IndyCar’s new season and new era of a unified domestic TV package with NBC Sports got off to a rough start. The NTT IndyCar Series season opener from St. Petersburg on Friday scored a 0.32 rating and averaged 495,000 viewers on NBCSN, down significantly from a 0.81/1.1 million last year when the race aired on ABC’s broadcast network.
NASCAR, by contrast, enjoyed its first back-to-back year-on-year ratings gain since 2016. Sunday’s Monster Energy Cup Series race from ISM Raceway in Phoenix logged a 2.86 rating and averaged 4.8m viewers on FOX, up from a 2.81/4.6m in 2018, also on FOX.
NASCAR’s Xfinity Series was down, but like IndyCar it went from broadcast to a cable network this year, scoring a 0.66/1.1m Saturday on FS1 compared to last year’s 0.92/1.4m on FOX.