|The noose is NBCSN, the lifeless body is that of IndyCar|
UPDATE The final TV rating for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach IndyCar race on NBCSN Sunday dropped even further from the overnights to 0.21 with 321,000 total viewers. In the all-important 18-49 year old category only 83,000 were tuned in. The 0.21 final rating represents a drop of 43.2% from 2016. Over 1 million were tuned in for the ABC broadcast of the season opener from St. Petersburg. 100% of IndyCar races must be on Network TV but IndyCar management still doesn't understand this simple concept. Can't blame the Masters because their ratings were their lowest in a decade so IndyCar fans were not watching golf.
Looking at that lifeless body to the right, it's clear whoever signed the current TV deal should be hung, instead the series is hanging due to lack of real sponsors. Take away the business-to-business sponsors in the paddock and IndyCar ceases to exist immediately. IndyCar racing is fantastic – very competitive, lots of intrigue, great drivers – it does not deserve TV ratings this bad.
NBCSN earned a 0.27 overnight rating for Sunday's IndyCar Toyota GP of Long Beach, down 27% from a 0.37 for last year's race. (0.32 for 2015 race). The fact IndyCar puts its 2nd biggest race of the season on NBCSN instead of ABC indicates to us IndyCar doesn't give a damn about Long Beach. It's criminal.
As AR1.com has stated for now 9 of the 10 years of the NBCSN contract, NBCSN is a noose around the neck of IndyCar from which the series hangs – its ratings are choking off the sponsorship lifeblood of everyone involved.
Almost all the sponsor deals in the IndyCar paddock are business-to-business deals – a broken economic model because IndyCar refuses to ensure 100% of its races are on network TV. And with TV ratings down significantly this year, which is when IndyCar begins negotiations for its new TV contract starting in 2019, that contract will be magnitudes smaller in value vs. if IndyCar had all its races on network TV for the past 9 years.
Bernie Ecclestone is available, IndyCar should hire him to put together a proper global TV deal. Even Formula E has a good global TV deal with global ratings that dwarf IndyCar. Clearly the folks on 16th and Georgetown haven't a clue when it comes to TV deals. They can hardly get 33 cars for the Indy 500 – that in itself tells you all you need to know about the economic viability of the series – all caused by its low NBCSN TV ratings. Let's not forget – the TV ratings on NBCSN were down in 2016 (ABC was up) and they are going down even further in 2017.