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NASCAR, FOX extend, expand rights agreement

NASCAR.com

NASCAR and FOX Sports announced Thursday that they have extended their multi-platform rights agreement struck last October for two additional seasons beyond 2022. The announcement comes 10 days after NASCAR's 10-year deal with NBC Universal, and the two agreements secure NASCAR television rights through 2024.

The FOX extension begins in 2015 and adds exclusive rights to three additional NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races and 14 NASCAR Nationwide Series events. Financial terms were not disclosed. According to the Sports Business Daily, FOX and NBC combined will pay $8.2 billion for NASCAR TV rights from 2015 through 2024.

"FOX Sports has been an outstanding partner for NASCAR and we could not be more pleased with the additional commitment they are making to our sport and the fans," said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. "FOX Sports has delivered for our fans a number of innovations that have changed how our sport is presented, and our entire industry has now come to expect excellence from NASCAR on FOX. We believe this new agreement underscores our shared commitment to the fans over the next decade."

Last fall, NASCAR and FOX announced that FOX Sports Media Group retained the television rights to 13 consecutive Sprint Cup Series races each year, beginning with the Daytona 500. In addition, FSMG secured the rights to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, the Sprint Unlimited, the Duel at Daytona, the entire NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season and practice and qualifying for the Sprint Cup and Truck Series races that FSMG broadcasts.

"FOX Sports is now the exclusive home of NASCAR, the most popular racing series in America, for the first five months of every season through 2024," said FOX Sports Co-Presidents and COOs Randy Freer and Eric Shanks. "The Nationwide Series is second only to NASCAR Sprint Cup as the most-watched auto racing in the country.  FOX Sports now owns the sport every weekend from Speedweeks and the Daytona 500 through June, and we expect these events to provide significant viewership for FOX Sports 1. The addition of Nationwide to the 1,100 hours of original motorsports programming already scheduled clearly puts FOX Sports at the front of the race to serve motorsports fans in the U.S."

FOX Sports began broadcasting live NASCAR races in 2001 and will launch its new all-sports network, FOX Sports 1, on August 17 with a live broadcast of the Camping World Truck Series race from Michigan International Speedway as the network's first-ever live event.

"It's very gratifying to have a network like FOX and a parent company like News Corp make such a big investment in the sport of NASCAR as they grow their properties, (including) FOX Sports 1 and all of their other multi-media platforms," said NASCAR VP of Broadcasting and Productions, Steve Herbst.

NASCAR will be an anchor property for FOX Sports 1 and has been a large part of the promotional efforts to launch the new network. This new agreement marks the return of the Nationwide Series to FOX Sports, a series it broadcast as part of its original package beginning in 2001.

Herbst noted that cross-promotion between the FOX properties was important to NASCAR. "You've got Nationwide Series races on FOX Sports 1," Herbst said. "You've got Sprint Cup Series races on FOX and how they promote back and forth is going to be really beneficial to us."

Last week, NASCAR announced a 10-year agreement with NBCUniversal, beginning in 2015, for exclusive rights to the final 20 Sprint Cup Series races -- including the season finale returning to network television for the first time since 2009 -- and the final 19 Nationwide Series events through 2024.

The NBC deal also includes broadcast rights to the NASCAR Hall of Fame ceremony and season-ending banquets as well as rights to certain NASCAR K&N Series, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Toyota (Mexico) events and Spanish-language broadcast rights on Telemundo and Mun2 for national series events and the Toyota (Mexico) Series races.

Beginning in 2015, NASCAR's top two series will be on the networks of FOX in the first half of the season and NBC in the second half. Herbst likes the balance between the two companies and says fans will appreciate knowing where the races will be each week.

"You know week to week exactly where and when your race is going to be...," Herbst said. "It creates a good flow and good balance throughout the season? on network and cable."

NASCAR will have the same number of Sprint Cup races on network television ? 16 -- as it does in the current television package, with nine on FOX and seven on NBC.

As Herbst looked ahead to NASCAR's media landscape through 2024, he took the opportunity to salute the sport's current partners. He also noted how the FOX and NBC deals reaffirm the value of NASCAR programming.

"We currently have terrific partners and global media giants that we deal with at NASCAR," Herbst said. "We've got Time Warner, Disney and News Corp. Of course we'll be moving on (in 2015) from Time Warner and Disney, but here comes News Corp with an expanded presence and a bigger investment along with Comcast.

"It just goes to show the impact of NASCAR in a global way and the impact of the NASCAR brand and what that means in the marketplace. We drive great value to the industry as well as the wider marketplace as Madison Avenue and others look at NASCAR as the big-time property that it is."

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KEY SUMMARY: 2015-2024

? NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: First 16 points races (9 on FOX Sports, 7 on FOX Sports 1)
? NASCAR Nationwide Series: First 14 points races (14 races on FOX Sports 1)
? NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: All races
? NASCAR Sprint Unlimited, Budweiser Duels and NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race
? 'TV Everywhere' live-streaming rights for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

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