NEW YORK and DAYTONA BEACH, FL – February 22, 2005 – SIRIUS Satellite Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI) today announced an agreement to give SIRIUS North American satellite radio rights to broadcast NASCAR racing and events that will bring unprecedented programming and marketing opportunities to NASCAR fans. Beginning in 2007, SIRIUS will broadcast all NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races live on a specially created, 24/7 NASCAR channel, and SIRIUS will be the only place on satellite radio to listen to NASCAR.
As part of the agreement, SIRIUS will become the Official Satellite Radio Partner of NASCAR, with exclusive trademark and marketing rights, and the right to sell all advertising time on its NASCAR channel and during the race broadcasts. SIRIUS will pay NASCAR rights fees totaling $107.5 million over the term of the agreement, with the highest payments in the final years of the term.
“We’re thrilled that NASCAR has chosen to move to SIRIUS,” said Mel Karmazin, CEO of SIRIUS. “Without question, SIRIUS is the content leader in satellite radio. This decision places SIRIUS on track to become the content leader in all of radio, and we believe it will be an important driver of subscriber growth and advertising revenue. Our 24/7 NASCAR channel will super-serve NASCAR’s 75 million fans nationwide in a way that’s never been done before. In addition to the races, SIRIUS will take fans behind the scenes for inside news and bring them exclusive shows featuring their favorite drivers. It will be the ultimate NASCAR lifestyle experience.”
“SIRIUS is the sports leader on satellite radio, and sports programming is a leading reason subscribers choose SIRIUS,” said Brian France, Chairman and CEO of NASCAR. “When you combine NASCAR’s growing popularity with SIRIUS’ commitment to bringing the best in sports to its subscribers, it’s easy to understand why we made this move. We believe that our partnership with SIRIUS will offer the best possible experience to NASCAR fans nationwide.” SIRIUS and NASCAR will work together to develop an extensive consumer marketing and outreach campaign for NASCAR fans. This effort could include advertising, cross-channel promotion throughout SIRIUS programming, officially licensed products, extensive at-track activation and ways for current NASCAR fans to switch to SIRIUS.
NASCAR is the number 2 rated sport on television, second only to the NFL. Its 75 million fans nationwide are a testament to the sport’s overall growth and broad appeal. NASCAR has the most brand loyal fans in all sports. Plus, with a 10-month season, the longest in U.S. pro sports, sponsors and advertisers are visible to NASCAR’s fan base for most of the year.
“This agreement with NASCAR clearly reinforces SIRIUS’leadership position in sports programming,” said Scott Greenstein, SIRIUS President of Entertainment and Sports. “With NASCAR, we will be able to develop endless creative programming and marketing opportunities, as we have with our SIRIUS NFL Radio channel, to benefit NASCAR fans and SIRIUS subscribers throughout the country.” “NASCAR and SIRIUS share a vision and passion for the future, and today’s announcement sets the stage for a very unique partnership within our industry,” said NASCAR Digital Entertainment President Paul Brooks.” For the first time ever, NASCAR is combining a national programming and content partnership with multi-channel branding opportunities and a major national marketing commitment. This is a new type of national media partnership that will have the resources to build amazing content every day from our drivers, teams, events and industry, and package that together with the NASCAR brand like never before to reach NASCAR fans and new audiences.” NASCAR adds another exciting element to SIRIUS’ sports programming that includes live, play-by-play broadcast of all NFL games, up to 40 NBA games each week and college sports from the top schools in the country. For example, SIRIUS College Sports Radio will broadcast more than 200 college basketball games in February alone, as well as the entire NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. No single broadcast source can give you this level of comprehensive sports coverage, according to SIRIUS.
In addition to NASCAR, SIRIUS is the Official Satellite Radio Partner of the NFL, the NHL and Barclays English Premier League Soccer.