Fox Sports will continue to televise the vast array of track action at Supercars events under the new, five-year rights agreement.
The pay television network has maintained its place as the senior rights holder of top level Australian motor racing, with Seven replacing 10 as free-to-air partner in the contract which takes effect in 2021.
While Seven has six to seven live events, as 10 did, Fox Sports will continue to televise all Supercars Championship sessions live.
“Fox is a very, very important partner for us,” said Supercars CEO Sean Seamer.
“The fact that more brands and all of our support categories get full coverage, no ad breaks in racing… it is the ‘all you can eat’ model and it’s very, very important that we maintain that.
“We’re never going to go into a broadcast agreement being able to please absolutely everybody. There’s always going to be those that want the ‘all you can eat’ pay coverage without ads, and then there’s those that are going to want it free, so you’re always trying to strike the right balance.
“But Fox underpinning this agreement with every minute of every race live and ad-free in addition to huge reach against key marquee events from Channel 7 is a really good outcome for us.”
The deal means that the telecasts will have a similar look and feel with respect to the coverage of support categories, and include other properties such as Eseries competitions and extra programming.
“This deal is a continuation of the existing package,” explained Seamer.
“So yes, the Eseries is in there; yes, the reality programming is in there; and yes, the typical support category coverage for all of our support category partners is being carried over as well.
“It’s probably important for all of our existing category partners to know that they will continue to be supported as they have been in the past.”
Seven’s rights do include simultaneous digital coverage, a step up on what Network 10 enjoyed, while radio deals have not yet concluded.
There will also be continued effort on producing content for consumption between race events, such as the ‘fly on the wall’ Erebus Inside Line documentary series which aired during the suspension of the season this year.
“We know we can’t race every weekend, can’t race 52 weeks a year, but we’ve got to maintain our annual relevance,” noted Seamer.
“So, we’ll use a range of different content strategies and pieces that we produce over the course of the year to fill in those gaps, which is exactly what the Inside Line is about, and that’s what the Eseries is about as well.”
Social media activation has also been identified as an area where Supercars hopes to improve.
“A focus area for us, certainly, is the improvement of the way that we engage in digital,” admitted Seamer.
“We do a good job, but we can be better, so I think, over the next couple of years, you can expect us to try and do a better job both as Supercars but also working more closely with the teams.
“One of the things that we’ve been talking about is social media integration into the broadcast which we tested in Sydney – you can expect to see that again at Bathurst – so, whilst we’re good, we’re not great, and we’ll continue to get better in that area because we know it’s increasingly important or fan engagement.”
The 2020 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship continues this weekend with the OTR SuperSprint The Bend, which is exclusively live on Fox Sports.