MOORESVILLE, NC - When Chris Ragle addressed a sea of CARS Tour competitors at SRI Performance a little over a year ago, he promised better use of technology in all facets of the new series and, so far, has yet to disappoint. The latest step in the technological train, a dedicated CARS Tour channel for Roku®, was promised for the first part of the 2016 season and is now available.
What is Roku? Roku is a device that connects traditional television sets to the internet and allows users to access content from all their favorite providers such as Netflix, Hulu and now the CARS Tour. In 2015, Roku streamed 5.5 billion hours of content and ended the year with 9 million monthly active accounts. Roku streaming players are available in most popular retail stores such as Walmart and Best Buy and also come bundled with some newer TVs. In other words, Roku has now put the excitement and thrills of the CARS Racing Tour into nearly 10 million households.
"There's no question this is the wave of the future," said Chris Ragle, director of operations for the CARS Tour. "More and more people are 'cutting the cord' and transitioning to devices like Roku for their entertainment, and we're thrilled to now be part of that product offering. We quietly did a soft launch around a week ago to iron out any bugs and get initial feedback, and already over 1200 accounts have installed CARS Tour TV. I think that's pretty impressive."
The free CARS Tour TV channel for Roku can be found by visiting the channel store and searching for "CARS Tour TV." For a limited time, it will also be available in the "new channel" and similar listings within Roku. The channel features hours of content including on-track racing action, the new CARS Tour Today magazine show, on-board segments, post-race reactions and other original content as produced by Pit Row Media.
"We tried to make this simple to use and entertaining while also showcasing the series," said Tony Stevens of Pit Row Media, the group who worked with the CARS Tour to develop the channel and the series' digital media presence. "We have more things planned for the future, but we want to take baby steps first. As the logistics with providers evolve, we will expand the in-channel content for CARS Tour fans, so the possibilities will be endless as time goes on. Roku was our first choice to launch for various reasons, one of which is the fact that it is the most popular service on the market."
The CARS Tour joins the NHRA and USAC as one of very few racing series to have a dedicated Roku channel available and is the first major stock car series of any type to have one.
Stars from the CARS Tour hit the track again this Saturday night for the Hickory Soup Kitchen Race to End Hunger 250 at the legendary Hickory Motor Speedway. Tickets are only $20 and the show begins at 7pm. Advance tickets may be purchased through the Hickory Soup Kitchen where five dollars of every ticket sold through the organization is donated back to their efforts.
For more information on the CARS Racing Tour, visit their website at www.carsracingtour.com. Fans are encouraged to "like" the CARS Tour on Facebook in addition to following them on Twitter (@CARSTour) and Instagram (@CARS_Tour).
Fans looking to purchase a Roku device have a handful to choose from, the most recently-released and cost-effective being the new Roku Streaming Stick® designed for streamers who are looking for the ultimate in power and convenience in a sleek, pocket-sized form. Priced at just $49.99, it has 8x more processing power than its predecessor to get consumers to their favorite CARS Tour entertainment fast with smooth and responsive navigation. It’s also the first Roku device to offer private listening through the Roku Mobile App.