NASCAR Announces Historic Media Rights Agreements with FOX, NBC, Amazon and Warner Bros. Discovery

NASCAR Announces Historic Media Rights Agreements with FOX, NBC, Amazon and Warner Bros. Discovery Partners Join The CW on Seven-Year Deals Covering All NASCAR National Series Races from 2025-2031

NOVEMBER 29, 2023 (Daytona Beach, Fla.) – NASCAR today announced it has reached new seven-year media rights agreements for the NASCAR Cup Series with four best-in-class distribution partners – FOX Sports, NBC Sports, Amazon’s Prime Video and TNT Sports, a division of Warner Bros. Discovery – to deliver live coverage of all 38 NASCAR Cup Series races beginning in 2025 and extending through the 2031 season. Financial terms of these agreements were not disclosed.

FOX Sports and NBC Sports will continue to carry the majority of NASCAR Cup Series races with 14 events each. The FOX Sports portion of the Cup Series schedule, which kicks off the season with The Busch Light Clash followed by ‘The Great American Race,’ The DAYTONA 500, will also include live events for the entire NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series season. NBC Sports’ coverage of the Cup Series will encompass the final 14 events of the season, including the Playoffs and Championship race. Both partners will feature a mix of broadcast and cable events, with five Cup events airing on FOX and four on NBC annually. The remaining events will air on FS1 and USA Network, respectively.

As part of this historic agreement, the NASCAR Cup Series will welcome two new broadcast partners in 2025 – Prime Video and TNT Sports – that will evenly split a series of 10 midseason races. Both have also obtained exclusive rights to practice and qualifying sessions for the entire Cup Series schedule through 2031. NASCAR’s first fully direct-to-consumer partner, Prime Video will stream practice and qualifying live for the first half of the season through their last race of the midseason series with the exceptions of the Busch Light Clash, DAYTONA 500 and NASCAR All-Star Race, which will remain with FOX Sports. TNT Sports will initiate its coverage with the next five midseason races simultaneously broadcast live on TNT and streaming on the B/R Sports Add-On on Max. Practice and qualifying for the remainder of the season will stream on Max and air on truTV.

“Our goal was to secure long-term stability with an optimized 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 NASCAR President, Steve Phelps. “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.”

“These agreements not only show NASCAR’s importance to the sports and entertainment ecosystem, but also the willingness of some of the world’s largest and most respected media companies to make significant investments in America’s leading motorsport,” said Senior Vice President, Media and Productions, NASCAR, Brian Herbst. “The media landscape is rapidly evolving, with new distribution platforms providing more options to the consumer than ever before. This is the right mix of media partners to promote and deliver content around our sport – positioning NASCAR for growth across different mediums and giving our fans uninterrupted access on the established platforms that they are already using. We are excited to work with this best-in-class group of media companies to deliver the best of NASCAR racing and the excitement of live sports to our fans.”

FOX Sports - Building upon a successful relationship of more than two decades, FOX Sports and NASCAR have extended their multi-series media rights agreement to carry 14 NASCAR Cup Series races, including practice and qualifying for the Busch Light Clash, DAYTONA 500 and NASCAR All-Star Race as well as exclusive rights for the entire 23-race NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series schedule from 2025 through 2031. As in previous years, NASCAR Cup Series races will appear on both FOX and FS1 with all NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series races on FS1.

“We are proud to begin the next chapter of what will soon be a three-decade relationship with our friends at NASCAR,” said FOX Sports CEO and Executive Producer Eric Shanks. “As the continued home of the DAYTONA 500, we look forward to getting every season off to a roaring start.”

NBC Sports - Continuing its coverage of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs for an additional seven years, NBC Sports will air the final 14 races of the season culminating with the Cup Series Championship Race. This multi-platform agreement will feature a mix of races and content on NBC, USA Network and Peacock in 2025-2031.

