IndyCar Can Be Great Again

IndyCar did the money-grab again - the wrong decision - again
IndyCar did the money-grab again – the wrong decision – yet again

Is IndyCar growing or shrinking? Our research below shows the total number of TV viewers for IndyCar for the last three years through the Mid-Ohio race.

Those NBCSN and CNBC numbers are rather anemic and because of IndyCar's decision to not put 100% of the races on free over the air network TV (be it ABC or NBC or a combination) as AR1 recommended repeatedly, IndyCar is paying for that decision and will continue to dearly pay for that decision.

It's called being Pennywise and pound foolish.

IndyCar went for the money grab with NBC over ABC for the next three years, despite ABC offering 10 of 17 races on network TV to NBC's 8. As you can see below the network numbers dwarf the cable numbers.

So IndyCar itself collects more TV revenue from NBC but the teams and tracks/promoters lose sponsor money as a result of the lower TV ratings.

As Sonoma President Steve Page recently said, hosting an IndyCar race is not financially viable and this is directly attributable to those races on cable TV that struggle to land a lucrative event sponsor because hardly anyone is watching.

Why is Mazda dropping support of the Road-To-Indy?

When in doubt – follow the money.

It's the TV stupid.

What TV exposure does Mazda get for supporting Road-To-Indy? You guessed it – near zero – all the Indy Lights races are tape delayed on NBCSN with viewership so small the value just isn't there for Mazda. And you wonder why there are only 7 cars competing in Indy Lights?

Sponsors like NAPA will eventually walk if the TV exposure isn't there.
Sponsors like NAPA will eventually walk if the TV exposure isn't there.

The value isn't there for teams to land sponsors either.

The IndyCar ladder (USF2000, ProMazda and Indy Lights) is almost entirely propped up by ride-buyer money and it's questionable whether that is a financially viable model.

This of course is fixable – the series needs to be sold to a large media conglomerate like Liberty Media that bought F1, and who again are rumored to be eyeing IndyCar and the Indy 500 — according to sources.

A Liberty can invest in the series' future and take the TV distribution truly global in a meaningful way.

It is those huge cumulative global TV numbers that make F1 so lucrative to sponsors.

IndyCar leadership just doesn't get it and we have been pounding our head against the wall on this for years — to no avail.

The late great genius Albert Einstein said, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results — and IndyCar has been doing the same TV money grab and ride-buyer model for decades with the same declining results. Everyone in the IndyCar paddock, including the drivers and team owners, earns less money today than they did 10 and 15 years ago.

The solution: IndyCar and the Indy 500 need to be sold to a company like Liberty Media ASAP. A company with deep pockets, the global media connections, and the vision, to Make IndyCar Great Again

Grow global TV viewership significantly and manufacturers will come, sponsors will come and more great drivers will come.

Until then 'they ain't coming'!

Whether you agree with his crass style or not, if Donald Trump proved anything — despite the visionless political elites in the Washington Swamp and the bought and paid for biased fake news liberal media that supports the swamp — it sometimes takes someone with leadership and a different vision to Make Something Great Again…..against all odds!

Mark C. reporting for

IndyCar Event 2016
% Chg 2018
% Chg
St. Pete ABC 1,400,000 ABC 1,190,000 ABC 1,144,000
Phoenix NBCSN 363,000 NBCSN 343,000 NBCSN 253,000
Long Beach NBCSN 402,000 NBCSN 321,000 NBCSN 370,000
Barber NBCSN 279,000 NBCSN 470,000 NBCSN 310,000
Indy GP ABC 1,300,000 ABC 1,000,000 ABC 1,140,000
Indy 500 ABC 6,000,000 ABC 5,500,000 ABC 4,900,000
Detroit 1 ABC 1,000,000 ABC 847,000 ABC 751,000
Detroit 2 ABC 918,000 ABC 1,400,000 ABC 936,000
Texas NBCSN 388,000 NBCSN 561,000 NBCSN 336,000
Road America NBCSN 470,000 NBCSN 568,000 NBCSN 322,000
Iowa NBCSN 534,000 NBCSN 534,000 NBCSN 452,000
Toronto 1 CNBC 171,000 CNBC (live) 187,000 NBCSN 458,000
Toronto 2 NBCSN (delay) 530,000 NBCSN (delay) 489,000
Mid-Ohio NBCSN 811,000 NBCSN (delay) 576,000 NBCSN (delay) 644,000
CNBC (live) 200,000 CNBC (live) 139,000
Totals 14,566,000 14,186,000 -2.61% 12,155,000 -14.32%

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