NASCAR announced a major media rights deal Wednesday afternoon during the sport’s annual Champion’s Week in Nashville – a deal beginning with the 2025 season that will include both existing NASCAR television networks, FOX Sports and NBC Sports and also include first-time broadcast rights for Amazon and TNT Sports, a division of Warner Bros., Discovery.
Calling it a “monumental day for NASCAR and the NASCAR industry” NASCAR executives as well as front office executives from across all the major media outlets involved in the new broadcast deal addressed a crowd that included key industry leaders and all three NASCAR national series champions – NASCAR Cup Series champion Ryan Blaney, Xfinity Series champion Cole Custer and NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series champion Ben Rhodes, who will be honored in Thursday’s NASCAR Awards Banquet.
The new media rights agreement will extend through the 2031 season and comes only months after NASCAR announced a record $1.1 billion partnership with the CW network, which will carry all NASCAR Xfinity Series race broadcasts for the next seven years as well.
Current broadcast partners FOX and NBC will each carry 14 NASCAR Cup Series events. FOX Sports begins its portion of the schedule with the Feb. 4 Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum. NBC Sports will bookend the season, again carrying all the Playoff races. The two new broadcast outlets – Amazon and TNT will each carry five races. Amazon Prime and TNT will carry all of the season’s practice and qualifying sessions as well.
“We are super excited about what 2025 is going to bring to us … which is a combination of obviously broadcast, cable and streaming,” NASCAR President Steve Phelps said. “We want to meet race fans where they are or potential race fans where they are. We think this group does exactly that for us, so we couldn’t be happier to have them on board.”
Phelps said this is the culmination of a long, well-received process among the media outlets and NASCAR and that the teams and facilities where they race have been not just supportive but enthusiastic about this outcome.
Certainly, it marks a major turning point in how the sport is received – the streaming services are especially popular with the younger generation of race fans and Amazon and NASCAR are banking on that outreach.
“It’s been fantastic to get to this point, it’s really the starting line and I can’t wait for 2025 to get here,” Amazon’s Prime Video Vice President and Global Head of Sports Jay Marine said.
“In terms of why NASCAR for Amazon, what we really look for are premium tier 1 sports that can move the needle for Prime and NASCAR fits that. A sport that has a passionate fan base, a large fan base where the sport is must-see for them. That is extremely valuable.”
“Then we want to go innovate,” Marine continued. “We look at this as a seven-year-plus partnership and we’ll talk about the renewal later, but that’s how we want to invest so that we can innovate for the long-term and we’re excited to do that. We’re excited to reach a younger audience who may have cut the cord and are not watching as much, which we’ve been able to do with Thursday Night Football (NFL) as an example.”
Amazon and TNT Sports, which broadcast a portion of the NASCAR schedule from 1983-2014, will split the rights to the season-long practice and qualifying sessions. Amazon Prime – NASCAR’s first fully direct-to-consumer partner – will stream the practice and qualifying sessions for the first half of the season – with the exception of the Busch Light Clash, Daytona 500 and NASCAR All-Star Race, which FOX Sports will handle.
Similarly, TNT’s truTV and MAX streaming service will handle the practice and qualifying sessions for the second half of the 38-race schedule. No broadcast teams were named by either outlet, but Amazon’s Marine said it will look for announcers that can connect with the fanbase – both the newcomers and long-time supporters.
“These agreements not only show NASCAR’s importance to the sports and entertainment ecosystem, but also the willingness of some of the world’s largest and most respected media companies to make significant investments in America’s leading motorsport,” NASCAR Senior Vice President, Media and Productions Brian Herbst said.
“The media landscape is rapidly evolving, with new distribution platforms providing more options to the consumer than ever before.
“This is the right mix of media partners to promote and deliver content around our sport – positioning NASCAR for growth across different mediums and giving our fans uninterrupted access on the established platforms that they are already using. We are excited to work with this best-in-class group of media companies to deliver the best of NASCAR racing and the excitement of live sports to our fans.”