IRL TV rating improved

April 21, 2009
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IRLTVThe Grand Prix at Long Beach last Sunday scored a .5 TV rating for the Indy Racing League, according to New York-based Nielsen Media Research. That’s the same rating the race earned last year on ESPN 2 when it was the swan song for CART.

Since the Versus cable channel isn’t carried in as many U.S. households as ESPN2, viewership was down slightly from last year. This year, 388,864 households tuned in, compared to 485,604 in 2008. Still this year’s Long Beach rating is a dramatic improvement over the .3 rating (233,000 households) the IRL earned for its debut on Versus April 5 at St. Petersburg. The TV rating for the St. Petersburg race was down 60 percent from the same race a year ago.

“We see progress,” said IRL spokesman John Griffin. “We attribute the improved rating to three things; The NASCAR race was Saturday night, the attraction and history of the race at Long Beach, and people getting more focused on where to find Versus. At this point, we couldn’t be happier.”

IRL officials hope the momentum carries over to the series’ race at Kansas City Sunday. The green flag drops at 4 p.m., and the series could get a boost from the return of fan favorite Sarah Fisher, who is set to run four races this year.

“Now we’re going back to our roots with a one-and-a-half mile oval,” Griffin said. “This is where our series excels.”

After Kansas City, the IRL is off a week before heading to Indianapolis for three weekends of action, followed by weekends at Milwaukee and Texas.

“This is the result of our new, compact schedule,” Griffin said. “We think the timing of these races will help us build fan following.”
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  • YEe HAw JUSt as I perdicted this was gona to be bigger. NExt time it can even be more better. JUst before the race head over to your local WAlmart or KMart or TARget or BEstBuy or HHGreg and tune all the TVs to the VERses. BUmp bump bump.

    LOOks like we did our job. WE started in BArgersville then wew hit FRnaklin then up to GReenwood. DANg weer heros. IF you ant part of the probme your part of the solution or somethink liek that hahahahaha
  • Moribund.

    Sad state of affairs indeed.
  • 'The green flag drops at 4 p.m., and the series could get a boost from the return of fan favorite Sarah Fisher'

    No doubt that will at least add Sarah's family and some of her closest friends to the paltry viewership. E arl su x Long Live ChampCar !!
  • As predicted, the ratings should rise as more people find Vs. I had several friends call me to ask where to find the race. I think we should see a dramatic rise in ratings after all of the publicity from the month of May.

    As far as we could not be happier, oh yes, we could all be much happier with higher ratings, but as they go up things will get happier.
  • Fantastic news!!! Go IndyCar & VERSUS!
  • BigIrlFan, your attempt at humor would seem to be misguided since your lack of spelling and grammar skills seem a better fit for a NASCAR fan.

    I think this is great news so far! I was at the race here in Long Beach this past weekend and, although it was hotter than H-E-double hockey sticks, the crowd was large and lively and we had a fantastic time! GO IRL!!!
  • Bring on the IRL haters that flock here in droves so the readers can see how misguided and simple minded they can be.

    The IRL has a long way to go to overcome its shattered image, however many indicators seem to be going in the right direction. Best issue - good racing!
  • This Griffin fella from the IRL, has anyone looked up to see whatever became the whereabouts of Baghdad Bob?

    03. St. Pete

    0.5 Long Beach

    The IRL is a genuine, dadgum, slam bang world beater ain't she?

    Sarah Fisher bringing in more viewers? The whole country is talking Sarah Mania! What?

    The IRL will be gone in three years and we'll reflect on this Kool-Aidian humor with two-hands on the belly, foot kicking, gut busting laughter.

    Sarah Fever! Catch it!
  • The IRL will be gone in three years and we’ll reflect on this Kool-Aidian humor with two-hands on the belly, foot kicking, gut busting laughter.

    We have heard this for 15 years now.
  • Don't worry Dana, you'll only have to hear it for a couple more!
  • Anthony - can we just start a separate message board for the IRL haters? Its the same lines every week and it gets old. Sure the IRL has problems, has had problems, and will have problems. But seriously, their points have been made long ago and its beyond tiring.

    I don't mind people having an intelligent discussion, but its just pure anger and resentment.
  • how does the IRL come up with these #'s when the actual Nielsen ratings are a 3.1?
  • Yeah these IRL haters sad beacuse CART/Champ Car is dead.
    I was sad too when IRL was created and splitted the sport in '96 but I don't care anymore. Life is short. The most important thing is we've got all teams, all drivers, all sponsors and venues in one series and let's enjoy the IndyCar racing again: together! Long Beach was fantastic, large crowd and good racing, I can't wait for Indy! We've got a deep, talented field, the best former CART/Champ Car and IRL drivers together so it's going to be a fantastic 500 and season!
  • The IRL has a long way to go to overcome its shattered image..

