ESPN Sees Uptick For Brickyard 400 Overnight Without Competition From Summer Olympics
ESPN earned a 3.4 overnight rating for its coverage of Brickyard 400 yesterday, which was its first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series telecast of the '13 season. That figure is up 13% from last year's race, which aired against the opening weekend of the London Olympics. The same race in '11 earned a 3.7 overnight, while the '10 race got a 3.5 overnight. Meanwhile, ESPN earned a 1.3 overnight for the second-ever Nationwide Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, flat with the first race last year (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).
COMING UP SHORT: In Indianapolis, Bob Kravitz writes even with the "new-age car in use and the lowest temperatures in the race’s history, Sunday’s Brickyard ... was largely a snooze-fest." Kravitz: "Nobody here is saying the Brickyard 400 should be dropped from the IMS calendar. Heavens, no. It still draws 70-80,000 people, still pumps money into the local economy. ... NASCAR and IMS are still a good marriage." Somebody "much smarter than me ... has to come up with some way to bring passing back into this race." The novelty of the event "has waned; the vanishing crowds offer a pretty troubling story." The race, "sadly and honestly, was a bore." The event "needs a shot in the arm" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 7/29).
QUANTITY OVER QUALITY? In Charlotte, Jim Utter writes the "quality of the racing in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide races this weekend left a lot to be desired." The "biggest question: Is there anything NASCAR or Goodyear can really do to spice up the racing product on a track never built with stock cars in mind?" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 7/29).