NASCAR chairman Brian France reports during the state-of-union address that negotiations for a new television contract that would go into effect in 2015 are "getting down to the last bit of it.'' France said his hope is to renew with the incumbents. Fox has renewed from 2015-22 for a reported $300 million a year. ESPN and TNT are the other current partners. NBC also is a player for a major portion of the 36-race schedule.
The sport is growing to new heights through revenue generated by television, corporate sponsorships and faithful fans. The level of competition is diminishing due to the constraints placed on teams and drivers. Officials need to rethink how they are governing the sport.
Since the almighty dollar is strong for the foreseeable future and owners, teams and drivers can feel secure the sport will be around, can we start seeing a racing product that can be entertaining without endangering drivers and fans?
Officials have been calling more debris and competition cautions to lessen the congaline style of racing and increase the tighter pack style for television. These cautions are not how to better the races. Allow drivers to mix-it-up on the track and quit limiting the development of the new Generation 6 car. The car is producing high speeds, but officials are not penalizing teams with new ideas and equipment improvements to make the cars more stable and competitive.
The PGA Tour requires a corporate sponsor to put out at least $6 million to be placed on the regular tour schedule.
The LPGA and Champion Tours are not seeing a tenth of this type of revenue due to the lack of corporate commitments. The winner on these tours generally will receive a quarter of the amount a winner on the PGA Tour receives for a win. This is wrong by my standards and anyone who receives a paycheck each week.
Professional sports is entertaining, challenging and economically viable to participants, but sponsorship dollars drive how successful the end result.
Contact Eddie Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org