IndyCar Series Sees TV Viewership Down 22%, Including Lowest NBCSN Audience Yet
The Izod IndyCar Series saw its viewership drop 22% for 19 race telecasts across ABC and NBCSN compared to 15 telecasts last season. The series averaged 953,000 viewers, down from 1.2 million viewers last season. While IndyCar did see a drop in average viewership, an increase in the number of races allowed the series to see a gain in total reach compared to '12. On its own, NBCSN averaged 282,000 viewers for its 13 telecasts, marking a second straight year of record low viewership for the series on the cable net. Last season’s average for nine races was 292,000 viewers. IndyCar’s audience also is down 64% from the final season on ESPN/ESPN2 in ’08, when race telecasts averaged 778,000 viewers for 11 races. NBCSN’s top race was the Aug. 25 GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, which drew 391,000 viewers (up from 308,000 in ’12). The top cable TV race in ’12 was the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach with 468,000 viewers. The Long Beach race drew 375,000 viewers this season. For the series finale this past Saturday night, NBCSN drew 322,000 viewers, up 41% from the same race last year. ABC averaged 2.1 million viewers for its six telecasts this season, which included the Indianapolis 500. That figure is down from 2.5 million viewers last season, when the end of two ABC races were moved to ESPNews. The audience for the finishes on ESPNews were not included in the ’12 average. There was sharp audience drop for the Indy 500 after an increase last season. The May 26 race averaged 5.7 million viewers, down 16% from ’12.