    Shattered image? It sucked when Anton thought about doing it, sucked when he started it, and has continued to dredge for new lows in suckage ever since. It's the only thing they're good at.

    Hey Anthony, they publish the ratings for the qual show on Saturday?

    The 'league' spin on this is hysterical, as usual. The reality is the Shelio was on every evening newscast across the country on Friday and Saturday, if a significant amount of people were interested in this rubbish, they would have found it. Didn't happen.

    This 'event' will likely be dead of earl cancer within a few years. It would be even better if the entire worthless 'league' ceased along with it.
  • they would have found it. Didn’t happen.

    Hm I guess if people were interested in that Champ Car rubbish last year, they would have found it. Didn't happen. Last CC race on ESPN had got exactly the same rating than now the IRL on VERSUS.
  • Hm I guess if people were interested in that Champ Car rubbish last year, they would have found it. Didn’t happen. Last CC race on ESPN had got exactly the same rating than now the IRL on VERSUS.

    :lol: Funny how you gomers are still OBSESSED with CC/Cart. In part, because you know the earl will never, ever, be anything like what CART was. It's a shoddy, lame imitation on its best day. But by all means, keep showing everyone what a success story you are by proudly displaying your Rodex watch.

    Whine all you want, child, it ain't un-sucking the 'league', and never will.
  • Whine?
    One person is whining here: YOU!
  • Whine?
    One person is whining here: YOU!

    Congratulations, I did not know that you finally completed your 'advanced debating for morons' lessons. Fantastic to see you raise your level of discourse to I know you are but what am I? Not many in your 'league' have shown such stellar capabilities.

    :gomer:
  • I have no problem with the IRL.
    You have. Get a life and go away from this site if you doesn't like IRL. I dont't read or write baseball forums beacuse I don't like baseball. Simple as that.
  • Get a life and go away from this site if you doesn’t like IRL.

    Regressing already. And is that spittle I see?

    Perhaps you should re-think your presence here, as this is NOT an earl fan forum. Do you even know what IBJ stands for?

    The 'league' is (a sham of) an Indianapolis Business, and this section of Anthony's is related to sports business. The earl is a fraud of a business that should be shuttered in permanence. If you don't wish to read views such as that, there's a place for you, and it's called crackforum, where the sky is always blue, crapwagons don't fly, and street races with ex-CART teams were always part of the vishun. You can cuddle with Mike Condre and Jan Shaffer there all you like, and they'll protect you from big bad angry haterz like me. :lol:
  • I'm laughing at you :D
    It seems you enjoyed this hate-campaign.
    I don't bother you anymore. :)
  • Face it, CART losers, the IRL won. Plain and simple. Had CART put Tony G. on the board of directors in 1991 (as he should have been as owner of the most prestigious speedway and auto race in the world) none of this would have happened. Even after he created the IRL, CART was going strong until a series of idiotic management decisions (going public?? really? do you see the NFL or NBA on the NYSE??) drove CART into the ground. Indy was the Ace in the hole, and TG knew it. They are back together now, and things will get better. NASCAR's ratings have stagnated or declined in recent years. They are still king for now, but not forever in my opinion because they are doing their best to ruin the racing (Car of Tomorrow) and alienate their core fans by giving Cup dates to places like Fontana, CA (where it was half full!) The 500 has survived nearly 100 years, a great depression, two world wars, and the CART/IRL split. It will be here long after we are gone
  • Unfortunately, with the 500 on ABC, it is unlikely anyone will be seeking out Versus for a month after this weekend except for die-hard fans who want to watch quals and specialty programs leading into the 500. Prior poster is right that Sports Soup is a funny funny program. However, I'm not convinced that this channel will be making it onto anyone's favorites list right away. It isn't one I go through when I'm channel surfing, although I'll set the DVR for the Indycar stuff.

    The Versus broadcasts are definitely better for the fans. I was listening to the broadcasters on the scanner at St. Pete and when they were asked by someone whether it was going to be a timed race because of all the yellows, there was quite a discussion about how Indycar can run real races now because they are on Versus, which doesn't have another live event scheduled immediately following the race.
  • I have to agree with Stan, In part, because you know the earl will never, ever, be anything like what CART was. c?rt/ccws/owrs was a series destined for failure. They had a business plan that has been proven to fail. Greedy team owners running a series to maximize their profits to the detriment of the sport.

