News Corp.'s Fox is putting the pedal to the metal and renewing its rights deal with NASCAR at a sizable increase in cash.
Despite some ratings declines, Fox has agreed to an eight-year, $2.4-billion contract to keep NASCAR on its broadcast network through 2022, people with knowledge of the pact said. That averages out to about $300 million annually -- a 33% jump over the $225 million Fox is currently paying for stock car racing. The new deal takes effect in 2015.
As part of the agreement, Fox will now be able to offer NASCAR races on mobile devices including tablets and phones. However, fans will already have to be subscribers to a pay-TV provider to access that content. The digital aspects of Fox's new contract with NASCAR go into effect in January.
Fox's accord comes just a few weeks after the network agreed to pay nearly $500 million a year for rights to regular-season and postseason baseball, which is about twice as much as it had been paying.