FOX Sports and IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) announced today a five-year multi-media rights deal that solidifies United SportsCar Racing’s home on television through the 2018 season.
Today’s announcement, which comes on the heels of last week’s news that FOX Sports will broadcast NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races through 2024, bolsters FOX’s expansive motorsports coverage. The agreement also includes coverage of IMSA’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge for five years. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
For motorsports fans accustomed to FOX Sports’ broadcast presentation of various forms of racing, including NASCAR since 2001, today’s announcement signals another exciting development for sports car racing in America. In September of 2012, GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón announced the two entities were merging in one of the most significant developments in the history of sports car racing in North America. Later named United SportsCar Racing, sanctioned by IMSA, the premier new sports car racing series begins its next chapter with the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January of 2014.
“It’s hard to argue that there’s a global media company more equipped and better resourced to cover and broadcast sports car racing than FOX Sports,” said Ed Bennett, CEO of IMSA. “By partnering with FOX Sports for the next five years, United SportsCar Racing, Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge and their teams, tracks, drivers and sponsors are positioned for strong exposure while our existing fans can expect top-notch presentation, promotion and marketing.”
With the 2014 schedule still being finalized, exact distribution plans currently are being determined, but fans can expect to see a mix of races available on both FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2. Under the new arrangement, FOX Sports also has the right to stream all IMSA races as part of its FOX Sports GO product. IMSA retains additional digital rights including alternate camera angles and full race replays.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to partner with IMSA and newly formed United SportsCar Racing,” said Billy Wanger, FOX Sports EVP of Programming & Research. “Our commitment to motorsports remains very strong across the FOX family of networks, and this relationship with what is now a unified sports car community delivers a strong package of racing content for its passionate fans.”
FOX Sports began broadcasting live NASCAR races in 2001 and will launch its new all-sports network, FOX Sports 1, on Aug. 17 with a broadcast of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from
Michigan International Speedway as the network’s first-ever live event. On the same day, FOX Sports 2 will broadcast the Rolex Series SFP Grand Prix from Kansas Speedway, with a re-air Sunday on FOX Sports 1.
“FOX Sports has shown a thirst for live sports programming, and in particular live motorsports programming,” said Scott Atherton, ALMS President and CEO. “We’re thrilled to have partnered with FOX Sports on this deal, rounding out their motorsports coverage with this content and giving sports car racing fans a place to call home for the next five years. United SportsCar Racing and the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge will be surrounded by some of the best sports programming in the world and will benefit from great awareness and promotion.”