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Volume 26 No. 29
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Audience Analysis: NASCAR Down In Phoenix, While IndyCar Sees Gain For St. Pete Opener

Fox drew 6.63 million viewers for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Phoenix last Sunday in the 3:45pm ET window. While that audience was the most-viewed sports telecast for the fourth straight weekend, it also marked four straight year-over-year declines for Sprint Cup races to start the season. Last year’s spring race at Phoenix, also the fourth race of the season, drew 6.97 million viewers. Fox drew 1.82 million viewers for the Xfinity Series race on Saturday afternoon, down sharply from 2.5 million viewers last year. Meanwhile, the Verizon IndyCar Series began last Sunday in the 12:30pm window from St. Petersburg on ABC. That race drew 1.39 million viewers, marking the best IndyCar season opener since ABC drew 1.84 million viewers in ’11. Last year’s opener from St. Pete, which aired two weeks later in March, drew 891,000 viewers on ABC.

GO BIG OR GO HOME
: Fox on Saturday aired the Big East Championship for the first time on the broadcast net, drawing 1.37 million viewers for Seton Hall-Villanova. That game marked Fox’ best college hoops audience for the ’15-16 season. Last year’s Big East title game aired on FS1, drawing 414,000 viewers for Xavier-Villanova.

The chart below lists final audience figures from recent sports telecasts. Figures for CBS were unavailable at presstime.

TELECAST
DATE
NET
TIME (ET)
RAT.
VIEWERS
(000)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series:
Good Sam 500 (Phoenix)
3/13
Fox
3:45-6:45pm
4.0
6,633
"Fox NASCAR Sunday"
3/13
Fox
3:00-3:45pm
2.1
3,405
PGA Tour: Valspar Championship: Final Round
3/13
NBC
3:00-6:30pm
2.0
2,949
Liga MX: Chivas-Club America
3/13
UniMas
9:20-11:37pm
1.3
2,914
SEC Championship: Kentucky-Texas A&M
3/13
ESPN
12:59-3:23pm
1.9
2,893
ACC Championship: North Carolina-Virginia
3/12
ESPN
8:55-10:58pm
n/a
2,813
NBA: Thunder-Spurs
3/12
ABC
8:33-11:05pm
1.7
2,568
NBA: Cavaliers-Clippers
3/13
ABC
3:33-6:00pm
1.6
2,543
Big 12 Championship: Kansas-West Virginia
3/12
ESPN
6:07-8:23pm
n/a
2,420
SEC Semifinal: Kentucky-Georgia
3/12
ESPN
3:17-5:29pm
n/a
1,968
NASCAR Xfinity Series:
Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter 200 (Phoenix)
3/12
Fox
2:45-4:45pm
1.2
1,821
PGA Tour: Valspar Championship: Third Round
3/12
NBC
3:00-6:00pm
1.2
1,791
"NBA Countdown"
3/12
ABC
8:00-8:33pm
1.2
1,784
NBA: Cavaliers-Lakers
3/10
TNT
10:40pm-1:09am
n/a
1,778
"Bracketology"
3/13
ESPN
7:00-9:01pm
n/a
1,542
NBA: Clippers-Thunder
3/9
ESPN
9:34pm-12:04am
n/a
1,534
AAC Championship: UConn- Memphis
3/13
ESPN
3:23-5:15pm
n/a
1,532
"30 for 30": "Fantastic Lies"
3/13
ESPN
9:01-11:00pm
n/a
1,474
NBA: Bulls-Spurs
3/10
TNT
8:14-10:40pm
n/a
1,469
Verizon IndyCar Series:
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
3/13
ABC
12:30-3:14pm
1.0
1,391
Big East Championship: Seton Hall-Villanova
3/12
Fox
5:30-7:45pm
0.9
1,372
NHL: Penguins-Rangers
3/13
NBC
12:30-3:00pm
0.8
1,101
Liga MX: Cruz Azul-Puebla
3/12
Univision
5:55-8:00pm
0.5
871
"30 For 30": "The Prince of Pennsylvania"
3/12
ABC
4:00-5:00pm
0.6
784
"NHL Live"
3/13
NBC
12:00-12:30pm
0.6
771
EPL: Tottenham Hotspur-Arsenal (re-air)
3/12
NBC
12:30-2:30pm
0.4
554
"World of X Games: Real Snow 2016"
3/12
ABC
3:00-4:00pm
0.4
486