The sport of NASCAR has rapidly evolved over the past 15 years – from a southern sport for good ol’ boys whose families ran moonshine back in the 50’s and 60’s to a widely popular sport across the country. Its growth, in part, can be attributed to an expanded schedule of 38 race- and event-filled weekends from coast to coast as well as more in-depth broadcast coverage of all three series.
February 2001 marked a new television contract for NASCAR, guaranteeing that every race would be broadcast. This was a first for the sport that had only had portions of their schedule broadcast prior to this first deal with FOX, NBC and Turner. While this was a big step forward, NASCAR has always looked for ways to build the sport’s overall popularity by continuing to improve access for fans.
Fast forward to the spring of 2013. NASCAR announced two new TV partnerships for record rights fees with FOX and NBC. With this deal, which officially began last weekend in Daytona, the first half of the season belongs to FOX/FOX Sports Network while the second half is covered by NBC/NBC Sports Network. Each network will broadcast all races from all three series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
This deal increases convenience for fans, eliminating distractions and allowing them to easily and quickly determine which channel is airing the race – something that has posed a problem in other sports. Time will tell if this will be a game changer, but the early indications of increased rights fees and positive fan feedback suggests NASCAR is poised for more growth in the future.