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DATE News (chronologically)
07/24/13
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ESPN, Turner out of NASCAR; NBC to pay $4.4B (2nd Update) UPDATE #2 NBC will pay $4.4B over 10 years for rights to ESPN's entire NASCAR package, plus half of Turner's six races, according to sources familiar with the deal. That represents a significant media rights increase for NASCAR over the more than $2.28B paid by ESPN and Turner Sports combined for the same number of Sprint Cup and Nationwide races in their current 8-year agreements. This comes after NASCAR received a more than 30% increase in its earlier deal with Fox that covers the first half of its season.

While NBC and NASCAR would not confirm financial terms, they did discuss other details of their new deal, which will see races return to NBC in '15. Deal terms have NBC picking up the rights to the final 20 races of the Sprint Cup Series season, which encompasses all of ESPN's package and half of Turner's six-race package. Seven of those races will be carried on the NBC broadcast channel; 13 will be available on NBC Sports Network. NBC also picks up rights to the last 19 NASCAR Nationwide Series events – four of which will be on NBC and 15 on NBCSN. Turner's other three races, as well as 14 Nationwide Series races, still are available; Fox Sports is viewed as the most likely suitor for these races. The increase is significantly less by percentage than the renewals networks paid for the NFL and MLB recently, sources said. Last year, ESPN, Fox and Turner paid agreed to an increase that doubled the average annual payout for their MLB packages. And the NFL saw average annual increases in the 50% to 65% range in 2011.

Terms give NBC rights to NASCAR practice and qualifying sessions, the K&N Series, Whelen Modified Tour, Toyota (Mexico) Series, HOF induction ceremony and season-ending banquets. As part of the deal, NBC also picks up Spanish-language, VOD and TV Everywhere rights. [So in essence it will be all-NASCAR all the time.] SportsBusinessDaily.com

07/23/13 Financial terms of NBC's deal were not available, but sources familiar with it said it was as much as a 50% increase from what ESPN paid for the Sprint Cup series and half of the Nationwide Series. Turner's package of six Sprint Cup races, as well as the first half of the Nationwide Series, remain available, according to sources. Fox is considered a likely bidder for both those packages. Turner and ESPN, which are in the seventh year of eight-year agreements valued at $2.74B overall, had an exclusive negotiating window with NASCAR that ended July 14. When they did not finalize extensions, NASCAR turned to NBC.

Sources familiar with the organization said there was a debate about leaving ESPN. There was concern the move would hurt the sport's exposure to casual sports fans who watch "SportsCenter," "PTI" and other ESPN programs. But sources said NASCAR execs made the choice to go with NBC for several reasons beyond its willingness to outspend its competitors. NBC's broadcast plans are not known, but the network had been pitching NASCAR on returning the Sprint Cup series to broadcast TV and could air races on Sunday afternoons on NBC prior to its "Sunday Night Football" broadcast. It also offered a chance to cross-promote NASCAR with the Olympics. Lastly, the sport's leaders have a level of comfort with NBC Sports Group Chair Mark Lazarus, who previously worked with NASCAR when he was president at Turner Sports. Lazarus consulted NASCAR on its upcoming TV negotiations when he was at Atlanta-based CSE before he joined NBC. NBC was disappointed when it lost NASCAR to ESPN in '06. SportsBusinessDaily.com

07/23/13 ESPN and Turner Sports will be out of the NASCAR business after next season, according to several sources. NASCAR is planning a press conference later today to announce that Fox and NBC will share rights to the sport starting in 2015.

Financial terms of NBC’s deal and its broadcast plans aren’t known, but the network had been pitching NASCAR on returning the Sprint Cup series to broadcast TV and could air races on Sunday afternoons on NBC prior to "Sunday Night Football." NBC also picked up rights to the second half of the Nationwide Series.

It’s unclear if those races will be on NBC or NBC Sports Network. SportsBusiness Daily

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