SBD/November 21, 2011/Media

NASCAR Sprint Cup Finale Sees Overnight Jump 12% With Dramatic Finish

ESPN earned a 3.7 overnight Nielsen rating for the NASCAR Sprint Cup finale yesterday, which saw Tony Stewart win the Ford 400 to claim the title over Carl Edwards, who finished second in the race. The 3.7 rating, which excludes the hour-plus rain delay, is up 12.1% from a 3.3 overnight for last year's finale, which saw Jimmie Johnson claim his fifth consecutive title (Austin Karp, THE DAILY). The DALY PLANET blog noted with slightly less than 40 laps to go, ESPN “got the job done with coverage as the race narrowed down to the top two cars.” The action on the track “for the first time in a long time pushed any concern about the TV coverage aside,” as ESPN “simply had to follow the unfolding reality.” The network “made good pictures, great sound and once again delivered a telecast free of technical problems.” The finish line coverage “focused on the championship after a solid final lap call from the TV booth.” The top three cars were shown crossing the line and “sound from both contenders was used.” One of the “hardest thing in sports broadcasting is knowing when not to talk” and ESPN’s Allen Bestwick “did a superb job in the moments after the race” (, 11/20).

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