SBJ/Aug. 5-11, 2013/Media

Fox Sports adds races, years to NASCAR deal

Fox Sports and NASCAR closed a new, $3.8 billion TV rights agreement that adds three Sprint Cup races, 14 Nationwide Series races and two years to the deal the broadcaster cut with NASCAR last fall.

The $3.8 billion price tag is $1.4 billion greater than the eight-year deal Fox signed with NASCAR last year. That eight-year, $2.4 billion agreement included 13 Sprint Cup races and the entire Camping World Truck Series through 2022. The new 10-year, $3.8 billion deal gives Fox 16 Sprint Cup races, 14 Nationwide Series races and the Camping World Truck Series season through 2024.

NASCAR and Fox declined to comment on terms of the agreement.

Between 2015 and 2022, NASCAR will collect more than $8.2 billion in media rights from Fox and NBC, which signed a 10-year, $4.4 billion deal two weeks ago. The networks together will pay an average of $820 million a year, a 46 percent increase from the $560 million that NASCAR currently receives annually from Fox, Turner Sports and ESPN.

Sources said that the deal Fox cut with NASCAR last fall gave the broadcaster the first right to negotiate on the first half of the Nationwide Series season if ESPN, which now holds those rights, opted not to retain them. ESPN passed on renewing its NASCAR rights in early July, triggering the clause.

The deal with Fox closes out all of NASCAR’s remaining inventory. Fox will air the first 16 Sprint Cup races and first 14 Nationwide Series races annually beginning in 2015. NBC will air the subsequent 20 Sprint Cup races and 19 Nationwide Series races.

A total of 16 Sprint Cup races will be shown on broadcast TV. Fox will air nine, and NBC will air seven. The other 20 Cup races will air on cable. Fox Sports 1 will air seven, and NBC Sports Network will air 13.

Fox’s negotiations were led by co-presidents Randy Freer and Eric Shanks. NASCAR was led by Chairman Brian France and Steve Herbst, vice president of broadcasting and production. Sports Media Advisors, a media consultancy headed by former IMG and NHL executive Doug Perlman, and Proskauer assisted NASCAR on the deal.

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