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March 26, 2013


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Well--have to just say whether it sounds negative or not, those ratings doesn't surprise me in the least. also will add that the Nascar Cup race also faced that same competition from tv and other sports yet was up 32%--from last yr but Indycar just doesn't have many viewers--period. The Indycar race wasn't that good in my opinion as I looked in from a friends house and they finally turned it off before the end and left, but I did see all the dufus wrecks as usual on restarts from those in the back mainly, and the idiot JR who ran over Power under caution and ruined his day. JR wasn't paying attention--dumbest thing I ever saw I think? I heard and saw all the results later, where Hinch got by Helio to win but still-- Indycar is in trouble-- and seriously don't think it will get better as the opener is sometimes the best ratings, but its been that way for yrs now. Oh well--things will probably keep idling along with their low visability and lack of interest from the GP Iam sure and Indycar is used to it so it is what it is? Too bad as Ive watched Indycar a long time and remember when it was very good with Mario, Foyt, Unser etc winning back when--and with Danica there at least we her fans had someone to cheer for making it more interesting but oh well--things change--gosh Iam old.

BTW--Anyone get the ratings from the F1 race as that will be a good comparison of this low rated NBCSports network, which I believe is part of the problem here with such low ratings?


Ok just did my own research and saw where Indycar beat the F1 ratings--however guys--the F1 race from overseas WAS ran on this network at like 1:30AM so who watch's Tv then--just saying?

Wanna laugh--go to the Trackforum where Indycar posters are actually bragging about this crap ratings--now that's funny. Indycar fans are just--nevermind--if they're happy and their sponsors don't mind--so be it?

The Speedgeek

Question for you, vern (not on the topic of the original post, so forgive me, 'Dog): you say that when Danica was in IndyCar, at least you had somebody to cheer for. What about now? Can't find a single person in the current IndyCar field that strikes your fancy at all? You don't see anybody who's been cut from something resembling the same cloth as A.J., Mario, Al and/or Bobby, or even Danica? Just curious.

On the other hand, ratings. Ouch. Not a total surprise, but that does hurt. Hope management's got some stuff coming down the pipe to help (he says for about the 200th time in the last 5 years)...

The Speedgeek

On the other hand, just to muddy things a bit, just saw this on the latest presser from TSO:

"St. Petersburg race draws increased rating, viewership: NBC Sports Network's coverage of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg delivered a 0.38 coverage rating and 0.26 household an increase of more than 50 percent vs. the network's first race of 2012 (0.25 coverage and .17 household) and the best for an IZOD IndyCar Series season opener on NBC Sports Network since 2009.

The race, won by James Hinchcliffe, delivered 388,000 viewers, a 78 percent increase over the NBC Sports Network's first race of 2012 (218,000). It was also the second-best season opener for NBC Sports Network's IZOD IndyCar Series coverage behind the 2010 race from Sao Paulo, Brazil (411,000)."

Not to say that this is a good rating, because it's not, but I guess if you're looking at apples to apples vs. 2012, it's up by quite a bit. Again, 1.5 times a small number is still a pretty small number, but at least it's not down. Here's hoping the upward trend continues.


Until Indycar is on the headlines of or highlighted on Sportcenter, the viewership is not going to grow much. Anything that happens in NASCAR ends up on but only tradegies show up on the main page on in Indycar (or Danica related when she was in the series). Maybe Indycar needs to write a check to ESPN to have a Indycar recap in the Headlines section after the race weekends.


Actually KT, the result was in the Headlines section of after the race.


Really? I don't recall seeing it there. My main point was that we need more media coverage and awareness of the series and it's drivers. ESPN will put any kind of headline for NASCAR on their site but Indycar typically gets the shaft.

