UPDATE 2/23: The final rating for the Daytona 500 was 5.33, averaging 9.3m viewers. That’s down from a 6.6/12m viewers last year.
The Xfinity Series race at Daytona Saturday on FOX Sports 1 scored 1.15 rating, averaging 1.8m viewers. Last year’s race scored a 1.4 and 2.3m viewers.
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series finals from Phoenix scored a 0.36 rating and averaged 546,000 viewers on FS1, down from a 0.42/645,000 last year.
Another dramatic last-lap winner wasn’t enough to overcome another downturn in television ratings for the Daytona 500.
According to FOX Sports, the live telecast of Austin Dillon’s victory in the 60th Daytona 500 on the FOX broadcast network scored an overnight rating of 5.1, down from a 6.5 last year and, according to Sports Media Watch, it’s the lowest overnight rating for the race in at least 10 years. Coverage of last Thursday’s Duels was also down, scoring a 1.1 rating on FOX Sports 1 compared with a 1.5 last year, SMW reports.
While the draw of the Winter Olympics on NBC might be cited as one reason for the downturn, SMW noted that the last time the 500 went up against the Winter Games in 2014, it scored a 5.6 rating despite facing stiffer competition, having been delayed by rain into a broadcast window opposite the Closing Ceremonies.