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How To Bring Back The NASCAR Viewers

Posted by chadmusselman on November 27, 2007

Empty StandsIn a couple of the previous posts we talked about how the TV ratings for NASCAR has been on the decline, and don’t show much sign of improving. What can be done to get the TV ratings up? Well, I have a couple ideas.

1. Shorten the races.

You don’t need races lasting 4 hours. Make the 500 mile races 400 miles so they can end in a respectable amount of time. Major League Baseball and the NFL were losing viewers and the networks were getting upset with them because their games were lasting longer than 3 hours, so they changed things to get the games played in three hours. Doing this increased ratings, made the networks happy, and the fans.

Races in California, Atlanta, Texas, Phoenix, Darlington, Pocono, and Lowe’s October race should be cut to 400 miles. Doing this would make the big races like the Daytona 500, Coca-Cola 600, and Talladega races that much more meaningful.

2. Shorten the season

36 races is too long of a season. In 2007 the season started on February 18th and ended on November 18th. That’s 9 months of Sundays, far longer than the other major sports. Football has 17 regular season weeks and 4 weeks of playoffs. Baseball has a 6 month schedule with about 5 weeks of playoffs.

NASCAR should reduce the schedule to about 28 – 32 races and take a second race away from some venues that currently have two. California hasn’t sold out a race since they started hosting two per season. Texas is also a new cookie-cutter track that has no character and doesn’t need two races. Other tracks that could only have one race to shorten the season are Dover, New Hampshire, Richmond, Michigan, and Phoenix.

If the season were shortened to 30 races NASCAR could still start in February at Daytona, but end the season in early October so they don’t have to compete with the baseball playoffs and NFL football.

3. Shorten the “Chase”

The NFL and Major League Baseball have 4 – 6 months of regular season games, and 4 or 5 weeks of playoffs. NASCAR currently has 26 “regular season” races and 10 “chase” races. With 36 races they should have 28 races before the chase begins. This would give them a 7 month “regular season” and 2 months for the chase.

If the season would be shortened to 30 races as I proposed above they could have 24 “regular season” races and 6 chase races. That would be a 6 month regular season like baseball and close to what the NFL has, and then have six chase races, brining them closer to the playoff length of the other sports.

I know what your thinking; there’s no way the tracks and NASCAR would give up the revenue generated from a race and its TV coverage. Sometimes you have to trim the excess and unwanted products from a company to get more people to consume them. If NASCAR wants to keep growing they need to shorten the races, shorten the season, and shorten the chase schedule. If they don’t do this the rating will continue to drop, advertising money will start to dry up, and you’ll continue to see more and more empty seats at the tracks.


2 Responses to “How To Bring Back The NASCAR Viewers”

  1. […] an entry about how the ratings of NASCAR are dipping, and what can be done to get viewers back. ( That had to deal with season and race length, but obviously another big factor in getting fans […]

  2. […] are certain events [that should be shortened].”  Amen, Dale!  I’ve said it before in previous posts, and I’m going to say it again.  NASCAR needs to shorten the […]

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