Does Disney, aka ESPN aka ABC Hate NASCAR Fans?

by on September 12, 2010

in Entertainment

Disney ABC Rumored Sale

Saturday night had the NASCAR race from Richmond International Speedway on ABC and it won the night for broadcast ratings by pulling in an estimated 4.9 million viewers. The season premiere of Cops was the 2nd place show in the 8 p.m. slot with 3.3 million viewers. At 8:30, the Cops numbers surged to over 4 million viewers.

When it comes to Saturday night, ABC has a decent trump card with NASCAR in its back pocket. NASCAR is important to ABC because of this. More viewers brings more eyeballs to ABC’s advertisers.

As any Cinema Static on Brusimm reader knows, advertising is what gets the shows on the air. For the upcoming 2010/2011 television season, the prime networks sold over $8 billion in advertising air time. For a single season.

Does ABC Have NASCAR Fans Over a Barrel?

NASCAR Logo - National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing

Between the funds made for advertising and the fact that ABC KNOWS that NASCAR fans will not turn away from a televised race event, is why I suspect to be the reasoning behind such programming decisions such as letting a college football game with a huge point spread to play 20 minutes into the pre-race NASCAR telecast. (See Sprint Cup Series on ABC from Richmond VA on The Daly Planet site by John)

What I suspect is that ABC knows we’re going to show up for the race, no matter what. This is what I suspect was part of the reasoning in a previous race in a previous year that we were trumped in seeing the end of a Phoenix race on ABC… contractual obligations with advertiser’s expectations and America’s Funniest Videos. Why we’re continually trumped by baseball and other such deeds. To be honest, it’s the ugly business side of things that trumps the emotional desires of NASCAR TV fans.

Of course, the fact that ABC/ESPN consistently does this to NASCAR fans seems to be an ugly and consistent pattern… as I think back a few weeks to watching televised little league trump a NASCAR telecast for qualifying, but hey, who’s keeping track here? Or that with 12 drivers competing for the Chase for the Cup, we only get coverage on one driver at the finish line.

Speaking of NASCAR, ABC and advertisers, if you were watching the telecast you know that when the college football game ended, rather than jump right to the pre-race show for the fans, NASCAR expectant viewers were first presented with 6 television commercials for just around four minutes before “cutting” into the pre-race telecast. ABC was in no rush to get to the pre-race show.

Is “The Mouse” A Spiteful Rodent?

I’ve had to deal with self-admitted spiteful people in the past and if I didn’t know any better, I’d swear there’s some spiteful character in the background at ABC/ESPN who seems to go out of their way to find any reason they can to pre-empt, delay and cut away early from anything related to a NASCAR telecast.

Disney/ABC/ESPN seems to be very consistent in sending the message that they prefer their family cartoons & movies and Hannah Montana and that they vehemently dislike anything to do with NASCAR.

My other curious conjecture goes along the lines of whether Disney is trying to limit the advertiser/sponsor exposure at the tracks that is found on the cars, on the track walls and such. Those advertisers don’t pay extra for TV time via the camera, unless they pay extra into the TV time for their own ad time. (Thanks for the info John!) In this case, like the rest of the this article, I’m just wondering out loud and sharing my curiosities with the rest of you!

I’m sure that someday badminton or a Paper/Rock/Scissors* competition will preempt a NASCAR race. It’s just a matter of time.

(*Yes, I’ve seen Paper/Rock/Scissors tournaments on TV!)

If you’re inclined:

or follow it all at

[Ratings info: TV By The Numbers]

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Bruce Simmons October 15, 2011 at 5:42 pm

I saw on Twitter that if you tried turning your TV sound mode from Stereo to Mono, that that little trick would help.

Norma October 15, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Can’t hear the commentators for the noise of the cars on ABC!!!

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