Danica’s Qualifying Win Least-Viewed Since ’10; Sprint Unlimited Hits 11-Year Low

Posted by | February 22, 2013 at 3:00 PM

For all the hype, Danica Patrick‘s pole qualifying victory at Daytona actually hit a three-year low in viewership.

FOX earned a 2.0 final rating and 3.1 million viewers for Daytona 500 Pole Qualifying last Sunday afternoon, flat in ratings and down 4% in viewership from last year (2.0, 3.2M), and flat and down 6%, respectively, from 2011 (2.0, 3.3M).

This marks the least-viewed Daytona 500 qualifying telecast since 2010 (2.4M), and the second-least viewed since at least 2001 (viewership prior to 2002 was not available).

As recently as 2008, Daytona qualifying earned 4.4 million viewers on FOX.

On Saturday night, the Sprint Unlimited (the Budweiser Shootout) earned a 3.5 final rating and 5.7 million viewers — down 17% in ratings and 23% in viewership from last year (4.2, 7.5M), and down 22% and 27%, respectively, from 2011 (4.5, 7.8M).

The telecast ranks as the lowest rated and least-viewed edition of the event since 2002 (3.4, 5.4M). This year’s telecast was the first to air opposite the NBA’s All-Star Saturday Night since 2003.

Ratings/Viewership For Budweiser Shootout and Daytona 500 Qualifying

Dating back to 2002

Year Budweiser Shootout Daytona Qualifying
Net Rating Viewers Net Rating Viewers
2013 FOX
3.5
5.7M
FOX
2.0
3.1M
2012 FOX
4.2
7.5M
FOX
2.0
3.2M
2011 FOX
4.5
7.8M
FOX
2.0
3.3M
2010
FOX
4.4
8.2M
FOX
1.6
2.4M
2009 FOX
4.9
8.3M
FOX
2.4
3.6M
2008 FOX
5.1
8.5M
FOX
2.9
4.4M
2007 FOX
4.8
8.4M
FOX
2.8
4.4M
2006 TNT
3.7
6.2M
NBC
3.9
5.6M
2005 FOX
5.3
9.5M
FOX
2.9
4.5M
2004 TNT
3.6
6.6M
NBC
3.3
5.1M
2003 FOX
5.5
9.5M
FOX
2.1
3.2M
2002 TNT
3.4
5.4M
NBC
2.9
4.1M

(This year’s numbers from Sports Business Daily)