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Volume 24 No. 156
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NBC Sees Lowest Rating For NASCAR Cup Finale Since '13, Down 16% From Last Year

NBC yesterday afternoon drew a 2.7 overnight rating for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series finale from Homestead-Miami Speedway, which saw Martin Truex Jr. take home his first Cup title. The race also was the Cup Series finale for Dale Earnhardt Jr. The 2.7 is the lowest figure for a Cup finale since '13, when ESPN also drew a 2.7. The '12 race also drew a 2.7 overnight. The 2.7 rating is down 16% from a 3.2 overnight for the same race last year, which saw Jimmie Johnson secure his seventh Cup title. The race two years ago on NBC drew a 4.2 overnight for Kyle Busch's first-ever win, but that telecast was delayed by 90 minutes. It ended up taking the primetime spot on NBC normally reserved for "Football Night in America" (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

GOING BEHIND THE MIC? USA TODAY's A.J. Perez cites sources as saying that Danica Patrick and NBC have talked about her "joining the network in some role" next season. Patrick on Friday while announcing her plans to drive the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 in '18 before retiring said that she "had no immediate plans for a broadcast career." Patrick: "We heard I could [do] TV, but right now, no. Never say 'never.'" Perez noted Patrick is "hardly a novice in front of the camera," as she appeared in "several TV spots for Go Daddy earlier in her career." She also served as a pit reporter for FS1 "during an Xfinity Series race broadcast in June, one of several current NASCAR drivers to be part of the broadcast" (USATODAY.com, 11/17).