Viewers won't have to leave the second half of NASCAR Sprint Cup races for breaks with the introduction of "NASCAR NonStop," ESPN announced on Tuesday.
Starting with the series' Sept. 18 race at Chicagoland Speedway and continuing for the rest of the season, the new "NASCAR NonStop" commercial format will split the screen for commercial breaks during the second half of races. The sponsored announcement will run on the left-hand side of the screen, with the race continuing on the right. ESPN's scoring ticker will also continue to operate at the top of the screen.
ESPN and NASCAR worked together to develop the new format. A traditional commercial format will remain for the first half of races.
"Since we returned to NASCAR racing in 2007, one of the most common questions from our fans has been, 'Why don't you do the commercials side-by-side?'" John Skipper, ESPN executive vice president of content, said in a statement. "We're very pleased to be able to do it now with 'NASCAR NonStop' and showcase the advertiser while still showcasing the race.
"ESPN's mission is to serve sports fans and this is a way to give the fans more racing action during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup."
ESPN will televise the final 17 races of the Sprint Cup season. The 10 races that determine the Chase champion will employ the new commercial format.
"NASCAR has the most dedicated and loyal fans in the world, and we are constantly trying to enhance how those fans consume this great sport," Paul Brooks, president of NASCAR Media Group, said in a statement. "ESPN's 'NonStop' format will ensure our fans maximize their viewing experience during the most intense and thrilling time of the season -- the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup."