NASCAR Will Implement Major Shift in Coverage in 2025, According to New Report
Years from now, when NASCAR fans look back on the early 2020s, they’ll see the sport underwent significant change in various areas. The Next Gen car was the most notable transition for the drivers and teams. Plus, different styles of tracks were added to the mix, including the L.A. Coliseum, Bristol dirt, and North Wilkesboro Speedway.
While those changes were monumental, they didn’t directly affect the fans from an overall viewing experience. According to a new report, that will dramatically change in 2025, with NASCAR implementing a major shift in its coverage that will affect some of its core fans.
NASCAR fans will remember changes in early 2020s
The image of NASCAR began to shift noticeably in 2020, during the height of awareness on social justice issues. This included the banning of the confederate flag.
In 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic began, and NASCAR adjusted like other sports, with no fans in the stands initially. Eventually, fans began to slowly filter back into tracks around the country.
The following year, with crowds back, they witnessed the introduction of the Next Gen car and its first run at a historic venue, the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, for the exhibition Clash. They also saw the new car make laps at Bristol on the dirt.
And this season, the sport’s biggest alteration was again to the schedule and the return to North Wilkesboro Speedway for the All-Star Race last weekend.
A major shift in television coverage starting in 2025
All of those changes — from the car to the new tracks on the schedule — have been part of a progressive transformation of the sport, where thinking outside the box is encouraged. It’s a new mindset intended to keep up with the times, and more importantly, steer the sport into the future.
This past week, it was learned that NASCAR brass are eyeing their next big move, and it is set to start in 2025. According to Adam Stern of the Sports Business Journal, officials have talked with several streaming companies interested in exclusively carrying the Xfinity Series. In addition, NASCAR is also considering including a midseason package of Cup races in the deal.
Amazon is reportedly the top candidate for the streaming packages.
Some NASCAR fans understandably won’t be happy
Some fans have been vocal about the changes to NASCAR coverage in the last decade, going from traditional over-the-air networks to cable, like FS1 or USA Network. But at least with that contract, fans could watch all the races, albeit through different sources.
This new deal will eliminate that option for a number of fans wanting to watch all of the Xfinity races and the select Cup races, simply due to limited access. How many fans will be affected?
According to Broadband Now, a data technology company, a staggering 42 million Americans cannot access broadband services. That’s more than 10% of the U.S. population.
Trend that will continue in future
While it is unfortunate that a certain number of NASCAR fans won’t have access to those races in 2025, it’s hard to blame officials for making the move. The NFL aired its first games on Amazon last season. That was the first domino to tumble. And this trend will undoubtedly continue as streaming companies are trying to add live sports to their portfolios.
According to the SBJ report, Amazon views the streaming rights as an opportunity to boost its Prime subscriptions to NASCAR fans.
It’s a very interesting time in NASCAR, and one years from now fans will be able to look back and say they were there for it all.
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