NASCAR brought down the curtain on its 2021 season with the championship finale at Phoenix — alongside Formula 1 on broadcast network TV, as well as NFL football — and came out ahead of its 2020 audience.
The NASCAR Cup Series championship decider Sunday afternoon on NBC averaged a 1.95 Nielsen rating and 3.214 million viewers, per numbers from ShowbuzzDaily.com. That was up from a 1.87/3.063m for last year’s Phoenix showdown, also on NBC, and a healthy increase over the 1.61/2.627m for the previous week’s Championship 4 elimination round at Martinsville.
A couple hours ahead of NASCAR, F1’s return to the Mexican Grand Prix yielded a 0.59 rating and 968,000 viewers on ABC, down from the USGP on ABC two weeks earlier (0.72/1.225m) but still enough to raise the season average to 947K across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, an increase of 56 percent over the shifted 2020 season (608,000 viewers) and 41 percent over the 2019 season average (672,000 viewers).
The decisive race for the NASCAR Xfinity Series aired Saturday afternoon on NBCSN and averaged a 0.60/1.013m, also up slightly from a 0.59/980s on the cable network last year.
Camping World Truck Series action on Friday night was the only NASCAR division to decline slightly, averaging a 0.30 and 473,000 on FS1, compared to a 0.29/493,000 on the cable network last year.
MotoGP again enjoyed an NBC boost on Sunday ahead of NASCAR, averaging a 0.36 and 589,000 viewers for its Portugal round. That was up from the 0.35/510,000 that watched its Italian race last month on the broadcast network.