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NASCAR Joins World of eSports, Sees Huge Viewership From Fox Sports

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

NASCAR is now the latest sports industry to take to eSports and streaming, amid the shutdown of traditional sports broadcasting during the Covid19 quarantine.

According to CNET, Fox Sports aired the inaugural race in its eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series. The resulting overwhelmingly high reception led to Fox’s Tuesday announcement that it’ll air the entire virtual racing series on the Fox broadcast network.

After analyzing the data, the sports network confirmed that 930,000 viewers followed the broadcast on Fox Sports, becoming the most-watched esports event broadcast on television. Additionally, the virtual race marked the most-watched broadcast on the network since sports leagues went on hiatus starting March 12.

The eSports stream remained faithful to the real-life NASCAR broadcast, featuring commentary by Jeff Gordon, Mike Joy and Larry McReynolds from the NASCAR studio, and Clint Bowyer, a NASCAR Cup Series champ, handling “in-car” commentary.

After the incredible reception, the eNASCAR iRacing Pro invitational Series will continue in a second round. Airing this Sunday at a virtual Texas Motor Speedway, the next broadcast will also feature real-life pro drivers competing, including Danny Hemlin of Joe Gibbs Racing.

What do you think about these eSports alternatives, in the wake of traditional sports seasons being canceled?

To read more about the NASCAR eSports, click here.