Report: Amazon and Warner Bros Discovery competing for mid-season Nascar rights package

Series looking to carve out six to eight mid-season races in new broadcast package.

Nascar is ramping up efforts to create a mid-season package of races, with Amazon, Warner Bros Discovery and an unnamed third broadcaster in competition, according to Bloomberg.

The current US$8.2 billion, ten-year agreements with Fox Sports and NBC Sports ends next year, but it has long been suggested that Nascar was exploring direct-to-consumer (DTC) deals.

The current plan is to offer between six and eight races during the summer months, similar to the six-race package carried by the Warner Bros-owned TNT until 2014.

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The Bloomberg reports says Warner Bros Discovery is interested in televising races during the National Basketball Association (NBA) offseason. The company also wants to expand its live sports offering for its Max streaming service.

Following the ground broken by Amazon's with its deal to stream National Football League (NFL) Thursday night games, the blockbuster agreement signed by Apple and Major League Soccer (MLS) is evidence that digital-focused packages can be made to work.

Nascar is looking to replicate this strategy, and the stock car racing series has already opted to sign a US$800 million, seven-year deal with The CW Network for its second-tier Xfinity Series.

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This is further evidence of the changing landscape of sports broadcasting, with cable TV no longer the assured route to your audience.

Nascar is certainly shifting its strategy in how it approaches its fans, recently making the move to offer a full archive of Cup Series races online for free.

While average viewership rose last year to around three million per event, this number is down four per cent compared to 2018, according to Nielsen data.

Increasing the number of broadcasters will not only increase the number of revenue streams for Nascar, but it will also ensure multiple access routes for its audience.

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