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How Much Money Did NASCAR REALLY Make On Their TV Deal?

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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What’s Happening?

NASCAR recently signed a 7-year media rights deal worth a reported $7.7 million, or $1.1 per year. While this is a significant increase over their previous deal, how much did NASCAR really make? Was the TV deal really the financial success that everyone in the NASCAR industry was hoping for?

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Previous TV Deals

NASCAR media rights deals have gradually gotten more and more expensive over time. Only since 2001, has NASCAR controlled the entirety of its media rights deal, while prior to that the tracks were responsible for negotiating individual contracts. Therefore, we will be comparing each of NASCAR’s TV deals from 2001 onwards including how much NASCAR gained from the previous deal.

  • 2001-2006: $2.4 billion total OR $400k per year
  • 2007-2014: $4.8 billion total (+100%) OR $600k per year (+50%)
  • 2015-2024: $8.2 billion total (+71%) OR $820k per year (+37%)
  • 2025-2031: $7.7 billion total (-6%) OR $1.1 billion per year (+40%*)

*According to Adam Stern and John Ourand of Sports Business Journal.

We see here that NASCAR’s media rights deal actually decreased in total payout from the last one, but, that can be explained by the new deal being 3 years shorter. It is notable that this is the first time NASCAR has decreased its TV contract length since they took over the media rights contracts in 2001.

NASCAR got the second largest increase per year in terms of percentage in this media rights era. The total increase of around $290 million per year is the largest total increase per year since 2007. However, that does not tell the full story.

Inflation

Inflation needs to be taken into account when looking at deals that are around a decade apart. When factoring in inflation, here is how much money every NASCAR media rights deal was worth in 2023 money. All calculations were done via the US Inflation Calculator.

  • 2001-2006: $4.2 billion total OR $700k per year
  • 2007-2014: $7.1 billion total (+93%) OR $888k per year (+27%)
  • 2015-2024: $10.6 billion (+49%) OR $1.06 billion per year (+19%)
  • 2025-2031: $7.7 billion total (-27%) OR $1.1 billion per year (+5%)

Now, these calculations are not exact, but they do help clear up the picture. When adjusted for inflation, the 2025 media rights deal is still an increase, but it is not nearly as drastic as previously mentioned. As a matter of fact, it is the lowest increase from deal to deal both percentage-wise and in total increase.

However, that does not mean that the impact will not be felt. Keep in mind that NASCAR signed its media rights deal in 2015, and inflation has no doubt increased the costs of running a race team. In 2025, teams will still get more money than they did from the previous deal, and that will be better adjusted for the 2025 world than the 2015 world.

NASCAR did gain a solid chunk from their most recent media rights deal. However, was the increase really enough?

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts