Indy 500 TV ratings were solid in some key markets

The ABC Sports broadcast of the 89th Indianapolis 500 was popular with viewers in all demographic groups in major United States markets, according to new local ratings information released by Nielsen Media Research. Nielsen, the world's leading provider of television audience measurement and advertising information services, began to measure ratings for sporting events in late May and June in six large metropolitan markets with the introduction of Local People Meters (LPM). The new markets measured: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington and Philadelphia. Boston has offered LPM data since 2002.

In Chicago, ABC's broadcast of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" resonated with viewers of all ages. The Indianapolis 500 was the No. 1-rated major sports broadcast during late May and June among persons 18 and older, registering a 6.1 rating. The broadcast also was No. 1 among men age 18 and over in Chicago at 7.3. Other major sporting events measured besides the Indianapolis 500 included the NBA Finals, Belmont Stakes horse race, the French Open tennis tournament, the U.S. Open women's golf tournament and Saturday national Major League Baseball coverage.

In San Francisco, the Indianapolis 500 registered a 4.5 rating among persons 18 and older, behind only the 5.4 of the NBA Finals. The Indy broadcast had a 3.9 rating in the same demographic in Los Angeles, behind only the 6.3 of the NBA Finals.

Danica Patrick's sensational rookie performance, as she led until being passed with seven laps to go by eventual winner Dan Wheldon, helped the Indianapolis 500 register strong ratings among women age 18 and older in major markets. The Indy broadcast was No. 1 among women 18 and older in Chicago (4.9 rating) and San Francisco (3.3). In Los Angeles, the race was No. 2 with a 3.1 rating, narrowly trailing the NBA Finals at 3.7.

African-American viewers 18 and older also were attracted to the Indy broadcast. It was No. 2, behind the NBA Finals, in Chicago (2.6), San Francisco (1.8) and Washington (1.6). Nationally, the 89th Indianapolis 500 broadcast on ABC registered a 6.5 rating, the highest since 1996. The rating was up 59 percent from 2004.

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