NBC's first-ever Indy 500 delivers 11% ratings increase

Simon Pagenaud (NBC Sports file photo)
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(AP) – 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 NBCSports.com 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.

MORE: Ratings for Indianapolis 500 bounce back in first year on NBC

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.

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