- NASCAR and NBC will partner for coverage of the Sprint Cup Series starting in 2015.
- The season-ending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship event will be on network television for the first time since 2009.
- ESPN will be out of NASCAR coverage in 2015 for the first time since it began airing races in the late 1970s.
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida — NASCAR said it will partner with NBC for coverage of the Sprint Cup series starting in 2015 in a 10-year media partnership, thus severing future broadcast ties with ESPN and Turner Sports.
The season-ending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship event will be on network television for the first time since 2009. The agreement gives NBC Universal the exclusive rights to the final 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races and the final 19 Nationwide Series events through 2024.
NASCAR and NBC Sports Group announced the deal on Tuesday. Financial terms were not revealed.
NBC will replace ESPN, which helped to lift NASCAR to prominence by providing extensive coverage of stock car racing in the early years of the cable-sports channel in the late 1970s and early '80s.
ESPN also surrenders its coverage of the second-tier Nationwide Series, meaning it will be out of stock car racing completely for the first time since it began cultivating a relationship with individual NASCAR track owners. Fox and NBC will split Nationwide coverage beginning in 2015.
Fox previously extended its rights deal with NASCAR and will continue coverage of the first half of the season, including the prestigious Daytona 500 in February, from 2015-'22 in a $2.4 billion deal.
"NBC is known for being an exceptional partner and delivering outstanding production quality and presentation of live sports, as well as its broad portfolio of broadcast and digital properties," said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. "So we are thrilled with the commitment they have made to NASCAR and its future."
TNT, which provided coverage of a handful of midsummer races after Fox's stint and before ESPN picked up coverage with the Brickyard 400, is also out after 2014.
The 2001 package secured all television rights for the sanctioning body and promised to bring order to a chaotic TV schedule that had as many as five cable and traditional broadcast channels providing race coverage in a random order determined by the schedule of races and the various TV coverage deals.
The 2001 plan also promised to put all Cup Series races on broadcast channels, but that never quite lived up to its promise as both Fox and NBC outsourced some of their event coverage to cable affiliates.
Likewise, the present deal scatters race coverage over the traditional broadcast and cable channels.
The new deal also awards rights to NBC Sports Group for coverage of Cup Series pre-event practice and qualifying, plus various lower-level NASCAR series and events such as the season-ending banquets and the annual hall of fame induction ceremony.
Edmunds says: NBC and its all-sports cable channel continue to stock up heavily on motorsports, adding NASCAR to Formula 1 and IndyCar packages. Fox, likewise, expands its racing presence as it converts the Speed TV channel into Fox Sports 1.