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What is Holding Up the NASCAR TV Deal?

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Joshua Lipowski

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The NASCAR TV deal was once assumed to be done by now, but the deal seems to be on the back burner as of right now according to a John Ourand Sports Business Journal report. What is it that could be holding up NASCAR’s next TV deal?

What SBJ Had to Say

Now, the sky does not appear to be falling with the current NASCAR media deal negotiations. Ourand noted that Fox and NBC still want to re-up and both Amazon and Turner have shown interest in a potential six-race mid-summer package similar to the TNT Summer Series from 2007 through 2014. Ourand said the negotiations are going “smoothly”.

Therefore, this is not an instance where NASCAR is in danger of not getting a deal done. Rather, it is just taking a bit longer than originally expected. With that in mind, what is it that could be holding the deal back?

The 2024 Schedule

The 2024 NASCAR schedule took longer than expected to get out to the general public. NASCAR had been working on it alongside the TV deal. However, with the 2024 schedule taking so long to come out, it’s possible the TV deal took somewhat of a back seat for the time being.

After all, the 2024 schedule needs to be in place for the 2024 season, while the TV deal does not go into effect until 2025. When push comes to shove, the 2024 schedule has to take higher priority as time goes on. They are both vitally important, however.

It is also worth noting that NASCAR is a big company. It’s entirely possible they had different people working on the schedule with others working on the TV deal. What other reasons make this TV deal so complicated?

The Addition of a Third Company

If Fox and NBC were coming back with no other complications, this deal would probably be done very quickly. It’s not out of the question that NASCAR has deals with Fox and NBC fairly close to being done. However, NASCAR is going to add a third company to the fray.

Ourand is reporting that Amazon and Turner are looking to get that mid-race package. When you add a third company to the negotiations, and a competition at that, it complicates things. However, the likely reason why NASCAR is adding an extra company in the first place could be the biggest reason why this deal is taking so long.

The Changing Market

Ourand discussed how the sports TV market is changing. Instead of 24-hour sports cable channels, the new shiny new toy is streaming. Many sports are gradually working their way into streaming from the NFL to MLB, and MLS.

However, streaming is something that is still relatively new in the sports market. That makes the TV rights negotiations all that much more complicated. Keep in mind that the last NASCAR TV rights deal was for 10 years.

That is a long time, and a TV deal is a big commitment. When NASCAR or the media companies lock themselves into a deal, in three or four years the market will continue to evolve. If the market goes one way or another, it could make NASCAR or the media companies look bad for negotiating a bad deal.

The 2015 media deal is a media deal for the 2015 media world. This media deal is going to be different than that, and it is a changing landscape. That makes this deal that much more important, and it means NASCAR needs to take their time with it.

When will NASCAR’s TV deal finally be put together? All of these things are factors to consider when thinking about the TV deal, and this could be an interesting story to follow.

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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