NASCAR Esports Event Becomes Highest-Rated TV Event
A lot of people love esports, but the audience is highly specific. If you don’t play games, then you likely don’t watch esports. If you aren’t someone who plays popular esports titles, then you’re probably not tuning in. Oddly enough, a recent NASCAR esports event became the highest-rated TV event of its kind. How does a sport with dwindling viewership pull almost one million viewers on a channel most people don’t even have? Simply put: people love sports, and if they discover the value of esports, the industry could boom.
After Successful NASCAR esports Event, Expect More to Come
Image Credit: Fox Sports
NASCAR is just as surprised as I am, to be honest. Fox Sports is the home of most NASCAR events, and viewership isn’t great. The sport as a whole is in decline, but never underestimate how much people love sports. In a simple case of not knowing what you have until its gone, sports fans are desperate. Sports organizations are desperate too, and major associations in professional basketball, football, and baseball are in panic mode. Those sports feature tens of thousands more fans worldwide than stock racing, but the latest NASCAR esports event made huge waves.
The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series kicked off on March 22 and with little to air on Fox Sports 1 (FS1), the broadcaster aired the event. In what would lead the event to become the single highest rated esports TV event ever, 903,000 people tuned in. That’s a wild pull when other popular video games don’t seem to do as well on cable.
Could esports of Actual Sports Be a Huge Boom Waiting to Happen?
Image Credit: Fox Sports
We know people love sports games, and I’m included in that audience. I play a lot of NBA 2K as well as golf, football, and soccer games. That’s why I tuned into every ESPN 2K Players Tournament event so far. The gaming world and sports world have a lot in common. They enjoy watching the best of the best compete against one another. They also love live competition. COVID-19 destroyed live sports, but esports still go strong with social distancing methods in place. Could we see more esports on TV in the future?
In terms of NASCAR, Fox Sports is airing the rest of the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series this season. This time, the event will air on FS1 and the main Fox channel. It helps that pro drivers compete in the tournament for fun. We might see a larger interest in esports from the mainstream public when all is said and done. In fact, COVID-19 could be the catalyst to the industry booming. Nobody wanted the Coronavirus pandemic, but this is one example of the unforeseen consequences we’ll discover in the coming months and years.
Will you tune into the next NASCAR esports event? Let us know in the comments! Thanks for reading Comic Years for all things gaming, comics, and pop culture!
Taylor is the Gaming Editor of Comic Years and a lifelong fan of video games. He holds two degrees in Political Communication and wrote a Master's Thesis on resistance movements, race, and the exploitation of college athletes. His wife and two Toy Australian Sheppards keep him sane.