Sunday averaged 591,000 viewers, according to figures released by
, and it was NOT the most watched IndyCar race in the history of cable channel
, as promoters claimed and some published as fact.
Let me repeat that last part: It was not the most watched IndyCar race in Versus history.
The history of IndyCar racing on Versus is only one year old, but a race in Edmonton in July was watched nationally by more viewers than Baltimore's. That telecast delivered 642,000 viewers.
The 591,000 viewers is in line with what I predicted yesterday using preliminary ratings and TV homes as a rough yardstick for viewers. And it is a far cry from the 3.5 million viewers mentioned in this press release from the city in May 2010 heralding the Grand Prix agreement. It is about one-sixth that audience.
Actually, the race was broadcast into the homes of at least 76 million "domestic" viewers on Versus and over 100 million on
. But an average audience of only 591,000 persons in all those homes watched, according to the figures released today. That's why I have been saying since Sunday let's wait for these numbers and not let the mayor's tweets and race promoters spin us into declaring Baltimore's Grand Prix a "TV hit" and the "most watched race" in Versus "history," which at one year is not exactly the history of the
As I said Sunday, you can send out all the positive images and messages of Baltimore that you want, but it doesn't mean millions will see them. This really is Communications 101: No one telecast is ever going to "change the way the world sees" anything. Are the mayor's words not textbook hype?