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V8 Supercars chased shorter TV deal to cut losses

Gordon Lomas

Tuesday 15th January, 2013 - 3:35pm

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Seven will continue to broadcast the V8 Supercars under a new two-year deal

Seven will continue to broadcast the V8 Supercars under a new two-year deal

V8 Supercars rejected the opportunity to ink a longer term TV agreement, favouring its fresh two-year deal in the hope that the market will be more robust by the end of the new contract.

Speedcafe.com has learned that offers of up to five-year terms were tabled in the negotiations before the custodians of Australia’s high profile tin-top series effectively elected to cut their losses in a deflated market.

The motor racing series also wanted to break a cycle in timing which put them on a collision course with the big two footy codes, the AFL and the NRL.

Under the belated deal, it has been claimed that Seven is paying up to $10 million a year less than the $28 million per year it received previously, a reduction fiercely disputed by V8 Supercars.

The two-year contract is the first ‘short’ television arrangement the sport has entered into following the three five-year terms held by the Ten Network (twice) and Seven since the V8 Supercar brand came into existence in 1997.

CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com’s earlier news story on today’s television rights announcement

Meanwhile, there has been no deal cut with regards to online or digital rights with V8 Supercars managing their website internally, at least for the time being.

“There are offers on the table but we are going to manage some of those elements ourselves (and) therefore take the commercial revenue from that,” V8 Supercar spokesman Cole Hitchcock told Speedcafe.com of the online and digital media rights.

“Others we will share to third parties or on sell them.”

The developments now leave room for V8 Supercars to cut a broader deal with Foxtel over and above the previously basic replay coverage of rounds shown during the week following events.

Under streaming arrangements Foxtel was not allowed by law to air anything until four hours after the Seven telecast however with this new deal has the scope to show a lot more content.

According to V8 Supercars, finalising the TV arrangements now means that international broadcast agreements, such as that for New Zealand, will soon be sorted.

It is understood that there are negotiations ongoing with incumbent NZ V8 Supercar broadcaster TV3 and subscription channel, Sky.

The lengthy delay in putting to bed the Australian broadcast rights has been blamed by the sport on a number of factors including bad timing in regards to the billion-dollar-plus deals struck by both the AFL and NRL footy codes.

“None of us wanted to have a delay and work through Christmas but now that this has happened it has opened up for everything else to follow,” Hitchcock said.

“There’s more work happening now to get everything else into place.”

The total amount of hours of live coverage last year amounted to around 150 which is not expected to change this year however there is the capacity for other supplementary providers such as Foxtel to add extra coverage and magazine/colour style shows.

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