First, You have to know that NASCAR is owned by the France Family. Unlike any other sport, this one family owns and runs it, the rules are their way or the highway.
The demise of NASCAR will be forever tracked back to the 2015 season, the season that took the show away from the majority of it’s fans. The sport became popular because Everyone could watch it. Before cable, People used antennas to get all their programs and one of those over the air program’s was NASCAR. Every week, mostly on Sunday, after lunch, You could count on turning on the tv and watching NASCAR for the next 4 or more hours. From the beginning to 2008 Attendance at NASCAR races was better than most all other sports, most tracks were selling out. You could not get a good seat at Daytona, Bristol, Indy, Talladega and many more unless You had it reserved years in advance.
In 2008 the economy suffered greatly and still has not fully recovered but NASCAR did recover, they never recovered the attendance at the tracks but they fully recovered financially, having some it’s best years because of TV money. Track owners get some of the TV money but not near the share that the France family does so all was good for the “family”. At the same time as the attendance was declining, NASCAR brought out a new car, it was referred to as the car of tomorrow. It was hated by most drivers and also by many fans, the racing became very boring. The car has been tweaked many times in the past 8 years and to NASCAR’S credit it has gotten better, but never as good as it was in 2006 and prior.
All that and the sport was still going strong UNTIL NOW, The latest stupidity by the France family might very well be the end of the sport. The France family are completely out of touch with Their fans and with America in general. What is the most popular thing going on in TV these days? A huge amount of People are getting rid of premium TV, going to antenna, netflix, hulu. Some People are going from 200 dollars per month to 20 or zero. The reception that can be achieved with a digital antenna is stunning, even better than cable or satellite. The France family never did any studies on how many People that watch NASCAR had the stations that they would soon be broadcasting over. FoxSportsone? NBCSN? Really? Who has that? Who really wants that? Did they think that People would add these stations because of one sport? What is on these stations? Soccer is what is on them and Major League baseball, neither of these are what real NASCAR fans want to watch. When was the last time You heard a NASCAR fan say they were hurrying home to see some soccer before the NASCAR race? Accessibility is what makes a sport popular, the sport has to be good first but if it is shown on a different channel, different day and different time week after week, People cannot keep up with it and never know where to find it. Now fans are finding friends that get these strange channels and inviting themselves over to watch NASCAR but the family with the strange channels are vowing to get rid of them so they can get rid of the uninvited guest. NASCAR can only survive if it is shown on one of the four major networks ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX. Those are channels that Everyone with a TV can receive. We could even live with ESPN having NASCAR but only for a few races not half or more of the season.
NASCAR will never be the same until it is back on real TV, not these new very unpopular premium channels. If NASCAR does not return to real tv soon they might not get the fans back that are no longer watching. Even the People that have the premium wacky channels miss the race because they did not know the race was on but if it had been on the regular stations they would have known it. Just in the last year NASCAR has been shown on: FOX, FOXSPORTS1, FOXSPORTS2, ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNNEWS, ESPNU, NBC, NBCSN and TNT. How many hit shows have failed because networks have changed their time slot? Well, NASCAR not only changes the time weekly, They also change the channel weekly. Do You know why Walgreens and CVS are open 24 hours? Because their Customers could not keep up with the store’s operating hours, so now their Customer’s just go to the store because they know it is open, it isn’t because they thought they would do great business at 2am it is so No One would have to wonder if they are still open. NASCAR has to be on Every Sunday at the same time and the same channel, if they want to change that at mid season, People could live with that but not a different time, day and channel every week. And definitely not on premium channels.
Top three factors in the demise of NASCAR
- Car of tomorrow: Introduced in 2007 for 16 races and has been used ever since in some form. Drivers and Fans hate it.
- 2008 recession: No fault of NASCAR, the recession hurt almost every sport and business
- NASCAR partners with TV Stations that it’s fan base does not subscribe to. This will prove to be the most harmful of the three.