With the wide-circulating rumors of a NASCAR sale, the shock displayed by many shouldn’t be a huge surprise if one were to examine the realities of the current climate of the sport.
There’s plenty of articles and reports, including on this site, of the challenges that NASCAR has faced in recent years. Declining television ratings, an unwillingness by title sponsors to pay the requested rate, and so on.
Here’s the challenge. The organization is built to run as it does now. All evidence would point to the idea that the market is changing drastically… and NASCAR is not keeping up. The evidence is in the constantly growing list of changes to the sport, all in the name of bringing in new fans, yet the numbers continue to dwindle. Stage racing, new car templates, continually revised “Playoff” format, etc. It’s becoming a proverbial “kitchen sink” scenario, and it doesn’t seem to have much effect.
In 2019, a 33-year broadcasting history between ABC and the Indianapolis 500 will come to an end, which will signal a new era for IndyCar racing in what is widely considered a modern resurgence for the series.
While the draw between ABC vs. the NBC network for the famed month of May is pretty much equal, they shared an equivalent household reach, the real story lies in the alignment between NBC’s cable network, NBCSN, for the balance of the year.
Ever since the Versus network was re-branded NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) as part of a Comcast purchase in to NBC Universal in 2012, IndyCar has held a unique balance over the course of their season, with NBCSN covering the majority of the races, however ABC and its affiliated ESPN would cover select high profile events, most notably the Indianapolis 500.