NBC Sports Sees Big Viewership for First NASCAR Race of Season

NBC Sports’ first NASCAR Cup Series race of the 2020 season produced significant viewership gains from 2019, as the Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 Powered by Big Machine Records at Indianapolis Motor Speedway averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 4.370 million viewers – up 46% vs. same race in 2019, which ran in September (according to Fast National data by Nielsen and digital data from Adobe Analytics).

Sunday’s race, which started roughly an hour late due to weather, was also up 32% compared to last year’s NASCAR Cup Series Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway on the comparable weekend (7/7/2019), which delivered a TAD of 3.313 million viewers.

Additional ratings highlights from NBC Sports’ first NASCAR Cup Series race of the 2020 season:

  • 2.67 HH rating, up 41% vs. last year’s Brickyard (1.89 rating) and up 26% vs. last year’s race at Daytona (2.12 rating);
  • 4.343 million TV-only viewers, up 46% vs. last year’s race (2.974 million) and up 32% vs. Daytona (3.288 million);
  • Peak viewership of 5.018 million TV-only viewers from 8:30-8:45 p.m. ET;
  • 26,800 Average Minute Audience (AMA) streaming on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app, up 57% vs. last year’s Brickyard (17,000) and 9% compared to Daytona.

Viewership for yesterday’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (5:24-9 p.m. ET) was up 39% vs. the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series average on NBC (3.146 million viewers; seven races).

The race also stands as NBC’s most-watched sports program since January’s NFL Divisional Playoff between the Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers (1/11/20; 30.210 million viewers).

Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag to win his second consecutive race at the Brickyard following a back-and-forth duel with Denny Hamlin, who crashed out of the race with seven laps remaining. Matt Kenseth, Aric Almirola, Brad Keselowski and Cole Custer rounded out the top five.

Following are the Top 5 markets for yesterday’s NASCAR Cup Series race from Indianapolis:  Indianapolis (9.39), Greensboro-High Point (6.86), Charlotte (5.80), Columbus (5.44), Nashville (4.94).

NBC Sports’ coverage of the inaugural NASCAR/INDYCAR crossover weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway – with the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series and INDYCAR Series all competing at the same track for the first time – delivered viewership milestones for all three races on NBC.

Viewership of Saturday’s INDYCAR GMR Grand Prix on NBC was up 7% vs. the same race in 2019, while the NASCAR Xfinity Series Pennzoil 150 was the most-watched Xfinity race from the Brickyard in three years (1.693 million, NBCSN, 2017), up 21% vs. the series’ four races on NBC in 2019.

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