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NASCAR - Television Ratings Thread

Formerjackman

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not seeing a profit and loss statement I can't tell ya. So a person can "if" it to death if they want. That should make some people happy. I just tend to take what high ranking people in Nascar say at face value. Works for me anyway.
There isn't a whole lot of people in this whole world I take at face value, and people trying to "sell" me something certainly don't qualify. There is no IF here, the numbers speak for themselves. I don't blame NASCAR for trying something, especially when a LOT of people were clamoring for it, but the flat out truth is it's been a real disappointment. The current situation is as favorable for weeknight races as it will EVER be, and the response from the public has been a collective yawn. That doesn't even take into account what weeknight races would likely do to the live attendance at the track. If NASCAR wants to persist with this, that's their right, but they will be throwing away about 50% (maybe a lot more) of the TV audience they would have on Sunday. How long will the networks and the sponsors stand for that?
and there are some people in this world that if they can't find a problem they will make one.
And some people would rather ignore a problem or pretend it doesn't exist than be honest about it.
There’s a lot of NASCAR dollars west of the Mississippi, that’s why they race out here.
If you can show where catering to the west coast market has paid any dividends for NASCAR, I'd be interested in seeing it. NASCAR has always been WAY more enamored with the west coast than the west coast was enamored with NASCAR. The same goes for New York City. NASCAR was like a love sick school boy trying to get the Big Apple to love it for decades, and at the end of it, New York couldn't tell NASCAR to get lost fast enough......
 

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If you can show where catering to the west coast market has paid any dividends for NASCAR, I'd be interested in seeing it. NASCAR has always been WAY more enamored with the west coast than the west coast was enamored with NASCAR. The same goes for New York City. NASCAR was like a love sick school boy trying to get the Big Apple to love it for decades, and at the end of it, New York couldn't tell NASCAR to get lost fast enough......
I can remember when Fontana was regularly sold out or close to it, before the removal of some of the seating areas.:idunno:
 

StandOnIt

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If you can show where catering to the west coast market has paid any dividends for NASCAR, I'd be interested in seeing it. NASCAR has always been WAY more enamored with the west coast than the west coast was enamored with NASCAR. The same goes for New York City. NASCAR was like a love sick school boy trying to get the Big Apple to love it for decades, and at the end of it, New York couldn't tell NASCAR to get lost fast enough......
hmm does Phoenix and Las Vegas count? Seems there is more catering there than anywhere except the Daytona remodel.
 

StandOnIt

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There isn't a whole lot of people in this whole world I take at face value, and people trying to "sell" me something certainly don't qualify. There is no IF here, the numbers speak for themselves. I don't blame NASCAR for trying something, especially when a LOT of people were clamoring for it, but the flat out truth is it's been a real disappointment. The current situation is as favorable for weeknight races as it will EVER be, and the response from the public has been a collective yawn. That doesn't even take into account what weeknight races would likely do to the live attendance at the track. If NASCAR wants to persist with this, that's their right, but they will be throwing away about 50% (maybe a lot more) of the TV audience they would have on Sunday. How long will the networks and the sponsors stand for that?
make your own reality Bud. I just go by what they say, and thank goodness they don't find every little thing to whine and complain about.
 

Snappy D

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You need a LOT more than the "real" fans to be successful. The problem with this sport, like many others, is that those that are deeply invested in it are unable to step back and look at it the way average people look at it. Honest to God real conversation I had last week with a guy that considers himself a fan and had his orange Matco tool box autographed by Tony Stewart. "Did you watch the race last night? What race?...........
His first problem is having a Matco Box
 

Formerjackman

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His first problem is having a Matco Box
Like it matters, they're ALL overpriced piles of sheet metal. Half the guys in our shop have way more money invested in their tool box than they do in the tools inside it. As I keep saying, I have yet to fix anything with a tool box.
make your own reality Bud. I just go by what they say, and thank goodness they don't find every little thing to whine and complain about.
NASCAR management gets PAID to paint a rosy picture of things. They are trying to SELL you on their product. Does Ford say, "Hey, our cars aren't actually very good, but please buy them anyway"? Do you REALLY think they would come out and say some idea of theirs was an abject failure? The MOST you are going to get out of them would be "less successful than we hoped".
hmm does Phoenix and Las Vegas count? Seems there is more catering there than anywhere except the Daytona remodel.
Pretty much the same story. In the overall scheme of things, Las Vegas could care less if there was a race or a track there at all. Vegas is a tourist town, and racing is NOT why people come there. The races do OK, but they are not standouts. How well did having the banquet in Vegas work out? As much as anything else, these west races are handy places to fill the schedule when it's too cold to race back east.
The only true test of the concept is a network primetime slot with the expected promotional push. Otherwise, no, it's not viable for Cup on cable. That seems more well suited to give Xfinity or Trucks a showcase, where the numbers were better relative to their averages.
Which begs the question, why WEREN'T they on network TV? It's not like they had any other first run programming to show. I guess the networks would rather prop up their second tier cable channels.
 

