ESPN’S NASCAR Ratings Rise for Fourth Straight Week

ESPN's live coverage of Atlanta Motor Speedway's new Labor Day weekend NASCAR races earned the network's fourth consecutive weekend of increased television ratings for NASCAR coverage. A schedule change by NASCAR shifted NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races to Atlanta for Labor Day weekend from Fontana, Calif., where they were held last year.

The live telecast of Sunday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup race on ESPN earned a final national household coverage rating of 4.1, up from the 3.9 rating for last year's NASCAR Labor Day weekend event in California. Atlanta's second race of 2008 was run in October and aired on ABC, but ESPN's telecast this year delivered an average of 5.8 million viewers, more than watched the ABC telecast last year, which aired against NFL football and drew an average of 5.6 million viewers.

The Atlanta telecast marked the third consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup race on ESPN to earn a ratings increase over either the same race or the same weekend from the previous year. ESPN's six-race NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule ended at Atlanta, but ESPN's coverage continues for the final 11 races of the season and will air on ABC.

For the fourth consecutive week, ESPN's coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series earned a ratings increase. The telecast of the event from Atlanta on Saturday night aired on ESPN2 and earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.4, up from the 1.1 rating for the Nationwide Series race in Fontana, Calif., last year on Labor Day weekend. Atlanta Motor Speedway did not have a Nationwide Series race in October of 2008. The NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., Oct. 10-11 as part of the schedule change from last year. ESPN PR

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