2021 IndyCar season is most-watched since NBC took rights

Broadcaster reached 1.22 million viewers across the 15-race campaign.

2021 IndyCar season is most-watched since NBC took rights

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  • Viewership improves by 19% compared to 2020
  • NBCSN's IndyCar coverage marked best in network's history

NBC Sports, the domestic broadcast partner for IndyCar, has revealed that its coverage of the American open-wheel racing series' 2021 season was the most-watched since it took on the contract in 2019.

Additionally, 2021 was NBCSN's most-watched IndyCar season on record and the series' best combined broadcast and pay-TV viewership in the last five years.

Across IndyCar's 15-race season, coverage on NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports' digital platforms averaged a total audience delivery (TAD) of 1.22 million viewers.

This is an improvement of 19 per cent in comparison to 2020 (1.02 million) and ten per cent compared to 2019 (1.10 million), making it the most-watched IndyCar season since 2016 (1.31 million), which was broadcast on ABC.

In addition, NBCSN's coverage of the 2021 IndyCar season averaged 632,000 viewers, marking it as the best in the pay-TV channel's history. This was an improvement of 46 per cent in comparison to the 2020 season (432,000) and 49 per cent compared to 2019 (423,000).

NBCSN also aired two of its top four most-watched events during the 2021 season, including the inaugural Music City Grand Prix in Nashville, Tennessee, which reached a TAD of 1.21 million. This made it NBCSN's most-watched IndyCar race ever and was the most-watched series race broadcast on cable television since 1998.

A statement from NBC Sports read: 'The 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 powered the NBC broadcast network to a substantial viewership increase this season. The 'Greatest Spectacle in Racing' averaged 5.58 million viewers, up 51 per cent v 2020 and up two per cent v 2019.

'For NBC’s eight races this season, the network averaged a TAD of 1.72 million viewers, up 16 per cent as compared to 2020 (1.48 million).'

The 2021 Mid-Ohio IndyCar race also proved to be popular with NBC Sports' audience. The event scored a TAD of 1.3 million, marking it as NBC Sports' most-watched race to date, excluding the Indianapolis 500.

The 2022 IndyCar season begins on 27th February in St Petersburg, Florida.