Fox will score the entire USCR and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge seasons for 2014 through 2018. That five-year window will guarantee American enthusiasts access to some of the best endurance racing around. This will be in addition to Fox's NASCAR coverage, which will air on Fox Sports and Fox Sports 1 (Fox is splitting its coverage of NASCAR with NBC, starting in 2014). Fox hasn't mentioned which networks USCR will air on, nor how much it shelled out for the exclusive rights.
As IMSA still hasn't finalized the schedule for the inaugural USCR season, it's not entirely clear when the races will air and on which network. The press release, which you can view below, also doesn't mention whether Fox will be airing the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 to Broadcast Entire United SportsCar Racing and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Seasons Beginning in 2014
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 9, 2013) – FOX Sports and IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) announced today a five-year multi-media rights deal that solidifies United SportsCar Racing's home on television through the 2018 season.
Today's announcement, which comes on the heels of last week's news that FOX Sports will broadcast NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races through 2024, bolsters FOX's expansive motorsports coverage. The agreement also includes coverage of IMSA's Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge for five years. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
For motorsports fans accustomed to FOX Sports' broadcast presentation of various forms of racing, including NASCAR since 2001, today's announcement signals another exciting development for sports car racing in America. In September of 2012, GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón announced the two entities were merging in one of the most significant developments in the history of sports car racing in North America. Later named United SportsCar Racing, sanctioned by IMSA, the premier new sports car racing series begins its next chapter with the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January of 2014.
"It's hard to argue that there's a global media company more equipped and better resourced to cover and broadcast sports car racing than FOX Sports," said Ed Bennett, CEO of IMSA. "By partnering with FOX Sports for the next five years, United SportsCar Racing, Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge and their teams, tracks, drivers and sponsors are positioned for strong exposure while our existing fans can expect top-notch presentation, promotion and marketing."
With the 2014 schedule still being finalized, exact distribution plans currently are being determined, but fans can expect to see a mix of races available on both FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2. Under the new arrangement, FOX Sports also has the right to stream all IMSA races as part of its FOX Sports GO product. IMSA retains additional digital rights including alternate camera angles and full race replays.
"It's a fantastic opportunity to partner with IMSA and newly formed United SportsCar Racing," said Billy Wanger, FOX Sports EVP of Programming & Research. "Our commitment to motorsports remains very strong across the FOX family of networks, and this relationship with what is now a unified sports car community delivers a strong package of racing content for its passionate fans."
FOX Sports began broadcasting live NASCAR races in 2001 and will launch its new all-sports network, FOX Sports 1, on Aug. 17 with a broadcast of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Michigan International Speedway as the network's first-ever live event. On the same day, FOX Sports 2 will broadcast the Rolex Series SFP Grand Prix from Kansas Speedway, with a re-air Sunday on FOX Sports 1.
"FOX Sports has shown a thirst for live sports programming, and in particular live motorsports programming," said Scott Atherton, ALMS President and CEO. "We're thrilled to have partnered with FOX Sports on this deal, rounding out their motorsports coverage with this content and giving sports car racing fans a place to call home for the next five years. United SportsCar Racing and the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge will be surrounded by some of the best sports programming in the world and will benefit from great awareness and promotion."
Summary of FOX Sports' Exclusive Rights
• 2014-2018: Entire United SportsCar Racing and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge seasons
• 2015-2024: First 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races of each season, including the Daytona 500
• Nine on FOX Sports and seven on FOX Sports 1
• 2015-2024: First 14 NASCAR Nationwide Series points races of each season
• Fourteen races on FOX Sports 1
• 2015-2024: NASCAR Sprint Unlimited, The Duel at Daytona and NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race
• 2015-2024: All NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races
Beginning in 2014, the new International Motor Sports Association, LLC (IMSA) will be the sanctioning body of United SportsCar Racing – the highly anticipated road-racing series resulting from the merger of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series – as well as the developmental series: Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge and the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites powered by Mazda. In addition, IMSA also plans to continue sanctioning the following single-make series: Ferrari Challenge, IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama, Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin and Lamborghini Super Trofeo. IMSA is the exclusive strategic partner in North America with the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) which operates the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The partnership enables selected United SportsCar Racing competitors to earn automatic entries into the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.
About FOX Sports
FOX Sports is the umbrella entity representing 21st Century FOX's wide array of multi-platform U.S.-based sports assets. Built with brands capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, FOX Sports includes ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing partnerships. FOX Sports includes the sports television arm of the FOX Broadcasting Company; FOX Sports 1; FOX's 22 regional sports networks, their affiliated regional web sites and FSN national programming; FOX Soccer, FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Soccer 2Go; FUEL TV; FOX Deportes and FOX College Sports. In addition, FOX Sports also encompasses FOX Sports Digital, which includes FOXSports.com on MSN, FOX Sports GO, Whatifsports.com, Scout.com and Yardbarker.com. Also included in the Group are FOX's interests in joint-venture businesses Big Ten Network, BTN 2Go and STATS, LLC, as well as licensing agreements that establish the FOX Sports Radio Network and FOX Sports Skybox restaurants.