The 2024 Indianapolis 500. The 2024 Indianapolis 500. (Doug McSchooler for The Indianapolis Star, via USA Today Sports.)

There’s been quite the discussion this year around where IndyCar’s media rights will land. The racing series had had its full rights with NBC since 2019 following a split deal between that network and ESPN/ABC, but the 2019 deal ends with this year’s season. And February saw reports that Fox was also interested, with May then producing reports that both NBC and Fox were in the hunt. Now, it looks like the series is indeed going to go to Fox, as Adam Stern reported at Sports Business Journal Wednesday:

While exact terms of the agreement that was being finalized between Fox and IndyCar were unclear as of this report, the series was believed in recent months to still be looking to have one full-season partner for its next cycle. Such a move would thus end IndyCar’s relationship with NBC after this season, which wraps up in mid-September.

The series, owned by Penske Entertainment, gets about $20M a year in gross media rights from NBC Sports but sister company IMS Productions works with NBC to put on the broadcasts. Penske Entertainment President & CEO Mark Miles has said he expected an increase in the value of its media rights. Endeavor’s Karen Brodkin and IMG Media’s Hillary Mandel have served as IndyCar’s consultant for the talks.

As Stern goes on to note there, the upcoming changes to NASCAR’s schedule around TNT Sports and Amazon gaining rights next year mean that Fox will no longer have a race from that circuit on Memorial Day weekend. That’s when the Indy 500 is held, so that should slot in quite nicely for them.

It’s interesting to see IndyCar make another network transition. Going from the split between ABC/ESPN and NBC to NBC alone was a big move for them. And now it looks like they’ll be shifting over to Fox, with that coming after those aforementioned months of discussions. We’ll see how that works out for the series.

[Sports Business Journal]


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.