The Numbers Are In: Fox Had Record-Low NASCAR Ratings

Fox's portion of the NASCAR season has concluded, and for the second straight year, Sports Media Watch reports the network's racing ratings were the lowest yet.

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The final numbers, according to this report, were down six percent in ratings and 11 percent in viewership.

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This is obviously surprising, since the racing has been entertaining this season and the "Boys, have at it" philosophy has generated some dramatic storylines. It's hard to understand why viewers aren't tuning in like they used to, though some fans have pointed the finger at Fox itself.

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Whatever the reason, the five-year slide from the sport's record highs in 2005 hasn't been able to be stopped. Even in three races whose ratings went up, the numbers were still lower than 2008, the story said.

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More sobering news:

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The pothole-marred Daytona 500 hit a 19-year-low in television ratings, and three other races (the Shelby American, Food City 500 and Coca-Cola 600) hit ten-year lows.

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Though the story points out that NASCAR's ratings are still superior to those in other sports, including the NBA playoffs (not including the NBA Finals), it doesn't mention the NFL and NCAA Tournament saw some record-high ratings this year.

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What does it mean for NASCAR? Ultimately, if the ratings don't turn around soon, it will mean a lot less money in the next TV contract negotiations. And that could affect the tracks and ultimately the teams in a significant way.

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