From the race track to the links, last weekend was a very good one for Turner
Turner revved up its highest ratings ever for its NASCAR coverage, putting
the checkered flag down on a 5.3 household rating for the Pepsi 400 on Sunday
Aug. 18 from 2 p.m. to 5:20 p.m., according to Nielsen Media Research data.
The race from Brooklyn, Mich. was the highest-rated show in basic cable the
week of Aug. 12 through Aug. 18.
The Winston Cup series race surpassed the 5.2 household rating parked by the
network's coverage of the New England 300 on July 22, 2001.
Last Sunday's event was also TNT's best-ever NASCAR race in delivering adults
18 to 34 and adults 25 to 54.
Through three Winston Cup events, TNT is averaging a 4.9 household rating, a
17 percent improvement from a 4.2 at this stage in the stock car circuit a year
Moreover, TNT's presentation of the NASCAR Busch series race from Michigan on
Aug. 17 produced a 1.8 household rating from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., a 20 percent
advance from the 1.5 generated by the corresponding event last year.
Last Saturday's race was the second-highest-rated Busch event for TNT,
trailing only the 2.16 household mark driven by the EAS/GNC Live Well 300, which
preceded the Daytona 500-stock car racing's crowning event-last Feb. 16.
'Our [NASCAR joint-venture] partner NBC got off to a great start with the
highest-rating ever for the Daytona 500, and we've been rolling right along
too,' said Mark Lazarus, president of Turner Sports and Turner Entertainment
Group sales and marketing. He noted that the Peacock and TNT are building on the
strong first half of the NASCAR performances Fox and FX.
That momentum is also translating on Madison Avenue. 'Sponsors recognize the
value of this programming,' said Lazarus. 'Our NASCAR schedule is mostly
sold-out for the balance of the year.'
TNT also scored well with its four-day coverage of golf's final major
tournament of 2002, the P.G.A. Championship from Hazeltine National Golf Course
from Chaska, Minn.
From Aug. 15 through Aug. 18, TNT's daytime coverage averaged a 2.2 household
rating, 5 percent greater than in 2001, and the highest for the tournament since
Additionally,the 2002 P.G.A. tourney marked the network's best-ever
in terms of delivery (1.82 million households), men 18 to 49 (563,000), men 25
to 54 (641,000) and adults 25 to 54 (808,000).
'Sure, having Tiger [Woods] in the hunt helped. But the P.G.A. is an exciting
event. People are interested in big events,' said Lazarus.
TNT recently extended its contract for the P.G.A. Championship through 2011.