Free from Olympic competition, ‘NASCAR on ESPN’ had an increase for the first time this season.
Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Pure Michigan 400 drew a 3.3 U.S. rating and just under 5.2 million viewers on ESPN, up 3% in ratings and viewership from last year (3.2, 5.028M), and up 6% in both measures compared to 2010 (3.1, 4.917M).
This marks the highest rated and most-viewed edition of the race since 2009 (3.5, 5.622M), and the first race of the season on ESPN to have an increase compared to last year.
With that said, the race also ranks as the third-least viewed since at least 2000 (viewership prior to 2001 was not immediately available).
Of the 23 NASCAR Sprint Cup races that can be compared to last season, eight have had increases in ratings. Five of those eight races aired on TNT, which only carries six races per season, and two of the eight races took place from Michigan.
(Sunday’s numbers from ESPN)