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NBC’s first Indy 500 reverses ratings slide

INDIANAPOLIS (Fort Wayne’s NBC) – The first broadcast of the Indianapolis 500 on NBC brought the highest ratings since 2015 and reversed a four-year downward trend for the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

NBC on Monday said preliminary Nielsen figures showed a 15-percent increase over 2018, the final broadcast of the race by rival ABC.

The Indy 500 scored a 3.9 overnight rating this past Sunday. The last time more people tuned in was in 2015, when the race received a 4.3.

NBC heavily promoted its broadcast on a variety of platforms and brought in big names including Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick alongside primary host Mike Tirico.

An exciting finish and relatively cooperative weather likely also contributed to the ratings growth.

NBC’s contract to air the Indy 500 runs through 2021.

Jonathan Shelley

Jonathan Shelley is the news director at WPTA TV, which he joined in 2016 following nine years in a similar role in New Orleans and previous news management positions in Oklahoma City and Las Vegas.

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