Ted Wolfram

I was thrilled that IndyCar had such an improvement...well until I looked at these numbers for last week on cable:

DUCK DYNAST A&E Wed 7,839,000
Swamp People HIST Thu 4,815,000


SpongeBob NICK Sat 3,992,000

and at the bottom:

MONDAY MORNINGS TNT 10:00 PM 1,320,000
LOVE IT OR LIST IT 7:00 PM 1,070,000
STORAGE WARS AEN 1:31 AM 980,000
SEINFELD TBSC 7:00 PM 920,000

Then I began to understand why sports programs (unless someone is killed or badly injured) rarely mention IndyCar...because so few watch and even less care


Unfortunately, to address Speedgeek's question, there is no current IndyCar driver remotely on par with Mario, AJ, Bobby and Al (and others). Their accomplishments are legendary. They truly could compete in anything. You just can't say that about the current crop of drivers. Not by a long shot. You're delusional if you try. And that is a real problem for promoting IndyCar.

But, that isn't to say that there aren't a handful of very capable drivers who are interesting to follow. Certainly Simona is one. And Marco is interesting because he is the latest incarnation of the Andretti name and racing enterprise. That is a lot of pressure for what from all outside appearances is just yet another cocky punk jazzed up on energy drinks. Maybe it has finally dawned on the lad that legacy is at stake here, and he needs to up his game. And Sato is fun to watch; he probably has the greatest amount of raw driving talent in the field, IMHO.

(Oh, and I may have mentioned this before, but IndyCars are fat and ugly. LOL)


The numbers do paint a bleak picture, Ted, but part of the issue clearly the network. IndyCar with 388k viewers is actually HUGE for NBC Sports Network which will draw 95k to some shows. When IndyCar is on ABC it draws 1 million plus consistently, so clearly the obscurity of the channel plays a role. How big is subject to much ongoing debate.


And once again, I appreciate both the content and the tone of the comments here. Thanks to everyone for keeping it civil. Your interesting comments enhance my reading of my own blog, so thanks for that. And the new IndyCar is kind of fat. I wouldn't go all the way to "ugly" but it does reminds me of a lady bug. Just to be on record.

Ted Wolfram

I know, but I remember the days when you had to arrive at the Speedway for qualifying at 5:00 to get a good seat, and each day during May we couldn't wait to get the two newspapers from Indy in the mail.

I spent more time with my nose against the garage fence waiting to see my favorite drivers..then most kids today have even watched an IndyCar broadcast.

But to the point:

NBC Sports is supposed to have over 80 million subscribers, and had 4,850,000 viewers for some Olympic it may be part NBC's fault...a lot however is apathy from viewers...Of course the "Spec" (one ugly bugger)car isn't helping.

Let's hope Barber will show marked improvement!!



"NBCSN this year acquired the U.S. rights to Formula One, which gives the channel almost all of open-wheel racing in the country. The initial broadcast of Sunday's race from Malaysia delivered a .09 rating with 121,000 average viewers, but a replay after the IndyCar race earned a .11 rating and had 166,000 average viewers."

The IndyCar race drew more than the combined live and replay of F1.

The Speedgeek

There's a problem with that line of "drivers nowadays can't hold a candle to yesteryear's heroes" thinking, though, bradman: we truly have no idea how today's drivers would stack up. In the days of the guys you mention (plus Gurney, Parnelli, Donohue, whoever else you might have revered), it was commonplace to jump in any available racecar in any given series on any given weekend. Now, outside of a handful of guys who'll do a race or two outside of their main series, every last driver trains for a certain "aspirational series" (usually Cup, though some holdouts still aspire to run Indy or F1) from the day they're old enough to fit into a set of Nomex underoos. It's not just that IndyCar drivers don't drive anything else, nobody does that anymore (like I say, with a few exceptions: Stewart, Kahne and a handful of NASCAR guys, a few IndyCar and sportscar guys here and there). We just have no idea how, say, Will Power would do in, say, a stock car, because he'd never bother to try to beat guys who have been racing stock-type cars since well before the days Will dreamed of getting in a Formula Holden. It's the same reason Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon say they won't do one-offs at Indy: they know they couldn't parachute in and beat the guys who've driven formula cars since they were 8 years old.

