Ratings Roundup: Brickyard Brings Mixed Results for ESPN; D-backs on Fire

Ratings and viewership numbers were up for the 2011 Brickyard 400, but this year’s edition was still one of the lowest rated ever. ESPN earned a 4.0 U.S. rating and 6.377 million viewers for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Brickyard 400, up 11% in ratings and 12% in viewership from last year (3.6, 5.709M), but down 2% in both categories compared to 2009 (4.1, 6.487M).

This year’s Brickyard 400 ranks as the second-lowest rated ever, ahead of only last year. As recently as 2006, the race earned a 5.5 and 8.645 million viewers on NBC. That said, the race earned the largest NASCAR Sprint Cup audience of the season on cable, and the largest audience overall since the Coca-Cola 600 in May (8.132M, FOX)…

…The Arizona Diamondbacks are on a roll, both on the field and on television sets. The D-backs are one game behind the first-place San Francisco Giants in the National League West after taking two of three games from the Giants on the road this week. Tuesday night saw the D-backs grab 119,000 household viewers on Fox Sports Arizona, according to Nielsen Media Research. That’s the best rating of the year so far, and the best since 2008. The D-backs drew 103,000 viewers for Monday night’s win over the Giants. That was the previous high rating for the season…

…The 2011 MLS All-Star Game had a modest increase in viewership on ESPN. The MLS All-Stars’ loss to Manchester United in the MLS All-Star Game earned a 0.5 U.S. rating and 781,000 viewers on ESPN2 July 27, up a tick in ratings and up 9% in viewership from last year (0.4, 716K), and up 67% and 61%, respectively, from 2009 (0.3, 484K).

For some perspective, the match earned a higher rating and more viewers than last year’s MLS Cup (COL/DAL: 0.4, 748K, ESPN).

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