USA Ratings: Formula 1 rockets to six year high; Indianapolis 500 slumps to record low

Whilst the Monaco Grand Prix did not do great numbers in the United Kingdom, over in America the picture was significantly different as the sport soared to six year ratings highs. It was not all good news for motor sport, however.

The race, screened on NBC from 05:00 Pacific and 08:00 Eastern, was seen by an average of 1.46 million viewers. The figure makes it the highest figure for a Formula 1 race since the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix, which averaged 1.49 million viewers. In comparison, last year’s Monaco Grand Prix was seen by 427,000 viewers on SPEED Television. FOX’s four race average for 2012 was 1.04 million, so Monaco’s figure was considerably higher than that. Overall, the ratings picture is looking very rosy in America, the fans over there liking the ‘new style’ Formula 1 where tyres, DRS and KERS are concerned. It also shows what happens when a sport moves to a higher profile network, as has happened in America with the rights moving from SPEED to NBC.

NBC’s press release also notes increases versus SPEED’s coverage in two key demographics:

– 461,000 vs 127,000 in the Adults 18-49 demographic
– 674,000 vs 160,000 in the Adults 25-54 demographic

Elsewhere, NASCAR is still king with an average of 7 million viewers over on FOX in primetime. No Indianpolis 500 viewership numbers have been reported, however, Sports Media Watch are reporting that the race scored a 3.8 overnight rating, the lowest since the race began airing live in 1986. After several barren years, Formula 1’s popularity appears to be back on the rise in America, thanks to the success of Formula 1’s return to America last year, and no doubt ratings may improve further if an American such as Alexander Rossi comes onto the scene in the future, the country is such a huge market which the sport needs to exploit.


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