NHRA to remain on ESPN through 2016
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will be featured on ESPN through 2016 as part of a five-year, multimedia rights agreement extension between the National Hot Rod Association and ESPN. The NHRA has appeared exclusively on the ESPN networks since 2001. By the end of the extended agreement, the partnership will have been in place for 16 years.
As part of the agreement, the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series will continue to be showcased on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD. The NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series is the premier sportsman series in drag racing and, for many aspiring racers, serves as a stepping stone for the future stars of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
“The NHRA continues to deliver strong results across our multimedia platforms, and this extension is our long-term commitment to the NHRA and drag racing fans around the world,” said Julie Sobieski, ESPN vice president, programming and acquisitions.
In 2009, same-day coverage of qualifying and finals airs on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD for all 24 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Viewership has grown in the past few years as a more consistent schedule has been developed, with finals coverage for 18 of the 24 events scheduled to air in evening viewing hours in 2009. ESPN2 is available in more than 97 million households.
“This partnership has allowed us to solidify one of the important pillars of our sport into the next decade,” said Tom Compton, president, NHRA. “During this relationship we’ve seen the NHRA Full Throttle Series showcased as one of the first properties in HD on ESPN2 and one of the flagship properties on the network. We appreciate the continued evolution our programming has enjoyed as it provides comprehensive coverage for devoted and casual fans and serves as a marketing tool for NHRA to reach a new audience of general sports enthusiasts.”
NHRA coverage also is distributed internationally by ESPN International to more than 130 countries, representing 15.7 million international households. NHRA programming is also featured on ESPN Classic. The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will continue to have a presence on ESPN360.com in 2009, continuing a strategy that began last year, and ESPN.com will continue to offer in-depth NHRA coverage. ESPN and NHRA will continue to work together on promotions designed to drive viewership.