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NBC’s first-ever Indy 500 is most watched in three years

NBC’s first-ever broadcast of the Indianapolis 500 showed an 11% ratings increase over last season according to NBC, Nielsen and Abode Analytics.

Sunday’s race averaged a combined 5.446 million viewers watching on NBC and online via and the NBC Sports app. The audience peaked at 6.7 million for the final 15 minutes when Simon Pagenaud used a late pass to defeat Alexander Rossi.

The broadcast-only average of 5.414 million viewers makes it the most-watched Indianapolis 500 in three years. NBC took over the broadcast rights this year from ABC, the network that had aired the race for 54 years.

It was also NBC’s most-watched Sunday afternoon sports event since the NFL wild-card game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears on Jan. 6, which averaged 36.0 million.