New Media Deal Drives NASCAR Forward: Impacts of Streaming on Sports

Key Takeaways:

– NASCAR inked a hefty seven-year media contract valued at $7.7 billion with Fox, NBC, Amazon Prime, and TNT Sports.
– The newly announced $5 billion media agreement between Netflix and WWE, presents a unique comparative context for NASCAR.
– Sports broadcasting on cable TV faces potential threats from streaming services like Netflix, who recently showed interest in sporting content.
– NASCAR has its share of endorsement in the digital world with the upcoming docuseries “NASCAR Full Speed” soon to premiere on Netflix.

The Power Shift in Sports Broadcasting Deals

In November of last year, NASCAR announced a comprehensive media deal involving heavyweights such as Fox, NBC, Amazon Prime, and TNT Sports. With a seven-year duration and a whopping $7.7 billion price tag, the deal encompasses all NASCAR Cup Series races, including practices and qualifying events, from 2025 through 2031, equating to $1.1 billion annually.

Contrarily, Netflix just shook the media world by clinching a comprehensive $5 billion deal with WWE. Set to begin in January 2025, for the next decade, Netflix becomes WWE Raw’s exclusive broadcaster. The agreement also extends to WWE SmackDown, NXT, and various live events, including WrestleMania, but only for non-US territories.

Domino Effect of Streaming Over Cable TV

Recent times have seen streaming services pose a significant threat to traditional cable television. Established platforms like Netflix dwarf cable giant Comcast in market cap, signifying the rise of streaming services. Bolstered by 13.1 million new subscribers last quarter and boasting over 260 million total paid subscriptions, Netflix’s allure to sports leagues is undeniable.

Netflix’s recent grab of WWE Raw shows its budding interest in sports content. The company, on its recent earnings call, expressed a clear focus on creating new and live content, indicating further deals might be in order, as live sports and related content join the list of the company’s growth strategies.

Netflix Enables NASCAR’s Digital Race

Attempting a new venture next year, WWE Raw will be available on Netflix, signaling a significant shift in the sports media landscape. Despite initial fears of losing a fan base, the transition to digital platforms is proving beneficial, illustrated by an NFL game exclusively live-streamed by Peacock turning out to be the most-watched live-streamed event to date in the US.

Drawing insights from a recent Sports Business Journal report, NASCAR’s fresh media deal represents a 40% surge from its current deal. At the signing event, NASCAR President Steve Phelps revealed that this agreement confirms NASCAR as a ‘Tier 1 property’ and an essential entity in the sports world.

However, questions arise as to whether NASCAR could have secured a better financial outcome. Regardless, other opportunities may emerge for NASCAR to draw additional streaming revenue.

Driving Influence of Streaming on NASCAR

Indeed, NASCAR has already initiated a collaboration with Netflix, with the upcoming docuseries “NASCAR Full Speed” ready to hit the digital field next week. The series offers an inside look at NASCAR playoffs’ on-track and off-track drama, promising an exciting viewing perspective for fans.

Not just racing events, the unique driver-focused content, and a closer look at technical and business developments during off-seasons are anticipated to keep fans on the edge of their seats. As demonstrated by the WWE Raw and NFL wildcard playoff deals, streaming platforms offer myriad ways to engage sports enthusiasts.

In conclusion, as sports broadcast continues its transition from traditional cable to digital platforms, NASCAR’s big new media deal underscores their adaptive strategies to this changing landscape. With the new docuseries set to open new doors for NASCAR’s digital presence, the Netflix-WWE deal can indeed turn out to be good news for NASCAR.