Sprint Cup Races Moving To SPEED Channel?


(workingonmyredneck file photo)

Fox has held informal discussions with NASCAR about a new TV rights agreement that would allow the network to put some of its Sprint Cup races on Speed. David Hill, Fox Sports chairman, said Fox would like to see some of the 13 regular-season races it televises on Speed. A Fox source said the company could ask for as many as six races for the network.

Fox is five years into an eight-year, $1.76 billion contract with NASCAR that mandates Fox televise all of its Sprint Cup races on its broadcast channel except for two non-points, specialty events – the Sprint All-Star Race and the Gatorade Duels from Daytona, which air on Speed. If it wants to move regular-season Cup races to Speed before its contract expires in 2014, it would have to amend its agreement.

Fox sources were skeptical such a move would be made before the contract ends. The move would allow Speed to use live NASCAR broadcasts to increase the license fee that cable and satellite operators pay each month, which is currently around 30 cents, according to sources.

In addition to talking about putting Sprint Cup races on Speed, Fox has raised the possibility of making NASCAR a stakeholder in Speed and turning it into a joint-venture project. Sources familiar with those conversations said that they have been ongoing for several years. By partnering with NASCAR on Speed, Fox could avoid competing with the property if it decided to launch its own channel.(Sports Business Journal)

Even though Fox confirmed recently it was considering moving some of its races to Speed, NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France said Sunday at Infineon Raceway that the question is still open. “We’re having a lot of discussions right now,” France told Sporting News before the Toyota/Save Mart 350. “We’re unsure where that’s going to go. We’re having good discussions, and they’re our partner for a long time. We’ve got to make sure that all of our interests get met. We’re not at that place (of moving the races to Speed). There are going to be a lot of discussions. That’s just not a direction we’re going right now.”

As to the Cup schedule itself, France says there won’t be as many big changes as there have been over the past two seasons. “I’m not anticipating any significant changes,” France said. “There are always requests and always tweaks-but nothing like we’ve done in the last couple of years, when we made some significant changes, so I don’t anticipate that.”(Sporting News)

What are your views on the possible impending changes from FOX to SPEED for some Sprint Cup races?


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