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2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup TV Ratings

TELEVISION RATINGS & NEWS

2009 Television Ratings – Comparison Table – 3 Years
FOX Coverage
13 Races
(2009 date) Rating/Share/Viewers Rating/Share Rating/Share
Track/Race 2009 2008 2007
Daytona – Fox 2/7
Bud Shootout
4.9/9
4.1/7*
8.3 million
5.1/9
4.5/8*
8.5 million
4.2/7
Daytona 500 Qualifying – Fox 2/8 2.4/6
2.1/5*
3.6 million
2.9/7
2.7/6*
4.4 million
2.5/6*
Daytona/Duels – SPEED 2/12   2.1-Speed
1.5 million
1.87-Speed
1.3 million
Daytona 500 – Fox 2/15 9.2/19
8.0/17*
16.0 million
10.2/20
9.4/19
17.8 million
10.1/20
17.53 million
California – Fox 2/22 6.0/10
5.3/8*
10.2 million
6.2/10 (A)
6.1/10*
10.9 million
6.7/13
6.2/11*
Las Vegas – Fox 3/1 6.5/12
5.5/10*
11.1 million
7.1/13
6.2/12*
12.1 million
6.3/13
5.5/11*
Atlanta – Fox 3/8 5.5/12
4.7/10*
8.9 million
6.4/15
5.6/12*
10.5 million
5.2/12
4.7/10*
Bristol – Fox 3/22 4.5/10
4.1/10*
7.4 million
5.5/13
5.0/11*
8.9 million
5.1/12
4.9/11*
Martinsville – Fox 3/29 4.6/10
4.1/9*
7.4 million
5.3/12
4.9/10*
8.7 million
5.3/13
4.9/11*
Texas – Fox 4/5 4.7/11
4.2/10*
7.4 million
5.4/12
4.7/10*
8.6 million
5.6/14
5.4/13*
Phoenix – Fox 4/18 3.6/7
3.3/6*
6.0 million
4.4/8
4.0/7*
7.2 million
4.4/9
4.1/8*
Talladega – Fox 4/26 5.0/12
4.5/11*
8.1 million
5.7/13
5.2/11*
9.0 million
5.4/14
5.1/12*
Richmond – Fox 5/2 4.0/8
3.7/7*
6.7 million
4.5/9
4.2/8*
7.3 million
4.3/11
4.1/10*
(rained out)
Darlington – Fox 5/9 4.0/8
3.6/7*
6.7 million
4.8/10
4.3/8
7.8 million
4.2/12
4.0/11*
(rained out)
All-Star SPEED 5/16 3.68
2,69 million hh
3.74
2,7 million hh
3.53
2,5 million hh
Charlotte – Fox 5/24 3.3/9 (L)
3.3/8*
5.3 million
4.7/10
4.4/9*
7.6 million
4.5/10
4.5/9*
Dover – Fox 5/31 4.0/10
3.6/9*
6.1 million
4.5/11
4.2/10*
2.3/7 (rain)
SEASON – Fox 5.1/11
4.6/10*
8.5 million
5.7/12
5.2/11*
10.0 million
TNT Coverage
6 Races
(2009 date) Rating/Share/Viewers Rating/Share Rating/Share
Track/Race 2009 2008 2007
Pocono – TNT 6/7 3.4/9
5.5 million
4.6
3.9*
6.1 million
3.0
5.0 million
Michigan – TNT 6/14 3.3/9
5.118 million
3.3/9
5.084 million
3.3
Infineon – TNT 6/21 4.0
3.4/8*
5.788 million
4.3
3.7/8*
6.015 million
4.7
4.0*
6.5 million
New Hampshire – TNT 6/28 4.1
5.6 million
4.0
3.4/8*
5.5 million
3.4/8
Daytona – TNT 7/5 ?
3.1/8*
5.3 million
4.5
3.8/8*
6.4 million
3.8
6.2 million
Chicago – TNT 7/11 ?
3.0/6*
4.814 million
3.7
3.2/7*
5.129 million
4.0
6,4 million
SEASON / 6 races – TNT 3.3/8
5.381 million
3.6/8
5.775 million
ESPN Coverage
6 Races
(2009 date) Rating/Share/Viewers Rating/Share Rating/Share
Track/Race 2009 2008 2007
Indy – ESPN 7/26 4.8
6.5 million
5.1
6.7 million
4.9
4.2*
6,6 million
Pocono – ESPN 8/2 (P) 1.8
(4.5 Sunday)
2,25 million
4.5
3.8
6.2 million
4.5
3.8*
Watkins Glen – ESPN 8/9 (W) 1.7
(2.0 Sunday)
1,99 million
3.6
3.0*
4,8 million
4.1
3.5*
5,6 million
Michigan – ESPN 8/17 4.1
5.6 million
3.9
3.3*
5.3 million
1.66
ESPN2 (C)
Bristol – ESPN 8/23 3.8
5.3 million
3.5
3.0*
5.0 million
4.1
3.5*
5.7 million
Atlanta – ESPN 9/6
(was at California 2004-2008)
4.1
3.6/8*
5.9 million
3.9
3.5/8*
5.7 million
(California)
4.3
3.7*
6,4 million
(California)
ABC Coverage
11 Races
(2009 date) Rating/Share/Viewers Rating/Share Rating/Share
Track/Race 2009 2008 2007
Richmond – ABC 9/12 3.5
3.1/6*
5.54 million
3.0
3.97 million
ESPN (D)
4.2
6.8 million
ABC
The CHASE for the SPRINT CUP
10 Races
New Hampshire – ABC 9/20 3.2/7
2.5/6*
5.04 million
3.8/8
3.2/6*
6.1 million
3.3/7
2.9/6*
5.2 million
Dover – ABC 9/27 3.1/?
2.7/5*
5.08 million
3.3/7
2.9/6*
5.34 million
3.5
5.5 million
Kansas – ABC 10/4 3.2?
2.6/5*
5.25 million
3.5/8
3.1/6*
5.69 million
3.1/7
2.4 ESPN2
4.14 million


2.8/6* ABC
2.1 ESPN2 (G)

California – ABC 10/11
(was at Charlotte 2007-2008)
3.6/?
3.1/6*
5.95 million
3.8/7
3.5/7
6.04 million
(Charlotte)
4.2
4.0/8*
(Charlotte)
Charlotte – ABC 10/17 3.5/7
3.0/6*
5.45 million
3.8/7
3.5/7
6.04 million
4.2
4.0/8*
Martinsville – ABC 10/25 2.9/?
2.5/5*
4.70 million
3.3/7
2.9/6*
3.0/7
3.3/?*
Talladega – ABC 11/1
(moved from early Oct
Texas was on this date in 2008)
4.2/?
3.8/8*
6.6 million
3.7/?
3.4/6*
5.89 million
(Texas race – same date)