“We are thrilled that the NASCAR champion will continue to be crowned on our platforms for years to come,” said NBC Sports President Rick Cordella. “Whether it’s the unpredictability of a superspeedway, a Playoff cutoff race, or the championship finale, NBC Sports will use its wide array of platforms to present the dramatic conclusion to every NASCAR season for what will be 17 years at the end of this extension.”

Prime Video will exclusively stream five NASCAR Cup Series races as part of the streaming service’s first foray into live motorsports. As part of this seven-year deal, Prime Video will also offer exclusive coverage of practice and qualifying for the first half of the NASCAR Cup Series season (excluding The Clash, Daytona 500 and All-Star races). Prime Video is also working with NASCAR Studios on an upcoming Garage 56 documentary. All NASCAR races, qualifying, practices, and other content will be available to Prime members in the U.S.

“NASCAR is the most popular motorsport in the country, and we can’t wait to deliver Cup Series racing to Prime members in the U.S. for the first time,” said Jay Marine, vice president and global head of sports at Prime Video. “We are excited to find ways to get NASCAR fans closer to the racing than ever before, and we are proud to contribute to the growth of the sport in the years ahead.”

TNT Sports – which has previously had a 32-year history with NASCAR – will offer NASCAR Cup Series content across multiple platforms. TNT Sports races will stream live on the B/R Sports Add-On on Max, along with the return of live race telecasts on TNT for the first time since 2014. All second-half practice and qualifying events will be simulcast on Max and truTV. Bleacher Report will also feature NASCAR content across its social, digital and mobile platforms.

“We are thrilled to welcome NASCAR back to TNT Sports, and build on our rich, shared history of providing immersive fan experiences that only our world-class team can deliver,” said Luis Silberwasser, Chairman and CEO, Warner Bros. Discovery Sports. “This agreement expands our portfolio of premium sports content throughout the Summer and further elevates Max and our leading linear networks. We look forward to utilizing all of our resources to create new opportunities for compelling storytelling that connects with our fans, as we present the thrilling action and excitement on the track in innovative ways throughout the entire NASCAR season.”

As previously announced, The CW Network is set to become the exclusive home to the NASCAR Xfinity Series beginning in 2025 and extending through the 2031 season with 33 live races, along with practice and qualifying events each weekend. All Xfinity Series races and ancillary content will be fully produced by NASCAR Productions in close collaboration with The CW Network and will include additional viewing opportunities on The CW’s digital platforms.

CAA Evolution served as the media advisor to NASCAR.

Transcript: NASCAR Media Rights Agreements Press Conference – November 29, 2023
An Interview with: Steve Phelps President of NASCAR; Bryan Herbst, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Media and Productions; Eric Shanks, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Producer of FOX Sports; Jay Marine, Prime Video Vice President and Global Head of Sports; Luis Silberwasser, Chairman and CEO of Warner Brothers Discovery Sports; Rick Cordella, President of NBC Sports

ERIC RYAN: Good afternoon, everybody. I’m Eric Ryan with NASCAR communications. It’s an absolute pleasure to be here with you here in Nashville for this special event ahead of the bulk of the championship week activities that we have.

Welcome to the media, the many special guests in attendance, and all the fans watching on and those listening on Sirius XM NASCAR radio. This is a monumental day for NASCAR, the NASCAR industry, and most importantly, our loyal and passionate NASCAR fans, the very best in sports.

We are absolutely thrilled to be able to officially announce our new media partners, a group of best-in-class content distribution leaders which will lead to increased visibility growth and development in our sport for many years to come. Before we make the announcement and meet the folks who have joined me here on stage today, let’s roll a short video.

So as you can see, awesome things are in store for our great sport, and working alongside tremendous new media partners like the ones here today, we’ll have wonderful announcements shortly.

