IndyCar Goes All in With Fox

IndyCar has gone all in with FOX as a broadcast partner and I have the details and analysis in this week’s Business of Motorsport Roundup. I also have news on an iconic racetrack for sale, the latest sponsorship and team news and an intriguing look at potential anti-trust questions that Liberty Media may have to answer. All this and much more in this week’s edition of the Business of Motorsport Roundup on Motorsport Prospects.

Please note that the Business of Motorsport Roundup will not be published next Friday as I will be at the 6 Hours of the Glen. It will return the following Friday. Thanks as always for reading!

Motorsport Industry News

Formula 1

Business of Motorsport

As I mentioned last week, F1 and the teams are in the midst of negotiations on the Concorde Agreement, the agreement that governs the finances of the series due to come in force in 2026. Unlike the negotiating tactics employed by Bernie Ecclestone, Greg Maffei, CEO of the Liberty Media company that owns the commercial rights to F1 insists that they will not be deploying the same divide and conquer tactics as his predecessor.

“The prior regime really did put a lot of time in having the teams compete against each other,” he said. “In many cases, they enjoyed just getting an edge on each other, rather than thinking about how to grow the sport. We’ve tried to take really a page out of, I’d say in some ways, the NFL in the United States: compete hard on Sunday, but on Monday league first.

“We really want to grow the sport together. The teams have embraced that, and profited from that, because they’ve not only seen the growth in F1 revenues and their share of the profits in their own sponsorship, but we’ve also seen growth in the value of teams.”

F1 not interested in divide and conquer tactics for next Concorde

As part of these Concorde negotiations, some team bosses are saying that the sport needs to find a balance with the cost cap. Red Bull team boss Christian Horner: “I think it’s a matter of striking a balance. I mean, I think there’s been a huge amount of learning through the cost cap. And I think that what I think is the most important thing for 2026 is that the employees don’t bear the brunt of those changes. So I think there’s a sensible discussion about what’s being included, what is to remain excluded and what actually is relevant to creating performance.”

Another part of these negotiations includes the rules governing team participation, specifically what kind of conditions will govern any new teams. With the recent change of position by FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem on Michael Andretti’s proposed F1 entry, Jake Boxall-Legge of Autosport Plus wonders if Andretti’s slim F1 hopes beginning to further dwindle.

Ben Sulayem’s suggestion that Andretti purchases an existing outfit closes off that avenue for the time being, and the Emirati has now lent significant power to the “buy a team” clamour that persists among those who don’t want the F1 grid to expand. Andretti’s hopes of becoming an 11th team on the F1 grid appear to be dwindling and, although its appeal to the US senate might offer some progress, the laws governing anti-trust and anti-competition are complex when it comes to a privately funded sporting championship. (See more about the ant-trust implications in the Motorsport Law Roundup below)

Are Andretti’s slim F1 hopes beginning to further dwindle?

The Monaco Grand Prix, the jewel in F1’s crown according to some, could see F1 “bail” on the race according to Zak Brown. “They need to get caught up there, because we are a commercial sport, and one could argue: ‘Wait a minute, some of these other venues are driving similar TV ratings, great racing and contributing a lot more to the growth of the sport fiscally.’ You’ve got the Miamis, the Vegases, the Singapores – these are all awesome races.”

General Motorsport Industry News


On any other week the big IndyCar news would be the release of their 2025 schedule but on the same day they also revealed that they have signed a multiyear broadcast deal with FOX. The significance of this deal compared to past broadcast deals cannot be underestimated. For the length of the contract, all IndyCar races will be broadcast on the main FOX network TV channel and not divided amongst various network, specialty channels and streaming services.

As Marshall Pruett explains, this is a big win for the series and teams with the added exposure making the series more attractive to current and prospective sponsors. “It’s here, in the shift to the 100 percent network TV model, where the opportunity to regularly and consistently deliver more than 1 million viewers for each of IndyCar’s 17 races in 2025 and beyond should help the A.J. Foyt Racings and the Meyer Shank Racings and the Rahal Lettman Lanigan Racings and the rest to go forth and sign more lucrative sponsorship deals once the series starts appearing on FOX.”

As negotiations continue over the future of the NASCAR charter system amongst the series and teams, the latest developments are that the France family, who have owned NASCAR since 1948, would be able to buy charters in the stock car racing series from 2025 under the terms of the latest proposal to teams, according to Sports Business Journal (SBJ).

“According to SBJ, NASCAR broached the idea of allowing the France family to own charters, but it received a lukewarm response from teams worried about a conflict of interest. However, there is precedent for this in fellow North American racing series IndyCar, as Roger Penske owns both the series and Team Penske.”

SBJ is also reporting that Front Row Motorsports has agreed to pay between $20M and $25M for a charter from Stewart-Haas Racing. “The drop in price from the record fee paid last year is largely a function of supply and demand, as there have been roughly half a dozen charters on the market this year, sources say, with four from SHR and a couple other teams that are open to selling one.”

