn’t matter who cries what the only thing that matters is people like it and watch it. Even though I am highly skeptical and feel the premise is flawed I will support it if it gets the series back on good ground. If it is just another year of horrid numbers from home and the stands it obviously has not worked.
 

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I imagine sponsorship inventory during the fall is not nearly as valuable as during the rest of the season, but if they were to shorten the season FOX and NBC would be out of a good number of programming hours so they'd likely either renegotiate with NASCAR for a lower fee or try to make up for some of those with midweek races. One of those NASCAR would not be in favor of, the other is a more likely option. And the tracks certainly don't want to start giving up race dates. Heck, maybe try running some of the playoff races in large metro areas at midweek.

Getting rid of a bunch of races isn't the answer but running the entirety of your postseason against the biggest ratings behemoth in the country sure isn't panning out either.
 

joe h

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If you shorten the season, then fox is in a position to buy the whole season. Fox is currently hungry for sports content, they even overpaid to exclusively air premiere championship boxing. Who until now, use to split their fights between showtime/cbs, nbc sports, and fox.
 

StandOnIt

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If you shorten the season, then fox is in a position to buy the whole season. Fox is currently hungry for sports content, they even overpaid to exclusively air premiere championship boxing. Who until now, use to split their fights between showtime/cbs, nbc sports, and fox.
I don't think you or I or the fence post know who will be interested in renewing the TV contract in 2024?
 

Towmater

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http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2018/11/nascar-ratings-record-low-homestead/

"...Overall, the 2018 Cup Series season averaged 3.34 million viewers on FOX, FS1, NBC and NBCSN, per Sports Business Daily — down 18% from last year (4.07M) and the smallest average on record. Viewership is less than half of what it was a decade ago (6.92M)."

Might be why NASCAR radio is suddenly chiming in about change, change the schedule, change anything is GOOD.
 

IanMcVittie

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http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2018/11/nascar-ratings-record-low-homestead/

"...Overall, the 2018 Cup Series season averaged 3.34 million viewers on FOX, FS1, NBC and NBCSN, per Sports Business Daily — down 18% from last year (4.07M) and the smallest average on record. Viewership is less than half of what it was a decade ago (6.92M)."

Might be why NASCAR radio is suddenly chiming in about change, change the schedule, change anything is GOOD.
770,000 per race less in 2018 over 2017 and 2017 was one of the worst years ever. Don’t worry as this doesn’t matter at all and will have no impact on the series
 

StandOnIt

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This idiot^^ this is from the same article
Cautions are Down in 2018: Are NASCAR Drivers Getting Better at Avoiding Accidents?
Counting stage-end caution laps
Many people (including drivers) have complained about counting the stage-end caution laps as part of the overall race lap count. Even doing that, the average percent of races run under caution has gone down. In 2014, 15.7% of the races were run under caution. This year, we’re down to 13.6% cautions.

  • In 2014, 15.7% of the laps were run under caution.
  • In 2018, only 13.6% of the laps were run cautions.
So even counting the stage-end laps, NASCAR fans are getting more green-flag lag laps in 2018 than they have in the last five years.


http://buildingspeed.org/blog/2018/12/07/nascar-cautions-fewer-accidents/


 

IanMcVittie

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IMO cautions have nothing to do with NASCAR’s steep decline in overall interest, race attendance and home viewership.

IMO a big part of the problem is that the love of cars and the car culture are not what they once were. I also think many would be fans don’t find Nascar racing entertaining. Also there are less and less fans to help get newbies interested and teach them the nuances of the series.

There are so many other things including many Nascar blunders that have hurt things. The question isn’t whether Nascar will return to relevance as that ain’t happening. The question is how small will Nascar become before bottoming out.
 

Matthew2470

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IMO cautions have nothing to do with NASCAR’s steep decline in overall interest, race attendance and home viewership.

IMO a big part of the problem is that the love of cars and the car culture are not what they once were. I also think many would be fans don’t find Nascar racing entertaining. Also there are less and less fans to help get newbies interested and teach them the nuances of the series.