In the meantime, we've seen some good stuff from the IndyCar guys who have stepped out of their comfort zone and tried other stuff: Dixon's looked very useful at the Daytona 24 every year, Dario has been on the pace every time he's stepped into a GrandAm or a P2 car, RHR must be pretty good for Scott Tucker to keep him on speed dial for Daytona/Sebring/Petit, Bourdais can more than hold his own in a GrandAm or P1 car and has been nearly as quick as multi-multi-multi-time AussieV8 champ Jamie Whincup in the exact same car. Something tells me that any of those guys (plus probably a few more, given the chance) could "pull an A.J." and run up front in multiple types of cars in a single season. Operative words: "given the chance". The days of drivers getting those consistent chances in different kinds of machinery are long gone. We're the poorer for it, but that's the age we live in. We might as well pine for the days of $0.25 hamburgers to come back.


Quote: "Can't find a single person in the current IndyCar field that strikes your fancy at all? You don't see anybody who's been cut from something resembling the same cloth as A.J., Mario, Al and/or Bobby, or even Danica? Just curious."

You bet--although I can only watch at a friends house due to the overpriced expensive for me NBCSN I don't get, unless its on ABC of course. I have always followed Dario and Helio and have come to follow Marco as well, as he has grown up, but don't know if he can ever get the results some expect for him due to his last name? Used to follow Graham somewhat until he became a whiny kid by some of his comments. I liked Pippa and had high hopes for her but apparently hasn't worked out. Don't care for Simona,(nothing personal), as I don't like her being hyped by running Danica's name through the mud to do so, since she hasnt achieved squat in comparison--yet anyway. Even if she wins a race it wont matter as the "first" winner Danica is history making and the 2nd or 3rd to do so is just an "also won". Its pretty lame for the pro Indycar PR and others to try and tear down Danica, the most successful female in Indycar history just to try and make another female look good who has yet to achieve anything noteworthy or record breaking for sure. However Indycar is just desperate for anyone, esp another female to draw attention to Indycar, but will never happen on the scale Danica brought, to be sure, as her popularity far surpasses Indycar or now nascar. Also--Danica's broken every record set by a female in Indycar and in time ANOTHER Will break some of her records, but they can NEVER break the record of Danica's "first" to WIN or to achieve something, as that is unbeatable as there is ONLY ONE "First". No one is tearing down what Guthrie or others back then had achieved to make Danica look good, as she is doing so with her own results, same with Simona--let her prove it with her results only-- if it happens--but not in the lame press when she hasn't--yet--all Iam saying??

Also bringing up F1 ratings again to make Indycar look more popular--it isn't really, just that F1 races overseas and is far more popular over there for the most part. Also being on tv in the early morning or late night time hrs here wont get near the viewers that a reg day time race will, not even a re-run--whether it matters or not?

Before anyone braqgs about a .25 ratings to much, lets see what the yr turns out to be as last yr was the worst ratings ever averaging a .28 reportedly not counting the 500 of course, and that's not good-- so time will tell?


Vern, I've not found examples of de Silvestro being hyped at all, beyond the mentions of her running at speed now that she's not burdened by a Lotus. She was pretty good at St. Pete a couple of years ago and ran well this time. And I've not seen anyone ripping Patrick to build up de Silvestro. Few covering IndyCar are even mentioning Patrick anymore. Perhaps you could provide examples of each for us.
Meanwhile, why would what someone else says about her change your opinion of her? I'd think it would change your opinion of the person with the opinion.
Agree on their being only one first. Who'll ever forget Howard Covey's win in the first season of AAA?

Ted Wolfram

Since I am a RACING fan...all types...I was glad to see this:

Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Auto Club 500 from Fontana (CA) earned a 4.5 overnight rating on FOX — up 32% from last year’s rain-shortened race (3.4), and up 10% from 2011 (4.1).

The 4.5 overnight is the highest for the race since 2010 (5.0), when Fontana was still the second NASCAR event of the season.

So far this season, four of the five NASCAR Sprint Cup races have had increases in overnight ratings compared to last year. Three of the races — Daytona, Las Vegas and Fontana — have had double-digit increases.

For the weekend, the Auto Club 500 was the top non-NCAA sporting event by a wide margin.

4.5 translates to 5,139,000 viewers.

(Sunday’s overnight from Sports Business Daily)

And we wonder why drivers want to race in NASCAR??

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