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Even with the lower TV ratings, I really hope they stick with it. I still think this has a world of potential behind it to cultivate new fans. I would try mid summer races (the Weds after the MLB All Star Game which is kind of this time frame through mid August. Once Colleg/SEC Football starts, you’ve gone too far. Stop.) on a Weds night. Just a handful maybe 2-3 and they HAVE to be on NBC( where most can watch) with a heavy promotion behind it. I would configure the schedule so the Mid-week race can be a short track race because that captures the essence of NASCAR and is a pretty popular type of racing amongst its fan base, as well as maybe getting new eyeballs on the sport. I hope the mid week experiment doesn’t die, I was so optimistic about this idea and I know many other fans were too.
 

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With this season taking place in unprecedented circumstances I wouldn’t necessarily rule anything in or out based solely on 2020. If the goal of the networks was to get the highest ratings and the most fans in attendance all the races would air at noon-1:00pm local time and be on an OTA network. I don’t know what the networks want but they do and they paid big bucks to do what is best for them.
 

Charlie Spencer

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I like Brad. I thought he did a good job when he was on ESPN a few years ago.
I like Brad but I feel the networks have too many people in the studio / former Hollywood Hotel / infield. Three in the booth, four on pit road / care center; that's plenty. Anyone else is usually featured at the expense of covering on-track action, and that ain't good. I'd rather have a 'through the field' anytime over running down who the entire broadcast crew picks to win, or seeing what the RV crowd is cooking.
 
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Charlie Spencer

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hmm does Phoenix and Las Vegas count? Seems there is more catering there than anywhere except the Daytona remodel.
I thought we were talking about TV markets, east vs. west. That's not the same thing as butts in the seats at western tracks. Anyone know the average top 10 cities watching?
 

Formerjackman

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With this season taking place in unprecedented circumstances I wouldn’t necessarily rule anything in or out based solely on 2020. If the goal of the networks was to get the highest ratings and the most fans in attendance all the races would air at noon-1:00pm local time and be on an OTA network. I don’t know what the networks want but they do and they paid big bucks to do what is best for them.
The networks want NASCAR as much needed programing for their cable sports networks and NASCAR delivers some of those channel's better ratings, but the question is, does that strategy do anything for NASCAR? Being on a channel a lot of people don't have (or don't watch) hurts the viewership numbers, which in turn is used by critics to marginalize the sport and by sponsors to justify spending less money or none at all. Once upon a time, NASCAR had the power to prevent most of this from happening, but instead they went with the highest bidder, the actual details be damned.
 

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The networks want NASCAR as much needed programing for their cable sports networks and NASCAR delivers some of those channel's better ratings, but the question is, does that strategy do anything for NASCAR? Being on a channel a lot of people don't have (or don't watch) hurts the viewership numbers, which in turn is used by critics to marginalize the sport and by sponsors to justify spending less money or none at all. Once upon a time, NASCAR had the power to prevent most of this from happening, but instead they went with the highest bidder, the actual details be damned.
are you talking about the 15 minute wide world of sports clip on mainstream TV. Because after that Nascar was almost exclusively on cable TV.
 

Charlie Spencer

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are you talking about the 15 minute wide world of sports clip on mainstream TV. Because after that Nascar was almost exclusively on cable TV.
But it used to be on cable networks that were included in the standard tier - TNN, Speed, ESPN, etc. That was back in the era before most multiple cable tiers and dedicated sports networks existed. Now the cable channels it's on are all second-tier or higher, with increased subscription prices.
 

