IndyCar Mar 24, 2024; Thermal, California, USA; Chip Ganassi Racing driver Marcus Armstrong (11) of New Zealand leads a group during the Thermal $1 Million Challenge race at The Thermal Club. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

IndyCar’s hunt for a new media rights deal continues marching along. But two finalists have emerged: incumbent NBC and long-rumored bidder Fox.

Per the IndyStar, Fox was a heavy favorite to claim IndyCar’s rights for the 2025 season and beyond. However, NBC’s chances have surged over the last month, with the paper reporting that while Fox is still the favorite,  it’s now looking like”a 70-30 or 60-40 split” rather than a near-certainty.

In February, Fox was linked to IndyCar’s rights as one of “six or seven” interested entities.

The difference between Fox and NBC’s bids reportedly comes down to broadcast vs cable windows. NBC has reportedly offered “as many, if not more” than the 10 broadcast windows IndyCar has this season. Fox is offering fewer broadcast windows and more races on cable, including on FS2.

If Fox offers significantly more money (the IndyStar muses between $30 million and $35 million), that could tilt the scales in favor of them. NBC’s offer is reportedly only “a marginal increase” on the $20 million or so it is currently paying.

Splitting the schedule between two partners doesn’t appear to be in the cards, per Penske Entertainment CEO Mark Miles. He also said IndyCar talked with at least three “major disruptive streamers.”

For IndyCar, the difference in streaming capabilities between Fox and NBC has to be a factor. NBC has made the full IndyCar slate available on Peacock, whether or not the races are on NBC or USA. That isn’t an option for Fox yet.

To stream Fox events airing on cable, you need an authenticated login from a cable, satellite, or streaming subscription. That will change once the ESPN/Fox/Warner Bros. Discovery sports streaming joint venture launches this fall. But there’s still a question whether or not that gets off the ground due to legal concerns.


About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.