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NASCAR President: ‘Broadcast TV Has To Be Part Of Next Rights Deal’

“After the 2022 season, FOX and NBC would likely have an exclusive window to negotiate with the league.”

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The contract between NASCAR and its media partners, FOX and NBC, runs out after the 2024 season. Much has been speculated about what the sport’s media future looks like. Earlier this week, NASCAR President Steve Phelps appeared on the Marchand and Ourand Podcast to discuss exactly that.

Phelps knows that over-the-top streaming platforms are in the sport’s future. He was keen to mention that NASCAR is aware of the different levels of consumer control offered by various platforms. No matter what though, he says racing will be on traditional television.

“The team model is very dependent on sponsorship so we need to make sure that whatever partner that we would move, that we would go to… stay with or move to. There wasn’t any foreshadowing there, I promise you. We need to make sure that over-the-air is an important part of what that will be,” he said.

With three full seasons of racing still left on the current deals, there is plenty of time before NASCAR rights hit the open market. After the 2022 season, FOX and NBC would likely have an exclusive window to negotiate with the league. Steve Phelps is optimistic for the position NASCAR could be in by that point.

“I think that 2022 will be the best year that NASCAR has had on television in a long, long time. That certainly bodes well as we head into negotiations.”

The first two weeks of the season have shown growth. The Daytona 500 just delivered its best ratings in three years. Still, there is a long way to go to catch up with pre-pandemic numbers. In fact, that Daytona number becomes a little less impressive when you factor in that the 2020 and 2021 editions of the race were the least watched in history.

As for what media outlets could offer competition to FOX and NBC, Phelps was not specific. He did mention that he was happy with the E:60 documentary ESPN produced about driver Bubba Wallace and that he thought the network’s Daytona 500 coverage was excellent. He still expressed a desire to see ESPN give NASCAR more attention in the future.

Sports TV News

NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake

“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”

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The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.

“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”

Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.

Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.

Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”

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Sports TV News

Greg Olsen Believes He and Kevin Burkhardt Can Handle Games ‘On Any Stage’

“Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

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Greg Olsen

Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen are on tap to call Super Bowl LVII in February, and Olsen told Front Office Sports he has the confidence to announce the game with no hesitations.

“If you’re asking me, I think Kevin and I have shown that we can handle a game on any stage – on any day. We just did it on Thanksgiving. We’ll do it again around Christmas. And obviously throughout the [NFL] Playoffs,” said Olsen. “So whatever decision they make. Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

“But as of now, I anticipate Kevin and I, the two of us, with Erin and Tom down on the sidelines, the four of us, broadcasting the Super Bowl in February in Arizona. Until I’m told otherwise, that’s how we’re proceeding.”

Olsen also told FOS he has negotiated a new contract with FOX Sports, but declined to share details. He is slated to be replaced on the top broadcast crew once Tom Brady ends his playing career. Brady will then begin a 10-year, $375 million contract to serve as the network’s top NFL game analyst and brand ambassador.

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Sports TV News

St. Louis Cardinals Announcer Dan McLaughlin Charged With Third DWI

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

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Dan McLaughlin

St. Louis Cardinals television play-by-play announcer Dan McLaughlin has been charged with DWI after being arrested on Sunday in Creve Coeur, Missouri.

According to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, police received at least two phone calls from concerned drivers that a white BMW was driving erratically, with one caller saying it was driving into oncoming traffic.

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

Bally Sports Midwest and the released a joint statement Monday.

“We have been made aware that Dan McLaughlin was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated on Sunday night.. We are very disappointed to hear this, and are working to gather additional information before offering further comment.”

McLaughlin, 48, has served as the voice of the Cardinals for 24 years.

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