NASCAR Xfinity Series will have a new home on the CW Network starting in 2025

NASCAR and the CW Network have announced a multi-year, multi-million dollar broadcasting deal with the network serving as the sole broadcast channel for the NASCAR Xfinity Series starting with the 2025 race season.

The new seven-year exclusive partnership will feature not only live broadcasts of the NASCAR Xfinity Series races, but will include all practice and qualifying sessions – with broadcasts on both the CW Network and the CW App.

Calling it a “big day for NASCAR and a big day for the CW,” NASCAR’s Senior Vice President of Media and Productions Brian Herbst noted that while there was interest for the broadcast rights “from a number of parties” that the CW and Nexstar presented “a compelling vision for what a NASCAR-CW partnership could look like.”

“I think the differentiating factor for us when we were thinking about the CW and Nexstar, you really get to work with two different companies within the context of one partnership,” Herbst said. “One is the CW free-to-air broadcast network available in 125 million homes, then you also get the benefit of working with Nexstar, which is the largest television group in the United States.

“When you think about our footprint in terms of the tracks that we run on week in and week out, when you think about Nexstar as the TV station group, within our track footprint, 84% of our tracks also have a Nexstar station, free-to-air distribution that will only benefit viewership for the Xfinity Series of up-and-coming drivers.”

Herbst also noted an important element of the partnership was the CW Network’s interest in expanding and diversifying its lineup that already included popular assets such as “Inside the NFL” and ACC college football. Beginning in 2024, the network expects to have at least 48 weeks of live sports programming.

Similarly, the CW Network President Dennis Miller was impressed with the audience NASCAR programming promised – both in demographics and viewership numbers – and sees a natural fit and mutual benefit for the partnership.

“We saw how loyal these fans were and we looked across the kind of rights landscape and saw how Xfinity did versus NHL and UFC and Premier League,” Miller said. “Felt like this was the best package that would help drive the asset value of The CW and provide great local programming. When combined with Inside the NFL, the ACC, obviously we wanted to establish 48 out of 52 weeks having a sports programming for our affiliates.

“We couldn’t be more delighted,” he added. “The fact that our stations lined up so well, advertisers were clamoring for live sports that had never been on The CW before. This is going to be a very significant part of kind of the growth trajectory for The CW.”

NASCAR Productions – which is opening a new state-of-the-art facility outside Charlotte by year’s end – will handle the production of the telecasts for the CW Network. It currently produces all the standalone Xfinity races for the FOX and NBC broadcast partners in addition to half the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series races and the entire IMSA race schedule.

“With the new upgrade in production technology we’re having roll out in 2024, we thought it made a lot of sense to make sure that new technology and a new partner that we’re working together on that production plan,” said Herbst, noting that the current plan is to keep the NASCAR Xfinity Series race schedule on Saturday afternoons and nights.

Miller said the network was enthused by the opportunities this deal presents – capitalizing on the natural synergy and wide-open potential.

“This is a nice kind of fit with how we’re doing our brand management and where they want to go with Xfinity,” Miller said.

“It was a good cultural fit. Both brands hoping to build the same kind of audience awareness out there. We have some flexibility between the linear broadcast and the digital app to take advantage of the breadth of our audience.”