Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

June 9, 2014

IndyCar Relegated to Red Headed Bastard Stepchild Status by NBC

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 11:09 am

Next bad networkThe next time anyone from IMS or NBC brags about what a great job they are doing with IndyCar or how devoted to it they remain, call them on it. They are lying. Saturday night was the 25th time IndyCars have raced at Texas Motor Speedway. Up until a couple of days before the event no one could say with certainty on what NBC cable channel the race would air. The lack of any serious cross promotion was evident. There was plenty of promotion for horse racing (plenty of slack there…it was a possible triple crown winner), Formula One and hockey. Hardly any for IndyCar.

Nowhere is the bias more evident that the following two examples:

  1. Formula One gets practice, qualifying, races and ancillary programming EVERY time. In addition, qualifications and races get re-airs. Yesterday on the same day. IndyCar? Races. Once.
  2. ConfusedNBC aired a ‘36’ special that covered the Kurt Busch ‘double.’ As usual it was very well done. What got promoted in original airing of the show? Not IndyCar’s upcoming event in Houston. Formula One in Austria and NASCAR in 2015 did make the cut, however. (06/10/14 update: NBCSN DID re-air the Texas race. At 1:00am.)

The most frustrating part of this obvious lack of respect is that IMS seems content not to do anything about it despite recently employing new vice presidents that are supposedly experienced in these areas. So what results? 0.4 overnights in prime time and no serious effort to expand IndyCar reach beyond Indianapolis except for corporate supported street events or heavily funded foreign forays. Disgusting. This lack of promotional effort combined with micromanagement of specs that are already as spec as one can get is why over 25 Texas races attendance has slipped from six-figure crowds on the edge of their seats to less than half that today mostly with ‘why am I here/it sure is hot’ looks on their faces.

ICS ManagementIt is apparent IndyCar is unable/unwilling to learn from history. This is ESPN being repeated all over again. The booth crew (which also changes a lot, seemingly whimsically) was uninspiring and often insulting. Brian Till sounded lost. Bell and Tracy discussed, among other things, how fast Paul Tracy drove on the track in 2001 (that ended well) or how Mikhail Aleshin reminds them of Nigel Mansell (who never raced at Texas). The dreaded words ‘pack racing’ were spoken. Where is the recognition for IndyCar drivers that actually put that venue on the IndyCar map? Boat? Dismore? Sharp? Ray? Hornish? Those were some of the drivers who set the bar for excitement. That era conveniently gets skipped every time. That is what happens when the people on the air are all former CART employees who stuck with that mostly to their bitter ends.

I love IndyCar but the level of frustration fans must occur is precisely why so many have simply walked away. To lose Texas would have been unthinkable even a couple of years ago, but given the known proclivities of those now in charge the fear it goes away is palpable. That thought is disgusting.

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36 Comments »

  1. I have to say that I probably listened to the TV feed on my scanner for no more than five minutes. Paul Page and Pippa Mann kept me engaged on the IRL Radio feed when I wasn’t listening to drivers. I’m glad I was at the track and not in front of a TV.

    Comment by Tony Dinelli — June 9, 2014 @ 1:00 pm | Reply

  2. Did anyone ever believe that NBC, which declined to bid for the 500, would ever make Indycar a priority from a programming and promotional standpoint? It was an inherited property when they acquired Versus, and their true feelings regarding the series were revealed when they declined to bid for the 500 (or anything in the ABC package of races). Will they even continue for the duration of the rights agreement, or will they seek an early out, especially with their obvious focus on NASCAR and Formula One?
    Editor’s Note: Time will tell. And now, from a factual standpoint, NBC did not decline a 500 bid. IMS did not offer them a realistic chance to bid. It is unlikely they will seek an early out. That is why it is important for IMS to work with them toward a cohesive promotional effort of the franchise.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — June 9, 2014 @ 1:21 pm | Reply

  3. Agree, That was the worst IndyCar broadcast since …. well, ….. maybe forever.

    Comment by spreadoption — June 9, 2014 @ 1:29 pm | Reply

  4. Wasn’t this deal “ahead of its time?” That is what you told everyone when your visionary hero Tony George signed this deal.
    Editor’s Note: Correct about everything but the ‘visionary hero’ concoction. It was ahead of its time. But Tony is no longer around and the supposedly smarter people have allowed the potential to slip badly. A real shame.

