Into the third season of the current television deal, how is interest in Supercars tracking? As with most Australian sports, attracting crowds while also asking fans to pay for watching all events live on television is proving a challenge, as we examine in V8X Supercar Magazine issue #98.
Issue #98 is on sale now in stores with the digital edition available in the official V8X app (in the App Store and Google Play), online at DigitalEdition.V8XMagazine.com.au and in the Magzter app store.
CLICK HERE for more information on issue #98.
Supercars CEO James Warburton is adamant: "The strength of our sport is in its wide appeal. From white to blue collar, four to 84, surgeons to barristers and tradies to truckies... no sport in this country has such a broad and diverse base."
But that diverse base has been tested with the pay-television deal now in its third season. Fans wanting to watch every event live must subscribe to pay-television provider Foxtel, otherwise they make do with delayed highlights outside of six marquee events.
Supercars' crowd figures have come under the spotlight following a significant drop in attendances to the season-opening Clipsal 500 Adelaide and the struggle to attract fans to Phillip Island, Queensland Raceway, Winton and other permanent facilities.
The National Rugby League (NRL) is also dealing with this dilemma. Crowds have slumped in a season in which Foxtel launched the Fox League channel, a dedicated 24-hour NRL channel showing all matches live.
Does forcing fans to pay for the privilege of watching all events live detract from the money they would otherwise spend on attending those same events?
V8X Supercar Magazine decided to ask our readers for their thoughts on the crowd and ratings dilemma, why they aren't attending events and the state of Supercars in 2017.
CLICK HERE to purchase issue #98 to read the feature.