I think @FLRacingFan nailed it. This is an improvement for NASCAR, as second tier races that would have been on NBCSN will slide over to USA, which has wider distribution and a larger average audience. The same race will do a better number on USA than it would have on NBCSN.
I don't know about that myself. In theory, moving to USA should draw larger numbers, but the "Summer Series" races on TNT drew lower ratings than Fox and ESPN, IIRC. Seems like, despite a strong primetime lineup on TNT and heavy promotion, only die-hard NASCAR fans were watching those.
Those were also only six races on a standalone package, while before, it was Fox/FX and NBC/TNT.
NBCSN was a boat anchor dragging down Cup viewership for every race it carried. Cup racing was supposed to help build out the network, not the other way around. USA won't be able to match NBC network numbers, but with adequate promotion, it is a step up from NBCSN.
Glancing at ratings from 2014, the final year before the current deal, for the races they had, TNT's numbers were roughly on par with what ESPN would average for most races (not the top races at the time like Talladega, the finale, etc. but the bulk of the schedule). It was always hard for TNT to build momentum with those six odd weeks in late summer.
NASCAR is a very niche sport. It doesnt bring in casual viewers like football would for marquee or playoff games. The existing fans who want to watch the race will land on USA and those who aren’t interested will be watching whatever they are interested in on other channels. If a “sports network” channel didnt bring in the sports interested viewers NBC theorized, it certainly wont happen with USA - especially in the middle of the season when it switches from Fox.
“We're very excited about, hopefully, our relationship continuing with the NFL, that's a big priority,” Roberts said during a Morgan Stanley conference today on technology, media and telecom. “But there will be, therefore, tough decisions where we have relationships that maybe won't be continued. And that will be someone else's good fortune perhaps. But we're going to be disciplined in trying to find a balance.”
A key for Roberts is to cut deals that include Peacock. “We're looking at every sports relationship we're doing to have a streaming aspect to it, not just a linear television aspect.” Roberts mentioned the EPL, WWE and the Olympics as properties that have embraced both streaming and linear platforms. “We're really high on what can happen with sports,” Roberts said. “There's nothing like sports. And if you look in the U.S. with the Olympics and the NFL and in U.K. with the Premier League, we're a very relevant company. But we're going to have to make some choices, and there will be choices we make with shareholders in mind and long-term value as well.”
Isn’t the NFL on CBS and Fox? What does NBC do with them?The NHL and EPL are mentioned because they expire within the next year or so, but perhaps more broadly everything that doesn't have a long-term agreement running parallel with the NFL into the 2030s could be in play. Also, don't expect them to give up exclusive streaming rights if they do renew with NASCAR down the line.
Sunday Night Football plus a few playoff games.
The NHL and EPL are mentioned because they expire within the next year or so, but perhaps more broadly everything that doesn't have a long-term agreement running parallel with the NFL into the 2030s could be in play. Also, don't expect them to give up exclusive streaming rights if they do renew with NASCAR down the line.
For those who like Dale Jr. in the booth and hate Letarte, Jr. basically spelled out on his podcast this week that they are for all intents and purposes a "package deal". Dale seemed to imply he wouldn't have even taken the job if Steve wasn't already there, and if Steve ever got the boot, Jr. would follow.