NASCAR Could Make $1 Billion Deal After Recent Growth: Report

Joey Logano

Getty Joey Logano celebrates the Cup Series championship.

The 2023 season will take place as the drivers pursue more wins in the Next Gen cars. Meanwhile, NASCAR will take part in negotiations surrounding its next media deal, which could reach $1 billion annually.

According to Front Office Sports, NASCAR will seek “a 10% to 15% increase in rights fee” for the next media deal. This increase would put the deal in the area of $900 million to $950 million annually. FOS reports that FOX and NBC currently combine to pay NASCAR $820 million annually as part of the deal that will expire at the end of the 2024 season.

One key part of the negotiations will be the length of the deal. NASCAR will likely seek a long-term agreement with its broadcast partners in the area of eight to 10 years. For context, the current 10-year, $8.2-billion deal began with the 2015 season. It was an increase from the eight-year, $4.5-billion deal that expired after 2014.

NASCAR’s Current Partners Will Have Opportunities

Martinsville Speedway

GettyNASCAR Cup Series drivers race at Martinsville Speedway.

There have been many discussions about the next TV deal and whether there will be some changes in how fans watch races. Will there be more events on streaming platforms? Will Amazon or ESPN try to get a share?

The current expectation is that FOX and NBC will remain the frontrunners for the new deal. NASCAR has a strong relationship with both partners, to the point that NASCAR President Steve Phelps said that it “has never been better” than it was in 2022.

“I’m not sure where the future’s going to be with respect to our media partners,” Phelps said during his State of the Sport address on November 4. “I do know that it will go through NBC and FOX. Whether there are additional folks that want to come bid and we get to that particular point, I have no idea.

“I do know there is a significant amount of interest in NASCAR from those that are not our incumbents. That’s a good thing for our industry, right? Frankly, our media deal, it feeds a lot of mouths in this industry. It’s important to do that. It is the future of what healthier teams look like. It’s the future of continued investment in capital at our racetracks, continued investment in expenses around creating better fan experiences that we talked about before.”

One interesting storyline that will generate interest is the potential move to streaming platforms. NBC’s Peacock app aired a limited number of playoff races in 2022, but there could be more events hitting streaming in the next TV deal.

What this looks like remains unknown. Brian Herbst, NASCAR’s senior vice president of media and productions, told Front Office Sports that there will be three components in the next media deal — broadcast, cable, and direct-to-consumer or streaming.

NASCAR’s 2022 Season Featured Considerable Growth

GettyRoss Chastain (front) races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The future for NASCAR appears to be bright. There were nine events that sold out during the 2022 season, which was an increase over five in 2021. Phelps expects that this number will reach double-digits in 2023.

Along with the increase in fan attendance, there were more people watching at home. The Cup Series races averaged 3.04 million viewers across both FOX and NBC during the 2022 season. This marked a 4% increase over 2021.

Additionally, the Truck Series saw similar growth during its final season with Camping World as the title sponsor. According to information provided by FOX Sports, the series averaged 627,000 viewers for 23 races across FOX and FS1 in 2022.

This was a 5% increase from 599,000 viewers for 22 races in 2021. On FS1 alone, the Truck Series had a 4% increase over 2021 with 624,000 viewers compared to 599,000.

The season also began strong, according to Sports Media Watch. The Busch Light Clash, which moved to the LA Memorial Coliseum, aired on FOX for the first time since 2016. The exhibition event averaged 4.28 million viewers while more than doubling the numbers from 2021, which aired on FS1.

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