[Source: ABC press release]
ABC’s live telecast of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 25, earned a 3.8 fast national rating, averaging 5,941,000 viewers, according to Nielsen Fast National data. The rating and viewership are up from last year’s telecast, which earned a 3.7 rating and averaged 5,735,000 viewers.
Among metered markets, Indianapolis led the way with a 12.9 rating, while Louisville was second with 9.4. Dayton, Ohio, was third at 8.2, followed by Albuquerque (7.3) and Portland, Ore., (7.0).
Cincinnati (6.8), Columbus, Ohio (6.6), Fort Myers, Fla., (6.4), Greenville, S.C., (6.2) and Tampa-St. Petersburg (6.0) rounded out the top 10. Nine of the top 10 markets were up over last year, with only Dayton slightly down (8.2 vs. 8.6 last year).
Other markets with notable increases included Chicago, 15th nationally at 5.6 (up from 4.9 in 2013), Milwaukee (19th, 5.3, up from 5.0), Kansas City (22nd, 4.8, up from 3.6), and Dallas-Fort Worth (28th, 4.4, up from 3.6).
The presence of NASCAR star Kurt Busch in the race as he made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut possibly helped lead to increases in Indy 500 ratings for some traditionally strong NASCAR TV markets. In addition to the top 10 placing by Greenville, which rose to a 6.2 rating from last year’s 5.0, Jacksonville, Fla., had a large increase from 3.6 last year to 5.9, 11th in the country.
The Richmond, Va., market was 17th with a 5.6, up from last year’s 4.1; Greensboro, N.C., was 18th with a 5.5, up from 4.1; and Charlotte was 21st with a 5.2, up from 4.2. Birmingham, Ala., and Atlanta also saw increases.
As compared to last year, ABC’s telecast was up 12 percent in the Persons ages 18-49 demographic and up eight percent in the Male 18-49 category.