When NASCAR executives sat down earlier this year to plot a strategy around the circuit‘s upcoming media rights negotiations, they knew talks would not be as straightforward as they were the last time their rights were up.
It‘s not a bursting sports rights bubble that cynics have been predicting for the past three decades. But as consumers continue to drop their pay-TV subscriptions and move toward streaming services, media companies have started giving these deals a lot more scrutiny.
In the case of bigger properties, like NASCAR, that means deals are taking much longer to complete than its executives originally expected.
Back in the spring, sources said to expect new NASCAR deals by the middle of summer. In the middle of the summer, they pushed the likely agreements to Labor Day. This week, executives did not want to hazard a guess, not even off the record.
By all accounts, NASCAR‘s negotiations are going smoothly. Fox and NBC have told NASCAR officials that they want to renew at slight increases over their current deal. To help secure a healthy increase in overall media revenue, the circuit carved out a package of six midseason races. Amazon and Turner have showed the most interest in that package.