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IndyCar posts 34 percent year-on-year viewing increase on NBCSN in 2014

Sep 3, 2014, 4:24 PM EDT

TorontoLeadPts Getty Images

NBCSN’s viewership numbers for its 12 Verizon IndyCar Series telecasts this season posted a 34 percent year-on-year increase over 2013.

The average number of viewers per race was 378,000, up from 282,000 in 2013. Since the series’ 10-year contract began with the network formerly known as VERSUS in 2009, this was the second highest yearly number (402,000 in 2011) in six seasons.

The first race from Toronto shifted to Sunday morning on CNBC due to rain; it was originally set for NBCSN on Saturday. A full release on the viewership gains is linked here, via the NBC Sports Group Press Box website.

“The viewership increases this year clearly demonstrate the benefits of everyone in the industry working together,” Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports & NBCSN, said in the release. “Our two organizations successfully cooperated to reduce scheduling conflicts; drivers and teams delivered thrilling races week after week; our marketing department drove viewers to telecasts by utilizing all of our motorsports platforms; and our production team continued its best-in-class coverage. We look forward to growing viewership for the sport for many years to come.”

Of note, NBCSN’s coverage reached a total of 4.356 million unique viewers, five races beat the top 2013 race, and Race 2 in Toronto averaged 484,000 viewers to be the most watched since the 2011 Baltimore race (591,000). There were key demographic increases as well:  up 13% among Adults 18-49, and up 21% among Adults 25-54 vs. 2013.

The following is a table of the six most-watched IndyCar races of the 2014 season on NBCSN:

Race 2014 Viewership 2013 Viewership % Change
Toronto 2 484,000 258,000 +88%
Iowa 444,000 253,000* +75%
Texas 424,000 383,000* +10%
Barber 400,000 253,000 +58%
Houston 2 396,000 161,000 +144%
Mid-Ohio 386,000 195,000 +98%


  1. testover6370 - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:27 PM

    Good to get some momentum. Better numbers drive better sponsorship, improving car counts and getting us better venues. Those things in turn improve ratings, and so the cycle goes, hopefully.

  2. kitnamania13 - Sep 4, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    It’s very difficult to learn anything from Indycar ratings because they are so secretive, presumably because the numbers are very low. Even in this post, they only list the six highest-rated events and don’t list comparative dates, times, and weather considerations.

    • crunge4461 - Sep 4, 2014 at 6:32 PM

      I think the point of the piece is to show that in particular areas Indy Car viewership increased, which it clearly did, and that is good. The other point made in this piece was that NBCSN/Versus coverage experienced an increase compared to last year (the list states it only relates to NBCSN dates). Given that NBCSN carries 10 races I would say that showing 6 that carried substantial gain makes a pretty strong point of improvement there, and that is good. Remember Indy 500 is ABC and huge viewership, and of course Long Beach is not on this list because it did not shift alot, but that race is consistently strong viewership (relatively).

      So this is good, glad to see Indycar growing a bit as I am a big supporter. I will admit, though, the schedule is not long enough in terms of the calendar. When its competitors (F1 and Nascar) run races into November IndyCar cannot afford to sit idle while it receives zero coverage for almost 6 months. The schedule is folly, and I do not think it helps the series. The schedule not only limits exposure, it also causes grid-lock with scheduling and we end up with daytime street races in Texas in the peak of the summer or finales on an acknowledged less than perfect date.

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