Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fox Locks Up NASCAR

Although NASCAR has battled major attendance problems in recent years, TV broadcast rights are at an all time high. NASCAR is currently in an eight-year, $1.76 billion dollar agreement with Fox. The new deal will see those dollars increase by 36%. The new eight-year deal running through 2022 with Fox is worth $2.4 billion.

The broadcast rights agreement will include the entire Camping World Truck Series as well as thirteen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. One new aspect of this deal takes place starting in 2013. In 2013, Fox Sports Media Group will gain increased rights to "TV Everywhere." In "TV Everywhere," viewers will be able to live stream all Fox Sports Media Group races. Included in this will be access to pre and post race coverage and highlights. In the Internet age that we live in, live streaming is critical to sports success. It is often easier for viewers to have access to the Internet then it is for them to sit in front of a TV.

It seems that both sides are very happy to have reached a new deal. NASCAR Chairman and CEO, Brian France, said, "We are thrilled to be able to extend our relationship in such a significant way for our track partners, race teams, and most importantly our millions of loyal and passionate fans. This extension with FOX Sports Media Group helps position the sport for future growth as NASCAR continues to be an anchor with one of the world's largest and most influential media companies." Fox Sports Media Group's Co-Presidents and CEOs, Eric Shanks and Randy Freer, said, "With our commitment renewed, we look forward to presenting NASCAR thoroughly, professionally and creatively for many years to come."

Final Thought
Personally I do not care to watch NASCAR. I have heard through friends that it is quite the experience to attend a race. For NASCAR fans this new deal should be great news. In a time where attendance is lacking, NASCAR was able to reach out and renew an impressive deal with Fox. NASCAR fans will also now be able to watch races live streamed starting in 2013.

The deal between Fox and NASCAR was done quickly after Fox reassured that the World Series in baseball would stay on Fox. Fox and Major League Baseball agreed to an eight-year contract that will run through 2021. These deals are speculated to have been made in preparation for a big move from Fox. Fox has been rumored to be interested in rebranding its Speed Network into an all-sports network similar to ESPN. I know that I would not mind seeing some competition for ESPN.

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