The downward trend for NASCAR television ratings continued over the weekend.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Pocono earned a 2.8 U.S. rating and 4.4 million viewers on ESPN Sunday afternoon, down 13% in ratings and 14% in viewership from last year (3.2, 5.1M) and down 3% and 2%, respectively, from coverage opposite the Olympics in 2012 (2.9, 4.4M).
Excluding rainouts, the 2.8 rating is the lowest for the season’s second Pocono race since at least 1998 (ratings prior to 1999 were not available), trailing the previous low set in 2012. Viewership was also the lowest since at least 2000 (viewership prior to 2001 was not available).
The race continued the season-long trend of declines for NASCAR TV ratings. Of the 18 races that can be compared to last year (excludes rainouts), 17 have had declines in ratings and 15 have had declines in viewership. Versus the comparable telecasts in 2012, 16 have had declines in ratings and 15 in viewership.
Several races have hit multi-year lows, including the Daytona 500 (record-low), Martinsville (12-year low), Darlington (14-year low), Richmond (10-year low), Talladega (at least 16-year low), Kansas* (record-low), Dover (10-year low), Michigan (at least 18-year low), Kentucky* (record-low), Loudon (at least 16-year low), and Sunday’s race. That does not include several races that were the second or third lowest rated in numerous years, such as Charlotte (second-lowest since 2000).
* The Kentucky and Kansas races date back to 2011.
(Sun. numbers from ESPN)