A dramatic shift in NASCAR's media rights is clearly on the horizon, and the first big step has already been set in motion, as the NASCAR Xfinity Series looks to be bound for streaming.
There are two companies that have shown great interest in picking up NASCAR's second-tier series. There have also been talks about the possibility of a six-race package of Cup races that could also be bought by a steaming company. Amazon looks to be the possible leading candidate for those streaming packages. That six-race deal would be very similar to what TNT had with NASCAR up until the 2014 season.
According to Sports Business Journal, nothing has been finalized yet, but sources predict that NASCAR will have some form of agreement on its new broadcast and streaming deals by July 4.
NASCAR's current media deals with Fox and NBC run through the end of the 2024 season. There has been plenty of pushback between NASCAR, team owners, and some drivers, as many haven't seen eye-to-eye during their closed-door meetings. This disconnect was seen in April, when many of the sport's top owners skipped that month's meeting with the NASCAR governing body.
The exclusive negotiation period between NASCAR and its existing broadcasters ended at the beginning of this month, and NASCAR executives have met and talked with several different media and tech companies that are interested in NASCAR's media rights. Fox and NBC look to be in a good position to renew their current deals, with Fox keeping the first half of the season including the Daytona 500, and NBC having the second half of the season, including the playoffs.
The move to streaming has quickly become very popular, and this move for NASCAR will all but follow other major sports into streaming, much like how Amazon already has Thursday Night Football with the NFL.
NASCAR has already experimented with streaming, as some of their NBC races have been simulcasted on NBC's streaming service Peacock. Meanwhile, Amazon sees the chance of getting media rights to NASCAR as a way to boost their Amazon Prime subscriptions to NASCAR's vast fanbase.
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