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.