Chase For the Cup: Viewership Up Slightly For Charlotte Race

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Ratings were flat for the season’s first and only Chase For the Cup race on broadcast television.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Bank of America 500 from Charlotte, the fifth race of the Chase for the Cup, earned a 3.2 U.S. rating and 5.396 million viewers on ABC October 15 — flat in ratings and up 1% in viewership from last year (3.2, 5.345M), and down 9% and 2%, respectively, from 2009 (3.5, 5.485M).

The 3.2 rating is tied as the lowest for the race since 2001 (2.2), when the race moved from NBC to TNT due to breaking news coverage. As recently as 2005, the race drew a comparably hefty 5.1 rating.

That said, the race ranks as the most-viewed Chase For the Cup race since the 2009 Ford 400 (3.6, 5.607M).

Since NASCAR moved the bulk of Chase For the Cup races from broadcast to cable in 2010, the two most-viewed telecasts have both aired on ABC.

Entering this week’s Good Sam Club 500 from Talladega, all four Chase For the Cup races have been flat or up in ratings and viewership compared to last year.

After generally poor numbers last year, NASCAR has bounced back somewhat this season.

Of the 24 NASCAR races that can be compared to last year, 13 have had increases in ratings and 16 have had increases in viewership.

Ratings/Viewership For Bank of America 500 Dating Back to 2001

Year
Date
Winner
Net
U.S. Rating
Viewers (000)
2011
Sat., 10/15/11 Kenseth ABC
3.2
5,396
2010
Sat., 10/16/10 McMurray ABC
3.2
5,345
2009
Sat., 10/17/09 Johnson ABC
3.5
5,485
2008
Sat., 10/11/08 Burton ABC
3.8
6,034
2007
Sat., 10/13/07 Gordon ABC
4.2
6,598
2006
Sat., 10/14/06 Kahne NBC
4.7
7,797
2005
Sat., 10/15/05 Johnson NBC
5.1
7,944
2004
Sat., 10/16/04 Johnson NBC
4.9
8,170
2003
Sat., 10/11/03 Stewart NBC
4.3
7,479
2002
Sun., 10/13/02 McMurray NBC
5.0
7,903
2001
Sun., 10/7/01 Marlin TNT
2.2

(This year’s numbers from ESPN)

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