Blog Post 4

Blog Post 4

NASCAR’s TV Problem

Today’s blog will focus on the TV Broadcast partners that NASCAR works with, and how they need to improve the way that they share the sport with the fans. I will focus on the coverage that FOX provides because we are currently in their portion of the schedule.


NASCAR has been on FOX and its subsidiaries since 2001, over two decades of NASCAR coverage provided by the same company. I have been watching the sport through FOX’s lense my whole life, and in the past few years, it has become clear to me and many others that there is a lot they need to improve. I’ll list a few of the most obvious problems below and discuss why it needs to be improved.


I understand that commercials and advertisements will always be a part of television. It is something that we are used to when consuming media that is not behind a paywall (i.e. streaming services like Netflix and Hulu). However, when I watch a NASCAR race, it is obvious that there are an above-average amount of commercials and breaks in the action that disrupt the viewing experience. For example, the Daytona 500 (the biggest race of the year) was this past weekend, and during the entire first stage, all of the commercials were full screen and lasted considerably longer than a normal commercial break. It was clear that FOX had oversold the number of advertisements during the race in anticipation of added viewership. It is great that later in the race we are able to switch to a side-by-side view between ads and the on-track action, but at the beginning of the race when viewership is at its peak, piling on advertisements will scare away any potential new fans.

Example of a NASCAR Side-by-Side Advertisement Break

It is imperative that NASCAR work with its broadcasting partners to improve in this area. When compared to other motorsports in the US, it is clear that NASCAR is stuck in the past. Formula 1 races are offered with live coverage from the green flag to the finish of the race without ANY commercial interruptions. Even Indycar was able to secure all of their advertisements during the Indy 500 last year to be side-by-side when the race was under green flag conditions. NASCAR and FOX Sports need to work together to create a broadcast that does not feel swamped with commercials. 


Switching to something that FOX has more control over, the production of the broadcast needs to be improved. This is something that everyone might not notice or even care too much about, but to the hardcore fans that tune in each week, the flaws are obvious. For one, the choices that are made in terms of what is shown on screen have been questionable, to say the least. The onboard cameras (cameras mounted on the cars) are used too much and at unreasonable times. The switch to an on-board severely limits any ability to see what is happening on the track, and in my opinion, they should be used sparingly and saved for special segments like Crank it Up or instant replays. During the Daytona 500, FOX missed the beginning of a large crash (including a car flipping over) because they were showing an onboard camera. Something else that has been an issue are the type of shots that are shown. The best way to view a race is with a wide, sweeping angle that shows multiple cars at once. It is common when watching a race on FOX to see close shots of either one or two cars, zooming in when unnecessary and restricting what the audience sees. The use of overhead and wide angles are welcomed and encouraged.

Footage of Harrison Burton’s No. 21 car flipping during the 2022 Daytona 500 on FOX


I’ll keep my thoughts on the commentary/commentators short because I have touched on it in the past, but it is still a vital part of the broadcast that I should mention. The FOX broadcast booth has gone through many changes over the past few years, adding Jeff Gordon, removing Larry McReynolds, Removing Darrel Waltrip, Adding Clint Bowyer, and then removing Jeff Gordon. A consistent booth of commentators would be a great start in terms of improving the broadcast. Unfortunately, this year FOX has decided to stick with Mike Joy and Clint Bowyer while rotating a third personality into the booth on a week-by-week basis. It is too early to determine whether this will be a good or bad change, but I am excited to see how different people mesh with the current booth. Overall, the commentators need to take the action more seriously, cracking fewer jokes and focussing on the racing and technical aspects of the sport. 

Mike Joy, longtime play-by-play announcer for FOX Sports

NASCAR YouTuber Eric Estepp offered some of his own commentaries on some of these same issues on his channel a few months ago. I would recommend watching as it provides more insight into some of the issues that I described today.