There are so many other things including many Nascar blunders that have hurt things. The question isn’t whether Nascar will return to relevance as that ain’t happening. The question is how small will Nascar become before bottoming out.
And no compelling rivalries that transcend the sport (Gordon vs Earnhardt)
 

IanMcVittie

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And no compelling rivalries that transcend the sport (Gordon vs Earnhardt)
Good point. IMO Nascar needs the casual audience but they won’t get them with how things are today. Rivalries and drivers that transcend the series are essential
 

JerryF

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Far out idea ..... make the even number years playoffs and the odd season long champion.
 

IanMcVittie

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For those looking for a comparison to other sports the NFL TV ratings are up 5% over last year while the NBA is more or less flat.
I think it is normal for a league to have increases and decreases over a period of time like the NFL. I know some were trying to tie in the NFL’s decreases last year with NASCAR’s but it doesn’t fly.

At least publicly Nascar doesn’t seem concerned about the decade long downturn and it is no cause for concern with most fans. Some have even said they appreciate the much smaller crowds at races as they have more room plus getting in and out of the track is easier. I think most people believe that Nascar will always be broadcast live and as long as they have access all will be good.
 

IanMcVittie

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Any predictions on the ratings this year? More of the same or has it leveled off?
I was gobsmacked by the loss of almost 800,000 viewers per race last year and I don’t think we will see a repeat of it. IMO there will still be losses but somewhere in the 300-400k per race. IDK what that works out to percentage wise.
 

LewTheShoe

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Any predictions on the ratings this year? More of the same or has it leveled off?
Last year was very tough for TV ratings, partially caused by the retirement of Dale Jr. In fan appeal, that is analogous to the NBA suffering the departure of Michael Jordan. But 2019 will be the first year without AJ Allmendinger... LOL... so maybe more of the same.:D
 

IanMcVittie

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Last year was very tough for TV ratings, partially caused by the retirement of Dale Jr. In fan appeal, that is analogous to the NBA suffering the departure of Michael Jordan. But 2019 will be the first year without AJ Allmendinger... LOL... so maybe more of the same.:D
JMO but I don’t think Dale Jr retiring had much to do with the terrible ratings last year. In fact fans probably saw and heard more of him last year then in the last 7 years or so of his driving career.

From what I understand people bailed on Nascar mainly because they found the races lacking in entertainment value. Other than the stages I thought the racing was pretty good the past couple of years but I’m in a minority.
 

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They ran 1 20 second commercial on Fox during the Ram's game last night for the Daytona 500.

I'm a NASCAR watching freak that enjoys boring things, and even I was saying to myself that looks like the same old crap but worse. Completely stale carbon copy below average marketing they've been rolling out for years.

I can literally find a better fan made hype commercial on youtube for the "Superbowl of NASCAR".

They have to IMPROVE in this area on a consistent basis. Just my 2 cents on part of their problem imo.
 

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Turtle84

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Yup, that's the one, how much thought went into that gem?

Predictable regurgitation. Shot of Jr shot of Sr more of Sr, some wrecks flag flyover victory lane checkered flag.

Does nothing to build interest that doesn't already exist.
 

Team Penske

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There in a nut shell is the biggest part of what is wrong with Nascar management, the PR Department. All they advertise for every event is that it will be a "crash derby"
Someone is drawing a nice salary for nothing. THAT is not what most fans want to see IMO
and so you get the junkies filling up Daytona ( winter holiday for most people).
 

IanMcVittie

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Yup, that's the one, how much thought went into that gem?

Predictable regurgitation. Shot of Jr shot of Sr more of Sr, some wrecks flag flyover victory lane checkered flag.

Does nothing to build interest that doesn't already exist.
I agree as I don’t think the promo would have resonated with anyone. You would think that FOX would want to add some excitement in an attempt to get the year off on a good foot.
 

IanMcVittie

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There in a nut shell is the biggest part of what is wrong with Nascar management, the PR Department. All they advertise for every event is that it will be a "crash derby"
Someone is drawing a nice salary for nothing. THAT is not what most fans want to see IMO
and so you get the junkies filling up Daytona ( winter holiday for most people).
I think there is a good chance there will be more crash derbies this year. A lot of casuals seem to gravitate toward them.
 
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