• We Need a Bigger Podium: Last Sunday’s eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race from virtual Richmond Raceway had 971,000 viewers tune in to the simulcast on FOX and FS1, making it the third-most watched esports event in U.S. television history. The March 29 eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race from virtual Texas Motor Speedway remains on the podium’s top step with 1.34 million viewers. The April 5 eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race from virtual Bristol Motor Speedway takes the second step with 1.179 million viewers. The first eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race March 22 at virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway earned 903,000 viewers on FS1 alone. And while the Texas race dwarfed that number by 47 percent, the Homestead race was, for at least one week, the most watched esports event in U.S. television history, having bested the previous record of 770,000 viewers when Mortal Kombat aired on The CW in 2016.
• iRacing’s Real-World Context: Last Sunday’s eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race from Richmond was the second-most watched sports event of the weekend. The most-watched sports event? Michael Jordan ‘The Last Dance’ documentary on ESPN.
• New Viewers Assimilate to Sim Racing: According to Nielsen, one million unique viewers who did not watch any of the four real-life NASCAR Cup Series races prior to the sports industry’s necessary hiatus to combat the spread of the coronavirus did tune in to one of the four eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series races held thus far.
• Kind of a Big Deal: A total of 5.4 million unique viewers have watched at least one eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race via FOX, FS1 and the FOX Sports app.
• Bet On It: The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series has been cleared and approved by the Nevada Gaming Control Board for wagering. Two types of bets are allowed for the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series: winner of the race and head-to-head winner between drivers. Provisions for licensing the event includes a posting of the official rules for the tournament organizer and that all bets must cease once a race has started. Additionally, each bookmaker is allowed to create its own odds.