>


Advertisement
Hot News
for your iPhone
for your iPad
Go to our forums to discuss this news
DATE News (chronologically)
02/16/13
nassprint
Race is on for NASCAR TV rights
The race is on to see which network fills the broadcast gaps of the next NASCAR Sprint Cup Series television deal.

Successfully fighting through a period of declining ratings, NASCAR finds itself in a catbird position, since the stock-car racing league extended its deal with Fox in September at a premium level.

Fox Sports got the jump on its broadcast rivals by inking an eight-year extension, including the rights to the prestigious Daytona 500, worth $2.4 billion. The package includes rights to the first 13 Cup Series races of the season.

It breaks down to approximately $300 million per season, up from the current $220 million a year deal. The current TV deal with all broadcast partners is worth $2.8 billion.

NASCAR Chairman/CEO Brian France was giddy after the Fox deal was done.

"NASCAR has been in very good hands and has enjoyed tremendous success the last 12 years in large part because of our fantastic partnership with Fox," France said.

"NASCAR has been a staple at Fox for more than a decade and we consider it one of the signature sports we cover," Fox buzzed in a news release. "With our commitment renewed, we look forward to presenting NASCAR thoroughly, professionally and creatively for many years to come."

The current NASCAR TV contract includes TNT, which lost its exclusive rights to NASCAR digital content on Jan. 1, and ESPN. TNT broadcasts six Cup Series races during the summer, including the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

ESPN, which got back into the business of NASCAR racing in 2007, carries the heaviest load. The sports network currently broadcasts the final 17 Cup Series races and the entire NASCAR Nationwide Series. Its deal expires after the 2014 season.

Now that Fox has upped the ante and locked in the next contract, ESPN may be in a bidding battle with sports content-starved NBC, which will soon be owned entirely by cable giant Comcast.

The negotiations, and anxiety levels, are expected to heat up this summer. A deal should be in place by the fall. How tight are these discussions? NBC and TNT refused comment on the TV contract. NASCAR is trending lightly on the subject.

"It will be an interesting period, for sure," NASCAR director of entertainment communications Scott Warfield said. "We're not in a place where we can talk about much."

ESPN has been on both sides of the sword. The network was heavily involved with NASCAR racing by doing deals with individual tracks in the 1980s and '90s.

NASCAR collected all TV rights following the 2000 season. ESPN was shut out of the first comprehensive contract (2001-06) then rebounded back into the sport in 2007.

Julie Sobieski, ESPN vice president of programming and acquisitions, says the network stays in constant communications with NASCAR.

"We have a long history with NASCAR as a sport," Sobieski said. "We very much welcome the opportunity to work with them and have a partnership with them long into the future.

"We will have conversations with them up until our window of opportunity to have a more in-depth conversation opens. It's a great sport. It's had some great ratings the last couple of years."

ESPN, which got back into the business of NASCAR racing in 2007, carries the heaviest load. The sports network currently broadcasts the final 17 Cup Series races and the entire NASCAR Nationwide Series. Its deal expires after the 2014 season.

Now that Fox has upped the ante and locked in the next contract, ESPN may be in a bidding battle with sports content-starved NBC, which will soon be owned entirely by cable giant Comcast.

The negotiations, and anxiety levels, are expected to heat up this summer. A deal should be in place by the fall. How tight are these discussions? NBC and TNT refused comment on the TV contract. NASCAR is trending lightly on the subject.

"It will be an interesting period, for sure," NASCAR director of entertainment communications Scott Warfield said. "We're not in a place where we can talk about much."

ESPN has been on both sides of the sword. The network was heavily involved with NASCAR racing by doing deals with individual tracks in the 1980s and '90s.

NASCAR collected all TV rights following the 2000 season. ESPN was shut out of the first comprehensive contract (2001-06) then rebounded back into the sport in 2007.

Julie Sobieski, ESPN vice president of programming and acquisitions, says the network stays in constant communications with NASCAR.

"We have a long history with NASCAR as a sport," Sobieski said. "We very much welcome the opportunity to work with them and have a partnership with them long into the future.

"We will have conversations with them up until our window of opportunity to have a more in-depth conversation opens. It's a great sport. It's had some great ratings the last couple of years." Daytona Beach News-JournalOnline.com

Hot News Archives
2000 2001 2002 2003
2004200520062007
2008200920102011
2012201320142015

Search Hot News
Search Help