NASCAR still hasn’t finalized its new TV contract and NASCAR President Steve Phelps admits he thought it would be done by now even though it won’t take effect until 2025.
“The amount of interest in attaining our media rights for ’25 and beyond exceeded our expectations,” Phelps says. “It’s an incredibly competitive marketplace.”
Phelps says the media partners will be a combination of broadcast, cable, and streaming “to some degree” for NASCAR’s Cup and Craftsman Truck Series. It’s already been announced that all of NASCAR’s Xfinity Series races will be televised on the CW network.
This year, Phelps says digital and social media consumption of NASCAR was up. However, television has been a “mixed bag” with Cup and Trucks being down in the low single digits while Xfinity increased. He believes next year will show a growth pattern because “we’ll have lower comps than we did this year.”
Phelps points to inclement weather being a problem in the season’s first half, but notes NBC has come back in a “powerful way” and those metrics are up.
“If you consider back in March, we were down 15%, now we’re down mid-single digits, we’re happy where that is,” Phelps says.
NASCAR’s current TV contract with Fox Sports and NBC expires at the end of 2024. However, before the contract ends, NASCAR is opening a new production facility in Concord, N.C. Adjacent to NASCAR’s Research and Development Center, Phelps says the production facility will have two components.
“It will be kind of the live broadcast component,” Phelps says. “Then something we call NASCAR Studios, which is essentially content.”
The content includes short form features, or series like “what we’re doing with Netflix.”