The CW’s entrance into live sports with its LIV deal has been bumpy at times, but it doesn’t appear to be a one-off for the network and its owner, Nexstar Media Group.
Speaking at a media conference hosted by SVB MoffettNathanson, Nexstar CEO Perry Sook said the company had been talking about adding more live sports to its portfolio.
Specifically, per Deadline, Sook said the company had “particularly active conversations” with both Power 5 college conferences and motorsports groups.
“It announced to the world that we were willing to program sports on the weekends,” he said of the transaction during a sit-down at a media conference hosted by Wall Street research firm SVB MoffettNathanson. Due to the staggering of rights expirations and negotiating windows, Sook said it’s hard to tell when the next live sports programming could join The CW’s lineup, but he noted particularly active conversations with Power 5 college conferences and motorsports groups. The next agreement could come together as soon as this fall, though Sook also said some appealing choices wouldn’t be available until 2026.
Unless Sook is being quite liberal with his use of “Power 5,” he must be referring to the Pac-12. Last month, a report indicated that The CW was in talks with the conference, though it was pretty quickly shot down. As for motorsports, The CW is already airing an IndyCar docuseries called 100 Days to Indy, and it seems reasonable to assume that’s who Nexstar was talking to about a rights deal. IndyCar re-upped with NBC Sports in the summer of 2021 on a multi-year deal.
Sook also talked up the company’s deal with LIV, claiming “our affiliates were 100% for it,” though eight CBS-owned CW affiliates declined to show LIV and other affiliates (including those owned by Scripps and Sinclair) were late in agreeing to air the events. Various affiliates across the country also cut away from the ending of this past weekend’s weather delayed event from Tulsa.