It’s all about the ratings! (Update)

UPDATE The article has been updated to reflect calculations to show how much more appealing IndyCar would be to a sponsor if all the races were on ABC – note the text in blue. If IndyCar would do this all the teams would have an easier time landing a sponsor, some big name sponsors would come into the series, and they would have a starting point to actually grow the sport instead of shrinking it, which is what is happening today. Oh, and about wanting to land a third engine manufacturer – put all the races on ABC and have ESPN International distribute all the races internationally and now you might actually be able to land one. If you reach an international audience the CPM for IndyCar would rival NASCAR Sprint Cup. Now you can sell some real serious sponsorship. So IndyCar has a choice, pocket the NBC Sports Network money and continue to run the sport into the ground, or make an investment (with clear financial returns) and partnership with ABC and begin to return IndyCar to the days of CART. It's the ratings stupid! Mark C.

10/21/13 A reader writes, Dear, Regarding the article on IndyCar, It's The Ratings Stupid, I finally understand what you have been trying to say. I thought it was due to a lack of fans that was causing the low ratings, but I see it is a chicken or egg thing and you have to have sponsors to have a series. If you have good sponsors they can help you win new fans. The racing is great, but nobody watches NBC Sports Network. Billy Burch

Dear Billy, Indeed. At least ABC will deliver ratings consistently in the 1.0 range and you can build from that. You can't build on a rating of 0.1 with 150K tuned in, which is what they have been getting as of late. They prefer to collect that check from NBC Sports Network than grow the series. There is no other explanation. But I guess after Anton blew most of the family wealth killing off the most successful IndyCar series ever (CART) they are pinching their pennies while celebrating their phyric victory. Mark C.

Another reader writes, Dear, Excellent piece on IndyCar ratings. Clear, cogent, well thought out and presented. I just hope somebody in charge reads it. Keith O.

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