LONG POND, Pa. As expected, Fox Sports and its new Fox Sports 1 network announced Thursday they would broadcast three additional NASCAR Sprint Cup and 14 Nationwide Series races annually beginning in 2015.
What was a surprise was Fox which had already agreed to a contract extension through 2022 last fall extended its newly expanded deal an additional two years through 2024.
Industry sources told the Observer the total cost of the now 10-year Fox deal is $3.8 billion, slightly less than the 10-year, $4.4 billion deal announced last week by NBC, which will broadcast the second half of each season in Cup and Nationwide.
Both networks contracts will now expire at the same time.
Beginning in 2015, NASCAR will reap an average of $820 million a year from its TV partners. By comparison, the NFLs current deal among four networks, which expires after this season, averages $3.085 billion a year.
Still, NASCARs new package is a significant increase over its current contracts with ESPN, TNT and Fox, which expire after next season.
Fox Sports has been an outstanding partner for NASCAR and we could not be more pleased with the additional commitment they are making to our sport and the fans, said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France.
We believe this new agreement underscores our shared commitment to the fans over the next decade.
Among the highlights of Foxs expanded deal, which begins in 2015:
• Fox will broadcast nine of the first 16 Cup races, including the Daytona 500. The other seven races will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.
• Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the first 14 Nationwide races each season.
• Fox has rights to the Sprint Unlimited, Budweiser Duel at Daytona and NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race each season, as well as the entire Truck Series schedule.
We obviously are excited to extend our relationship with Fox Sports with a good balance of racing on the Fox Network, said Steve Herbst, NASCARs vice president of broadcasting and productions.