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Volume 25 No. 215
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Audience Analysis: IndyCar Season Down Despite Gain For Finale

The ’18 Verizon IndyCar Series averaged 1.02 million viewers on TV across NBCSN and ABC, marking the lowest season average since ’13 (953,000 viewers). This year's figure excludes the race at Alabama's Barber Motorsports Park, as it ran primarily on Monday due to weather. Compared to last season, IndyCar was down 10%. Hurting this season’s average was another record-low audience for the Indianapolis 500 (4.91 million viewers). Excluding that race, IndyCar was down only 3%. The Indy 500 next year looks to pick up the audience numbers, as it moves from its longtime home on ABC over to NBC. The ’18 season did finish on a higher note. NBCSN this past Sunday night drew 629,000 viewers for the season finale from Sonoma, marking IndyCar’s best finale since ’15 (841,000).

WHAT HAPPENED IN VEGAS: NBCSN on Sunday afternoon averaged 2.14 million viewers for the first race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. This was the first time the playoffs began in Las Vegas. Last year, the playoff opener in Chicagoland drew 2.31 million viewers. Two years ago, the same race averaged 2.69 million viewers.

NOTES: ABC’s Ohio State-TCU game on Saturday in primetime averaged a total audience delivery of 7.33 million viewers, marking the net’s best regular-season college football figure in over a year….The U.S.-Mexico soccer friendly last week averaged 2.3 million viewers on Univision. ESPN added another 827,000 viewers for the English-language telecast.

The chart below lists final audience figures from select recent sports telecasts.

TELECAST
DATE
NET
TIME (ET)
RATING
VIEWERS
(000)
NFL: Patriots-Jaguars (79%)
9/16
CBS
4:15-7:30pm
12.0
20,965
"SNF": Giants-Cowboys
9/16
NBC
8:23-11:00pm
11.7
20,658
NFL: (singleheader)
9/16
Fox
1:00-4:05pm
10.0
17,621
NFL: (regional)
9/16
CBS
1:00-4:15pm
7.6
12,673
"MNF": Jets-Lions
9/10
ESPN
7:08-10:16pm
6.2
10,336
"MNF": Rams-Raiders
9/10
ESPN
10:16pm-1:34am
5.9
9,607
"Football Night in America"
9/16
NBC
7:30-8:14pm
5.0
8,564
College football: Ohio State-TCU
9/15
ABC
8:07-11:55pm
4.2
7,232
"TNF": Ravens-Bengals
9/13
NFL Net
8:23-11:27pm
4.2
7,024
College football: LSU-Auburn
9/15
CBS
3:30-7:00pm
3.5
5,936
"Fox NFL Sunday"
9/16
Fox
12:00-1:00pm
3.0
4,629
College football: Alabama-Ole Miss
9/15
ESPN
7:03-10:11pm
2.3
4,109
College football: Oklahoma-Iowa State
9/15
ABC
12:00-3:30pm
2.2
3,346
"The NFL Today"
9/16
CBS
12:00-1:00pm
2.0
3,131
College football: USC-Texas
9/15
Fox
8:21pm-12:01am
1.8
2,950
College football: BYU-Wisconsin
9/15
ABC
3:30-7:00pm
1.9
2,913
Soccer friendly: U.S.-Mexico
9/11
Univision
9:00-11:10pm
1.1
2,295
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series:
South Point 400 (Vegas)
9/16
NBCSN
3:27-7:08pm
1.3
2,138
College football: Vanderbilt-Notre Dame
9/15
NBC
2:30-6:00pm
1.4
2,108
College football: Florida State-Syracuse
9/15
ESPN
12:00-3:39pm
1.2
1,869
College football: Washington-Utah
9/15
ESPN
10:11pm-1:20am
1.0
1,589
"College GameDay"
9/15
ESPN
9:00am-12:00pm
n/a
1,559
College football: Boise State-Oklahoma State
9/15
ESPN
3:39-7:03pm
0.9
1,438
"Sunday NFL Countdown"
9/16
ESPN
10:00am-1:00pm
n/a
1,273
"Fox NFL Kickoff"
9/16
Fox
11:00am-12:00pm
0.8
1,166
MLB: (regional)
9/15
Fox
1:00-4:45pm
0.8
1,110
College football: Houston-Texas Tech
9/15
Fox
4:45-8:00pm
0.7
1,079
EPL: Watford-Manchester United
9/15
NBC
12:30-2:30pm
0.5
806
Liga MX: Club America-Monarcas
9/15
Univision
7:57-10:00pm
0.4
734
FEI Equestrian Games
9/16
NBC
4:00-6:00pm
0.5
666
LPGA: Evian Masters: Final Round (taped)
9/16
NBC
2:30-4:00pm
0.3
442
"World of X Games"
9/16
ABC
4:00-5:00pm
0.2
327
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