Sports Business : NASCAR delivers record viewership numbers in the US market

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The return of NASCAR racing has delivered record ratings on Fox television in the US market. Fox’s telecast of a NASCAR race in Darlington, South Carolina, delivered 6.32 million viewers, a 38 percent jump over the previous race on March 8. Like other major pro sports leagues, NASCAR shut down in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The live sport action starved fans are latching on to everything that the broadcasters have to offer now a days. Be it the re-start of the Bundesliga, UFC events in recent weeks on ESPN – all of them are delivering record breaking numbers in various markets.
Meanwhile NBC also brought back live sports Sunday with a golf event, TaylorMade Driving Relief. The four-man skins match, featuring Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff, drew 2.35 million viewers across NBC, NBC Sports Network, Golf Channel and digital platforms. The two events were the first live sports telecasts on a broadcast network since March

Both NASCAR and Golf event on Sunday’s were restricted to only participants and support teams and a limited television crew, with no fans in attendance. Announcers called the action from remote locations. Aside from the season-opening Daytona 500, Sunday’s NASCAR Cup race was the most-watched on any network since March 2017. The circuit’s four previous races this season averaged 5.55 million viewers on Fox, led by the 7.33 million for a rain-delayed Daytona 500.

During the two months between live races, NASCAR and Fox Sports found some success with virtual races, averaging around 1 million viewers for a series of iRacing events featuring Cup series drivers — but those numbers paled in comparison to Sunday’s live event.

NBC’s golf coverage, meanwhile, was on par with PGA Tour final-round averages on CBS and NBC in the second quarter of 2019.

The handful of sports-related events that have aired recently have drawn sizable audiences. The NFL Draft in April set an all-time viewer record and ESPN’s Michael Jordan docuseries The Last Dance has averaged better than 5 million same-day viewers per episode ahead of Sunday’s finale.

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