Speed (TV network)

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Speed
Speed tv.png
Launched December 31, 1995 (1995-12-31)
(United States)
July 2005 (2005-07) (Latin America)
Closed February 5, 2012 (2012-02-05) (Brazil)
November 5, 2012 (2012-11-05) (Latin America)
August 17, 2013 (2013-08-17) (United States)
Owned by 21st Century Fox
Picture format 720p (HDTV)
480i (SDTV/16:9 letterbox)
Slogan The Motorsports Authority
Country United States
Language English
Broadcast area Canada
Caribbean
Puerto Rico
Headquarters Charlotte, North Carolina
Formerly called Speedvision (1996–2002)
Speed Channel (2002–2005)
Replaced by Fox Sports 1
(United States)
Fox Sports
(Brazil)
Fox Sports 3
(Latin America)
Website www.speedtv.com
www.speedtv.com.au
www.foxsports.com
Availability
Satellite
Shaw Direct Channel 406 (SD)
Channel 274 (HD)
Cable
Available on most Canadian cable systems Consult your local cable provider for channel availability
Available on most Caribbean cable systems Consult your local cable provider for channel availability
Available on most Puerto Rican cable systems Consult your local cable provider for channel availability
Available on some smaller U.S. cable systems Consult your local cable provider for channel availability
IPTV
Bell Aliant TV (Canada) (No Longer a Channel) (SD)
(No Longer a Channel) (HD)
Bell Fibe TV (Canada) Channel 417 (SD)
Channel 1417 (HD)
Telus Optik TV (Canada) Channel 117 (SD)
Channel 669 (HD)

Speed is a sports-oriented cable and satellite television network that is owned by the Fox Sports Media Group division of 21st Century Fox. The network is dedicated to motorsports programming, including auto racing, as well as automotive-focused programs.

Although the channel is based in the United States (its headquarters were located at University Research Park in Charlotte, North Carolina), Speed ceased being available to most American viewers as a standalone network with its own original programming on August 17, 2013, when it was replaced by the general-interest sports network Fox Sports 1.[1][2][3] The network remains available in Canada, the Caribbean and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, airing archived Speed programming and live simulcasts of motorsports events carried by Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 in the United States that would be otherwise unavailable to international viewers.[4]

When it originally launched in 1995 as Speedvision, the network carried a lineup featuring programs profiling the automobile and motorsports industries (including individual companies, vehicles and teams), how-to series, and coverage of various domestic and international racing series (such as the Formula One World Championship, Rolex Sports Car Series, and the American Le Mans Series). After it was acquired by News Corporation in 2001 and relaunched as Speed Channel, the network's programming became increasingly NASCAR-oriented; prior to its shutdown in the U.S., Speed's lineup consisted mostly of automotive-themed reality shows, NASCAR-related programs (including coverage of practice and qualifying sessions, and full coverage of the Camping World Truck Series), along with news programs focusing on motorsports. Most of Speed's live event programming was carried over to Fox Sports 1 (or sister network Fox Sports 2), and is simulcast on the Speed network that remains available outside the U.S.

Due to contractual changes associated with the relaunch, Fox was expected to temporarily distribute a version of Speed (separate from the international version) to fulfill contracts with providers that had not yet signed deals to carry Fox Sports 1, airing a loop of the network's past reality programming.[5] Many of the programs once found on Speed can now be found in the United States on MAVTV (such as Gearz, My Classic Car, Chop Cut Rebuild and Dream Car Garage as well as live coverage of racing events).

History[edit]

As Speedvision[edit]

The network originally launched as Speedvision on December 31, 1995. It was founded by Roger L. Werner, Jr., E. Roger Williams, Nickolas Rhodes and Robert Scanlon; the network's original ownership included cable providers Cox Communications and Continental Cablevision, and AT&T Corporation.[6]

Speedvision's initial lineup featured various automotive programs, including various documentary-style series focusing on prolific vehicles, manufacturers, and racing teams (such as Victory by Design and Legends of Motorsport), series focusing on classic automobiles (such as Dream Car Garage, coverage of Barrett-Jackson's auctions, and My Classic Car, which moved to the network from TNN), an AutoWeek-branded television series, along with MotorWeek and Autoline Detroit – two programs respectively syndicated from PBS member stations in Maryland and Detroit. Speedvision also carried coverage of various minor and professional auto racing series, including the Sports Car Club of America's World Challenge series (of which it also acquired title sponsorship of in 1999, becoming the Speedvision World Challenge).

