The 2012 Daytona 500 was postponed to Monday, and further weather delays and insane wrecks took the race deep into the night, which is why the ratings for NASCAR's biggest event of the year were down from a year ago.
As Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated tweeted, the ratings dropped from last year but were up by a large margin from two years ago.
The Daytona 500 drew a 7.7 overnight rating on FOX, down six percent from last year but +10% from 2010.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) February 28, 2012
While the ratings were down, they weren't horrible. Up 10 percent from 2010 is a great sign for NASCAR, and the primetime slot probably had a hand in that.
It wouldn't surprise me if fans that went down to Daytona were traveling back on Monday and missed seeing the race on FOX. It was the first time the Daytona 500 had been postponed to the following day, which played a role in the drop of ratings.
How Much of the Daytona 500 Did You Watch?
I'll admit I was wrong in thinking the postponing of the race wouldn't hinder ratings, but then again, the massive pileups from beginning to end more than likely took away some viewers.
Plus, the casual fan may not have known the race was on Monday or they were invested in other shows. Monday is a popular night for television, as TVByTheNumbers.com points out each of the four major networks had a solid night in terms of ratings.
When Jimmie Johnson, Danica Patrick and other drivers crashed on the second lap, it wouldn't be a shocker if those viewing at home quickly became uninterested.
Starting at 7 p.m. allowed FOX to own the night, but competing against hit primetime TV Shows took a toll on their ratings. It sure didn't help that big-time wrecks delayed the race well into the night.