Nascar and TV

I see where Nascars TV ratings continue to go down.The same sports page also noted the NFL,MLB and the NCAA are all trying to shorten their product.Each year through natural attrition there are fewer Greatest Gen and Baby Boomers left. These fans are bieng replaced by Gen.X and milleniums. It has become apparent that each new generation has a shorter attention span.I believe Nascar must alter their program to compete.I suggest a Saturday night format consisting of time trials,heat races to determine the starting order, a consolation and a much shorter feature with perhaps one mandatory pit stop.The sponsors will have to be convinced that less screen time will be offset by increased viewership.I may well be wrong but what we have now ain’t right.


I believe they are in fact working in that direction.

Ironically, many old school fans complain about it…

If they could just condense it all into an “app”, they might get some traction with “gen i-phone”.

I just worry that if NASCAR switches their program to Saturday night format, the traditional fans are going to leave. And NASCAR can’t lose too many more fans before they don’t have any at all.
Though i think the younger generation and their idea of what entertainment means is part of the problem, i think the continuous slide in ratings has other factors. Ticket prices vs. value is one.


To some extent, while pandering to the folks they do not have, they have cut the limb off behind themselves by ignoring their base, assuming they will follow along regardless, ironically like I have. But not all have.

Sort of reminds one of a weak political party pandering to a strong political party, and winding up in the end with a bag of air. Their own, pre-heated.

Its simple, quit with the gimmicks and make the on track product better and ratings will increase!

“…and make the on track product better”

Yes, indeed. That is the part they are finding problematic.

The young people close to me all seem to say the same thing. The races are too long. They aren’t going to sit for 3-4 hours at an event or in front of tv. Personally, I have come to the conclusion that it isn’t all NASCAR’s fault. People have changed. The world has changed. Entertainment doesn’t mean the same thing it did 25 years ago. I think the fan base will continue to shrink no matter what they do, until it goes down to just the hard core motorheads like us.

I rest my case.Much could be learned from the truck race at Eldora each year. This one of a very few races that I circle my calendar for.

Re: Jocko’s comment–:ernaehrung004:

I think the problem with NASCAR and really all sports these days on TV is saturation…I was flipping through channels the other day and came across Race Hub on FS1, I push the up button to NBCSN and low and behold there is Race Talk. Both hour long daily shows about NASCAR. Plus you can watch the races condensed down to an hour on some channel and the pre race and post race shows on race days , and qualifying and practice on Friday and Sat. 12-15 hrs of viewing of a 3 hr race. TMI as the kids would say.
My son, grew up around local racing and has been to a few NASCAR races as well. He is a Jr. fan too. He doesn’t sit and watch races. His generation get their results and highlights on their phones for the most part. He will come home and say, Jr finished 5th or Jr wrecked. I will ask if he watched it and he will say no. Saw the wreck on video. My kids, I have 3, tweens and teens, do not watch TV very much. They watch their phones. They watch You Tube, They watch TV a la carte per se.
“Ratings” in the traditional sense are down across the board and will continue to decline. Like Jacko said, the world has changed. The networks and sports entities will have to adjust how they measure "viewership. The newer generations don’t watch traditional shows on traditional TV. They “Stream” shows and series from sources not on TV. Netflix, amazon, you tube etc…
As far as “quality of racing” goes, I am not sure what can be done at this point. Technology has taken the fun and ingenuity out of racing as we knew it growing up. I do like the direction they have gone this year, it seems the cars are a little more of a handful to drive and the “drivers” are the ones racing up front. When JJ is spinning on a weekly basis on his own, that shows something. You can’t have great racing for 500 miles on big tracks, just not possible. I am not sure how you keep people watching a race for 3 or 4 hours. I know I have a hard time doing it and I like racing.

“I think the problem with NASCAR…these days on TV is saturation.”--Fred

Perhaps. But it is a catch 22. For the sake of discussion, if they cut back on TV time they may fade further into obscurity.

Short tracks with riveting door to door racing would do it, imo.

To your point, even then, 300 miles would probably be plenty.

But “short tracks” do not seem to be on the horizon, much less an option, for “fixing” the falling viewership by the Big Wheels @ NASCAR.

I agree there is saturation but,damn I miss TNNand real race coverage from all aspects of racing. They covered during Speedweeks New Smyrna Volusia ad yes the GoKarts on dirt and pavement.They supported the outlaws at every sprint race they could.Today,and while I say yes to saturation, all we get is an autopsy of Nascars previous week what ever class you want, Real race fans want to see real racing and not what every talking head thinks of what they watched,

The current nascar product is so unwatchable, on Sunday afternoons I put on lame old Days of Thunder just to see almost real race cars.


If you missed Martinsville yesterday, you missed a good-un.

Maybe you can catch a re-play.

It’s true for almost everyone, not just young people. I’m 35 and I think the races are WAY too long. The average length of the other 4 major sports are all between two hours twenty minutes for NBA and NHL and just over 3 hours for MLB and NFL. And they’ve all worked on making them shorter.
Also those other sports have defined breaks. Hockey has two intermissions. NFL and NBA have halftime. MLB has a break between every half inning. I know people hate the idea, but NASCAR needs an intermission. If I’m devoting an entire day, or weekend to attending a race and I happen to be taking a leak during the most exciting or pivotal moment in the race I’ll be annoyed. 250, 300 miles is the most these races need to ever be.

The problem with shortening the races is that fans who already think they’re getting raped on ticket prices will really howl at getting even less for their money.

Part of the appeal of the old school racing was seeing tough as nails blue collar drivers grind it out for 4 hours & 500 miles,no cool suits,no power steering,and on bias ply tires…Now half the population views blue collar workers as deplorable. :ohmy:

People would just need to get over that. Races tickets aren’t that expensive. I looked up a couple random races and you can get seats at any of them for under $100 bucks each. That is not out of line with what any other major sporting event tickets sell for.

Seems like every NASCAR thread becomes a “fix NASCAR” thread, but what the hay.

Kendo mentions a good point–bias ply tires. Even the big tracks were more exciting when the cars were visibly loose for every foot of the turns.

Ironhaid Sr lost his edge when they switched to radials, and racing in general became more “stuck” (read: crappy) when they switched Goodyear never overcame it.

Short tracks and bias ply tires.

Way behind but still relevant is the other stuff, imo.

They could make them shorter, and they could make it cheaper…or find a “give a way” item, like commemorative t-shirts. Seems like you could get a deal if you bought a ton of them or coffee mugs or etc., and sent the fans home with a “free” souvenir.