Media rights and charters unresolved after milestone NASCAR year

Fox network

The 2023 season saw NASCAR’s return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with its Garage 56 entry, its first-ever street race in the Cup series through the Grant Park area of Chicago and 50 percent more sellouts at Cup races than a year ago.

Competition on the track – particularly the intermediate tracks – with the Next Gen car continues to get good marks, 10 of the 16 organizations which own the 36 charters in Cup won races during the season and digital and social media consumption metrics are up year-over-year.

Yet two very important issues remain unresolved heading into the offseason – no agreement has been reached between NASCAR and Cup teams on extending charters and NASCAR has yet to finalize the Truck and Cup portions of a new media rights deal.

“Our media rights, the amount of interest in attaining our media rights for ’25 and beyond exceeded our expectations,” NASCAR President Steve Phelps said Friday during his annual ‘State of the Sport’ address.

“It is our expectation that not only having a great result with the CW with our Xfinity Series, and what’s going to be an incredible 33-race schedule on broadcast television, we believe that we’re going to have a very strong result with media partners that will look at a combination of broadcast, cable and streaming to some degree.

“What that looks like, I don’t know. Are we getting towards the end of this process? We are. Did I think we would have a result earlier? I did. But we haven’t. It’s an incredibly competitive marketplace.”

Photo by: James Holland

Fox network

In late July, NASCAR announced part of its new media rights deal – the CW Network will broadcast the Xfinity Series beginning in 2025 and through the 2031 season.

The entire Truck series is currently broadcast by Fox and its affiliates while the Cup Series is currently split between Fox and NBC and their respective affiliates.

The CW Network deal includes broadcasting all 33 Xfinity races, along with practice and qualifying, and reportedly worth as much as $115 million per season. The CW has been pushing to feature more live sports programming and added deals to broadcast golf events, as well as ACC football and basketball games.

The lack of a completed new TV deal is due at least in part to the Cup teams and NASCAR having not yet agreed to a new agreement on charters, which will expire at the end of the 2024 season.

“If you would ask the race teams do we think we’re…

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