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December 6, 2000

 

Dick Berggren, Steve Byrnes and Matt Yocum will report from pit road during NASCAR races for Fox next season.

Berggren and Byrnes most recently have worked for TBS, TNN and CBS. Yocum, who also will work for NBC and TBS, is leaving ESPN.

``They round out an extraordinary in-race team that exceeds our highest hopes,'' Fox Sports president Ed Goren said Wednesday. ``I'm confident that they will deliver the most comprehensive and entertaining coverage the sport has ever seen.''

Last year, Fox, NBC and TBS won the TV rights to NASCAR for about $400 million a year. Fox, along with cable partners Fox Sports Net and FX, will get the first 18 weeks of the NASCAR season, while NBC and TBS will split the second half, starting in July. The NBC-TBS portion of the deal is for six years, while Fox's agreement is for eight years.

The season-opening Daytona 500 will alternate between the networks.

NASCAR has been one of the few sports drawing consistent TV ratings for the broadcast networks.

While ratings for this year's telecasts on ABC, NBC and CBS were down 7 percent from 1999 (from 5.4 to 5.0), they matched NASCAR's average TV numbers for 1995-99.