The NASCAR Cup Series playoffs will now potentially reach a bigger audience. NASCAR will air three upcoming Cup Series races on both NBC and the Peacock streaming platform, per a report by Dustin Long of NBC Sports.
The longtime reporter broke the news on Thursday, October 7. He tweeted that the October 17 playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway, the October 31 race at Martinsville Speedway, and the championship race at Phoenix Raceway on November 7 will all be available for subscribers of the Peacock premium tier, which runs $4.99 per month. Viewers will also be able to tune in to pre-race and post-race coverage on the app.
Long made it very clear on October 7 that the move to the Peacock streaming platform is not exclusive. The races will all primarily air on NBC as part of the existing broadcast. However, the playoff race at Kansas Speedway on October 24 will only be available on NBC Sports Network.
Streaming Will Play a Role in the Next NASCAR Broadcast Deal
The decision to stream three playoff races on Peacock provides a potential look at the future of NASCAR. The sanctioning body has spent considerable time examining how they could potentially incorporate some streaming elements.
SVP of Media and Productions Brian Herbst told Awful Announcing in late September that streaming will have some role in the deal that goes into effect in 2025. However, he clarified that NASCAR will not move entirely to Peacock or any of the other streaming services, especially considering that broadcast tv is in roughly “120 to 125 million homes” while streaming platforms are only in an estimated 15 million homes.
“Some streaming element will definitely be in place and it will play a larger role in the next deal cycle,” Herbst told Awful Announcing. “When you think about when we did our TV deals back in 2012, 2013, there were really just two different platforms where our content was going to be distributed to… Now, there’s a third bucket and that’s direct-to-consumer or over-the-top platforms. The balancing act for us as a sport is there’s a third economic driver that wasn’t necessarily there in 2012 or 2013, being these OTT platforms.”
Peacock Is the Home of Exclusive NASCAR Content
Airing three races on the Peacock streaming platform only increases the amount of NASCAR content available to fans. The app is already the home of some exclusive content featuring winners of the Most Popular Driver award and some of the sport’s respected analysts.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has two seasons of “Lost Speedways” available on Peacock. This documentary series follows him and Matthew Dillner as they explore race tracks around the country that are no longer in use. They walk around the weed-covered racing surfaces and talk to special guests that have ties to the tracks.
A newer addition to the Peacock library is a documentary about defending Cup Series champion Chase Elliott and his life down in Dawsonville, Ga. “Chase” puts Earnhardt in the role of an interviewer as he follows Elliott around, talks to the racer’s parents, and examines stock cars from the past.
Finally, Peacock is the home of “NASCAR America Motormouths,” a call-in show that gives racing fans direct access to drivers and analysts. Auto racing icon Kyle Petty, NASCAR Hall of Famer and 1999 NASCAR Cup Series champion Dale Jarrett, 21-time Cup Series race winner Jeff Burton, and Daytona 500-winning crew chief Steve Letarte have all served as primary contributors while other drivers have made appearances to provide insight.