3.6/8
3.2/7*
5.61 million
(33rd race Atlanta)

3.7
3.6
6.01 million
(Texas race)
Texas – ABC 11/8 3.7/?
3.2/6*
5.83 million
3.7/7
3.4/6*
5.89 million
3.7/7
3.6/?*
6.01 million
Phoenix – ABC 11/15 3.3/?
2.9/6*
5.17 million
3.6/7
3.4/6*
5.66 million
ABC


3.3
2.9*
4.61 million
ESPN2 (E)

3.8
3.4*
Homestead – ABC 11/22 3.6/?
3.2/6*
5.61 million
4.0/7
3.7/6*
6.60 million
4.2/8
3.8*
10 Race Chase – ABC 3.5
5,488,521
3.8 3.8
Track/Race 2009 2008 2007
(2009 date) Rating/Share/Viewers Rating/Share Rating/Share

  • notes about ratings:
    hh = households [usually cable ratings)

    (L) rained delayed from Sunday May 24, 2009 to Monday, May 25th
    (P) rained delayed from Sunday August 2, 2009 to Monday, August 3rd
    (W) rained delayed from Sunday August 3, 2009 to Monday, August 10th
    (C) rained delayed race at Michigan to Tuesday, 8/21/2007 aired on ESPN2
    (D) rained delayed race at Richmond to Sunday, 9/7/2008, aired on ESPN instead of ABC
    (E) after 2 red flags, ABC moved the final 34 laps from ABC to ESPN2 at 7:30pm/et
    (G) Kansas delayed by rain, started on ABC [2-6pm/et] then moved to ESPN2 [6-8:15pm/et] 9-30-2007

    Final Ratings on top, and Fast/Overnight/Household Ratings below with an ‘*’.
    Cable Ratings [TNT/ESPN] usually do not list the share as Networks [FOX/ABC] do, or list overnights

    A network rating is percent of homes that are tuned into the event
    A a cable rating is percent of homes equipped with cable that are tuned into an event
    (meaning that a lower network rating still can produce more households)

    Overnight ratings, are measured in the top 50 markets of the country.
    National ratings provide more detailed demographic information as well as the exact number of people watching.

    rating: which indicates percentage of all households in the U.S. watched this broadcast
    share: which indicates percent of all households watching TV in the U.S. watched this broadcast
    as of mid-2006 there were 111,348,110 television households in the U.S.

