IndyCar Milwaukee TV Rating UPDATE #2 The final Rating for last weekend's Milwaukee 225 was a 0.8 on ABC (equal to 1.2 million homes), up 14.2% from the 0.7 final rating in 2009 the last time the race ran, also on ABC. IndyCar.com reports the rating is up 33% from 2009, but that is incorrect according to our records (See here - 2009 Milwaukee rating was actually a 0.72, so 2011 is only 11.1% higher, not sure where IndyCar is getting 33% higher from as that would mean 2009 was a 0.6 rating, which it was not). The 2008 Milwaukee race on ABC also earned a 0.8 rating but had fewer viewers, averaging 1,066,000.
06/21/11 A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, I found your Milwaukee Mile TV ratings very interesting.
With all the doom and gloom feelings about what might happen to IndyCar TV ratings if Danica Patrick were to move on to NASCAR, as we all expect, I was expecting to see this huge increase in TV ratings from 2005 and beyond. 2005 was the year when Danica hit media stardom when, after having to pit off-sequence late in the race to repair her nose after she spun and took out two other cars, she naturally inherited the lead when the rest of the field (on the normal pit stop sequence) had to make their final round of pit stops. Next, the media went "ga-ga" over her and the IRL, which was on its deathbed by almost every measure, suddenly, with a gift from the gods, found new life and a reason to continue (the split).
Since that moment, the Danica-mania wagon has swept the media coverage to the point where the "other" drivers boycotted fan signings and even wore shirts that explained that they were the actual driver who won the Indy 500, a particular IRL race, or the IRL championship. The IRL media campaign embraced this new Danica-mania with fervor, to the point that THEY thought they had created this buzz with their marketing brilliance and subsequently never really developed a marketing plan at all, except to follow Danica.
I would be very interested to see the IRL ratings for the other championship races during the same time period to see if they match the trends shown at Milwaukee. If so, I really can't see a big loss in TV ratings, if any at all, if she were to go to NASCAR....maybe a tenth or two of a point? The series needs a much larger increase in ratings than that right now. Maybe her leaving will finally force a refocusing of the marketing effort back towards creating racing legends out of the current champions instead of riding the coattails of a brand. D. Hughes, Atlanta, GA zzzz
06/20/11 The overnight TV Rating for the Milwaukee 225 IndyCar race Sunday on ABC was a 0.9. Last year the race did not run, but in 2009 when the race last ran the final TV rating was a 0.7.
If the 0.9 holds for the final rating that would be an increase of 28.5% over 2009. Once again network TV delivers for IndyCar.
Recall that one rating point on network TV (Like ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX) is more TV viewers than one rating point on a cable channel.
IndyCar's highest rating was their first year - 1996, when IndyCar Racing in the USA was still a big sport as created by CART, so the IRL at the time was riding on their coattails. That popularity decreased over the years as the split increasingly destroyed the sport.