TV ratings: Atlanta, Bahrain, Texas

Matthew Thacker/Motorsport Images

TV ratings: Atlanta, Bahrain, Texas


TV ratings: Atlanta, Bahrain, Texas


March Madness is typically associated with basketball, but motorsports offered its own iteration last weekend as four major series took to the track, in (almost) non-competing time slots.

NASCAR’s return to the reprofiled Atlanta Motor Speedway averaged a 2.36 Nielsen rating and 4.003m million viewers for Sunday afternoon’s Cup Series race on FOX, per numbers from That was up from last year (2.21/3.72m) and up slightly from last week’s Phoenix numbers (2.33/3.991m).*

The Xfinity Series race from Atlanta on Saturday afternoon averaged an 0.66 rating and 1.123m viewers on FS1, up a few ticks from last year’s 0.63/1.14m on the same network, while the Camping World Truck Series that ran ahead of the Xfinity Series on FS1 averaged 0.51/841,000, up significantly from 2021’s race in the same time slot (0.39/654K).

Formula 1 launched its 2022 season and appears poised to build on the strong gains in TV audience the series had last year. The Bahrain Grand Prix telecast on ESPN averaged a 0.75 rating and 1.353m viewers, an impressive step up from the 0.53/879,000 for 2021’s Bahrain season-opener, although that aired on ESPN2.

The NTT IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway started just as the F1 race was ending and averaged an 0.62 rating and 954,000 viewers on NBC. While the Texas telecast didn’t quite match F1’s numbers, even though it aired on a free-to-air broadcast network, it easily topped the combined viewership for last year’s TMS doubleheader on cable network NBCSN (0.22/358,000 for the Saturday race, and 0.24/407,000 on Sunday). The last time an IndyCar TMS race aired on NBC was in June 2020, when it averaged a 0.80/1.25m.

Although NASCAR remained top dog in overall viewers by a wide margin, F1 closed the gap significantly among the 18-49 demographic. The Cup Series telecast averaged 716,000 viewers in this age group, while F1 averaged 656,000, Xfinity 217,000 and IndyCar 211K. These numbers do not include streaming viewers.

* Numbers corrected from previously published version which mistakenly included 2021 numbers as current.

MX-5 Cup | Watkins Glen – Round 8