DirecTV has announced it is terminating its sponsorship of NASCAR and its HotPass service amid high costs and low fan demand.
According to a report from Sports Business Journal, DirecTV is ending its five-year-old service that allowed subscribers to watch four channels of in-car video and driver audio during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. Fans were initially charged $10 per race for the HotPass service but due to low demand the service was later offered for free.
“We tried to charge for the product a few years ago, but the demand for it was low. We decided to switch to a free service. It’s been great and we’ve been happy with it. It’s been a differentiator. But in the end, the production cost became too much to bear,” DirecTV senior vice president of public relations Darris Gingeri told Sports Business Journal.
However, DirecTV had to pay Fox, Turner and ESPN networks for video rights so it decided to discontinue the service because of its cost. DirecTV also decided to end its NASCAR sponsorship deal that dates from 2007. However, the company wants to remain involved in the sport and plans to set up displays at some racetracks this season.
NASCAR will look for another sponsor in the official TV broadcasting services and equipment category, which DirecTV previously held.