  • Cup Banquet TV ratings: Coverage of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony on SPEED scored an average Nielsen Household Rating of .65 (484,000 households), it’s highest number in three years. The four-hour event peaked at a .79 (588,000 households). Live coverage of the ceremony, in its first year ever on the network, was up 44 percent year-to-year among Households and 52 percent among Men 18-49. “We’ve seen some very encouraging NASCAR ratings trends on SPEED this year,” said network President Hunter Nickell. “Getting a solid number out of the gate with the Awards Ceremony has us very excited about with this event can become in the very near future for the network and for the sport.”(SPEED PR)(12-9-2009)
  • 2009 TV Ratings up for SPEEDs NASCAR shows: With the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series scoring its highest season average Nielsen Household Rating in series history in 2009, several other programs from the NASCAR on SPEED lineup also enjoyed year-to-year ratings increases, including three in double digits. According to Nielsen Media Research, NCWTS Setup, the popular Truck Series pre-race show with Krista Voda was up 12%, NASCAR Performance with crew chiefs Larry McReynolds, Chad Knaus and Bootie Barker also was up 12%, and NASCAR Smarts delivered a 12% ratings increase over the show it replaced in the SPEED lineup, Tradin’ Paint. NASCAR RaceDay, the high-energy NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pre-race show hosted by John Roberts and featuring Jimmy Spencer, Kenny Wallace and Wendy Venturini, was up 2% year-to-year and NASCAR In A Hurry was up 7%.(SPEED)(12-1-2009)
  • Final Chase TV ratings posted: After averaging a 3.8 rating for its coverage of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in both 2007 and 2008, ABC’s average for the 10 Chase races was a 3.5 for 2009. ESPN2’s average rating for 26 NASCAR Nationwide Series race telecasts in 2009 was a 1.4, down from a 1.5 average in 2008 but even with the final average for 2007.(ESPN)(11-25-2009)
  • Final Homestead TV ratings posted: ABC’s live coverage of the Ford 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 22 earned a final national household rating of 3.6, averaging 5,606,608 viewers. The rating was down from a 4.0 [with a 7 share] for last year’s event that also aired on ABC.
    ESPN2’s live coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford 300 at Homestead earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.3, down from a 1.6 rating for last year’s race that also aired on ESPN2. The telecast averaged 1,685,543 viewers.(ESPN)(11-24-2009)
  • Overnight Homestead TV ratings posted: ABC’s broadcast of Sunday’s FORD 400 Sprint Cup race at Homestead-Miami Speedway earned a 3.2 overnight rating with a 6 share. That is down from last season Nov. 16th race at Homestead, a 3.7 ratings with a 7 share. The final rating in 2008 for Homestead was a 4.0 rating and a 7 share.(11-23-2009)
  • Final Phoenix TV ratings down: ABC’s live coverage of Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway earned a final national household rating of 3.3, down from the 3.6 earned for the portion of last year’s race that aired on ABC. The telecast averaged 5,172,384 viewers. Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix aired live on ESPN2 and earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.1, down from the 1.3 rating earned for last year’s race that also aired on ESPN2. The telecast averaged 1,419,953 viewers (ESPN).(11-19-2009)
  • Overnight Phoenix TV ratings down: ABC’s broadcast of Sunday’s Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500(k) Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway earned a 2.9 overnight rating with a 6 share. That is down from last season Nov. 9th race at Phoenix, a 3.4 ratings with a 6 share. The final rating in 2008 for Phoenix was a 3.6/7 before the race was moved over to ESPN2 for the final 34 minutes when it ran long due to two red flags.(11-16-2009)
  • ABC’s Texas TV Ratings Stays Even With Past Two Years: ABC’s live coverage of the Dickies 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 8, earned a final national household rating of 3.7, the same rating the event earned on ABC in both 2007 and 2008. The telecast averaged 5,826,842 viewers. ESPN2’s live coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, Nov. 7, earned a final national household coverage rating of 0.9, down from the 1.2 rating for last year’s race that also aired on ESPN2. The telecast averaged 1,152,187 viewers.(11-10-2009)
  • Overnight Texas TV ratings down: ABC’s broadcast of Sunday’s Dickies 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway earned a 3.2 overnight rating with a 6 share. That is slightly down from last season Nov. 2nd race at Texas, a 3.4 ratings with a 6 share.(11-9-2009)
  • Final Talladega TV ratings: ABC’s live coverage of the AMP Energy 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway on Nov. 1 earned a final national household rating of 4.2, the highest rating so far among the seven races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The telecast averaged 6,627,058 viewers. In the past two seasons since ESPN returned to NASCAR coverage in 2007, the Talladega race has been the highest-rated race among the 10 races in the Chase. The race scored a 4.6 rating in both 2007 and 2008 (ESPN)(11-5-2009)
  • Overnight Talladega TV ratings down: ABC’s broadcast of Sunday’s Amp Energy 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway earned a 3.8 overnight rating from Nielsen Media Research, Street and Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating is 5% lower than the 4.0 ABC earned overnight for its broadcast of the fall Talladega race in 2008, when the event was run on the first weekend of October. The 3.8 is 11.8% higher than the 3.4 ABC earned overnight for its broadcast of the Texas Cup race on the first Sunday in November of 2008.(SceneDaily)(11-2-2009)
  • Final Martinsville TV Ratings posted: ABC’s live coverage of Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway earned a final national household rating of 2.9, down from the 3.3 rating for last year’s race that also aired on ABC. The telecast averaged 4,702,038 viewers. ESPN2’s live coverage of Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Memphis Motorsports Park earned a final household coverage rating of 0.9, averaging 1,161,156 viewers. No direct comparisons can be made to the 2008 race as the event was simulcast on both ESPN Classic and SPEED.(ESPN), see race-by-race, year comparison, ratings chart and more on my 2009 TV Ratings page.(10-29-2009)
  • Overnight TV Ratings for Martinsville: The metered market sports overnights for this weeks Martinsville Speedway Sprint Cup Series Race is lower then in 2008. The Tums Fast Relief 500 earned a 2.5 overnight rating with a 5 share. In 2008 on Oct 19th the overnigth rating was 2.9 with a 6 share. The final TV Ratings was 3.3/7.(10-26-2009)
  • Final LMS TV Ratings down: ABC’s live coverage of Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., earned a final national household rating of 3.5, averaging 5,484,745 viewers. The rating was down from a 3.8 for last year’s race that also aired on ABC. ESPN2’s live coverage of Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the same track earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.4, averaging 1,711,780 viewers and up from the 1.1 for last year’s rain-delayed race that also aired on ESPN2.(ESPN)(10-20-2009)
  • Overnight TV Ratings down for LMS: ABC’s broadcast of Saturday night’s NASCAR Banking 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte earned a 3.0 overnight rating with a 6 share. Down over 2008’s over night rating of the same race [held 10/11/2008] with a 3.5 rating with a 7 share for the overnights. 2008’s final national household rating was 3.8 with a 7 share.(10-19-2009)
