Nascar’s ratings hit its lowest since 1998.
NASCAR ratings took a hit on the fullest sports weekend since March.
NASCAR Cup Series racing from New Hampshire averaged a 1.4 rating and 2.21 million viewers on NBCSN Sunday, marking the lowest rated edition of the race since at least 1998 and the least-watched since at least 2000.
Brad Keselowski’s win declined 18% in ratings and 21% in viewership from last year (1.7, 2.79M) and a tick and 11% respectively from 2018 (1.5, 2.50M). As recently as five years ago, the race had a comparably strong 2.4 and 3.67 million.
Keep in mind the race had to contend with unusually high levels of competition for mid-summer, including NBA and NHL games. While NASCAR topped Blazers-Celtics on ABC (1.1, 1.66M) and Flyers-Bruins on NBC (0.8, 1.42M) head-to-head, those games still represented far tougher competition than last year, when ABC and NBC aired no competing live sporting events.
In addition to the NBA and NHL, this year’s race also faced a strong-performing PGA Tour event on CBS that had a 2.1 and 3.20 million. Last year’s race faced no live golf competition due to the British Open, which ended well before the green flag.
Of course, many are pointing to the fact that they banned the Confederate flag from events as a reason for this:
“The presence of the confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry. Bringing people together around a love for racing and the community that it creates is what makes our fans and sport special. The display of the confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties.”
They also had the Bubba Wallace incident where it was claimed that a noose was put outside of a black driver’s garage but it turned out to be just a rope used to pull down the garage door.
However, it is important to point out that it is unclear at this point what is driving the rating drop. Unlike with the other rating drops among major US sports, this one may have a ton of different reasons for it. Did Nascar lose some fans over there decision? I can guarantee they did. Is it too early to tell how many they lost? You bet.
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