NASCAR, where have all your fans gone?

Discussion in 'NASCAR chat' started by dpkimmel2001, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. dpkimmel2001

    dpkimmel2001 Team Owner

    Just saw the pic below posted by ESPN on their Digital Media hits passing 128 million unique visitors for the month of November 2016. Does anyone know if these kinds of numbers are factored into the viewing audience when we hear the Neilson Ratings? I don't know what NBC & FOX's #'s are but they've got to be pushing the type of numbers that ESPN hits. Could it be that there are a lot more people watching/following this sport than we think? Maybe the fans are still there, but 'there' could be just about anywhere.

  2. AndyMarquisLive

    AndyMarquisLive Short Track Fanatic

    Is this ESPN's way of throwing some flashy stats out to avoid the fact that the ESPN network is a financially troubled disaster? I can't wait until cable operators start fighting ESPN on carriage costs.

    These college bowl games were the first time I've watched ESPN in months. FS1 is probably the only sports channel I watch anymore. Well, NBCSN too for IndyCar and Olympic Sports.
  3. dpkimmel2001

    dpkimmel2001 Team Owner

    The reason for my post had very little to do with ESPN. It was more about the way viewers/followers take in sports these days. Those numbers are incredible.
    Johali likes this.
  4. AndyMarquisLive

    AndyMarquisLive Short Track Fanatic

    I'd take it with a grain of salt though.

    Good numbers, but that's mainly because, when people think of sports scores and typing something in, they type in or load the ESPN app. They do have the best overall website. Fox Sports and NBC Sports' websites are clusterfucks to navigate and their mobile apps are the worst. I even go to for NASCAR news, oddly, because NASCAR, Fox and NBC's sites all suck.

    ESPN is still a financial disaster. Their ratings are still falling year to year. They're still losing major sports properties to FS1, NBCSN and CBS Sports Network. They are still costing Disney as much money a day as the Star Wars franchise makes every year. People are still dropping cable left and right and ESPN's absurd carriage fees are the primary reason.
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  5. aunty dive

    aunty dive Team Owner

    Fox and NBC are tracking broadband hits and streaming minutes for every race. The 2016 numbers are up about 50% over the previous season.

    There's a reason they took those rights along with the TV deal.
    dpkimmel2001 likes this.
  6. dpkimmel2001

    dpkimmel2001 Team Owner

  7. aunty dive

    aunty dive Team Owner

    Just with the 98% complaint segment of the base.
  8. dpkimmel2001

    dpkimmel2001 Team Owner

    That's what I was looking for. I didn't know if those are included in the ratings. I wonder how that 50% equates to viewer #'s?
  9. aunty dive

    aunty dive Team Owner

    The broadband tracking is separated from Neilsen and not conducted by them.
  10. aunty dive

    aunty dive Team Owner

  11. dpkimmel2001

    dpkimmel2001 Team Owner

    Yeah, I'm familiar with jayski's television ratings page. I guess, all I'm getting at is that while the television numbers are down, those streaming numbers have got to be on the rise. There's probably a number of fans taking advantage of that means of watching a race. Those people were probably sitting in front of a television watching a race at some point in the past. Does the sum of the two kind of offset the television ratings decline?
  12. aunty dive

    aunty dive Team Owner

    I don't know.

    What I do know is that the broadcasters are betting that it eventually will ... and not just for our favorite sport.
    dpkimmel2001 likes this.
  13. Charlie Spencer

    Charlie Spencer Short tracks and road courses rule.

    I'm sorry, can you explain a little further what these stats are related to? Are these computer / phone viewer numbers? How do those numbers compare to their number of 'traditional' viewers (cable / satellite)?

    Facebook has more than 10 times as many unique members, so that 128 million unique visits doesn't say much to me. Am I missing the significance?

