One week after setting records, IndyCar’s TV ratings dropped back toward normal with its first two cable TV races of the 2021 season. Saturday evening’s Genesys 300, averaged 363,000 viewers during the broadcast, with Sunday’s race pulling 411,000 for an average of 391,000. The weekend of racing outdrew last […]
One week after setting records, IndyCar's TV ratings dropped back toward normal with its first two cable TV races of the 2021 season. Saturday evening's Genesys 300, averaged 363,000 viewers during the broadcast, with Sunday's race pulling 411,000 for an average of 391,000.
The weekend of racing outdrew last year's first two races on NBC Sports, Road America Race 1 (299,000) and Iowa Race 1 (339,000), which combined to average 319,000. Outside of last year's Friday afternoon race on USA Network, those two races registered as the lowest-drawing events on the 2020 IndyCar schedule.
The May 1-2 twin-bill also rated just higher than the 2019 IndyCar race at Texas (373,000 viewers), though its combined average audience fell short of the average audience over the previous three Texas IndyCar races that ran on NBC Sports from 2017-19 (421,000), as well as the six-race average of 2020 IndyCar races on NBC Sports (439,000).
This weekend's races, won by Scott Dixon (Saturday) and Pato O'Ward (Sunday) were criticized again for IndyCar's lack of passing ability and Texas Motor Speedway's single-lane running through the turns due to a traction compound NASCAR elected to apply to the track in late 2019 that steals 20% or more grip from Indy cars.
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Through four races this season, the series has had a banner spring, according to NBC Sports. Its first two NBC and first two NBC Sports races together have averaged 719,000 viewers, a mark that hasn't been met over a similar set of race broadcasts (not including the Indy 500) since 2017 (799,000 viewers between ABC and NBC Sports). It's also up 6% against the similar set of races in 2019.
To kickoff 2021, IndyCar struggled in its season-opening broadcast, drawing 922,000 viewers, down considerably from other recent network TV openers. The series bounced back the following weekend in St. Pete, with 1.225 million viewers, with made the street race the series' most-watched afternoon race ever (excluding the Indy 500) in NBC's history.
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