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NASCAR Viewer Decline: Embracing Digital Shift Amid Fan Discontent

NASCAR Viewer Decline: As NASCAR seeks expansion and global reach, a new concern has emerged within the racing community: a gradual decline in fan engagement. Despite efforts to attract new followers, existing fans are losing interest, resulting in a significant dip in viewership. Since the turn of the decade, platform viewership has steadily waned. Even with strategic broadcasting deals, the situation has worsened, raising concerns within the NASCAR circles.

The championship showdown at Phoenix, with a thrilling performance from Ross Chastain and four equally matched contenders, aimed to captivate fans. However, the event registered an average of only 3 million viewers, marking the lowest turnout for a Cup Series championship race since 2004. In response, NASCAR has teamed up with Amazon Prime Video and Bleacher to bolster digital streaming services in a bid to attract more viewers.

Reports indicate NASCAR’s proactive steps to improve viewership, recognizing the ascendancy of digital streaming over traditional TV. The alliance with Prime Video and Bleacher Report signifies a strategic move to tap into the growing trend of easily accessible and portable digital platforms.

Initially, a midseason digital streaming package covering six races was initiated. Now, reports suggest an expansion to 10 races, approximately one-third of the season’s total races. Prime Video is poised to claim a significant portion, restricting streaming access to subscribed users. Bleacher Report will also contribute to this endeavor, with the deals set for announcement next week.

This recent partnership follows a decline in viewership by 5% since 2022. NASCAR, previously reliant on networks like NBC, Fox Sports, FS1, and USA Today for Cup Series broadcasts, witnessed a drop in average viewers from 3.03 million in 2022 to 2.86 million—an alarming decrease.

While NBC experienced an uptick in viewership during the latter part of the season, the Truck Series witnessed a 5% decline. Simultaneously, NASCAR secured a lucrative seven-year deal with CW Network for Xfinity Series broadcasting, yet viewership numbers remain a concern.

NASCAR Viewer Decline (1)

Despite NASCAR’s strategic plans, fans have expressed discontent over the recent deal with Prime Video, criticizing the emphasis on costlier subscriptions. Many fans advocate for traditional TV broadcasting, voicing concerns about accessibility and preferences for televised races.

In light of diminishing viewership, NASCAR stands at a crossroads. Will a shift to digital media platforms yield the desired outcome? Only time will reveal the impact of this strategic move on NASCAR’s engagement and viewership trends.

ALSO READ: NASCAR Evolving Viewership Metrics: Beyond Traditional Ratings

Our Reader’s Queries

Is NASCAR viewership declining?

NASCAR viewership has taken a hit this season, with all point-counting races averaging 2.86 million viewers between NBC and Fox. This marks a 5% decrease from the previous year, according to SBJ’s Austin Karp.

Are NASCAR ratings up or down this year?

The NASCAR season came to a gentle close recently, with the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season averaging 2.86 million viewers across FOX, FS1, NBC and USA Network. Unfortunately, this marks a 5% decrease from last year’s viewership of 3.03 million, making it the least-watched season on record. The previous low was 3.00 million for the 2021 season.

NASCAR’s 2022 season drew in a whopping three million viewers per race, marking a four-year high. In contrast, Formula 1’s 2021 season boasted an average of 70 million viewers per race. Despite the stark contrast in popularity, both sports share a similar origin story.

Is anyone watching NASCAR?

In 2023, NBC Sports had its most successful Xfinity Series season since 2017, with an average of over 1 million viewers. The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series, which aired on NBC, USA Network, Peacock, and NBC Sports Digital, also saw a significant increase in viewership. Across 20 races, the Total Audience Delivery reached 2.47 million viewers, marking a notable improvement from previous years. These impressive numbers demonstrate the continued popularity and appeal of NASCAR racing among fans.

Khushal Bhatia
Khushal Bhatiahttps://slicksandsticks.com/
Khushal Bhatia, a distinguished BA (Hons) English graduate from St. Stephen College (University of Delhi) and a holder of a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism (English) from IIMC Delhi, is an accomplished journalist. Currently affiliated with Slicksandsticks.com, Khushal is an expert in covering a range of sports topics with a specialization in motorsports, particularly NASCAR. His insightful articles explore the nuances of the sporting world, providing readers with comprehensive analysis and the latest updates. With a commitment to unbiased reporting, Khushal's expertise and authoritative voice make him a reliable source for sports enthusiasts.
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