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Report: NASCAR selling upwards of 10 summer Cup Series races to streaming platforms

NASCAR: Hollywood Casino 400
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

A Sports Business Journal report on Monday from John Ourand and Adam Stern states that NASCAR has expanded its offer of mid-summer NASCAR Cup Series broadcasts starting in 2025 to digital streaming platforms to at least 10 races.

NASCAR’s current $8.2 billion, 10-year agreement with NBC Sports and FOX Sports is set to expire at the end of the 2024 season. The SBJ report states that NBC and FOX has agreed in principle to an extension but the number of Cup race broadcasts for each would be less depending on the number of summer races NASCAR can sell.

The report states that Amazon (Prime) and Warner Bros Discovery (which has Bleacher Report and Max) ‘remain front-runners’ and that ‘the two could split the package, with each getting five races.’ The sanctioning body would prefer that one of the two would agree to take the entire 10-week summer stretch.

NASCAR has increased the number of races offered from six to 10, hoping it would ‘entice new bidders to close the deal.’

This next television deal, if it gets completed with a digital streaming platform, would be the first time NASCAR has exclusively aired races on something other than over-the-air or cable television. However, the NASCAR Xfinity Series will air on the CW Network starting in 2025, a $800 million deal that was announced back in July.

This year marked the first time that linear TV usage fell below 50 percent. Streaming now accounts for 38.7 percent of television usage. Cable TV subscriptions are down 6.9 percent from last year. The advertising landscape is changing quite rapidly as a result.

The SBJ report articulates the dynamic as cable television ‘trimming costs’ while big streamers like Amazon and Apple are ‘remaining disciplined’ when it comes to spending on sports television rights. It says there is no deadline on making a deal but that NASCAR had hoped to announce a completion by the Championship Week event in Nashville next week.

Sportsnaut can confirm that the lack of a finalized deal between NASCAR and its media rights partners was previously a point of tension with the race teams as that has held up negotiations over the charter agreement and what percentage of TV money the owners get.

NASCAR has since had a meeting with the team owner’s negotiation committee, which is comprised of RFK Racing president Steve Newmark, Joe Gibbs Racing president Dave Alpern, 23XI Racing investor Curtis Polk and Hendrick Motorsports vice chairman Jeff Gordon.

NASCAR president Steve Phelps classified that meeting as productive during an end of the season press conference earlier in the month at Phoenix Raceway.

“We’ve acknowledged that we want to change the paradigm for our race teams and we need to make sure our race teams are profitable, competing on the racetracks. We are interested in having their enterprise value climb, as I said earlier.

“No timeline, but we are as we’re finalizing our media rights talking about other portions of what our charters would look like that are not financial.”

Matt Weaver is a Motorsports Insider for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter.