Ratings Roundup: Chicago Street Race is NBC’s Most-Watched NASCAR Race in Six Years; ESPN’s F1 Austrian GP Scores Best Live U.S. TV Audience Ever

Ratings Roundup is a rundown of recent rating news and is derived from press releases and reports around the industry. In this week’s edition, the Chicago Cup Series Street Race is NBC Sports’ most-watched NASCAR race in six years, ESPN’s F1 Austrian Grand Prix gets the largest live U.S. TV audience on record, Orioles-Yankees is the most-viewed July 4 game in NY DMA in 13 years, the USFL Championship ratings are down from 2022 and trailed the XFL title game, and COMBATE GLOBAL and Univision announce big viewership numbers for its July 2 TV event.

Chicago Cup Series Street Race Is NBC Sports’ Most-Watched NASCAR Race in Six Years

NBC Sports’ coverage of the first-ever NASCAR Cup Series city street race from Chicago averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 4.795 million viewers (6:32-9:45 p.m. ET) on NBC and Peacock, resulting in numerous viewership milestones, according to Fast National data provided by Nielsen:

  • Most-watched NASCAR Cup Series race on NBC in six years, since Indianapolis in 2017 (5.647 million) and NBC Sports’ eighth-most watched race under its current rights agreement
  • The event currently ranks as the No. 2 most-viewed race of the NASCAR Cup Series season behind only the DAYTONA 500 (8.173M on FOX) and ahead of Talladega (4.554M on FOX)
  • (FOX; Feb. 19; 8.173 million)

  • Projected to be the most-watched sporting event of the weekend
  • Up 144% vs. NBC Sports’ second Cup Series race of the 2022 season (USA Network; 1.962 million; Road America)
  • Up 72% vs. NBC Sports’ 2022 Cup Series average on NBC (2.784 million)
  • Most-streamed NASCAR Cup Series race in NBC Sports history with 163,500 viewers across Peacock and NBC Sports digital platforms
  • Sunday’s Grant Park 220 Chicago Street Race averaged 4.632 linear viewers tuned in per minute and drew a 2.52 household rating on NBC (Nielsen viewership data)
  • That represents the largest linear audience on NBC since the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nielsen viewership data)
  • Average audience tuned in (4.632M) was 68% larger than the 2022 NCS average on NBC (2.752M). That is 37% larger than the most-viewed race on NBC last year (Indianapolis, 3.373M).

Despite a weather delay at the start and a shortened race due to sunset (from 100 to 75 laps), excitement for the Grant Park 220 in Chicago never dampened and was bolstered by the improbable victory of New Zealander Shane van Gisbergen, who became the first driver to win a race in his first NASCAR Cup Series start in 60 years. He entered the race as part of Trackhouse Racing’s Project 91 program.

Viewership peaked at 5.383 million TV-only viewers from 9:15-9:30 pm ET when van Gisbergen took the checkered flag. Chicago delivered a 9.29 rating and is expected to lead all markets once final local data is completed. The rating is more than three times what the market did for this year’s Daytona 500 (2.99 on FOX).

Through two races, NBC Sports is averaging a TAD of 4.009 million viewers, its best start for the NASCAR Cup Series since 2017 (4.202 million). Last week, NBC Sports’ coverage of the Ally 400 from Nashville Superspeedway averaged a TAD of 3.230 million viewers, making it NBC Sports’ most-watched season opener in three years.

F1 Austrian Grand Prix Gets Largest Live U.S. Television Audience on Record

Sunday’s Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix, broadcast live on ESPN, attracted an average audience of 1.09 million viewers, the largest audience ever in the U.S. for the race.

  • Largest live U.S. audience on record for Austrian Grand Prix.
  • Race audience peaked at 1.2 million viewers between 9:15-9:30 a.m. ET.
  • Last year’s race averaged 1.066 million viewers on ESPN2.
  • Saturday’s Sprint on ESPN attracted 806,000 viewers between 10:24-11:12 a.m. ET.
  • Saturday morning’s Sprint Shootout attracted 306,000 viewers between 6-6:49 a.m. ET.
  • Four races this year have set event viewership records (Saudi Arabia, Monaco, Canada, Austria).
  • Formula 1 races are averaging 1.26 million viewers so far this season across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, up four percent over the 2022 full-season average of 1.21 million.

Orioles-Yankees Was Most-Viewed 4th of July Game in NY DMA in 13 Years

YES’ Baltimore-Yankees game telecast on July 4th averaged 467,000 Total Viewers, the most-viewed 4th of July baseball telecast (broadcast or cable) in the New York DMA in 13 years (since 2010).   Yesterday’s YES telecast peaked at 623,000 Total Viewers during the 3:45-4:00 quarter hour.  The telecast also had seven straight quarter-hours of at least 500,000 Total Viewers each.

USFL Championship Ratings Down From 2022, Trail XFL Title Game

Saturday, July 1st’s USFL Championship Game saw the Birmingham Stallions repeat as league champs defeating the Pittsburgh Maulers 28-12. Via Austin Karp of Sports Business Journal, the USFL drew an average audience of 1.2 million for the championship game on NBC. That’s a 20 percent drop from last year’s 1.5 million number for the championship game. The number was also 14% lower than the 1.4 million audience that watched the XFL Championship on ABC.

It was the league’s best viewership total since Week 4’s Memphis Showboats-Michigan Panthers on the same network. (2.063 million). The game scored a 0.16 in the key 18-49 demographic.

COMBATE GLOBAL and Univision Announce Big Viewership Numbers for July 2 TV Event 

In an 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT time slot on July 2, COMBATE GLOBAL’s 90-minute Hispanic-focused MMA program on Univision garnered 716,000 P2+ viewers.  That figure includes 359,000 viewers – over 50 percent of the total audience – in the coveted A1849 demographic, according to Nielsen research. By comparison, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), in a primetime slot on ESPN on the previous night, Saturday, July 1, drew 841,000 P2+ viewers, including 382,000 adults 18-49 years of age.

Last Sunday’s COMBATE GLOBAL show was highlighted by the return of undefeated American rising star, “Jimbo Slice”, aka Jimmie Pace Jr. (3-0) who scored a stunning, 16-second TKO on Spain’s Boris Garcia (2-2) in a welterweight (170 pounds) contest. Also in action was Elias “El Pescador” Garcia (9-2), who defeated Diego “El Terror” Ortis (10-5) in a flyweight (125 pounds) bout.

Password must contain the following:

A lowercase letter

A capital (uppercase) letter

A number

Minimum 8 characters