NASCAR TV Ratings flat for 2013 (Update)

UPDATE NASCAR says it is happy that the decline in TV ratings has subsided and have been averaging 5.8 million viewers per race for the past three years. "From an overall number; it's a good number and strong number," said Steve Herbst, NASCAR VP of broadcasting and production. "Consistency is something we are looking for all the time. We are pleased where we are."

They should be pleased with that number. The series they would love to put out of business, IndyCar, averages maybe 200,000 viewers per race on NBC Sports Network, making NASCAR 29 times more valuable to a TV advertiser. No wonder IndyCar is dying on the vine from lack of sponsorship. But IndyCar is happy depositing the NBCSN check rather than putting all its races on ABC so the series has some hope for growth. The series should be sold to the France family who know how to grow a motorsports property.

11/25/13 SportsBusiness Daily reports that TV ratings for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series were flat this season compared to ’12, while viewership saw a slight increase. NASCAR averaged a 3.6 rating and 5.8 million viewers for 35 Sprint Cup telecasts across Fox, TNT, ESPN and ABC. Excluded from the average was the Chicagoland Speedway race, which suffered a long rain and ended up finishing a large chunk of the telecast on ESPN after 1:00am ET. Viewership for the first half of the NSCS season on Fox (-1%) and TNT (-6%) was down, but picked up in the second half for ABC (+6%) and ESPN (+3). The ’13 season also saw a bounce among males 18-34 (+4%) after a big decline last season.

PLAYOFF PUSH: The nine races in the ’13 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup averaged 4.5 million viewers, up 6% from 10 races last year. The Chase also saw a 7% increase among males 18-34. The Nov. 17 season finale on ESPN at Homestead-Miami Speedway averaged 5.1 million viewers for Jimmie Johnson clinching his sixth title, up 7% from last year, when Brad Keselowski took home the title. The ’11 finale, which saw Tony Stewart win the race to take the season title, drew 6.8 million viewers.


'13 Fox+TNT+ESPN+ABC 3.6 5,796
'12 Fox+TNT+ESPN+ABC 3.6 5,760
'11 Fox+TNT+ESPN+ABC 3.8 6,451
'10 Fox+TNT+ESPN+ABC 3.6 5,992
'09 Fox+TNT+ESPN+ABC 4.0 6,440
'08 Fox+TNT+ESPN+ABC 4.3 6,917
'07 Fox+TNT+ESPN+ABC 4.4 7,116
'06 Fox+TNT+FX+NBC 4.9 7,855


NET '13 '12 '11 '10 '09 '08 '07
Fox 7,702 7,900 8,600 7,836 8,680 9,325 9,307
TNT 4,677 4,980 5,125 4,990 5,098 5,722 5,693
ESPN 4,552 4,398 5,100 4,803 5,777 5,452 6,069
ABC 5,664 5,366 5,600 5,484 5,493 5,986 6,156

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