NASCAR's Xfinity Series, a Racing Circuit Named After a Pay TV Service, Speeds Towards Exclusive Streaming

NASCAR Xfinity Series
(Image credit: Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

NASCAR appears set to license its second-tier racing circuit, the NASCAR Xfinity Series, as well as the more lightly watched summer trimester of its premiere NASCAR Cup Series to a streaming company. 

According to Sports Business Journal's John Ourand, at least two streaming companies have expressed interest in these live sports packages, with Amazon described as a "strong candidate" to land both. 

Fox and NBCUniversal control NASCAR TV rights for both the Cup and Xfinity Series through their respective 2024 seasons, with the media companies' exclusive negotiating deal on a new contract ending at the end of May. Collectively, the two companies pay around $820 million a season for the deals, which were signed back in 2015. 

Fox and NBCU are expected to remain in business with NASCAR, but with a smaller piece of the pie. According to SPJ, Fox would hold onto the spring portion of the NASCAR Cup season, which begins in February and includes the coveted Daytona 500 race. 

NBCU would retain the "playoff" portion of the NASCAR Cup season, which fills out September and October. 

NASCAR is ready to break off the summer portion of the Cup schedule, when HUT levels (houses using television) are down and those tuning in tend to be more avid racing enthusiasts who will be more inclined to chase their racing habit down via subscription streaming. 

NASCAR did something similar a decade ago with its previous TV rights alignment, licensing the summer portion to Turner Networks. 

Meanwhile, amid talks with numerous media and tech companies that have occurred over the last several weeks, SBJ said the entire NASCAR Xfinity Series season would also be licensed to a streaming company. 

Notably, Comcast entered a 10-year, $200 million deal to be the keynote sponsor of NASCAR's second-tier circuit back in 2015, when the cable giant still had more Xfinity TV customers than Xfinity Internet subscribers. 

So, yes, there's still a bit of remaining irony here: A second-tier racing circuit, named after the biggest provider of traditional linear cable TV services, is about to go over the top. 

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!