NASCAR has finally figured out who will televise the second half of its season.
On Tuesday, the racing outfit agreed to a 10-year rights deal with NBC Sports Group that begins in 2015.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the eight-year renewal it signed with Fox last year was for an estimated $2.4 billion. Fox airs the first-half Sprint Cup races (among others) including the Daytona 500.
Through 2024, the deal covers the final 20 Sprint Cup Series races and the last 19 Nationwide Series events, including the season-ending Sprint Cup Series championship event, which will return to network television for the first time since 2009. NBC last aired NASCAR races in 2006.
The new deal includes the NASCAR Hall of Fame ceremony and season-ending banquets as well as rights to certain NASCAR K&N Series, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Toyota (Mexico) events and Spanish-language broadcast rights on Telemundo and Mun2 for national series events and the Toyota (Mexico) Series races.
"[NBC's] football package on Sunday night is the number one show on television, and along with the Kentucky Derby and the Triple Crown, of course the NHL and the Stanley Cup playoffs, the French Open, they are the home to championship programming and we'll be promoted and marketed and shown alongside those top tier events," said Steve Herbst, NASCAR's VP of broadcasting and production.
The NBC partnership takes over for ESPN, which currently airs the final 17 Cup races as well as the entire Nationwide Series schedule through 2014. Turner Sports, which holds rights through next year for a six-race summer stretch, which also see its deal end with no renewal. That package, as well as the first half of the Nationwide Series is still available, with Fox being floated as a possible suitor.
"We have enjoyed very strong partnerships with both Turner and ESPN over the years,'' said NASCAR chairman Brian France. "We are committed to being great partners to them throughout the 2014 season and continuing the many friendships that we have with both companies for years to come."
Upon announcement of the deal, ESPN and Turner issued statements:
"ESPN has enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial relationship with NASCAR. We have tremendous respect for the France family, the drivers and all in the sport and wish them well," said ESPN president John Skipper. "We will continue to serve NASCAR fans through SportsCenter and our other news platforms as we continue to enhance our industry-leading collection of quality assets."
Said David Levy, president of sales, distribution and sports, Turner Broadcasting: "Turner Sports is proud of the partnership we've built with NASCAR over the past 31 years and the role our company has played in helping to grow the sport. We think NASCAR is an attractive property but we are disciplined in our approach to negotiating sports rights and could not come up with a business model that was financially prudent for our company."