    Comment by TroyM — June 9, 2014 @ 3:11 pm | Reply

  5. NBC had every opportunity to bid for the 500 and declined to do so. That is an irrefutable fact.
    Editor’s Note: Irrefutable by whom? The Disney folks were as pre-ordained as the starting field of the 500. In actual fact NBC wanted the 500 for network and everything else for subsidiary channels. IMS shut that idea down quickly. Personally I believe they should have worked harder on a deal. NBC has a history of resurrecting neglected sports properties (usually by ABC) and taking them to new heights. But they were not given the chance. Again, fact.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — June 9, 2014 @ 4:00 pm | Reply

  6. I didn’t watch the race, but of course got the recap from hater sites. :) Sure looked empty.
    Editor’s Note: Hang on. You didn’t watch, got a recap from hater sites and stated ‘sure looked empty?’ How would you have seen it? Wait. Let me guess. Some of the the others who claim not to have watched copied and pasted television pictures. How cute. I hate to break it to you, but a hater site is not the most reliable source of information. If, on the other hand, I need to get an illiteracy fix, view scatalogical attempts at 2nd grade humor, or learn new ways to cuss I’ll go there every time.

    Wasn’t this the decline CART went down….losing long time venues, ovals, moving to “street festivals”, and now Indy 500 resembles not Tony’s Vis$ion$ but more those of Paul Gentilozzi and his MotoRock idea…you know, concerts, dance bands, raves, speed metal, something for every musical taste. In short, it has become less and less about the on track product, but more about the ancillary “added value” incentives for coming to watch.
    Editor’s Note: Correct. Except the twice failed cart folks had a business plan. They just did not have the 500 or much humility which led them directly to failure. IndyCar has the 500 but most of the decision makers and participants have decided not to learn from history and have continued making the same mistakes cart did. The only thing that keeps the whole thing afloat is the fact that htye have Indy. If they didn’t the little cart redux in progress would not be sustainable and failure would already have occurred again.

    Its as if, “we know the racing sucks, but we also have Kid Rock, Glamping, Corn Dogs and a Rave Party. something for everyone!” So, as went CART and its spec racing, festivals of speed, is IRL going down that road too? Hard to tell, as they have ZERO competition, they are keeping expenses low, and obviously not putting much into promotion or value of the product.
    Editor’s Note: As always it is fairly obvious that as long as the 500 remains viable Miles and crew is content to settle for ill-advised money grabs that end up alienating all parties involved.

    BTW – I applied for 25/8status on the FB, any word on me getting to pla? or is it just for yes-men?
    Editor’s Note: It is, as the mission statement says, for those who are fans of the first five years (or so) of the IRL. We approve anyone. In the event we start getting ‘IRL sucks’ nonsense or anything even remotely resembling the pointless illiteracy representative of IRL-obsessed hate sites, we report and revoke. So far that has not happened. Hopefully it won’t.

    Comment by youstillowemeabeerasswhole — June 9, 2014 @ 4:23 pm | Reply

    • Which leads to the financial question….how long oes the remaining Hulman/George clan hang on to this series before it just doesnt make any sense anymore. Each year they lose money, or at least they have. They have tried every gimmick/promotion in the book, opened up the real estate to new events, new races, new festivals (which i think is smart, too bad the surrounding real estate is a ghetto) but still evidently cant seem to make it all work. The high costs of producing the show in May might be worth the investment, but inconsistencies abound and as you have pointed out, the facility is in pretty bad shape. Where they made their biggest mistake was turning to spec racing. They lost a lot of people there. Maybe they had no choice, but who can they blame but themselves. Tony made promises to bigger than F1 and Nascar or there “wont be an IRL”, and we all know he was ill prepared to make that happen. I am not sure what the silver bullet is to fix this mess, but they sure have tried about everything. Like you, i grew up spending a lot of time at the Speedway and wish like hell it would work. But it doesn’t. What was once the undisputed crown jewel in racing is now a one hit wonder, each year focusing on only one thing: Indy. Its like people who go see Journey concert….it reminds thwm of an exciting time in their life (assuming the age fits) but there is no ongoing interest. “i attend the 500 every year”….but they dont follow it the rest of the season. And the attendance and ratings show. Now you can blame TV metrics, entertainment choice quadrupling, NASCAR, Gerry Forsythe, Toyota or the Man in the Moon, but we all know who caused the demise of what we all once knew was the best racing in the worls, with the best drivers and most diverse collection of courses…road, atreet, Superspeedways and short tracks…and of course, 1000 hp beasts that looked, sounded, and drove like the sexy beasts they were. So before thinking I come around just to tease and taunt, our views are just about the same. You just haven’t thrown in the towel. They dont care about you Disciple, they really don’t care about anybody but place fans. And that is just sad. They did it to themselves and have nobody to blame but themselves. Enjoy your evening.
      Editor’s Note: Nice diatribe. It really doesn’t matter how those on the outside looking in feel about the way they run the track or the series. The only thing we know for sure is that the people and cars that race in the 500 do not exist without it. Therefore it is natural to make it as strong as it can be. That is something that has been proven over and over again. Right now they are in the market to grab dollars from whatever far flung venue they can hoodwink. Not ideal, but as long as the 500 remains strong we have a series to watch. That’s the way it is.

