Indy 500 TV Rating (2nd Updated)

UPDATE #2 Do we need more evidence why the Indy 500 can no longer be run on a Sunday afternoon? Final ratings for the Indianapolis 500 narrowly avoided setting an all-time record low.

The 2013 Indianapolis 500 drew a 3.7 rating and 5.7 million viewers, according to Nielsen fast-nationals — down 14% in ratings and 16% in viewership from last year (4.3, 6.8M), and down 8% and 15%, respectively, from 2011 (4.0, 6.7M).

The race ranks as the second-lowest rated Indianapolis 500 since the race began airing live from start-to-finish in 1986, ahead of only 2010 (3.6). Prior to 2010, the Indianapolis 500 had never dipped below a 4.0 final rating. Viewership for the race was the lowest since ’86, falling below the previous mark set in 2010 (5.8M).

05/29/13 ABC earned a 3.7 fast-national Nielsen rating and 5.7 million viewers for Sunday afternoon’s Indianapolis 500, marking the lowest viewership for the race since it began airing live in ’86. The previous low was 5.8 million viewers in ’10. The rating for the race, however, marks the second-lowest figure on record, with the 3.7 ahead of only the 3.6 earned in ’10. Indianapolis topped all local markets on Sunday with a 9.3 rating.

The local telecast in Indianapolis, which aired later in the day on tape delay, had competition in the market from TNT’s Heat-Pacers Game 3, which drew a 16.1 in Indy. The 9.3 local rating for the race was down from a 9.9 rating last year. Dayton, Ohio, ranked second with an 8.6 local rating and Louisville ranked third with an 8.3. Sunday’s rating peaked at a 5.0 rating in the 2:30-3:00pm ET window (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

In Indianapolis, Mark Ambrogi noted the Indy 500 was a "record-setting, exciting race on the track, but it was a historic flop on television." IMS COO Doug Boles said, "We'll continue to move forward and evaluate where we can promote in various markets that are important as we lead into next year." Indianapolis Star

05/28/13 Overnight ratings sank to a record-low for the 2013 Indianapolis 500.

Sunday’s IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 drew a 3.8 overnight rating on ABC Sunday afternoon, down 7% from last year (4.1), and down 12% from 2011 (4.3).

The 3.8 overnight is the lowest for the race portion of the Indianapolis 500 since the race began airing live in 1986. The previous low was a 4.0 overnight in 2010.

This marks the fifth straight year the Indy 500 has earned less than 4.5 overnight.

Pre-race coverage earned a 2.0 overnight on ABC, up a tick from last year (1.9).

AR1 has long maintained that the race needs to be moved to Saturday night in prime time. On Sunday afternoon on Memorial Day weekend people are outside at barbecues and other such activities. They are not in front of a TV.

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