Jeff Meyer · Friday August 2, 2013
I’m going to throw three recent news items out there for you to read. Let’s see if you can see, better yet understand, the writing on the wall.
Courtesy: Sports Media Watch
ESPN & TNT Chose Not To Renew With NASCAR: According to a Sports Business Daily} report, ESPN and Turner ditched NASCAR, not the other way around. Last month, ESPN and Turner Sports each informed NASCAR they did not intend to bid on the available television rights packages. The rationale was similar for both organizations; declining television ratings made NASCAR a less attractive property. Turner, according to the report, “ultimately decided that more NASCAR races weren’t worth the investment.” ESPN, meanwhile, “had soured on the sport because of declining TV ratings, an aging fan base and a tough ad sales market.” The report casts a somewhat negative light on both NASCAR, apparently abandoned by two high-profile broadcast partners, and NBC Sports, which will pay $440 million per year for rights through 2024.
Wow! There are some pretty harsh phrases in there! TNT “ultimately decided that more NASCAR races weren’t worth the investment.” And ESPN “had soured on the sport because of declining TV ratings, an aging fan base and a tough ad sales market.”
Finally someone dares to speak the truth! Here’s the next one…
FOX Sports extends and expands NASCAR agreement: FOX Sports and NASCAR solidified their future together last October when they announced a multi-platform, multi-series media rights agreement through 2022. Today, less than 10 months later, the two organizations announced they have extended that agreement, which begins in 2015 and runs through 2024. In addition, FOX Sports has added exclusive rights to three additional NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events and the first 14 NASCAR Nationwide Series events of each season. FOX Sports secured exclusive rights to the entire NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season through 2022 last fall and that part of the agreement also has been extended through 2024. Financial terms of the extended agreement were not disclosed.
NASCAR’s media rights package for 2015 and beyond is now complete with FOX Sports holding rights to the first 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, first 14 NASCAR Nationwide Series races and entire NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. NBC, which last broadcast NASCAR events in 2006, will televise the final 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, final 19 NASCAR Nationwide Series races and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour events beginning in 2015.
In total, NASCAR will have the same number of NASCAR Sprint Cup races on network television, 16, as it does in the current television package. FOX Sports will broadcast nine races and NBC will show seven.
Summary of FOX Sports’ Exclusive Rights (2015-2024): – First 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races of each season, including the Daytona 500 – Nine on FOX Sports and seven on FOX Sports 1 – First 14 NASCAR Nationwide Series points races of each season – Fourteen races on FOX Sports 1 – NASCAR Sprint Unlimited, Budweiser Duel and NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race – All NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races
If I may be so bold, the key sentence in that press release is the very first one. FOX Sports and NASCAR solidified their future together last October when they announced a multi-platform, multi-series media rights agreement through 2022. You will understand more about their future once you read this next press release from a few weeks ago that many may have overlooked.
Fox asking for increased fees for Fox Sports 1: FOX Networks will ask cable and satellite providers to pay 80 cents per month per subscriber for the newly rebranded Fox Sports 1, with carriage fees climbing to $1.50 monthly over the life of multi-year contracts. Affiliates currently pay approximately 23 cents per month for SPEED. FOX has already inked a new deal with Comcast Cable, but major carriers Time Warner Cable, DirecTV and Dish Network have reportedly balked at the price increase. Fox Sports 1 – formerly known as SPEED – will televise college football and basketball, NASCAR racing, UFC mixed martial arts events and sports news programs.
Hey you! Yeah you, sitting there opening your cable/dish bill. Is it a little higher this month? What’s that? You mean you’re going to have to move up to the next “tier” to get Fox Sports 1 so you can still get all the races?
Yes, we all know how it works. Either you will pay more or, and this happens all the time, major carriers will not agree to Fox’s terms and suddenly will not carry Fox Sports 1 after their current agreement is reached. And look at the increase! Right off the bat, Fox wants to hike it from 23 cents to 80 cents! And almost double that in the future!
Yeah, NASCAR has solidified its future alright! I bet execs at ESPN and TNT are laughing their asses off. Nothing like getting out while the getting is good!
Stay off the wall, (and good luck with your provider)
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