While its new multi-faceted broadcast and digital package with ABC and ESPN proved controversial with fans, the American Le Mans Series reports that its opening round – the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring – set an all-time viewership record for the event. The number of households and viewers watching America's oldest sports car race on ABC, ESPN2 and ESPN3.com was more than three times the next-highest total which occurred during the 2009 season, the series says.
“We truly had a terrific race week in terms of on-site fans, television audience, world-class teams from America and Europe – and a great race,” said ALMS president and CEO Scott Atherton. “Tres Stephenson [Sebring International Raceway general manager) and his staff along with the IMSA and ALMS staffs did a marvelous job. We should all be very proud of the results.
“This simply reinforces further that the relevancy of the Series is resonating with fans and viewers. These results are good for our corporate partners as well as those who are passionate about motorsports and the automobile industry.”
The live full-length race telecast of Sebring on ESPN3.com was the most watched auto racing event ever on the outlet, 147 percent over the previous high. The average time spent viewing per unique viewer was 161 minutes – 87 percent higher than the average time spent for all events on ESPN3.com.
“By the numbers, it was a very good week for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron,” Atherton said. “We learned a lot for this first experience that will be immediately incorporated into our future plans. And now it's on to Long Beach.”