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But it used to be on cable networks that were included in the standard tier - TNN, Speed, ESPN, etc. Now the cable channels it's on are all second-tier or higher, with increased subscription prices.
In answer to the Jackman's post about Nascar being able to keep their races off of pay TV was the topic. Cable TV wasn't available to everybody back then, nor was it free, they didn't figure out how to fleece even more subscribers with tiers until years later unless you count HBO etc. So I seriously doubt that Nascar had to power to do much of anything way back then as today to control where or how their racing is presented. They race, they get paid. The networks do what they do for the most part.
 

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Before 2001, the cable races were on ESPN 1, TNN, and TBS, all Tier 1 channels and ones that had developed a certain synergy with the sport. There was serious discussion at the time about what percentage of races would be on network TV and what percentage would be on cable in the new deal , but NASCAR did not opt to press for control of that, and a huge share of the races were shuffled off to FX and TNT, what I would call tier 1.5 networks, and ones with no history of televising ANY kind of sport, much less racing, meaning people didn't look for sports there. When the second contract was done, Speed was brought into the mix, a better fit, but clearly a Tier 2 channel. The slide continued from there.
 

Charlie Spencer

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That's what you get with a contract that long in this technology era. There's no way NASCAR or the networks could have seen the changes in media and content delivery that came along in the last decade.
 

StandOnIt

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Before 2001, the cable races were on ESPN 1, TNN, and TBS, all Tier 1 channels and ones that had developed a certain synergy with the sport. There was serious discussion at the time about what percentage of races would be on network TV and what percentage would be on cable in the new deal , but NASCAR did not opt to press for control of that, and a huge share of the races were shuffled off to FX and TNT, what I would call tier 1.5 networks, and ones with no history of televising ANY kind of sport, much less racing, meaning people didn't look for sports there. When the second contract was done, Speed was brought into the mix, a better fit, but clearly a Tier 2 channel. The slide continued from there.
B.S. there wasn't serious discussion about network TV. I really don't know where you come up with this sh*t. Nascar has always been a predominately pay TV program from the jump.
 

Snappy D

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Before 2001, the cable races were on ESPN 1, TNN, and TBS, all Tier 1 channels and ones that had developed a certain synergy with the sport. There was serious discussion at the time about what percentage of races would be on network TV and what percentage would be on cable in the new deal , but NASCAR did not opt to press for control of that, and a huge share of the races were shuffled off to FX and TNT, what I would call tier 1.5 networks, and ones with no history of televising ANY kind of sport, much less racing, meaning people didn't look for sports there. When the second contract was done, Speed was brought into the mix, a better fit, but clearly a Tier 2 channel. The slide continued from there.
The NBA on TNT has been on TNT longer than I have been alive (35 years), TBS which also showed races had Braves baseball since the 80's and WCW/NWA Wrestling in the 80's as well. FX I will give you but I thought they were doing baseball right around the time Fox started moving races to FX. I Think the TBS and TNT way of showing races reached far more fans than you're letting on, TBS was call the superstation for crying out load. Every Cable package had it, hell I remember when I was a kid every hotel had TNT and TBS, I remember watching races with my parents on TBS when we went on vacations. TNN too.
 

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Yep the original poster is pretty naive about how business functions. Networks bid, Nascar excepts or not. highest bidder or bidders wins.
 

Snappy D

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That's what you get with a contract that long in this technology era. There's no way NASCAR or the networks could have seen the changes in media and content delivery that came along in the last decade.
I really hope in the next contract the NASCAR decision makers consider streaming options like Amazon Prime or even Netflix with a season documentary much like the F1 documentary. I think that'd be such a game changer for them in terms of racing even more people
 

Snappy D

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Yep the original poster is pretty naive about how business functions. Networks bid, Nascar excepts or not. highest bidder or bidders wins.
I cant understand the original gripe with the TV deals, previous mention was made of it before by the same poster and I can never figure out why they are that up in arms over it. NASCAR gets bids, decides whats best for the current and future then they receive money in exchange for rights to broadcast. Its never been that hard to figure out but we have this convo at least once a month. and then when we're not having this convo its one about attendance which then somehow is tied to TV deals/ratings. Help.
 

HoopsMcCann

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I really hope in the next contract the NASCAR decision makers consider streaming options like Amazon Prime or even Netflix with a season documentary much like the F1 documentary. I think that'd be such a game changer for them in terms of racing even more people
If you strike a deal with Amazon or Netflix things like demographics go out the window and ratings are not as crucial. There are some really intriguing possibilities for the next deal.
 

