That's how I'd describe last weekends ratings. It took me a while to get them this time for a variety of reasons but here they are.
The taped broadcast of the final TORC race of 2009 that ran from 1:30-2:30 PM Eastern on 11/08/09 and was the lead-in broadcast for that weekends NASCAR race (which earned a 3.7 rating and 4.25 million households) rated a 0.5. The 0.5 rating equates to approximately 575,000 households tuning in to the race. Conservatively estimating each household at say 1.1 viewers per household, it should mean that around 633,000 people viewed the race on ABC.
Compared to other events on the weekend the TORC broadcast was behind Figure Skating (0.7 rating), Bull Riding (0.8 rating), and the Fedor-Brett Rodgers fight (2.5 rating). The TORC broadcast did finish ahead of NBC's World of Adventure Sports broadcast (0.3 rating).
The previous TORC race on ABC back in early September grabbed a 0.4 rating, meaning this represented a 25% increase in viewership, though was still down 29% from the initial 0.7 rating from June's broadcast of the first TORC event.
For the year the TORC broadcasts averaged a 0.53 rating and 609,000 households (roughly 670,000 viewers per show). Not too bad but still less than 1/2 what the CORR broadcasts were grabbing on NBC a year earlier.
Just as an aside and just in my own opinion, it may be that these ratings are the reason that Rally Racing will remain within the X-Games in 2010 instead of being replaced by short-course style events. ABC and ESPN know that their stadium version of Rally Racing has always made for good TV and solid interest and it has not been shown as of yet that short-course garners the same interest right now.
You can attribute the lack of stellar ratings for TORC in '10 for whatever reason you like (poor promotion by ABC/ESPN, taped vs. live, early scheduling putting the broadcast on in the mid morning for the West Coast, etc.) but it will be interesting to see what ABC/ESPN2 do with the shows in '10.
I do need to thank Paulsen at Sports Media Watch for helping me get these figures. Thanks!