International Speedway Corporation Announces Record Television Viewership for the Daytona 500
17 February 1999
International Speedway Corporation Announces Record Television Viewership for the Daytona 500DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.--Feb. 17, 1999--
Record Revenues for 1999 Speedweeks Events
International Speedway Corporation today announced record television viewership for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Daytona 500 and record revenues for the Speedweeks events held at its Daytona International Speedway from January 28 to February 14, 1999. Speedweeks comprises 18 days of motorsports events culminating with stock car racing's most prestigious event, the Daytona 500.
Daytona's 156,000 grandstand seats and vast in-field were jammed to capacity with spectators who witnessed Jeff Gordon win a fight-to-the-finish with Dale Earnhardt, the event's defending champion. Retaining its position as the country's most watched motorsports event on television, CBS Sports estimated the 41st running of the Daytona 500 posted a rating of 9.5 which translates into 29.5 million viewers for the "Great American Race." This represents a 10.5% increase over last year's rating of 8.6 and distinguishes this year's race as the most watched in the event's history. In addition, CBS paid $14.5 million for the right to broadcast the 1999 Daytona 500, the highest fee ever paid for a stock car racing event.
ISC's MRN Radio, "The Voice of NASCAR Racing" and the nation's largest independent radio network, had more than 600 affiliates air programming during Speedweeks including a record number of affiliates
-- more than 525 -- broadcasting the Daytona 500. Also, DAYTONA USA, "The Ultimate Motorsports Attraction," recorded nearly a 17% increase in attendance at the attraction during Speedweeks.
William C. France, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of International Speedway Corporation, commented, "The Speedweeks events kicked off the 1999 racing schedule with record performance due to the extraordinary efforts of ISC's employees and the exponential growth in the popularity of NASCAR-style motorsports. In addition, based on the record-breaking level of television viewers, the Daytona 500 reaffirmed its position as the 'Great American Race.' The event's continued popularity prompted us to add approximately 13,400 permanent seats which sold out for this year's race -- a testament to our strategy of prudently expanding our facilities commensurate with demand."
Mr. France concluded, "Building upon the momentum established at Speedweeks, I look forward to leading the Company through another very exciting racing season. My plan for ISC in 1999 is to continue our emphasis on maintaining strong internal growth while pursuing attractive new opportunities including the ongoing development of new facilities in Kansas City, Kansas and the Chicago market."
International Speedway Corporation is a leading promoter of motorsports activities in the United States, currently promoting more than 80 events annually. The Company owns and/or operates five premier motorsports facilities, including Daytona International Speedway in Florida (home of the Daytona 500), Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama, Phoenix International Raceway in Arizona, Darlington Raceway in South Carolina and Watkins Glen International in New York. Other track interests include the operation of Tucson (AZ) Raceway Park, a 45% stake in Miami Homestead Speedway, and an approximate 12% holding in Penske Motorsports, Inc. . The Company also owns and operates MRN Radio, the nation's largest independent sports radio network, and DAYTONA USA, the "Ultimate Motorsports Attraction" in Daytona Beach, FL, an official attraction of NASCAR.
Statements made in this release that state the Company's or management's beliefs or expectations and which are not historical facts or which apply prospectively are forward-looking statements. It is important to note that the Company's actual results could differ materially from those contained in or implied by such forward looking statements. Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward looking statements is contained from time to time in the Company's SEC filings including but not limited to the 10-K and subsequent 10-Q's. Copies of those filings are available from the Company and the SEC.