It was another big weekend for auto racing on the tube, with two events on over-the-air TV and Formula 1 back on ESPN’s mothership.
The NTT IndyCar Series‘ return to NBC at Mid-Ohio secured a 0.47 rating and averaged 670,000 household viewers on Sunday afternoon. That’s down from the 0.77/1.1m for Road America’s NBC telecast last month. Last year’s Mid-Ohio race had a 0.39/644,000 when it was tape-delayed on NBCSN, having aired live on CNBC.
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series scored similar numbers to IndyCar for its Sonoma finals on FOX, which started an hour later — 0.43/671,000. Last year this event averaged a 0.49/750,000, also on FOX.
NASCAR’s Monster Energy Cup Series race at Pocono started an hour earlier than IndyCar’s 4 p.m. telecast and aired on NBCSN. It averaged a 1.71 and 2.7m viewers, basically identical to last year’s (1.72/2.7m) NBCSN telecast as well as last week’s New Hampshire race on the same network (1.72/2.8m).
F1‘s German Grand Prix averaged a 0.47/688,000 on ESPN. That’s a healthy 27 percent improvement on last year’s 0.35/543,000 when it aired on ESPN2 and the largest audience for a cable television telecast of the race on record, according to the network. Overall, F1 races on all ESPN networks are averaging 679,000 viewers through the first 11 events of the season, up 19 percent over last year’s average of 571,000 on ESPN networks and up 21 percent from the 561,000 average on NBC networks in 2017.
Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race in Iowa scored a 0.51/815,000 on NBCSN, an increase over last year’s 0.45/726,000 on the same network.