NASCAR’s 2020 ratings were “extremely strong in a pandemic year” as other sports experienced “double-digit” declines in viewership relative to 2019, observed Performance Radio Network’s (PRN) Brad Gillie on Friday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow.
“Television ratings for NASCAR had been extremely strong throughout a pandemic year, where a lot of sports saw a double-digit downfall in their ratings,” said Gillie, host of SiriusXM’s NASCAR Radio’s The Late Shift. “NASCAR didn’t see that. So there’s a huge buzz of positivity around the sport and surrounding the sport right now that actually goes outside of the race track [and] outside of just the normal core fan base.”
Gillie remarked, “We’re coming off of a season where there’s been so much positive attention drawn to the sport that it’s drawn new ownership. Michael Jordan — probably the most popular athlete in the world — is now a team owner. Pitbull — one of the most worldwide known entertainers — is now a team owner in the sport.”
Sports Media Watch reported in December:
The complete 36-race NASCAR Cup Series schedule — including all rain-affected races — averaged 3.06 million viewers, down 2% from last year. Taking out the record-low Daytona 500, which was run primarily on a Monday afternoon due to rain, the remaining races increased 1%.
The 2% dip compares to double-digit declines for the majority of sports properties this year.
“The NBA, NHL, and MLB all suffered double-digit domestic viewership declines this year as rescheduled seasons and events were squeezed into the second half of 2020,” Sports Media Watch reported in a separate analysis.
Declining ratings for professional baseball and football leagues came as left-wing political activism from players and teams became more aggressive than in previous years.
Gillie reflected on the Dale Earnhardt Sr., who died 20 years ago on February 18, 2001, due to a crash in the Daytona 500.
“Dale Earnhardt had everything,” Gillie recalled. “He had talent. He won seven championships, only two other drivers have done that in the history of the sport. He had swagger. He was the Marlboro man of NASCAR if you will. He was the guy that everyone looked up to.”
Gillie continued, “The charisma that he had, and the way he went about what he did. He was not afraid to run someone off the racetrack if it meant that’s what he needed to do to win, and he also had the talent to be able to go out there and win in any situation on any type of race track. He was one of those people that just simply stood out in a room as a larger than life human being.”
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