Sprint Cup TV Ratings: Rain Delayed Bristol Race Down on FOX, Strong For FS1

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FOX aired only a pittance of live NASCAR racing on Sunday, but the numbers still held up well compared to last year.

Abbreviated coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Food City 500 from Bristol (TN) earned a 4.5 final rating and 7.3 million viewers on FOX, according to Nielsen fast-nationals — down a tick in ratings and 3% in viewership from last year (4.6, 7.5M), and up 2% and flat, respectively, compared to 2012 (4.4, 7.3M). Of course, comparisons to previous years have little value considering that FOX aired less than an hour of live racing.

The telecast still ranked as the top sporting event of the weekend on broadcast.

Sunday’s race was delayed twice — first before the start and then again after 124 laps. Two hours of rainout coverage earned a 3.7 and 6.1 million viewers on FOX. The race resumed in the evening on Fox Sports 1, which earned 3.2 million viewers for its coverage.

The conclusion of the race ranks as the second-most viewed program on FS1 since it rebranded from Speed Channel last August.

(Sun. numbers from Fox Sports, Sports Business Daily)

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  • Lance Wagner

    What was the most viewed program on FS1?

  • Dale Moog

    The nascar Sprint Unlimited race in Febuary I think?

  • Paulsen

    Correct — FS1’s top program since rebrand was the Sprint Unlimited.