A late-race caution put Ryan Newman in a position to claim victory in Sunday’s Camping World 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, but apparently not too many people actually saw him take the checkered flag.
After four races, NASCAR’s TV ratings are showing no signs of improvement, hitting record-lows for the second consecutive week in Phoenix, according to Sports Media Watch.
FOX’s broadcast had a final rating of 3.3 and 5.4 million viewers, an 18 and 19 percent year-over-year decline, respectively. The lows for the March race in Phoenix previously were roughly 6 million viewers in 2010 and a 3.6 final rating in 2009.
The Camping World 500 reportedly also was the fourth-lowest rated NASCAR on FOX race ever. It’s worth noting the broadcast was the most watched sporting event of the weekend, apart from the NCAA Tournament, but even still, its ratings were lower than any other Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race opposite March Madness since 1999.
NASCAR’s slow start to 2017 is slightly concerning, given the sport introduced various rule changes ahead of this year at the behest of TV executives. However, despite the hype around the rule changes, new title sponsor Monster Energy, Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s return and the race’s notoriety, the season-opener was the second-lowest rated Daytona 500 ever.
Thumbnail photo via NASCAR