Not even Kyle Busch’s magical week could save NASCAR on TV.
The NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol was the second-least watched edition of the race since 2000, according to SportsMediaWatch. The ratings were terrible even though the race moved from cable (NBCSN) to broadcast (NBC).
While it’s true the race posted an increase in viewership over 2015, the 2015 race was marred by rain.
It’s the latest race that has done poorly, ratings wise. SportsMedia notes that 19 of 22 Cup races have declined in viewership this season. NASCAR races average about 3.6 million viewers.
Ratings are critical because sponsors want to be attached to a thriving sport, and NASCAR has been bleeding sponsors with far too much regularity. Not only that, some potential NASCAR sponsors are fleeing to other sports. The convenience store chain, 7Eleven, just announced its first-ever sponsor deal with a sports, and it selected UFC.
NASCAR needs to figure out a way — quickly — to turn this around.