SBD/May 29, 2013/Media

Fox Sees Small Audience Dip For NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600, But Wins Primetime

Kevin Harvick's Coca-Cola 600 win saw a ratings drop of 2% from last year
Fox finished with a 4.3 rating and 7.1 million viewers for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday night, down from last year's race, but still high enough to give Fox a win among among networks in primetime. This year's race also had a 40-minute delay due to a cable breaking on a Fox camera and crashing to the track, injuring 10 spectators and causing damage to several cars. The audience this year was down 2% and 4%, respectively, from a 4.4 rating and 7.4 million viewers for last year's race (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor). In Charlotte, Scott Fowler wrote during the first hour following the camera malfunction, it was "frustrating to hear Fox’s announcers frequently tiptoe around the issue that it was their network’s fault the race was delayed and the whole tenor of the night had changed." The crew "kept bending over backwards to praise NASCAR’s response to the situation without talking in much depth about what exactly caused the problem in the first place." Fox "eventually got better as the night went on at owning up and apologizing for its mistake." It did "announce the news that the fans were injured, said that an internal investigation would be held and showed a few replays" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 5/27). SPORTING NEWS' Jeff Owens wrote Fox was a "loser" in the race, as it "had some serious apologizing to do" following the cable breaking. Fox to its credit "admitted the gaffe and immediately apologized." Now it "must live with the Cablegate jokes for the rest of the season" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 5/27).
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