StandOnIt

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I cant understand the original gripe with the TV deals, previous mention was made of it before by the same poster and I can never figure out why they are that up in arms over it. NASCAR gets bids, decides whats best for the current and future then they receive money in exchange for rights to broadcast. Its never been that hard to figure out but we have this convo at least once a month. and then when we're not having this convo its one about attendance which then somehow is tied to TV deals/ratings. Help.
Personally I think both threads belong in the podium because most of it is without proof like politics and most of the other other podium topics
 

Snappy D

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If you strike a deal with Amazon or Netflix things like demographics go out the window and ratings are not as crucial. There are some really intriguing possibilities for the next deal.
They can really branch out I mean I would use the WWE as example still on cable where ratings and sponsorship and eyeballs matter but they have their network which shows their own PPV's as well as original content like documentary's and personality profiles ( Not saying races should go on PPV) but you're able to show races in a different way..... think like how NASCAR.com gives you the "Spotter Feed" (I am sorry I dont know what its called) where you get in car audio while watching a race, a radio feed from MRN or PRN, or hell you can watch a whole race from the view of your favorite driver by in car cam with in car audio. The possibilities are endless if they have a streaming deal, there are smarter people than me that will think of things I am not even thinking of right now. You also would have the ability if you streamed or had your own network to show older races like being able to cue up any race from the 86 season or 89 or whatever you wanted. I would pay for this way to watch a race over listening to the NBC and their playoff implications every week.
 
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Snappy D

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Personally I think both threads belong in the podium because most of it is without proof like politics and most of the other other podium topics
yah I dont get it. Its so much easier now to find a race than it was back then when you had ESPN, ABC, CBS, TNN, TNT and TBS broadcasting races. Start times I might debate you on but I have zero issues with the current TV deal, I think everyone involved does a good job, NBC included.
 

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yah I dont get it. Its so much easier now to find a race than it was back then when you had ESPN, ABC, CBS, TNN, TNT and TBS broadcasting races. Start times I might debate you on but I have zero issues with the current TV deal, I think everyone involved does a good job, NBC included.
I think start times are a necessary evil and I like the Fox broadcasts but I’m not a fan of NBC. It is easy to forget how much better the picture is today then in years past. The more we get the more we want.
 

Charlie Spencer

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I really hope in the next contract the NASCAR decision makers consider streaming options like Amazon Prime or even Netflix with a season documentary much like the F1 documentary. I think that'd be such a game changer for them in terms of racing even more people
I hope they explicity reserve the rights to themselves for any technologies not explicitly defined elsewhere in the contract, a '10th Amendment' sort of thing. That way they'll have some opportunity when whatever replaces streaming comes along.
 

Charlie Spencer

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yah I dont get it. Its so much easier now to find a race than it was back then when you had ESPN, ABC, CBS, TNN, TNT and TBS broadcasting races. Start times I might debate you on but I have zero issues with the current TV deal, I think everyone involved does a good job, NBC included.
My only objection to having to pay for higher tiers is I'd prefer to add only the extra networks I'm interested. Otherwise, I have no objections to paying to have a service delivered. Everyone involved is creating and delivering sports as entertainment is entitled to make a living. Having races on a semi-dedicated upper tier network beats Hell out of a local network affiliate bumping X races for local college games, or having to wait for the local baseball team to finish so the Cup race can be 'joined in progress'. (Ever notice 'JIP' is pronounce just like 'gyp'?)

If there was a NASCAR subscription service available as an alternative to upper tier channels, I'd be all over it.
 

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If there was a NASCAR subscription service available as an alternative to upper tier channels, I'd be all over it.
That is why there will probably never be one dammit. As it is, they fleece the footballers with "extra special coverage" after they have them paying for cable upper tier in the first place. Sometimes it is a good thing to not be number one.
 

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My only objection to having to pay for higher tiers is I'd prefer to add only the extra networks I'm interested. Otherwise, I have no objections to paying to have a service delivered. Everyone involved is creating and delivering sports as entertainment is entitled to make a living. Having races on a semi-dedicated upper tier network beats Hell out of a local network affiliate bumping X races for local college games, or having to wait for the local baseball team to finish so the Cup race can be 'joined in progress'. (Ever notice 'JIP' is pronounce just like 'gyp'?)

