Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

Why This NASCAR Netflix Documentary Could Work Where Others Have Failed

Article Contents

Circle B Diecast Block
Circle B Diecast Block

In This Article

Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts
Circle B Diecast Block

Let us know what you think

Join the conversation on socials

It’s official, NASCAR will have its own docuseries about the 2023 Cup Series Playoffs premiering in early 2024. This follows NASCAR’s docuseries “Race for the Championship”, which aired on USA last year, and the success of the Formula One Netflix series “Drive to Survive”.

Expectations are high for this documentary, and understandably so. What is it that can and will make this Netflix docuseries succeed?

How Netflix Helps

Netflix is the largest streaming service out there in terms of customers. It also reaches a very young demographic with Ana Gajic of 99Firms reporting that 75% of those aged 18-34 and 72% of those aged 35-44 use the platform. The reason why Formula One reaches that key demographic is that they put their product in front of the eyes of those individuals through “Drive to Survive”.

Now, a Netflix documentary does not automatically mean that every NASCAR race will see a significant increase in viewership amongst younger viewers, but it will help. The sheer size of Netflix also puts NASCAR in front of a much larger audience than previously.

Netflix has over 200 million subscribers, whereas Ibisworld.com claims that cable TV has only 72.2 million subscribers. NASCAR needs to move its product to where people are consuming their content, and Netflix is the perfect place to go for that.

Part of why “Race for the Championship” did not work like “Drive to Survive” was because “Race for the Championship” was on cable TV rather than a streaming service. This new documentary is being distributed exactly where it needs to be to be successful.

The Right People are Producing It

As Jeff Gluck reported, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Ben Kennedy are listed as executive producers of the show. Words+Pictures is working on the show as well along with NASCAR and Netflix.

NASCAR has its own people producing the docu-series, which means that the sport will be taken seriously. It will turn away from the oversimplified stereotype of just a bunch of guys, “driving around in circles”.

Earnhardt Jr. is also a great individual to help out with this because he knows how to promote the sport. He is NASCAR’s greatest ambassador, and he will know what things NASCAR should highlight to make the docuseries as good as it can be.

Words+Pictures is a studio that, according to their website, has produced documentaries such as The Lionheart about the late Dan Wheldon. NASCAR people are combining with people who have produced motorsports documentaries before. It could have easily been Netflix trying to produce it themselves, and, that could have brought an unfruitful product.

The right people are working on this docuseries, and the right studio is producing it. Will it be a success? Well, what does success look like?

What Would a Succesful Documentary Look Like?

The documentary being a success would probably take the form of a new audience. If NASCAR can get an uptick in TV ratings, more social traffic, and the sort, that would be a successful run. However, demographics are the key here.

NASCAR is doing this to reach a much younger demographic than NASCAR currently reaches. The true mark of success is going to be this, how many more younger people are going to be watching NASCAR next season?

That is what Netflix brings to the table in this scenario, and that is what NASCAR wants out of this. It is critical for NASCAR to reach that younger demographic, and that demographic is going to get a documentary that will show NASCAR for what it is. That is the best thing NASCAR can ask for.

Share this:

Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts