With no NASCAR action due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, they too have turned to video games to produce content for fans. And based off of the data from Sunday’s event, it seemed that it was a hit among racing fans.
NASCAR iRacing Event Breaks Records
Two weeks ago, NASCAR announced that a simulation racing series called the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series would bring fans some racing during the outbreak of COVID-19. In the series, racers use NASCAR’s iRacing technology, which allows the drivers to compete virtually. The first event, which took place on March 22, saw Denny Hamlin win the virtual race on FS1 with 903,000 viewers watching on FS1. That race was the most-watched eSports event in TV history, or at least it was until this past Sunday.
This past Sunday’s event smashed the number that NASCAR hit on the 22nd, as 1.33M viewers watched Timmy Hill win the latest race of the Pro Invitation Series. The race, which was broadcast on FOX and FS1, broke the record for the most-watched eSports event in U.S. linear TV history. It’s important to note that FOX was able to garner this rating despite the fact that several markets did not air the race.
The viewership, as well as the .81 combined demo rating, was the second-most watched sports event this past weekend, with WWE’s Friday Night Smackdown being the only show to beat the NASCAR race in the ratings.