Chase For the Cup: Final Rating For Martinsville Race Ties 12-Year Low

Posted by | November 3, 2012 at 5:11 PM

After a solid performance last year, last Sunday’s Sprint Cup race from Martinsville tied a multi-year low in television ratings.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Tums Fast Relief 500 from Martinsville, the seventh race in the Chase For the Cup, drew a 2.4 U.S. rating and 3.617 million viewers on ESPN last week, down 23% in ratings and 27% in viewership from last year (3.1, 4.923M), and flat and down 9%, respectively, from 2010 (2.4, 3.954M).

The 23% decline marks the largest drop in ratings for NASCAR on any network this season.

Excluding rainouts, the 2.4 rating is tied as the lowest for the fall Martinsville race since 2000 (2.3) and the fifth-lowest for any Chase For the Cup telecast (87 telecasts dating back to 2004).

The 14 lowest-rated Chase For the Cup races have each aired on ESPN, including five this year alone (see table).

Of the six Chase For the Cup races that can be compared to last year, five have had declines in ratings, and all six have had declines in viewership.

15 Lowest Rated Chase For the Cup Races

# Date Location Winner Net Rating Viewers (000)
T1 Sun., 9/30/12 Dover Keselowski ESPN
2.2
3,581
T1 Sun., 9/23/12 New Hampshire Hamlin ESPN
2.2
3,517
T3 Sun., 10/3/10 Kansas Biffle ESPN
2.3
3,742
T3 Sun., 9/19/10 New Hampshire Bowyer ESPN
2.3
3,677
T5 Sun., 10/28/12 Martinsville Johnson ESPN
2.4
3,617
T5 Sun., 10/24/10 Martinsville Hamlin ESPN
2.4
3,954
T5 Sun., 9/26/10 Dover Johnson ESPN
2.4
3,966
T8 Sun., 10/21/12 Kansas Kenseth ESPN
2.5
3,897
T8 Sun., 11/14/10 Phoenix Edwards ESPN
2.5
4,201
T8 Sun., 10/10/10 Fontana Stewart ESPN
2.5
4,072
T11 Sun., 9/16/12 Chicago Keselowski ESPN
2.6
3,949
T11 Sun., 10/9/11 Kansas Johnson ESPN
2.6
4,173
T11 Sun., 10/2/11 Dover Ku. Busch ESPN
2.6
4,093
14 Sun., 9/25/11 New Hampshire Stewart ESPN
2.7
4,235
15 Sun., 9/19/04 New Hampshire Ku. Busch TNT
2.8
4,250

(Last Sunday’s numbers from ESPN)