Race Weekend Central

Sprint Cup Series Viewership Lowest Since the ’90s

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday at the Pocono Raceway averaged 4.3 million viewers on NBCSN. The viewership registered a 2.6 house hold rating, according to the NBC PR Twitter account.

Sports Media Watch reported a ratings decrease seven percent and two percent in viewership compared to last season. Compared this weekend to 2013, that number is even more dismal with a decrease of 19% in the ratings and 15% in viewership. Both of those races were televised on ESPN.

The sport has not seen a 2.6 rating since the late ’90s, according to the report from Sports Media Watch. The overall viewership ranks as the lowest since around the year of 2000.

The race on Sunday gave NBCSN the second highest rating for a sports program not related to the Olympics. It trails the Brickyard 400, with a rating of 3.0 and an average 4.7 million viewers.

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Let me see if I have this straight. NASCAR an organization created to race stock cars now races identical spec cars with a choice of three different decals. The cars are so aero dependent that without manipulative cautions and other in race “fixing” there would be virtually no passing at all. To further keep things uninteresting the motors have all been gelded. The sanctioning organization is fan deaf. The racing press functions as the PR department. And SURPRISE the fan base shrinks visibly week to week. Imagine that!
PS: Did I miss anything?

Carl D.

Nail on the head.


The only thing I’d add is that you have corporate super teams (plus satellite teams!) which moves the sport even further from its roots.


Oh, one other point; has anyone noticed that “Silly Season” has all but disappeared from NASCAR? Silly Season used to be a dominate topic somewhere around mid-season every year in NASCAR but now there are hardly any driver moves, barely anyone moving up from the Cup-Lite series, (or as a few people know it as the Xfinity series).


Well said John Q & Chris. Pretty much sums it up.

And yet Brainless and his minions keep doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.

a lot of fans have gotten tired of being told we “don’t understand” by various media and other racing personalities. Wrong, we understand very well thanks and that’s why we often find other things to do.


You forgot gotta keep Chevy happy. This Toyota streak won’t last much longer. Brian will change the rules, again, because he can.


It’s wrong to appease Chevy but I can almost understand it. I wonder who at NASCAR thinks that Toyota will be a savior. Really, they are like refrigerators in that they run for years and when you open the door a light comes on. Teenage boys don’t have Toyota posters on their bedroom walls. Because they are appliances there is no Toyota culture dedicated to preserving them like there is with Chevy, Dodge, and Ford. If they weren’t SO boring badging up the standard off the shelf NASCAR clone vehicle like a Camary would be funny. You will never convince me that Toyota’s entry did not send many many fans running for the exit.
PS: (Even the commercials are uninspired) Started up my Camary. Slipped into a coma. If not for alert passerby doctors tell me I would have died of boredom within minutes.


JohnQ, yeah I agree with that. When the tracks use the Toyota trucks for the driver introductions, there are more than a few people not happy about it.


Nasclone lost me several years ago when it went to the not real cars with pretty boy drivers hanging with their
paper doll girls. I do enjoy reading about the decline and ultimate death such a thing!


Want to know the reason viewership is down? Maybe because you can only see races on cable. Know your audience. Not all NASCAR fans have cable. Want to increase viewership? Put the races back on air channels.


Thats right if NBC would put the races on its MAIN NETWORK instead of NBCSN the viewership would not be so low, everyone dosent get NBCSN.

Rusty Clackers

To get the programming on the primary channels would require a product that draws enough interest to sell the advertising on those channels.


Let’s see, boring racing, kit cars, mostly boring drivers with Sponsor’s Tourette’s (love that, JohnQ) tracks that put on hours and hours of follow the leader racing, oh and everyone is points racing to make the “chase”.

On top of that, let’s put the races on channels that require many people to pay extra for them on their cable and think that the fan’s will demand these channels. Yeah, right – certainly I wouldn’t do that now. Of course the ratings are down. Too many years of nothing much of interest going on has made many of the diehards hang it up and NASCAR with all of its gimmicks still hasn’t found the “right” gimmick (how about good racing for starters?) to draw in a lot of new fans.

NASCAR had a really good thing going – people had fun and liked the sport, then the boom times came NASCAR & the tracks all got greedy until it has all come crashing down and NASCAR is not even a remote challenge to the NFL – no matter how much they would like to spin it.


If NBC would put the races on its MAIN NETWORK instead of NBCSN the viewership would not be so low everyone dosent get NBCSN.


100 % in agreement above. Combined with the fact that advertising and commercials have become more important than racing has totally turned me away. The races have become a non-stop commercial from green flag to checkered. I for one will not watch a 3 – 4 hour commercial.


The week leading up to the Daytona 500 was the third most-watched in FOX Sports 1 history and the highest since last season’s National League Championship Series. FOX kicked off the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season Saturday, Feb.

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