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June 20, 2011

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jim

No crowd at the race, or in front of the TV.
That's classic .1rl for you.

The Speedgeek

What a nuanced take. What did you think of the race, then, "jim"?

pressdog

Har. "Nuanced take." You slay me Geek.

jim

I (like everyone else as the ratings and crowd shots show) didn't watch the "race".

What do you think of the lack of ratings and lack of crowd, Speedgeek?

I think Milwaukee's promoters were hand picked by IMS/.1rl. They're Indiana based and I'm sure they wouldn't have use them, unless they were sure they would do all they could possibly do, to draw a crowd. They failed. Epically.
Guess it wasn't lack of promotion that kept crowds down at those NASCAR tracks last year, eh???
Just the product...

The Speedgeek

jim,
Your comments seem to only be loosely related, from one sentence to the next, so I'm having a bit of a hard time picking through that to reply.

"I think Milwaukee's promoters were hand picked by IMS/.1rl [and what a clever nickname you picked there]... They failed. Epically."

Yeah, the crowd didn't look too good. Hard to claim anything different. From everything I've heard, promotion seemed like things weren't going 100% throttle right up until the last few days there, and by then, it was "too little, too late". Maybe they'll do better next year. Or, there won't be a race. I guess we'll have to see.

"Guess it wasn't lack of promotion that kept crowds down at those NASCAR tracks last year, eh???"

Wait, what? I thought you were bagging on the promoter back up there. In your previous sentence. Now it's that the product is for $%^&? Could you be a little clearer?

What did I think about the ratings and the crowd? They're not great. That's unfortunate, because the race itself was actually pretty good. I don't generally hook my enjoyment of a race to the number of people watching it with me, though, because I can separate those two issues in my head (also, I've watched some pretty awesome barn burners of SCCA Formula Ford and Contintental races, when I was basically standing by my lonesome on a hillside in the rain, but that's a total tangent). Sunday's IndyCar race was plenty competitive, though. Oh, but you wouldn't have known that because you "didn't watch the 'race'". And for somebody who didn't watch the "race" because you think this whole thing is a joke and that the ship is sinking (or more likely, is in the process of fracturing into a million tiny bits on the ocean floor), what are you doing here? You coming over to bag on something you didn't watch would be like me going to some professional wrestling blog to make fun of what they're doing on a weekly basis. I've got other stuff to do, so I don't bother. You don't have anything better to do?

Dylan

That's not a very good TV rating for an ABC race (which NASCAR usually get's over 1.5 for nationwide on). Running it against the Cup race and during the US Open definitely did not help that number.

ThatGuy

I think the 3 ET start time was intended to *avoid* conflicting with the (shockingly, incredibly boring) NASCAR race, which it mostly did. Golf ratings were way down from last year, but I guess more of the lost golf viewers must have went outside and enjoyed non-TV Father's Day activities.

But, hey, Red Bull is leaving NASCAR...time to roll out the ever hopeful "they're coming to IndyCar!" rumors...

jim

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iSD9lPVY6Q

One can do everything possible to draw a crowd, and still fail epically.
If what you have isn't worth seeing, it's quite easy. Just ask RB, the H/G clan and their hand picked team that promoted the Milwaukee race...

pressdog

The timing of the IndyCar race was pretty good to avoid direct competition with NASCAR. NASCAR was just finishing during the IndyCar pre-race. I can agree with jim that the promoter has at least some questions to answer re: attendance. Ticket pricing structure, how customers are served and treated, etc. etc. are all on the promoter. The value of TV ratings, I maintain, is they are a reality check. Easy to have everyone telling you how AWESOME the show is, but ratings (as flawed as the ratings system is) help inject at least some reality into that discussion and keep people from bullshitting themselves that everything is fine ... right into bankruptcy. Ratings also give cover for people trying semi radical things. We have to get ratings up, ergo we'll try this nutty idea.

redcar

I guess it's true--we Indycar fans are a very small (but super-intelligent and breathtakingly good-looking) group.

Ratings won't affect my passion for the series, but they will affect television packages and sponsorships to grow the series. I've not given up on R. Bernard yet, but he sure has his work cut out for him.

As for Jim, take it easy on the poor guy. Someone obviously took his toys (i.e. racing series) away and he still harbors a lot of bitterness.

If his hobby is celebrating failure, then every day is a cloudy one for that guy.

The Speedgeek

Yeah, I get all of that, and I understand the vaule of the TV ratings, but there is a silver lining of the ratings numbers that I haven't heard a whole lot of people talking about. Yes, Texas was only a 0.38 (or thereabouts, I think), and it was up "only" 10%, but that 10% increase over 2010 is still a number that teams and the Series can take to potential sponsors and say "we're up double digit numbers over last season across all demographics and we're up XX% (whatever number this is) in your coveted 18-34 males demo (this is the one that's down for NASCAR, from what I read in the "Red Bull is gone for 2012" stuff today)." There is value in that, and there may be some companies out there who will be encouraged enough by that to come on board. I mean, according to Randy and the boys, sponsor spend dollars were up some ungodly amount in 2010 over 2009, and I think TV ratings were pretty universally putrid last year (and even worse in 2009, I think). We're up in at least half of the races so far this year (St. Pete, Indy, Texas, maybe one other? I forget.), so might that get parlayed into even higher sponsor dollars for 2012?

