SBD/February 25, 2014/Media

Record-Setting Weather Delay, Primetime Competition Skew Fox' Daytona 500 Rating

A record-setting weather delay caused havoc with Fox’ ratings for the Daytona 500. The net averaged a 5.6 fast-national rating and 9.3 million viewers for two race windows that were separated by 6 hours and 22 minutes. The telecast from 1:30-2:17pm ET averaged a 6.3 rating and 10.1 million viewers before racing was halted due to heavy rain and a tornado warning. Following the delay, Fox drew a 5.5 rating and 9.1 million viewers for racing from 8:25-11:23pm. That period in primetime had direct competition with NBC’s Closing Ceremony telecast from the Sochi Games (15.1 million viewers from 8:33-10:36pm), as well as from AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” which drew 13.1 million viewers from 9:00-10:00pm. The last time the Daytona 500 was run in primetime was in ’12, when the race was rained out on a Sunday and run on a Monday with less competition. That telecast averaged an 8.0 rating and 13.7 million viewers for a race that included a two-hour delay due to a track dryer explosion. The race in ’10 also had a two-hour delay for its Sunday afternoon broadcast due to potholes on the track, with that race generating a 7.7 rating and 13.3 million viewers. Greensboro-Winston-Salem was the top market for Fox’ telecast with a 17.5 local rating, followed by Orlando-Daytona Beach (13.2) and Greenville-Spartanburg (13.0). Outside of football content, the Daytona 500 was Fox Sports Go’s top authenticated live event stream (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

DAYTONA 500 AUDIENCE TREND
YEAR
NETWORK
RATING
VIEWERS (000)
WINNER
'14*
Fox
5.6
9,300
Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
'13
Fox
9.9
16,700
Jimmie Johnson
'12**
Fox
8.0
13,700
Matt Kenseth
'11
Fox
8.7
15,597
Trevor Bayne
'10^
Fox
7.7
13,294
Jamie McMurray
'09
Fox
9.2
15,958
Matt Kenseth
'08
Fox
10.2
17,800
Ryan Newman
'07
Fox
10.1
17,530
Kevin Harvick
'06
NBC
11.3
19,355
Jimmie Johnson
'05
Fox
10.9
18,685
Jeff Gordon
 

NOTES: * = Had a record-setting delay of 6 hours, 22 minutes; race measured from 1:30-2:17pm and 8:25-11:23pm. ** = Rainout on Sunday; Monday night race had two-hour delay due to exploding track dryer. ^ = Race had two-hour delay due to potholes in track.

NUMBERS GAME: NASCAR Digital Media's platforms had record-setting traffic numbers dating back to when the governing body regained control of its digital rights from Turner Sports in '13. NASCAR.com had a 39% increase in unique visitors during the race, while NASCAR Mobile had a 61% increase in total visits to the platform, NASCAR Raceview Mobile had a 25% increase in video views and NASCAR Mobile's website had a 131% increase in page views (NASCAR).

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