TV Contract Could Make It 'Perfect Time' For NASCAR Owners To Sell

May 8, 2018

NASCAR could go up for sale, according to a Reuters report.  The report says that the France family, which owns the majority of NASCAR, is working with investment bank Goldman Sachs to explore options.

NASCAR officials are not commenting on the story and Adam Stern of Charlotte-based Sports Business Journal wasn’t surprised by what Reuters revealed. That's because Stern first reported in February on the possibility of the France family selling its stake in NASCAR. He spoke to WFAE’s Mark Rumsey.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte.
Credit Mark Thomas

Here are some highlights:

Rumsey: Why would the timing be right to sell NASCAR?
Stern: "You look at the fact that they have their TV deal, which is extremely lucrative, that’s contractually obligated through 2024…That deal brings in $820 million annually to the sport between Fox Sports and NBC Sports … So from that regard it's a perfect time to sell the company. You have a set revenue stream that is very lucrative that will give whoever comes and buys the majority stake or entire stake of NASCAR a decent revenue stream to try and revamp the business and try and reverse some of the network challenges and declines that the sport is seeing."

Rumsey: How much is the France family stake in NASCAR worth?
Stern: "$3 to $5 billion-dollar range. It's a little complicated because NASCAR doesn't own the venues they own just the sanctioning body itself and then the France family also is the controlling stake owner in IFC,  which is a publicly traded company which owns 12 tracks. So you know there's several different ways this could go if they sold NASCAR by itself. It would be worth less than if they included the tracks."

Rumsey: What could change with a sale?
Stern: "Over the long term, I think you could see them race at different venues. You could see them totally shake up the schedule and do less races, make some of the races themselves shorter."