2021 IndyCar season most watched in NBC’s tenure

NBC has announced that this year’s NTT IndyCar Series saw the best combined broadcast/cable season in five years.

2021 IndyCar season most watched in NBC’s tenure

NBC Sports’ coverage of the NTT IndyCar Series’ 2021 season delivered its most-watched IndyCar season on record, NBCSN’s most-watched season on record, and the best combined broadcast/cable viewership for the series in five years.

For the 15 races across NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports digital platforms, IndyCar averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 1.223 million viewers, up 19 percent compared with last season’s average viewership, up 10 percent on 2019 and the most-watched season for the IndyCar Series since 2016 (1.310 million averaged between ABC and NBCSN.

IndyCar coverage on NBCSN averaged 632,000 viewers this season, the best in the network’s history, up 46 percent compared with 2020, and up 49 percent on 2019. NBCSN also delivered two of its top four most-watched races on record in 2021 – the inaugural Music City Grand Prix in Nashville (1.212m viewers to rank as the network’s most-watched IndyCar race ever) and believed to be the most-watched cable race for the series in 23 years.

The 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 powered the NBC broadcast network saw a substantial viewership increase this season, with 5.581m viewers, up 51 percent on 2020 and up two percent on 2019. For NBC’s eight races this season, the network averaged a TAD of 1.722 million viewers, up 16 percent on 2020.

In addition, 2021’s Mid-Ohio IndyCar race averaged a TAD of 1.303m viewers to stand as NBC Sports’ most-watched IndyCar race to date, excluding Indy 500s. Viewership topped the previous NBC Sports record set during last year’s primetime Texas race on NBC (1.256 million). 

In July, IndyCar and NBC Sports announced a multi-year extension to their media rights agreement, continuing NBC Sports as the exclusive home of the NTT IndyCar Series.

The 2022 IndyCar season will feature a record 14 races on broadcast network NBC, headlined by the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29.

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