NASCAR will become the latest sports entity to become unavailable to Russian viewers
The American stock car racing series NASCAR will no longer be available in Russia, according to reports, becoming the latest sports company to disappear from the country following the military operation in Ukraine.
The American sports entity will cease broadcasting on the Russian Match TV channel, according to Russian NASCAR commentator Vladimir Bashmakov, who revealed the news on his Telegram channel.
“I just heard some very sad news” a disappointed Bashmakov wrote, via translation.
“NASCAR has terminated the contract with Match! TV. Thank you to everyone who has watched it on Match channels since 2018.
“It was an incredible period, and by far the best of my professional life. I was worried this offseason about the fate of the new agreement, then I rejoiced when we signed a three-year contract.
“In 2017, I never imagined that we would show NASCAR on such a scale and for so many seasons.
“It’s a shame for all the work that has been done to promote this series and attract viewers. We showed a lot of races. NASCAR “saved” us during the coronavirus hiatus. I’m glad a lot of people like these races. And very sad to lose them.
“Many thanks to my colleague Alexei Popov, who also loves NASCAR for all the joint shows. Many thanks to all viewers.”
Match TV general producer Alexander Tashchin appeared to suggest that NASCAR broadcasts breached international sanctions, given that the signal originated in the UK.
“Unfortunately I have to announce the suspension of broadcasts of the NASCAR racing series. The signal is delivered via the UK which means it is subject to sanctions legislation. We have asked for the possibility of receiving a signal in another country. We hope the series will return to the air soon”, he said.
NASCAR’s withdrawal from Russia comes about a month after a promise made by NASCAR Hall of Fame team owner Richard Childress, who said he was to donate one million cartridges to Ukraine for the help in the conflict with Russia.
“I was listening the other day to President Zelensky saying he didn’t want to go out, he needed ammunition“, Childress said in an interview with Fox News.”I called up my good friend Fred Wagenhals, who is the president of Ammo, Inc….and I said, ‘Fred, we have to help these people. They need ammunition,” and he stood up.
“To see the Ukrainians fighting, it’s terrible to see the lives that are lost there. We have to do everything we can, and I felt that with Ammo Inc. and myself, we were doing the right thing..”
NASCAR’s exit from Russian television mirrors that of several other sports leagues, including the English Premier League, which ended its association with Russia following the start of the military operation which began in late February. Formula 1 has also canceled its broadcasts in Russia.