BURK'S BLAST w/editor Jeff Burk

Just Wondering ...

Just Wondering ... Have I assigned too much time, effort and importance to NHRA’s extremely low Nielsen ratings for the Fox/FS1 NHRA National Event broadcasts? Apparently I have.


Despite very poor ratings when compared to other motor racing broadcasts and series the Coca-Cola company has renewed another multi-year deal to make its Mello Yello brand the NHRA pro series championship sponsor. I don’t believe that company would have renewed its contract with the NHRA if their corporate management wasn’t absolutely positive it was the right thing to do for the company.


The Fox Network continues to air some NHRA national events both on both the network and FS1.  So FOX gets exclusive rights to broadcast one of the racing world’s most prestigious auto racing series on their own network and they continue to take NHRA’s money to broadcast NHRA’s races.


To be honest, I cannot remember any NHRA professional team owner in any professional class (other than Top Fuel team owner Tony Zizzo) ever complain about the lack of TV exposure or who had any idea whether the Nielsen ratings were good or bad. All of the owners I have talked to are only concerned that they are able to tell sponsors or potential sponsors that NHRA drag racing event will be broadcast on network TV.


I now think it is very plausible that any Fortune 500 company thinking of getting involved with the NHRA or one of its professional racers for the 2020-21 seasons know the Nielsen ratings for each national event as well as the actual number of spectator tickets sold for the last five years, approximately how many viewers the Fox network will deliver over the course of a season, and what that exposure is worth in advertising/sponsorship dollars.


Those NHRA nitro teams needing that $500,000-$1,000,000 major associate sponsor in order to even think about a full 24-race schedule in 2020 will find out this fall how that pie will get portioned out.




Just Wondering ... If the quarter-mile tracks of 12 years ago weren’t safe at the 340-mph speeds the nitro cars were approaching then, are they any safer now with speeds approaching 340 once again but in just 1,000 feet?




Just Wondering ... Doesn’t it stress race car components much more to make a car go 339+ in 1000 feet instead of 1320 feet?




Just Wondering ... Will more national event track owner/operator who already has a least one “Night of Fire” extravaganza using nitro cars as the main attraction do a similar race using the Street Outlaw/No Prep classes and stars of those classes as the draw? Every time the Street Outlaw production company goes to a premier level track and allows spectators they attract record numbers. That scenario played out at Firebird Dragway in Boise where the New family sold tickets and it delivered a ticket buying SRO (Standing Room Only) crowd.  

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