Overseas networks race to show second eNascar iRacing event
Some 18 international broadcasters have signed up to show the next US eNascar iRacing event, a virtual race taking the place of this weekend’s postponed round in Texas.
The simulated race at a virtual Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday follows on from last weekend’s inaugural eNascar iRacing Pro Invitational Series event at a virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Fox Sports, the US sports broadcaster that is one of the main rights partners of Nascar, has committed to show the remaining races in the esports series in 2020 after pulling in 903,000 viewers for last Sunday’s event on cable network FS1.
The race also trended as the number one topic on Twitter in USA.
The virtual races are being organised to fill the void left by the suspension of the Nascar season amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
The emergency has resulted in the postponement and cancellation of sports events worldwide, and the desire of broadcasters to acquire esports content to compensate for the lack of regular live action is reflected in the fact that networks covering 149 countries and territories will offer this Sunday’s race to up to 200 million households outside USA.
They comprise: Arena Sport in the Czech Republic and Slovakia; Astro in Malaysia; Automoto La Chaine in France, Belgium and Turkey; ESPN Latin America in Argentina, Colombia and Chile; MatchTV in Russia; MAX Sport in Bulgaria; Motowizja in Poland; Sport TV in Portugal; Sport1/Motorvision in Germany, Austria and Switzerland; Sportitalia in Italy; SportKlub in Croatia and Poland; SuperSport in sub-Saharan and West Africa; Telcel in Mexico; TSN in Canada; TV3 in Spain; Viasat in Sweden; and Ziggo Sport in The Netherlands.
The esports series has been created with the support of Nascar partner iRacing, the online racing simulation publisher, and the races will feature 35 actual drivers from across the Nascar series, including the Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Gander RV and Outdoor Truck Series, as well as Nascar legends.
Tim Clark, Nascar senior vice-president and chief digital officer, said this week that the organisation had been “overwhelmed by the positive feedback and encouragement” from its stakeholders and fans.
Fox shares domestic Nascar rights with NBC until 2024 in 10-year deals worth a combined $8.2 billion.
Image courtesy of Nascar