      Comment by Youowemeabeerasshole — June 10, 2014 @ 12:23 am | Reply

      • As long as the 500 remains strong???? Seriously?
        Editor’s Note: Are you that blind or just willfully in denial? The 500 is doing great, especially given societal evolution in general. Hundreds of thousands every year in person, the highest television ratings of the year, the most sponsorship and compelling stories. It survives while other institutions actually fail. Like newspapers. Or open wheel series who stupidly believe they can exist with it. Get real.

        Comment by Youowemeabeerasshole — June 11, 2014 @ 12:22 pm

  7. Again, NBC had every opportunity to bid for the 500. They simply chose not to. That’s a fact.
    Editor’s Note: BBBZZZZ. Wrong answer. But you can believe what you want to. It’s a free country.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — June 9, 2014 @ 5:43 pm | Reply

  8. It’s a fact that I’m certain you would refute if you possessed information to the contrary. Unfortunately for Indycar, the situation with NBC is likely to get worse rather than better.
    Editor’s Note: Which was the point of the blog. The new contract was a glorified renewal of ESPN/ABC. No one else had a chance. Just lip service.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — June 9, 2014 @ 6:08 pm | Reply

  9. After watching the Saturday night debacle, I’m about ready to suggest that IMS/IndyCar seek a full time deal with ABC/ESPN. The cross promotion with NBC, already bad, will only get worse when they have to coddle to NASCAR. I suggested long ago that when Leigh Diffey has a conflict with F-1, Kevin Lee should be in “the chair.” Instead we get Brian Till. Brian may be a nice guy and have a lot of experience, but it surely did not show on Saturday night. I’ve already reached the point where I listen to the IMS radio network and DVR the TV coverage. It’s “old school” I know, but at least Paul Page knows his stuff and the addition of Pippa Mann really livens up the broadcast.

    Comment by SkipinSC — June 10, 2014 @ 12:22 am | Reply

  10. Boat, Ray, Dismore, and Sharp were nothing but second rate hacks that didn’t belong in top level racing. Very few people outside central Indiana ever knew who they were.
    Editor’s Note: You have captured in just two sentences the exact type of dismissive arrogance that led to the formation of the IRL in the first place. That type of cheesy ignorance, while typical of your kind, remains the primary general problem in open wheel racing. Grow up and try to become an actual racing fan instead of a child.

    Comment by TroyM — June 10, 2014 @ 3:43 pm | Reply

    • Boat, Ray, Dismore and Sharp weren’t foreign road racers who were too chickenshit to race on ovals, either.

      Comment by Bud Weiser — June 11, 2014 @ 9:34 am | Reply

      • You should bear in mind that the “chickenshit foreign road racers” are professional racing drivers and that the primary reason for many of them disliking oval racing is that they’re forced to share the track with the “talent” of drivers such as Boat, Ray, Dismore and Sharp! You’re delusional if you think that any of those four would have been let anywhere near the IMS in the 70s or 80s.
        Editor’s Note: Your stunning combination of arrogance and ignorance aside, no one ‘forces’ any driver to share a track. Obviously the Boats, Ray, Dismore and Sharps of the world WERE excluded in the 70s and 80s. That was the primary reason the IRL was formed. I suspect that had the field been allowed to be diverse in a meaningful way the entertainment value would have been greater and the sport may not have lost touch with its audience.

        Comment by Andrew — June 12, 2014 @ 9:01 am

      • It looks like a few turds floated among the talent pool of “professional” Cart drivers too. Arnd Meier, Guido Dacco, Dennis Vitolo, Bjorn Wirdheim, come to mind. You geniuses think just because someone “made” it to Cart (i.e. ride bought) they’ve achieved automatic legendary status. I remember all the survival desperation towards the end (both times) by everyone associated with it, especially their pathetic ‘fan’ base. What’s also sad is all that turbocharged machinery and those killer chassis are nothing more than show cars and dust collectors hanging on walls. If you think that someone who can’t form a sentence brought down the mighty Cart, what does that say about the competence of that management?

        Comment by Bud Weiser — June 14, 2014 @ 12:31 pm

  11. have the hulgeorges tapped into their oil find yet? Why that’s is as good if not better than an IPO
    Editor’s Note: Not exactly certain what that has to do with the actual topic or NBCSN….but whatever.

    Comment by Thom Knapkin — June 11, 2014 @ 2:39 pm | Reply

    • If they have oil couldn’t they pay for a TV contract?
      Editor’s Note: I suppose they could, but why would they when they get paid millions for broadcast rights at the moment? They could consider investing in better marketing, promotion and advertising for sure as well as working closely with the partners to help them understand and promote the product. But paying for air time to get your content aired is not something they need to do at the moment and is an ill advised approach.

