Supercars CEO Sean Seamer says Network Seven will have a significant part to play in the formation of the 2021 calendar as it juggles other sporting codes.
Earlier this month the Seven Network was announced as the new home of free-to-air Supercars coverage starting next year.
The AFL and Summer Olympics are also broadcast free-to-air via the Seven, the latter of which was postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It is anticipated next year’s Supercars calendar will be rolled out around the time of this year’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
Seamer said the free-to-air broadcaster will play a pivotal role in the formation of that calendar alongside subscription-based broadcaster Fox Sports.
“Look, Channel 7 is a really important partner in all of this and they’re key for the reach of Supercars,” said Seamer.
“So, when you look at their slate of sporting events, you look at what they’ve got coming up next year, particularly with the Olympics, we’ve got to work really closely with them as we will do Fox.
“It’s good to be with a network that truly and deeply understands sports and having that benefit of working with a team that genuinely cares about sport and Supercars is a positive thing for us.”
The new deal between Supercars and the Seven Network is largely a continuation of the current arrangement with Network 10.
That sees six events broadcast live and in full on free-to-air, including the Bathurst 1000.
However, the new deal will see an increased presence online picking up simultaneous digital rights as well as evening highlights available via 7plus.
Asked whether there was a desire to have Supercars feature on primary outlet Channel 7 or secondary offering 7mate, Seamer said that would be worked through once the calendar is finalised.
“Obviously we’ve got multiple time zones that we need to factor in as well, and account for that,” he said.
“So, that is something every year when we put the calendar together we spend a tremendous amount of time with the networks as I’m sure you can imagine on our scheduling to maximise our ability to get clear air.
“So that’s something that we’ll work through once the calendar’s locked in. Then the next stage is we go into the specific scheduling.
“But I’m sure you can imagine that when we’re laying down the calendar we’re also looking at other major sporting events including the launch of the AFL, but also the AFL finals.”
Seamer said he’s buoyed by Supercars’ return to the Seven Network, citing the broadcaster’s strong understanding of the sport.
“I think that the key point to make about Channel 7 is obviously their overall reach; they’re extremely strong across Australia but beyond that, you’ve got a bunch of people that understand Supercars culturally,” Seamer explained.
“So we will be able to maximise that reach. There’s a committed group of people that genuinely care about the sport, not least of course my predecessor (James Warburton).
“There’s a really good group of people over there that care a lot about Supercars and we’re really looking forward to working with them.”