ISC execs make excuses for tanking TV ratings

Although Fox saw a ratings decline of 10% for its portion of the NASCAR season, International Speedway Corporation executives tried to explain to financial investors Thursday why the drop is not as alarming as the numbers might indicate. In announcing the company's financial results through May 2014, ISC President John Saunders made the case for the sport as the company is seeing stabilized admission revenues and consistent corporate sponsorship. Saunders told financial analysts on a conference call Thursday that a 12% increase in Hispanic viewership for Fox and a 6% increase in 18-24 male viewership are good signs.

The NASCAR races on Fox had the top sports telecast of the day for nine of its 12 weekend events, and TNT has had the top cable sports broadcast for the day for two of its first four telecasts. The telecast from Kentucky last Saturday night had an unusually low 2.3 rating. ISC reported that overall ticket sales through May were a tick down from $35.778 million for the first five months of 2013 to $35.695 million in 2014. It reported that Kansas, which moved its race from Sunday afternoon in April to Saturday night of Mother's Day weekend, had a 15% increase in ticket sales thanks to increased attendance and increased ticket prices.

In another good sign, ISC has sold 94 percent of its goal for sponsorships this year and has one Nationwide Series race sponsorship left to sell. It has sold 15 of its 20 Cup sponsorships already for next season. Sporting News

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