"I can see both sides" - Dale Earnhardt Jr. navigates Denny Hamlin & NASCAR standoff on permanent charters

NASCAR Xfinity Series Food City 300 - Practice
Dale Earnhardt Jr. at the NASCAR Xfinity Series Food City 300 - Practice

Two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. recently commented on Denny Hamlin's take on NASCAR's latest charter proposal on the "Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Dirty Mo Media" podcast. The team owners and drivers did not seem to agree with the charter proposal.

Multiple team owners have been in talks with NASCAR about the new charter agreement for 2025. Dialogue between both parties had been stalled for a couple of months, as the negotiation window expired in January. Team owners and NASCAR have not yet been able to find common ground.

The current charter proposal, reportedly, does not allow teams to have permanent charters. As co-owner of 23XI Racing, Denny Hamlin took to X to respond to it, writing:

"Permanent charters don't cost anything"

Hamlin shed light on the negotiation process of his team and also showed interest in getting a charter deal done. On the "Actions Detrimental with Denny Hamlin" podcast, Hamlin said:

"It has to make financial sense, and the charter agreement needs to be better than what it is certainly before I invest any more money in it."

When asked whether Earnhardt Jr. agreed or disagreed with Hamlin, the latter said,

"I see both sides of the argument. I promise you if I had a charter, I'd want it to be permanent, I would not want the risk of losing it but I can also see NASCAR's side of it." [12:00]

Earnhardt Jr. explained that if NASCAR were to give out permanent charters, they would be committed to providing the promised funds to teams. However, due to the evolving patterns of media consumption, NASCAR cannot rely on consistent revenue from television networks.

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Furthermore, Earnhardt Jr. also spoke about Jim France's statement to the teams, adding:

"There's no guarantee that the media rights will always be this lucrative and that the TV deals will last forever, and there's no roadmap in front of us that says this is where we are headed in terms of how people will consume our races." [07:34]

Dale Earnhardt Jr. also spoke about how he hopes that NASCAR will have a channel in the future that would broadcast all of its races and events. He said:

"My hope is that one day we'll have a NASCAR channel, kind of like Speed Channel, or MAV TV, or like the NFL Network that has it's own channel, I'd love for NASCAR to have it's own channel"

Team owner's terms vs NASCAR's reported proposal

With the current charter agreement expiring at the end of the 2024 season, NASCAR and team owners have been in conversation over the particulars of the next charter deal. According to reports, team owners have outlined their conditions for solidifying charter deals. These terms include receiving 45% of the media revenue and securing a guaranteed seat at the table, providing teams with a share of governance.

NASCAR has allegedly approached the teams with a proposal denying permanent charters, and adding a provision that allows the France family to own charters themselves. The new proposal also includes a cost cap. The next charter agreement will reportedly be for another seven years, matching the new media rights deal that NASCAR has agreed upon.

While new numbers are not known, teams are currently receiving 39% of the total television revenue, 51% of which goes to the tracks and 10% to NASCAR.

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Edited by Vaishnavi Iyer
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