The Associated Press released a report today stating that Fox Sports Chariman David Hill would like to see shorter races. His ideal is set at having a four-hour broadcast with 40 minutes of pre-race coverage and 20 minutes of post-race coverage.
Shortening races could be a step in the right direction as the newer generation of fans has a lot of different forms of entertainment to choose from so condencing the races down allows for better focus.
Also, some races can tend to be boring in the middle with how the action dies down, which at this poin is what draws fans away. Some fans have said that they just go watch the final 20 to 50 laps, plus the recap, and they've got their dose as the middle does dry them out. Some fans find themselves watching the beginning, falling asleep during the middle and then in the end, they wake up and catch the tail of the race feeling complete.
Shortening the races would condense the amount of time allowed for drivers to make a move, therefore pushing them to drive harder. You see this at your local short track as the 50 to 100 lap features see drivers run hard every single lap. You also see this in the Camping World Truck Series with 150 to 250 mile races. This is the reason some have tuned over to the Truck Series as they like the excitement there. Could the same philosophy work in it's big brother?
Though, some changes would also have to be made if this change was to take effect. If fans were brought forth to pay the same ticket prices for a shorter span of time, you would see less fans traveling, espically since complaints about the prices have already been made. So therefore ticket prices would have to be dropped to go with the change. Some track owners may not be in the favor of this as this will reduce the profit made from their perspective.
Also, Hill may think this is a good idea, though shorter time on television equals less time for him to display advertisements. As a result, he will be making less of a profit so will that be okay from his perspective?
All in all, this is a debate that considers a bunch of factors mixed together - fans and their feelings and the profit of all the companies that are connected to the ordeal. To come to any agreement, everybody will have to agree on something that works for all parties. Whether that equals shorter races or not, that will be a question that NASCAR faces in the future.
Oh, by the way......
40 minutes for the pre-race show and 20 minutes for post-race show is something that may have to be questioned.
Pre-race shows have gotten to the point of including ridiculous content that has caused some fans to turn away. In contrast, post-race shows have been too short as they don't contain the right amount of interviews to cover the events and speak to the drivers about what had happened throughout the race.
To gain fans back to watching racing on television rather through radio or getting updates online, they will need to address this issue as this is another reason that television ratings have been going down. Maybe flip the two and have a short pre-race show, yet long post-race show.