IndyCar Detroit TV Rating’s plummet (Update)

UPDATE The final TV ratings are in for the Detroit GP races on ABC. Sunday's final rating for Race 2 of the doubleheader was a 0.62 with 918,000 viewers tuned in, down 40.4% from 2016's rating of 1.04 and the 2015 rating of 1.0 all on ABC.

Saturday's final rating for Race 1 of the doubleheader was a 0.57 with 847,000 tuned in, down 30.5% from 2016's rating of 0.82 and the 2015 rating of 0.7.

This continues the rating trend all year long for IndyCar. With negotiations coming up for the new IndyCar TV contract this plummet in ratings could not come at a worse time. TV networks are not going pay IndyCar to broadcast its races when fans can get all the content they need or want on Twitter and Facebook for free – why bother to watch races on TV. Hence, the TV ratings will eventually go to zero and IndyCar will be out of business.

Bernie Ecclestone is nobody's fool.

Bernie Ecclestone still goes to his office every day.
Bernie Ecclestone criticized the new F1's regime's focus on social media, and now he says all that free content is upsetting the F1 TV broadcasters. Exactly what has been saying – social media is killing TV ratings and all sports will cease to exist eventually – no revenue stream no sport.


The IndyCar race in Detroit saw a decline on ABC this year. The first race of the Chevy Detroit Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon drew a 0.7 overnight rating, down from a 0.8 last year. On Sunday afternoon, ABC drew a 0.8 overnight for the second race from Belle Isle Park, down from a 1.0 overnight last year. The races still had 1 million viewers or more, but the trend is an ominous sign for IndyCar.

As with NASCAR, IndyCar TV ratings have continued to drop all year – every race. Race fans get minute-by-minute updates for free from twitter on their smartphone so why bother watching the race when they can be doing activities with their families on weekends and just check the tweets.

Sports TV ratings have been dropping since the advent of twitter, and motorsports in the USA has been particularly hit. Twitter generates zero revenue for IndyCar teams and the series and when the sponsor revenue generated from TV ratings dries up, it will be curtains.

It's rather comical…and sad – everyone wants to be first to tweet the news of what's happening on the race track. Free news so why pay for it or watch TV for 2 hours! They are cutting their own throats and in the process that of the motorsports industry.

Leave a Reply