    Again, how does a series that had all of the cars and the stars, all the popular races save one, and a large group of car owners with very deep pockets and high profile sponsors manage to go bankrupt 3 times in less than 15 years?

    Indy has closer finishes and tighter points races than anything NASCAR or F1 can manufacture or that c?rt could ever have hoped for.

    I agree, the IRL will never, ever be anything like c?rt.
  • Casey,

    Even with the race on ABC, Vs. will advertise heavily around the Speedway and continue to do so on cable channels up and down the dial. With Vs. carrying most if not all practices, update shows and the ever popular carb day festivities, viewership of the races should rise.

    The IRL said from the start it was going to be a long process tobring back the viewers, but they are well on the way. They just need to avoid misteps and continue to put a good product on the track and on the tv.
  • Unfortunately, with the 500 on ABC, it is unlikely anyone will be seeking out Versus for a month after this weekend except for die-hard fans who want to watch quals and specialty programs leading into the 500.

    That said, Versus is promoting it unlike anything I have seen. They had an ad for the race during Saturday Night Live this week.

    It makes me wonder what promotions are planned for May. Right now, I'd bet that the Versus ratings for qualifying will be close to what ESPN received.
  • Who really watches Indy 500 Qualifying anymore anyhow? And Specialty Shows? Oh, CrackForum Gomers maybe. Yeah, there is that. But quals? Get real. Only the very small world of Indy Car fans pay any attention to that. That world of fans appears to be about 500,000 people in a nation of 300 million. Tops. And why is the whoel Indy thing so long anymore? Nobody cares about this Month of May crap except for CrackForum Gomers who shoot their goo over stuff like 'Who was the first car on the track, Who was quickest in Wednesday Happy Hour, Is Jimmy CrashKite going to get in a car? Come on! Stop the madness! The Indy 500 is a historical event that has lasted the ages to become a 21st Century Minor League after thought event that gets what 4, 5 tops on National TV? Small time stuff anymore. Niche sport for the CrackForum Gomers that's about all it is.
  • Obviously you care enough to complain about it. So I guess we can add one more.
  • Who can get excited with crap drivers and fakers, and wankers, and two-facers, and no-racers like:

    Danica
    Parco Andretti
    Phony Kanaan
    Hiwrecki Mutoh
    Ryan
    Scott
    Graham
    Robert Goonbos
    and Helio Castrotaxoff?

    Tell me who? And what about AJ Foyt the Dork or Ryan Disco?

    Please. The Indy Racing Geek is a joke.
  • Anthony, can you please consider blocking some of these guys from this forum? You write your blog posts in order to have intelligent discussion of newsworthy stories. Instead, anytime you post something about the IRL, all we get is a bunch of haters grinding the same axe they've been grinding since...forever. I like reading the intelligent discussion but these guys are far from that and I'm tired of reading their stupidity.
  • Fantastic humor here boys! Keep up the funnies. :lol:


    IRL: Easy to make fun of.
  • Hey Dana, Indyman Fishers Gal, and other reasonable minded folks:

    Let's take a total break from responding to any of the Blog Trolls such as Stan, BigIrlFan, SSDave and the new entrant Count Tracula. Perhaps we should just let them hear silence. They aren't worth our time and effort and we never change their mind. At least Brett and DaHooey can occasionally be somewhat reasonable and funny, but even then t'aint worth much effort, is it?

    Agreed?
  • BerwickGuy, What ails thee? Have fun for the Indy Racing League, while not as good and relevant as say, a Saturday Night Live, is nonetheless robust in comedic offering. In fact, they should have signed a TV deal with The Comedy Channel instead of Uselus. Chuckle and stop being so serious. I know your a Gomer and all but...

    I know you think Scott Sharp is cute and you still have your Team Carmelo PJ Chesson poster on your bedroom wall at Mom's house, and you cry crocodiles on Opening Day when all the little brightly colored dartmobiles go out in wing formation to be first on the track! WOWEEE!! But it is still, afterall, just a sport, or at least tries to be one. I mean, it's not but...