To my immediate left here is Mr. Bryan Herbst, NASCAR senior vice president of media and productions. Then we have Steve Phelps, president of NASCAR, and then next to him, we have Eric Shanks, chief executive officer and executive producer of FOX Sports. We have Jay Marine, Prime Video vice president and global head of sports, and Luis Silberwasser, chairman and CEO of Warner Brothers Discovery Sports, and lastly, Rick Cordella, president of NBC Sports.

Of course I want to recognize some special guests we have in the crowd, including Mike Beard, president and COO of the CW, our new partner for the Xfinity Series in 2025 who is here for today’s announcement. Thank you for being with us, Mike.

We are also joined by our three national series champions, Mr. Ryan Blaney, Cole Custer, and Ben Rhodes. Thank you, gentlemen, for being with us today, and congratulations.
With that, Steve, let’s jump straight into it and I’ll give you the honor of officially announcing these partnerships.

STEVE PHELPS: Welcome, everyone. It’s a pleasure to have you all here. A shout-out to our two existing partners who have been fantastic, Eric Shanks and his team and Rick Cordella and his team, world-class media companies that have really presented our sport in such a great way to our race fans, and I’d like to welcome Jay Marine from Amazon and Luis Silberwasser from WBD.

We are super excited about what 2025 is going to bring to us because of where the distribution that we now have across air, which is a combination of obviously broadcast, cable and streaming. We want to meet race fans where they are or potentially race fans where they are. We think this group does exactly that for us. So we couldn’t be happier to have them on board.

The other thing I want to talk about very quickly is what our industry, the NASCAR industry, has done to come together, whether you’re talking about drivers, racetracks, our race teams. Our industry comes together better than any other sports property when there’s a mountain to climb, and that’s what happened in 2020. That’s what happened honestly just for the sport overall.

You look at the growth of where the sport is, and I think it’s a testament to the success of the sport to have these world-class media companies all want to be part of our sport, plus the CW.
Thrilled to have these guys come. LA, Seattle, New York, New York, all coming here to say welcome, and excited to be part of our future in 2025.

ERIC RYAN: Thank you for that, Steve. You’ve said this quite a bit, but we’ve talked about the optimization of media rights. Could you talk a bit about how these partners fit that vision of optimization and what that is?

STEVE PHELPS: Sure, well, he didn’t ask that question before so we’ll just riff on this. I think it’s exactly right. When we set out to do the deals, the deals really were a combination of optimizing from a distribution standpoint, where NASCAR was going to be, and obviously there’s a financial component, as well, and we were thrilled with where we netted out on the distribution, and I think that optimization is going to be big for the growth of the sport that we’re going to experience in ’25 and beyond.

Mr. Herbst, the fan is at the center of all this, so can you tell us what the fan can expect beginning in 2025?

BRYAN HERBST: Yeah, I think what we’ve seen over the last five years with the industry working together is you’ve seen schedule innovation, you’ve seen on-track product innovation, but we wanted to continue to push the envelope from a distribution perspective, as well.

Steve spoke about the mix of broadcast, cable, direct-to-consumer and streaming. We wanted to make sure that all the innovation we’re doing from a sport perspective that we were getting in front of new demos and that we were setting ourselves up well for the future.

With FOX starting off the season with the Clash and the Daytona 500, moving into a streaming opportunity with Amazon and Jay’s team that we’re super excited about, a lot of innovation in that summer series over the last two to three years as you guys have seen after Amazon moves off, then we go to Warner Brothers Discovery and Luis’s team with TNT and Max and then finally closing out the season with Rick and the NBC Sports Group.

We have special partnerships and special relationships with our incumbents at FOX and NBC. Steve spoke about how they were there for us through 2020. We think we were there for the networks, as well.

But we really welcome kind of the new partnerships with Amazon, with the CW and with Warner Brothers Discovery. Look forward to kind of what this means from a fan perspective, potential alternate broadcasts, potential to get in front of younger fans, as well, so super excited about the growth behind this new strategy.

