The series finale of NASCAR on TNT was just the latest Sprint Cup race to suffer a decline compared to last year.
NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from New Hampshire earned a 2.7 U.S. rating and 4.3 million viewers on TNT Sunday afternoon, down 16% in ratings and 13% in viewership from last year (3.2, 4.9M) and down 13% and 10%, respectively, from 2012 (3.1, 4.9M).
This year’s race ranks as the lowest rated since at least 1998 and the least-viewed since at least 2000. In 13 years on TNT (2001-14), the race topped out at a 4.5 and 7.3 million viewers in 2005.
Keep in mind the race aired directly opposite the World Cup final, which had 26.5 million viewers on ABC and Univision.
Even with that caveat, Sunday’s results were part of an ongoing trend for NASCAR this season. The race was the 15th of 16 Sprint Cup telecasts to have a decline in ratings and the 13th to decline in viewership. Keep in mind that excludes three races that were postponed a day due to rain and the All-Star Race on Speed Channel.
In addition, the race was just one of several this season to hit or approach a multi-year low.