In an attempt to further ignite interest in its midseason package of races, NASCAR is increasing it from six to ten, slightly paring down the inventory for incumbents Fox and NBC. Both networks are expected to renew their deals with NASCAR once the current round of media rights deals come to an end after the 2024 season.
Per the Sports Business Journal, the midseason package has been “harder to sell,” leading to the decision to increase the package’s inventory.
NASCAR has already agreed to a deal with The CW for the Xfinity Series in 2025.
It’s been something of a slog for NASCAR to make its next media rights deals final, aside from the Xfinity Series. Back in May, SBJ reported that NASCAR likely would have handshake deals for its new deals by July 4 (which was more than four months ago), and while that may be true for the Xfinity Series and the Fox and NBC packages, the midseason package hasn’t attracted that level of interest. The same May report indicated that a streamer was being targeted for the midseason package. Amazon and WBD Sports, which aired the midseason package a decade ago, have been tabbed as favorites.
SBJ also reports that the two parties could split the ten-race package, creating a pair of five-race packages.
Ultimately, while NASCAR’s intentions make sense on paper, I think we’re seeing why the Summer Series airing on TNT was absorbed by NBC in its most recent rights deal. A smaller package in the middle of the season, prior to the Chase, simply lacks the pull of a larger package containing more significant races. I’m assuming NASCAR will still end up getting a deal done for the midseason package, but it might not bring the bounty of rights fees expected.