Brickyard 400 Up From Last Year

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Ratings and viewership improved for the 2011 Brickyard 400, but this year’s race 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).

In addition, the race was up 20% among men 18-34, “[c]ontinuing a trend that has been seen across NASCAR telecasts this season” (ESPN, 8/2).

For the week, the Brickyard 400 was the second-most viewed program on cable, topped only by the reality show Pawn Stars on History Channel (6.995M). Post-race coverage ranked #11 for the week (4.912M).

Ratings/Viewership For Brickyard 400 Dating Back to 2002

(4.0 U.S. rating based on 4.600 million TV homes; HH viewership from Media Life Magazine; P2+ viewership from ESPN; weekly cable ranking from TV By the Numbers)

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