Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Wrecks and effects

02.08.2012
University of Iowa study finds fewer fans watching NASCAR races for crashes, more for the race
A study by a University of Iowa economist finds that many car race fans do, indeed, watch NASCAR races because they want to see car wrecks, but more of them have been tuning in to see who actually wins the race since the circuit adopted its Chase for the Cup championship series in 2004.

John Solow, a professor of economics in the Tippie College of Business, and co-author Peter Von Allmen of Skidmore College, looked at 135 NASCAR races between 2001 and 2009. They used a formula that measured the impact on each race's television ratings by incorporating a dozen statistics, ranging from track length to the closeness of the Sprint Cup championship standings to whether there was an NFL game on another network.

Solow found that, indeed, the likelihood of a car wreck did increase viewership, as each additional crash per race increased the audience by about 6 percent in the pre-Chase era. Viewership didn't seem to be affected, he found, by how close the drivers were in the overall point standings for the Sprint Cup championship.

But Solow found significant differences in the results before and after 2004, the year NASCAR adopted its version of a year-end tournament to determine who wins the Sprint Cup. Before the Chase for the Cup was implemented, drivers were awarded points based on their finish in each race through the 26-race season and the driver with the most points at the end was awarded the Cup.

But that often meant some races had little drama because, as the season wore on, one or two drivers separated themselves so that the Cup winner was often a foregone conclusion. So to build year-end excitement, NASCAR adopted a new system in 2004 in which the top ten drivers had their points re-set with ten races to go and only those ten were eligible for the championship.

Solow says creating this Chase for the Cup essentially brought NASCAR the excitement of a "second season," similar to year-end playoffs in other sports, and renewed interest to what had been irrelevant races.

Since the Chase for the Cup was adopted, and later expanded to 12 drivers, the uncertainty factor in Solow's formula that represents the Sprint Cup point standings became a much more significant factor in determining TV ratings. Moreover, that impact was greater the tighter the Chase standings.

For instance, a 50-point reduction in the overall points differential with 20 races to go in the season produces a 4 percent increase in the viewing audience. Another 50-point reduction with only 13 races remaining produces a 6.1 percent increase.

While crashes still made up an important part of the TV rating, Solow says the Chase diminished their importance relative to the overall point standings.

The Chase also closed the ratings gap between NASCAR and the NFL, the only professional sport that can beat NASCAR in the ratings. Before the Chase, NFL games lowered NASCAR ratings by about 20 percent, a significant drop as fans clicked from racing to football. But in the first six years of the Chase, NASCAR held onto most of its audience in head-to-head match-ups as NFL games have had only a negligible impact on ratings.

Solow's study, "The demand for aggressive behavior in American stock car racing," was published recently in the journal Sports Economics, Management, and Policy. It's available online at http://www.springerlink.com/content/l23j7221737u82x6/?MUD=MP

Tom Snee | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uiowa.edu

Further reports about: NASCAR NASCAR races NFL upsets SPRINT Sprint Cup championship Wrecks

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

MRI technique differentiates benign breast lesions from malignancies

20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering

Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms

20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>