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NASCAR's final weekend on TV: down again

  Jimmie Johnson certainly didn't phone it in at Homestead. He had to fight like the devil for his fourth championship. Unfortunately NASCAR's TV ratings were down (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern

   Jimmie Johnson's historic fourth NASCAR championship didn't do anything to perk up the sport's slumping TV ratings.
   ABC's coverage of Sunday's Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway earned a final national household rating of 3.6, meaning an average of  5,606,608 viewers.
   That rating was down considerably from last year's 4.0.
    For the 10-race playoff season, ABC averaged a 3.5 rating this year, after averaging a 3.8 in both 2007 and 2008.
    And ESPN2's coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Ford 300 Saturday at Homestead earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.3, down from a 1.6 rating last year. That means last week's telecast averaged 1,685,543 viewers.
    Overall ESPN2s TV ratings for its 26-race tour in 2009 averaged a 1.4, down from 2008's 1.5 average.

Can we get numbers for the

Can we get numbers for the different networks that provide coverage - read talking heads that cover the race. Coverage (following racing, passing, etc.) and intelligent commentary and analysis helps with ratings and I don't think that I am alone in wishing ESPN was not involved - they just don't understand racing and I don't think they care other than the ad revenue it generates.

NASCAR should be more selective in whom they let cover our sport and that means more than just licensing the right to carry it on air. Any idiot with a camera and enough money can make a bid for the TV rights.

i'd really like to get a lot

i'd really like to get a lot more TV ratings figures....but that whole thing is a strange deal -- nielsen doesnt really 'release' those figures except to people who pay for it (like advertisers and tv networks). so all we the public can get is what they want to dole out. of course the weaker the ratings, the less incentive for anyone to make them public. remember the first few years of the new tv package, when fox and nbc were throwing out numbers each week right and left, demographics too, males 18-25, females 25-49, all sorts of figures....then we started looking for hispanic numbers and stuff like that, and then everything started drying up. nascar gets all the numbers, and good or bad it ought to put them out for people to ponder.

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