January 26th, 2015
The SportsBusiness Journal is reporting that NASCAR is in “advanced talks” with the Comcast owned Xfinity cable and video service. Also mentioned as in talks with NASCAR, formal or informal, are Advance Auto Parts and AutoZone, according to the report.
It appears that Comcast, who owns NBC as well, is the leader and would make an interesting partner. With NBC coming back into the fold of telecasting NASCAR next season and taking over part of the now Nationwide Series, they would have a vested interest in the ratings on two fronts. This goes along with 2015 being rumored as the year of big changes for NASCAR, maybe they can limit the number of Sprint Cup Series drivers in the series or some other change to bring excitement to the series.
Advance Auto Parts and AutoZone are no strangers to NASCAR having sponsored teams and races over the years. It is interesting that they would be mentioned as entitlement sponsors for an entire series, as neither has had any staying power in the sport. Seemingly sponsoring for a handful of years, then disappearing, just to reappear again later. It would be a big power move to compete with NAPA, who is finding success with Chase Elliott in the Nationwide Series after the embarrassment of SpinGate last season at Richmond.
Negotiations are expected to continue throughout the summer with September being the month NASCAR has circled as time to make an announcement for the series. Once that is closed out, NASCAR can shift focus on what Sprint will do with the Cup Series as they are coming up important dates on whether to extend the partnership or not.