NASCAR viewership slips, but women hold strong

AFPMaktoob

**Refile of a voiced report from Nov 30, 2012

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SCRIPT:

It's fast, it's furious... it's America's favorite sport.

But with live and TV audiences shrinking over the past three years even stars like Danica Patrick admit NASCAR could use a boost.

SOUNDBITE 1 Danica Patrick (woman) NASCAR driver (English, 12 sec):

"I think that what we have to look at as a series is growth of the overall sport and how can we make the sport more attractive to the sponsors."

One demographic is holding strong: women make up nearly 40% of today's racing audience -- some braving the roar of the speedway for the first time.

VOX POP 1 (woman, English, 6 sec):

"It’s something that I had never done before. It’s been really a great experience and if anyone ever has the chance to do it, they should come to a NASCAR Race."

VOX POP 2 (woman, English, 7 sec):

"It’s just fun, there is a lot of people and it lasts for several days. It’s like a big party for like four days."

And the ladies aren't just showing up, they're also tuning in. According to ratings, NASCAR is second only to football as the most popular televised sport among women.

Stock-car racing is looking to hang on to its female fans, but also grow a new audience abroad.

Races have been staged in Mexico, Canada, Japan and even Europe, and the league began welcoming foreign drivers several years ago.

Juan Pablo Montoya is one of the few non-US drivers to have won a NASCAR race -- but the Colombian doesn't think his sport will catch fire overseas any time soon.

SOUNDBITE 2 Juan Pablo Montoya (man) NASCAR driver (English, 13 sec):

"You ask any of the fans here about Formula One, they barely know it. If you ask a Formula One fan about NASCAR, they barely know it. It’s the same thing you know. MotorRacing in Europe is all about Formula One. MotorRacing in the United States is all about NASCAR."

For now, even without a big foreign audience, America's number one sport brings in about 3 billion dollars in revenue every year.

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SHOTLIST:

HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA, NOVEMBER 18, 2012

SOURCE: NASCAR MEDIA - NO RESALE FOR NON-EDITORIAL PURPOSES

- WS cars drive on the track past camera

HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

SOURCE: AFPTV

- WS spectators

- MS man watches race with binoculars

- MS crowds from behind watching the race

- MS banner featuring Danica Patrick

SOUNDBITE 1 Danica Patrick (woman) NASCAR driver

- MS family in the stands

- MS woman in the stands from behind

- MS woman in the stands from the side

VOX POP 1 (woman, English, 8 sec)

VOX POP 2 (woman, English, 7 sec)

- MS woman being interviewed

- WS woman being interviewed

- group of women walking along inside the stadium

HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA, NOVEMBER 18, 2012

SOURCE: NASCAR MEDIA - NO RESALE FOR NON-EDITORIAL PURPOSES

- MS view from a racecar windshield

- WS cars on the track during a race

HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

SOURCE: AFPTV

- WS spectators take their seats

- MS spectators take their seats

- WS stairs leading to bleachers

- MS fans cheer for Montoya with UPSOUND: "MONTOYA!"

- WS Juan Pablo Montoya walking

- WS Juan Pablo Montoya speaking with someone

SOUNDBITE 2 Juan Pablo Montoya (man) NASCAR driver

HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA, NOVEMBER 18, 2012

SOURCE: NASCAR MEDIA - NO RESALE FOR NON-EDITORIAL PURPOSES

- pan following winning car doing victory lap

- winning car doing donuts on the track

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