Sprint Cup: NASCAR From Michigan Lowest Rated Since At Least ’96

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The “NASCAR on TNT” package has gotten off to a slow start this season.

Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Michigan drew a 2.8 U.S. rating and 4.5 million viewers on TNT, down 13% in ratings and 14% in viewership from last year (3.2, 5.3M), and down 3% and 7%, respectively, from 2011 (2.9, 4.9M).

The 2.8 rating is the lowest for the season’s first Michigan race since at least 1996, falling below the previous mark of 2.9 in 2011 and 2010.

So far this season, both NASCAR Sprint Cup races on TNT have earned a 2.8 rating — tied as the lowest of the season for a regular points race.

Despite the lower numbers, Sunday’s race was the top sporting event of the week on cable, finishing ahead of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on NBC Sports Network (2.0, 4.0M). Overall, the race ranked as the third-most viewed cable program of the week.

(Sun. numbers from Bloomberg, TV By the Numbers)

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