Castroneves barn storms TV ratings

Indy Racing League driver Helio Castroneves wasn’t the only winner during Tuesday’s Dancing with the Stars finale.

The two-hour show posted an overnight 23 rating, with a 32 share, making WRTV-TV Channel 6 the most-watched ABC affiliate in the country, according to New York-based Nielsen Media Research.

The show’s ratings were higher than any other show airing Tuesday on any station in the local market.

Since 1 rating point equals 10,600 central Indiana households, the Nielsen rating means about 243,800 local households tuned into the show.

More than 32 percent of all people watching television in central Indiana were tuned to WRTV for the season-5 finale, in which Castroneves defeated Marie Osmond and Spice Girl Melanie Brown, who was second.

“That’s an excellent rating,” said long-time local media buyer Bill Perkins. “About the only thing that beats a rating like that is an Indianapolis Colts game.”

While Tuesday’s telecast had a strong local showing, it wasn’t the strongest by far. The Nov. 4 Colts game against the New England Patriots game drew a 45.9 rating and 65 share in central Indiana.

Still, local TV viewer voting in this season’s Dancing with the Stars was enough to push Castroneves over the top.

Castroneves entered the finale in a close second place behind Brown based on judge’s scores, but an aggressive marketing campaign led by the IRL helped the Brazilian-born racer get enough fan call-in votes to topple Brown, also known as Scary Spice.

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