    Lean back and enjoy and stop it with the Justn Wilson is a super nice guy crap and do something about those utterly gay Piloti's you wear all Wheldon-like with your copy cat perfectly ankle-tapered white jeans and the big lens shades. They look bad on your bald head and Dan is skinny. You are not. And stop it with the Ashley Judd is so insightful, these guys really are the greatest drivers in th world. It is unbecoming. And STOP, please STOP, the (Insert driver name here) gets it! crap about the Indy 500. Only Al Unser Jr. got it. And he was high when he won it.
  • Deep breath everyone. I have zero desire to silence any viewpoint, and I have as good a sense of humor as the next guy. But Let's keep the comments within reason. Thanks for reading.
  • Count Tracula: That is some seriously funny stuff. :lol:
  • I don't think utterly gay Piloti’s as uttered by a Troll is a viewpoint. And many don't think it's funny either! (where are you Dutch East Indie?) There, I said it, and I've broken my response silence pledge for the last time.
  • See Berwick, you can't leave Indy (Indie) out of anything. The mark of a True Gomer. A dead giveaway. You could have chosen Peru, Lithuania, Suriname, or Spain. But you had to go all Indy, excuse me Indie on us. You can't help yourself. You must have Robert Doornbos, excuse me, Bobby D. to you, all Dutch-like on the mind. And just after you finally got over Luyendyk. But you are ok in my book, Berwick. Gomer is as Gomer does. I know that. Have some fun. It is nothing personal.
  • Indy has closer finishes and tighter points races than anything NASCAR or F1 can manufacture or that c?rt could ever have hoped for.

    Only for losers like you who work as yellow shirts for the free buffet of corndogs and tenderloins. the irl is manufactured dog feces. And now they have rigged the fuel reset button to be used as a hillbilly push to pash... nice CART ripoff. _TG is still too stupid or stoned to come up with anything on his own. How many races did OWRS run hillbilly? The irl* is the aborted fetus of a Mari Hulman and Jim Nabors get together in a port a let.
  • Don't forget contrived the win for Parco Andretti at Sonoma thanks to a fake spin by Bryan Jerka followed by an cosmically goofy and contrived full-course caution so Parco could save fuel and win with the assist of a first-string blocking back in Tony Krapaan.

    Or how about the pretend win for Danica at Japan?
  • Danica is talkin all NASTARD again! uh-oh! :eek:
  • [DP] will be nearly out of the sport in less than five years. She'll make the mistake of going to NASTYCAR for the prompt handing over of her bottom. Then she'll crawl back to Indy Cars, which by then will be receiving last rites. She'll Sarah Fisher around for a few years in between nobody's watchin' sports car starts and what's left of the Indy 500. Then she'll fade, albeit wealthy, into the Arizona sunset as a past pop culture phenomenon and await the Where Are They Now? articles she can cut and paste into her scrap book. But it won't come easy. Arrogant, immature, emotionally-unstable people like that go down hard. So we'll get some good voyeur action and tabloid yucks out of the implosion....and that is just with her wonderful father. The Danica stuff will be all Brittney-like and too much fun. I look forward...
  • To paraphrase Michael Corleone The IRL has been dying of that heartattack for the last 15 years. Translation, you guys keep wishing, but the only thing that has died in open wheel is c?rt/owrs/ccws and that was a couple of times. Sorry, me thinks 20 years from now your children will be carrying on this bitter mantra. Kind of like the hate filled Bmore Colts fans.
  • I have zero desire to silence any viewpoint...

    Thanks Anthony.
  • But Let’s keep the comments within reason.

    Don't take his comments out of context. Somehow I do not think is last comment was meant for me.
  • Don’t take his comments out of context

    Or what? What are you going to do internet tough guy? Cry to Anthony? Beg to have those who don't agree with you banned? Grow up...
  • Brett,

    Why does everything have to be based on a threat with you? Is that how it is with your family and friends? Is this how you were brought up? There is no threat from me. I do not believe in them. Sorry to burst your bubble, tough guy.
  • Sorry to burst your bubble, tough guy.

    How exactly did you burst my bubble? I heard a guy in line at Wal-Mart tell a cashier how he done bursted his bubble. Maybe it was you. Nice mullet, by the way.
  • What's really astounding here is how much time Count Tracula puts into his trash talking. I mean, it's the most well thought out, grammatically-correct, persistent and consistent drivel I've just about ever seen on a message board. Congratulations on raising the ire of so many. You da man.

    But I do have to wonder why you would spend your precious little time on this earth wasting away on IRL boards. Seriously, that's just sad. You musta been messed over pretty hard by somebody in the racing world to go to such extremes. If so, I'm sorry for you. If not, I'm even sorrier for you.

    That said, I'm digging the Vs. coverage and hope the IRL does well. It's just going to take some time, folks. It could be 10-20 years before we see any real challenge to NASCAR's dominance, if ever again.

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