The rebroadcast of Saturday’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race from Circuit of The Americas in Austin, TX, drew the biggest audience during the series’ inaugural season.
The “Lone Star Le Mans” race recorded a massive viewership spike thanks to Sunday’s re-air of the event on the FOX network where 1.1 million viewers watched Scott Pruett [ABOVE with team owner Chip Ganassi] and Memo Rojas from Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates score the overall win in their Riley-Ford EcoBoost DP.
Compared to most TUDOR Championship events that have struggled to budge the ratings needle, the COTA event represents a much needed increase as teams and manufacturers look to finalize their budgets ahead of the 2015 season.
“It was nice to see the final viewership numbers for the TUDOR United SportsCar Series race on FOX … 1.1 million viewers is a very solid number,” Patrick Crakes, FOX Sports SVP of Programming, Research and Content Strategy, told RACER. “It was obviously a nice addition to our Sunday single-header NFL programming lineup, and we’d like to see the series and the audience continue to grow. We believe in the series and exposing it to a broader audience on the FOX broadcast platform is just one example of how we are going to position it for that progression.”
The TUDOR Championship season finale takes place at Road Atlanta on October 4, with the 10-hour race being aired live on IMSA.com and FOX Sports 2, and an edited version shown once again on FOX between NFL programming on Sunday, Oct. 5.
Meanwhile, ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H., on Sunday – round 2 of the Chase for the Sprint Cup – earned a 2.4 U.S. household rating, averaging 3,850,000 viewers, according to Nielsen Media. The rating was the same as for last year’s race but viewership was up from last year’s 3,706,000 average.
Saturday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kentucky Speedway near Cincinnati aired on ESPNEWS and earned a 0.5 rating, averaging 708,000 viewers. Last year’s race, which also aired on ESPNEWS, earned a 0.6/837,000 average, according to ESPN.