With the close to the 2023 NTT IndyCar Series season last weekend at Laguna Seca, the clock starts on the final year of the broadcast and streaming deal between NBC and the series’ owners at Penske Entertainment.
The current contract runs through 2024, and with IndyCar’s slow but ongoing resurgence, Penske Entertainment CEO Mark Miles says the series is attracting newfound interest among those who’d like to carry its product.
“We have momentum, we have people who understand objectively that our metrics are positive and improving, and there are multiple platforms interested in our rights,” Miles told RACER. “So that’s a great combination and a good place to be as we go explore the market for 2025.”
The proliferation in streaming platforms is the big area of development Miles has seen since IndyCar negotiated its last network contract. At a rumored $20 million per year in income being delivered by NBC to air IndyCar and Indy NXT across its various outlets — NBC, USA Network, and Peacock — the goal for the series next agreement is to improve its television income while expanding its linear and streaming audiences.
“I think the difference with the streamers is that they have more,” Miles said. “They have more sports and live sports as part of their strategies, and so they have begun in the last few years to acquire sports rights, Major League Soccer for example on Apple+, and obviously, the NFL in a few different places. So I think it’s just that there are more players that are more focused on sports. And that would include The CW which is a national free-to-air network that has almost 100-percent reach.
“And a little bit like Rupert Murdoch back in the day when FOX became FOX; they focused on growing that network through news and sports, and they went out and bought the NFL rights, right away. That’s a bit of the rest of the playbook that I think I’m seeing being written by The CW, and you saw that with them buying Xfinity races from NASCAR, and college sports and others. So there whether it’s big, established streamers, or networks like The CW, there are more players interested in acquiring sporting rights and that’s a beneficial change.”