Multi-year NASCAR TV deal announced

NEW YORK (Nov. 11, 1999) Executives for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing announced today that they have reached agreement on a six-year television contract with NBC Sports and Turner Sports, with the two media companies ...

NEW YORK (Nov. 11, 1999) Executives for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing announced today that they have reached agreement on a six-year television contract with NBC Sports and Turner Sports, with the two media companies combining to develop a joint venture, and an eight-year agreement with FOX, and its FX cable network, effective with the 2001 season. The agreements will triple the number of NASCAR Winston Cup Series events shown on broadcast television.

"We are very enthusiastic about today's announcement and excited that our consolidated television partners have captured our vision of the sport of NASCAR's future," said Bill France, president of NASCAR. "Our arrangement with our new partners will work for everyone and is reflective of the strategic values that we have created for our sport in recent years.

"This agreement will showcase NASCAR racing to millions of sports fans like never before, providing fans with an interactive experience and bringing them closer to NASCAR in ways they could have never imagined."

The partnerships strategically pair NASCAR with some of the giants of the media industry: Time Warner, General Electric and News Corp., who have developed some of the most creative and innovative promotion and production ideas in television today.

"The resources of these companies will be brought together to harness the sport's growth and make it more available to fans," said Brian France, senior vice president of NASCAR, "and ensures followers of NASCAR that the very best competitors will continue to be a part of the sport."

Broadcast network partners FOX and NBC will rotate coverage of the Daytona 500, NASCAR's premier event, on an annual basis. FOX will carry the Daytona 500 in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007 with NBC broadcasting the event in 2002, 2004 and 2006.

In addition to their extensive live broadcast coverage of events, each of the networks has committed to a dedicated pre-race show for each and every NASCAR Winston Cup Series event. The consolidated television package will also offer more broadcast network NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division event coverage than what is currently committed to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.

"We owe a large level of gratitude and are indebted to networks like ABC, CBS, ESPN and TNN for the integral role they have played in the growth of NASCAR racing," Brian France said. "Today's announcement confirms our position as a rapidly growing sport that is prepared to enter the new millennium."

As part of the agreement, FOX will have rights to the first half of the 2001 season beginning with the Daytona 500. The FOX Network will broadcast live a majority of the NASCAR Winston Cup events and a share of the NASCAR Busch Series events with the remaining events to be broadcast live on the FX Network.

"This is the end of a long, long road," said David Hill, chairman & chief executive officer, FOX Sports Television Group. "We have been in discussion with NASCAR from the early days of FOX Sports, learning their vision of the future and determining that it matched our own.

"NASCAR racing is high-tech, yet it involves courage and split second judgement. It's extremely exciting and speaks to everyone that drives a car. Who hasn't thought of themselves as a Richard Petty or Jeff Gordon when the light turns green?"

The agreement calls for the NBC Sports/Turner Sports (TBS Superstation) joint venture to offer live coverage of the second half of the 2001 NASCAR season, from July through November.

"NBC Sports has defined itself by its association with the world's best sporting brands and their events," said Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Sports. "We are extremely happy to begin a long-term relationship with NASCAR, and continue our 'extended family' relationship with Turner Sports. Along with the NBA, the Olympics, Major League Baseball, Notre Dame, the newly acquired Triple Crown, the Breeders' Cup, the WNBA and the best in golf with the PGA Tour, the USGA and the PGA of America, NASCAR gives NBC Sports an unequalled schedule of year-round championship event programming."

NBC and Turner Sports are equal partners in this one-of-a-kind television venture. The two entities will work together to create a unique production look, style, staff and talent that will air on both NBC and TBS Superstation. The partnership has been built to focus on the overall growth of NASCAR, as well as further positioning the networks as the leaders in televising the most popular sports events available.

NBC and Turner Sports have previously worked together on the NBA for several years, as well as golf and other sports event production, but not in full partnership like this NASCAR arrangement.

"We are very pleased to be a major part of NASCAR's great future," said Mark Lazarus, president of Turner Sports. "Our unique partnership with NBC allows us to have scheduling and promotional continuity to further the ascension of NASCAR."

"We are excited and look forward to working with our consolidated television partners to offer unprecedented promotional platforms and innovative production qualities that will enhance the presentation of NASCAR racing," said Bray Cary, vice president of broadcasting and technology, NASCAR. "Our new partners offer us extensive assets and their commitment to these assets will only assist us in growing the image of the sport while benefiting our drivers, teams and tracks.

"An integral part of today's partnerships is the consistent viewership patterns that will now be in place allowing fans an easier and more enhanced presentation of NASCAR racing for those watching at home."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Richard Petty , David Hill
Teams Lazarus
Tags TV