ESPN and Turner Sports will be out of the NASCAR business after next season, ending associations with the sport that go back three decades. The departure of both ESPN and Turner was first reported by Sports Business Daily and was later confirmed by NASCAR during a press conference.
The website reported Tuesday morning that both FOX and NBC will share rights to the Sprint Cup Series beginning at the start of the 2015 season.
NASCAR talked with media regarding the broadcasting rights on Tuesday afternoon.
Fox/Fox Sports 1 will cover first 13 Cup races, including the All – Star race, Sprint Unlimited & Trucks series races; NBC/NBC Sports Network will cover the final 20 Cup and 19 Nationwide races. Middle three Cup races are still TBA.
NASCAR says 14 Nationwide series races and 3 Cup races are still up for negotiation but plans are being discussed for them.
Brian France also let it slip that Nationwide races will air on Fox Sports 1.
The report says the Sprint Cup races could air Sunday afternoons on NBC as a lead in to Sunday Night Football. Fox and NBC would likely share share TV rights to the Nationwide series.
NBC was disappointed when it lost NASCAR to ESPN in ’06. The new deal would return NASCAR’s race broadcast landscape to a structure similar to the 2001-06 seasons.
Turner Broadcasting President of Sales, Distribution & Sports David Levy said, “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.”