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NASCAR Media Group generates new revenues

NASCAR's new facility in Charlotte helps to bring in new revenue for its Media Group
The NASCAR Media Group is developing previously untapped sources of revenue from its new $43 million facility within the downtown Charlotte NASCAR Plaza.

NASCAR Media Group, NASCAR's production arm that creates all forms of content and manages broadcast agreements, has four floors of studio and production space and an almost limitless supply of digital archive capabilities in its part of the new building, which also houses the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Only a fraction of the studio and production space is being used as NASCAR Media Group settles in, so it's beginning to market those ancillary services to potential clients, in and out of motorsports.

The equipment and studios were integrated into NASCAR Media Group's new offices to give NASCAR the ability to start a network if it chooses, but that's a decision the sanctioning body won't have to make until 2014, when its current broadcast agreements are up. Until then, it's up to the media group to find new ways to monetize those three studios and 28 post-production rooms, as well as other assets it built into the facility, such as the archive and satellite services.

NASCAR Media Group's core business remains creating NASCAR-themed content in the form of feature films, weekly programming for Speed, its largest client, and programming for other networks such as Fox, Outdoor Channel, CMT and National Geographic. The media group also manages the TV compound at each of NASCAR's 36 Sprint Cup races.

It's uncertain how much of an impact these emerging services can make on NASCAR Media Group's annual budget, but it's believed to have the potential to make up 5 per cent of its annual revenue early on and perhaps as much as 10 per cent down the road. The media group does not reveal its annual numbers.

“We've got this tremendous capacity, and the next question is what is the smart extension of the business to complement our core competencies,” said Jay Abraham, COO of NASCAR Media Group. “What we're trying to do is take our assets and put them to work for other sports properties and maybe even non-sports properties.”

The Atlantic Coast Conference, University of South Carolina and Charlotte-based Raycom Sports are among the first clients to use the media group's digital archive system. The group also is selling its satellite services with the help of Crawford Communications, an Atlanta-based broadcast company.

The media group is still working out the charges for the studio and post-production room, but they likely will be flat fees for each day with incremental charges for additional equipment and manpower needs. The archive system fees are based on the hours of footage being stored.




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