If there was a NASCAR subscription service available as an alternative to upper tier channels, I'd be all over it.
Have you given any thought as to what you would be willing to pay for such a NASCAR service? It is fairly easy for the stick and ball leagues as they say this is where you live so this is what you’re watching. However if you would care to open your wallet we’ll give you more choices.

NASCAR could potentially offer some different camera angles and in car things. Is it worth $200 bucks for the year? More or less? Beats me.
 

Charlie Spencer

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Have you given any thought as to what you would be willing to pay for such a NASCAR service?

Is it worth $200 bucks for the year? More or less? Beats me.
Oddly, as I read your opening question, $200 a year is exactly the figure that came to mind. I think the second tier costs me $40 per month above the standard tier. Heck, I'd go $250; that would still save me around half of what the upper tier costs me annually.
 

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It skipped my mind that the Olympics will still be an obstacle next year, and I wouldn't be surprised if they got creative with midweek races/doubleheaders again in order for NBC to have an Olympic break. That's how the schedule was formed this year before the pandemic, Pocono doubleheader included. Beyond necessity I'm not sure we'll see a lot of those types of events though.
 

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With this season taking place in unprecedented circumstances I wouldn’t necessarily rule anything in or out based solely on 2020. If the goal of the networks was to get the highest ratings and the most fans in attendance all the races would air at noon-1:00pm local time and be on an OTA network. I don’t know what the networks want but they do and they paid big bucks to do what is best for them.
If ratings remain priority the races will never go back to early start times. Later start times are worth about a 7% bump in audience size. Whether or not that 7% bump is worth more than whatever losses are caused by washouts and postponements over time would be a good study.

The next TV deal will likely be signed in two or three years so there's a lot to consider in a short period of time.
 

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B.S. there wasn't serious discussion about network TV. I really don't know where you come up with this sh*t. Nascar has always been a predominately pay TV program from the jump.
It most certainly WAS discussed, but all Brian France could see were dollar signs, and he went for the absolute top dollar instead of picking or demanding a better overall package that addressed the actual needs of NASCAR and their business partners. Remember all the crap early on? ESPN, THE sports network not being allowed to interview people or do updates from track property? Remember when Fox was going to try to limit the number of times they would refer to the cars by their sponsor? That's the kind of bull**** you get when you sell out to the highest bidder.

In 2000, (pre-deal) there was 37 Cup events on TV. 12 events were shown on broadcast TV, the rest on Tier 1 cable networks, meaning basically EVETBODY that had cable had those channels.

In 2001, 26 events were shown on broadcast TV. 9 were shown on Tier 1 channels, 4 events were shown on Tier II channels. In 2019, 15 events on broadcast TV, the rest on Tier II networks.

NASCAR's TV deals have steadily and surely allowed TV to shuffle them off to semi-obscurity, and now the rating are low enough that they no longer have the clout to demand better.
 

Formerjackman

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yah I dont get it. Its so much easier now to find a race than it was back then when you had ESPN, ABC, CBS, TNN, TNT and TBS broadcasting races. Start times I might debate you on but I have zero issues with the current TV deal, I think everyone involved does a good job, NBC included.
The difference is, everybody that had cable HAD those channels. Half the people I know that have cable don't have FS1 and NBCSN. I don't know how many people have asked me what the hell NBCSN even was. I think a lot of the people that DO have it, know they have it.
 

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My only objection to having to pay for higher tiers is I'd prefer to add only the extra networks I'm interested. Otherwise, I have no objections to paying to have a service delivered. Everyone involved is creating and delivering sports as entertainment is entitled to make a living. Having races on a semi-dedicated upper tier network beats Hell out of a local network affiliate bumping X races for local college games, or having to wait for the local baseball team to finish so the Cup race can be 'joined in progress'. (Ever notice 'JIP' is pronounce just like 'gyp'?)

If there was a NASCAR subscription service available as an alternative to upper tier channels, I'd be all over it.
I wouldn’t pay more than my current cable package to watch NASCAR.
 

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NASCAR's TV deals have steadily and surely allowed TV to shuffle them off to semi-obscurity, and now the rating are low enough that they no longer have the clout to demand better.
Two very large corporations put their heads together and decided to pay NASCAR $8.8 Billion in order shuffle North America’s largest, most popular auto racing sanctioning body into semi-obscurity.

Seems a rather odd strategy.
 

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Guess he missed the bulletin that said FOX was happy with the ratings results for their part of the season this year. People with agendas tend to overlook the facts or make up their own story.
 
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