NBC Sports Group

Sonoma GP ties for 4th most-watched live IndyCar race ever on NBCSN

Leave a comment

STAMFORD, Conn. – September 19, 2018 – NBC Sports’ coverage of the IndyCar Grand Prix of Sonoma championship race on Sunday evening produced a Total Audience Delivery of 638,000 average viewers to tie as the fourth most-watched live IndyCar race on NBCSN in nine years, according to data provided by The Nielsen Company and Adobe Analytics.

Sunday’s viewership of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series finale on NBCSN (7:08-8:57 p.m. ET) was up 19% vs. last year’s race (536,000) to tie as NBCSN’s fourth most-watched race out of more than 100 live races on the network since acquiring IndyCar rights prior to the 2009 season (tied with Pocono; 2015).

Sunday’s Grand Prix of Sonoma is the most-watched live race on NBCSN since Mid-Ohio* in 2016 (811,000). Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing) won his fifth career championship, ranking second only behind A.J. Foyt (7) for the most IndyCar championships in history.

Including IndyCar live look-in coverage that took place during a NASCAR red flag from 6:46-6:54 p.m. ET, the Total Audience Delivery for the race swells to 764,000 average viewers on NBCSN.

NBC SPORTS’ MOST-WATCHED LIVE INDYCAR RACES

RACE

DATE

TAD

Mid-Ohio

7/31/2016

934,000*

Sonoma

8/30/2015

846,000

Edmonton

7/24/2011

642,000

Sonoma

9/16/2018

638,000

Pocono

8/23/2015

638,000

Pocono

8/20/2017

624,000

* The July 31, 2016 Mid-Ohio race was simulcast on NBCSN and CNBC

******************************************

NBC SPORTS BECOMES EXCLUSIVE HOME OF VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES BEGINNING IN 2019

On March 21, NBC Sports and IndyCar announced a new, multi-year media rights agreement in which NBC Sports acquired the rights to present all IndyCar races, qualifying, practices, and Indy Lights races across its platforms beginning in 2019.

The Indianapolis 500 and seven additional Verizon IndyCar Series races will be broadcast annually on NBC, with all remaining races televised on NBCSN. All races will be live streamed to authenticated subscribers on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. Details of NBC Sports’ 2019 INDYCAR schedule will be announced at a later date.

NBC Sports Gold – NBC Sports Group’s direct-to-consumer product – will offer a package to INDYCAR fans that features all qualifying and practices not televised live, all Indy Lights races, and full-event replays. Additional details, including the cost of the Gold offering, will be announced at a later date. Click here for more information.

IMSA’s Bill Auberlen joins NASCAR America to discuss this weekend’s race at Lime Rock

Leave a comment

Turner Motorsport GTD driver Bill Auberlen joined NBC Sports’ Marty Snyder on NASCAR America Presents the Motorsports Hour Thursday to discuss a variety of topics, including Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship race at Lime Rock Park.

Auberlen, alongside co-driver Robby Foley, enters Lime Rock with a great amount of momentum after finishing on the GTD podium at Watkins Glen and taking the GTD class honors in the most recent IMSA race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

There’s also an extra incentive for the duo to win this weekend as well, as Auberlen is one win away from tying Scott Pruett for the most IMSA victories all-time.

Both drivers will have to be on their A-game this weekend, however, as Auberlen stated that Lime Rock is one of the tougher circuits on the IMSA calendar and compared the 1.5-mile Connecticut road course to a short track.

“It’s what we call the bullring of our season,” Auberlen said. “It is a 54-second lap and we’re going to go around it a million times before the end of the day. It’s going to be a hot one, and I think whoever survives this is going to be on the podium.”

Luckily for the GTD and GTLM teams, with no Protoype and LMP2 entries competing at Lime Rock this weekend, the worry of having to yield to entries from the faster classes is gone.

“These Protoypes are so fast now, that interacting with them, you can’t imagine,” Auberlen said. “We have radars in our car that can alert us when they are coming.

“They get on you so fast that if you’re not always looking or something is not telling you they’re coming, you could have a problem and catch into them. That’s gone. Now it’s going to be focus-forward. You’re going to be focused on everything ahead of you. You got GLTM in there at the same time, but they’re virtually the same speed as us – just a little bit faster.

“It’s going to be nice. When you stand on that podium you might be able to go for an overall victory.”

Live race coverage of IMSA’s Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park begins at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBCsports.com and the NBC Sports app with an encore presentation of the race airing later in the evening at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter