NASCAR Television Ratings Continue Downward Trend

Posted by: Dave Thompson, follow @phillyfan17

July 10, 2017

NASCAR has struggled with declining attendance and TV ratings throughout the first half of the 2017 season, and the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway was no exception.

With the opening half of the year coming in overall low on FOX Sports, the shift to NBC Sports for the remainder of the year and although the numbers were slightly from 2016, there are still some positives to take away for NASCAR.

ShowBuzzDaily reported a 3.2 final rating with 5.4 million viewers tuning in to watch the Coke Zero 400. Viewership for this year’s race was down slightly from a 3.4 rating and 5.7 million viewers in 2016.

Despite the slight drop, NASCAR still ranked on top as the most watched sporting event of the pre-July 4th weekend, beating out Top Rank Boxing on ESPN and Saturday night baseball on FOX.

Former CBS Sports president, Neal Pilson chimed in with this tweet in reference to NASCAR’s first-half of 2017 viewership trends being down.

Pilson brings up a legitimate point with regard to “cord cuttering” and the impact it is having on television viewership as a whole and not just sports.  With that many folks “cutting the cord” and the number growing each year it will be tough for any sport (other than football) to see viewerships trends increase significantly in the future.

A full moon rises over campers on the backstretch during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Quaker State 400 race at Kentucky Speedway, Saturday, July 8, 2017, in Sparta, Ky. (Logan Whitton/NKP)

And the early ratings for Kentucky continue to show the decline.

Perhaps 3+ million viewers a race weekend isn’t that bad, but seems to be the norm for now.