NASCAR’s road racing expansion got another test case last Sunday, with the Cup Series‘ first visit to Road America. NBC’s telecast of the race averaged a 1.8 rating and 3.1 million viewers. That was down from a 2.7 rating/4.3m for last year’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis, which ran on the July 4 weekend and also aired on NBC.
Leading directly into the NASCAR race on NBC was the NTT IndyCar Series race from Mid-Ohio, which averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TV plus digital) of of 1.3 million viewers, making it NBC’s most-watched IndyCar race ever outside of the Indianapolis 500, and the most-watched Mid-Ohio race since 2008. Through nine races (6 NBC, 3 NBCSN), the 2021 IndyCar Series has produced a TAD of 1.582 million viewers, up 30% vs. last year’s comparable coverage (1.213m).
The Camping World Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) had a slight downturn last Saturday night — when ratings appeared to be down across the board, widely attributed to it being July 4 weekend — but still averaged 1.1 million viewers for its Lucas Oil Raceway round on CBS, keeping the audience above the million mark for its first four races.
Although Formula 1‘s run of dramatic races has hit a bit of a lull with Red Bull’s run of dominance, that doesn’t seem to be hurting the sport’s TV audience, which again beat its already record-setting season average last Sunday. The Austrian GP averaged 980,000 viewers on ESPN, the second-largest audience of the season and fourth-largest F1 cable audience on record for an F1 race. It was also a healthy step up from the previous week’s race at the same track (914K average) — a significant change from last year’s numbers for the Red Bull Ring doubleheader, which served as the pandemic-delayed season’s first two races (752,000 for Austria 1 vs 632,000 for Austria 2, both on ESPN).