IndyCar down 16.7% in 2018 (Update)

Is the rumor true that John Malone and his Liberty Media might save IndyCar?
Is the rumor true that John Malone and his Liberty Media might save IndyCar?

UPDATE A reader writes, Dear, As a huge IndyCar fan, with so many races failing and TV ratings heading south fast, I am worried that the current leadership is running the series into the ground. Yet, I watch F1 and the grandstands are packed and countries around the world are begging for a race. I keep hearing about new International venues for IndyCar, but I see none. I keep hearing about another engine manufacturer, but I see none. Who is replacing Verizon as the series sponsor? I do see some new teams, which is positive, but I suspect that's a result of a strong USA economy. It's disheartening to see what is happening to IndyCar. Joel Bennet

Dear Joel, IndyCar under CART was once threatening F1 for global popularity. Then Tony George destroyed it when he brought his hammer to work every day. Let's hope the rumor of Liberty Media buying IndyCar and the Indy Speedway pan out. IndyCar needs a new owner with a vision, and a willingness to make an investment in the series the current owners are not willing to make. And of course the races cannot be shown on NBCSN where the series is nearly invisibly and offers very little exposure to sponsors and manufacturers. It's a death knell. Mark C.

07/13/18 IndyCar boss Mark Miles says IndyCar is growing, so we checked the facts (TV-viewers thru Iowa race) and found it was growing last year, but this year it is contracting. And it isn't just ABC or NBCSN – it's across the board. The numbers don't lie.

As for the new car, as expected it did NOT help IndyCar's popularity. People – athletes – Drivers – Hero's make a sport, not the equipment.

Venue Network 2016 Viewers 2017 Viewers % Chg 2018 Viewers %Chg
St. Petersburg ABC 1,400,000 1,190,000 -17.6% 1,144,000 -4.0%
Phoenix NBCSN 363,000 343,000 -5.8% 253,000 -35.6%
Long Beach NBCSN 402,000 321,000 -25.2% 370,000 13.2%
Barber NBCSN 279,000 470,000 40.6% 310,000 -51.6%
Indy GP ABC 1,300,000 1,000,000 -30.0% 1,140,000 12.3%
Indy 500 ABC 6,000,000 5,500,000 -9.1% 4,900,000 -12.2%
Detroit 1 ABC 1,000,000 847,000 -18.1% 751,000 -12.8%
Detroit 2 ABC 918,000 1,400,000 34.4% 936,000 -49.6%
Texas NBCSN 388,000 561,000 30.8% 336,000 -67.0%
Elkhart Lake NBCSN 470,000 568,000 17.3% 322,000 -76.4%
Iowa NBCSN 534,000 534,000 0.0% 452,000 -18.1%
Total Viewers To-Date 13,054,000 12,734,000 -2.5% 10,914,000 -16.7%

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