  • Final California TV Ratings in: ABC’s live coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., on Sunday, Oct. 11, earned a final national household rating of 3.6, the highest rating so far this season in four races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The telecast averaged 5,952,978 viewers. There are no direct comparisons to 2008 as the race was previously run Labor Day weekend and aired on ESPN. ESPN2’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Fontana on Saturday, Oct. 10, earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.1, averaging 1,406,452 viewers. The race was run Labor Day weekend in 2008 and also earned a 1.1 rating on ESPN2.(ESPN)
    of note: Sprint Cup raced the same weekend in 2008 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and the TV Ratings were close: a 3.8 Rating with 6.04 million average viewers. The race at ACS in 2008 was Labor Day weekend and the TV Rating was 3.9 with 5.7 million average viewers.(10-16-2009)
  • California OvernightTV Ratings: ABC’s broadcast of Sunday’s Pepsi 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Auto Club Speedway in California earned a 3.0 overnight Nielsen Media Research rating from the nation’s largest television markets, Street and Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports. The figure isn’t directly comparable a 2008 event since the Cup series raced at Charlotte on the same weekend last year, earning a 3.5 overnight rating, but it was the highest overnight rating for any of the first four races this season in the Chase For The Sprint Cup. ABC had earned 2.5 overnight for the Chase kickoff in New Hampshire, 2.7 for Dover and 2.6 for Kansas. Auto Club Speedway was hosting a Chase race for the first time by virtue of a date swap with Atlanta.(SceneDaily)(10-12-2009)
  • Final Kansas TV Ratings: ABC’s live coverage of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway earned a final national household rating of 3.2, down from the 3.5 rating for last year’s race that also aired on ABC. Sunday’s telecast averaged 5,252,060 viewers.(ESPN PR)(10-8-2009)
  • Overnight TV Ratings down for Kansas: ABC’s broadcast of Sunday’s Price Chopper 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway earned a 2.6 overnight rating / 5 share. Down 16% over 2008’s 3/1 rating / 6 share for the overnights. 2008’s final national household rating was 3.5 with a 8 share.(10-5-2009)
  • Final Dover TV Ratings: ABC’s live telecast of Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 race at Dover International Speedway earned a final national household rating of 3.1, down from the 3.3 rating for last year’s race that also aired on ABC. The telecast averaged 5,084,257 viewers. ESPN2’s live telecast of Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Dover earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.2, up from the 1.1 rating earned for last year’s race. It was the fifth consecutive Nationwide Series race on ESPN2 to be up from last year’s race or corresponding weekend. The Dover telecast averaged 1,459,145 viewers.(ESPN),(10-1-2009)
  • Overnight TV ratings for Dover down: ABC’s broadcast of Sunday’s AAA 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway earned a 2.7 overnight rating from Nielsen Media Research, Street and Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating from the nation’s largest television markets is 6.9% lower than the 2.9 ABC earned overnight for the race in 2008 but 8% higher than the 2.5 ABC earned overnight for the previous week’s opener of the Chase For The Sprint Cup at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.(Scene Daily)(9-28-2009)
  • France not concerned about lower TV ratings: NASCAR Chairman Brian France said he is happy with the competition and he is not sweating that television ratings were down for the first Chase For The Sprint Cup event this year. The ratings for the Sprint Cup race last weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway were a 3.2 on ABC, according to ESPN officials. Last year, it was a 3.8 while the rating was 3.3 in 2007. “We were up in August for almost every event and up in Richmond as well, so we were a little surprised,” France said. “It’s one race and I think if we keep having the kind of racing and the Chase unfolds the way I think it’s going to, that will take care of itself. We don’t have a concern about that. … The Chase has got the right storylines, the right things going on [and] the racing is very good.” France also said he didn’t anticipate having additional two-day weekends next year on the Sprint Cup schedule.(SceneDaily)(9-28-2009)
  • New Hampshire Overnight TV Ratings down: UPDATE: ABC’s broadcast of Sunday’s Sylvania 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway earned a 2.5 overnight rating from Nielsen Media Research, Street and Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating is 21.9% lower than the 3.2 ABC earned overnight for the race in 2008.(SceneDaily)(9-22-2009)
    UPDATE: ABC’s live telecast of the Sept. 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway earned a final national household rating of 3.2, averaging 5,044,391 viewers and up from the 2.5 overnight rating revealed on Monday. The race was the first event of the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The final rating was down from the 3.8 rating for last year’s race, which also aired on ABC. The race earned a 3.3 rating in 2007, also airing on ABC.(ESPN PR)(9-24-2009)
  • NASCAR at Richmond Earns 3.5 Rating on ABC: ESPN on ABC’s telecast of Saturday night’s Chevy Rock & Roll 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway earned a final national household rating of 3.5, averaging 5,535,209 viewers while airing at the same time as a record-setting college football telecast on ESPN. The rating was up from the 3.0 rating for last year’s rain-delayed race that aired on ESPN. Last year’s Richmond race aired on ESPN after being rained out on Saturday night and run on Sunday afternoon. The race aired on ABC in 2007 and earned a 4.2 rating.
    ESPN2’s live telecast of Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.3, up from the 1.0 rating earned last year when the race was run on Sunday after having been rained out on Friday night. The race earned a 1.4 rating in 2007 when it was run and telecast as scheduled. Friday night’s telecast averaged 1,669,692 viewers.(ESPN)(9-15-2009)
  • Some early overnight TV Ratings from Richmond: ABC’s NASCAR Sprint Cup (Richmond) race and Fox’s reality crime duo of Cops and America’s Most Wanted finished in a dead heat for the nights demo adults 18-49 ratings race.
    Here are the half hourly sports numbers from Marc Berman/Mediaweek.
    NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (ABC)
    8:00 p.m. – Viewers: 5.63 million (#1), A18-49: 1.7/ 6 (#1)
    8:30 p.m. – Viewers: 5.38 million (#1), A18-49: 1.6/ 5 (#1)
    9:00 p.m. – Viewers: 5.34 million (#2), A18-49: 1.6/ 5 (#1)
    9:30 p.m. – Viewers: 5.36 million (#3), A18-49: 1.6/ 5 (#2)
    10:00 p.m. – Viewers: 5.17 million (#2), A18-49: 1.6/ 5 (#1)
    10:30 p.m. – Viewers: 5.03 million (#2), A18-49: 1.6/ 5 (#1)
    Source: Nielsen Media Research data.(tvbythenumbers.com)(9-13-2009)
  • 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)(9-9-2009)
