IRL TV rating down at Kentucky

August 11, 2008
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kylogoThe television ratings for the Indy Racing League race at Kentucky Speedway continue downward. The have been cut in half since 2006.

This year, the Nielsen overnight rating for Saturday’s race was .43, meaning about 480,000 U.S. households watched the race won by Scott Dixon. The race aired at the same time and on the same channel—ESPN2—as the 2007 Kentucky race, which earned a .6 rating. The 2006 Kentucky race earned a .8 rating. Going up against the Olympics this year, likely contributed to the lower rating.

Kentucky Speedway officials scurried around Saturday morning putting up 2,000 extra seats in anticipation of a sellout. But when the green flag dropped on the main event that evening, it looked like the permanent stands—which seat 66,000—were only about 75 percent full. The camping area, however, was filled with recreational vehicles, and there were quite a few people standing out of their seats along the top of the stands. Security personnel at the race, though, said the race was short of a sellout.
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  • Anthony, besides the Olympics cutting into the viewership on Saturday night, there also was a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race that started about an hour after the IRL race, and it was televised on Speed. It's altogether possible that people were out and about at 6:30 on a Saturday evening, or were watching the Olympics or preparing to watch the truck race.

    I actually wish we had seen more of the IRL race. It got pretty exciting toward the end but we only returned home in time to see the last couple of laps.

    Wonder if the fantastic weather across this region was a contributor to the lower ratings too?
  • The Colts were also on. Marvin's big return.

    I also think it's laughable that the pre-race show was held up by little league softball. And even funnier, when the pre-race did make the cut, the audio was miffed for a short while. Further justification for leaving ESPN.

    Too bad people missed it, other than Dixon always winning, it was actually a very exciting race with some very strong race-long battles. It was a pleasure to see. And visually, the crowd was none too shabby. I wasn't a fan of Kentucky, but the last two races there have been fun to watch, so I say keep them around!
  • It's pretty obvious what happened there. More than likely, the speedway sold the tickets it claimed to, but the vast majority of them were steeply discounted tickets bought in blocks for giveaways. The old dollar-a-holler. Looking at the amount of people in the stands (75% full? pass the bowl this way dude!), it's another example of the 'league's' product being so unattractive and worthless that it can't even be given away for free.

    This is not 75% full: http://www.motorsport.com/photos/indycar/2008/ke/indycar-2008-ke-kd-2155.jpg Most of the stands were that empty.

    The plummeting ratings indicate the lack of interest in this rubbish as well. And there's good reason for the disgust and contempt of this trash - Tony George. The very few Hulmanista shillbags left that don't get it need to re-evaluate (though they aren't likely capable) the situation. No one in the history of motorsport has engendered as much hate and disgust with their actions as FTG. No one else is even close. Him and his entire family are a plague upon motorsport. It's utterly ludicrous to even pretend to claim otherwise.

    It's pathetic that this abomination is even covered as 'sport'. It isn't. It's garbage.

    It will be funny comparing the ratings on vs next year though. Hilarity's gonna ensue as this affront to motorsport stumbles into even deeper obscurity, which is where it belongs until it evaporates completely. That day can't come soon enough.
  • It's very obvious that Tony George is getting some really bad advise from somebody(s). Maybe Joey Chitt? Who knows? Best thing George can do is bring in some true racing sports guys. Robin Miller maybe? And blend in some promotion guys from hollywood?
  • There is some really good hate here.


    Where's Spicoli?
  • It’s very obvious that Tony George is getting some really bad advise from somebody(s).

    FTG gets advice from FTG, that's the problem. The man is a poor excuse for an imbecile...
  • Since the ratings are static to downward this year, and ESPN is doing virtually nothing for the league, maybe changing broadcast partners wasn't such bad advice after all. One year from now, we should have more answers. But the full measure of this move probably won't be known for two to three years. One thing is certain, standing pat-even for just one more year-wasn't an option.
  • Many of us are fans of the IRL and drivers such as Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves, and Scott Dixon. And I can see that there are many things that need to change. Hoswever, I, for one, am sick and tired of Stan's obnoxious rantings. He has made his point, but enough is enough. My advice to Stan is if you have nothing positive to say, then say nothing at all.

    With all of the deficiencies associated with open wheel racing over the past 10+ years, these rants do nothing for the good of anyone, including the one who is so consumed with hate. The IRL provides more employment for people, opportunities for fans, income to the taxpayers of Indiana, and competitive racing for skilled drivers than anything the hatemongers can ever hope to achieve.

    So, Stan, can we just zip it, please!!!!
  • Ratings are dropping with the addition of the OWRS drivers and teams. Kevin Kalkhoven and his Kronies destroyed open wheel racing. Until all who were associated with OWRs are purged from the sport ratings will continue to fall and the sport will continue to suffer.
  • Bravo, berwidkguy, Bravo!
  • Check the ratings for ALL the races.....The overall ratings for all races are actually up about 20% this year, but thats OK go ahead and make up your own facts Openwheeler and Stan. You will be seen as the phonies that you are.
  • Ratings are dropping with the addition of the OWRS drivers and teams. Kevin Kalkhoven and his Kronies destroyed open wheel racing

    No CCWS driver placed in the top 11 and the ratings were still down, just like your IQ. And OWRS never raced...your theories don't hold water, just like the EARL that is sinking like the Titanic with Capatin George at the wheel, stoned out of his gourd....
  • Please link to EARL races up 20% or stop posting lies.
  • Brett, here's the '20% increase' link: http://sportsmediawatch.blogspot.com/2008/07/ratings-game_31.html
    Let's see if quote tags work on this board (a preview function would be helpful here) -
    [quote]
    Through July 20, viewership for IRL telecasts is up 18% from last year across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC. The most viewed non-Indy 500 race was the Honda Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio, which drew 1.8 million viewers in the post-British Open spot on ABC. The largest audience for a race on cable came for the Bombardier Learjet 550, which drew 1.1 million viewers on ESPN2 June 7.[/quote]

    It's not clear how they arrived at the 18% figure, however, it's already out of date and even if it was accurate, the latest fiascos have likely reversed that 'increase'. Anyone wants to go dig more, feel free.

