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Turner Keeps NASCAR Ride

Turner Sports New Media, exercising an option, will continue to steer the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing's digital course for at least a couple of more years.

David Levy, president of Turner Sports, said the company would continue to operate NASCAR.com (www.nascar.com) through 2008 and plans to add a broadband channel in support of the increasingly popular motor-sports circuit. Turner also holds another option to renew the relationship beyond that span.

"NASCAR fans are interested in the sport 24/7. This is a great opportunity to provide even more information and knowledge to NASCAR fans," said Levy, noting that the site would become home to more clips and other video components when NASCAR.com begins to showcase some of the new elements, which users will "start to see in 2007."

In return for operating NASCAR.com, Turner Sports New Media will continue to sell advertising time on the site.

Turner -- which will enter its 23rd year of NASCAR coverage with its presentation of Busch and Nextel Cup Series races from Chicago July 8 and 9, respectively -- will also launch a broadband channel to further support the sport.

"What's been available so far has been behind-the-wall content," Levy said. "What we want to do is bring users in front of the wall and give them an opportunity to get a lot more value, with additional footage, commentary and chances to interact with the NASCAR community."

As one of NASCAR's TV partners, Turner -- which, along with Fox, Speed Channel, ABC and ESPN signed an eight-year deal with NASCAR last fall that begins with the 2007 season -- now has the rights to simulcast its races on its own broadband outlet.

Levy has not made a call yet about whether Turner will simulcast race streams on broadband next year. "Like everything else at Turner, we'll make a decision based upon what's best for audience, distributors and advertisers," he said, adding that NASCAR.com would also be home to such presentations from any of the circuit's television partners.