NASCAR fans, prepare for what is perhaps the most publicized lame duck broadcasting year in the history of your sport.
It has been known for quite some time that NBC and Fox wanted to enter into their new agreements with the racing circuit — scheduled to being in 2015 — as soon as next year. NBCSN and FS1 would love the ability to program both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series all over their schedules ASAP. However, in a statement published by Sports Business Daily, NASCAR VP of Broadcast and Production Steve Herbst closed the book on the subject.
“While we were humbled by the desire of NBC and FOX to start 12 months early, we now consider this matter closed and look forward to finishing our current agreement in 2014 with our great partners at FOX, Turner and ESPN.”
A couple months ago, NASCAR made headlines, signing a 10-year contract with NBC which, combined with an extended deal with Fox, will pay NASCAR $8.2 billion over the from 2015-2024. Neither ESPN nor Turner wanted back into NASCAR after it saw declining ratings.
Now, both ESPN and Turner will have to carry the series for one more year. While Turner's commitment is little beyond a six-week summer series, ESPN carries the entire Nationwide Series season, as well as the second half of the Sprint Cup season, including the Chase for the Cup. It'll be interesting to see what Disney does with all of their inventory in the circuit in 2014.