    Since they dropped NASCAR, the only time I've looked at ESPN is SportsCenter when I have insomnia. Do they even talk about NASCAR anymore?
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
  14. To the best of my knowledge the Nielsen ratings that are provided for Nascar do not include anything else but Mom and Pop watching via old fashioned TV. @FLRacingFan posted some numbers a while back regarding Nascar streaming and the numbers were quite small at that time if memory serves.

    Could Nascar have a ton of tech savvy millennials and old farts flying under the radar using digital platforms to view Nascar programming? Anything is possible but anecdotal evidence says no.

    Have sports leagues suffered similar losses in TV viewership and attendance at live events?

    Have sports leagues removed seating from coliseums and stadiums due to lack of use?

    Are new owners, teams and manufacturers lining up to affiliate with Nascar?

    Are there enough primary sponsors available to fund competitive teams?

    Did Nascar's new title sponsor bring in similar or more money than the previous one?

    If viewership and attendance were holding steady or growing would Nascar change rules faster than Paris Hilton drops her knickers?
    Team Penske and darlingtonfan like this.
  15. From the stats @FLRacingFan posted a while back the addition of digital platform consumers didn't even come close to offsetting the losses posted by Nielsen.
  16. Charlie Spencer

    Charlie Spencer Short tracks and road courses rule.

    Well, I'll admit you lost me. I see a set of ESPN stats but don't know what they have to do with Fox or NBC.
  17. darlingtonfan

    darlingtonfan Team Owner

    Most of the guys I know don't even have these cable channels NASCAR is on.I have to buy a sports package to pick up these channels.
    FLRacingFan and CamelPowered like this.
  18. Charlie Spencer

    Charlie Spencer Short tracks and road courses rule.

    I have to buy an upper-tier package on Dish to get all channels that NASCAR is on, but it isn't a sports tier. I view at least three other channels that come with that tier, none of them sports networks. If I was only on the basic tier, I'd still be charged for that Mothership sports channel I have no use for.
  19. AndyMarquisLive

    AndyMarquisLive Short Track Fanatic

    All I'm saying is that this is merely a flashy distraction. is getting more hits and ESPN's trying to get advertisers to sign on for that, but it doesn't change anything overall. ESPN is still bleeding, badly.

    This would be like NASCAR putting out a big, long statement saying the number of people who watched NASCAR races on Fox Sports Go, NBC Sports Live Extra or increased from 250,000 to 600,000. While it's good news, it doesn't offset the fact that many (most) races last year dropped a half million (or more) viewers.

    But, yes, the way people take in sports is changing. Really, the only reason people get cable is for news (which really isn't necessary anymore because of CBSN) and live sports -- and that's starting to change because of Playstation Vue. Hell, the only reason I got Vue was so I could get NBCSN, USA and MSNBC for the Olympics.
  20. Matthew2470

    Matthew2470 Filthy Casual

    ESPN has been hemorrhaging viewers over the past couple years.
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  21. AndyMarquisLive

    AndyMarquisLive Short Track Fanatic

    He's curious what NBC and Fox's digital stats are and if people are just taking NASCAR in a different way -- meaning that the sport isn't actually losing as many fans as we're led to believe but that fans are just following it online instead.

    All I said is that ESPN posted these stats to distract from the fact that "The Worldwide Leader" is a freaking disaster right now.

    However, to get back to @dpkimmel2001's point -- Fox Sports and NBC Sports are posting double and triple digit gains on their cable networks and on the digital media front. I don't know the numbers off the top of my head, but they are growing. And, obviously, motorsports coverage is driving a lot of that otherwise those two networks wouldn't keep expanding their motorsports presence each year.
    Charlie Spencer likes this.
  22. Matthew2470

    Matthew2470 Filthy Casual

    I canceled DirecTV last month but I will never miss a race or anything else I want to watch. I am a cord cotter. There are millions of us. Become one of us.

    Unless you have slow internet.
    AndyMarquisLive likes this.
  23. Charlie Spencer

    Charlie Spencer Short tracks and road courses rule.

