Memorial Day weekend in the US saw Formula One’s Monaco Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500 jump in viewership, but Nascar’s Coca-Cola 600 suffered due to a rain-delayed race.
- 107th running of the Indy 500 saw an almost two per cent rise in viewership on NBC, with 4.92 million viewers
- IndyCar's biggest event brought in 4.84 million viewers in 2022
- 1.79 million viewers tuned in to the Monaco Grand Prix on ABC, the biggest live US audience ever for the race and Formula One's third largest ever in that market
- Coca-Cola 600 audience dropped 13 per cent year-over-year on Fox, but the race was delayed until Monday 29th May due to rain
Context: Despite a rather pedestrian season with the championship all but decided already, Formula One is clearly heading in the right direction in the US to encourage the highest live audience for a Monaco Grand Prix ever. Although, it doesn’t quite match the overall record for Monaco, with 2.78 million viewers tuning in for the tape-delayed 2002 Monaco Grand Prix, the most watched Formula One race in US history.
For IndyCar, a two per cent increase is perhaps underwhelming, especially with the marketing outlay on the ‘100 Days to Indy’ docuseries. The real benefit, however, was seen in the stands, with one of the biggest crowds in Indy 500 history reportedly turning up to watch Josef Newgarden snatch victory from Marcus Ericsson in a last-lap shootout.
On the other side is the viewership decrease for the Coca-Cola 600, although Nascar shouldn’t be too worried about this. Having 3.40 million viewers tune in for a rescheduled race on a Monday is an achievement in itself, bearing in mind that even the Daytona 500 has posted record-low viewership in recent years when affected by rain.
Coming next: Nascar remains the series to beat in the US, with IndyCar only coming out on top due to the sheer scale of the Indy 500. Formula One, however, continues to trend in the right direction for viewership, which will become more and more relevant to the stock car racing series as Formula One expands its influence in the US.