via press release:
NHRA and ESPN Announce Television Changes
The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and ESPN have mutually agreed to end their television coverage agreement following the 2015 season.
The 2016 season was to be the final year of a five-year rights extension deal that took effect in 2012. The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series has aired exclusively on ESPN networks since 2001 and is currently in its 15th season on ESPN.
“We thank ESPN for its many years of service to NHRA fans,” said Peter Clifford, NHRA president. “We look forward to finishing out this exciting 2015 season with ESPN showcasing the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs.”
“The NHRA is an exciting form of racing with a very loyal fanbase,” said Julie Sobieski, ESPN vice president, league sports programming. “Unfortunately, we have had scheduling challenges with NHRA programming due to other commitments in the fall.
“We look forward to continuing our event coverage for the remainder of the 2015 season, and to serving fans with the stories of the NHRA on our news and information platforms for many years after that.
“We have tremendous respect for the NHRA and its history and we wish them all the best in the future.”