Overnight ratings held steady for NASCAR from Darlington Saturday night, but still tied an eleven-year low.
Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Southern 500 from Darlington drew a 3.5 overnight rating on FOX, even with last year (3.5), and down a tick from 2010 (3.6).
The 3.5 is tied as the lowest for the Southern 500 since the race moved to FOX in 2001. The race has now failed to draw at least a 4.0 overnight in each of the past four seasons. From 2001 to 2004, the race topped a 5.0 overnight each year.
Saturday’s game faced competition from Game 1 of the Sixers/Celtics NBA playoff series on TNT and Game 7 of the Rangers/Capitals Stanley Cup playoff series on NBC Sports Network. With that said, last year’s race had arguably tougher competition, airing directly opposite a highly-rated Heat/Celtics NBA game on ABC.
So far this season, Saturday night NASCAR races have pulled in mediocre numbers on FOX. The April 14 Samsung Mobile 500 from Texas drew a 3.6 overnight, the lowest ever for the race (with the caveat that it used to air on Sunday afternoon). Two weeks later, the April 28 Capital City 400 from Richmond drew a 3.4, tied as the second-lowest ever for any NASCAR race on FOX.
Despite the relatively low numbers, the past three races on FOX — and four of the last six — have each managed to avoid a decline in overnight ratings compared to last year.
(Saturday’s overnight from Sports Business Daily)