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Fox Sports axes live NASCAR coverage in Australia

Tom Howard

Wednesday 30th January, 2019 - 6:00am

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Australians viewers are set to miss out on live action from this year’s Daytona 500 on Fox Sports

Fox Sports has dropped live NASCAR broadcasts from its 2019 television schedule.

The Australian pay television broadcaster has confirmed there will be no changes to its live broadcast schedule for Supercars, Formula 1 and MotoGP, but has made alterations to its international motorsport line up.

In previous years the network has shown live coverage of the vast majority of NASCAR Cup Series races but from this year it will only show highlights programs from the events.

It means Australian fans will have to seek an alternative method to watch races as they happen, while New Zealand viewers will still be able to tune in live via pay television broadcaster Sky Sport.

NASCAR has been the subject of preliminary discussions to host an exhibition race at the Gold Coast 600 Supercars event in the future, which Fox Sports currently holds the rights to until at least 2020, when its six-year deal with Supercars expires.

Meanwhile, the pay television network could also lose WRC from its suite of live motorsport.

Last weekend the opening round of the season from Monte-Carlo, won by Citroen’s Sebastien Ogier, was absent from the broadcast schedule across its sports channels.    

Fox Sports has shown daily highlights packages on event weekends in addition to live coverage of the Power Stage and selected other stages.

Speedcafe.com understands that discussions regarding a new broadcast deal between WRC Promoter and Fox Sports will continue this week despite missing the Monte opener.

It is hoped that a deal will be struck at least to provide live coverage and highlights from Kennards Hire Rally Australia from November 14-17.

Last year free-to-air channel 7mate hosted daily highlights and live stages from Rally Australia. 

A similar FTA deal is believed to be under discussion led by the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport.

WRC does however produced its own live streaming service through WRC Plus which offers action from every stage for a subscription fee.

Fox Sport has since issued a statement to Speedcafe.com.

A Fox Sports spokesperson said, “FOX SPORTS presently has been unable to reach an agreement to broadcast NASCAR coverage. We remain committed to providing motorsport coverage for Australian audiences including every round of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, every practice, qualifying and race of the Formula 1 season and every round of the MotoGP, World Superbike Championships and Formula E Championships.”

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