Fox Sports & NBC will focus on “second screen” in NASCAR coverage

As Fox Sports heads into 2015, it is taking more of a "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" philosophy with the second screen. Fox Sports executives view established social media sites like Facebook and Twitter as the place where its viewers can have a second-screen experience. During this year's NASCAR coverage, for example, Fox Sports plans to program highlights, commentary, photographs and behind-the-scenes information on its NASCAR Facebook pages.

"You go where the people are," Fox Sports President Eric Shanks said at an industry conference last month. "It's naïve to think that you can wave a magic wand and that there's going to appear a second screen that's more powerful than Facebook."

Sports networks are making some second-screen inroads with the launch of streaming services. NBC Sports Group executives, for example, have found that putting content around the live streams for "Sunday Night Football" helps keep online viewers watching the game longer. Both NBC and Fox plan to stream every NASCAR race this season and will program second-screen applications around those services.

"We'll play around as much as we are allowed to around our streaming product and make that not only a first-screen but a second-screen experience," NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus said last month. Both Lazarus and Shanks believe the streaming services will help Fox and NBC attract younger viewers to their NASCAR programming. Lazarus also said that NBC's marketing plan, which will include NBC's entertainment and news assets, also should help attract younger viewers. Sports Business Daily

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