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Fox laps up Daytona

Nets scores biggest event in sports

Fox’s great sports year continued Sunday with an exciting Daytona 500 that tied the best rating ever for a NASCAR race.

Sunday’s Daytona 500, which featured four lead changes in the final nine laps, delivered a preliminary 10.9 household rating/23 share, according to Nielsen — up from last year’s 10.6/24 and matching the record 10.9 rating NBC delivered with the event in 2002.

Over the last five years, the Daytona 500 has established itself as one of the biggest events in sports. Its household rating average over that span (10.5) is higher, for example, than the last five final rounds of golf’s Masters (9.6) and the last five years of horse racing’s Kentucky Derby (6.9).

As an example of the sport’s growing popularity outside of its traditional Southeast wheelhouse, each of the top five markets delivered best-ever Daytona ratings: New York (5.5/12), Los Angeles (5.3/14), Chicago (9.0/18), Philadelphia (10.4/18) and Boston (8.6/19).

The 2005 Daytona 500 caps a massive 12-month period for Fox Sports, which also televised the World Series last October and the Super Bowl a couple of weeks ago.

Fox and NBC alternate airing the Daytona 500.

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