Hearing from all my new NASCAR friends: ‘Did you write that with one or two pinkies in the air?’

I knew I was stepping into it when I wrote a post about NASCAR last week.

For those who missed it, I wrote:

I don’t know anybody who watches NASCAR. Nobody. I never have had a friend or acquaintance say, “Did you see that race on Sunday?”

That’s why it is staggering to me that NASCAR’s new TV deals with NBC and Fox will be worth $8.2 billion. That $820 million per year, beginning in 2015.

Again, if two networks would be willing to shell out $8.2 billion for a sport, you would think I would know at least one person who watches it on a regular basis. And I know a lot of people.

A large part of this is due to the fact that I live in Chicago, not exactly a hotbed for NASCAR.

I wrote that I

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Are that many people watching NASCAR? New Fox, NBC rights deals worth $8.2 billion

I debated whether to say this, and I know I am going to get ripped to shreds for saying it.

However, I have said stupid things before and will again. So here goes.

I don’t know anybody who watches NASCAR. Nobody. I never have had a friend or acquaintance say, “Did you see that race on Sunday?”

That’s why it is staggering to me that NASCAR’s new TV deals with NBC and Fox will be worth $8.2 billion. That $820 million per year, beginning in 2015.

Tripp Mickle and John Ourand of Sports Business Daily wrote yesterday about Fox Sports completing its deal:

Fox Sports and NASCAR closed a new $3.8B TV rights agreement that adds three Sprint Cup races, 14 Nationwide series races and two years to the deal the broadcaster cut with NASCAR last fall. The $3.8B price

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Why are there so many Jewish sportswriters covering NASCAR?

I’m not sure of the significance of this post. However, as a Jewish sportswriter, I feel compelled to share.

I did write about the new NASCAR TV deal with NBC this week. Don’t think that qualifies me for this list.

Anyway, Viv Bernstein put up a post titled, “The Merry Jews of NASCAR.”

From the post:

Yes, Nascar was born in the Bible Belt South. And racing and religion are inseparable. Each weekly driver’s meeting ends with a prayer and every pre-race ceremony includes an invocation.

Goyishe sport, right? Oy! Would you believe there are enough Jews in Nascar to fill an Adam Sandler song? And then some.

No, they’re not the ones driving the racecars, so you’re not going to read about them. But here’s the thing: You probably will read them. That’s because we’re all in the press

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What’s another billion dollars? NBC spends big money to land NASCAR; analysis of new deal

At some point, you would think the cartoonish spending for sports on TV will end. The money has to run out eventually, right?

Well, that wasn’t the case Tuesday. According to Sports Business Daily, NBC shelled out $4.4 billion for a new 10-year contract to air NASCAR on NBC and NBC Sports Network, beginning in 2015.

From Tripp Mickle and John Ourand:

That represents a significant media rights increase for NASCAR over the more than $2.28B paid by ESPN and Turner Sports combined for the same number of Sprint Cup and Nationwide races in their current 8-year agreements. This comes after NASCAR received a more than 30% increase in its earlier deal with Fox that covers the first half of its season.

Why was NBC so motivated? Of the 20 races in this package, 13 will be shown on … Continue Reading

NASCAR returns to NBC: 10-year deal begins in 2015; provides programming for NBC Sports Network

It’s official. This just came in from NBC:


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. and NEW YORK (July 23, 2013) – NASCAR and NBC Sports Group announced today they have reached a comprehensive agreement that grants NBCUniversal exclusive rights to the final 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, final 19 NASCAR Nationwide Series events, select NASCAR Regional & Touring Series events and other live content beginning in 2015. Financial terms of the agreement, which runs through the 2024 season, were not disclosed.

With this partnership, NBC’s 20 Sprint Cup race schedule includes becoming the exclusive home to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR’s final 10 races of the season, including its season-ending championship event which will return to network television in 2015 for the first time since 2009. Of NBC Sports Group’s 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, seven will … Continue Reading

NASCAR leaving ESPN for NBC; Fox still will be part of package

From Sports Business Daily:

ESPN and Turner Sports will be out of the NASCAR business after next season, according to several sources. NASCAR is planning a press conference later today to announce that Fox and NBC will share rights to the sport starting in 2015. Financial terms of NBC’s deal and its broadcast plans aren’t known, but the network had been pitching NASCAR on returning the Sprint Cup series to broadcast TV and could air races on Sunday afternoons on NBC prior to “Sunday Night Football.” NBC also picked up rights to the second half of the Nationwide Series. It’s unclear if those races will be on NBC or NBC Sports Network.

More to come later.

 … Continue Reading

Biggest race in the world? NBC executive says it is Monaco Grand Prix; live coverage Sunday

Sam Flood, the executive producer for NBC Sports, is telling me Sunday’s race on his network “is the biggest event in auto racing.”

Wait a minute. When did NBC acquire the rights to the Indianapolis 500?

The answer: It didn’t.

Flood was talking about the Monaco Grand Prix. For the time ever, NBC will air the race live Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET. It highlights the network’s new package to air all the Formula One races on either NBC or NBC Sports Network.

So what about that other race Sunday? You know the one in Indianapolis?

“The most watched series in the world is Formula One racing,” Flood said. “And the Grand Prix is the biggest race in that series. The entire world will be watching.”

With the possible exception of the U.S. Much like European Premier League soccer, the … Continue Reading

Daytona folo: Fox scores huge rating thanks to Patrick; Gets knocked for accident coverage

As I said previously, I am not an auto racing fan. I had obligations that precluded me from watching the Daytona 500 yesterday. However, in full candor, if it had been Masters Sunday, I rearrange those obligations so I could be in front of my television.

I did follow the race on Twitter. When I saw that Danica Patrick was in contention, you knew it was going to be a good day for Fox Sports.

Sure enough, the overnight ratings produced a seven-year high at 10.0, up 30 percent from the 7.7 in 2012 and 22 percent from 8.2 in 2011.

The race peaked with a 12.8 rating from 4:30-4:45 p.m. (ET), when the channel flippers tuned in to see Patrick down the stretch. She definitely came through for Fox and Nascar.


The bigger story from the weekend was … Continue Reading