Mid-Ohio INDYCAR Broadcast Draws Largest NBCSN Audience Ever

NASCAR fans must have fallen asleep in front of their TV while watching the Pocono race and since their TVs were still tuned in, it boosted the IndyCar ratings. A stroke of luck. The real popularity of IndyCar was the 0.15 rating it pulled for the live broadcast on CNBC, a channel everyone gets

NBCSN's same-day broadcast Aug. 2 of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio drew an average viewership of 666,000, making it the most-watched Verizon IndyCar Series race on the network since NBC Sports Group acquired INDYCAR cable exclusivity in 2008.

It also marked the first time that four consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series race telecasts on the network each surpassed 500,000 viewers, continuing the trend of growth in viewership and ratings compared to 2014. Viewership was also up dramatically over 2014 for the races at Iowa Speedway (22 percent growth), The Milwaukee Mile (66 percent growth) and Auto Club Speedway (83 percent growth).

Average viewership for all Verizon IndyCar Series telecasts this season are up nearly 10 percent and represent a continuation of the growth in 2014, when INDYCAR experienced significant gains in ratings and viewership over the previous year.

Viewership of the NBCSN broadcast of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio eclipsed coverage of the Edmonton race in 2011 (642,000) and was the most-watched Verizon IndyCar Series telecast on cable TV since the 2008 race at Sonoma Raceway (685,000; ESPN2).

The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, won by Ohio native Graham Rahal 30 years after his father, Bobby, won an Indy car race on the same Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, was broadcast live earlier in the day on CNBC.

In total, the Aug. 2 telecasts on CNBC and NBCSN drew 838,000 viewers. This provided the largest single-day viewership for INDYCAR since the broadcast of the second race of the Dual in Detroit on May 31, 2015. That ABC broadcast of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix delivered 1.2 million viewers and a Nielsen rating of .78.

Ten drivers remain mathematically eligible for the Astor Cup – the Verizon IndyCar Series championship trophy – with two races remaining in the season. Both the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 23 and the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on Aug. 30 will be telecast on NBCSN.

Rahal, driving for the team co-owned by his Indy car championship-winning father, TV icon David Letterman and business magnate Mike Lanigan, pulled to within nine points of championship front-runner and reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Juan Pablo Montoya of Team Penske with his second victory of the season. Three-time series champion Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing is 34 points out of first place.

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