IRL TV ratings revved up

October 1, 2008
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indy2In the first season of open-wheel racing unification, the Indy Racing League registered viewership increases on its telecasts on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2. For the 17 races on the IRL schedule this year, race viewership averaged 1.7 million across the three networks, which was a 21.4 percent increase over the 2007 season, according to New York-based Nielsen Media Inc.

Separately, ABC averaged 2.7 million viewers for its seven IRL races, up 10.1 percent  for the same number of races in 2007; ESPN averaged 707,000 viewers for four races, up 27.2 percent compared to the five races run in the 2007 season. ESPN2 averaged 892,000 viewers for its five races in the 2008 season, which was a 53.5 percent increase over the 2007 average.  

IRL officials announced multi-year multimedia partnerships with ABC and Versus in August and the 2009 broadcast schedule recently was unveiled. Versus, the Indy Racing League’s new TV partner, will air next year’s opening race on April 5, and will air three consecutive races before ABC kicks off its five-race coverage, beginning May 24 with the 93rd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

ABC will air five races, produced by ESPN, within a seven-race period before Versus televises the final eight races, including the season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which has been moved up one day to a twilight race on Oct. 10. The entire 2009 IRL television package will be available in high-definition television.

Following races at St. Petersburg, Long Beach and Kansas on Versus, ABC will air five of the next seven races, including four that it carried last season. ABC will air the Indianapolis 500 for the 45th consecutive season, followed by the races at The Milwaukee Mile, Iowa Speedway and Watkins Glen International. ABC also will televise the IRL’s first visit to Toronto.
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  • More good news for the IRL. If c<rt/owrs/ccws had removed egos, we would be several years farther along in the come back of open wheel racing instead of them plunging money into a corpse.
  • I expect this stunning upward trend to be thrown into ReVersus next year. :lol:

    Does Arbitron have any demo info on viewer IQ? That would be quite fascinating,

    The earl is still a piece of garbage excuse for actual motorsport.
  • It will be interesting to see what Versus can actually do. It certainly makes sense for ABC to carry their races consecutively and hopefully build some momentum from the 500. If the race coverage gets better then more fans should be attracted. IndyCar is faster, more technical and more dangerous than taxi cabs and trucks. That's why it ruled the motorsports world until the split.
  • IndyCar is faster, more technical and more dangerous than taxi cabs and trucks. That’s why it ruled the motorsports world until the split.

    And was replaced with the steaming pile of rubbish that is the earl. Thanks, FTG!

    It's rather disingenuous to associate the pre-1996 sport with the fetid sewer that is the 'league'.
  • Hey Anthony, I have a question! Most of the year, there were decreases reported in viewers, both in overnights and finals. I know there were some that went up, but the numbers were not significant. How exactly could there be an increase of the claimed magnitude?

    The 'league' is notorious for having things spun like this - a couple years back, in order to pretend they had an attendance increase, they simply revised the previous years numbers downward! I would be very surprised if they could get Nielsen to go along with one of their little scams like that, but with FTG-bucks, I suppose it's possible.

    Look into it if you can, if not, no big deal, as the earl is going hard into reversus regardless. :lol:
  • I'm in the process of re-examining the TV numbers race by race. Stay tuned.
  • Stan,

    Such bitterness and hate....perhaps you should swallow your own pill. But then again, you may end up choking on it.

    I suppose we should take heart in the one (you) that wants to overshadow current fans and participants. Guess they know nothing.

    Perhaps you should just go away. We've heard it from you too many times. You've made your point, and it's beyond getting old.

    I'm nominating you for the Mike and Mike Just Shut Up award.
  • I'm with you Stan. I too wish that the split had never happened in 1979. I wish that the USAC executives hadn't been killed in a plane crash. I wish that Tony Hulman hadn't died at about the same time. I wish that Hulman had a strong son ready to take over upon his death or that Tony George hadn't been so young at the time, and I wish that the CART owners hadn't been so short-sighted and greedy. Sure it was nice in the late 1990's to enjoy a return to the glory days of 1911 through the 1970's again and be able to watch drivers that I knew and had watched grow from boys to men at tracks like Winchester, Salem, Eldora and the Terre Haute Action Track, but I knew that money would eventually win out and we would return to a bunch of no names racing in parades where only the drivers from the top two or three big money teams had a chance to win.

    So I don't like this current version of Indy Car racing any more than you but there isn't a thing either of us can do about it, and whining on a message board sure isn't going to help.

    So go and enjoy the rest of your life Stan and I hope that you find something that you do like so that you can enjoy life and not put yourself in an early grave with all of this hate and bitterness.
  • I still say that if your HOBBY makes you this angry, it's time to find a new hobby.
  • And meanwhile...

    The most exciting and by far the most technically relevant racing series in North America will be holding one of the premier racing events of the year at Road Atlanta.

    A series that has Hybrids racing, not to mention cars running on Cellulosic ethanol and clean turbodiesel engines. The GT2 class is more stock than any car in Nascar has been in the last 20 years. I only wish I could be down there in the hills of Georgia to see this year's Petit Le Mans. The American Le Mans Series and its Green initiative produce some of the most exciting racing in the US, whitout debris cautions and spec cars.

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