Side-by-side commercials are continuing to gain momentum in the NASCAR TV world.
NASCAR on FOX is "absolutely" interested in expanding the amount of time it airs side-by-side commercials with live action coverage during a race, lead race producer Barry Landis said Monday night.
"We talk about it all the time," he said. "To what degree? ... We're working on the economics on the sales side, but we hope to do it more this year, for sure."
Landis said he's a race fan and understands why NASCAR fans don't like it when TV networks cut away from green-flag action to show commercials.
But at the same time, he said advertisers "want to see that people are paying attention to their product." If FOX can convince more advertisers to get on board with the side-by-side concept, that type of coverage can expand.
"We hope to be able to continue to choose our spots, get our sponsors in line and really give the fans what they want," Landis said. "We've got the best sales force I've ever seen. They know. They're out there working it. Hopefully, people will get interested and see the value and say, 'Absolutely. That's great.'"
Side-by-side commercials are when a TV network continues to show the race in a small box while airing ads – thus allowing the viewer to keep an eye on the race action.
Last season, FOX decided to use side-by-side for the final 30 laps at Dover, Charlotte and Kansas. Landis said being able to do so was "awesome."
ESPN then expanded the concept, going to side-by-side for the last half of each Chase race. Perhaps by coincidence, TV ratings increased for the Chase.
So what can fans do to let advertisers know they want more side-by-side ads? Landis is on board with the idea of using social media to praise those sponsors who choose to share the screen with the race.
"Tweet away! Go, go!" he said. "That'd be great."