NASCAR to squash IndyCar on NBC Sports?
[Editor's Note: If you look at history, no matter what TV broadcaster IndyCar chooses, eventually NASCAR comes in with their war chest of sponsor money, floods the channel with NASCAR shows, and smothers IndyCar so it remains inconsequential. These are the kind of moves monopolies make to kill off their competition.]
While NBC Sports just announced new Stamford, Connecticut facility will not be up and running for over a year, the Stamford commitment from the "new look" NBC Sports Group could be huge for NASCAR. SPEED has recently confirmed with its new TV programming orders that no new NASCAR TV series are on the horizon. That certainly did not sit well with the Charlotte-based NASCAR Media Group (NMG).
The TV production arm of the sport has been searching for new strategic partners. There is little doubt that the NBC Sports Network is going to need a big block of original programming to compliment the live sports coverage at night and on the weekends. The current NASCAR TV partners have been of little help in this regard.
FOX is an over-the-air broadcast network and carries no additional NASCAR programming. TNT has been steadfastly refusing any additional NASCAR TV series for years. That group is six races and done. ESPN has now pushed the NASCAR Now series back to early afternoon and cancelled the later re-airing, essentially killing off the weekday shows.
The NBC Sports Network could potentially partner with NMG in carrying original reality or race footage-based new TV series. There are tons of TV series concepts flying around, but none have gained even a toehold with the current TV partners.
The long-term strategic move of NBC Sports to Stamford could also signal a renewed interest in perhaps luring the company back to televising NASCAR racing. Next year the sport will begin negotiations with interested parties to discuss the top three national touring series. The current TV contracts expire at the end of the 2014 season.
There have been no statements from NBC about an interest in racing coverage, but it's been obvious that the company has been involved in much more fundamental pursuits including building a base of operations. Right now, NASCAR can wait.
It's certainly interesting to consider that by the time 2014 rolls around and the current contracts are over, NBC may present a tremendously powerful combination of broadcast, cable and digital distribution options that could seem very attractive to NASCAR. Daly Planet