Indy 500 TV Ratings up (4th update)

UPDATE #4 The IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 earned a 'final' 3.8 rating and 5.9 million viewers on ABC, according to Nielsen fast-nationals – up a tick in ratings and up 4% in viewership from last year (3.7, 5.7M), but down 12% and 13%, respectively, from 2012 (4.3, 6.8M).

The race earned the third-lowest rating and viewership for the Indy 500 since live start-to-finish coverage began in 1986, ahead of only last year and 2010 (3.6, 5.8M). The race has now dipped below a 4.0 rating in three of the past five years.

As is usually the case, the Indy 500 finished behind NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 (4.1, 7.0M). Since moving to FOX in 2001, the Coca-Cola 600 has earned a larger audience than the Indianapolis 500 every single year — excluding 2009, when the race was postponed to Monday.

Louisville was the top market for the live broadcast (9.4), followed by Dayton, OH (8.2), Albuquerque (7.3), Portland (7.0) and Cincinnati (6.8). As always, the race aired on tape delay in Indianapolis, earning a 12.9 rating in the market — up 39% from last year, when coverage aired opposite a Pacers playoff game (9.3), and up 30% from 2012 (9.9),

Ratings/Viewership For Indianapolis 500 Compared to Coca-Cola 600

Since FOX began televising Coca Cola 600 in 2001
* The 2009 Coca-Cola 600 was postponed to Monday due to rain.

Event Indy 500 Coke 600 Indy +/-
Year Rating Viewers Rating Viewers Rating Viewers
2014 3.8 5.94M 4.1 6.96M -7% -15%
2013 3.7 5.74M 4.3 7.13M -14% -20%
2012 4.3 6.80M 4.4 7.41M -2% -8%
2011 4.0 6.71M 4.5 8.13M -11% -17%
2010 3.6 5.79M 4.0 6.55M -10% -12%
2009* 4.0 6.34M 3.3 5.32M +21% +19%
2008 4.6 7.25M 4.7 7.58M -2% -4%
2007 4.3 6.40M 4.5 7.50M -4% -15%
2006 5.0 7.62M 5.1 8.37M -2% -9%
2005 6.5 9.74M 6.1 10.24M +7% -5%
2004 4.1 6.08M 5.0 8.32M -18% -27%
2003 4.6 6.72M 4.7 8.04M -2% -16%
2002 4.8 7.16M 5.1 8.42M -6% -15%
2001 5.8 8.58M 5.3 9.38M +9% -9%

05/28/14 Correction: the ABC broadcast drew 5.9 million viewers.

05/27/14 The 4.0 overnight is up from last year but is down from a 4.1 rating in ’12 and a 4.3 rating in ’11

05/26/14 Of course the broadcast (5 million viewers) was on ABC network as all IndyCar races should be. Had the race been on NBC Sports Network the rating might have been as high as 1.0 and the sport would be done given Indy cannot afford its biggest race to be getting a 1.0. Of course they feel it is OK for the other races to get a 0.2 to 0.4. Those poor race promoters and teams trying to find sponsors.

05/26/14 The national overnight TV rating for yesterday's Indy 500 was a 4.0 up from 3.8 last year,

The overnight in Indy (tape delay – race was blacked out in the local market) was a 12.9, up from 9.3 last year.

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