After an uptick last year, NASCAR’s Chase For the Cup fell back to record-low levels.
The 2012 Chase For the Cup averaged a 2.7 U.S. rating and 4.2 million viewers on ESPN and ABC, down 13% in ratings and 12% in viewership from last year (3.1, 4.763M), and flat in ratings and down 7% in viewership from 2010 (2.7, 4.494M).
The 2.7 rating is tied with 2010 as the lowest ever for the Chase For the Cup (dates back to 2004). Complete historical viewership for the Chase was not available, but it is likely that this year’s edition ranks as the least-viewed ever.
Of the nine Chase races that can be compared to last year, eight had a decline in ratings and all nine had declines in viewership.
Year-to-year comparisons were not available for the season-opener from Chicago, as last year’s version of the race was rained out. Compared to the equivalent 2010 race, however, the Chicago opener was also down.
The highest rating of the Chase was a 3.2 for the Talladega and Charlotte races. Talladega ranked as the most-viewed race, with 5.113 million viewers.
The Loudon and Dover races were the lowest rated of the season, each earning an all-time Chase record low 2.2. The Loudon was as the least-viewed of the season, with 3.517 million viewers.
(2012 season average from ESPN)