SBD/May 27, 2014/Media

Fox Earns 3.9 Overnight Rating For NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600

TV ratings were down about 10% this season going into the Coca-Cola 600

Fox drew a 3.9 overnight rating for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday night, which saw Jimmie Johnson get his first win of the ’14 season. That figure is down from a 4.1 overnight in both ’13 and ’12. Last year’s race also went head-to-head with TNT’s Heat-Pacers Eastern Conference Finals Game 3. Sunday’s race did deliver Fox a win in primetime among broadcast nets. Greensboro led all markets with a 13.0 local rating, followed by Greenville-Spartanburg (12.9) and host market Charlotte (11.6) (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor). In Charlotte, Scott Fowler wrote NASCAR "hoped to have a finish something like the Indianapolis 500 earlier in the day." What the race got "was decent, but not great." It "wasn't the Indy 500," but Johnson won the race, and there is "nothing wrong with that" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 5/26).

CHANGE IS GONNA COME
: In N.Y., Viv Bernstein noted a resurgence in TV audience "has not followed" NASCAR's sweeping changes during the offseason. A Fox Sports spokesperson indicated that ratings were down about 10% this season going into the Coca-Cola 600, prompting TNT analyst Kyle Petty to say, "I think they have to be concerned. When you improve your product and sales go down, then you've got to be concerned. I don't care whether you're making toaster ovens or whether you're running NASCAR." But NASCAR COO Brent Dewar said the racing has "really never been better in terms of how we made the technical changes." Bernstein wrote the changes have "led to more late-race excitement," and "many in the sport agree." Dewar: "The competition level every single week is very high. ... That gets fans excited." Driver Brad Keselowski: "In the long term, which is how you have to look at the sport and look at those things in the big picture, if we continue to produce racing like we have this year, I think that it will come back and grow again" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/25).

CORRECTION: Friday’s issue of THE DAILY should have listed FS1’s audience for the NASCAR All-Star race at 3.5 million viewers. THE DAILY regrets the error.

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