The Future of NASCAR on TNT

by Jonathan Fjeld, TRE lead reporter 



The NASCAT on TNT hauler 

Credit to Endagraph/Flickr

Turner Sports has been broadcasting NASCAR since the 1980s. Early on they broadcasted the 2nd race at Richmond as well as some late season races. In the 1990s, they broadcasted Charlotte races, Pocono and exhibition races from Japan. Then came the 21st century.

Turner would turn NASCAR broadcasting over to TNT as part of TNT's slogan "We Know Drama". From 2001 to 2006, TNT & NBC traded off and broadcasted half the year with the Daytona 500 in the even years. In 2007, they were down to 6 races.

During the TV deal from 2001-2006, Turner had more involvement in NASCAR than just broadcasting.

Turner Sports bought NASCAR's official website in 2001. Ever since then, Turner Sports has also acquired media and streaming rights for NASCAR.

With NASCAR wanting it back and some conflicts rising, could TNT not be included for the 2014 TV deal?

Possibly. Even when Turner Sports did not have as much media rights besides broadcasting, it was a nice part of NASCAR, as in the pre-ESPN era, they broadcasted the majority of NASCAR races. Televised NASCAR races back in the 1970s, was something appreciated unlike today.

But even with a good history with a group, the present- day events can effect the future with that group. Just ask Joe Paterno, legendary head coach recently fired from Penn State in the midst of controversy. Too soon? Haha, anyways...

In this case, Turner Sports has ruled NASCAR's social media involvement and streaming rights. Now the group, being NASCAR, is looking to take it back. Along with issues with streaming rights and controlling social media, TNT has been considered "the weakest link of NASCAR broadcasting ever since 2001" by many fans of the sport.

What ever may happen, fans of NASCAR are hoping it all comes out with a good result and are satisified with the TV partners in 2014. While NASCAR is hoping that streaming more races like the Daytona 500 is possible very soon, in order to stand up to rival Super Bowl.