NASCAR Bristol and IndyCar Long Beach TV Ratings (2nd Update)

UPDATE #2 NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Bristol (TN) earned a 3.4 'final' rating and 5.5 million viewers on FOX last Sunday afternoon, down 26% in ratings and 27% in viewership from 2013, the last time the race was run as scheduled (4.6, 7.5M). Both last year and in 2014, FOX aired only brief snippets of the race due to extensive rain delays. The network drew a 3.3 and 5.1 million for less than 15 minutes of racing last year, and a 4.5 and 7.3 million for 45 minutes of coverage in 2014. Despite the lower numbers, NASCAR on FOX was still the most-watched sports broadcast of the weekend – edging ABC's Pistons/Cavaliers NBA playoff game (5.4M)

NASCAR Xfinity Series racing from Bristol (TN) drew 1.2 million viewers on Fox Sports 1 last Saturday afternoon, up 6% from last year (1.1M) but down 26% from 2014, the last time it aired on ESPN2 (1.7M). The past three Xfinity Series races have been either flat or up compared to last year.

IndyCar Series racing from Long Beach had a 'final' 402,000 viewers on NBCSN last Sunday afternoon, up 17% from last year (344K), up 9% from 2014 (368K), and the most-watched edition of the race since 2012 (468K). Viewership also topped NBCSN’s season opener from Phoenix two weeks earlier. Infomercial Numbers!

NBCSN scored a 'final' 272,000 for the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix last Sunday morning, up 29% from last year (211K) but down 10% from 2014 (301K). It was the first race of the young season to post a year-over-year increase. An encore presentation drew 116,000 on Sunday afternoon. Infomercial Numbers!

04/19/16 The Long Beach GP IndyCar TV of 0.37 (402,000 viewers) was up 15% from 2015. Both are below infomercial numbers but at least the direction is up. The live telecast of the Chinese Grand Prix on NBCSN drew a 0.2 overnight rating, averaging 275,000 viewers. The replay on Sunday afternoon pulled in another 116,000 for a total of 391K.

The 2nd biggest race of the year for IndyCar and they put the race on NBCSN so no one sees it.
The 2nd biggest race of the year for IndyCar and they put the race on NBCSN so no one sees it.


Fox drew a 3.2 overnight for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 from Bristol Motor Speedway. The same race the last two seasons saw long rain delays, with those telecasts finishing on FS1. The race in ’13 aired around a month earlier in the calendar. IndyCar drew a horrible 0.37 rating for the Grand Prix of Long Beach on NBCSN as the series continues to hang itself from the NBCSN noose.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
3.15 rating FOX 1:00 pm Food City 500 (Bristol, TN)

NASCAR Xfinity Series
0.69 rating FS1 12:30 pm Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 (Bristol, TN)

0.37 rating NBCSN 4:30 pm Grand Prix of Long Beach

The Bristol (TN) 3.2 overnight rating on FOX Sunday afternoon was down 27% from 2013, the last time it was run as scheduled (4.4). The race was deluged by rain the past two years, with FOX airing just a few laps before handing off to Fox Sports 1. The network’s abbreviated coverage had a 2.9 overnight last year and a 4.1 in 2014.

Excluding rainouts, the 3.2 is the lowest for the spring Bristol race since it moved to FOX in 2001. The previous low was a 3.9 in 2011. It is also the lowest overnight for a Sunday Sprint Cup race on FOX, falling below a 3.3 for Dover in 2014.

Overall, the 3.2 is tied as the fourth-lowest for any Sprint Cup race on FOX, regardless of day — matching Darlington in 2014 and ahead of only Texas the previous week (2.5), Texas last year (2.9) and Richmond in 2014 (3.0).

Head-to-head, Carl Edwards‘ win trailed competing coverage of the Pistons/Cavaliers NBA playoff game on ABC (4.1). As NASCAR ratings tend to rise from the overnights to the final, while NBA ratings decline, the race could still come out ahead when the final numbers are released.

The past six Sprint Cup races have now set or tied a multi-year low, and that does not even include Atlanta — which had the lowest overnight for the post-Daytona race since FOX began airing NASCAR in 2001.

Leave a Reply