      Comment by Thom Knapkin — June 11, 2014 @ 5:40 pm | Reply

      • “I suppose they could, but why would they when they get paid millions for broadcast rights at the moment?”
        Are you joking? How much do you reckon they get paid by their broadcast “partner”?
        Editor’s Note: Total package is around $15 million per year.

        “But paying for air time to get your content aired is not something they need to do at the moment and is an ill advised approach.”
        Again, you can’t be serious? Surely this is the only way that they’ll ever have a hope of addressing the dismal ratings, attendance, lack of media interest, etc.? They need to pony up some cash, buy airtime from a serious broadcaster, put together a good production team, hire some good commentators and then market the hell out of it. Continuing along the current route just means that they’ll carry on bleeding audiences until everyone’s lost interest and no-one bothers to broadcast any of the races…
        Editor’s Note: I remain gratified that comment section contributors on the Internet are not responsible for making IndyCar’s television decisions. Otherwise the sport would end up like champcar. Dead in a sea of debt. If I use the logic of the average ITE then Formula 1, whose ratings are worse than IndyCar on like networks in the United States, should also be buying time even though the rights for which they are paid are a lot higher than IndyCar. IndyCar needs to spend money on things that will draw bodies and eyeballs; e.g., external promotion, reinvigorated presentation at ovals, etc.

        Comment by Andrew — June 12, 2014 @ 9:12 am

  12. Another horrible rating (0.3) with an estimated viewership of 424k shows all too well that both the product and the television partner are significantly hindering the sport, with no real viable solution in sight. One wonders how long NBCSN wants to be burdened with the agreement they signed.
    Editor’s Note: OK…time for a case study. Please quantify ‘horrible’ and ‘hindering’ in terms of actual effect. Dollars. Considering IndyCar is one of NBCSN’s highest rated properties, why would there be urgency to get rid of the ‘burden?’ In the mix of demographically targeted programming bought by agencies, what are viable programming alternatives with the same numbers? Since other properties such as F-1 do not get better ratings on NBCSN would NBCSN want to rid themselves of that ‘burden’ as well, particularly considering that property is costing them a lot more to license? If you were in charge of NBCSN what would be your cutoff point for ‘low’ ratings and why? How much advertising is sold based upon 12+ overnight or final numbers? Those questions ought to keep you busy for a while.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — June 13, 2014 @ 5:22 pm | Reply

  13. If you could answer even one of those questions with verifiable data (which you’ve previously admitted you’re unable to do), we would have the answers to each of your queries, wouldn’t we? And we both know it’s not one of NBCSN’s highest rated properties. That’s simply not an accurate statement from you.
    Editor’s Note: As usual you are creepily obtuse. Deflection is not a good strategy for you. I asked you the questions. I already know the answers. The reason you are being asked is because I am holding you up as the typical Internet Television Executive that actually knows nothing but pontificates as if their words have merit. So please answer the following questions:

    1. Please quantify ‘horrible’ and ‘hindering’ in terms of actual effect; e.g. dollars.
    2. Considering IndyCar is one of NBCSN’s highest rated properties, why would there be urgency to get rid of the ‘burden?’
    3. In the mix of demographically targeted programming bought by agencies, what are viable programming alternatives with the same numbers?
    4. Since other properties such as F-1 do not get better ratings on NBCSN would NBCSN want to rid themselves of that ‘burden’ as well, particularly considering that property is costing them a lot more to license?
    5. If you were in charge of NBCSN what would be your cutoff point for ‘low’ ratings and why?
    6. How much advertising is sold based upon 12+ overnight or final numbers?

    Additional factual information: IndyCar is, in fact, one of NBCSN’s highest rated properties. Now please cease with the juvenile obfuscation and answer the questions, which should be easy for someone actually knowledgeable of the business.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — June 13, 2014 @ 7:29 pm | Reply

  14. As I said, you would readily provide that data if you were capable (and you’ve acknowledged that you are not). By the way, it should be easy for you to prove your assertion regarding Indycar on NBCSN. Please do so.
    Editor’s Note: The top rated programs on NBCSN the week the last IndyCar race ran were: 1. Belmont Pre at .04. 2. IndyCar race at Texas at .03. 3. IndyCar Pre at .02. 4. IndyCar Post at 0.2. 5. F-1 Qualifying at 0.2. 6 through 10 @ .01. This is typical of most weeks IndyCar runs. Hockey usually tops the list when it is on. These are facts. Now, put your ITE hat on and answer these questions for me, as originally asked two comments ago. If you are incapable, just admit it.
    1. Please quantify ‘horrible’ and ‘hindering’ in terms of actual effect; e.g. dollars.
    2. Considering IndyCar is one of NBCSN’s highest rated properties, why would there be urgency to get rid of the ‘burden?’
    3. In the mix of demographically targeted programming bought by agencies, what are viable programming alternatives with the same numbers?
    4. Since other properties such as F-1 do not get better ratings on NBCSN would NBCSN want to rid themselves of that ‘burden’ as well, particularly considering that property is costing them a lot more to license?
    5. If you were in charge of NBCSN what would be your cutoff point for ‘low’ ratings and why?
    6. How much advertising is sold based upon 12+ overnight or final numbers?

