(photo by Leon Hammack)
An article written by Michael Smith, a staff writer for the Sports Business Journal, today indicates that NASCAR is most probably putting in place everything that it needs to rev up its own cable channel when the current contracts expire with FOX and ABC-ESPN in 2014.
The NASCAR Media Group is less that two years old, but it appears that NASCAR is dumping loads of money into it and plotting its course for the future.
During the course of the next few months, the NASCAR Media Group will begin moving out of its old digs, in the southern part of downtown Charlotte, to its new state of the art $45 million dollar office that ajoins the NASCAR Hall of Fame in the heart of Charlotte. The plans call for the medai group to occupy floors 2-5 of the 19 story office complex.
Even tough the NASCAR Hall of Fame will not open for another year, the media group is set to move in to their offices in June. NASCAR has given the media group everything it needs to start up a NASCAR channel. inside their office space the equipment includes, multiple studios and control rooms, to full graphics and high definition capability.
As Jay Abraham, CEO of NASCAR Media Group stated, ” We wanted more control over the process of creating and distributing our content. This new facility will allow us to evaluate a broader range of strategic options for NASCAR, the industry and how we best serve our fans”.
Mark Lazarus, president of media and marketing for Atlanta’s Career Sports & Entertainment and the former Turner Sports chief, ” For NASCAR to consider its own network, I think that it is a smart investigation. It’s smart in terms of controlling their content, but also in terms of their fiduciary responsibility to the industry, to teams and tracks.”
Presently SPEED TV is NASCAR media group’s single largest client. With SPEED TV in over 75 million homes and businesses, NASCAR media group provides content for seven or eight shows a week. Presently SPEED TV acts as a pseudo NASCAR channel providing many hours during the week, as well as qualifying and pre-race shows on the weekend.
With the possibility of NASCAR getting ready to jump into the broadcast media, will that change how we receive our NASCAR shows, news, etc? Will we see the phasing out of John Roberts, Jimmy Spencer, Kenny Wallace, Dave Despain, Rutedge, Hermie Sadler, and the likes????