The first turn of the 2013 IZOD Indycar series. Courtesy of

Good News, Bad News: St. Petersburg Ratings

So NBC released the ratings for the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, and the good news the ratings are up, but not dramatically so.

According to the St.Pete saw a 78 percent jump in viewership, with 338,000 people tuning in for the race, that’s the good news. The bad news is the total share was still only a .26 percent share. The NASCAR race at Auto Club Speedway later in the day pulled in a 4.5 percent.

There’s no point in going over what a horrible deal Tony George made when he got in bed for Versus, now NBC Sports, with a decade-long contract that apparently has no performance clause. Pretty much every decision, both personal and professional that George ever made was a bad one, and the sport is still paying the price for his baffling decision making tree. So lets just take the good news for what it is, good news.

Ratings are up, NBC Sports is promoting the hell out of the series and cross-promoting it with Formula One. I’m not a ratings expert but it looks like a third of the Indycar audience stayed for the repeat of the Grand Prix of Malaysia, to me that seems like fans are finding the races and staying there. In fairness the NCAA basketball tourney probably didn’t help them grab the casual sports fan.

Beyond that, St.Pete delivered a really great race. I really can’t imagine a better first impression than St. Pete. It wasn’t lap-a-minute thrills like NASCAR’s pack races allegedly provide, but it was an exciting race with a popular winner. Also, there was a photo-finish for fifth place.

So hopefully ratings will continue to grow,Rome wasn’t rebuilt in a day.

Tags: Honda Grand Prix Of St. Petersburg IZOD IndyCar Series James Hinchcliffe

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