Race Team Alliance, NASCAR Struggling with Next Media Rights Deal Negotiations: UPDATE

UPDATE: “NASCAR acknowledges the challenges currently facing race teams. A key focus moving forward is an extension to the Charter agreement, one that will further increase revenue and help lower team expenses. Collectively, the goal is a strong, healthy sport, and we will accomplish that together.”


Original post: The Race Team Alliance says that NASCAR and the teams are far apart in their negotiations over the financial split of the sport’s next media-rights deal, suggesting that the sides are at loggerheads over a crucial aspect of their future. The RTA, the coalition of NASCAR teams, held an extraordinary meeting with a group of media on Friday in Charlotte to discuss the situation after they say that they sent NASCAR a seven-point proposal months ago and received an answer last week that was not to their liking.

The current TV deal goes through 2024, so the proposal was for terms that were to start in 2025. NASCAR will start formal media-rights talks next year with broadcast companies, so teams are attempting to negotiate what would be their split of the next pact in the meantime. The current split is 65% to tracks, 25% to teams and 10% to NASCAR. The RTA has formed a subcommittee of sorts to handle the topic, and the execs who met with the media Friday were the four execs on the subcommittee – 23XI Racing investor Curtis Polk, Joe Gibbs Racing President Dave Alpern, Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing President Steve Newmark and Hendrick Motorsports Vice Chair Jeff Gordon.

The execs said they’ve been having private meetings with NASCAR about the topic all season but that they felt compelled to start addressing the situation more publicly now after not making progress behind the scenes. Several of them described this as a “pivotal moment” for the future of NASCAR.

The theme of the meeting was that the economic model of the sport for teams is broken and needs fixing or else the future of the sport could be in question. The teams say they are not profitable and that the current endless hunt to find sponsorship is becoming both unsustainable and draining their resources from trying to grow other parts of their business. The team leaders said NASCAR’s response was more about cutting costs of teams than trying to grow revenue but that teams are already at their breaking point in that regard and think the focus should be more on trying to grow the pie.

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