During a panel discussion at last weekend’s Canadian Motorsports Expo, someone asked the audience (it might have been Raceline Radio’s Erik Tomas) if they agreed that NASCAR races are too long and that there are too many of them.
Everybody put their hands up.
They’re in good company. The guy who runs Fox Sports, which will broadcast the first 13 races of the 2011 season, including the Daytona 500, thinks so too.
At least the bit about the races being too long (which means they get boring. Nobody said that but 'too long" is code for "boring").
Fox Sports chairman David Hill said during a media tour in Charlotte yesterday that he believes NASCAR races need to be shortened to fit into a three-hour broadcast window.
Hill said the length of races — many go for four or five hours — is one of the problems that's contributed to NASCAR's sinking television ratings.
"I think the racing is far too long," Hill said. Speaking of the slipping audience, he added: “There is more diversion, more opportunities for stuff than any other time in man's history."
Hill said the ideal for Fox would be a four-hour broadcast window, with 40 minutes of pre-race coverage and 20 minutes of post-race coverage. Asked if he'd push NASCAR to shorten any of its races, Hill didn't miss a beat.
"NASCAR doesn't negotiate," he said.
Maybe they’d better start.