  • ESPN’S NASCAR Ratings Improve for Bristol: Live coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races at Bristol Motor Speedway Aug. 21-22 by ESPN saw increased ratings from last year’s telecasts for both events, the second consecutive week that ratings for both series have shown increases from 2008. ESPN’s telecast of the Sharpie 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race on Aug. 22 earned a 3.8 final national household coverage rating, up from the 3.5 rating for last year’s race that also aired on ESPN. The telecast averaged 5,322,577 viewers. The Bristol race was ESPN’s fifth NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season but only the third to be run and telecast as scheduled. The previous week’s race at Michigan International Speedway also saw a ratings increase from 2008. Live coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race from Bristol on ESPN2 earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.5, up from a 1.4 for last year’s race that aired on ESPN. The telecast averaged 1,956,225 viewers. Last week’s Michigan race also saw an increase.(ESPN)(8-25-2009)
  • ESPN’s TV Ratings up from Michigan: ESPN’s live telecasts of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series races from Michigan International Speedway last weekend each earned ratings increases from the previous year’s telecasts. Coverage of the CARFAX 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, which aired on ESPN on Sunday, Aug. 16, earned a final national household coverage rating of 4.1, up from the 3.9 rating for last year’s race that also aired live on ESPN. The telecast averaged 5,622,384 viewers. The Michigan event was ESPN’s fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup race of 2009 but only the second to be run and telecast as scheduled. ESPN earned a 4.8 rating for the Brickyard 400 from Indianapolis on July 26. Races at Pocono, Pa., and Watkins Glen, N.Y., were rained out on Sundays and run on Mondays. ESPN is televising the final 17 races of the season, with the first six on ESPN and the last 11 on ABC, including all 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
    The CARFAX 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race saw a ratings increase for the second consecutive year, earning a 1.4 final national household coverage rating for the telecast that aired on ESPN2 on Saturday, Aug. 15. The telecast averaged 1,642,343 viewers. The Nationwide Series race telecast from Michigan earned a 1.3 rating on ESPN2 in 2008 and a 1.2 in 2007, the first year of ESPN’s current contract with NASCAR to televise the full Nationwide Series.(ESPN)(8-18-2009)
  • Watkins Glen TV Ratings: ESPN’s live coverage of the rain-delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race from Watkins Glen International earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.7, averaging 1,994,457 viewers. The telecast aired on Monday, Aug. 10, starting at 12:00pm/et after the race was rained out the previous day. ESPN earned a 2.0 rating for coverage on Sunday from 2:15 pm . 4:30 pm when the race was postponed. Two of ESPN’s three NASCAR Sprint Cup races so far this season have been run on Mondays after having been rained out on the originally-scheduled day. The NASCAR Nationwide Series race run at Watkins Glen on Saturday earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.5 on ESPN2, higher than the 1.4 earned for the race when it aired on ESPN2 in 2007. The race aired on ABC last year and had a 1.5 rating. The Nationwide Series telecast averaged 1,755,640 viewers.(ESPN), for past races and TV Ratings news, see my 2009 TV Ratings page and chart.(8-12-2009)
  • Pocono TV Ratings: ESPN’s live telecast of the rain-delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway on Monday, Aug. 3, earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.8. The telecast averaged 2,246,135 viewers. ESPN’s live telecast from 2:00-4:30pm/et during Sunday’s rain delay earned a 2.4 rating. Last year’s event at Pocono, which was run and telecast as scheduled on a Sunday afternoon, earned a 4.5 rating, which had equaled ESPN’s rating for the 2007 race. ESPN’s live coverage of the inaugural NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway on Saturday, Aug. 2, earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.3. The telecast averaged 1,640,942 viewers.(ESPN)(8-5-2009)
  • TV Ratings for Indy posted: ESPN’s live coverage of the Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway scored a final household coverage rating of 4.8, making it the highest-rated NASCAR Sprint Cup race on cable so far this season. And the average viewership of 6,487,450 made it the second most-viewed NASCAR Sprint Cup race ever on ESPN, exceeded only by last year’s Indianapolis event (6,667,729). The race was also the most-viewed NASCAR Sprint Cup race on any network since the Talladega race in April. The rating was a six% drop from last year’s 5.1 on ESPN and was close to the 4.9 rating for ESPN’s telecast of the 2007 race.(ESPN)(7-29-2009)
  • TV Ratings for Chicago posted: TNT concluded its portion of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season with a 3.0/6 for racing from Chicagoland Speedway. That’s down -6% from last year’s 3.2/7. For the 2009 season, NASCAR on TNT averaged a 3.3/8, down -8% from last year’s 3.6/8.(7-16-2009)
  • Daytona TV ratings: TNT says its coverage of Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway earned a 3.1 household rating from Nielsen Media Research. The rating was 18.4% lower than the 3.8 TNT earned for the race in 2008, and a spokesperson noted this year’s race fell on the July 4th holiday, which is traditionally a weak time for television ratings.(SceneDaily)(7-9-2009)
    UPDATE: TNT averaged a 3.1/8 (5.3 million viewers) on Saturday for racing from Daytona. That’s down -18% compared to last year’s 3.8/8, and ranks as the biggest year-to-year decline for a NASCAR Sprint Cup event on any network this season. Saturday’s race posted huge declines across all key male demos including M18-34 (-47%, 0.9 vs. 1.7), M18-49 (-32%, 1.9 vs. 2.8), and M25-54 (-29%, 2.7 vs. 3.8). Among Men 55+, Saturday’s race was down just one-tenth from last year’s (4.8 vs. 4.9). Season-to-date, NASCAR on TNT is averaging a 3.4/8 (5.5 million viewers), down -6% from last year’s 3.6/8.(7-10-2009)
  • New Hampshire TV Ratings Up UPDATE: TNT’s telecast Sunday of the Sprint Cup Series’ Lenox Industrial Tools 301 from New Hampshire Motor Speedway earned a 4.1 cable rating and 5.555 million viewers from 1:59-5:45pm/et, the Sports Business Journal reported Tuesday. The telecast marks the first Cup Series race this season to see both year-over-year ratings and viewership gains, up 2.5% and 1.1% from last year’s 4.0 cable rating and 5.495 million viewers. The race also was the ninth most-viewed telecast on all of cable for the week of June 22-28. For four Cup Series races to date, TNT is averaging a 4.0 cable rating and 5.502 million viewers, down 4.8% and 3.7% from a 4.2 rating and 5.715 million viewers last year.(NASCAR.com)(6-29-2009)
    UPDATE: TNT’s ratings for its coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Racing from Loudon marked the first increase during the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, receiving a 3.5 US Household rating, up 3% over the same race last year (3.4). Also, households had a 3% increase (4,003,000 vs. 3,873,000) over last year.(TNT)(7-2-2009)
  • Infineon TV ratings drop: TNT’s coverage of Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Infineon Raceway earned a 4.0 cable rating, Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating is 7.0% lower than the 4.3 cable rating TNT earned for the 2008 race. This year’s race averaged 5.788 million viewers, down 3.8% from last year’s 6.015 million viewers. For its first three Sprint Cup races this season, TNT is averaging a 3.9 cable rating and 5.483 million viewers, down 9.3% and 5.1%, respectively, from the 4.3 rating and 5.780 million viewers last year, the Daily reports.(SceneDaily)(6-24-2009)
