Chase For the Cup: Ratings Up Slightly For Dover Race

Posted by | October 9, 2011 at 11:59 PM

For the second straight week, ESPN saw a small increase in ratings and viewership for NASCAR’s Chase For the Cup.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup AAA 400 from Dover, the third race in the Chase For the Cup, earned a 2.6 U.S. rating and 4.093 million viewers on ESPN last Sunday — up 8% in ratings and 3% in viewership from last year (2.4, 3.966M), but down 16% and 19%, respectively, from 2009 (3.1, 5.084M, ABC).

Though up from last year, this year’s edition of the race ranks as the second-lowest rated and second-least viewed of the past ten seasons (dates back to 2002).

This year’s AAA 400 ranks as the seventh-lowest rated Chase for the Cup race ever (excludes rainouts). Eight of the ten lowest rated Chase for the Cup races have taken place in the past two seasons alone.

Even if low historically, last week’s race continued the trend of increased ratings for NASCAR. Of the 22 NASCAR Sprint Cup races that can be compared to last year, twelve have had increases in ratings and fourteen have had increases in viewership.

Ratings/Viewership For AAA 400 Dating Back to 2001

Year
Date
Winner
Net
U.S. Rating
Viewers (000)
2011
Sun., 10/2/11 Ku. Busch ESPN
2.6
4,093
2010
Sun., 9/26/10 Johnson ESPN
2.4
3,966
2009
Sun., 9/27/09 Johnson ABC
3.1
5,084
2008
Sun., 9/21/08 Biffle ABC
3.3
5,348
2007
Sun., 9/23/07 Edwards ABC
3.5
5,511
2006
Sun., 9/24/06 Burton TNT
3.1
4,712
2005
Sun., 9/25/05 Johnson TNT
3.1
4,842
2004
Sun., 9/26/04 Newman TNT
3.2
5,001
2003
Sun., 9/21/03 Newman NBC
4.2
6,636
2002
Sun., 9/22/02 Johnson TNT
3.3
5,117
2001
Sun., 9/23/01 Earnhardt, Jr. NBC
4.5

(This year’s numbers from ESPN, with additional information from nielsen.com)