V8 Supercars signs shock pay-TV deal
December 18, 2013
By Colin Mann
Internationally-popular Australian saloon car racing series V8 Supercars has announced a surprise TV deal that will see coverage move from free-to-air network Seven to pay-TV outlets Foxtel and FOX SPORTS. FTA broadcaster Ten Network is also included in the deal, although it is unclear how much coverage there will be on the channel.
The six-year, A$241 million (€156m) media deal with for all media rights including digital from 2015 to 2020, consists of A$196 million cash and A$45 million of advertising, is the biggest deal ever agreed for the sport and represents a significant increase on all previous deals.
V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton said: “This is a tremendous and significant deal for our sport. It is a great boost to our amazing race teams and fans and will lead to unprecedented coverage on multiple platforms for our sport, never before seen on such a scale. I thank Richard Freudenstein, CEO and Managing Director of Foxtel; Patrick Delany, CEO of FOX SPORTS; and Hamish McLennan, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Ten Network Holdings, for their plans and commitment to grow this sport to unprecedented levels. I would also like to thank Seven and their commitment to the sport since 2007 and of course their continued support for 2014, the final year of our partnership.”
Seven West Media chief executive Tim Worner said: “We put forward an offer for a new TV rights agreement that represented a substantial increase on the current rights agreement and one which made financial sense for Seven and V8x and would have ensured its presence on Australia’s leading TV network for years to come. V8 Supercars declined to build on this relationship beyond 2014. However, we look forward to broadcasting V8s next year, the final year of our agreement and leaving the sport in good shape.”
Foxtel CEO and Managing Director, Richard Freudenstein, said: “Foxtel is delighted to partner with V8 Supercars, Australia’s pre-eminent motorsport series. This relationship will significantly strengthen our sports offering and give yet another reason to subscribe to Foxtel. Hundreds of thousands of Australians love motorsports and I know that dedicated fans will be delighted that Foxtel and FOX SPORTS will be able to deliver a breadth and depth of coverage of the V8 Supercars Series that they’ve never seen before.
Not only will the series be available in amazing High Definition on the Foxtel cable and satellite service, fans will also be able to enjoy all the action on the move with Foxtel Go or with the convenience of Foxtel Play.”
FOX SPORTS CEO, Patrick Delany, said: “V8 Supercars have a proud history of innovation. We relish the opportunity to work with talented V8 Supercars race teams and the team at V8 Supercars TV to give the sport the FOX SPORTS treatment – every minute of practice, qualifying, support categories and the Championship races – all LIVE and in stunning HD.
We will be there for the fans and we will make no compromises in delivering them the finest coverage. We will focus on innovating coverage to take fans closer to the action, the heroes, the stars and the insights. There will be weekly entertainment shows to complement the LIVE race coverage and a massive promotional platform via not only our seven FOX SPORTS channels but the entire Foxtel platform.”
Ten Network Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Hamish McLennan, said: “We are delighted to welcome V8 Supercars back home to Ten in 2015. V8 Supercars is an iconic Australian sport, reaching into every part of the country, and James Warburton and his team have big plans to make it even stronger and better. Ten is now truly the home of motorsport. Formula One, MotoGP and V8 Supercars will make a powerful, exciting combination for all our viewers and advertisers. Today’s announcement is in line with our strategy of investing in premium live sport and adding more Event TV to Ten. I’m personally looking forward to seeing the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and other great V8 Supercars events on Ten.”