ESPN Breaks Cable Viewership Record with NASCAR Telecast from Daytona
With an average of 4.4 million people watching, ESPN's live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 25 has broken the previous record as the most-viewed race ever on cable television for the series.
The race telecast earned a household coverage rating of 3.3, averaging 4,433,249 viewers in 3,304,012 households, breaking the record of 4,271,365 viewers in 3,170,109 households set for ESPN's telecast of the Daytona race in 2010.
Ratings and viewership for the Daytona telecast were up 37 percent from ESPN's telecast of last year's race, which earned a 2.4 household coverage rating and averaged 3,246,875 viewers.
"We've seen two consecutive years of ratings increases with the Nationwide Series on our networks and NASCAR carried some strong momentum and storylines into this year," said Julie Sobieski, ESPN vice president, programming & acquisitions. "This certainly represents a great start to the season."
All 33 races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series season will air on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC. The next telecast is from Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, March 3, at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
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About NASCAR on ESPN:
ESPN produces comprehensive, multi-platform coverage featuring telecasts of the final 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup races, including the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Additionally, ESPN is the television home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series. ESPN's NASCAR coverage extends to ESPN.com, SportsCenter, ESPN the Magazine, WatchESPN, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio and ESPN International, among other ESPN platforms. ESPN aired 262 NASCAR Cup Races over a 20-year period starting in 1981 and returned to NASCAR coverage in 2007. The network's award-winning, live flag-to-flag coverage on ESPN has been honored with 19 Sports Emmy Awards, as well as many industry honors. It is widely credited for helping to popularize the sport nationwide.