SBD/June 8, 2011/Media

Fox' NASCAR Sprint Cup Telecasts See 4% Jump In Ratings For '11

Fox averaged a 5.0 final Nielsen rating and 8.6 million viewers for its 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series telecasts this season, up 4.2% and 9.7%, respectively, from a 4.8 rating and 7.8 million viewers last year (11 races). Last year’s figures exclude the races from Martinsville and Texas, which were rained out on their respective Sundays and run on the following Monday. The increase in viewers marks the largest year-over-year audience gain ever for the Sprint Cup on Fox. The net concluded its telecasts with the STP 400 from Kansas Speedway last Sunday, earning a 3.9 final rating and 6.3 million viewers. Last year’s comparable race from Kansas aired on ESPN in the fall as part of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Fox for the season saw gains across all key male and adult demos, and no gain was larger than that among males 18-34. The net posted a 1.8 rating in the demo, up 20% from last season. Greensboro topped all U.S. markets for Fox' race telecasts, averaging a 13.3 local rating. The net also saw strong growth in some larger markets, including Houston (+45%), L.A. (+35%) and Chicago (+24%) (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES RATINGS, VIEWERSHIP TREND ON FOX
YEAR
TELECASTS
RATING
VIEWERS (000)
'11
13
5.0
8,600
'10
11
4.8
7,836
'09
12
5.1
8,680
'08
12
5.7
9,325
07
12
5.6
9,307
       
'11 NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES ON FOX
DATE
DAT
TRACK
RATING
VIEWERS (000)
2/20
Sun.
Daytona
8.7
15,597
2/27
Sun.
Phoenix
5.9
10,346
3/6
Sun.
Las Vegas
5.9
10,076
3/20
Sun.
Bristol
4.3
7,240
3/27
Sun.
Auto Club
4.6
8,080
4/3
Sun.
Martinsville
4.4
7,229
4/9
Sat.
Texas
4.0
7,036
4/17
Sun.
Talladega
5.2
9,039
4/30
Sat.
Richmond
3.7
6,138
5/7
Sat.
Darlington
4.1
6,978
5/15
Sun.
Dover
4.4
7,391
5/29
Sun.
Charlotte
4.5
8,132
6/5
Sun.
Kansas
3.9
6,300

HOPING TO CATCH THE SAME WAVE: TNT is beginning its six-race Sprint Cup package this weekend with the 5-Hour Energy 500 from Pocono Raceway, and SCENEDAILY.com's Erik Spanberg noted Fox' success and Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s strong start to the season "are among the reasons TNT executives are feeling bullish." Turner Sports Senior VP & Exec Producer Jeff Behnke said, "We're not in the business of making predictions about the ratings, but it continues to deliver large audiences for TNT. It consistently wins the day for us. ... We're very aware that Fox is trending up." Spanberg noted TNT "will again offer its Wide Open coverage" for the July 2 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona Int'l Speedway. TNT execs "have no plans to expand the shared-screen format on their network until advertisers can be convinced to do so for races other than Daytona" (SCENEDAILY.com, 6/7).

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