Fox coverage of eNascar race breaks esports viewing record
The latest instalment of the virtual racing series launched last month by Nascar, the USA-based stock car racing series, became the highest-rated televised esports event of all time on Sunday.
The Texas Motor Speedway round of the eNascar competition, called the iRacing Pro Invitation Series, attracted a total of 1.3 million viewers to Fox Sports and the main Fox channel.
Fox is one of Nascar's main TV rights partners.
The virtual races are being organised to fill the void left by the suspension of the Nascar season amid the global coronavirus pandemic, and the series has been created with the support of iRacing, the online racing simulation publisher and a Nascar partner.
The previous audience record was set for the inaugural round in March, when 903,000 viewers tuned in for the Homestead-Miami race on Fox Sports 1.
Unsurprisingly, the Texas race was the most-watched sports broadcast of the day, according to Nielsen.
Last year’s real-life Texas Motor Speedway race attracted 3.65 million viewers to Fox Sports.
Internationally, the latest virtual race secured coverage in 165 territories worldwide, ensuring a reach of 300 million households outside USA, and 400 million overall.
Overseas broadcasters included Viasat in the Nordic region, ESPN Latin America, TSN in Canada and Discovery in India.
The eNascar series will continue until at least mid-May, with the real competition suspended until 9 May at the earliest. The next round is set for 5 April, with a virtual round at the Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee.
The races feature 35 actual drivers from across the Nascar series, including the Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Gander RV and Outdoor Truck Series, as well as Nascar legends.