NASCAR is in the process of negotiating new TV deals with Fox and other networks. Although the first portion of the Sprint Cup season will probably stay with Fox, the rest has not been decided. ESPN, Turner Sports and other networks are rumored to be interested in airing future races.
NASCAR and Fox
Fox is allegedly interested in broadcasting NASCAR races on a new cable channel that is still in development. Its current deal with NASCAR, valued at $220 million a year, will last through the end of 2014. However, both Fox and NASCAR are interested in negotiating a deal before the expiration of the current contract.
Reports indicate that the network plans on calling its new cable channel Fox Sports 1 and wants to include multiple sports with NASCAR comprising a small portion. The new channel could be an updated version of SPEED. Negotiations between Fox and NASCAR have already started, but they are not expected to be finalized for months.
Other Networks and NASCAR
Fans have already reacted negatively to some of the rumors surrounding future TV deals and the sport. Although many would prefer a move away from cable channels to free networks, NASCAR does not seem to share this sentiment. In an interview in Feb. 2012, Brian France explained the organization's motivation for the initial TV deals as, "I wanted to grow the pie," and this attitude has not changed.
NASCAR is still waiting for TV deals for the second half of the Sprint Cup Series, the entire Nationwide Series and the entire Camping World Truck Series. Its current contracts with Fox, Turner Sports and ESPN will last through the end of 2014, but negotiations always start early. Money is the ultimate decision factor in TV deals, so NASCAR will continue to choose the most profitable option.
It is not clear if Fox will be interested in picking up the second half of the Sprint Cup Series or the rest of the NASCAR season. However, both Turner Sports and ESPN have expressed an interest in continuing to air races in the future. There have also been reports that CBS and NBC may be willing to negotiate with NASCAR.
More from this contributor:
Growing up in Indiana, Lana developed a love for motorsports at an early age. She follows NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula One. Follow @Lana_Bandoim on Twitter.
- Motor Racing
- Turner Sports