Ratings Roundup: NASCAR Ends on a High Note

After a season in which ratings dropped 20%, NASCAR ended its season with an uptick. Sunday’s dramatic Ford 400 drew a 3.3 overnight rating on ESPN, up 3% from the same race last year (3.2, ABC). The NASCAR finale saw Jimmie Johnson clinch his fifth consecutive Sprint Cup Championship and was the highest-rated 2010 Chase for the Cup race on any network. The final rating is expected to beat ABC’s 2009 rating of 3.6, making it the first ESPN/ABC race this season to log a ratings increase…

…The World Cup hangover appears to have worn off. The MLS Cup posted its lowest overnight rating since at least the late 1990s. The Colorado Rapids’ championship-winning victory over FC Dallas earned a 0.5 overnight rating on ESPN Sunday night, down 44% from last year (RSL/L.A.: 0.9, ESPN). The 0.5 is the lowest for the MLS Cup since at least 1998. This is the fifth straight year, the seventh time in eight years, that the MLS Cup has failed to draw at least a 1.0 overnight rating…

…As usual, the NFL’s marquee regular-season matchup between the Patriots and the Colts drew big ratings. The game’s 16.7 overnight rating is the second-highest of the year (Colts-Eagles, Week 9) for CBS and the seventh-highest of any network this season. The 16.7 overnight rating is up 12% from last year (Jets-Patriots, 14.9)…

…The Philadelphia Eagles’ 27-17 takedown of the Giants on Sunday Night Football was the fourth-highest-rated game in SNF history, registering a 15.9 overnight rating. That is the best November primetime NFL rating since 1998 (Packers-Steelers, Nov. 9) and up 31% over last year’s Week 11 game (Eagles-Bears, 12.1).