    MORE TNT posted a 3.4/8 on Sunday for NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from SONOMA. That’s down -8% compared to last year’s 3.7/8. Through three races, NASCAR on TNT has been a continuation of all the major ratings trends that were in evidence on FOX earlier in the year. TNT’s first three races are down -8% nationally (3.4/8 vs. 3.7/9)(6-25-2009), see race-by-race and more TV Ratings news on my 2009 TV Ratings page.(6-24-2009)
  • Michigan TV Ratings: TNT’s Sprint Cup race from Michigan averaged a 3.3/9 (5.118 mill.) on Sunday. That’s flat with last year’s rating (3.3/9) and up very slightly on average audience (+1% vs. 5.084 million). This is the first NASCAR race of this season to be flat on rating and also the first to post any increase on viewership. Through two races TNT is averaging a 3.3/9, down -11% from last year’s 3.7/9. TNT viewership is down -6% (5.327 mill. vs. 5.671).(6-18-2009)
  • Pocono Ratings down: TNT started its portion of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup on Sunday with a 3.4/9 (5.5 million viewers) for the Pocono 500, down 13% from last year’s Pocono race (3.9/9)(6-11-2009)
  • Final Dover/Season TV Ratings: A challenging season of NASCAR on Fox came to an end this weekend with a 4.0/10 (6.1 million viewers) for racing from DOVER. Sunday’s 4.0/10 is down -11% compared to last year’s 4.5/11 for the same race, making nine straight regularly scheduled races that have been down double-digits compared to 2008. The 2009 season of NASCAR on FOX concludes with an average rating of 5.1/11 (8.5 mill.), down -11% compared to last year’s 5.7/12 and a new low in the nine-year history of NASCAR On FOX. Despite the poor year-to-year trend, NASCAR remains the dominant player in February-June sports. FOX’s 5.1/11 for NASCAR more than doubles ABC’s rating for regular season NBA (+113% vs. 2.4/6). It’s also +46% better than ABC’s NBA Playoff average (3.5/8) and NASCAR nearly matched the viewership of the complete NCAA Tournament on CBS (8.5 million vs. 8.7 million).
    • FOX’s NASCAR season suffered from a trio of negative on-track trends: more cautions, fewer lead changes, and lower average speeds. 649 laps were run under caution on FOX this season, a +15% increase over last year. Put another way, there was one caution flag for every 40 miles of racing this season. Last year it was one every 45 miles, in FOX’s first NASCAR season (2001) it was one every 63 miles. Ten years ago it was one every 72 miles. Lead changes were down this year, with one coming every 20 miles compared to last year’s once every 17 miles. That’s at least one extra lap between lead changes, sometimes more. Average speed, which is obviously tied to number of cautions, was also down this year. This year’s average speed during FOX races was 118mph. Last year it was 124mph. In 2001 it was 128mph, and in 1999 it was 130mph.(Fox)(6-5-2009)
  • Dover Overnight TV Ratings: A challenging season of NASCAR on Fox came to an end yesterday with a 3.6/9 overnight rating for racing from Dover. Yesterday’s 3.6/9 was the weekend’s highest sports rating on a broadcast network, but also marked a -14% decline compared to last year’s 4.2/10 for the same race. For the complete season, NASCAR on Fox averaged a 4.6/10 in the metered markets, excluding the rescheduled Coca-Cola 600. That’s down -12% compared to last year’s 5.2/11.
    Fox’s NASCAR season suffered from a trio of negative on-track trends: more cautions, fewer lead changes, and lower average speeds. 649 laps were run under caution on FOX this season, a +15% increase over last year. Put another way, there was one caution flag for every 40 miles of racing this season. Last year it was one every 45 miles, in FOX’s first NASCAR season (2001) it was one every 63 miles. Ten years ago it was one every 72 miles. Lead changes were down this year, with one coming every 20 miles compared to last year’s once every 17 miles. Average speed, which is obviously tied to number of cautions, was also down this year. This year’s average speed during FOX races was 118mph. Last year it was 124mph. In 2001 it was 128mph, and in 1999 it was 130mph.
    A frequent complaint this year was that race start times were “inconsistent” but the fact is that this year’s schedule closely mirrored last year’s. Excluding the rained out Coca-Cola 600, 9 of FOX’s 12 races this year started within four minutes of last year’s start time. Those races were down an average of -14% in the overnights. The other three races were down an average of -15%. It’s hard to establish a link between the start times and the ratings decline when the schedule was equally consistent or inconsistent last year. The value of consistent start times is debatable. FOX aired a stretch of four races from Atlanta to Texas that all started within a few minutes of 2:15pm/et. Those races were down an average of -15%, compared to the season total of -12%.(6-1-2009)
  • Coca-Cola 600 TV Ratings: The Coca-Cola 600 was victimized by a rainout on Sunday and multiple rain-delays on Monday that ultimately forced the race to be called after just 227 of the scheduled 400 laps. There were three segments with green flag racing on Monday and the three averaged a 3.3/8 in the metered markets. Comparisons to earlier years are of course invalidated by the rain delays, but for the record last year’s Coke 600 drew a 4.4/9 when run as scheduled on Sunday night (-25%). This year’s Coca-Cola 600 will not be included in FOX’s season average, which therefore remains a 4.6/10, down -13% compared to last year’s 5.3/11. FOX’s rating held up remarkably well during the four Coca-Cola 600 rain delays on Sunday and Monday. The four rain-impacted segments averaged a 2.9/7 over more than five hours of non-race programming. Overall, the non-race segments rated just -12% lower than the race segments (2.9/7 vs. 3.3/8).(5-27-2009)
  • All-Star Race TV Ratings: SPEED scored a Nielsen Household Rating of 3.68 (2,691,000 households), down just 2% from last year’s 3.74 (2,701,000 households) for Saturday’s live broadcast of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race XXV. Race coverage peaked at 4.69 (3,426,000 households) and was the highest-rated program on cable in its time slot. The SPEED post-race show, NASCAR Victory Lane with John Roberts, Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace, scored a record Nielsen mark of 1.47 (1,074,000 households) — its highest rating ever on SPEED. The All-Star race replay on SPEED was up 11% from a .36 in 2008 to a .40.(SPEEDtv)(5-19-2009)
  • NASCAR Looking into decline in TV Ratings: A double-digit decline in ratings for NASCAR on Fox has officials researching why the audience is shrinking and what, if anything, can be done to reverse the trend. Through the season’s first 10 races, Nielsen ratings on Fox are down 11.5% and viewership is down 10.8% from 2008 numbers, which don’t include a 2008 rainout. Ratings for each of the last seven Sprint Cup races going into last week’s event at Darlington were down by double digits. Fox’s average rating for the season was a 5.4 with 8.9 million viewers prior to Sunday’s race at Darlington, compared with averages of 6.1 and 10 million for 2008. “As you look at the current snapshot, it’s been a challenging year,” said Paul Brooks, president of NASCAR Media Group. “That being said, we’re still the No. 1 sport on television six of the last nine weeks. Our position in the sports and entertainment landscape is strong. The biggest impact is with our TV partners and their commercial sales. We’re mindful of that. The flip side is that we hear great things, that it’s not a NASCAR issue. It’s a broader economy and advertising issue.” Brooks said NASCAR and Fox are looking at every angle, from the lack of compelling story lines on the track to the spacing and timing of commercial breaks. Broadcasters have traditionally gone to commercial during pit stops, but Brooks said that NASCAR fans want to see the pit stops.(see full article at the Sports Business Journal)(5-13-2009)