ERIC RYAN: Eric, FOX Sports and NASCAR have been partners since 2001, which means when this new deal starts we’ll be celebrating 25 years together. Can you talk about why this is such a great fit and what you envision for the next seven years of this relationship.

ERIC SHANKS: Sure. First I’d like to say thank you to Jim and Ben and Lesa and Mike and Steve and Bryan and Steve for just being longtime friends and great partners, and we can’t wait to start this next new chapter and have great times at any track that we go to with you guys, especially Talladega. (Laughter.)

Look, we will cross three decades when this program, new chapter starts, and nothing makes us more proud than being the one that gets to kick off the season with the Great American Race, the Daytona 500. Everybody in this room has been to it, and everybody knows how special it is and unique it is to start off a sport with its biggest event, and we want to keep pushing and we want to keep making it bigger and better, and it really is one of the crown jewels at FOX Sports.

So we’re looking forward to that, and we know NASCAR is investing a lot to make it even bigger and better, as well.

I’m actually excited to work with all three partners here. This sport is really unique in that we’re not going at the same time. We’re handing off — we’re kind of drafting like off of each other and pushing each other, and I think we each bring something unique to it, whether you’ve been doing it for a long time or whether you’re new and going to bring something new that we can all steal, and we’re going to be collaborating and pushing and helping promote to make this sport successful for all of us. So that’s what I’m excited about.

ERIC RYAN: Thank you. So Jay, Prime Video has quickly become a destination for direct-to-consumer live sports, most notably the NFL and Thursday Night Football, as well as your recent Black Friday Football. What does NASCAR bring to the table in terms of live sports in your programming mix?

JAY MARINE: Yeah, first of all, Eric was not joking about stealing, for anyone who knows Eric. Did you see that? That’s truth. Like that’s truth coming through.

I do want to echo what Eric said, though, and really thank the whole NASCAR team. It’s been fantastic to get to this point, and as Jim just said earlier, it’s really the starting line, again, and I can’t wait for 2025 to get here.

In terms of why NASCAR for Amazon, what we really look for are premium tier 1 sports that can move the needle for Prime, and NASCAR fits that. A sport that has passionate fan base, a large fan base, where the sport is must-see for them. That is extremely valuable.

Ultimately what we’re trying to do is make the Prime membership program more valuable for our Prime members. That’s what we try to do in every decision we make.
So NASCAR fits perfectly with that.
Then we really want to go innovate. We look at this as a seven-year-plus partnership, and we’ll talk about the renewal later, but that’s how we want to invest so that we can innovate for the long-term, and we’re excited to do that. We’re excited to reach a younger audience who may have cut the cord and not watching as much, which we’ve been able to do with Thursday Night Football as an example. We’re excited to be part of it and excited to work across this partnership group, as well.

ERIC RYAN: Thank you for that. I like we’re already talking renewals here. Luis, at WBD sports, you continue to expand your live sports portfolio which is accessible via Max as well as across cable platforms such as TNT and TruTV. What is it about NASCAR that made sense as a pillar in your sports programming?

LUIS SILBERWASSER: Thank you. I think we looked sort of at three big things, I would say. One was through the value of the audience, the very passionate audience that NASCAR has, the large audiences that it brings, and I think to Jay’s point, stealing a little bit of what you said, the idea that we’re in the tier 1 sports business. If you look at what we do, we don’t have a 24-hour sports channel. We really concentrate on a few and big things, and NASCAR fits right in because of the audience, because of the sport. It’s a high-stakes sport. When you watch it, it’s great viewing experience, and I think those are the kind of sports that we want to get behind.

