From ESPN PR, which would like to remind you that the Olympics were on during the race ..
On the opening weekend of the Olympics, ESPN’s live telecast of the Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 29, earned a 3.8 household coverage rating (3.3 U.S. rating), averaging 5,054,089 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company.
Last year’s Brickyard 400 telecast, which did not air against Olympic competition, earned a 4.6 household coverage rating and tied with the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway as ESPN’s highest-rated NASCAR Sprint Cup telecast of the year.
Indianapolis led all markets with a 10.9 U.S. rating for the telecast, followed by Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem at 9.8 and Charlotte at 9.7. Greenville/Spartanburg/Asheville was fourth with an 8.9 rating with Norfolk fifth at 7.6.
Rounding out the top 10 markets for the Brickyard 400 telecast were Nashville, 7.0; Dayton, Jacksonville and Louisville, 6.6; and Richmond, 6.5.
ESPN’s live telecast of the inaugural NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, July 28, earned a 1.6 household coverage rating (1.4 U.S. rating), averaging 2,025,378 viewers. Last year’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Raceway earned a 1.5 household coverage rating.
Note: A "coverage rating" measures the number of households that have ESPN on their cable or satellite package that tuned in. A "U.S. rating" measures the number of U.S. households that tuned in, regardless of if they were able to get ESPN programming or not.