NASCAR officials not concerned with fluctuating TV rating

NASCAR officials are happy that television ratings are on the rise through the first five races of the 2008 Sprint Cup season after two years of declines, but they're not out touting the increase.

NASCAR Media Group Vice President of Broadcasting Robbie Weiss said Monday that he is pleased with ratings this year but not overly concerned with the two-year slide.

“[Ratings] rise and also will dip from time to time, so you try to take a snapshot as to how the sport is tracking overall and get a feel from your partners how they feel about it," Weiss said. “People are feeling very positive and pleased with how overall numbers are tracking, but they were pleased last year.

“Not that anybody likes to look at a decline in anything, but when they’ve been as strong as they’ve been the last few years, that’s what you want to look at versus any particular month or any particular partner or one particular event."

Sprint Cup ratings are up 4 percent this year, and taking out the California rain-plagued event, they are up 7 percent. Fox also enjoyed increased ratings for the Budweiser Shootout and its Daytona 500 qualifying show.

“You can [look at a five-race trend], but it’s certainly not how advertisers make their decisions; it’s not how team sponsors make their decisions nor networks when a network looks at a property," Weiss said. “They’re looking over the longer term and looking at things over a few years.

“Numbers come out weekly, and that’s what people look at and try to make some type of judgment on that, but if you’re looking at it from a business standpoint, you need to take a larger view across a number of different factors and all of the networks and within the marketplace. NASCAR numbers continue – within the sports community and television overall – to deliver very solid audiences for the partners. That’s not unique to this season or last."

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