F1 race scores on network TV in USA

See what happens when you get a race off of NBC Sports network and onto their main network channel? NBC Sports' live broadcast of the United States Grand Prix on Sunday drew 1.01 million viewers, up 47% vs. last year on SPEED (688,000, but Speed is a cable channel), according to final national data provided by The Nielsen Company. The rating was achieved despite blackouts due to news pre-emptions for severe weather in the Midwest, including the Chicago and Indianapolis markets.

The U.S. Grand Prix from Circuit of The Americas scored a 0.65 household rating (which is really not very good), according to final national data, up 67% vs. last year's race on SPEED (0.39 – cable so……). The audience for Sunday's race, in which four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel scored his eighth consecutive victory, also surpassed NBC's coverage of the Canadian Grand Prix (950,000) in June by 6%.

The USGP held its own against the NASCAR Sprint Cup finale and title-decider from Homestead-Miami Speedway (It did? NASCAR dwarfed it). ESPN's live telecast of the Ford EcoBoost 400 earned a 3.1 household rating, averaging 5,118,577 viewers, according to Nielsen Media. The rating and audience for the NASCAR finale were also both up from last year's Homestead race, which earned a 3.0 household rating and averaged 4,769,427 viewers.

F1 audience breakdown:

Among Adults 18-49 (387,000), the U.S. Grand Prix was the second-most watched race of the season on NBC behind the Monaco Grand Prix (441,000). NBC tallied double-digit increases vs. SPEED's telecast last year among Adults 18-49 (+45%) and Adults 25-54 (+39%).

Viewership for the race peaked in the 2:45-3 p.m. ET quarter-hour with 1.233 million viewers. Austin led the nation with a 6.88 rating for the race. Following are the top-5 markets:

Austin – 6.88
Greensboro – 1.90
San Diego – 1.69
Columbus, OH – 1.66
Orlando-Daytona – 1.60

For its three F1 races so far this season, NBC is averaging 1.152 million viewers, up 11% compared to FOX's four-race F1 race average last year (1.038 million). NBC will again broadcast this weekend's season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, after practice airs live on NBCSN and qualifying live on CNBC

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