Late Tuesday night, updated ratings information pertaining to the Auto Club 500 were released. It turns out, the final ratings were not nearly as bad as first reports indicated; in fact, though they were down, they declined by approximately three percent, not the 13 percent initially reported and I latched on to. Mea culpa.
Statistics, of course, can be made to say many different things and, used judiciously, they can buttress almost any viewpoint; for example, while my initial post mentioned the fact that overall ratings are off more than 20 percent since 2005, a careful reader suggests that, while true, NASCAR’s ratings are still significantly higher today than they were in 2000. You say potato, I say po-tah-to.
Regardless of how you choose to view or use numbers, there’s no denying that three is a significantly smaller, less ominous-sounding, number than 13. To that end, NASCAR can and should be pleased. Further, the sport can take comfort in the knowledge that, declines notwithstanding, it remains second only to professional football among broadcast sports.
Still, the underlying point remains: whatever the root causes, over the course of the last three-plus years, the sport’s TV ratings have gone down. And though in this instance, at least, that decline isn’t nearly as severe as first reported, the overall trend simply can’t be ignored.
Or go uncommented upon.