    Now then, as for those who would wail and gnash their teeth over what I post here, rather than complain, post something better, or refute what I say. I don't care that you and a very few other people like the fetid sewage that is the earl. I don't go screaming for you to go away (though I may start - ha).

    The idea that the 'league' is somehow a good thing because it provides jobs is laughable as it is ridiculous, as no one who remembers what big-time racing in the US used to be like would make such an idiotic defense of FTG's flying circus. Get back to me when the budgets are enormous, with multiple chassis, engine and tire manufacturers pouring rivers of money into the sport. Won't happen under FTG's watch, he obviously prefers it to be a low-rent, cheap shoddy imitation of something CART used to be, but with really ugly, stupid flying crapwagons and zero interest in a successful series and a championship of national and international stature.

    No, what Anton wants, and has, is a single-event (it can't be legitimately called a race anymore) of marginal stature, and some surrounding noise to keep his serfs busy the rest of the year. He doesn't want a successful series, as he is so stupid as to believe it somehow could lower the perceived prestige of his event. Witness the following - no 500-mile events other than his. Mandated aero restrictions to slow the crapwagons so Indy appears to be the 'fastest track' those pigs pollute (that also have the effect of making most of their other oval events droning wot-fests until some carnage occurs), and ultimately a rather creepy paranoia.

    So sure, keep complaining about me, but it isn't gonna un-suck the 'league', or make it into a success story. It's rotten from the top, and nothing will get better until that changes, which, sadly, I don't see happening for a very long time. It's not like FTG's going to run out of money.
  • Thanks for the link Stan. It looks like more new math by FTG, Fred Nation and Talking Terry Angstadt as the numbers don't add up. And keep preaching the truth as the IRLQaeda fanatics can't handle it...
  • MikeSells Groovy potato chips now come in a tasty Mesquite Smoked Bacon flavor.


    Maybe FTG can hook em for a a few sponsor bucks?


    Naaahhhhh......Vs.??????? lmfao. What a disgrace. Elmer shoulda worn a rubber.
  • IRLQaeda?????????/ Are you serious Brett? If that isn't the most disrespectful hyperbole I have read this year, then I don't know what it. I think you need to rethink what you write and put it into perspective.
  • Stan, Brett, and Da Hooey - You all need to lose yourselves in your own self indulging sea of despair. I would ask that you make your points without all of the hate mongering. Or perhaps, just go away! Those of us that choose to be optimistic about the future as fans are sick to deaath of your ridiculous rants.

    And, I would suggest that Mr. Schoettle take a greater effort to limit what is posted here. These guys are way over the line with their absurd, defaming comments.
  • Sad to see the crt et al died multiple deaths just to be revived like Freakenstein to race again? Lets all remember push to pass and the set of special tires. Now that is racing.
  • AINt no reasons to panic. WE got INdy and no one esle does. WE got the INdy drivers and no one else does. ANd we got the INdyCar series. NOw tell me where else you is gone to find that? ITs INdy baby. ALl Indy. ALl the time. LIve here in the middle of INDiana and you'll see waht I meen. ANd best of all we got TOney GOrge. JUSt imagine weared we be without him hahahahhaah THats unposible.

    WE is INDy HAY!
  • Sad to see the crt et al died multiple deaths just to be revived like Freakenstein to race again? Lets all remember “push to pass” and “the set of special tires”. Now that is racing.


    The CART turbo engine holds the fastest lap ever for an OW car at Fontana, and the track records at IMS and Michigan. The crapwagon only holds the records for most injuries by a poorly designed car. Now that is racing...
  • And, I would suggest that Mr. Schoettle take a greater effort to limit what is posted here. These guys are way over the line with their absurd, defaming comments.

    So anyone who disagrees with you should be banned? What a whiner, you must be a liberal. I think I passed you today on 465 in your Prius with the Obama sticker in the window...
  • I think you need to rethink what you write and put it into perspective.


    I don't care what you think. EARL fans are rabid, foaming at the mouth fanatics who worship FTG like some leader of a jihad suicide mission. And the results are about the same. Keep following the Sagamore down the little Brick road to nowhere.....
  • Brett,

    Just to set the record straight, I don't own a Prius and I don't support Obama, Osama, or Chelsea's Mama. And, no, I don't think people should be banned because they disagree with me. That is not the point, because we should always be able to speak our minds about issues. However, we should be able to be professional about our comments.

    While I am an IRL fan, I don't support everything Tony George does and I certainly don't worship him. The series, I agree, needs MAJOR improvements. Just count me as one that thinks this could be the right path in a few years, as does Ganassi, Andretti, Penske, Rahal, and others who joined the series several years ago.

    Your comments are welcome, it's just the name calling such as imbicle and IRLQueda as you've thrown around. You may not like it, but it employs many and attracts many. You are entitled to your personal opinions, but in a column such as this, you should keep your absurd names to yourself. How unprofessional and uncalled for. It doesn't belong here!

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