Much like IndyCar, in the week that Formula E announced their 2024/25 schedule, they also announced that Liberty Global has acquired a controlling stake in the all-electric series. According to Autosport, the deal is independent from Liberty Media’s ownership of Formula 1 and planned future control of Dorna Sports which runs MotoGP and the World Superbike championship.

With F1 revealing their new preliminary chassis rules for 2026 that equalizes the power output between the sustainably-fueled ICE and the newly expanded battery output, The Race wonders if Formula E should fear this new F1 rule direction.

“That increased electrical contribution will be marketed heavily by F1 as part of its sustainability agenda. This will mean that Formula E will be forced to fight even harder for its USP to be recognised on the global sporting stage.”

Willow Springs Raceway

The iconic Willow Springs Raceway, located about an hour outside Los Angeles, is for sale. According to the listing:

  • On average, Willow Springs track rental rates are 55% below comparable raceways.
  • New ownership should consider capital expenditures to improve facility functionality.
  • Further investments can generate demand for high-end clientele, membership-based revenue stream, increased gate fees and concession sales, additional lodging options and long-term garage rentals

While no price has been disclosed, the Rosamond property’s recent total assessment value at $2,253,440 as of June 4, 2024. As far as having it turned into yet another housing development, as The Drive points out, this is highly unlikely. “It’s way out in the high desert north of Los Angeles, for one, and the way it’s being marketed makes it clear the family wants a buyer who will continue to operate the track.”

Quick Takes on the Business of Motorsport This Week

IndyCar Goes All in With Fox

The Numbers

Business of Motorsport

Motorsport Law Roundup

A look at some of the legal and regulatory issues and analysis in Motorsport this week

IndyCar Goes All in With Fox

Speed Cafe have highlighted an interesting line in Liberty Media’s recent annual report that could raise anti-trust scrutiny, or at least significant questions. As part of the “Key factors” listed in improving the Formula 1’s financial performance are the following:

  • “Improving the on-track competitive balance of the World Championship and the long-term financial stability of the participating Teams.”

This line is the one that Mat Coch rightly considers a possible conflict of interest as the current teams, and Liberty Media’s interest in ensuring their financial health that are specifically mentioned in the annual report, can be considered significant.

That the annual report notes the financial health of ‘participating teams’ runs the risk of it being construed as Liberty Media protecting the existing 10 teams – the refusal of Andretti offering evidence of that behaviour, which could be considered antitrust or cartel conduct.

Furthermore, it is not the role of Liberty to ensure the financial health of existing teams; it is each operation’s responsibility to develop a business model that delivers for their respective owners, all of whom will have different targets.

Liberty Media is in the business of generating a return for its shareholders, not ensuring the financial health of third parties, and it’s difficult to see how the addition of a new team has a negative impact on that.

It is exactly the concern raised in a letter sent to Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei.

Liberty annual report reveals vested interest in F1 teams

It will be interesting to see how this anti-trust angle plays out in the weeks and months ahead.

Ferrari Hypercar

Ferrari’s global head of endurance Antonello Coletta has confirmed they have filed an appeal against the team’s rejected protest following the Spa round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, as it seeks “clarity” for what will happen in the future.

“We filed a complaint and an appeal,” Coletta told reporters on Wednesday. “At this stage we prefer not to disclose any details. We are waiting to have the discussion and a date for the hearing has not been set.

“But it’s important to know the interpretation [of the rules] to be sure what will happen in future.

“We have had a lot of situations that have been interpreted in different ways in the past, like Fuji many years ago [2013], and Sebring [in 2022]. We need to have clarity because it could impact the strategy and the decisions we make.

“At Spa, nobody could have imagined what happened. We were astonished. It was completely unexpected in terms of strategy.”

Ferrari Confirms Spa Protest Appeal; Wants Rules “Clarity”

Motorsport Sponsorship & Partnership News

Here are the latest motorsport sponsorship deals, partnerships and related analysis that were announced this week

Business of Motorsport
Anti Social Social Club

Team & Manufacturer News

Here is a roundup of the latest team news from around the world of motorsport

Business of Motorsport

Motorsport Movers & Shakers

Business of Motorsport

Race Recap talks to Associate Director, Executive Marketing and Commercial at RTR Sports Marketing LTD Silvia Schweiger about her career in motorsport sponsorship and marketing. “I support companies and brands by helping them achieve their objectives via wise and effective investment in a sponsorship programme. I start from selecting the right property, team, and driver to creating suitable activities that leverage the full potential of a partnership.”

Mark Boudreau
Author: Mark Boudreau

Mark is the publisher of Motorsport Prospects. As a former lawyer, he applies his legal background and research skills to assist race drivers by showcasing the resources they need to make their motorsport careers happen.