The Scituation

Scituate High School's student newspaper

The Scituation

The Scituation


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Why aren’t people watching more Motorsports competitions?

Why aren’t more people watching NASCAR? Televised motorsports have consistently low viewership compared to football, basketball, and other sports, despite their appeal and level of excitement. A motorsport is a sport involving a highly trained driver navigating a racetrack in a specialized car. The objective is to be the first to complete all the laps on the racetrack. It might sound simple, but there are many factors for a driver to consider in making this happen. To complete a race, a driver will often need to make multiple pit stops; these include stopping at designated zones on the racetrack for each driver and their crew members to adjust their car. 

Compared to other sports, motorsports only have roughly 30 races per season, while most soccer and hockey leagues have roughly 50-80 games for each team per season. The schedule can be inconsistent at times, with off-weeks and race dates being moved due to unfavorable weather or other factors that can make it tough to see all the events live. Since other sports have multiple games at different times, a game is usually on at any point in the afternoon or evening. Most leagues will have games spread out over multiple days. If someone were to miss a game,  there usually is another game they could watch instead. Since motorsports have all the drivers race all at once on a single day, after the race is complete, there are usually about seven days until another competition. The issue of viewership could come down to supply, demand, and opportunity. People will likely change the channel if there isn’t a race to watch.

Unsurprisingly, most people would prefer to watch sports with high-profile players. Since there is only one driver, there are fewer names associated with motorsports than others. Also, most sports have a specific season to watch; motorsports may be overlooked since they can be watched at any time. According to Nielsen ratings, during October in 2023,  the most viewed sporting events were the World Series, Monday Night Football, and Football Night in America. Although motorsports had playoff races at the same time, they still had less viewership, while most viewership went to football and baseball. 

Regardless of the time of year, motorsports are always vying for more airtime. With a large percentage of US citizens focusing their attention on football, baseball, and basketball,  motorsports are consistently ranked at the bottom of total television viewership in the nation. Even though there are cutting-edge track designs and changes within the sport to attract new watchers, they can’t seem to edge out other sports. Maybe motorsports could benefit from an “image makeover” to increase overall viewing and interest. What would you want to see in a motorsports competition?

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