POLL: Should the Sandown 500 be on free TV?
Monday 13th November, 2023 - 3:00pm
With the 2024 Supercars calendar now out, we also know which events will be shown live on free-to-air television next year.
The list of six events which will be telecast live on the Seven Network is the same as this year’s, save for the change of venue for the season-opener.
While that sextet includes most of the big occasions of the year, the Sandown 500 is a notable omission, and hence we ask if you think that race should be on FTA, in this week’s Pirtek Poll.
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Being one of two enduros on the calendar – for now – the Sandown 500 is arguably the second-biggest race of the year.
However, this year, Australian viewers without pay television had to wait until after midnight for the highlights to air on Seven.
It would be easy to say that such a situation needs to change, but making the change is not so simple.
Seven’s contract is for six live events and hence, if the Sandown 500 was one of them, another would have to be cut.
The Bathurst 1000 is on the anti-siphoning list while the season-opener and season finale are virtual non-negotiables so far as being part of that six is concerned.
That leaves just Hidden Valley, Townsville, and the Gold Coast as candidates to make way for Sandown.
The Gold Coast 500 is, though, one of Supercars’ biggest events outside of the enduros, and the NTI Townsville 500 is also considered one of the marquee stops on the calendar.
If, logically, that means one zeroes in on Darwin, then a new problem arises.
The latter four events of the season would be live on FTA, but so would only three of the first eight, including Network 10’s offering at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.
Notwithstanding that it is promoted by a Northern Territory Government company, the Darwin Triple Crown is understood to be part of the FTA offering precisely to spread out those events, rather than because of any contractual obligation.
Worth considering also is that there needs to be some incentive for Supercars fans to subscribe to Foxtel and/or Kayo Sports, and the Sandown 500 is one of the lures.
So, given some other event would need to be ‘sacrificed’, what do you think? Should the Sandown 500 be on FTA television? Cast your vote in this week’s Pirtek Poll.