With February’s Daytona 500 ratings dipping slightly to a record low and the expectation that viewership for the rest of weekly races will also continue its downward trend, Fox and NBC are struggling to sell advertising this season, according to ad buyers.
Older drivers are retiring, and overall viewership has dropped for the once-hot sport. Now it’s looking for a new title sponsor, with Sprint’s deal about to expire. NASCAR already made a big change last season, when it began its new carriage deal, lasting through the 2024 season. It shifted from ESPN/ABC and TNT to NBC and NBCSN, while continuing to air on Fox. Viewership declined 4% for its 28 races in 2015, according to Nielsen, to an average 5.1 million viewers.