UPDATE: NASCAR finished the ’21 season with the Cup Series averaging 2.93 million viewers across Fox Sports and NBC Sports channels, which is down from the past two seasons, but that is largely due to a weather-impacted, record-low Daytona 500 this season. Removing Daytona from the numbers has the series basically flat compared to ’20 and ’19.
Other key media takeaways from the ’21 season:
- Cup races were either the No. 1 or No. 2 sports telecast of the weekend 17 times this season (or nearly half of the campaign).
- For the first time ’11, there was a stretch of six straight Cup races that saw viewership increases.
Original post: NBC Sports once again produced a number of viewership milestones for its 2021 NASCAR coverage, including year-over-year viewership increases for both the Cup and Xfinity Series and and NBC Sports’ most-streamed seasons for both series on record.
NBC Sports’ 2021 NASCAR Cup Series viewership across NBC and NBCSN produced a Total Audience Delivery of 2.562 million viewers, according to Nielsen and digital data from Adobe Analytics, slightly up vs. viewership for the comparable races on NBC and NBCSN in 2020 (2.560 million viewers), excluding weather-impacted races.
Additional Cup Series viewership highlights:
- More than half (11 of 20) of the race windows saw year-over-year viewership gains 2020, including six consecutive races from Michigan (Aug. 22) to Las Vegas (Sept. 26);
- Indianapolis (Aug. 15 on NBC) and Michigan (Aug. 22 on NBCSN) were the highest-rated sports events of their respective weekends;
- Indianapolis, Michigan, Road America (July 4 on NBC) and Daytona (Aug. 28 on NBC) made NBC/NBCSN the most-watched TV network during their window.
Knoxville led all markets for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series on NBC and NBCSN with a 5.3 local rating, followed by Greenville-Spartanburg (4.6) and Greensboro-High Point (4.2). Following are the Top 10 markets for 2021 campaign:
NBC Sports also saw viewership gains for its coverage of the 2021 Xfinity Series, producing a TAD of 982,000 viewers to rank as its most-watched Xfinity Series season since 2018, up 6% vs. 2020 (924,000).
Saturday night’s championship race in Phoenix on NBCSN produced a TAD of more than 1 million viewers (1.030 million), up 4% vs. last year. This season also marked NBC Sports’ most-streamed Xfinity Series year on-record in terms of AMA and total minutes.