IndyCar’s promising 2022 season has returned the fruits of the series’ labor: The sport’s viewership numbers have continued to grow, topping previous NBC records, Racer reports.
From the article:
NBC Sports’ 2022 coverage of the NTT IndyCar Series delivered the most-watched IndyCar season since 2016 and was the group’s most-watched season on record, NBC reports, having improving on last year’s totals by 5 percent.
The 2022 season averaged a Total Audience Delivery (including streaming viewers) of 1.30 million viewers across NBC, USA Network, Peacock and NBC Sports digital platforms, up from 1.24m in 2021. TAD is based on data from Nielsen and Adobe Analytics.
Further, half of the season’s 16 races saw more than one million viewers, which is the greatest number since 2008. And that’s alongside 1.44 million viewers at St. Pete, the most-watched non-Indy 500 IndyCar event in 11 years.
All that despite IndyCar’s strange schedule this year, which saw a monthlong gap between the season opener and the subsequent race.
There used to be a time when IndyCar actively rivaled both Formula 1 and NASCAR in terms of talent, audience, and desirability. Unfortunately, internal divisions within the sport saw it fracture at the height of its popularity, a decision that ultimately ended up nearly killing American open-wheel as we knew it. The different factions united in 2008 before that could happen, and IndyCar has been fighting an uphill battle for legitimacy ever since.
So, while the current viewership numbers may not be immediately impressive when compared to other sports or even other forms of motorsport, IndyCar’s growth has been consistent for several years — and the growth this past year is a sign that further success is on the horizon.