NASCAR TV ratings are off to a sluggish start again in 2017. Despite a hyped-up weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the Cup Series’ Kobalt 400 faced a sharp decline in ratings from last year’s event.
Although the fight between Kyle Busch and Joey Logano garnered national attention, the race scored just a 3.58 final Nielsen rating with 5.973 million viewers. Compare that to the 4.4 rating and 7.2 million viewers the race had just a season ago.
The race did run one week earlier on the calendar last season. Last year, the spring race at Phoenix International Raceway occupied the weekend that played host to Las Vegas this year.
But the Phoenix spring race achieved a 4.0 rating, with 6.633 million viewers and 3.97 million between the ages of 18 and 49 – all numbers much larger than this year’s Las Vegas audience. 1.615 million viewers watched from the coveted 18-49 age block in 2017.
The Kobalt 400 was still the most watched sporting event of the weekend, placing second in the 18-49 bracket to only the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Selection Show.
Ratings for the XFINITY Series race at Las Vegas also declined from the series’ race at Phoenix last year. 1.620 million people, including 287,000 in the 18-49 age range, tuned in for the race at Las Vegas as the event scored a 0.98 rating.
Last year’s XFINITY race at Phoenix netted a 1.23 rating and 1.821 million viewers, with 443,000 between ages 18-49.
The XFINITY Series race at Las Vegas ranked 15th among sporting events for the week in overall viewers. It topped the Verizon IndyCar Series’ season opener at St. Petersburg, which had 1.199 million overall viewers and 283,000 between 18-49. That race notched a 0.80 rating and dropped in every category from the same race a year ago.
The release of the ratings was delayed several days due to a major winter storm causing power outages in the northeastern United States. However, there is no indication this factor skewed the ratings results.
About the author
Michael Massie is a writer for Frontstretch. Massie, a Richmond, Va. native, has been a NASCAR superfan since childhood, when he frequented races at Richmond International Raceway. Massie is a lover of short track racing and travels around to the ones in his region. Outside of motorsports, the Virginia Tech grad can be seen cheering on his beloved Hokies.