Sprint Cup TV Ratings: TNT’s Final NASCAR Race Down Double-Digits


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.

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

  • pamotorman

    the problem is there is no racing. racing is running side by side to see who lifts first going into the turns. NASCAR is nothing but follow the leader. the cars are too fast and out of control of the drivers and need to be slowed down 15/20 MPH so they can race side by side down the straight and thru the turns. racing is when one driver can pass 2 or 3 cars at a time not passing only when the driver in front makes a mistake. I started going going to the NASCAR races darlington 1955 but never go anymore and fall asleep watching them on TV. once NASCAR went to the “sucked down to the track” all the drivers do is stand on the gas and follow each other. these ground effects makes all the drivers look good and that is why they are all close to the same top speed. I know NASCAR likes the saying “a new track record” and that may be great for TV but make for poor racing. the drivers say they can’t pass because of the “aero push” and that is cause because the air is going over the front of the car holding it down to the track and when they get behind another car this down force goes away. get the cars up off of the track so the air goes under them and then we will se who can drive and who can’t

  • JimTheBoy

    The route that NASCAR has taken in the last few years, it is a wonder that anyone watches. Did anyone notice all the empty seats, not only last Sunday but in all the races now. Did I say “races”, it isn’t racing anymore.

    • Ken

      JimTheBoy, you are right about the empty seats. And, what is worse is that many of the tracks took seats out to make the stands look full. Also, look at all the LARGE sponsor tarps along the back stretch and turns of some tracks. There are seats under those tarps and the tarps hide them. It’s not only that attendance is down at the track, but the fans are not watching at home either. Brain France and the rest of the powers to be have done a pretty good job of alienating the NASCAR fan and the fans are are answering by staying home. This from a fan since the late 60’s and has been to about 150-160 cup races. Earnhardt would turn in his grave if knew how the “sport” (maybe) has gone down hill.

  • pamotorman

    there is no racing in NASCAR any more,just follow the leader because the cars are too fast to race side by side. just slow the cars down so there is more side by side racing and passing. get rid of the downforce and make the traction mechanical so aero push is not the problem

    • Ryan E

      Heres an idea! Race REAL STOCK CARS! LOL How hard could it be to make some Mustangs and Camaros race.

  • Ken

    If they had a better product then the ratings would be higher. No quality passing, favoring certain drivers/teams, drivers have been gagged, rules don’t apply to all drivers and teams the same, cars to fast , announcers telling fans how exciting the race is as if the fans can’t figure it out themselves, don’t look like the showroom cars, tickets too expensive, hotels too expensive and a santioning body with their head in the sand.

    • Ryan E

      It doesn’t help the WORLD CUP was on lol, hardly fair comparison for last week. I do agree with you . Stock Car Racing isn’t meant to be some glorified billionaire gentlemen racer sport. I would like to see real Camaros and real Mustang bodies with cages in them compete. Call me crazy but allowing the teams a few choices in engine selection might be more interesting as well. I would like to see some turbo cars sustain over 160 MPH for lengths of time. The sport is OK I still love it . It’s just time for some serious re-thinking of what a new generation of enthusiasts want . They are letting nostalgia and others ruin the sport.

      It’s time they bring more exposure back to the West. Like Colorado’s track being shoved under the rug for some corporate speedway conglomerate to host the event at their facility. Decisions like that are hurting this sport and offending its fan base.

      • brantford

        I don’t think too many NASCAR fans care about Soccer. more so when Team USA is eliminated.

    • Donna G Lund

      I agree motels are expensive they see race fans coming and tickets are not cheap either but niether is there pit passes or garage passes either they need to learn to drop prices so a person can afford to go to a race more often ..

  • Donna G Lund

    Well I will tell you all something rating are down because when the races are a rain out we don’t get to see the race the next day as our broadcasters here don’t telivise it ..further more when speed channel went away from us here in canada we don’t get to see anything anymore racehub or raceday or practice sessions or qualifying or anything and also we don’t get to see the trucks races either I might add ..if we don’t get to see that stuff what is the point of watching a race if we don’t get any other coverage do something about taking stuff away from race fans and we might just start watching racing again ..and when there is rain delays races or rain out races do something about working with our broadcasters here to make sure we get to see a race and maybe just maybe you might have more viewership ..until you fix these problems your viewership and stuff will be down ..and when some of the broadcasters do cover the races they have trouble with there broadcast and we don’t either hear it or sometimes miss most of it ..and to top that off to damn many commercials during a race as well we see more commercials then we do a race ..so howe about doing something about that problem as well ..and then just maybe race fans will have something to watch ..

    • brantford

      they don’t care about ratings up here in Canada, and our viewership doesn’t effect the number that is reported. It would be interesting to see what TSN and TSN2 get depending on who is airing the ESPN and TNT races, since we get FOX and ABC up here.
      When its a rainout its on the next day on who ever was going to air it at the regular date and time. execpt for us Canadians who may not see it. Sometimes TSN or TSN2 show it other times they don’t. and I bet next season races will be on TSN5. since they are launching 3 more nextworks in the fall. and with 5 of them. they sure as hell better show the rainouts run on Monday live.