IndyCar should take note of Chili Bowl TV Rating (Update)

UPDATE IndyCar would be wise to start their season in January and complete it by Labor Day. recommended that 10 years before the Boston Consulting Group told IndyCar to do that. The reasons are obvious – big TV ratings early in the year – nothing else for race fans to watch. The Chili Bowl ratings (see below) on an obscure cable channel prove just that. The IndyCar season opener should be in South Florida the weekend before the Super Bowl in the Miami or Fort Lauderdale area. The season finale should be a 400-miler on the Indy Speedway oval under the lights on Labor Day weekend. It would be spectacular. One of these days it will sink into the brain trust at 16th and Georgetown.

By contrast, NBCSN got an average of 378,000 viewers for their 12 IndyCar races in '14.

02/20/15 The live broadcast by MAVTV of the 2015 Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire on Saturday night, January 17, 2015, was the highest rated show in the networks' history. Known as the Super Bowl of Midget racing, MAVTV's 4 hour broadcast (8:30 – 12:30am ET) from Tulsa, OK held the attention of hard core grass roots racing fans who tuned into the broadcast and used social media to spread the word.

Rentrak rating reports confirmed the record-breaking numbers in both households and average audience. Conservative peak numbers showed over a million people watching the largest indoor midget race in the world!

In addition to the high ratings for the network, the Chili Bowl created a social media storm. For about an hour during the broadcast, the Chili Bowl was "trending" on Twitter, officially making it one of the top ten topics being discussed at the time. Not only were thousands of fans "tweeting" about the Chili Bowl, but motorsport icons and teams joined the conversation, including: Clint Bowyer, Danica Patrick, Jamie McMurray, Regan Smith, Brad Keselowski, Chip Ganassi Racing and Toyota Racing. MAVTV's Facebook page reached a benchmark 2.2 million users during the broadcast, eclipsing the previous mark by double. Finally, on the day of the Chili Bowl airing, the website had over ten times the usual number of page views compared to an average day.

The initial airing was so successful that MAVTV is repeating an edited, two-hour version every Sunday night at 8:00pm ET in March.
MAVTV President Bob Patison said, "A live show like the Chili Bowl is a huge undertaking, but our viewers overwhelming told us they wanted it live, so we gave it to them and they responded in grand fashion. I am proud of the show we produced, the sponsor support and for the incredible audience response. It was a win-win for everyone."

For the 2015 broadcast, MAVTV pulled out all the stops with a very experienced broadcast team consisting of Dave Despain, Ken Stout, Rob Klepper and Dave Argabright. MAVTV is currently available on DISH Network, DIRECTV, Google Fiber, Verizon FiOS, Comcast, Time Warner, Charter and many others. If you don't have MAVTV, please call your provider and demand it.

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