Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Indianapolis residents love NASCAR, they just don't go to the Brickyard

   Some very telling information came out this week in the Nielsen ratings for last Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway which was broadcast on ESPN. The race received a 3.6 rating - up nine percent from a year ago.

   Attendance at the track, however, was perhaps the lowest in the race's 20-year history. That was not necessarily a surprise. What was a little surprising were the details behind the ratings.

   The market with the largest rating - where the most people had their TVs tuned to the Brickyard 400 on Sunday - was Indianapolis, with a whopping 13.7 rating. And that was up 26 percent from last year's 10.9 rating.

   What that means is a very large segment of residents in the Indianapolis TV market remain firmly loyal NASCAR fans. What it also means is they were not interested in attending the race in person.

   That is the best evidence I've seen of the growing disconnect between fans who attend NASCAR races in person and those who remain at home and watch on TV.

   It's a gulf NASCAR and the tracks are going to have to work hard to bridge.

   The rest of the best
   The rest of the top 10 TV markets for Sunday's Brickyard 400:

   2. Greensboro, N.C., (10.1)
   3. Greenville, S.C., (9.4)
   4. Charlotte, N.C., (9.1).
   5. Norfolk, Va., (8.3)
   6. Jacksonville, Fla., (8.2).
   7. Nashville, Tenn., (8.1).
   8. Birmingham, Ala., (7.8)
   9. Richmond, Va., (7.7)
   10. Knoxville, Tenn., (7.2)