NASCAR expanded its proposed midseason package to 10 races, rather than the six that it had been shopping originally, several sources tell SBJ’s Adam Stern and [John Ourand].
NASCAR has been in the market to sell its media rights, starting with the 2025 season, for the better part of the year. Incumbent broadcasters Fox and NBC agreed to renew their packages months ago, though nothing has been announced formally.
A midseason package of races has proved harder to sell. Originally, NASCAR planned to carve out a six-race package. But now it’s shopping a package that includes as many as 10 races in the hopes that the added races will entice new bidders to close the deal. NASCAR created the midseason package with races currently carried by Fox and NBC, meaning those two broadcasters will have less inventory in the next deals.
Both Amazon and Turner remain front-runners to pick up the midseason package, sources say. It is possible that the two could split the package, with each getting five races. NASCAR hopes that one of the media companies will agree to take the entire 10 races.
ORIGINAL POST 10-16-2023: When NASCAR executives sat down earlier this year to plot a strategy around the circuit’s upcoming media rights negotiations, they knew talks would not be as straightforward as they were the last time their rights were up.
It’s not a bursting sports rights bubble that cynics have been predicting for the past three decades. But as consumers continue to drop their pay-TV subscriptions and move toward streaming services, media companies have started giving these deals a lot more scrutiny.
In the case of bigger properties, like NASCAR, that means deals are taking much longer to complete than its executives originally expected.
Back in the spring, sources said to expect new NASCAR deals by the middle of summer. In the middle of the summer, they pushed the likely agreements to Labor Day. This week, executives did not want to hazard a guess, not even off the record.
By all accounts, NASCAR’s negotiations are going smoothly. Fox and NBC have told NASCAR officials that they want to renew at slight increases over their current deal. To help secure a healthy increase in overall media revenue, the circuit carved out a package of six midseason races. Amazon and Turner have showed the most interest in that package.