Published January 7, 2013
DirecTV is doing away with its NASCAR Hot Pass programming this year. The decision brings an end to the five-year-old service that gave subscribers four channels of in-car-driver video and audio. The distributor opted to discontinue the service because of its cost. DirecTV also decided to end its sponsorship of NASCAR. It had been an official partner of the sport since '07. It is looking for other ways to stay involved in the sport and plans to set up displays at some racetracks this season. DirecTV Senior VP/PR Darris Gringeri said, “We tried to charge for the (Hot Pass) product a few years ago, but the demand for it was low. We decided to switch to a free service. It’s been great and we’ve been happy with it. It’s been a differentiator. But in the end, the production cost became too much to bear.” DirecTV made the decision to end its NASCAR sponsorship and discontinue Hot Pass last month. The offering was expensive because DirecTV had to sublicense the video rights to in-car-camera footage from NASCAR rightsholders Fox, Turner and ESPN. NASCAR plans to look for another sponsor in the official TV broadcasting services and equipment category, which DirecTV previously held.