Indy 500: Rating Highest Since ’08; Race Still Loses to NASCAR

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Ratings and viewership hit four-year highs for the 2012 Indy 500.

The IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 drew a 4.3 fast-national rating and 6.8 million viewers on ABC Sunday afternoon, up 8% in ratings and 1% in viewership from last year (4.0, 6.711M), and up 19% and 17% respectively, from 2010 (3.6, 5.793M).

This marks the highest rated and most-viewed edition of the Indy 500 since 2008 (4.6, 7.245M).

Even with the four-year high, the race lost once again to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Coca-Cola 600 on FOX (4.4, 7.405M). Over the past decade*, the Coca-Cola 600 has drawn a higher rating than the Indy 500 in every year but one (2005), and has had more viewers every single year.

Final Ratings For the Indianapolis 500
Past two decades

* Excludes 2009, when the Coca-Cola 600 was postponed and run on a Monday.

(Sunday’s numbers from Sports Business Daily)

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  • H.R. Pufnstuf

    Looks like all the talk of Danica not being in the race would hurt the ratings was just that talk. She raced in 09, 2010 and 2011 , but the novelty seemed to have worn off. 2005 I guess you can say 2005 was the hight of Danica mania.

     Dr. Jerry Punch during his weekly appearance on the Sports Animal Knoxville reported no drop in the attendance either.  

  • Damon

    Funny, but I seem to recall the first two races of this season seeing the viewership drop by over 20%.

    Also, last year’s race drew a 4.3 overnight rating, which is the same as this year’s final, the only difference is for the first time in forever, the overnight ratings for Indycar race actually went up instead of down.