After only two races on the 2016 Mello Yello Series tour, the all new NHRA television partnership with Fox Sports is already paying dividends with increased NHRA TV ratings. The NHRA press release below shows a dramatic increase in viewership in very important demographics. A very gutsy call is being rewarded by the viewers. The real questions now become: How much more will they grow? And, Can we make them all WFO Radio NHRA Nitro podcast listeners? We certainly hope so.
GLENDORA, Calif. (March 9, 2016) – NHRA’s revamped race coverage on FOX Sports earned more than 300,000 additional viewers through the first two Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events of the season, which included the Circle K NHRA Winternationals at Pomona, Calif. on Feb. 14 and the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Phoenix on Feb. 28.
“We’re extremely happy with the numbers from our first two events on FOX Sports 1,” said Peter Clifford, NHRA president. “Our fans’ response has been incredible and we look forward to continuing to provide a great product on FOX the rest of the season. Our audience is trending younger and we are keeping our viewers tuned in for longer periods of time during each telecast. It is a terrific start with our new television partner.”
According to Nielsen Media Research, FOX Sports 1’s airings of the two NHRA events realized a 15 percent increase over the same two events last year. The 2016 coverage had a total of 2.6 million viewers for the finals telecasts, qualifying shows and re-airs on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2.
“The power of our partnership with FOX Sports is the number of hours of programming and increased opportunities it gives our fans to watch NHRA,” said Ken Adelson, NHRA vice president of broadcasting and executive producer. “This is exactly what we were hoping to see.”
Circle K NHRA Winternationals coverage reached more than 1.4 million viewers, including the two qualifying shows, Sunday finals show, and re-airs the following week. The CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals reached more than 1.2 million viewers overall, with a 300-percent increase on Saturday night qualifying from the previous year.
“Seeing the early ratings for NHRA races on FS1 is tremendously encouraging,” said Patrick Crakes, FOX Sports senior vice president of programming, research and content strategy. “We worked closely with them to put together a very aggressive television package for 2016 and beyond, and to get off the line with some momentum is exciting for everyone involved.”
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series, NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.