- Deal runs from 2025 through to the end of the 2031 season
- First time Xfinity Series will be aired on FTA television
- All content to be fully produced by Nascar Productions
Nascar has signed a seven-year broadcast deal to air its second-tier Xfinity Series on The CW Network.
Starting in 2025, The CW will show all 33 races live, along with practice and qualifying, until the end of the 2031 season. According to multiple US reports, the deal is worth US$800 million over its duration.
This represents the first time that all Xfinity Series races have been made available on free-to-air (FTA) television in the US.
All content will be fully produced by Nascar Productions, which will have a new US$28.5 million facility up and running in time for the start of this deal. This will be done in collaboration with The CW, which is majority-owned by Nexstar.
Nascar Xfinity Series drew an average of around one million viewers per race on a combination of cable and broadcast television. This new contract will move the series exclusively to broadcast television.
“Landing the Nascar Xfinity Series is a game changer for The CW and our CW Sports division and represents another important building block in our programming strategy,” said Dennis Miller, president of The CW.
“Live sports are the most watched television content and with The CW’s national reach, moving Nascar Xfinity Series to The CW will transform and elevate the viewing experience for the series and its fans.”
Brian Herbst, senior vice president for media and productions at Nascar, added: “CW’s leadership shared a compelling vision for cultivating the next generation of Nascar talent by bringing the Nascar Xfinity Series exclusively to broadcast television and we are thrilled for the opportunity to partner with them.
“With more than one million viewers tuning in each week to see Nascar’s future stars battle some of its biggest names at our most legendary tracks, Nascar Xfinity Series consistently delivers the moments that excite current fans and create new fans of our great sport.”
This follows a trend of The CW becoming more involved in live sports, having already signed a multi-year partnership to broadcast LIV Golf in the US, but it also won’t be the media company's first involvement in motorsport, as the network distributed the six-part IndyCar docuseries ‘100 Days to Indy’.
The move to air the series full-time on a commercial network should provide Xfinity with more eyeballs in the long run, even if The CW is not as broadly popular a network as Fox or NBC. This will, of course, take a bit of viewer education when it comes to Xfinity fans moving over to The CW in 2025.
For Nascar, the agreement provides a valuation benchmark for a second-tier property which was previously included in the broader rights package. Nascar’s US$8.2 billion worth of agreements with Fox and NBC also covers the Craftsman Truck Series, but those deals expire after the 2024 season. It remains to be seen if the third-tier Truck Series will also be carved out of the package for the elite Nascar Cup series and what impact taking Xfinity out of that agreement has on the price networks are prepared to pay.