Race Weekend Central

Eyes on Xfinity: The CW Is Licking Its Chops Over This

On July 28 it was announced that the NASCAR Xfinity Series was going to move exclusively to being broadcast on The CW starting in 2025.

That was interesting for two reasons:

A) The CW is in 100% of homes across the United States according to majority owner, Nexstar Media Group. That’s right on track with the NBC Network and about 20 million more homes than FOX Sports.

B) For the first time, the Xfinity Series will be broadcast on a completely different network than the NASCAR Cup Series. Typically, the two have been packaged together. Now, with their own deal, the series has a chance to form its own identity with its own audience, and that may be the most exciting part of it all.

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But there is another reason that the CW should be chomping at the bit to get the ball rolling on the Xfinity Series – more people are watching than in almost a decade.

Don’t believe me? Ask NBC, the company losing the Xfinity Series at the worst time possible, it seems.

Obviously, with college football kicking off soon, more Saturday viewers will be glued to College Game Day and other games of the like, but up to this point, this is the most watched Xfinity season since 2017, and that’s without big names like Ty Gibbs around running circles around everyone (not that John Hunter Nemechek isn’t, though).

The CW is gearing up to become a much larger player in the sports broadcasting world (see what I did there?), and NASCAR looks to be a huge part of that. Just recently they’ve added ACC Football and basketball, inside the NFL and LIV golf to their catalog to go toe to toe with the likes of the SEC Network and PGA Tour.

Perhaps the most interesting thing, though, is the new type of audience that NASCAR could bring in with this new deal. While the CW and USA are in about the same amount of homes, the target audiences are much different. The CW makes no secret of the fact that its target audience is women aged 18-34. However, last year, it was announced that its average viewer is 58 years old.

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Unless the CW swaps tactics, that means that a market NASCAR typically doesn’t reach as well (18-34 year old women) will have the chance to watch the Xfinity Series themselves, which puts the sport in front of plenty of new faces while giving long-time fans the ability to stick around due to the CW’s country-wide availability.

To top it all off, the CW is not new to racing.

Its “100 Days To Indy” documentary series gave a “Drive to Survive” style to the atmosphere leading up to the 107th Indy 500. Just imagine being able to tune in week after week to watch something like this leading up to the Daytona 500 in a few years.

The CW is ready for NASCAR, and I think that the Xfinity Series is more than ready itself for their own home. This could be a match made in heaven, and if any NASCAR fans are as hopeful as I am, we’ll be waiting with bated breath until 2025.

About the author

Tanner Marlar is a staff writer for On3 Sports' Maroon and White Daily covering Mississippi State Athletics, an AP Wire reporter, an award-winning sports columnist and talk show host and master's student at Mississippi State University. Soon, Tanner will be pursuing a PhD. in Communicative Research.

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JT

It is a good get for the CW to add Xfinity racing to their growing sports portfolio. Shades of when Fox got NASCAR back in the ’00’s (though not as big). I think the CW will do pretty well with broadcasting Xfinity and it will have a wider potential audience reach than NASCAR races on cable’ FS1 or USA.

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