18 of 21 Sprint Cup races in 2014 have had a decline in TV ratings, while 16 of the ratings have had a decline in viewership. I don’t follow how if ratings are down viewership wouldn’t be down, but I am no TV expert. I do know that seven races hitting ten year viewership lows is not a good thing. Even the perpetually hyped-yes, I have hyped it too-Bristol night race saw significant drops. 6.3 million people watched last year’s Bristol night show, while only 5.1 million watched this year. I would call that a rather significant drop. Since I mentioned Dancing with the Stars above, I checked the show’s TV ratings. It is probably comparing apples to rotten tomatoes, but the finale of the week night prime time show had over 17 million viewers.
I am not sure how NASCAR TV ratings will improve in 2015 when a number of races will be shown on relatively obscure cable networks. Of course the powers that be in NASCAR don’t have to worry. The TV contracts have been signed, they are for seven years, and everyone will get lots of money. Brian France will remain a billionaire, though his sister Lesa France Kennedy has to get along on just $875,000,000. Maybe next year’s “robust discussions” will result in some changes that actually make people want to watch the races.
With the new Chase format, any of the 16 drivers who win one of the three races in the first preliminary round advances to the second round. At least nine drivers who don’t win a race will advance. Any of the 12 drivers who win one of the three races in the second round of The Chase will advance to round three. If my math is correct, five drivers who have did not win a race in round two will advance to the final preliminary round. While I found numbers easier to comprehend, NASCAR has named the first three rounds, Challenger, Contender, and Eliminator. As it has all season, winning remains the name of the game. Win a race and you advance, even if you finish 43rd in the other two races.
After the Richmond race I will begin analyzing The Chase-breaking it down by round as to which drivers have won at tracks in the round, how many wins they have accumulated, and Las Vegas odds for each driver. I hope you will check ‘Caution for Debris’ every day.
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