Kevin Harvick, the driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Ford Mustang, recently addressed NASCAR’s declining TV ratings while also bluntly claiming that the ratings increase when Chase Elliott is in the field.
Ahead of Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway, Harvick was asked, “What kind of impact does it have when any competitor is out for an extended period of time and does it make any sort of difference now that [Chase Elliott] is back in the race car?”
Harvick bluntly responded, “Well, it impacts our TV ratings. I know that for sure. There’s more people that want to watch when Chase Elliott is here.”
He continued, “We’re all thankful that he’s back and whether you like somebody, don’t like somebody, get along with somebody, everybody has a piece of the puzzle that they fall into. And Chase, for us, he’s our biggest star and he’s the guy that needs to be here every week for it all to make sense, currently.”
He then stated, “I think, for me, that’s important from an all-around picture. I know that sounds selfish, but I didn’t intend it to sound selfish. I meant that as a broad perspective on NASCAR racing in general.
“I think from Chase’s standpoint things are probably — he’ll settle in. It’s not something that you lose, but this deal is really tough when you don’t do it every week. I’m sure they’ve been in the simulator and probably driven something else in order to get to this point, maybe not. I think it is extremely difficult to get it back going, but it doesn’t take long. It’s not like he’s been out of it for years and has started this season, and has driven the car, and things like that, this year and all last year. But I’m glad to have him back,” he concluded.
Harvick would then be asked a follow-up about the declining TV ratings for NASCAR. As noted by Sportsnaut NASCAR’s TV ratings declined in every race this year until the most recent race at Martinsville that saw the return of Chase Elliott.
The Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum declined nearly 15% from last year and only brought in 3.647 million. The Daytona 500 declined 7.7% bringing in 8.181 million. Auto Club Speedway in California declined 5.6% to 4.315 million.
The trend continued with Las Vegas Motor Speedway dropping 12.2% to 3.991 million. Phoenix Raceway fell 15.1% to 3.389 million. Circuit of the Americas had the largest decline with 16.1% to 3.129 million.
The race at Richmond fell 41.8% to 2.303 million. However, it also switched from Fox to FS1. Comparing it to the first Sunday race on FS1 it still fell 11.9%. The Bristol Dirt race declined 13.9% to 3.450 million. Finally, the race at Martinsville increase 17.7% to 2.218 million.
In response to these declining ratings, Harvick said, “The TV ratings are so weird to look at, right? Let’s just exclude the NFL and you look at everything it just looks like people are just watch less TV and they consume things in different ways.”
“And so you really want to concentrate on keeping things fresh. And I think that’s just what we need to do to is try to keep working on the product and try to make sure we have stars,” he concluded.
What do you make of Harvick’s comments on the declining TV ratings and the impact of Chase Elliott?