Nascar Streaming An Inside Job
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
by Jo Boonton | Venues Today
(Editors note: This story first appeared in SportTechie.com)
NASCAR fans will be able to keep up with their favorite drivers this playoff season by watching a livestream of the race broadcast from inside the car.
The “ride along” video, which will be hosted on Twitter, is meant to be part of a second-screen experience that will complement NASCAR’s overall race coverage.
Fans will get an up-close look at the driver’s point-of-view during all 10 races of the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, with one car being featured per race.
While in-car streams have been done before, with driver Tony Stewart streaming his final race of the 2016 season on Facebook Live, this announcement marks a more united approach from both Twitter and NASCAR that will span multiple weeks across NASCAR’s pool of drivers. Twitter is even sponsoring the series, with Toyota Motor signing on to sponsor the first race at Chicagoland Speedway.
Twitter has been among the digital companies fighting for sports rights as consumers cut the cable cord and look for more affordable ways to consume sports. While Twitter lost one of its biggest simulcast deals this year — the streaming rights for Thursday Night Football to Amazon — it has been working on creating second-screen experiences that can be consumed alongside traditional broadcasts.
For what it's worth, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said paying for live sports streaming is not a part of the company’s long-term goal.
The first race of the NASCAR Cup Series, held at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 17, will be broadcast on NBC. The in-car camera stream can be found on NASCAR’s official Twitter feed, accessible to fans whether or not they have a Twitter account, as well as on NASCAR Drive and NASCAR Mobile.
“Through the in-car camera live stream on Twitter, our fans will have another compelling vantage point of the NASCAR Playoffs, where the energy and intensity of stage racing will be elevated to a whole new level,” Steve Phelps, Chief Global Sales and Marketing Officer at NASCAR, said in a statement.
Alongside the streams, Twitter will aggregate top tweets about the race.
NASCAR has been experimenting with ways to enhance the fan-viewing experience as it struggles with a decline in younger fans.
And starting this season, NASCAR began allowing drivers to wear devices by a select number of approved brands to track their biometrics during races. Some drivers, including Jamie McMurray and Jimmie Johnson, have used the data to improve their workout regimen and to show fans the level of their physical output during races.