Nascar lands seven-year ‘US$7.7bn’ broadcast rights deal

Fox, NBC, Warner Bros Discovery and Amazon secure packages between 2025 and 2031.
  • Record annual value of US$1.1bn
  • Fox and NBC to carry 14 Cup Series races each
  • Amazon and WBD to split 10 mid-season races equally
  • Prime Video and TNT Sports also gain exclusive rights to practice and qualfiying sessions

Nascar has secured a seven-year media rights extension worth ‘US$7.7 billion’ with Fox Sports, NBC, Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), and Amazon.

The US$7.7 billion figure represents a 40 per cent increase on Nascar’s current US$820 million-per-year media rights deal, according to Sports Business Journal.

Including the Xfinity Series deal carved out to The CW Network, the average annual value of the contracts is US$1.1 billion.

From 2025, 38 Nascar Cup Series races will be split between the four broadcasters, inclusive of the 2031 season.

Disney-owned Fox and Comcast-owned NBC will continue to carry the majority of races, with 14 events each. In the previous deal, Fox received 18 Cup Series races and NBC aired 20.

Cup Series races will appear across both Fox and FS1, with the entire 23-race Craftsman Truck Series season aired on FS1.

NBC, meanwhile, will once again receive the playoffs as part of its deal and is set to feature a mix of races and content on NBC, USA Network and over-the-top (OTT) platform Peacock. 

Amazon and WBD are the two new broadcasters to join the fray, with Prime Video and TNT Sports to broadcast five races each.

The stock car racing series originally looked to carve out six to eight mid-season races for a streaming platform, but this was expanded to ten events after it proved more difficult to sell than anticipated.

Nascar hoped for a sole bidder for this new package, but it was unable to convince a direct-to-consumer (DTC) service to make the long-term commitment.

Amazon marks Nascar’s first DTC partner, while WBD will simulcast its five races across TNT Sports and OTT platform Max.

Prime Video is currently working with Nascar on a Garage 56 documentary, while TNT’s deal includes Nascar content being posted across Bleacher Report’s social, digital and mobile platforms.

Both broadcasters also gain exclusive rights to all practice and qualifying sessions. Prime Video will cover all sessions up until the last race of its mid-season package – with the exceptions of the Busch Light Clash, the Daytona 500 and the All-Star Race, which remain with Fox. TNT Sports will stream the second-half of the season on Max and air on TruTV. 

“Our goal was to secure long-term stability with an optimised mix of distribution platforms and innovative partners that would allow us to grow the sport while delivering our product to fans wherever they are – and we’ve achieved that today,” said Steve Phelps, president of Nascar.

“Nascar has been a cornerstone property for both new and established platforms for several decades. These agreements demonstrate the staying power of our sport and the consistent, large-scale audience it delivers. This landmark deal underscores our collective growth opportunity to drive engagement across this diverse collection of platforms – whether on broadcast, cable or direct-to-consumer.

“With the talented young drivers, exciting new teams and record-breaking racing we’ve seen since the Next Gen car was introduced in 2022, we’re looking forward to working with each of these partners to bring some of the best racing in the world to fans everywhere.”


BlackBook says…

With Nascar teams searching for up to US$18 million each per season from this new media rights deal, the stock car racing series had to diversify to increase revenue.

Live sports viewership is falling – the number of pay-TV households in the US has dropped from just under 100 million in 2016 to 68.5 million in 2022 – so a transition to including streaming platforms makes sense, especially in a bid to reach younger viewers.

However, Nascar aimed for three broadcast partners but has ended up with four. In a bid to drive revenues, it is passing on the cost to its consumers. Now, it risks inciting subscription fatigue with its viewers, while making it more difficult for fans to know where to find races.

If you include the second-tier Xfinity Series, viewers will have to watch Nascar across five different broadcasters. They will also need to switch between two platforms for the majority of events if they want live coverage of both qualifying and race sessions.

While it’s the most valuable media rights deal agreed in Nascar history, it is also the shortest since the very first package was bundled together between 2001 and 2006. Broadcasters are not yet ready to make a long-term commitment to the multi-platform approach, especially with uncertainty around the future of the media landscape as DTC platforms evolve.

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