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ABC began its coverage of the NASCAR Nextel Cup on Saturday night, averaging 6,750,852 viewers for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 from Richmond, up 27.7% from 5,288,162 viewers for the race from last year, when it aired on TNT. ABC's 4.2 rating for the four-hour telecast won the key adult demographics: 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54. ESPN VP/Motorsports Rich Feinberg: "We don't just measure the success of that relationship on ratings. We're a company with multiple platforms and multiple business unites that are involved with the NASCAR project, and I think across the board on a whole lot of different levels the company is very satisfied with where we are season to date" (THE DAILY).
CUTTING TO THE CHASE: With the Chase for the Nextel Cup beginning Sunday, the chart below presents the ratings for all the Nextel Cup races so far this year. NOTE: In some cases, broadcast ratings are compared to cable ratings; viewer numbers are also included. Last year, TNT aired the first two races of the Chase for the Nextel Cup, which averaged a 3.7 coverage area rating (3.1 U.S area) and 4.8 million viewers. NBC aired the final eight Chase races, averaging a 4.5 Nielsen rating and 7.2 million viewers. For the entire Chase, TNT and NBC averaged a 4.2 rating and 6.7 million viewers. ABC will air all Chase races this season. ESPN analyst Rusty Wallace said of whether Dale Earnhardt Jr. not qualifying for the Chase will affect viewership: "I think the viewership's not going to change a whole lot. He's going to be out there racing every single week, he's still going to be in the races and he's still a big story. You're not going to turn the TV off just because he's not in the Chase" (THE DAILY).2007 NASCAR NEXTEL CUP RATINGSDATENETDAYSTARTRACETRACKRAT.VWRS (000)RAT.VWRS (000)2/10FoxSat.8:30pmBudweiser
Shootout (a)Daytona4.88,4414.66,1502/18FoxSun.3:30pmDaytona 500 (b)Daytona10.117,53211.319,3552/25FoxSun.3:45pmAuto Club 500California6.711,7077.412,5233/11FoxSun.4:45pmUAW-
DaimlerChrysler 400Las Vegas6.310,5326.210,3223/18FoxSun.2:30pmKobalt Tools
Food City 500 Bristol5.110,9836.29,9024/1FoxSun.2:15pm Goody's Cool
Orange 500 (d)
Martinsville5.39,1526.29,7664/15FoxSun.2:20pm Samsung 500 Texas5.69,2845.48,6744/21FoxSat.8:45pm Subway Fresh
Phoenix4.47,0184.87,4964/29FoxSun.2:25pm Aaron's 499 (e) Talladega5.48,5632.53,4555/6FoxSun.1:15pm Jim Stewart 400 (f)(g) Richmond4.37,0044.35,6335/13FoxSun.1:20pm Dodge Avenger
Darlington4.26,9204.87,8615/19SpeedSat.7:00pm Nextel All-Star Challenge (i)(g) Lowe's3.63,7883.34,4695/27FoxSun.5:45pm Coca-Cola 600 Lowe's4.57,4965.18,3656/4FoxMon.12:00pm Autism Speaks
Dover2.33,3754.65,9696/10TNTSun.2:00pm Pocono 500 (k)(l) Pocono3.64,9685.28,1786/17TNTSun.2:00pm Citizens Bank
Infineon4.76,5205.18,1887/1TNTSun.2:30pm Lenox Industrial
New Hampshire4.15,2704.86,1677/7TNTSat.8:00pm Pepsi 400 (l) Daytona4.56,1625.18,2487/15TNTSun.4:00pm USG Sheetrock 400 Chicagoland4.86,3655.26,7727/29ESPNSun.2:00pm Allstate 400 at
the Brickyard (b)
Pocono4.56,0005.06,7398/12ESPNSun.2:00pm Centurion Boats
at The Glen (b)(o)
Watkins Glen4.15,5594.67,0258/21ESPN2Tues.10:00am 3M Performance
Michigan1.61,7994.96,4148/25ESPNSat.8:00pm Sharpie 500 (a) Bristol4.15,7354.35,6749/2ESPNSun.8:00pm Sharp Aquos
California4.36,3805.18,4499/8ABCSat.7:00pm Chevy Rock &
Roll 400 (a)(r)
NOTES: Ratings are Live+Same-Day. All cable marks are coverage-area ratings. (a) = Aired on TNT in '06. (b) = Aired on NBC in '06. (c) = Formerly the Golden Corral 500, which earned a 3.7 on Fox in '06 for 145 minutes of rainout coverage. The '06 race aired on Monday from 11:00am-3:00pm on FX. (d) = Formerly the DirecTV 500. (e) = Fox earned a 4.4 for 114 minutes of rainout coverage on Sunday in '06. The '06 rating listed is for the actual race run the next day on FX. (f) = Formerly the Crown Royal 400, who served as presenting sponsor in '07. Race in '07 was rained out on Saturday and run on Sunday afternoon. (g) = Aired on FX in '06. (h) = Formerly Dodge Charger 500. Race in '07 was rained out on Saturday and run on Sunday afternoon. (i) = Rating in '06 includes a 19-minute rain delay. (j) = Formerly the Neighborhood Excellence 400. Race in '07 was rained out on Sunday and run on Monday on Fox. (k) = Experienced rain delays. Rating includes race and rain-delay coverage. (l) = Aired on Fox in '06. (m) = Previously the 3M Performance 400, which was shortened by rain in '06. (n) = Formerly the Dodge/SaveMart 350. (o) = Formerly the AMD at The Glen. (p) = Race in '07 was rained out on Sunday and run on Tuesday morning on ESPN2. (q) = Formerly the Sony HD 500. (r) = Fast-national ratings information.
RESTARTS: In Virginia, Dustin Long reports ESPN missed six restarts among the 12 during the Richmond race Saturday night. Long football, basketball and baseball games don't resume action until the network broadcasting the event returns from commercial. Why not NASCAR?" (VIRGINIAN PILOT, 9/12). NASCAR spokesman Randy Poston wrote in an e-mail, "The idea of running extra laps is not something under consideration at this time -- our obligation is to run the races in line with what's happening on the track. Our objective is to get the race back to green as soon as possible. We would not want to introduce an artificial aspect that might influence on track strategy" (VIRGINIAPILOT.COM, 9/11).