Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bristol Sellout Will Help NASCAR TV Ratings


The images of this season have been tough to take. Perhaps, the frontstretch grandstands in Atlanta were the toughest to see on the TV screen.

In a tough economic climate, a sport almost totally based on marketing and sponsorship dollars coming from many of the companies in crisis is trying to hang-on for dear life.

Sunday may be an opportunity to put that aside for just a couple of hours. The Bristol Motor Speedway is trying everything possible to put a full house in the stands for the Sprint Cup Series race.

Happy faces in the stands is exactly what the NASCAR on Fox gang needs to get things back on track where the TV coverage is concerned. This season has become about Digger and DW in much the same way that last season became all about Kyle Busch during the Fox Sports portion of the Cup coverage.

Fox will have three hours of pre-race programming from other networks leading up to the race telecast. ESPN2 will have Nicole Manske hosting NASCAR Now at 10AM ET. Reporters Mike Massaro and Marty Smith will be live from the track.

SPEED will follow with the two-hour RaceDay program at 11:30AM. Jimmy Spencer drove in the charity race and Kenny Wallace raced in the Nationwide Series event, so both of the SPEED commentators have been on the track this weekend. Host John Roberts will use Hermie Sadler and Wendy Venturini as reporters on this show.

Once things move over to Fox, it should be interesting to see what DW has to say about the charity race and the bigger question is will Fox show highlights? Chris Myers will be at the helm of the Hollywood Hotel with Waltrip and Jeff Hammond alongside.

By the time the broadcast moves up to the announce booth and over to veteran Mike Joy, the weather should be nice and the crowd should be big. Just what the series needs as Waltrip and Larry McReynolds begin to call the action with the green flag at 2:16PM ET.

All of the ingredients are there for a memorable broadcast. Great weather, big crowd, full field and a veteran TV crew. This might be the race to get the momentum of this season going in the right direction.

TDP will be live blogging the TV aspects of the race beginning at 1PM ET. Join us and talk TV while the race is in-progress. We also welcome your comments on this post, just click the comments button below.

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11 comments:

Ken said...

I think there will be a substantial number of empty seats in the stand even if they announce a sellout (which I doubt will be accurate). There are many people who have tickets they bought last year that they have been unable to sell when they decided they couldn't come themselves. I live along I-81, which is the main path from the northeast to Bristol. I live 50 miles from the track. Normally during race week, Thursday and Friday look like a camper caravan on I-81 heading south but Thursday and Friday, there was only an occasional camper or motorhome passing as I was driving north. The raceway has pulled out all stops in trying to sell tickets locally with ads and promotions everywhere. There is no indication of any lowering of ticket prices and I think that is the only way to increase sales.

Anonymous said...

You can pretty much bet that they're going to announce a sellout. Whether it actually sells out or not. The combination of new paving, & the new car, have changed things. The actual racing may well be better, but a substantial number of people come to Bristol for the wrecks. It's no accident, (no pun intended)that's what's featured in the promo spots. Seats sold, but not occupied, just effect the hot dog sales. My feeling is that it will be pretty close, but if you walked up during the parade lap. You could still buy a ticket.

dawg

Newracefan said...

True sellout or not there should be more butts in the seats than we saw at Atlanta and that is a good thing. Hopefully we will see good racing with a good race broadcast that will help even more.

batchief said...

Capacity, about 170,000. With the current economy the way it is wouldn't a 75% capacity (almost 130,000) be a very good turnout? Any NFL game would love to have that.

Sophia said...

While I realize Nascar Performance seems to have a steady time now at 10Am sundays I hate it!

I liked watching this show on saturday. i do NOT want to watch anymore tv BEFORE the race than i do now (sometimes on as background stuff and NP needs full attention)

Some would say tape it but it's still FUN to see NP before the race since they talk about car set ups for the tracks, and I would have to try to watch the tape before the race on Sunday. No thanks. With nicer weather and all, they TRULY need to put NP back on Saturdays with maybe a repeat on sundays. and 7Am is kind of early for West Coast fans..but as I said, there is too much pre race on now. And I can only take so many hours of tv in a day AND save time for Wind Tunnel. :)

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up for the Sprint Cup Series race on Fox from Bristol. Thanks.

JD

Newracefan said...

Soph it must be an availability thing there is a show next Sat and Sun (at night I think). I'm OK with Sun but I miss Bootie

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I agree with Ken. I have 4 seats that I could not give away. I was unable to attend this year, and I could not find anyone to take the tickets off my hands. While it will look full on TV, closer views will show empty seats scattered throughout. I'm not even sure I'll watch the race because as anyone who had been to Bristol will tell you, it's just not the same on TV. Plus, i don't want to see Digger any more.

Anonymous said...

Do you really think I'm going to watch the race in Bristol just because it is a sellout. If it was not a good track I would not watch it regardless. Chicago, Kansas and New Hampshire sellout and I won't watch them on TV.

Anonymous said...

This article was a big miss. Bristol TV ratings were down a whopping 18%.