    I'd love to find a good guide to the methods of delivery TV content outside of cable or satellite.

    For an IT professional, I don't know squat about these tools (or most other consumer electronics). I think it's because I perceive most alternatives as methods primarily for delivering movies, a la the original online incarnation of NetFlix. Since I only watch a couple of movies a year, and almost no sports outside NASCAR and NFL, I haven't been motivated to look at these delivery methods in any depth.
  24. AndyMarquisLive

    AndyMarquisLive Short Track Fanatic

    The amount of money Disney makes a year from Star Wars, they lose that much on ESPN each day.

    I can't believe cable providers are still paying that outrageous $8+ per subscriber fee for the ESPN Networks. I rarely watch ESPN anymore and with how many sports events ESPN's lost, I can't imagine I'm alone. I only watch a handful of College Football bowl games (which ESPN has a monopoly on) and, sometimes, Monday Night Football. And it'd be no big loss to me if I couldn't watch those.
  25. Charlie Spencer

    Charlie Spencer Short tracks and road courses rule.

    Okay, tell me how to do it. I've read similar posts here over the years but every time I ask that question, all I hear are crickets.
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  26. AndyMarquisLive

    AndyMarquisLive Short Track Fanatic

    When it comes to streaming TV providers, Playstation Vue is king. I only subscribed so I could watch the Olympics but I haven't cancelled. Between Vue and Netflix, I'm usually pretty well covered.
    Charlie Spencer likes this.
  27. AndyMarquisLive

    AndyMarquisLive Short Track Fanatic
  28. MRM

    MRM Team Owner

    Yes. But they do get a lot of draw from people streaming games, especially some out of market games. If one college games runs long and a second one is about to start, they say it can be viewed on the WatchESPN app. They get hits that way. There are a lot of SEC basketball games that are app only, people are forced there to watch those. When ESPN gets the full ACC Network gping, they will probably do the same thing there.
  29. AndyMarquisLive

    AndyMarquisLive Short Track Fanatic

    I can't imagine it's a great many though.
  30. CamelPowered

    CamelPowered Jimmy Spencer Never Forgets!

    To me watching FS1 is basically like watching a bad Xerox copy of ESPN, or at least ESPN of a few months ago. You have Colin Cowherd and Whitlock, Skip Bayless arguing with a black guy, and Fox Sports Live is basically a less entertaining version of Dan LeBatard's show.
    FLRacingFan likes this.
  31. jws926

    jws926 Nissan Is Love, Nissan Is Life

    Nah, I dont think Andy is saying they suck, he is saying that ESPN is not in the greatest of financial health these days, and this is just ESPN spinning some numbers around to make it seem like the ship isnt taking on water.

    I have had no use for ESPN since Homestead 2014, and if I could drop all of their channels from my lineup, I would.
  32. If I can get programming with a DVR that I can also get NFL Sunday Ticket and NHL Center Ice with I would jump all over it with both feet. I don't watch any prime-time programs on any of the major networks or cable channels as at present they don't offer anything I find worthwhile. When I do watch a TV program it is always on Netflix and normally something from the UK although I do watch Danish and Swedish programming with sub-titles. I just lied as I also watch some programming via Youtube.
  33. 29-4

    29-4 Team Owner

    I don't quite get the tenor of this thread. Because ESPN says it is doing well while NASCAR is tanking, we have to think ESPN is lying? NASCAR is 'hemorrhaging' viewers, while other sports like the NFL have experienced moderate declines in viewership.
    FLRacingFan likes this.
  34. You nailed it as Nascar lost a crap load of viewers before streaming became de rigueur and is still bleeding fans like a hemophiliac on Coumadin.
    FLRacingFan, Matthew2470 and 29-4 like this.
  35. NJJammer

