Robin Miller's Mailbag for August 7, presented by Honda Racing / HPD

Robin Miller's Mailbag for August 7, presented by Honda Racing / HPD

Insights & Analysis

Robin Miller's Mailbag for August 7, presented by Honda Racing / HPD


Q: It was a pleasure meeting you and chatting with you in the pits at the Toronto race. It smells like something is cooking with McLaren and maybe with Arrow Schmidt Peterson. I noticed the Arrow name on the McLaren halo during todays F1 race. I’m I reading too much into that? If that’s the case, we know no Honda engine, which means no Hinchcliffe. It would also mean no new car count, just a name change.

Ron Z.

RM: Arrow made a deal with McLaren F1 earlier this summer, but last May there was a rumor that Zak Brown wanted to buy out or buy into SPM, so that’s cropped up here again lately. My logic is that ASPM has one more year on its contract with Honda, so do you really think Japan would kindly let them step away to help McLaren?

Q: I would like to respond to the reader’s question last week about how Nielsen ratings are calculated. My household was a Nielsen home a couple of years ago. The duration is two years – you can’t go longer, even if you want to. They put devices in the home that tracks everything you watch and listen to – it’s actually quite clever how it works. As for programs that are recorded to a DVR, if you watch them within 24 hours of the air date, it counts. That’s why you get the overnight ratings and then the final ratings later after the DVR’d shows are figured in. It does no good to turn on a television just to be counted in the ratings if you do not have the Nielsen equipment in your house to capture it.

Cliff Carlino, Kearney, MO

RM: Thank you very much for that info Cliff, I had no idea how Nielsen works. But I still find it antiquated that it’s used in something like only 1,800 homes when they could put a chip in every TV and monitor exactly what people watch 24/7.

Q: Why are Long Beach, Pocono, Texas, Iowa, Phoenix and Gateway on NBC Sports Network and not NBC?

Joe Shatee

RM: Long Beach falls during the NHL playoffs, while Texas, Iowa and Gateway are night races and NBC isn’t going to show an IndyCar race in prime time. Pocono is perfect for cable, and Phoenix is no longer on the schedule.

Q: Thanks for all you do, have enjoyed your work for many years! Maybe you can confirm this with your NBC management, but I think fans need to be reminded that full replays of races are available on and the NBC Sports app after the events, regardless if you are a Gold member or not. I saw people complaining about the late Iowa race or missing races when they run over or are flipped to alternative channels. As long as you have internet access and a cable TV subscription, I am pretty sure the full races are available for a few days for everyone. (Maybe confirm this before posting this). By the way, NBC IndyCar Pass has been well worth the fee. Hope it continues next season.

Mark B.

RM: Thanks to NBC’s Cora Veltman for the following info:

“Here is the link that people can go back and watch. Races are available on (w/o Gold subscription) for at least a week after it aired. The Mid-Ohio race is still up and on demand at that attached link as I write this. I would assume that it will transition to Gold-only while we are getting ready for Pocono. According to the link above here, if you have Gold you can watch every practice, quals and races. It lists all of them back through St. Pete, so I would guess that those are all accessible if you have that paid membership.”

Is it a coincidence that as soon as we have a race like Mid-Ohio, we start getting letters about watching replays? Image by LePage/LAT.

Q: I work for a network affiliate, and our station managers can get viewer counts from DirecTV. If a customer’s box is on, DTV can tell what channel, how long, etc. However, there’s no intel on who is in the room, unlike Nielsen, where if people accurately report viewing habits, they can count viewers. I have to admit I’ve done the whole “leave the TV tuned to the race, even if I’m not watching” thing, especially back in the ChampCar/IRL war days.

Bill Bailey

RM: Again, thanks for this info Bill, I’m always amazed in today’s world that TV ratings are still based on a few homes and that carries the big stick with advertisers. I left my TV on NBCSN all day last Sunday for NASCAR and IMSA but I don’t count (smile).

Q: I haven’t seen what the TV ratings were for Iowa or Mid-Ohio races. I’m hoping that they were up from last year, and that having Mid-Ohio on NBC really helped get a big number.

Jim Christ, West Chester, PA

RM: Well Iowa was doomed because of weather, and it didn’t start until midnight EST and finished at 2:30 am, so it only averaged 156,000 viewers after starting with 259,000. Mid-Ohio’s good racing was met with a disappointing 0.47 rating (670,000) on NBC after drawing 644,000 in 2018 on CNBC and NBCSN (re-air).

Q: So Mr. Miller, I am curious about something you may be able to get an answer to, as my provider is worthless. I am an IndyCar and IMSA fan. I am thoroughly disappointed with NBC coverage of IMSA delaying a race until after an IndyCar or NASCAR race. I prefer to watch my races live. I have been trying to use my NBCSports Go app on my AppleTV and mobile device, and have been getting authentication issues. I did not pay it much attention until the IMSA race at Road America.

After spending nearly one hour on phone with AT&T service, I was informed AT&T has declined service of the NBCSports Go online streaming app. I am now curious as to how the people with AT&T service who also paid the Gold package now do not have access to what they paid for? Will NBC now be providing refunds for the AT&T customers? I have never written to the Mailbag before, but I would love to read comments from the race fan community who happen to be AT&T customers.

Darryl Lawson

RM: Sorry Darryl, this is the first I’ve heard of this AT&T situation so hopefully if some of our readers share your dilemma they will respond. You might be able to get an answer by emailing:

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