- Viewership is up 8% YoY when including two exhibition events and best since 2017
- African American and Hispanic audiences at highest level of current TV deal
Nascar has seen its audience for the first half of the 2022 Cup Series on Fox increase six per cent year-over-year (YoY) to an average of 3.7 million viewers per race, the US broadcaster has confirmed.
Factoring in the two exhibition events, viewership was up eight per cent YoY and the best for the series since 2017.
According to the Sports Business Journal (SBJ), viewership from African American and Hispanic demographics are reportedly at the largest level since the current TV deal was signed in 2015. Fox has also seen increases in female viewership.
It should be noted that last year’s Daytona 500 was rain delayed, which has made this year’s viewership figures more favourable.
The series also started the season with double-digit increases in viewers, but this growth slowed mid-single digits on the Fox Sports 1 pay-TV channel.
Nascar is facing greater competition from other motorsport series in the US, including Formula One. ESPN has reportedly signed a new domestic TV rights deal for the global motorsport series worth up to US$90 million a year.
“We at least met our expectations [with ratings] … and we have probably exceeded expectations [with attendance],” Steve Phelps, Nascar president, told SBJ.
Bill Wanger, Fox Sports’ executive vice president, head of programming and scheduling, added that he was not concerned about the viewership drop toward the end of Fox’s campaign.
“Any time you can have multi-year highs, growing attendance at the tracks, and we broadened the audience to non-traditional [demographics], it was overall just a great season,” he said to SBJ.