Wednesday, November 14, 2007

NASCAR overall TV ratings down 2nd straight year

NASCAR ends its season Sunday with ratings down again this year. And while it has fan interest beyond its Southern base, it’s still an also-ran in big cities outside the South. This season’s NASCAR Nextel Cup races — airing on Fox, TNT, ESPN and ABC — are averaging 4.2% of U.S. TV households — down 9% from last year’s average and off 21% from 2005. ABC’s Checker Auto Parts 500 on Sunday — when Jimmie Johnson virtually nailed down the season points title — showed interest still is largely regional.

The race drew 10.5% of households in Greenville, S.C., 9.1% in Knoxville, Tenn. and 7.8% in Birmingham, Ala. But it drew just 1.3% in New York, 1.9% in Los Angeles and 2.4% in Chicago. Dick Glover, NASCAR vice president/broadcasting, notes the average NASCAR race ratings in New York (1.9%), Los Angeles (2.1%) and Chicago (2.9%) — which together constitute about 15% of TV households in the USA — are up slightly or even with last year.

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