    Comment by Bob Chinn — June 13, 2014 @ 8:23 pm | Reply

  15. (Off topic commentary relocated to comment section of 12/19/13 blog.)

    Comment by Youowemeabeerasshole — June 14, 2014 @ 1:50 am | Reply

  16. You provide one week’s worth of data and expect that to establish credibility? Now, if you could answer any of the questions you’ve posed, you would have done so already. Unfortunately, you’ve previously admitted you’re unable to do so.
    Editor’s Note: Uh, Mr. Einstein….check any week IndyCar is on NBCSN. You will get roughly the same data. And if NBCSN invested substantially more for F-1 rights, which are consistently lower than IndyCar on that channel, would they not be more concerned over that ROI? Nowthen, as to answering the questions I pose, the person asking does so so that the person being asked will answer. You obviously cannot, so until you can the wastes of time you toss out there will be relegated to the appropriate comment section.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — June 14, 2014 @ 4:17 am | Reply

  17. Obviously (and as you’ve admitted), you can’t answer the questions you’ve posed. The fact is the ratings are abysmal, attendance is down yet again (15,00-20,000 at Texas), and declining sponsorship. Perhaps the answers to your questions are found in the reducing numbers of fans, viewers and financial supporters.
    Editor’s Note: Kid, are you as thoroughly dense as it appears on the internet? You keep stupidly parroting the same childish taunts in an OCD-like fashion. Are you mentally ill? If I did not already know the answers to the questions you are obviously incapable of answering how would I have the skill to formulate them in the first place? I’ll even help you with hints:

    1. Please quantify ‘horrible’ and ‘hindering’ in terms of actual effect; e.g. dollars. (Helpful hint: Heck, even a simple discussion of which ratings are used, what types of demo-friendly mixes are typically ordered, CPM effects, etc., would demonstrate an intelligence you clearly do not possess)
    2. Considering IndyCar is one of NBCSN’s highest rated properties, why would there be urgency to get rid of the ‘burden?’ (Helpful hint: There is none)
    3. In the mix of demographically targeted programming bought by agencies, what are viable programming alternatives with the same numbers? (Helpful hint: It’s a big world out there in the world of commercial media)
    4. Since other properties such as F-1 do not get better ratings on NBCSN would NBCSN want to rid themselves of that ‘burden’ as well, particularly considering that property is costing them a lot more to license? (Helpful hint: NBCSN considers neither property a ‘burden.’)
    5. If you were in charge of NBCSN what would be your cutoff point for ‘low’ ratings and why? (Helpful hint: Take a look at the ratings on all programming available on NBCSN in an average week)
    6. How much advertising is sold based upon 12+ overnight or final numbers? (Helpful hint: This one has actually been answered several times in the past. Perhaps your memory is whacko as well)

    Comment by Bob Chinn — June 15, 2014 @ 6:54 pm | Reply

  18. By the way, NBC’s acquisition of F1 rights is quite recent, with more time needed to assess the ROI. Little additional evidence is needed to determine whether Indycar will pay dividends for them.
    Editor’s Note: LOL. How so, Mr. Einstein?

    Comment by Bob Chinn — June 15, 2014 @ 6:56 pm | Reply

  19. How so? Ratings, always low, have either sunk to new depths or remained at minuscule levels.
    Editor’s Note: Which follows the trend of the vast majority of sports and entertainment offerings on television. IndyCar continues to hold it’s place in the pecking order.

    Growth does not exist, making it a difficult environment in which to contemplate sponsorship.
    Editor’s Note: Hmmm. Odd, then, that the 500 was the most well attended in years, one blue chip sponsor has increased its involvement for four straight years (and has become the title sponsor), television ratings are actually up as a whole when you look at the numbers and comprehend what they actually say (helpful hint: requires more research than 12+ overnight estimates on the Internet), and others. Sponsorship today is tricky for everyone, and partial season sponsorships are now the norm in series like NASCAR. Not everyone can have multi-year full season sponsorships such as Target or ABC Supply.

