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Back to the Oval? Indy TV Ratings TANK

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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The Ratings for NASCAR at Indianapolis are in, and they are not great. However, outside influences did not help.

What’s Happening?

The Indianapolis Road Course on NBC had 2.838 million viewers, down 15.9% from one year ago. This was the least viewed race on network TV all season, with Sonoma being the next closest on FOX at 2.912 million viewers.

You Need to Know:

  • One of the major metrics that will be looked at when it comes to the road course vs. oval debate will be TV ratings. The last Brickyard 400 on the Oval in 2020 garnered 4.343 million viewers, which is almost 500,000 viewers more than the highest viewed Indianapolis Road Course Race in 2022. If the oval ratings are better, then NASCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway may want to go back to the oval.
  • This also bucks the general NBC trend of increased ratings as it was the first race run on schedule to have a drop in ratings of more than 2.5%. Each of the races run on schedule this season had seen at least a slight increase in ratings with the exception of the rain-shortened Atlanta race.
  • The main outside explanation for this drop is that NBC affiliates chose not to show the race in favor of preseason football. That does not explain the full drop-off from the oval ratings, but it could explain the year-to-year drop in the road course ratings. The race was also not shown on Peacock, which is unusual for a network NBC broadcast.

The Impact of Preseason NFL Games

Bob Pockrass noted that multiple stations either did not allow the race to be shown or moved the race to another network.

In The Stands

sean6292 points out that DirecTV customers have trouble getting NBC because of the current contract dispute. It’s worth noting that this dispute began in July when NASCAR on NBC was still bringing in viewership increases.

Johnny So Fresh says that this is the one and only reason to bring the oval back.

Kaleb L said that there are too many road courses, so the oval should come back.

Pat Goss said that a boring race is the reason for the decreased TV viewership.

Colin with Cars says that this was unexpected.

The TV ratings showed a major decrease this week, but there are outside reasons as to why. Still, it will likely be something pointed to if NASCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway decides to go back to the oval.

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts