Wednesday, Dec 08

NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series Deliver Viewership Gains Across NBC Sports in 2021

NBC Sports once again produced a number of viewership milestones for its 2021 NASCAR coverage, including year-over-year viewership increases for both the Cup and Xfinity Series and and NBC Sports’ most-streamed seasons for both series on record.

NBC Sports’ 2021 NASCAR Cup Series viewership across NBC and NBCSN produced a Total Audience Delivery of 2.562 million viewers, according to Nielsen and digital data from Adobe Analytics, slightly up vs. viewership for the comparable races on NBC and NBCSN in 2020 (2.560 million viewers), excluding weather-impacted races.

The Cup Series season was capped by Kyle Larson’s first-career championship last Sunday at Phoenix Raceway on NBC, which produced a TAD of 3.274 million viewers (1.95 HH rating, 3.214 million TV-only), up 6% from last season’s championship race on NBC (3.093 million viewers) to rank as the most-watched fall Phoenix race since 2018.

Additional Cup Series viewership highlights:

  • More than half (11 of 20) of the race windows saw year-over-year viewership gains vs. 2020, including six consecutive races from Michigan (Aug. 22) to Las Vegas (Sept. 26);
  • Indianapolis (Aug. 15 on NBC) and Michigan (Aug. 22 on NBCSN) were the highest-rated sports events of their respective weekends;
  • Indianapolis, Michigan, Road America (July 4 on NBC) and Daytona (Aug. 28 on NBC) made NBC/NBCSN the most-watched TV network during their window.

The 2021 Cup Series also featured the first-ever simul-streamed races on Peacock (Texas, Martinsville and Phoenix) and delivered NBC Sports’ most-streamed NASCAR season record in terms of Average Minute Audience (30,000 viewers) and total minutes (109 million minutes). The Phoenix Cup and Xfinity Series races rank as NBC Sports’ most-streamed NASCAR races on record.

Knoxville led all markets for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series on NBC and NBCSN with a 5.3 local rating, followed by Greenville-Spartanburg (4.6) and Greensboro-High Point (4.2). Following are the Top 10 markets for 2021 campaign:

Rank Market HH Rating
1 Knoxville 5.3
2 Greenville-Spartanburg 4.6
3 Greensboro-High Point 4.2
t-4 Charlotte 3.3
t-4 Hartford-New Haven 3.3
t-6 Richmond 3.2
t-6 Louisville 3.1
t-8 Birmingham 3.0
t-8 Nashville 3.0
t-10 Dayton 2.8
t-10 Raleigh-Durham 2.8

NBC Sports also saw viewership gains for its coverage of the 2021 Xfinity Series, producing a TAD of 982,000 viewers to rank as its most-watched Xfinity Series season since 2018, up 6% vs. 2020 (924,000).

Saturday night’s championship race in Phoenix on NBCSN produced a TAD of more than 1 million viewers (1.030 million), up 4% vs. last year. This season also marked NBC Sports’ most-streamed Xfinity Series year on-record in terms of AMA and total minutes.

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