Fox Sports to broadcast remaining Nascar esports races
Fox Sports, the US sports broadcaster, has announced it will broadcast all remaining rounds of stock car racing series Nascar’s new esports competition, on the back of a successful first race.
Last Sunday’s inaugural eNascar iRacing Pro Invitational Series event, a virtual race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, drew 903,000 viewers on cable network FS1, according to Nielsen Media Research.
It was the most-watched sports telecast on cable television on the day and the most-watched telecast on FS1 since the shutdown of live sports, which began on 12 March.
It was also the highest-rated esports TV program in US history.
Brad Zager, Fox Sports executive producer, said: “This rapid-fire collaboration between Fox Sports, Nascar and iRacing obviously has resonated with rave fans, gamers and television viewers across the country in a very positive way. We have learned so much in a relatively short period of time, and we are excited to expand coverage of this brand-new Nascar esports series to an even wider audience.”
The series has been created in partnership with Nascar esports partner iRacing, the online racing simulation publisher. It is replacing several Nascar competitions on the calendar that have been suspended due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
The races feature 35 drivers from across the Nascar series, including the Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Gander RV and Outdoor Truck Series, as well as Nascar legends.
Fox Sport said it will cover the remainder of the esports season, with races broadcast on the main Fox network, FS1 and the Fox Sports app. Races will be available in Canada through cable network Fox Sports Racing.
The next race in the series is scheduled for this weekend at the virtual Texas Motor Speedway.
Tim Clark, Nascar senior vice-president and chief digital officer, said: “We’re overwhelmed by the positive feedback and encouragement sent by industry stakeholders, driver, partners, media and most importantly, our fans. We all can’t wait to get back to racing and our partners at iRacing and Fox have worked with us to do just that—race.
“We are committed to running these eNascar iRacing events as long as necessary. Providing a platform for our fans to watch and engage with their favourite drivers is our number one priority.”
Fox shares domestic Nascar rights with NBC until 2024 in deals worth a combined $8.2 billion.