Sunday, May 26, 2024

The CW becoming exclusive NASCAR Xfinity Series broadcaster in 2025

As a developmental division, the NASCAR Xfinity Series is usually relegated to subscription-based television networks while the premier Cup Series gets most of the over-the-air love. That will change in 2025 when The CW Network becomes the Xfinity Series’ exclusive TV rights holder on a seven-year deal through 2031. NASCAR Productions will produce the telecast while The CW hires its own booth and crew.

The CW is an American broadcast network like fellow NASCAR broadcasters NBC and FOX, except it does not carry news content and instead specialises in entertainment; among its popular properties are series like Riverdale, Gossip Girl, and The Vampire Diaries, as well as America’s Next Top Model and children’s shows under the Kids’ WB block. It is mainly owned by Nexstar Media Group while founders CBS and Warner Bros. hold minority stakes; Nexstar also has some affiliate stations tied to FOX and NBC.

Since 2023, the network has branched into sports programming by covering LIV Golf and ACC college football and basketball. Regional affiliates have also aired games for teams in the area. Inside the NFL, a weekly American football talk show, was picked up by The CW in June after being carried by CBS’ streaming counterpart Paramount+.

From April to June, The CW ran a documentary series titled 100 Days to Indy produced by Vice News which followed the build-up to the 2023 Indianapolis 500.

“Landing the NASCAR Xfinity Series is a game changer for The CW and our CW Sports division and represents another important building block in our programming strategy,” said The CW president Dennis Miller. “Live sports are the most watched television content and with The CW’s national reach, moving NASCAR Xfinity Series to The CW will transform and elevate the viewing experience for the series and its fans. The CW has quickly become a destination for sports, as the NASCAR Xfinity Series joins our growing slate of sports programming, including Inside the NFL, ACC college football and basketball, LIV Golf, and the motorsports documentary series 100 Days to Indy. Beginning in 2025, The CW will have forty-eight weekends per year of live sports programming. With ubiquitous distribution across one of the nation’s five major broadcast networks, NASCAR Xfinity Series races on The CW will deliver more access for fans and far more revenue opportunities for The CW and its affiliates.

“Live sports are key to expanding broadcast audiences and are valuable to our network affiliates and cable, satellite, telco and streaming distribution partners as well as The CW and its parent company, Nexstar Media Group, Inc. Nexstar’s owned and operated stations and The CW’s nationwide affiliate network will allow us to create local excitement for the Xfinity Series as we expand its reach and drive viewership growth. This will deliver a larger audience for NASCAR Xfinity Series competitions, its major sponsors and CW advertisers looking for national brand awareness and local activation. In addition, by creating a singular home for NASCAR Xfinity Series races, fans will be able to quickly find their favorite racing entertainment each weekend. Ultimately, bringing NASCAR Xfinity Series racing to The CW is a win-win for everyone: fans, drivers, teams, sponsors and affiliates. We can’t wait for the green flag to begin flying on The CW in 2025.”

The Xfinity Series joins the Craftsman Truck Series in having a single broadcaster, the latter having every race on FOX’s FS1 save for the occasional date such as Talladega. Previously, the division followed the Cup Series by having FOX cover the first half of the season via FS1 before NBC via USA or Peacock to round out the year.

Prior to the current TV deal enacted in 2015, the Xfinity Series was almost exclusively on ESPN with select races being over the air on ABC and a one-off by FOX in 2011.

“CW’s leadership shared a compelling vision for cultivating the next generation of NASCAR talent by bringing the NASCAR Xfinity Series exclusively to broadcast television and we are thrilled for the opportunity to partner with them,” added NASCAR Senior Vice President of Media Brian Herbst. “With more than one million viewers tuning in each week to see NASCAR’s future stars battle some of its biggest names at our most legendary tracks, NASCAR Xfinity Series consistently delivers the moments that excite current fans and create new fans of our great sport.”