Reports: Unhappy with revenue negotiations, team owners boycott meeting with NASCAR
NASCAR Cup Series team owners didn’t appear for their regularly scheduled meeting with NASCAR officials on Wednesday.
According to multiple reports, the boycott is because teams are unhappy with the state of discussions surrounding the way television revenue will be divvied up in future seasons. NASCAR’s current television contract is up after the 2024 season and negotiations on the next contract are set to begin in earnest later this year.
In a statement, NASCAR said that it is “committed to open and productive dialogue on a regular basis with all industry stakeholders. We remain committed to continuing discussions in the spirit of collaboration and with the shared goal of growing our sport for the benefit of all stakeholders.”
Teams currently receive 25% of the money from NASCAR’s television contract with Fox and NBC. As teams have faced a racing climate of increasing expenses, decreasing TV audiences and dwindling sponsorship dollars, they want a bigger share of television money to ensure their sustainability.
NASCAR’s tracks are the major beneficiaries of the television deal. The tracks receive 65% of the money while NASCAR itself gets 10%. NASCAR also owns many of the tracks that are on its schedule.
Fox and NBC are paying an average of roughly $800 million a season to broadcast races from NASCAR’s top three series and NASCAR is eyeing an increase starting in 2025. That hope for more TV money from the networks comes as TV ratings have declined from 2022 in 2023. Viewership has been down significantly for the majority of the first seven Cup Series races this season and there doesn’t appear to be a clear reason why unless Chase Elliott fans are refusing to watch while their favorite driver is on the sidelines because of a fractured tibia.
According to the Associated Press, team owners would like NASCAR owners Jim France and Lesa France Kennedy to be more involved in the revenue negotiations. The France family founded NASCAR and Jim has taken over as the leader of NASCAR following his nephew Brian’s departure while Brian’s sister Lesa has also had a significant role in NASCAR throughout her career.
The teams’ demands for a greater share of revenue from the television contract also come in the second year of NASCAR’s new Cup Series car. NASCAR implemented the car ahead of the 2022 season as a way to help teams reduce long-term costs, though many teams spent a significant sum up front to switch their fleets over from the previous car version. The current Cup Series car is largely built with parts from single-source providers with the stated goal of saving teams money and increasing parity throughout NASCAR’s top level.