    One need only look at the greatly reduced financial commitment from the National Guard to understand the clear trend in the sport.
    Editor’s Note: That particular sponsorship is driven primarily by politicians and not value, most of whom are clamoring to have it removed from all series. Rahal willingly and intentionally underbid for it, but if he can make it work it’s all good.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — June 16, 2014 @ 4:47 pm | Reply

  20. And now comes word that NASCAR is deep in talks with Comcast (the owner of NBC) to sponsor the soon to be renamed Nationwide Series. So this only gets worse for Indycar, as the junior series will now get preferred airtime and promotional muscle at the expense of the sorta open wheel series. Not turning out to be the visionary choice some mistakenly thought it would be. Most, however, are not the least bit surprised by what is occurring, however.
    Editor’s Note: I find it amusing the usual critics are able to find a sow ear in a silk purse every time. The things these type of deals would get chided for if they involved IndyCar; e.g., the fire sale pricing, just get overlooked. LOL. From a practical standpoint, should Comcast sign that particular dotted line it would elevate the motor sports focus of the network, which would be good for all the motorsports properties on the channel. We all (or at least those of us with a brain) fear the ESPN effect, and I am not confident current IndyCar leadership possesses the ability to effectively communicate brand strengths in such a way to get them exposed or promoted on any channel, much less NBCSN. Time will tell.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — June 17, 2014 @ 2:45 am | Reply

    • Comcast’s sponsorship investment will push IndyCar further down the bench, relegating them to less attractive start times, fewer opportunities for ancillary programming, and significantly less promotion. It’s like hiring the bosses son and expecting that he’ll be treated like everyone else. It doesn’t work that way. And with declining ratings (the second lowest rating for Indy in history, which was helped by a non series participant), attendance (Indy removed substantial amounts of seats and yet the empties were prevalent, and Texas was a ghost town), and sponsorship (blank sidepods are everywhere, though Verizon answered Penske’s call and got the title sponsorship for almost nothing), the downward trend is unmistakable.
      Editor’s Note: I suppose it is for those obsessed with the series yet fixated on any development that could be spun as failure. Such is the miserable existence of Internet trolls who are rarely in touch with actual reality. Frankly, with or without Comcast sponsorship, IndyCar is at the far end of the bench anyway. This has more to do with the lack of getting that status enhanced by series management than some dark Comcast conspiracy theory. See, the trolls may believe in their deluded noggins that ratings are declining, and that this phenomenon is unique to IndyCar. Then, people with brains will chuckle. The fact is IndyCar is consistently among the highest rated programming on NBCSN. IndyCar still draws over a million through the gates every season and teams and the series remain well sponsored. Well sponsored enough to continue season after season. One of the reason you and the handful like you are derided so vociferously is because you have been crying wolf for twenty years. And with each passing year you look more stupid. Grow up.

      Comment by Bob Chinn — June 17, 2014 @ 12:26 pm | Reply

  21. Please provide verifiable data proving Indycar draws over a million fans a year. Hint: you can’t, because they aren’t. Indy was likely in the 200k – 225k range, which is excellent, but the balance of the races don’t provide an aggregate that would get you close to 1mm. It just isn’t there.
    Editor’s Note: Ooooohhhhh another swing and a miss. Here are the current conservatively estimated actuals and projections:
    -St. Pete weekend = 45,000
    -Long Beach weekend = 65,000
    -Birmingham weekend = 55,000
    -GP of Indy = 50,000
    -Indy Quals = 40,000
    -Indy Carb Day = 80,000
    -Indy 500 = 225,000
    -Detroit 1 = 20,000
    -Detroit 2 = 35,000
    -Texas weekend = 45,000
    -Houston 1 = 35,000
    -Houston 2 = 35,000
    -Pocono = 60,000
    -Iowa = 35,000
    -Toronto 1 = 30,000
    -Toronto 2 = 35,000
    -Mid-Ohio weekend = 65,000
    -Milwaukee = 25,000
    -Sonoma = 28,000
    -Fontana = 35,000

    ….for a grand total of 1,043,000. Over a million again.

    And the ratings are declining, regardless of whether certain other sports are seeing a drop (interesting, however, that the EPL did quite well on NBC and NBCSN, and that the overnights for USA-Ghana were outstanding. People watch what they want to watch, and they find it if they want to (even on obscure cable channels). This is the clear reality of today’s sporting world, and the. Lear reality of where Indycar resides in it.
    Editor’s Note: Hmmmm. Those who actually know how to read and use the numbers indicate ratings are up this season. They must be stupid, huh? How dare they question some random guy on the Internet.

