Fox Sports, NHRA Reach Deal

Fox Sports and Fox Sports 1 will be the home of the National Hot Rod Association Drag Racing Series as part of a long-term deal reached between the two parties.

The NHRA, which has been on ESPN since 2001, will move to Fox, with Fox Sports 1 offering coverage of Friday and Saturday qualifying and Sunday eliminations for each NHRA Mello Yello Series event, according to Fox Sports. A minimum of 16 Sunday eliminations will be presented in a live coverage format, with the remainder shown either in weekend afternoon or primetime slots, according to Fox.

Four of the live elimination shows will air on the Fox national broadcast network, said network officials.

“Committing to 16 live events, including four on the FOX broadcast network, certainly demonstrates the commitment and excitement level we have for the National Hot Rod Association,” said Jamie Horowitz, President of FOX Sports National Networks. “As home to the strongest and most diverse collection of racing properties on television, adding NHRA drag racing to the weekly lineup absolutely solidifies Fox Sports as the leader in motor sports television.”

For its part, ESPN vice president of league sports programming Julie Sobieski said in a statement: “The NHRA is an exciting form of racing with a very loyal fanbase. Unfortunately, we have had scheduling challenges with NHRA programming due to other commitments in the fall. We look forward to continuing our event coverage for the remainder of the 2015 season, and to serving fans with the stories of the NHRA on our news and information platforms for many years after that. We have tremendous respect for the NHRA and its history and we wish them all the best in the future.”

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.