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Martinsville on TV? Down......is anybody in Daytona paying attention?

  Martinsville 500 didn't draw great TV ratings, and the crowd was off too. Does NASCAR's championship chase need some tweaking? (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern

   If NASCAR executives aren't sweating thing already, they ought to be now: Martinsville's TV ratings are down.
   ABC reported Sunday's Martinsville 500 earned a final national household rating of 2.9, down from the 3.3 rating for last year.
   The telecast averaged 4,702,038 viewers, ABC says.
   That 2.9 appears to be the lowest rating in more than three years for a regularly scheduled NASCAR Sprint Cup event on network TV.
   The overnight TV ratings for Martinsville's 500 was 2.5 -- that's the rating for the nation's top urban markets.


When do the current TV

When do the current TV contracts expire? I'm sure Mr. France and friends will start to care about ratings when the next round of negotiations starts.

NASCAR's newest TV contract

NASCAR's newest TV contract package -- with Fox/Speed, ABC/ESPN and TNT -- in December 2005: an eight-year deal valued at $4.8 billion. And apparently there are no 'performance' clauses, so the money doesn't change, no matter what the ratings.

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