Comcast paid about $200M, Sports Business Daily says, for the right to slap its XFINITY name on the NASCAR Nationwide Series for the next 10 years. Beginning in January it will be called the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The company says that this "matches the longest single agreement" of any NASCAR national series. XFINITY will be the series' third sponsor after Anheuser-Busch, which was involved for 26 years, and Nationwide Insurance, for seven years.
“NASCAR provides an exciting environment in which to showcase our video and Internet products and we look forward to further enhancing the fan experience at home, at the track and on the go for years to come,” says Comcast Cable COO Dave Watson.
NASCAR looked for a new sponsor after Nationwide decided to leave the track as ratings for races began to flag. (Nationwide will be a team sponsor and NASCAR's "official auto, home, life and business insurance partner.") Comcast became a logical choice last year after it signed a 10-year agreement to offer races that had previously been carried by ESPN and Turner Sports. The deals include rights for XFINITY to stream NASCAR events.
The agreement comes as Comcast is trying to persuade the Justice Department and FCC to approve its acquisition of Time Warner Cable, which would make it the dominant cable provider in 20 of the 25 largest markets.