NASCAR Struggles to Keep Fans Tuned-in for Entire Race

Even with two drivers within 19 points of each other, with two races to go, NASCAR Sprint Cup race fans aren’t watching TV like they once did. Jimmie Johnson went to Texas with a two-point lead over Brad Keselowski and TV ratings for last Sunday’s race were down 15 percent from last year. In fact NASCAR TV ratings have been dropping for years, but they still dwarf any other form of racing in the USA.

ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 4, earned a 2.9 final household coverage rating (2.5 U.S. rating), averaging 3,943,274 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. Last year’s race earned a 3.4 household coverage rating, meaning this year's numbers are down 15%.

Texas track owner Bruton Smith says NASCAR needs to “make the racing more exciting". His idea of better racing is to slow the cars down 10 to 15 miles per hour, which he believes will create more “rubbing". He also thinks smaller fuel cells would force more pit stops. He said long green flags that have races decided by fuel are “boring, boring, boring".

If NASCAR wants more viewers they have to come up with a way fans can bet on the races. All walks of life tune in to football because of the chance of winning a dollar pool. The female accountant who picked team X in this week’s pool, because she learned the field goal kicker on that team shares a birthday with her god son’s dog, has a shot at picking up 20 bucks Monday morning. And, yes, there are even pools out there where you get paid if the team you had that week scored 35 points exactly. Your team can lose 98 to 35 and you still get paid for scoring 35 points. In part from the Caledonian

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