TV News: Weekend TV Ratings (Update)

—by Mark Cipolloni—

Some additional context for the ESPN F1 Saudi Arabian GP TV numbers:

Viewership was up 17% compared to ’22 #F1 season avg.

Audience peak 1.75M viewers

It was the Weekend’s most-viewed telecast across all ESPN platforms.

Top 10 Local Markets

Buffalo, 2.4
Louisville, 1.7
Indianapolis, 1.5
Palm Beach, 1.4
Sacramento, 1.2
Wash., DC, 1.2
Pittsburgh, 1.2
Tampa, 1.2
Austin   1.1
San Diego 1.1

March 21, 2023 

–by Mark Cipolloni–

TV Rating Analysis


Fox earned a 1.95 rating and 3.422 million viewers for Sunday’s NASCAR race at new Atlanta, down 17.37% from a 2.36 rating and 4.003 million viewers last year. The number of viewers were down 14.51%. Most important – only 18% of the viewers tuned in were in the all-important 18-49 age bracket, indicating an aging out fan base. Even worse, the number of 18-49 year old viewers dropped 15.36% from last year, indicating the NASCAR fan base is aging even faster than we realized.

Formula 1

ESPN got a 0.74 TV rating and 1.523 million viewers for Sunday’s F1 race in Saudi Arabia, up 5.4% in viewership from last year’s 1.445 million viewers, also on ESPN.  Most important – F1 not only had the most viewers in the all-important 18-49 year old category, it had by far the highest percent – 45% – more than double all other series.  Even more important was the fact that the number of 18-49 year old viewers increased by 4.93% while all other forms of motorsports plummeted. F1 is gaining viewers in the all-important 18-49 year old category, sucking the lifeblood out of the arteries of all other USA motorsports series who are losing them to F1. F1 continues to get 70 million TV viewers worldwide for each race.  Every race! Imagine that! Important eyeballs that sponsors love.


The USA Network only got 100,000 viewers for the 12 Hours of Sebring  and a horrible TV rating of 0.06.  Only 23,000 of the viewers tuned in were in the all-important 18-49 year old age bracket. Some of the race was live-streamed on Peacock, but those numbers were so low Peacock refuses to publish them. If we had to guess, and it’s only a guess, the streaming viewers were probably in the 5,000 to 10,000 range. Maybe someday Peacock will get over the embarrassment and actually publish the average number of simultaneous video streams they were serving up during the race.

TV Rating Data

Network Event Location Total
18-49 Yr Old/
Total Viewers
% Chg.
% Chg
% Chg
FOX NASCAR Cup race Atlanta 3,422,000 606,000 18% 1.95 2.36 -17.37% FOX 4,003,000 716,000 -14.51% -15.36%
ESPN F1 Saudi Arabian GP Jeddah 1,523,000 681,000 45% 0.74 0.79 -6.33% ESPN 1,445,000 649,000 +5.40% +4.93%
FS1 NASCAR Xfinity race Atlanta 1,019,000 180,000 18% 0.58 0.66 -12.12% FS1 1,123,000 217,000 -9.26% -17.05%
FS1 NASCAR Truck Race Atlanta 807,000 148,000 18% 0.48 0.51 -5.88% FS1 841,000 155,000 -4.04% -4.52%
USA Network IMSA 12 Hours of Sebring Sebring 100,000 23,000 23% 0.06 No Data N/A USA Network Too low to measure Too low to measure N/A N/A


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