IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Delivers Improving TV Numbers in 2020

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship delivered, even in a pandemic, for NBC and NBCSN TV in 2020.

In numbers released by NBC, IMSA produced a 21% increase in viewership from 2019. The sports car series averaged 242,000 viewers for its 19 races televised by the NBC and NBCSN, significantly up from the past two years.

NBC Sports’ 2020 IMSA WeatherTech Championship coverage across NBC and NBCSN averaged 242,000 viewers, according to Nielsen. It’s been a strong two-year run for IMSA on the NBC network, as IMSA averaged 199,000 viewers for its races in 2019.

In 2018, on FOX, FS1 and FS2, IMSA brought 128,000 viewers to the TV for its races.

Season-long viewership highlights are headlined by NBC Sports’ coverage of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 26, which averaged nearly 1 million viewers (996,000) on NBC to rank as the most-watched IMSA race since 2014 (Petit Le Mans, 2014; 1.160 million).

In addition, coverage from Sebring International Raceway on July 18 on NBCSN produced the network’s most-watched IMSA race in the past two seasons, averaging 358,000 viewers.

By comparison, NBC reports that the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series averaged a TAD of 3.235 million viewers on NBC, up 3% vs. 2019, while NBC Sports’ NTT IndyCar Series viewership on NBC and NBCSN was up 2% vs. 2019 to 664,000, when excluding the rescheduled Indianapolis 500.

The 2020 Indianapolis 500 in August was not a hit with TV audiences, as the race drew an all-time low rating of 2.3 (3.737 million viewers). The traditional Memorial Day weekend race draw 5.489 million viewers in its first year on NBC in 2019.

IMSA is on the rise, at least in terms of TV viewership. Are you bullish on the future of IMSA? Join in the discussion in the comments section.

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