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NASCAR Testing Streaming Cameras At-Track: When Will it Be Available for All Fans?

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This weekend, NASCAR will be experimenting with a brand new feature on the NASCAR Tracks App. Ethan Joyce of Sports Business Journal reports that NASCAR partnered with Amazon Web Services to give those in attendance at the Chicago Street Race access to 60 video at the race track.

This is something totally new, and it opens up a new way to experience the race, both at the race track and potentially at home. It also continues to fuel rumors of NASCAR’s future in streaming.

What Does This Mean for the Experience this Weekend?

With NASCAR using this via the NASCAR Tracks App this weekend, it seems that the emphasis, for this weekend at least, is for those at the race track. The obvious practical application for this is that NASCAR is racing at a street course this weekend, meaning that those in attendance cannot see the whole track at one time.

This does offer fans with the chance to see multiple parts of the race track when the big battles are not around them. It allows fans at the track to have a more immersive viewing experience, especially on road courses. Obviously, some question marks continue to arise from that.

Will there be good enough Internet bandwidth at the track for people to access this and use it well? Is there really a purpose for those to use it at the track if they are at the race track already? Furthermore, could this not be used outside of the track as well?

Where Could NASCAR Take This in the Future?

Having alternate viewing options of a race is not an entirely new concept. DirecTV used to have NASCAR Hot Pass, which featured full on-boards of certain drivers depending on the race weekend. NASCAR Drive features on-boards of every car plus stationary battle cameras as well.

This seems to be brand new as this shows parts of the race track rather than on-boards. Frankly, this could easily be used at home as well. For those who want to have a multi-screen experience at home, this could be a cool thing to add to the home-viewing experience.

It also helps NASCAR counteract one of the major problems with TV viewership, and that is phone distraction. This provides NASCAR with something NASCAR related that fans can put on that potentially distracting second screen.

Giving fans the ability to watch what they want rather than what the broadcast is showing on TV adds something to the home viewing experience. It gives the fans at home the same advantage that fans at the track have, the ability to watch whatever during the race entertains you.

This easily could and should be a regular thing if that happens. It can provide a new viewing experience.

What could this mean for NASCAR’s Streaming Future?

This is the second time that NASCAR and Amazon have collaborated on something. NASCAR will be releasing a Garage 56 Documentary on Amazon Prime.

Amazon has been called the “favorite” to land NASCAR’s streaming rights at the next TV deal. The more Amazon and NASCAR collaborate on something, no matter how mundane, the speculation will run rampant.

Amazon is also arguably NASCAR’s best streaming bet simply because Amazon Prime has 150 million subscribers. This puts NASCAR in front of a massive audience, even for just a few races per season.

If this is a success, and the collaboration works between both sides, then there is no reason to think that both sides will not continue to work together. Could it go so far as a streaming TV deal?

Imagine if Amazon maybe takes the rights for that, and potentially offers that on that platform for every race if it takes the TV deal? It could be a unique way to bring Amazon to NASCAR in a more gradual way if Amazon takes the streaming rights.

In the Stands

Brady compares this to featured holes in golf.

The lack of Raceview is definitely a miss, but maybe this is the start of an alternative?

Dillon Potts is wondering why this is not more highly advertised.

This could easily be a new thing NASCAR starts doing regularly that can provide a new viewing experience. Aside from the traditional broadcast, fans can use this to watch whatever they want, and those at the track can see parts of the track they cannot see from the grandstands. It may need some tweaks, but NASCAR may be on to something.

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Joshua Lipowski

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