The final ratings for NASCAR’s opening weekend weren’t able to maintain the upward momentum hinted at by the overnights, but still provided some promising news.
After registering an 8% rise for the overnight rating, the final rating for last Sunday’s Daytona 500 on FOX was 5.31, with an estimated audience of 9.17 million household viewers. That’s down slightly from the 5.33/9.30m for last year’s race, but at least stabilized the precipitous drop that 2018’s Daytona 500 had from the 2017 edition (6.6/11.92m). And it was still easily the biggest sports programming of the weekend, eclipsing the NBA’s All-Star Game. The Fox Sports Go digital streaming platform also earned an average of 53,300 viewers for Sunday’s race, up 10% from last year and the most ever for a NASCAR race, according to Fox Sports.
The Xfinity Series race from Daytona, which aired Saturday on FS1, scored a 0.97 rating and averaged 1.53m viewers. That’s down from a 1.15/1.85m last year.
On the other hand, Friday night’s Gander Outdoors Truck Series opener was up over last year, despite (or because of?) setting a record for number of caution-flag laps. The FS1 telecast scored a 0.66/1.06m viewers, up 12% and 13% respectively from 2018.