US viewership: Nascar sees boost at Gateway, IndyCar suffers huge Indy 500 drop-off

2.46m watch Austin Cindric win at Gateway on FS1, but just 608k viewers tune in to chaotic IndyCar race in Detroit.
Getty Images, IndyCar
  • Nascar enjoys 14% YoY audience increase at Gateway
  • Detroit suffers 42% YoY decrease in viewership for IndyCar

Nascar enjoyed a year-on-year (YoY) viewership boost for its latest race at Gateway, but IndyCar’s event at Detroit suffered in the wake of the Indianapolis 500.

After a disrupted schedule saw disappointing viewership at the Coca-Cola 600, Nascar bounced back with an average viewership of 2.46 million at Gateway on FS1. This was a 14 per cent increase on 2023, although the race did hit 2.5 million viewers in 2022.

Fox has claimed it is now one per cent up in viewership compared to last year, although this appears to disregard the Busch Light Clash, which recorded a 59 per cent YoY drop in viewership this year. Overall, Nascar is averaging 3.24 million viewers in 2024, compared to 3.32 million viewers at the same point last year.

Still, it is impressive for Nascar to be running so close to last year’s viewership after the Daytona 500 only recorded an audience of 5.96 million after being delayed until Monday, down from 8.18 million viewers the year prior.

Conversely, IndyCar experienced an Indy 500 hangover on the Streets of Detroit, as just 608,000 viewers tuned in to watch a chaotic race. The lack of rhythm to the on-track action may have contributed to viewers turning off, as the caution-filled event offered more spills than thrills.

The viewership on USA Network was a 42 per cent decrease on last year, although the race was shown on the main NBC channel in 2023 so the comparison is not representative. Regardless, it means that only the Indy 500 has broken one million viewers so far this season, a worrying trend for the series.

Through the first six races of the season, IndyCar is averaging 1.38 million viewers, a nine per cent decrease compared to the same point in 2023.

Don’t miss the latest news and insights from across the business world of motorsport. Subscribe to the BlackBook Motorsport Weekly newsletter here.


Related content