Impressive TV Ratings for Sunday’s ESPN Sprint Cup Championship
5,604,748 ESPN viewers saw Jimmie Johnson win his fifthe NASCAR Championship while Carl Edwards won the Ford 400 (photo courtesy: Todd Warshaw, Getty Images Sport)
This past Sunday, Homestead-Miami Speedway served as host to NASCAR’s one-race shootout to decide the closest Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship in history—and there were lots of witnesses to Jimmie Johnson’s unprecedented fifth straight title: In addition to the impressive crowd that attended the Ford Championship Weekend finale live at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Sunday’s ESPN telecast averaged 5,604,748 viewers, highlighted by a male 18-34 demographic that was up 33 percent.
The season-ending Ford 400 Sprint Cup Championship earned a 3.3 rating in its first season on ESPN after making the switch from 2009 broadcast-carrier ABC. The number of viewers for Sunday’s telecast was essentially the same as the 5,606,608 viewers for NASCAR’s 2009 Sprint Cup Championship finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which aired on ABC.
With Homestead-Miami Speedway annually selling tickets to fans in more than 30 countries and all 50 states, a global NASCAR fan base saw Johnson take home the Sprint Cup for the fifth consecutive year. For those fans who didn’t make it to South Florida to witness history live, watching the race on ESPN proved a worthy alternative. NASCAR Chairman Brian France addressed the media last weekend on the state of the sport and touched on ESPN’s 2010 product, specifically citing its younger demographic.
“I think the [ESPN] broadcast has been as good as I've seen in a long time,” said France. “The energy level, the calling of the action, the on-air talent is top-notch. They have been working at that for a few years to get all of the things just right, and I think they have.”
ESPN2’s telecast of Saturday’s Nationwide Series Championship finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway earned a 1.4 rating, up from a 1.3 a year ago.