    Thankfully, a family owned entity has elected to absorb significant losses in order to keep it going. One wonders, however, how long they can continue see the outgo exceed the income, and one must wonder when the management is going to address the problems that so obviously confront them.
    Editor’s Note: All indications seem to be they are trying and moving incrementally forward in a challenging environment. But keep crying wolf. It is pathetic, yet cute.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — June 17, 2014 @ 3:54 pm | Reply

  22. The attendance figures you’re offering are pure fantasy and completely devoid of credibility. You’ve inflated several locales by 50% or more! as anyone with a set of eyes can easily see.
    Editor’s Note: Actually, as previously stated, the races already run were estimated conservatively from published estimates and in many cases number of tickets actually sold; the future races were estimated conservatively based on prior attendance. Now I understand it is really easy for some random guy on the internet to challenge the numbers, but credibility is earned kid. Spouting off about simply not believing something is something a four year old would do. Got better, more accurate numbers based on actually attending, talking to track operators, or actually investigating? Until you do you remain just another anonymous pontificator on the Internet.

    Meanwhile, the futbol ratings from the World Cup are off the charts high, and interest in the US is huge. Another boon for NBC leading into their EPL coverage (which they’re already promoting). Starting to get awfully crowded at the peacock. Wonder what they think of their chronically underperforming properties?
    Editor’s Note: Well, in the case of the NBC Network, IndyCar does not have to worry. They do not air there. On NBCSN IndyCar remains one of their top performing properties, particularly when measured against what it costs. I doubt anyone at NBC loses as much sleep or throws floor tantrums like you kids. My only concern is that they are largely uneducated about the product they have, and IndyCar leadership seems ill-prepared or willing to act in the same ways other partners NASCAR and F-1 would. With regard to soccer, I am not really worried about it. It’s another stick and ball sport. Those have always been more popular than car racing. Soccer is on an upswing, largely due to their current overexposure/getting crammed down folks’ throats. Whatever floats your boat. Personally I don’t watch one second of soccer except as a sleep inducer, but I have never gone to the blog comment section of a any that love soccer to inform them how much I ignore their sport.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — June 18, 2014 @ 12:48 pm | Reply

  23. Once again, the attendance figures are dramatically overstated and are completely lacking in credibility, as anyone with two eyes and half a brain would attest. The people simply aren’t there, regardless of the desperate attempts to suggest otherwise. St. Pete, Detroit and Texas were all modest (and more than a little embarrassing, given the huge sections of aluminum), and Indy had a reduced crowd to go with the second worst television ratings ever. Not good to people who actually understand these things.
    Editor’s Note: So other than your mere opinion about eyeballs based on not actually attending, not actually researching, not actually speaking with track management, not actually devoting any effort other than pounding on a few keys, you have no intelligent, fact-based counter to my detailed list. Why would I expect anything else? If history is an indicator, you will re-type almost exactly the same pointless Internet yelping at least another 8 or 9 times.

    As for NBCSN, a recent week showed Indycar as the 9th most popular event (out of 10), a clear example that they aren’t one of the most popular. And as the network expands, Indycar will continue to be pushed further out of the picture in favor of more worthy properties. The investment by NBC in Indycar is minimal, so they’ll care little when relegating them to less favorable start times and promotional slots.
    Editor’s Note: Most weeks they are on include a place in the top 5, which makes them not only popular, but using Nielsen data as a guide rated better than 90% of the other content on NBCSN or most other cable sports networks. And although IndyCar works closely with partners for optimal start times, NBCSN does not dictate where IndyCar airs. Again, reality based upon actually being in that business. But keep on yelping about things about which your actual knowledge lacks.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — June 18, 2014 @ 5:02 pm | Reply

  24. I’ve attended three of the four races, so I know of what I speak. The crowds are universally down, though I enjoyed the free tickets at SP and Detroit and the wide open and cheap market for tix in Indy (along with my 20 minute drive to the track). You were definitively proved wrong on your Texas estimates and the results at the other tracks are equally low. Simply fact, in spite of your spin.
    Editor’s Note: Being ‘proven wrong’ by comment section contributors on the Internet is laughable. And, as predicted, you provide no evidence that represents any sort of attempt at counterbalanced, more ‘factual’ counts. So I remain confident. You remain merely a yelper.

    As for NBCSN, Indycar rarely finds itself in the top five, and their ratings have lagged for years. These are facts, regardless of how often you choose to misrepresent them.
    Editor’s Note: All you need to do is look at the numbers, as I have. Then you will know. As previously stated your ‘facts’ are not based on data. They are based on keystroke pounding. If you want credibility, give me some hard numbers. Otherwise, take your OCD medication.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — June 18, 2014 @ 7:04 pm | Reply

  25. The Texas proof was easy, as you were factually wrong when you vastly overstated the capacity of the track. Based on the open section available, your estimate was impossible to achieve. Stated more directly, the number you provided could not be achieved based on the principles of mathematics. So, yes, I proved it conclusively, and you were obviously unable to offer any substantive counter to that.
    Editor’s Note: Facts: The media in the DFW area estimated the crowd at 65,000. Outside media estimated the crowd at 50,000. The track itself including management and staff also came in at around 50,000. My count of 47,000 is based on A) Being there, both in the stands and in the suites (hidden from those using their fingers and toes from aerial television shots LOL) and B) Actually speaking with people who know. None of these groups, who have infinitely more credibility that OCD-afflicted Internet yelpers, seem to believe the chicken littlers have any sort of valid point. As a matter of fact Eddie Gossage is very happy with the return and is enthusiastic about continuing to run IndyCars at his track. You continue offering yelping backed by nothing. Stop wasting our time.

