The NASCAR on TNT ‘Summer Series’ has gotten off to a good start.
Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Michigan, which was delayed 90 minutes due to rain, drew a 3.2 U.S. rating and 5.284 million viewers on TNT — up 10% in ratings and 8% in viewership from last year (2.9, 4.890M), and up 10% and 22%, respectively, from 2010 (2.9, 4.333M).
This marks the highest rated edition of the race since 2009 (3.3), and the most-viewed since 2006 (7.106M).
Both TNT telecasts this season have had increases in ratings compared to last year — no small feat, considering that ten of the thirteen FOX telecasts suffered declines.
Despite the better numbers, it should be pointed out that Dale Earnhardt Jr. does not quite have the Tiger Woods effect on television ratings. The 3.2 rating for Sunday’s race is tied as the lowest of the season, trailing all thirteen telecasts on FOX. Of course, that can be at least partly attributed to cable network TNT being in fewer homes than broadcast network FOX.
For the week, the race ranked as the fifth-most viewed cable program — trailing only ‘Dallas’ on TNT, a movie on Disney Channel, and two episodes of a reality show on History.