ESPN, Turner Drop NASCAR, NBC Picks Up 2015 Season

Perhaps looking to save money in order to keep NBA rights, both ESPN and Turner will drop NASCAR after next season. The NBA, which is crucial for ESPN and TNT, is expected to command a huge fee increase in its next round of negotiations.

On Tuesday, NBCUniversal said it had a deal to take over the back portion of the NASCAR season after Fox finishes its races starting in the 2015 season. The deal, lasting through 2024, covers the final 20 Sprint Cup Series races, as well as final 19 Nationwide Series races.

Within that are the final 10 races that make up the Chase for the Cup. The deal gives NBCU more programming for its NBC Sports Network, also 13 Sprint Cup races will be carried there annually. Seven will be on NBC. Plus, 15 Nationwide Series races will be on the cable outlet, with four on NBC. The deal also gives NBCU TV Everywhere rights to the races.

The deal encompasses other programming, such as a Toyota Mexican series, practice and qualifying sessions and the NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony. NBC had NASCAR rights for a long period before dropping them in 2006.

Last fall, Fox signed an eight-year, $2.4 billion extension with NASCAR that includes the first 13 races in the Sprint Cup, including the Daytona 500.
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