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NBC Exec Talks NASCAR TV Deal on Dale Jr Download

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Recently, the Dale Jr Download continued their “Business of Motorsports” series by bringing in Sam Flood of NBC, who Mike Davis and Kelly Earnhardt refer to as “Dale Jr’s boss.” In this episode, they go into detail regarding NASCAR on television, and some of the hot button issues that people talk about when it comes to race broadcasts.

The Relationship of FOX and NBC

People may wonder whether or not FOX and NBC compete with each other when it comes to their NASCAR schedule. Flood points out that, while they compete in areas like broadcasting the NFL, they want FOX to do incredibly well when it comes to NASCAR

They’re success is our success. We want them to have a great first half and they want us to have a great second half because we lead them into the [Daytona] 500.

Mike Flood

He goes on to describe that the NASCAR TV deal presents “equal footing” for both. This is definitely a departure from how people would normally see it and how TV networks would likely operate.

It’s not very common for multiple networks to have equal footing on a sport. In the NFL, FOX and NBC fight for which games they get in the postseason. College football has multiple networks vying for different games. It’s interesting how NASCAR is so different in that regard.

Will NBC Renew Their NASCAR TV Deal?

Sam Flood was simply asked whether or not he believed or wanted NASCAR to renew their rights deal with NBC. He gave a glowing response, but he also qualified that this is not that decision maker.

”You know how much I love NASCAR. I hope we get it back. I think everyone in our shop wants it back. It’s a business decision, and the commerce guys will make the business decision, and the content guys will put great television on the air.”

Sam Flood

This is consistent with what other reports have been saying. NBC is expected to renew their deal with NASCAR in some regard, but, the advent of streaming in NASCAR will likely mean that it could be altered. The fact that an NBC executive outright said he wants it back means something.

Hot Button Issues: Streaming, Start Times, and Commercials

Now, there are fewer things that NASCAR fans love to debate more than NASCAR on streaming, start times, and commercials. Flood provides some insight into that.

In terms of streaming, Flood discusses more about how streaming effects entertainment as a whole. He described the current market as a “revolution,” and that the current state of things is “chaos.” That probably shows a large reason why the consumption of media is where it is today.

What many people probably struggle with is that people have to pay for both cable and an extra streaming subscription. What Flood provides is insight into the fact that its a transition period currently. At some point, things will likely simplify, and either cable or streaming will become dominant.

However, Flood never said anything specifically about moving NASCAR to streaming. Which is something that people are speculating on.

When it came to commercials and start times Dirt Mo Media actually released a video on this segment.

When asked about start times and commercials, Flood gave answers that were pretty in line with how most people understand things. He noted that even back in the original NASCAR TV deal with NBC between 2001 and 2006, later start times meant better ratings. That is what goes into the later start times.

Regardless of how fans feel about later start times than in the past, TV ratings tend to drive them. That is now the majority of people consume NASCAR on a weekly basis.

When it comes to commercials, Flood offered the reality. TV networks need to pay the bills, and commercials are how to do that. Flood did say something interesting with how NBC tries to collaborate with the sponsors to more creatively introduce sponsors.

There is no sport that sponsors are more important to than NASCAR. I think those synergies go so well, and we’ve gotta work together to make it even better. Part of it is that, I think, if the race teams, if they can partner with NBC. If they have sponsor X on the car, is there a way to incorporate that into the telecast a little bit differently so that it feels like a part of the show versus a side bar to the show.

Sam Flood

The more that sponsors can be implemented in unique ways the better. Full screen commercials are frustrating for fans, but they are a necessary evil. However, finding creative ways to advertise during an event makes the races more compelling on TV since less action is being missed.

This was an interesting insight into what goes into the business side of NASCAR on television. Things that maybe the average fan does not take into consideration. Straight from the source of a current executive.

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Joshua Lipowski

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