Fox to begin contract negotiations with NASCAR
NASCAR's current television contract runs through 2014, but Fox Sports chairman David Hill said the network will begin its negotiations on an extension this season.
"You never stop negotiating," Hill told The Associated Press this week. "But, it will start to get hot in the next three or four months."
Fox shares the Sprint Cup Series schedule with TNT and ESPN. The network partnered with NASCAR in 2001 on a six-year deal, and extended once, by eight years, through 2014.
NASCAR chairman Brian France said last month the series is happy with its current television partners.
"My expectation is they want to renew their involvement with NASCAR, and my hope is at the right time we'll figure that out together," France said. "The sports landscape in general, as you know, has heated up quite a bit, so we will be in a good position at the right time. We're having conversations."
Fox broadcasts 13 points races on NASCAR's 36-race schedule.
Hill said he'll never publicly discuss negotiations but insisted his passion for NASCAR - and auto racing in general - has not waned and the sport is good product for the network. He also pointed to last year's improved ratings as proof Fox and NASCAR are a good fit.
"I think the whole season last year was a huge change in two things, and the most important was the young male demographic started to come back," Hill said. "I think last year was a hugely important year for all of NASCAR, because I think we finally got over the debacle of the introduction of the Car of Tomorrow. The Car of Tomorrow was probably one of the greatest marketing mishandlings since they brought out new Coke." SI.com