Can I ask a question as devil's advocate? Why exactly do we (the core, base group of super-dedicated die-hardest thousand or so IndyCar fans) need to know every last TV number? Sure, we all WANT to know (I am not immune, to be sure), but I don't necessarily think that we NEED to know, and if WE know exactly how horrendous, say, the Long Beach number was, then certainly every Fortune 500 company is going to know that number as well. I mean, they'll probably find those numbers out, anyway, but other than using those miniscule Versus numbers as something extra to debate about on blogs, are we (Pressdog, me, redcar, Dylan, anybody else stopping by here) getting anything out of seeing those numbers? meanwhile, the folks who are tasked with making IndyCar a viable, profit-making, going concern, those guys most certainly see the numbers, and I am confident that they are making the soundest decisions possible using those numbers. Is anybody here basing their fandom on whether or not the TV numbers are exceeding 1.0 more than a couple of times a year? I'm not. I follow the Series because the cars are cool, I like the drivers (most of them) and I loke most of the tracks we go to. That's enough for me.

I know that I'm going to turn into Mr. Punching Bag over those last couple of paragraphs, but I just see room for optimism here. If I didn't, I'd have been gone years ago. I guess I'm just trying to talk some folks down from the ledge, though that train's probably sailed for a lot of people. Everybody's flame-y comments can start right...about...now.

The Speedgeek

..."like" most of the tracks. I need to find some medication for these ridiculously fat fingers I have.

Dylan

I don't base my fandom off what the ratings are but ratings affect the sponsorship, which in turn affects the quality of the teams, and whether they hire marketable, wining drivers or whoever's dad gives them the most money. So that's why I care about ratings. Also, stronger ratings and more title sponsorship means a better chance of seeing tracks like Road America and MIS back on the schedule

Jack Squat

"Why exactly do we (the core, base group of super-dedicated die-hardest thousand or so IndyCar fans) need to know every last TV number?"


Because if the numbers continue to look like the grade point averages for University of Cincinnati basketball player's, then the diehard fans aren't going to have a sport to watch much longer. Because the sport will be officially dead.

The whole series is in big trouble. Car counts are going to plummet once new cars are needed. Sponsors aren't likely to be too interested in sponsorsing a series who can't draw flies either on TV or in the stands. Indy Lights have no teams. Star Mazda have no teams. F2000 have no teams.

Whatever small bump the Indy 500 got this year for the sport, is long gone. Now its back to the sad reality for the rest of the year.

The Speedgeek

No, you guys are misunderstanding me. I'm not asking what good are the TV numbers, I'm asking why we, you and I, HAVE to know them. People (well, bloggers, mostly) have been constantly clamoring for those ratings lately, but I'm not so certain that they're a vital part of being a fan. I was an IndyCar fan for fully 17 or 18 years before I spent more than 15 seconds thinking about what TV numbers IndyCar was getting. That's all.

pressdog

You don't HAVE to know them, Geek. Who said you HAD to know ratings to be a fan? I never said that. Tens of thousands of fans are happy NOT to know them. This is completely fine with me. I do not criticize or question their lack of interest in ratings. Knowledge of ratings is NOT critical to being a fan. I have never indicated they were. I, on the other hand, want to know the numbers because as a blogger I am interested in the general health of the series. Ratings are a key indicator thereof, kind of like temperature is a key indicator of human health. AN indicator. Not the only one. If you are not interested in ratings, I would encourage you not to read any stories related to ratings. See how simple that is?

GeorgeK

Geek, the ratings are similar to a pulse, you either have one or your dead. Who DOESN'T want to know that?

In years gone by when things were relatively "healthy" your statement was correct, no one cared about ratings, because things were good with sponsors, broadcasters, teams, fans, etc.

And in years gone by we didn't have the interweb to discuss all this stuff, just passive reaction to the quality of the racing.

The attendance may have been light, but I was surprised that there were more bodies in the upper grandstands (which TV didn't show a lot of) then the lower grandstands. I'd like to believe it was because of the advantageous view of the entire track, or it could have been ticket price based.

A great show by the way, Danica even managed to please me with her 5th place.

Dylan

Uh...Speedgeek, when you're, you know, writing an article, all the information you can find is, uh... kind of important. Ratings and sponsorship figure into a lot of discussions. So that's why, if you're a blogger, you sort of "need" to know them.

The Speedgeek

Whoa, whoa, whoa. This is the whole "devil's advocate" thing I was saying. I am most certainly interested in ratings, and I am glad to hear them whenever they are available. However, I totally get why IndyCar doesn't release them when they are less than glowing. It'd be like saying, "well, people love to punch us over and over again, for any reason they can find. Hey, let's make it easier for them by holding our shirt up and marking on our sides with a sharpie where they can hit us that'll hurt the most!" I mean, I see both sides here, and given the fact that they're not contracturally obligated to release those numbers, I totally understand why they don't when they're not good. That's all.

john of sparta

concerning TV numbers...i'm into scoreboard.
numbers tell winners/losers. can't help it.

oldwrench

I can't believe this turkey even remains on tv. How much longer does the american public have to watch this nonsense? At least we have a real racing this weekend......LeMans. Some needs to shoot this thing and put it out of is misery.

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