Speedway Owner Wants TV Blackouts
There are a few speedway promoters and race track owners who think it would be a good idea to blackout local TV coverage of NASCAR races in the event that races aren’t sold out.
Think it couldn’t happen? The NFL does it all the time.
Bruton Smith owns about half the tracks on the Sprint Cup schedule including tracks at Charlotte, Bristol and Las Vegas.
When asked if TV coverage should be blacked out in local markets in the event the speedway didn’t sell out a race Smith quickly replied “that’s exactly what should happen.”
So if the Atlanta race on Labor Day Weekend doesn’t sell out then that would mean that race fans there wouldn’t be able to watch the race on TV.
I guess Bruton Smith thinks that if people can’t watch the race on TV then they’ll be more likely to head over to the track and buy a ticket.
David Poole thinks it couldn’t happen in NASCAR, but I think it’s a very real possibility.
It’s also extremely unfair. In this economy many people simply don’t have the money to spend on race tickets. There are also many loyal NASCAR fans that are simply unable – for whatever reason – to go to the racetrack.
If NASCAR starts blacking out TV coverage I believe many fans will simply lose interest in the sport – there will be a lot more people who will leave the sport than there are who will be bullied into buying tickets.
What would you do if NASCAR blacked out TV coverage for the race at your home track? Would you buy a ticket and go to the race?
Would you watch the NASCAR TV Network?
NASCAR is the only major sport in America without its own Network. We’ve got the Golf Channel, the NFL Network, and the Major League Baseball Network is coming in January – but still no NASCAR Network.
But the talk keeps getting louder that NASCAR will start its own network to carry more in-depth coverage of the sport.
Would you like to see NASCAR come out with its own Network? If so, what would you like to see on the NASCAR Network?
I don’t think you’ll see live races – NASCAR is not going to compete with its major TV partners on that one.
But you could see race replays – maybe condensed versions of Sunday’s race on Monday night that only last for an hour or two.
Maybe we could get a better post race show that lasts for an hour or so and really breaks down the race and interviews more people after the checkered flag flies.
After all, the networks that carry the race are ready to go to another show as soon as the winner climbs out of the car – and sometimes before. Remember what happened at Phoenix earlier this year when ABC dropped their coverage with just a few laps to go.
The NASCAR Network would also be a great place to learn more about the history of NASCAR. Lets interview some of the people who have made NASCAR what is is today.
So – would you like to see the NASCAR Network? What kind of programming would you like to see on it? Would you be willing to pay a little extra to see the NASCAR Network? If so, how much would it be worth?
Give us your comments. I’ll forward them on to NASCAR so they will know how the fans feel about a NASCAR Network.
Subscribe to our newsletter.
We’ll let you know when new stories like this are added.
Complaints About NASCAR Coverage on ABC
I’ve been getting a ton of comments about ABC cutting away from the race with just over 30 laps to go. Looks like a lot of you missed the end of the race thanks to this stupid decision at ABC. I think that must stand for Anything But Competent.
Both ABC and ESPN are owned by The Walt Disney Company — but even Mickey Mouse could have handled this better. I decided to head over to ABC and launch a formal complaint. Then I thought you might want to do the same.
Here’s where to go if you want to complain directly to ABC: http://abc.go.com/site/contactus.html
This page also has a link to send Sports Feedback to ESPN, but I suggest sending your comments directly to ABC as this was an executive decision by ABC.
Here are some of the comments I have received so far:
Cutting the second last race of the season off to put on Funny Video’s is just plain stupid. If NASCAR doesn’t step up and do something to ABC for this. Then I have just one more comment for NASCAR. “LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO “CART” – Gordo3 16
I like Fox. I wish that they would broadcast the whole season. — Linda
ABC leaving the race high and dry with so little laps to go was just unbelievable, especially for the people who don’t have cable. They are very disrespectful to the fans that pay their salary. – Motorsports Photography
I think it was extremely stupid of ABC to switch with just a few laps left. I don’t have ESPN, and I missed the end. — Aubrey
I think ABC did us wrong by not finishing the race on that channel. If it was a football, baseball, golf, hockey they would have finished. We need to get rid of ABC for televising races unless they play the whole race. I really wanted to see the ending of the race. – Claudia
So what does all this say for NASCAR? “It doesn’t say very much,” according to Rick Hendrick.
You can read all the comments on the Phoenix Post Race Thread. I hope ABC gets their act together – or gets out of the business of NASCAR altogether.