IndyCar Lets Exclusive Negotiating Window With ABC/ESPN, NBC Pass

Mark Miles
Mark Miles knows NBC cannot take the whole season because NBC has the 2nd half of the NASCAR season meaning IndyCar will get pummeled like it is now. A full season on ABC is the best bet. There is no other motorsports on ABC and they could give IndyCar the attention and promotion it needs. That needs to be in writing in the contract.

The exclusive negotiating window that IndyCar’s media rights partners had has passed, series CEO Mark Miles said. That means the series is now free to talk to all parties both in the traditional and digital media world. IndyCar’s media rights deals with ABC/ESPN and NBC Sports expire after ’18, and the series had been engaged in recent months in exclusive talks with those parties. The exclusive window passed within the past few weeks, Miles said, and he added that such a scenario was expected from the get-go. Miles said IndyCar has made clear that it wants to explore the option of having one TV partner air the entire schedule.

There has been speculation that NBC appears to be more of a favorite to land the rights given that it has been increasingly touting itself as the home of motorsports, but execs note ABC/ESPN has broadcast the Indianapolis 500 for decades, which it may not be keen on giving up, and that ESPN’s new OTT package revealed this week could also give ESPN added incentive to land some or all of IndyCar’s rights. IndyCar is consulting with Bevilacqua Helfant Ventures over the media rights talks. Adam Stern/SBD

Editor's Note: If the new TV deal does not put 100% of the races on network TV, IndyCar's days are numbered. Teams are hurting for money like never before, hence why Ganassi took the Honda money and why Andretti is forced to take the Chevy money next year. Why are things so bad? Because ratings on NBCSN are abysmal.

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