On Friday at Daytona International Speedway, ARCA announced a new three-year TV deal that will see all of the races for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards televised for the first time in years.
To supplement the existing deal with FOX Sports, the remaining 10 races not covered on FOX Sports 1 or 2 will air on MAVTV.
Four of those races will air live. For 2017, those races are at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway in April, Elko Speedway and Madison International Raceway in June, and the Illinois State Fairgrounds in August. The remaining six races on the schedule (both Salem events, Iowa, Winchester, Road America and DuQuoin) will air on MAVTV via tape delay.
ARCA President Ron Drager said he is excited about the new deal.
“ARCA has a well-established history of investing in long-term relationships, and that certainly holds true in the case of our television network partnerships,” Drager said. “We’re very pleased that MAVTV will become a broadcast partner, and are proud to be a part of their programming mix. As we build our plan for the future of the series, we’re especially enthused to make this major, multi-year announcement. This mutual commitment between ARCA and MAVTV provides our series a high quality television platform available to deliver a tremendous value for viewers, race teams and sponsors.”
The MaVTV deal replaces last year’s deal with the American Sports Network (ASN), which broadcast nine events in 2016. Some of those were aired live, while others aired via tape delay. New Jersey Motorsports Park was the lone race without coverage. According to ARCA’s Mark Gundrum last year, cost was an issue for that race. Gundrum indicated that it would have cost twice as much to broadcast as the short track races due to the need for additional equipment. For 2017, Road America will run on the same day as the XFINITY Series’ Road America 180, allowing for cost savings via shared resources.
In addition, given ASN’s distribution network, race availability was hit or miss. Some markets would air races on RSN’s (Regional Sports Networks, like Root Sports, FSN or Altitude Sports), while others would be available on regular over-the-air affiliates. Many markets aired the races on digital subchannels of low-powered affiliates, while others couldn’t get them at all. A live-streaming element for the ASN broadcasts was available on their website, but you had to prove that you could not get the race on TV in your market. Races were archived on the site for future viewing, but there was no clear rules on when they would be available.
Online streaming will be available under the new deal via MaVTV’s Lucas Oil Racing TV service. As of this writing, the subscription service is available for computers and via dedicated apps for Xbox One, Xbox 360, Amazon Fire TV, Android devices and Roku devices. For those of you with iPhones or iPads, you can still use the service via the website. The service will provide live streaming of the races and archiving of the races for future viewing. Prices are currently $6.99 a month or $59.99 for the entire year.