87% Increase Over Last Year's Audience!........
CHARLOTTE NC - SPEED coverage of the ARCA Racing Series season opener from Daytona scored a Nielsen Household Rating of 2.30 (1,723,000 households), a 59-percent increase over last year's 1.45 (1,062,000 households). Highlighted by the stock car debut of Danica Patrick, race coverage peaked at 2.66 (1,997,000 households), up a stunning 72 percent from last year's peak of 1.55 (1,137,000 households).
According to Nielsen Media Research, 2.4 million viewers tuned in to see the Saturday afternoon race, an 87-percent increase over last year's audience of 1.3 million.
"The Daytona ARCA race always has been a strong performer for SPEED," said network President Hunter Nickell. "We expected a ratings bump from the ‘Danica factor,' but this is much more than a bump. There is no question that her strong debut performance is great news for her, her team and everyone involved in the sport. She handled an intense amount of attention and drove an excellent race."
The Nielsen ratings, which positioned SPEED as the No. 1 network in basic cable during the time slot, were the highest ever for an ARCA race and rank only behind SPEED's exclusive coverage of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race as the highest ratings ever for the network.
Motor sports veteran journalist and SPEEDtv.com reporter Robin Miller agrees Patrick's debut was a ringing success.
"For somebody who's been a Danica ‘tub-thumper' the last decade, I was proud of how she handled everything and learned on the fly, but I wasn't surprised," said Miller, a long-time coverer of Patrick's open-wheel career. "It might have surprised some people who think she's just a pretty face or a PR gimmick, but I hope they understand she's a good little racer. And people should keep things in perspective -- this was an ARCA race and Nationwide will be 10 times tougher. I think she needs to run the whole ARCA season and maybe a couple Nationwide races at the end of the season, but that's just me. I just know that for somebody who had never raced a stock car before, she did a damn fine job."
SPEEDtv.com complemented the on-air coverage with exclusive streaming in-car cameras, a dedicated roof camera, as well as pit-to-car radio communications. Nearly 20,000 unique visitors accessed the offerings, staying on the site for an average of 26 minutes.
SPEEDTM, anchored by its popular and wide-ranging coverage of NASCAR, is the nation's first and only cable television network dedicated to automotive and motorcycle racing, performance and lifestyle. Now available in more than 79 million homes in North America, SPEED is among the industry leaders in interactive TV, video on demand, mobile initiatives and broadband services. For more information, please visit SPEEDtv.com, the online motor sports authority.
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