The second one was what could we bring to the table, and when you have a portfolio that has TNT, one of the best cable channels, we have TruTV up and coming as a channel that is going to have more and more sports, we just recently put all of our sports on Max and now it’s becoming one of those primary streaming platforms for sports. We have Bleacher Report and House of Highlights, which is going to play a big role in bringing younger viewers to the NASCAR family.
So from a portfolio perspective, it fits right it with what we want to do.
I think the third thing is the partnership, and I thank the France family for trusting us. It is a big part — we were rightsholders until 2014, I believe, so we know what the combination and the partnership can do together. We’re already imagining sort of new ideas and what we can do differently, and I think that partnership for us was very important.
We look at this as a very long-term partnership, and I know that our sort of world to the best class production team working hand in hand with NASCAR can bring great things to the table, and then when you put all of our assets together, it’s part of the formula here to try to make the sport bigger and better, not only for NASCAR and for the fans but also for us, as well. Very excited about it.

ERIC RYAN: Rick, NBC Sports and NASCAR have a deep and prosperous history. Can you talk about why continuing to have NASCAR as a significant part of your portfolio made sense?

RICK CORDELLA: Well, I think a few things. It starts with the partnership, first and foremost. NASCAR is right at the very top of our portfolio in terms of the tightness, the relationship that we have with the France family, Jim, Lesa, Ben, certainly Steve and Bryan, working with them every day to improve the sport, to continue to drive ratings for NBC Sports.
We know working with them over a long period of time there’s going to be a certain amount of innovation over the last 10 years, stage racing, tweaks to the playoffs. All of that really plays into our wanting to be partners with NASCAR.
Then you look at the product itself. It’s exciting racing. A young crop of drivers hitting the circuit. We’re incredibly excited about how it fits into our Q3 and Q4 schedule, and working with these guys, too, as the anchor leg of the four-by-four relay we’re in here, we couldn’t be more excited about where the sport is going to be in the future.

ERIC RYAN: Thank you for that. Mr. Phelps, I’ll turn it back to you for one last word.

ERIC SHANKS: Wait, I forgot one thing I’m super excited about. As much as it sucks that he’s no longer on the track, what’s going to be new this coming year is that Kevin Harvick is going to be joining us in the booth, and I think he’s here today, and I think I heard Clint somewhere. I’m super excited that Kevin is joining us, and I think you’re going to make not only FOX’s coverage but NASCAR as good as it possibly can be that you’re not on the track. Forgot about that before. Sorry.

ERIC RYAN: Welcome, Kevin.

STEVE PHELPS: I’ll close it out. Interesting listening to these guys talk, and hopefully everyone got as excited as I did listening to them and the unique pieces about what they’re going to bring to our sport. There was a common theme throughout all of them that was really our fans and the quality of our fans, the size of the fan base. They are the best fans in all of sports.
For our fans, what they can expect moving forward is world-class production, distribution that is going to be the same in many cases, and new and others.
It is our job at NASCAR collectively as the stakeholders to bring more and more people into this great sport, and I think what we have just announced today is going to do exactly that.

ERIC RYAN: Thank you to everybody on stage and those in the crowd that helped make this historic announcement happen. We’re thrilled for what’s in store for 2024, and we’re equally excited to embark on this next chapter of our great sport working together with these partners on stage.

Marcus Smith Statement on New Media Rights Agreement

The following is a statement from Speedway Motorsports President and CEO Marcus Smith on today's announcement from NASCAR regarding the new seven-year media rights agreement covering all NASCAR national series races from 2025-2031:

“The new broadcast agreements show that NASCAR continues to be powerful property in the sports media landscape, not only on traditional broadcast television, but now with additional streaming and digital platforms. Our sport continues to be anchored with longtime partners FOX and NBC, and we will now form new alliances with aggressive partners like TNT Sports, the CW as previously announced, and an emerging sports broadcaster like Amazon Prime Video. NASCAR will have an opportunity to reach fans like never before. We are grateful for NASCAR’s hard work on an agreement that benefits all stakeholders and fans of our sport.”

John Davison

Long-time RIS staffer, beginning in the mid-80s. Charlotte, NC area local contact.

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Volume 2023, Issue 11, Posted 6:59 PM, 11.29.2023