Why nhra tv coverage ratings stink.

Discussion in 'NHRA' started by Randy, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. Randy

    Nitro Member

    I purposely started a new thread because I want my rant front and center. Here goes:

    Last week we were out of town for a wedding. Not to worry, my DVR was set and ready. I purposely do not read the results on line so I can watch the show without knowing who won. We get home on Tuesday, and at my first opportunity I turn on the show. First clue...it starts late. If I am a casual watcher without a DVR and see drag racing listed in the TV Guide, turn it on only to see a stick and ball game I couldn't care less about, I would shut off the TV and go mow the lawn.

    Because this has become SOP (standard operating procedure) with ESPN2 I always add a half our to my settings on the DVR. Even with the extra half hour the race coverage I recorded ended at the semi finals. I guess I needed to add an hour. Thanks to Drag Race Central I was able to log on after my DVR recording expired to find out who won.

    So, wanting to see the alky show today, I set my DVR to record the scheduled one hour time slot, plus I recorded the truck show that followed it along with some other program right after that just in case it goes long.

    Low and behold, I get home from church and turn on the Lucas Oil Sportsman series broadcast from Englishtown and I'm treated with highlights from NASCAR for the hour scheduled months ago for "Drag Racing." Again, if I am a casual fan, turn on the TV, sit down to watch "Drag Racing" and see NASCAR reruns I would turn off the TV and go mow the lawn.

    So, my question is...No, my opinion is, they can NOT possible track the ratings accurately when week after week people who turn on ESPN2 to see "Drag Racing" are treated to the second half of a baseball game, poker tournaments, useless NASCAR updates, Worlds Strongest Man competitions or some other program that does not interest the people who wanted to see "Drag Racing" in the first place.

    If Conan O'brian's opening night on the "Tonight Show" was pre-empted with 60 minutes of the ShamWOW guy or Billy Mays selling Viagra in the shape of a donut what do you suppose it would have done to Conan's ratings? The whole idea that tracking any program, be it the truck show that was bounced or anything else is ludicrous when the time slots are not sacred territory. As an advertiser I would be screaming for my money back. Motor oil companies don't reach their target audiences when Cheerleader Competitions replace Drag Racing, just as Ranger Bass Boat commercials don't do well when the audience is viewing a poker tournament instead of Bass Masters.

    ESPN2 needs to buy some analog clocks and put them in every room so they can see what time it is. Maybe that would be a great place to start.

    The ratings on every one of their "B" series programs needs to have an asteric* with a statement saying "Ratings are lower than they should be because your guess is as good as ours as to when the program will actually air on TV."

    With all my admiration to the guys and gals who actually work hard to put these shows together,

    Randy G.
    #1 Randy, Jun 21, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2009
  2. squid

    Nitro Member

    How does that work...Does NHRA pay Espn for TV time..Or Does
    ESPN run the Show?
  3. NYNitro86

    Nitro Member

    and the funny thing is that today, the NHRA sportsman race from E-town wasn't pre empted entirely, but Tractor Pulling was bumped by NHRA thanks to NASCAR bumping NHRA's original spot. Unfortunately they didn't get higher priority to Wrestling.
  4. jackass

    Nitro Member

    Conan... did not need pre-empting for low ratings....lol.. his open night was 20% down form Leno.. and at last count was down 49% over all.....lol

    And i agree.... part of the low ratings has to come from the inconsistant start times of some of the shows... but what are the ratings for the shows that start on time?.. if they are down then they need to look real close at the show its self.. or its promotions leading up to the airing.....

  5. twok4hd

    Nitro Member

    Randy, if it makes you feel any better, I add an hour to my DVR and still didn't see the finals. :mad:
  6. ramblerjay

    Nitro Member

    i am very happy someone posted this. i missed last week and sat down today to watch the englishtown race. since i dvr all drag racing, it is set for a series recording, and thus i don't always remember to add an hour to it. not surprisingly, i saw the baseball game go well over a half hour into the nhra event. at that point, knowing the semi's and finals would be well past my dvr settings, i shut it off and deleted the recording.

    i am sick and tired of nhra being bumped. they would be better off leaving espn2 and going with a network that actually values their program and respects it.

    i hope the shameful ratings give the brass a big wake up call.
  7. clwill

    Nitro Member

    This raises an interesting question, why ESPN? Although I love ESPN2HD, the third class status that NHRA has there seems to beg a new market.

    My first thought is the obvious one: Speed. But what about market share? ESPN is very highly rated by cable systems. To wit:

    And they reach about 90 million US households. This all has to make the Glendora brass drool.

    However, Speed is now reaching over 65 million households. Certainly the audience there is far more receptive to NHRA than the stick and ball world of ESPN. NHRA would also play second fiddle to a lot fewer sports. And Speed is now in HD on some suppliers.

    I'm sure the reasoning in Glendora is that they want NHRA to be seen in the same league as NASCAR (or MLB or NBA or...). But, it's not. Really. Never will be at this rate.

    Why not go somewhere and get loved, rather than stay on ESPN and be disrespected and/or abused.
  8. Super Mod

    Nitro Member

    Like the NHL did:confused:
  9. BF

    Nitro Member

    Or, like the IRL did? If they counted the people watching those other shows when they ran over it would only help our ratings.
  10. clwill

    Nitro Member

    The NHL has had WAY more deeply-rooted problems than the TV channel they were on... Labor issues, management issues, etc., etc.

    Still according to Versus, the ratings more than doubled when the NHL went there. And 3.4 million watched game 4 of the Stanley Cup playoffs -- that's about 5 times as many people as watch NHRA on ESPN2...
  11. ColeCoonce

    Nitro Member

    Hockey's labor/mgt. problems precipitated and hastened its fall from coveted network regular season coverage (Fox, ABC) as well as its perch on ESPN. Drag racing has some pretty deep-rooted problems also. Drag racing should look at hockey's fall as a cautionary tale.

    Whose ratings more than doubled? Hockey's or Versus'?

    Versus' hockey ratings are half of ESPN's and about the same as those of The Deuce. Versus' regular season hockey ratings are 1/5th those of NBC's.

    Good for all involved -- an exception to the rule.

    Versus is still an elephant's graveyard. Excepting an occassional marquee event (the Stanley Cup Finals, the Indy 500), cycling, the NHL and the IRL are on Versus because nobody else will have them.
  12. TF CREW

    Nitro Member


    I know its not the same But the races are rebrodcasted every following monday on ESPN Classics

    just an fyi
  13. clwill

    Nitro Member

    Versus PAID the NHL $200 million to broadcast it. NHRA PAYS ESPN $9 million a year to broadcast it. Hmmm...
  14. badger

    Nitro Member

    I always like a good rant Randy! Good points made and factual no less. I recently tuned in and watched an ADRL broadcast on Versus. I was impressed to say the least. It was enjoyable to watch and it certainly kept me tuned in for the duration.

    I'm no expert, but I firmly believe some outside the proverbial box thinking is in order for NHRA/ESPN2. It appears to me that NHRA and the TV audience are not getting their money's worth?

    NHRA drag racing is a fantastic sport, but as of late, I have been caught napping more than once during the show!:confused:
  15. NYNitro86

    Nitro Member

    exactly, NHRA loses $$$ while NHL gains it from their stations.

    that's "Rent don't buy"

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