  • Darlington Overnight TV Ratings: NASCAR on Fox delivered a 3.6/7 Saturday night for Primetime racing from Darlington Raceway. Saturday’s 3.6/7 is down -16% compared to last year’s 4.3/8 for the same race. That -16% skid nearly matches FOX’s overall -15% decline for the NASCAR season (4.6/10 vs. 5.4/11). All eleven of FOX’s Sprint Cup points races have been down double digits compared to last year in the metered markets. It’s too early to call a definitive winner in the Saturday night Primetime battle. FOX’s race averaged a 3.5/7 from 8-11pm, which ranked third among major broadcasters behind ABC’s 3.9/8 and CBS’s 3.8/7.(5-11-2009)
  • Richmond overnight TV Ratings: NASCAR on Fox posted a 3.7/7 for primetime racing from Richmond, off -12% from last year’s 4.2/8. FOX’s 3.6/7 primetime average was just good enough to win the night, edging out second-place NBC’s 3.5/6, CBS’ 3.4/6, and ABC’s 2.5/5. For the season-to-date, NASCAR On FOX is averaging a 4.7/10, down -15% from last year’s 5.5/11.(5-4-2009)
  • Final Talladega TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing posted a 5.0/12 (8.1 million viewers) on Sunday for the race from Talladega. Though that’s down -12% from last year’s 5.7/13 for the same race, Sunday’s telecast was the top-rated event of the weekend, and was FOX’s highest-rated and most-watched NASCAR event in nearly two months. Sunday’s race opened with a 4.4/12 (6.9 million viewers), and grew steadily throughout the race peaking at a 6.6/15 (10.8 mill). Season-to-date, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX is averaging a 5.5/11 (9.2 million viewers), down -13% from last year’s 6.3/13, but remains the highest-rated and most-watched sport in season.(4-30-2009).
  • Talladega Overnight TV Ratings down: NASCAR on Fox earned a 4.5/11 Sunday for racing from Talladega, FOX’s best NASCAR overnight in seven weeks but also -13% lower than last year’s 5.2/11 for the same race. In the overnights the Talladega race tied with ABC’s Cavaliers-Pistons game as the highest-rated event of the weekend. The race rated a 4.1/10 at green flag, which is just -7% off last year’s initial tune-in (4.4/10). Yesterday’s exciting race peaked at a 5.8/13 at 5:30. That’s -11% lower than last year’s peak of a 6.5/14. Season-to-date, NASCAR’s 4.9/10 average in the metered markets trails last year’s 5.7/11 by -14%.(4-27-2009)
  • Final Phoenix TV Ratings: NASCAR on Fox tumbled to a 3.6/7 (6.0 million) on Saturday night for racing from Phoenix. Saturday’s 3.6/7 is the lowest NASCAR rating ever on FOX, as well as an -18% decline compared to last year’s 4.4/8. Sports competition was somewhat tougher on Saturday night than it was a year ago, as ESPN carried an NBA Playoff doubleheader. Last year’s Phoenix race was run on April 12 and the NBA Playoffs had not yet begun. For the season-to-date, NASCAR is averaging a 5.6/11 (9.3 mill.) on FOX, down -13% compared to last year’s 6.4/13 (10.6 mill.). Much has been written about NASCAR’s ratings declines this year, but it’s worth remembering that at a 5.6/11 NASCAR is still the #1 spring sport by a huge margin, and more than doubles the first-week average of the NBA Playoffs on ABC (2.7/7). See race-by-race and more on my 2009 TV Ratings page.(4-24-2009)
  • Phoenix overnight TV Ratings: NASCAR on Fox posted a record-low 3.3/6 Saturday night for racing from Phoenix. Saturday’s 3.3/8 is an -18% drop compared to last year’s 4.0/7. FOX’s rating at the green flag was just a 3.1/6, down -18% compared to last year’s 3.8/7 when a long-running Yankees-Red Sox game drove some viewers straight into the first lap of the race. For the season-to-date, NASCAR On FOX is averaging a 4.9/10 in the metered markets, down -14% compared to last year’s 5.7/11.(4-20-2009)
  • Texas Overnight TV Ratings: NASCAR on Fox posted a 4.2/10 Sunday for Sprint Cup racing from Texas. The 4.2/10 is down -11% compared to last year’s 4.7/10 for the same race. Once again FOX had trouble getting viewers to the set, as tune-in at the green flag was down half a rating point compared to last year (-13%, 3.4/9 vs. 3.9/9). That half-point decline at the start matches the half-point decline for the entire race, showing that the build of the rating through the race was normal. More positively, yesterday’s race was far and away the day’s highest-rated sports event, it delivered FOX’s best NASCAR rating in a month, and the year-to-year decline of five-tenths of a point is an improvement over the average of nine-tenths for FOX’s previous races this season. Season-to-date, NASCAR is now averaging a 5.1/10 in the metered markets, down -15% compared to last year’s 6.0/12.(4-6-2009)
  • Final Martinsville TV Ratings down: Fox’s broadcast of last Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway earned a final Nielsen Media Research rating of 4.6 and a 10 market share, Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating is 13.2% lower than the 5.3 Fox earned for the race in 2008.(SceneDaily)(4-4-2009)
  • Martinsville Overnight TV Ratings: NASCAR on Fox charted a 4.1/9 on Sunday for the race from Martinsville Speedway. That matches last weekend’s Bristol rating, but it’s down -16% compared to last year’s 4.9/10 for the Martinsville race. Early tune-in, while down -10% (3.8/9 vs. 4.2/10), was a little better than in recent weeks. The race rating grew by +35% from start-to-finish, which is a normal in-race build. The Martinsville race faced formidable competition from both the NCAA Tournament (5.9/13 early, 7.7/15 late) and the Bay Hill Invitational (4.9/10), which was won by Tiger Woods. Season-to-date, NASCAR On FOX is averaging a 5.3/11 in the overnights, -15% off last year’s pace (6.2/12).(3-30-2009)
  • Bristol Final TV Ratings: Fox’s broadcast of last Sunday’s Food City 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway earned a final Nielsen Media Research rating of 4.5 and a 10 market share, Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating is 18.2% lower than the 5.5 Fox earned for the race last year.(SceneDaily)(3-28-2009)
  • Bristol Overnight TV Ratings: Fox’s broadcast of Sunday’s Food City 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race earned a 4.1 overnight rating and a 10 market share from Nielsen Media Research, Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating is 18% lower than the 5.0 Fox earned for the race in 2008.(SceneDaily)(3-23-2009)
  • Atlanta TV Ratings posted: NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on Fox earned a 5.5/12 (8.9 million viewers) on Sunday for the Kobalt 500 from Atlanta. NASCAR ranked as the highest-rated and most-watched sports event of the weekend for the fourth consecutive week. Although Sunday’s rating is down -14% compared to last year’s 6.4/15 (10.6 mill), it’s up +6% over 2007’s 5.2/12. A huge factor in the year-to-year decline was competition from the Duke-North Carolina college basketball game on CBS (2.9/6, 4.6 mill.). The Duke-UNC rating more than tripled the weak 1.1/2 delivered in the same window last year by Purdue-Michigan, and combined viewing of pro and college basketball opposite NASCAR was up by roughly two and a half million viewers. Fox got a lucky break when the final national rating for the Atlanta race came in a tenth of a point higher than the preliminary rating released on Tuesday, a rare occurrence. Men 18-34 continue to be a trouble spot for NASCAR. Ratings in that demo were down -27% (2.4 vs. 3.3) for the Atlanta race, nearly doubling the overall Household decline. One month into the season, NASCAR racing is being impacted by two disappointing trends on the track: lead changes per race are at an all-time low, while caution flags per race are near an all-time high. The season’s first four points races have averaged just 14 lead changes per race. The same races a year ago averaged 30 lead changes. Through four races, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX is averaging a 6.7/13 (11.3 million viewers), down -11% from last year’s 7.5/14 (12.9 mill.). NASCAR’s year-to-year comparison continues to be skewed by rainouts in this year’s highly-rated Daytona race and last year’s lower-rated Fontana race. While it’s easy to focus on the -11% year-to-year skid, it’s also important to note that this season’s 6.7/13 average is still more than double the rating of the NBA On ABC (2.8/6) and is greater than the combined ratings of the NBA on ABC, NCAA Basketball on CBS, and PGA Golf on all broadcasters (5.8/13 combined).(Fox)(3-13-2009)
