Racing on North American TV had an unusual look last weekend with IndyCar and IMSA airing live on NBC while NASCAR Cup and Formula 1 were both on cable networks. The resulting numbers were a little surprising.
Cup’s season debut on the USA network produced an audience drop as expected but not enough to keep it from being top dog. The NASCAR Cup Series telecast from Road America averaged a 1.15 Nielsen rating and 1.930 million viewers, per ShowBuzzDaily.com. That was down from the 1.79/3.078m for this race last year when it aired on NBC. The most recent Cup race on cable — last month’s Sonoma road race on FS1 — averaged 1.30/2.235m.
F1’s British Grand Prix aired on ESPN2 but still wound up No. 2 in audience among motorsports events. The live telecast averaged 0.64/1.239m, a healthy increase on the 0.57/980,000 that watched last year’s Austrian GP on this date, despite that race being on ESPN. In fact, it was the most viewed F1 race ever on “The Deuce.” Overall, F1 is averaging 1.3m viewers per race through the first 10 races — a 37 percent increase over this point last year (961K), per ESPN.
The Camping World SRX Series had oval racing to itself last weekend, and averaged 0.61/975,000 viewers for CBS’s telecast of the third round from Stafford Springs. Like the first two rounds, that was down slightly from last year’s SRX race on this weekend (0.61/1.068m, Brownsburg).
Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series action from Road America on USA averaged 0.53/881,000. Last year this race aired on NBC and averaged 0.80/1.307m, but this week’s numbers were an improvement on the series’ USA debut from Nashville (0.50/796,000).
The NTT IndyCar Series round from Mid-Ohio, airing on NBC and clashing with a portion of the Cup race, averaged 0.57/877K (not including Peacock or NBC app streamers). That was down from last year’s 0.87/1.298m, which was also on NBC but led into NASCAR Cup’s Road America race.
This year, the IndyCar NBC telecast led into the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. The three-hour telecast averaged 0.28/420,000.
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross coverage from Red Bud Saturday afternoon on NBC averaged 0.29/408,000.