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NASCAR Current TV Deal vs. NFL – Part 1

Posted by chadmusselman on November 4, 2007

NASCAR vs NFLThis season for NASCAR was the first of a new 8 year TV Contract with FOX, ESPN/ABC, and TNT. When the deal was signed there was quite a lot of press over it and how it’d help the sport evolve and become more mainstream. The NFL is the premier sporting league in the US, so I thought a comparison of NASCAR’s TV contract with the NFL’s could be a gauge to see how “mainstream” NASCAR has become. I pulled my information from Wikipedia.com and USA Today.

Doing some searching on Wikipedia.com and USA Today I found the following.

The NFL’s current TV Contract:
The contract took effect in 2006 and runs through the 2011 season.
AFC Package: CBS pays $622.5 million/year
NFC Package: FOX pays $712.5 million/year
Sunday Night: NBC pays $650 million/year
Monday Night: ESPN Pays $1.1 billion/year
Total Revenue: $3.735 billion/year

NASCAR’s current TV Contract:
The contract took effect in 2007 and runs through the 2014 season.
ABC/ESPN: $270 million/year
FOX: $208 million/year
TNT: $ 82 million/year
Total Revenue: $600 million/year

Where does the money from the TV contracts go?
In NASCAR, drivers get 25 percent of the overall revenue, compared to the track owners, who pull in 65 percent and NASCAR, which takes a 10 percent cut. In the NFL, Major League Baseball and the NHL, the athletes themselves take in at least 54 percent of the overall revenues each year.

So, as you can see, NASCAR gets about 1/6 of the TV revenue than the NFL. Just stating that might make you think that NASCAR isn’t close to the NFL, but there’s more to the numbers. NASCAR only has 36 races and the NFL has 256 regular season games to choose from during the 17 week season, which is about 7x more games than races. If you look at it that way, the deal is pretty comparable. The NFL also has multiple games going on at one time, so CBS and FOX can cut to a close game if the main one is a blowout.

After looking at these numbers it seems that the current TV contract for NASCAR is comparable to the NFL. 1/6th of the money for 1/7th of the contests.

Of course I haven’t talked about TV ratings, which is the main factor in determining how much money the networks pay to broadcast the sports, and how “mainstream” a sport is. I’ll post more on this topic in Part 2 of this post later in the week.

Do you agree or disagree with my thoughts on the TV deal? Leave a comment and let me know what you think. What do you think about 25% of the TV revenue going to the drivers where in other sports the players get over 50% of the revenue? Should the drivers get more of the revenue, or since there’re fewer drivers in NASCAR compared to players in baseball and football, is 25% enough? (~50 drivers compared to ~1280 baseball players, and ~1500 NFL players)

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One Response to “NASCAR Current TV Deal vs. NFL – Part 1”

  1. Tea Party said

    liked this post!

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