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Volume 26 No. 231
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NASCAR Excited For Opportunities Around NBC-Backed OTT Service

NASCAR is launching a new OTT service in December with NBC Sports called TrackPass, a significant expansion of the sanctioning body's digital streaming efforts. The product will cost $5 per month and feature live action from a host of motorsports series including NASCAR, IMSA, ARCA and American Flat Track. NASCAR previously ran its own OTT service called FansChoice.TV; this new platform will represent a notable step up in production quality and aggregation of property rights. FansChoice was only web-based, while TrackPass will be available on the NBC Sports App and smart devices. NASCAR is halfway through a 10-year media-rights deal with Fox Sports and NBC Sports for its top three national series, so live national series races will not be offered on the platform, but it will show practice and qualifying sessions for the Xfinity and Cup series during NBC's half of the season. NBC will offer cheaper packages if a user wants a series-specific channel. TrackPass will also feature lifestyle NASCAR content in time.

MAKING THE RIGHT CALL: NASCAR Senior VP Broadcasting & Innovation Brian Herbst said the sanctioning body considered launching the more robust OTT channel in house but ultimately decided it made more sense to partner with NBC. NASCAR also hired former DAZN exec Dan Barker as Senior Dir of Media Strategy to lead the new project. NASCAR started making fans create a free account to watch races on FansChoice this year, which Herbst said led to 110,000 accounts that NASCAR can now market TrackPass to. NBC and NASCAR are planning to promote the new platform on linear, digital and social media channels. NASCAR owns all the series involved with TrackPass, and Herbst noted this is the first time "that all of these affiliated properties worked together in such a coordinated way." Herbst: "Having series like ARCA and IMSA finding ways to collaborate and have them not just interested in their own property but in the greater good is a signature moment for us as a family sport." NBC Sports VP/Direct-To-Consumer Services Portia Archer added, "Taking care and catering to the fans is of paramount ambition as we launch TrackPass, and one way we can do that is by making the content accessible and available on many more platforms."