    Again, SP and Detroit were very modest crowds with low ticket demand (thus, freebies were available), and indy offered a significant reduced capacity and wide swaths of open seats (which is why a number of very good seats were available at prices well under face value).
    Editor’s Note: Again, as predicted, you consistently provide no evidence that represents any sort of attempt at counterbalanced, more ‘factual’ counts. All you need to do is look at the numbers, as I have. Then you will know. As previously stated your ‘facts’ are not based on data. They are based on keystroke pounding. Once again, if you want credibility, give me some hard numbers. Otherwise, continue taking your OCD medication.

    As for NBCSN, Indycar is rarely one of the top rated programs there, and ratings remain extremely low. They (NBC) seem far more interested in their EPL investment, as they seem to be promoting it more that Indycar (who would blame them after the initial success of last season and the high World Cup ratings enjoyed by ABC/ESPN, which have been exponentially greater than Indycar).
    Editor’s Note: Common sense: IndyCar is in the middle of a three week break. World Cup is in progress. What is taking precedence at the moment? Duh. Use your brain.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — June 20, 2014 @ 4:32 pm | Reply

  26. In other words, you’re once again fact free in your “rebuttal”. Again, you misstated the capacity at Texas, and I factually refuted your inaccuracy. Simply put, you were wrong, as you have been about each of the other points I’ve raised (attendance at the other tracks, as well as television ratings). If you had any support for your positions, you would have long ago provided said support. That you are unable to do so says everything one must know.
    Editor’s Note: Look, kid. Your lack of reading comprehension, inability to debate with anything even remotely resembling intelligence, and OCD-like mental illness is the problem here. I did not restate the capacity of Texas. Once the backstretch stands, all visible main straight stands, and all suite seating is considered, the capacity is 191,000, as previously stated in an entirely different thread. The person avoiding questions is you. You have still failed to answer these:

    1. Please quantify ‘horrible’ and ‘hindering’ in terms of actual effect; e.g. dollars.
    2. Considering IndyCar is one of NBCSN’s highest rated properties, why would there be urgency to get rid of the ‘burden?’
    3. In the mix of demographically targeted programming bought by agencies, what are viable programming alternatives with the same numbers?
    4. Since other properties such as F-1 do not get better ratings on NBCSN would NBCSN want to rid themselves of that ‘burden’ as well, particularly considering that property is costing them a lot more to license?
    5. If you were in charge of NBCSN what would be your cutoff point for ‘low’ ratings and why?
    6. How much advertising is sold based upon 12+ overnight or final numbers?

    Then, as you veered off topic to attendance, you still continued not to provide viable, credible counterpoint to the following attendance estimates, based upon actual attendance, discussion with track management, and history:

    -St. Pete weekend = 45,000
    -Long Beach weekend = 65,000
    -Birmingham weekend = 55,000
    -GP of Indy = 50,000
    -Indy Quals = 40,000
    -Indy Carb Day = 80,000
    -Indy 500 = 225,000
    -Detroit 1 = 20,000
    -Detroit 2 = 35,000
    -Texas weekend = 45,000
    -Houston 1 = 35,000
    -Houston 2 = 35,000
    -Pocono = 60,000
    -Iowa = 35,000
    -Toronto 1 = 30,000
    -Toronto 2 = 35,000
    -Mid-Ohio weekend = 65,000
    -Milwaukee = 25,000
    -Sonoma = 28,000
    -Fontana = 35,000

    Instead, you remain obsessed with your silly ‘I know you are but what am I’ games, just like a four year old. Please do not come back unless you are able to return with something resembling substance. You continue going around in circles with no point. I do not know how to make any of this any more clear.

    Comment by Bob Chinn — June 20, 2014 @ 10:40 pm | Reply

  27. (Repetitive, off topic, pointless OCD mercifully relocated to comment section of 12/19/13 blog)

    Comment by Bob Chinn — June 21, 2014 @ 7:05 pm | Reply

  28. (Off topic commentary relocated to comment section of 12/19/13 blog)

    Comment by Bob Chinn — June 22, 2014 @ 12:43 am | Reply


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