Blog Entry

Daytona 500 delivers huge television audience

Posted on: February 28, 2012 4:50 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2012 4:50 pm
Posted by Pete Pistone

From News Release

It took 36 hours to complete from its scheduled start time but fans won’t soon forget the 2012 Daytona 500 and the dramatic events delivered for FOX Sports. For the first time in the race’s 54-year history, rain postponed Sunday's 1:00 PM ET start until 12:00 PM ET Monday with continued showers in the afternoon delaying the green flag until 7:00 PM ET.

  A total audience of over 36.5 million Americans watched last night’s race, according to fast national ratings issued today by Nielsen Media Research, making 2012 Daytona 500 the most-watched in FOX history. The 36.5 million total viewers, a measure of the audience that saw at least a portion of the race, is +22% higher than last year's total audience of 30 million and +22% better than 2010's 29.8 million. Yesterday’s total audience is the second best ever for a Daytona 500 on any network behind 37.0 million viewers in 2006 on NBC.

  FOX won the primetime night among Adults 18-49 and total audience figures, a significant achievement going up against original episodes of popular network programs like ABC’s The Bachelor, CBS’s How I Met Your Mother and NBC’s The Voice, which was -10% lower in the Adults 18-49 demographic last night than it did a week ago. The Daytona 500 on FOX posted a 4.6 and averaged 14.1 million viewers from 8:00 – 11:00 PM ET, making it FOX’s most-watched Monday night in 16 months, dating back to Game 5 of the 2010 World Series. 

  The 2012 Great American Race, which included a fiery crash caused when Juan Pablo Montoya hit a safety truck/track-drying engine and red flagged the race for over two hours, earned an 8.0/14 rating/share and averaged 13.7 million viewers. While down slightly from last year’s Sunday afternoon race that occurred without any significant delays, (-8%, 2011 Daytona 500 - 8.7/20), Monday night’s race was up +4% when compared to the 2010 event (7.7/16), which saw lengthy delays for pothole repairs to the track.

  Ratings for the 2012 Daytona 500 grew gradually through the first two and a half hours, climbing to an 8.2/12 (14.2 million viewers) in the 9:30 half-hour when the Montoya wreck occurred. Ratings grew further at 10:00 PM, peaking at an 8.8/13 (15.1 million viewers.) When the epic race concluded, Matt Kenseth emerged as the winner, capturing his second Daytona 500 victory in four years. 

  Top-rated markets for the Daytona 500 include: Greensboro (18.1/27), Jacksonville (18.1/27), Charlotte (16.7/26), Greenville (16.7/26), Dayton (16.1/25), and Orlando (16.0/26). Markets seeing the biggest growth from last year include: New Orleans (+46%, 7.3 vs. 5.0), Salt Lake City (+33%, 8.1 vs. 6.1), Ft. Myers (+30%, 15.5 vs. 11.9), San Antonio (+17%, 7.5 vs. 6.4) and Tampa (+17%, 12.5 vs. 10.7).

Daytona Speedweeks


Since: Jan 31, 2009
Posted on: March 1, 2012 8:30 pm

Daytona 500 delivers huge television audience

I like the primetime racing.

Since: May 5, 2010
Posted on: February 29, 2012 4:15 pm

Daytona 500 delivers huge television audience

Come on... who didn't see this coming?  Biggest race of the year during primetime on a Monday night.  They would have been fools to go with the original 12PM start time. 

Since: Feb 29, 2012
Posted on: February 29, 2012 1:35 pm

Daytona 500 delivers huge television audience

I totally agree !!! Worst television coverage ever. To many commerical. If they plan to run so many commerical they should do split screen every tiome for the full lenghth of the commericals.

Since: Jul 13, 2008
Posted on: February 29, 2012 11:09 am

Daytona 500 delivers huge television audience

I rarely watch NASCAR when it's on FOX.  If I do, the audio is turned off.  I can't deal with DW and his rambling.  I call him the John Maden of NASCAR.  Pete and re-pete.  Same stories over and over.   Looking forward to  June 10 when TNT picks up the races and then on to ESPN.......

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: February 29, 2012 10:17 am

Daytona 500 delivers huge television audience

forgot to mention...what is the over/under on how many times someone from FOX will mention DW's 1989 500 win throughout the season...???  it really gets old seeing the video and hearing about it repeatedly...and now they have mikey on the payroll...keep the sound down!

Since: Oct 15, 2006
Posted on: February 29, 2012 10:15 am

Daytona 500 delivers huge television audience

There is no question the presence of Danica Patrick increased viewership which is what NASCAR has been needing.  Too bad the biggest NASCAR star Jimmy Johnson was eliminated by a foolish Elliot Sadler early.  Dale Jr. finally had a decent race but wasn't in the hunt until late.  Monday night really helped the numbers and congratulaitons to FOX for a great telecast.  Now if NASCAR will quit fooling with the specs, there may be hope.

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: February 29, 2012 10:12 am

Daytona 500 delivers huge television audience

well...hopefully, nobody gets any bird-brain ideas and decide to run this race at night in the future.  leave that option to the july daytona race.  the amount of commercials just keeps increasing every season and they are SO repetitive.  even the radio broadcasts are full of commercials these days.  daytona 500 is about the only race i care about anymore, so i will just be reading and watching highlights from here on out...btw, get well ken squier, ned jarrett and barney hall!!!

Since: Oct 28, 2011
Posted on: February 29, 2012 12:06 am

Daytona 500 delivers huge television audience

  They may have had a big TV audience last night, but if the FOX coverage continues to be like last night's race I will set my DVR for the rest of their races and watch them at another time. I could not believe the amount of commercial breaks. It seemed like every five laps they would go to commercial. That's basically about 5 minutes of race coverage then a ton of commercial break time. Then back for 5 more laps then go to commercials again. They should have used up the red flag time to jam in all the commercials so that when they went back to green finally they could show the rest of the race commercial free. This is NASCAR, not the NFL !! We're not here to watch OUR Super Bowl for the commercials. We're diehard fans with a vested interest in a particular driver usually. 

  The only thing good about last nights coverage was Jimmie Johnson & Jeff Gordon being out so early. That way we didn't have to listen to LARRY MAC calling Jimmie "OLE 5-TIME" & Jeff "BIG DADDY" all night long. I think it's time to replace Larry Mac in the booth with another retired driver like Rusty Wallace or Kyle Petty. At least they tell it like it is and don't favor anyone when they're calling a race.....

Since: Jun 30, 2011
Posted on: February 28, 2012 10:51 pm

Daytona 500 delivers huge television audience

Because of Danica and it being on Monday night.

I can tell you one thing for certain. Any real race fan knows the story of danica and that story is chock filled with very little actual success. She also proved, and admitted her vision and perception of distance, isn't that good yet for this division. There was no reason for the secondary accident she caused that took out David Ragan and Trevor Bayne - both actual proven talent, driving for under funded teams. She might have been the story of casual interest by people ignorant of the facts, and ignorant of the sport - hell, we had tons of people like that voting in the 2008 presidential election - but fans of the sport weren't tuning in to see nascar's version of Anna Kournikova. *At least Kournikova was stunning to look at, not some boyish looking freak like Manica. I can't stand forced stories and BS PR stunts. Sarah Fisher has talent and Shawna Robinson had talent. Janet Guthrie did not have talent and Manica does not have talent. Keep the cameras on the talent.

Since: Apr 22, 2009
Posted on: February 28, 2012 10:21 pm

Daytona 500 delivers huge television audience

I was the ONLY person in my office that watched the race.  I do not believe that numbers were strong after lap 2. 

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