Some number crunching NASCAR enthusiast named Andrew Maness trotted out what looks like some sort of A+ school project on a website called ‘NASCARnomics’ and subsequently on trackforum that conclusively demonstrated IndyCar 12+ ratings have declined since 1996.
Big shocker there.
Allow me to say that it would be nice if people who went to Internet forums to type things put even half as much thought and effort into their analysis as this Andrew has. The Internet would be a far better place for discourse than it is now. I am unsure how the gallery inside NASCAR forums interact when presented with such quality work because I never visit NASCAR forums. I simply do not care. Andrew goes by ASM on trackforum, and predictably he has been greeted in many cases by barely literate, often nonsense taunting that gets lost among the few intelligent comments allowed in. If authentic, knowledgeable IndyCar fans were allowed to post there (the schoolmarm hypocrisy of that particular failed potential site precludes it at the present time) an intelligent discussion might actually break out from time to time.
My only real questions might be why Sao Paulo and the Indianapolis 500 were excluded from the analysis. I understand excluding events interrupted by weather. I understand Motegi. It runs in the middle of the American night, although a case could be made for including the numbers for re-airs, even for delayed events. Does similar NASCAR analysis exclude the Daytona 500? Why 1996? Why not 2000? Or 1990? Or 1980? Or 2008?
As always, my biggest issue remains consistent. The only thing for which ANY analysis based on 12+ numbers is good is, essentially, waving genitalia around regardless of the degree of detail or presentation. It has no meaningful value in the world of television advertising sales, which the real reason ratings exist. I remain intrigued by the level of mostly subjective detail Andrew compiled. If I am to be impressed Andrew would have to give me the following:
-Consider the same demographic targets agency buyers do. 12+ is not that.
-Compare IndyCar numbers over his selected period or any other, say, five year period, with the vast majority of similarly positioned sports or entertainment entities with similar cable network/occasional OTA contracts.
-Analysis from the perspective of a buyer, who actually does base all buying decisions on multiple combinations of raw numbers. Just not the numbers trotted out on the Internet. One would have to consider things like daypart mix, CPP, HUTs, PUTs, etc. Again, Andrew’s analysis is not that.
It is easy to see a lot of what seems like backed into affirmation of things we already knew. Danica Patrick is kind of popular. Ovals are more popular than road courses. Cable networks with fewer household subscriptions or awkward provider channel positions draw fewer viewers than ESPN. Although there are points, they are based on numbers that do not mean anything in the actual commerce at which they hint.
Better try than most, though.