  • Las Vegas Final TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX once again dominated weekend sports coverage. Sunday’s (3/1) race from Las Vegas Motor Speedway scored as the most-watched and highest-rated weekend sports event giving NASCAR on FOX that distinction for the third consecutive week. Sunday’s victory by hometown favorite Kyle Busch averaged 11.1 million viewers (6.5/12 national rating/share) towering over the next closest event, ABC’s Lakers/Suns broadcast, which recorded 4.7 million viewers (3.1/6). According to Nielsen Media Research, FOX’s 11.1 million viewers on Sunday is up 5% over the 10.6 million viewers Sprint Cup Racing at LVMS has averaged from 2001 to 2008 on FOX. Sunday’s 6.5/12 equals the average household rating over the same eight-year span [down from 2008 which was 7.1/13 and 12.1 million viewers].(Fox PR)(3-3-2009)
  • Las Vegas Overnight TV Ratings: NASCAR on Fox earned a 5.5/10 yesterday evening for racing from Las Vegas. Sunday’s 5.5/10 is the top sports rating of the weekend by a wide margin, +45% better than ABC’s 3.8/8 for Lakers-Suns yesterday afternoon. Compared to last year’s overnight rating, FOX’s 5.5/10 is down -11% versus a 6.2/12. However, note that in each of FOX’s NASCAR races this season the rating has compared better to last year in the nationals than in the overnights.(3-2-2009)
  • Auto Club 500 Final TV Ratings: Fox Sports’ coverage of the Autoclub 500 at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday evening (2/22) was the top-rated, most-watched sports event of the week and was one of the highest-rated prime time programs among several popular demographic categories, including adults 18-49. According to Nielsen Media Research, the race posted a 6.0/10 national household rating/share, with 10.2 million viewers watching, by far the highest-rated and most-watched sports event of the week. Placing a distant second was Sunday’s final round of the Northern Trust Open on CBS (3.7/7, 4.8 million viewers). Sunday’s Autoclub 500 coverage also fared well opposite expected stiff competition from the Academy Awards. FOX’s 5.9/9 prime time household average on Sunday fared +28% better than FOX’s recent performance versus the Oscars (4.6 average from 2004 to 2007). Last year’s NASCAR race opposite the Academy Awards show was delayed by rain and pre-empted the planned prime time lineup, so it was excluded from this comparison. The 2009 Academy Awards on ABC averaged a 20.6/36.(FoxPR)(2-24-2009)
  • Auto Club 500 Overnight TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup racing on Fox averaged a 5.3/8 for the Auto Club 500 presented by Quaker State from California. Though that’s down -13% from last year’s 6.1/10 for the same race, yesterday’s race was by far the top-rated sporting event for the weekend. That -13% year-to-year gap could shrink in the nationals with a good meter-to-national ratings index. Yesterday’s race powered Fox to a second-place finish for the night opposite competition from the Academt Awards [Oscars] on ABC. Fox’s prime average of 5.3/8 (7-10p) placed second behind ABC’s 18.8/28, but beat CBS’s 4.8/7, and NBC’s 3.4/5. Last night’s Prime average was also FOX’s best Sunday night in six weeks. Sunday’s race improved over FOX’s recent Oscar night performances. Last night’s 5.3/8 is +10% better than FOX’s Sunday Prime average opposite the Oscars from 2004-2007. Last year is excluded from that comparison because the NASCAR race was delayed by rain and pre-empted the planned Primetime lineup. That +10% edge over recent Oscar nights is likely to increase when NASCAR gets its typically strong meters-to-nationals boost. The 2009 Academy Awards on ABC averaged a 23.5/36 from 8:30-12m, up +7% over last year’s 21.9/33.(2-23-2009)
  • Daytona 500 TV Ratings: The rain-shortened Daytona 500 last Sunday (2/15) reaffirmed its status as one of America’s premier annual sports events. Despite losing to rain what are historically its most-watched laps, this year’s average audience of 16.0 million viewers places the Daytona 500 ahead of many of the country’s iconic sports events including the NCAA Final Four (15.4 million viewers), Beijing Olympics (15.2 million), 2008 NBA Finals (14.9 million), Kentucky Derby (14.2 million) and the final round of The Masters (13.1 million) and US Open (12.1 million). The Daytona 500 also maintained its position as the No. 1 motorsports event on television, outdistancing last year’s Indianapolis 500 by 122% (7.2 million).
    The 2009 Daytona 500 on Fox on FOX averaged a 9.2/19 household rating/share according to fast national figures released by Nielsen Media Research. This year’s edition of the Great American Race is the second broadcast by FOX since 2001 negatively impacted by the weather. The last rain-shortened Daytona 500 came in 2003, and posted a 9.8/21, with an average audience of 16.8 million viewers. Last year’s full 200 lap, 500 mile race earned a 10.2/20, with 17.8 million viewers. Clearly, Sunday’s rain interruption prevented the Daytona 500 from enjoying the explosive viewership growth it typically experiences over its final laps. The 2009 Daytona 500 was called due to rain with 48 of 200 laps remaining. Last year, viewers arrived in droves to catch the conclusion of the race, lifting the rating for the last half-hour of racing +16% higher than the previous half-hour (12.1 vs. 10.4). On Sunday, the final half-hour grew by just +1% over the previous half-hour (9.8 vs. 9.7).(Fox Sports PR)(2-17-2009)
  • Final Shootout TV Ratings down a bit: The green flag dropped on the ninth season of NASCAR on Fox with a 4.9/9 (8.3 million viewers) for Saturday night’s Budweiser Shootout. That’s off -4% compared to last year’s 5.1/9, which benefitted from a promotional push in Super Bowl XLII. Compared to the last time FOX had the Bud Shootout and did not have the Super Bowl, Saturday’s 4.9/9 is a +2% improvement over 2007’s 4.8/9. Sunday afternoon’s Daytona 500 qualifying posted a 2.4/6 (3.6 mill.) on Fox. Sunday’s 2.4/6 is -17% lower than last year’s 2.9/7. Other than the rained-out 2003 qualifying, this marks FOX’s lowest Daytona qualifying rating ever.(2-12-2009)
  • Shootout and Qualifying TV Ratings down: The 2009 NASCAR season got underway this weekend with a 4.1/7 on Saturday night for the Budweiser Shootout and a 2.1/5 on Sunday afternoon for Daytona 500 Qualifying. Both the Bud Shootout gave Fox a Saturday Primetime win. The race and pre-race/”pace lap” averaged a 4.0/7 in Primetime, which won the night and beat second-place CBS’s 3.8/7 by +5%. Both the Bud Shootout and the qualifying posted declines compared to last year’s ratings – -9% for the Shootout and -22% for the qualifying – and the Shootout fell to its lowest overnight rating ever on FOX.(2-9-2009)

Born on Date: February 9, 2009