This is Where the NASCAR Xfinity Series Will Go in 2025
The racing world is in for some major excitement. The CW, following Nexstar's acquisition of a majority stake in the network in 2022, is revving up their live sports coverage with live motorsports. As reported by TheStreamable.com, The CW has struck a groundbreaking deal with NASCAR, making it the exclusive home of the Xfinity Series from 2025 through the 2031 season.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series, operating one level below the top-tier Cup Series, features familiar manufacturers and models, including Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, Ford Mustang GT, and Toyota TRD Camry. Meanwhile, the spotlight is on the latest generation of cars – the “Next Gen” cars, which replaced the Gen 6 cars at the beginning of the 2022 season.
The Next Gen cars boast a sleeker and sportier appearance compared to their Generation 6 predecessors. Additionally, they prioritize safety, introducing modern components and aiming to resemble showroom counterparts. With enhanced aerodynamics, downforce, and reconfigured chassis, these cars promise a captivating and competitive racing experience. And The CW is banking on this to draw in even more viewers.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series races draw an average of approximately 1 million viewers per race each season, on a combination of cable and broadcast television. Now, with The CW deal, it will be exclusively on broadcast and live-streaming platforms who carry the channel.
NASCAR's Senior Vice President, Brian Herbst, expressed excitement about partnering with The CW, stating, "CW's leadership shared a compelling vision for cultivating the next generation of NASCAR talent by bringing the NASCAR Xfinity Series exclusively to broadcast television, and we are thrilled for the opportunity to partner with them. The NASCAR Xfinity Series consistently delivers the moments that excite current fans and create new fans of our great sport."
For some viewers, though, this will definitely be a speed bump. Fox and NBC Universal hold NASCAR’s broadcast rights through the end of 2024, and the Xfinity Series primarily airs on FS1 and USA Network currently, with races also being shown on Fox and NBC. These are all relatively easy-to-view channels that are carried by every cable and satellite provider.
As for The CW, if you don’t know how to get the channel because your races have never been there before, you aren’t in the minority. Until recently, The CW’s programming consisted almost entirely of DC Comics superhero series and young adult dramas. Nexstar has been shaking up that programming recently with its deal for LIV Golf and their interest in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).
Currently you can find The CW with an antenna in major metro locations, bundled in with most cable packages, and included in a few live TV streaming services such as Hulu Live and Fubo. Where you can’t find it right now is on DIRECTV or DIRECTV STREAM, as they are locked in a brutal and public carriage dispute with Nexstar.
It is likely that this announcement with NASCAR will provide some more tank in the gas for Nexstar to get their way with DIRECTV and others (Dish is also up for carriage negotiations later in the year). But for the rest of us, we’re just looking forward to watching the races and the newer cars that get introduced for another 8 years.
I've worked in the publishing industry for nearly a decade, mostly in travel where I managed LonelyPlanet.com. Over the last few years I shifted my focus to the technology sector, writing about the businesses and disruptions that come with it.
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