Fox Secures NASCAR Rights Through 2022, Adds Live Race Streaming

Fox Sports Media Group (FSMG) opened its wallet for the second time in less than a month on Monday, securing rights to broadcast and stream live NASCAR racing through 2022. The deal, which comes less than two weeks after Fox extended its MLB rights through 2021, is reportedly worth $2.4 billion over eight years, up from the network’s current eight-year, $1.76 billion agreement, which expires in 2014.

In addition to securing valuable live programming for Fox’s rumored plans to convert its Speed motorsports network into an all-sports cable channel, the deal significantly increases Fox’s digital rights to include live race streaming for the first time ever, beginning in 2013.

As part of the new agreement, which takes effect in 2015, FSMG retains the television rights to 13 consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races, beginning each year with the Daytona 500. In addition, FSMG retains the rights to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, the Daytona Shootout, the Duel at Daytona, the entire NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, and practice and qualifying for both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races that FSMG broadcasts. Fox also remains the exclusive home of The Great American Race through 2022, a title it has held for the last six years and nine of the last 12.

“We’re extremely happy to have worked closely with [NASCAR Chairman/CEO] Brian [France] and his team at NASCAR over the last few months to expand and extend our relationship for what is, without question, the most popular motorsport in the country,” says FSMG Co-Presidents/CEOs Eric Shanks and Randy Freer. “NASCAR has been a staple at Fox for more than a decade, and we consider it one of the signature sports we cover. With our commitment renewed, we look forward to presenting NASCAR thoroughly, professionally, and creatively for many years to come.”

On the digital front, FSMG gains TV Everywhere rights starting next season to live-stream all FSMG races, along with pre- and post-race coverage, race highlights, and in-progress race highlights to events it televises. This portion of the deal was made possible by NASCAR’s reacquisition of operational, business, and editorial control of its digital platform, a move that takes effect on Jan. 1.

“NASCAR fans’ demand and desire for NASCAR content stretches across all platforms and distribution channels,” says France. “As we’ve done with this FSMG extension, we will continue to take the appropriate measures to ensure our fans have access to the sport wherever they are and through all available devices. NASCAR is one of the most accessible sports in the world, and this new deal builds upon that in a very significant way.”

In addition to the rights to the live races, practice/qualifying sessions, and pre/post-race shows, Fox’s rights include ancillary programming including, but not limited to, a nightly NASCAR news and information show as well as weekend at-track shows. This will likely come in handy as Fox uses NASCAR as a key cog in the lineup of its new cable channel, which is expected to be named Fox Sports One (Fox has already trademarked the name). In addition to NASCAR, Fox has recently signed several rights deals over the past two years in an effort to add to its stable of live sports programming, including MLB, UFC, and college conferences like the Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12, and Conference USA.

Fox also reserves the ability to re-telecast races on a Fox network and via video-on-demand for 24 hours.

The announcement comes less than two months after NASCAR and Fox announced that they are teaming up to provide Spanish-language broadcasts of 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races on Fox Sports Deportes starting in 2013. Of the 15 race broadcasts, Fox Deportes will carry six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races live, including, for the first time ever, a Spanish-language broadcast of the Daytona 500, on Feb. 24.

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