It was a busy couple of days for major motorsport last weekend, which also coincided with the opening of the regular season for sports TV juggernaut NFL football. And a pretty good time was had all around.
According to ShowbuzzDaily.com’s curated numbers, The NASCAR Cup Series round from Richmond Saturday night on NBCSN averaged a 1.07 Nielsen rating and 1.784 million household viewers. That’s up a tick from last year’s 1.05/1.738m on the cable network and same Saturday night slot.
NASCAR’s Xfinity Series ran early on the day on Saturday at Richmond and averaged a 0.48/806,000 viewers on NBCSN, up from last year’s 0.48/766K.
The big year-on-year winner, though, was again Formula 1. The live telecast of the Italian Grand Prix on ESPN2 Sunday morning averaged a 0.53 and 880,000 viewers. Although below the season average of 938K viewers through the first 13 races of the year — which is a 49 percent increase over the same period last year — this year’s numbers were up significantly from 2020’s 0.38/627K for the Tuscan GP on the same weekend and channel, and made this the most-viewed Italian GP since it aired on ABC in 2002.
ESPN reports that F1’s Sprint qualifying format also seemed to be a stronger hit with viewers, drawing 642,000 to ESPN2 on Saturday morning, compared with 369K who watched traditional qualifying for the Tuscan GP on the same channel in 2020.
The NTT IndyCar Series returned to NBC for last Sunday afternoon’s race at Portland, and averaged a 0.43 rating and 666,000 viewers. Last year IndyCar was racing at Mid-Ohio this weekend, and averaged a 0.44/635K for the portion that aired on NBC before shifting to NBCSN.
NHRA’s Camping World Drag Racing Series at Maple Grove averaged 0.17/316,000 viewers on FS1.
Delayed coverage of motorcycle racing on NBCSN Sunday night netted 140,000 viewer for AMA Motocross from Sacramento, and 81,000 for MotoGP from Aragon.
Numbers for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Laguna Seca were not available.