    NJJammer Team Owner

    The metrics being used to measure digital media are relatively new so I would presume that every sport would have wild year over year growth as smartphones become ubiquitous. The true measures are TV viewership which determines sponsorship dollars (both in the networks' pockets and sponsorship of our favorite race teams) and in paid attendance at the track. By those measures, NASCAR is failing miserably and is in decline. The reasons are many and highly debatable but the truth is this sport will be around for a long while but everyone from the owners, drivers to the shop employees are looking at large revenue decreases and pay cuts in the future. The NASCAR bubble grew too large and it will continue to deflate until it reaches some form of equilibrium. The result will likely be that by the mid 2020s, NASCAR will field fewer teams and race cars (down to 36 or even 32), less races (32 or 30) in front of more intimate grandstands (think 40-50K except Daytona) with less viewers watching the races on TV or devices.

    Where is the money for the sport if people just casually check the race results on their phones? I occasionally check the box scores for my local NHL team but no longer watch them on TV or attend in person. Do my twenty clicks a month on the NHL website generate any money for my team? In short, very little or nothing.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
  36. ChexOrWrex

    ChexOrWrex Ya gotta wanna

    When I met Dwayne Bray for the first time, he let us in on a few off the record secrets. Long story short, if ESPN goes down, Disney will be at a serious loss for quite some time.
  37. AndyMarquisLive

    AndyMarquisLive Short Track Fanatic

    I don't watch the talk shows on FS1 or ESPN. When it comes to live sports, I watch FS1 more than NBCSN and ESPN combined. And I watch a lot of stuff on NBCSN, so that should tell you how much I don't watch ESPN.
  38. AndyMarquisLive

    AndyMarquisLive Short Track Fanatic

    Because ESPN says it's doing well and pointed to the digital market for why they're successful, @dpkimmel2001 is suggesting NASCAR might also be doing well because of the digital market. Why he asked how Fox and NBC were doing on that end.

    I stated that ESPN brought up these numbers to spin away from the fact that "The Worldwide Leader" is sinking faster than the Titanic.
  39. Matthew2470

    Matthew2470 Filthy Casual

    Start here:
    There are guides on the right hand side of the screen with all kinds of great info. Also, many of the users on that subreddit are very knowledgeable and helpful.

    My DirecTV bill had climbed to over $200/mo and since AT&T took over I was no longer able to negotiate lower rates. So I cancelled. I now have Netflix, Sling TV (I use those via Chromecast) and an antenna. I also have a FireTV stick. I currently have a 3 month free subscription to HBO Now which I may keep due to it being $15/mo. I am also planning to buy an OTA DVR as well:

    I realize this may seem like a pain in the arse but it's worth it to me because I absolutely hated paying for a bunch of garbage channels I never watched just to be able to watch the one's I like. And I am saving money. I already had the Chromecasts and FireTV Stick and antennas.

    Feel free to PM if you have any questions.
    Zerkfitting, Greg, blanston and 3 others like this.
  40. gnomesayin

    gnomesayin Team Owner

    The ESPN screeds here are a bit silly, because if ESPN is doomed by the realities of shrinking cable subscribers, so certainly are its much smaller competitors. ESPN is both losing revenue and still the most profitable division of Disney. People are worried about Disney because it is so dependent on ESPN. Creatively, Fox Sports isn't doing anything interesting but hiring away ESPN's loudest (and most expensive) yakkers and hot takers and benefiting from when they get MLB playoffs and major events. I watch their motorsports programming, but I also watch CBS Sports and MavTV, and those networks are nothingburgers in terms of audience. The new cheaper skinny cable TV bundles that are helping cable companies retain some customers include ESPN but often not the other sports nets.

    Regarding the intended thread topic, I have trouble digesting digital numbers, especially promotional ones. NASCAR's digital consumption is growing as digital consumption of everything is. I believe that if they had truly impressive figures to tout that would rebut the falling TV numbers, they would do so. Instead they remain vague. I do hope there is a bright future for NASCAR online, as races can potentially be covered with much more depth than is possible on a TV broadcast.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
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