NASCAR brought down the curtain on 2022 for its three national touring series last weekend at Phoenix Raceway, and headed into the off-season on an optimistic note having secured the strongest TV audience for its championship finale in three years.
Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race on NBC averaged a 1.86 Nielsen rating and 3.213 million viewers, per numbers from ShowBuzzDaily.com. While last year’s race had a 1.95 rating and 3.214m viewers, this year’s audience topped that by being the most-streamed Cup Series race in NBC Sports history, averaging a Total Audience Delivery (TV and streaming) of 3.355 million viewers on NBC and Peacock.
The TAD was up 2% vs. last season’s championship race on NBC and Peacock (TAD 3.297m viewers) and up 8% vs. 2020 (TAD 3.115m). NBC reports that viewership peaked towards the conclusion of the race from 6:30-6:45pm ET, with a TV-only audience of 4.060m viewers.
The Average Minute Audience (AMA) for the race was 141,500 viewers, marking the most-streamed Cup Series race in NBC Sports history. The AMA also includes streaming on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app via authentication.
NBC Sports reports that its 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season-long viewership averaged a TAD of 2.454 million viewers across NBC, USA Network and Peacock, according to Nielsen and Adobe Analytics, essentially flat vs. viewership for the comparable races on NBC, NBCSN and Peacock in 2021 (TAD 2.485 million viewers). NBC Sports presents the final 20 races of the NASCAR Cup Series season, including exclusive coverage of the NASCAR Playoffs.
Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series finale from Phoenix averaged a 0.58 and 994,000 viewers on USA, down slightly from its 0.60/1.013m last year on now-defunct NBCSN. The championship finale for the Camping World Truck Series on Friday night averaged 0.25/408,000 viewers on FS1, down from last year’s 0.30/473,000. The Truck Series race started about two hours later this year, though, not getting underway until 10pm ET.
NBC led into its Cup race coverage with same-day telecast of the MotoGP finale from Valencia, which averaged 0.38/603,000 viewers, which was up slightly from the 0.36/589,000 for the 2021 Portugal round that led into last year’s Phoenix race.