IndyCar Series
FOX Sports CEO on full IndyCar slate on FOX: ’Great halo effect for all motorsports'
IndyCar Series

FOX Sports CEO on full IndyCar slate on FOX: ’Great halo effect for all motorsports'

Updated Jun. 13, 2024 1:15 p.m. ET

When the NTT IndyCar Series races next season, it should be easy to find.

While other sports properties have preferred to have a mix of partners and platforms, the 17 races of the 2025 season will all be on FOX. That includes the Indianapolis 500, which has been telecast by NBC for the last 16 years.

The 17 races roll over 16 weekends (there is a doubleheader weekend at Iowa) and with both Indy 500 qualifying days on FOX, that makes 19 windows on network television for the open-wheel racing series.

IndyCar CEO Mark Miles said the ability to have the entire season on network made the difference to move from NBC (which currently splits the IndyCar package among NBC, USA and Peacock) to FOX. 


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"Strategically, ... 19 windows is compelling," Miles said. "For us to cut that in a third or in half, it just doesn't make any sense. We love that fans will know where to go. We love that there's a great deal of consistency. And we think this maximizes the audience.

"I don't know if I’d think about it differently if we had two or three times the number of races. But for what we have, as the IndyCar Series, to us to have one powerful, committed partner will maximize our fan base and our audience."

The races also would be available to those who can stream on the FOX Sports App.

"One of our mantras at FOX Sports is simple wins," FOX Sports CEO Eric Shanks said. "And it's just a fact that the biggest events and the broadest audiences are on broadcast television. FOX is distributed not only over the air but also on every streaming platform that’s out there.

"So we're reaching audiences no matter demographic, no matter age."

FOX Sports also has the first 14 events (12 points races, the Clash and the all-star race) of the NASCAR schedule, which will have five races on FOX and nine on FS1. The remaining 24 Cup events will be split among four other broadcasters (Amazon Prime Video has five races, TNT has five races, NBC has four races and USA has 10). Shanks said he spoke Wednesday to NASCAR Chairman Jim France about the IndyCar deal.

"There's going to be a great halo effect for all motorsports," Shanks said. "Once you start to put the two schedules together — both Indy and NASCAR — there's going to be a great halo effect of motorsports because a lot of times they're going to be leading in and out of each other.

"And so the FOX network is not going to be starting from scratch. When we do NASCAR races, you're already going to have a motorsports audience for some of the lead-ins to NASCAR races. And I think that circulation and promotion is going to fit both series. Definitely."

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As far as the exact lead-ins, start times for the 2025 IndyCar Series races were not announced and NASCAR has not announced its 2025 schedule. It should release its Cup schedule by the end of the month. 

"Recently we announced that we're going to put sports on Friday nights on the broadcast network, so that allowed us to move some UFL football games off the network from the weekend on to Friday night, so you'll see UFL on Friday night, which freed up some windows as well," Shanks said.

"There was a lot of moving pieces to make this a reality. Strategically, we'll continue to work with Indy on start times and windows to maximize the potential audience."

Among other details of the announcement:

--The length of the deal was not announced. It is a multiyear deal. Miles would not comment on whether IndyCar got an increase from its previous NBC deal.

--The windows on FOX for the races will be 2.5 hours, except the Indianapolis 500 will have a 5-hour window.

--The blackout of the Indy 500 telecast in the Indianapolis area remains in effect. 

--Practice and qualifying for all races will be on FS1 or FS2 (Indianapolis 500 qualifying will be on FOX). The INDY NXT development series will air on FS1 or FS2, with the majority of races on FS1.

This is the second television package negotiated by IndyCar since Roger Penske purchased the series following the 2019 season.

"I feel like this has been kind of a long time coming — IndyCar and the Indianapolis 500 is truly a crown jewel in not only motorsports but also sports in general," Shanks said. "It truly captures the nation's attention. And as you guys have seen, under the leadership, ownership of the Penskes, there's just incredible momentum if you're ever around Indianapolis in May."

Bob Pockrass covers NASCAR for FOX Sports. He has spent decades covering motorsports, including over 30 Daytona 500s, with stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bobpockrass.


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