Back in July, NASCAR swung back to Daytona International Speedway to start the second half of the season. It also marked the beginning of NBC’s coverage of the sport, an agreement two years in the making and one that will partner the network with NASCAR for the next 10 years.
The deal has been described as staggering, especially given the price tag attached, a jaw-dropping $8.2 billion over 10 years.
“Our partnership with NBC and the extension by FOX validate the strength of our fan base and the many bold steps we have taken the last several years to provide fans with better, more accessible racing,” said NASCAR Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Brian France.
The reason for the big TV deal? Both NBC and FOX have recently launched sports networks that compete head-to-head with ESPN, and they’re using NASCAR as cornerstone programming. To them, NASCAR offers significant content opportunities, from its long 10-month season to practices, qualifying and racing that happen over the course of multiple days for each event.
“A lot of television networks are looking for compelling live product that has a track record with the American public,” said former CBS Sports President Neal Pilson. “ NASCAR has been a good product ever since, frankly, I put the 1979 Daytona 500 on the air live.”