NASCAR

ESPN, TNT out as Peacock inks $4.4 billion-deal to bring sport to the net for first time since '06

NBC is back in business with NASCAR, inking a 10-year deal to carry more than half of the popular Sprint Cup Series starting in 2015.

The rights, for which the Peacock shelled out roughly $4.4 billion or $440 million annually, would replace those currently held by ESPN and Turner’s TNT.

Seven of the Peacock’s 20 NASCAR races will air on NBC and the rest on NBC Sports Network. NBC will show the Cup’s season-ending championship event beginning in 2015, marking the first time it has aired on broadcast television since 2009.

Fox re-upped its NASCAR deal last fall, paying an estimated $2.4 billion for an eight-year run starting in 2015. It will broadcast the first 13 races of the Cup season (including the Daytona 500), and it’s too soon to know if any might show up on upcoming cable network Fox Sports 1.

Three of the 36 Cup races are still unaccounted for, and NASCAR is expected to make an announcement on a carrier in the coming weeks.

NBC, which carried NASCAR races from 2001-06, also has inked a deal to carry the final 19 races of NASCAR’s less popular Nationwide Series that currently plays on ESPN.

These new NASCAR deals are a boon for NBC Sports Network, which continues to pile up original hours of programming. According to the net, from mid-August through December — a period that will include NHL hockey action as well as recently added Premier League and Formula One programming — it will be airing roughly 1,100 fresh hours — a 75% increase over a year ago.

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