It was another busy weekend for racing on the tube, with F1, IndyCar, NASCAR and NHRA all among the series vying for viewers.
The Richmond NASCAR Cup Series race marked the first cable-network telecast of the year for the series, and Sunday’s coverage on FS1 averaged a 1.30 Nielsen rating and 2.303 million viewers, per numbers from ShowBuzzDaily.com. That was down from the previous week’s race at COTA on FOX (1.81/3.129m) and from this race last year, which aired on FOX (2.30/3.958m). The first 2022 race on FS1 to be run in a comparable Sunday timeslot without a rain postponement was Darlington in early May, which averaged a 1.45 rating and 2.614m viewers.
Saturday’s Xfinity Series race from Richmond on FS1 averaged 0.50/847,000 viewers, closer to last year’s 0.53/833K on the cable network.
The NTT IndyCar Series stayed on broadcast network NBC for its race at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, which averaged an 0.53 rating and 830,000 viewers. That was down from last year’s 0.62/954K, also on NBC.
NASCAR’s Craftsman Truck Series was supporting IndyCar at Texas this year and averaged 0.37/644,000 Saturday afternoon on FS1. That was down slightly from the previous week at COTA (0.43/697K).
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series delayed coverage of the finals from Pomona faired much better on FS1 this week, likely due to it following directly from NASCAR’s Cup race. It averaged 0.36/597,000, up from the 0.20/324,000 for the previous week’s Phoenix finals on FS1 in the same timeslot.
Formula 1 faced its first significant airtime challenge of the year with the Australian Grand Prix. ESPN’s live coverage of the race that started at 1am ET averaged 0.30 and 556,000 viewers — curiously, less than ESPN’s coverage of the race’s qualifying session at the same time the previous day (0.36/605K) albeit only down slightly from 2022’s Australian GP (0.34/568,000) which also aired on ESPN. This year’s race was also replayed on ESPN2 at 9:30am, and garnered another 217,000 viewers.
Despite its late night/early morning obstacle, F1 continued to do well among the coveted 18-49 demographic, pulling in more than half its live viewership (324,000) from that age group. NASCAR had 457,000 18-49 viewers from its 2.3m total, followed by Xfinity at 187K, IndyCar at 178K, Trucks at 143K and NHRA at 130K.