Daytona 500 Draws 16.7M Viewers, Best Since 2008
Great American Race up 22% to score best year-over-year increase in race's history
By Tim Baysinger -- Broadcasting & Cable, 2/26/2013 10:51:25 AM
The race was also up 24% to a 9.9 rating; both measures scored their largest year-over-year increase in the race's history. It was the most-watched and highest-rated since 2008 (10.2 rating, 17.8 million viewers).
Sunday's Great American Race featured Danica Patrick as the first female to start from the pole position; she remained among the leaders throughout the race, finishing eighth (Jimmy Johnson won, holding off runner-up Dale Earnhardt Jr.). Female viewership was up among women 18-34 (+16%), women 18-49 (+3%) and women 25-54 (+8%). The race also rose with adults 18-49 by 7%.
Viewership interest was also piqued by a huge multicar crash during the previous day's Nationwide Series Race, which injured 28 fans. Sunday's race was also the official debut of the new Gen 6 cars.
Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season opener also saw a 42% ratings increase in the country's top 10 markets, with the top five markets each rising 25% or more. The largest ratings jumps were, in order: Chicago (+91%), San Francisco (+64%), Los Angeles (+60%), Boston (+59%), New York (+43%), Houston (+33%) and Dallas (+25%).
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