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Another NASCAR Groundhog Day? TV viewers may be melting away


Okay, it's time for some answers from Fox: what's wrong with this NASCAR TV picture? (Photo: Fox Sports)


   By Mike Mulhern

   Maybe it is time to shoot Digger.
   That increasingly obnoxious cartoon character that Fox sports exec David Hill seems determined to shove down the throat of everyone watching Nascar on Fox certainly isn't boosting TV ratings.
   The television ratings are in from Sunday's Las Vegas 427, and Fox pegs it as "the most-watched and highest-rated weekend sports event" for the third straight week.
   The Nielsen ratings for Kyle Busch's charge-from-behind victory pulled a 6.5, meaning it was watched by over 11 million viewers on average.
   That is better than the 6.0 rating the California 500 drew.
   However Vegas' 6.5 is down from last year's 7.1, nearly a 10 percent drop.
   Vegas' TV ratings over the past few years have fluctuated from 2004's 5.8 up to 2008's 7.1.
   What real meaning might be behind Fox' sluggish NASCAR ratings isn't clear.
   And it is also not clear how the TV decline might be related to the quality of the coverage itself….or to the quality of the action on the track. Daytona's quick rain ending didn't boost ratings, obviously, and California's less-than-thrilling follow-up didn't help. And NASCAR's car-of-tomorrow continues to draw jeers from many fans (and promoters too), though NASCAR executives have shown no inclination to do anything about it….and now team owners have so much money invested in these new cars that they may not be enthusiastic about any changes now either.
  However the Las Vegas 427 was a great race on the track, and a nice crowd in the stands.
   That, though, apparently couldn't make up for the previous two NASCAR events.




Apparently no one has any

Apparently no one has any answers.

FOX obviously is trying to market Digger to recoup some of the money they spent on NASCAR rights fees, and it isn't working.

The coverage everywhere leaves something to be desired and the poor quality of the racing is only making it worse. Vegas wasn't that good a race; it was the epidemic of yellows that made it "action-packed." But the sport needs great RACING, not just a pile of yellows.

Maybe it would be a good idea

Maybe it would be a good idea to ask David Hill and Mike Helton?

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