Teaching Evolution

A blog devoted to teaching evolution, both in our schools and in our communities.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

ABC, ESPN Join Fox, Turner in NASCAR Television Deal

One of the things I want to do with this blog is debunk some of the common claims we hear in the media that are simply false. A good example is this:

"NFL ratings for 2004 were the only national regular-season network viewer numbers higher than Nascar's, at 9.2 percent of U.S. television homes."

That is, technically, true. It is also completely irrelevant to the rest of the article, which is about why NASCAR is a valuable property for a TV network. Notice how the writer slipped in "regular season"? In NASCAR, everything is considered regular season. So the most-watched program, the Daytona 500, is being compared to, say, a July Braves-Brewers game. If you compared the Daytona 500 to baseball's most-watched program, the World Series, you'd find that many more people watch baseball than auto racing. Same with basketball and the NBA Finals and March Madness.

Yes, NASCAR has a devoted core audience, and if ABC and ESPN have determined that they'll make money off this deal, more power to them. But I'm tired of reading that NASCAR is "the second most popular professional spectator sport in terms of television ratings". It simply isn't. The real order is pro football, the Olympics, Major League Baseball, college football, pro basketball, college basketball, NASCAR.


At 6:47 AM, Blogger dhodge said...

It seems like NASCAR hysteria has died down a little bit recently, but thanks for debunking the myth of the NASCAR media juggernaut anyway. If you'd like to take on another sports-related myth, may I suggest the Superbowl-domestic violence connection?

At 8:45 AM, Blogger ethan said...

dude, i hope for your sake you've never lived in the south, where on summer saturday afternoons they don't play a fox game of the week, but instead cars going in circles. (god, that's a really terrible sentence)

total bullshit.

At 8:52 AM, Blogger Justin said...

Well, the South is retarded about college football, too, so I don't know that even that is a good parallel.

MDS, thanks for breaking this down.

And motherfuck, do I hate nascar.


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