Fox acquisition and NASCAR push[edit]

In the summer of 2001, the Fox Entertainment Group (then a subsidiary of News Corporation) purchased a 30% ownership interest in Speedvision. In August of that year, Fox negotiated a deal to acquire the stakes held by Cox and Comcast, thus giving them majority control of the network. Since Fox Sports had recently acquired broadcast rights to the first half of the NASCAR Busch and Winston Cup Series in a six-year deal, Fox planned to leverage Speedvision as an outlet for supplemental NASCAR programming.[6] To coincide with that year's running of the Daytona 500, Speedvision was relaunched as Speed Channel on February 11, 2002; the network's operations were also relocated from Stamford, Connecticut to Charlotte, North Carolina (where NASCAR and the majority of its teams are based). In the following years, additional NASCAR-related programs were slowly brought onto to the schedule, ranging from news programs (such as Totally NASCAR, reran from Fox Sports Net), pre-race programs Trackside and NASCAR RaceDay, and the post-race NASCAR Victory Lane. Speed Channel also added a weekly call-in show in 2003, WindTunnel with Dave Despain, which featured interviews and discussions relating to news and events in auto racing.

NASCAR Busch (now Nationwide) Series driver Shane Huffman, answers questions from Speed Channel's Dick Berggren.

In later years starting in 2003, Speed began to carry NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series (after buying out the remainder of ESPN2's contract for the events), along with coverage of practices and qualifying races in NASCAR's main national series, the Gatorade Duels qualifying races, and the Sprint All-Star Race. In 2005, the channel's name was shortened to simply Speed. Until late 2007, Speed also aired coverage of International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation events over the winter months – including bobsledding, luge and skeleton. Its winter sports coverage also included an annual charity bobsledding event organized by NASCAR driver and bobsled builder Geoff Bodine, which featured participation by various NASCAR drivers. Universal Sports acquired the rights to FIBT events beginning in the 2007-08 season.

Speed continued to maintain coverage of other professional racing series, such as the Rolex Sports Car Series (including the 24 Hours of Daytona), the American Le Mans Series (along with the 24 Hours of Le Mans), the newly renamed Speed World Challenge until 2010, and the Formula One World Championship. By the late 2000s, these came along with an increasing number of reality series (such as the street racing-inspired Pinks, Unique Whips, Chop Cut Rebuild, the drag racing game show Pass Time, American Trucker and Hard Parts: South Bronx, along with reruns of the MTV series Pimp My Ride). By 2008, Speed was carried in over 73 million households.[6] In 2010, Fox launched a TV Everywhere service known as Speed 2, which features coverage of additional racing series not broadcast by Speed, along with video on demand access to archived Speed programs. The service was shut down in 2014.[7]

In 2011, Speed began carrying Australia's V8 Supercars series; it also aired live coverage of the Gold Coast 600 (where major international drivers compete in teams alongside Australian drivers) and Bathurst 1000 featuring Darrell Waltrip, Mike Joy, Leigh Diffey and Calvin Fish on-location. The move was met with praise from series organizers who felt that the series could benefit from the additional exposure it would receive from American coverage – organizers later also announced the addition of a new race at Austin's Circuit of the Americas for the 2013 season.[8]

On October 12, 2012, Fox Sports announced that it was unable to renew its contract to air Formula One racing on Speed after the conclusion of the 2012 season. Two days later, NBC Sports announced that it had reached a new four-year deal to broadcast F1 races beginning in the 2013 season, with the majority of its coverage to be carried by NBC Sports Network.[9][10] Three days later, Fox Sports reached an agreement with NASCAR to extend the network's broadcasting contract through the 2022 season (maintaining its rights to the first half of the Sprint Cup season and the full Camping World Truck Series season), along with the addition of online streaming rights beginning in 2013.[11]

Shutdown of Speed and relaunch as Fox Sports 1[edit]

Main articles: Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2

On March 5, 2013, Fox Sports announced that Speed would be permanently shut down, and Speed programming would be carried over to Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 on August 17, 2013. Fox directly positioned the networks to be major competitors to ESPN: studio programs featured on the network include the daily sports news program Fox Sports Live (which competes directly against ESPN's SportsCenter), Crowd Goes Wild (originally titled Rush Hour), an early-evening program hosted by Regis Philbin, and Fox Football Daily (a companion program to Fox NFL Sunday). The network began carrying Major League Baseball games and coverage of select post-season games beginning in 2014 (with the Fox broadcast network airing significantly fewer games as a result); select NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races will be moved to the network in 2015.[12][13][14] College football and basketball games from the Big East,[15] Big 12, Conference USA and Pac-12 conferences, soccer matches from the UEFA Champions League, Europa League and CONCACAF Champions League, along with rights to the Men's and Women's FIFA World Cup tournaments, and Ultimate Fighting Championship events and live fights are also featured on the network.[2]

The last ever program to be broadcast by Speed in the United States was a replay of qualifying for that weekend's Sprint Cup event, the Pure Michigan 400, which was soon followed by a statement from Fox NASCAR play-by-play announcer Mike Joy marking the end of Speed's operations in the United States:

Although Fox officially stated that Speed would be relaunched as Fox Sports 1, the new channel was actually an entirely new channel. Therefore, Fox was forced to renegotiate carriage deals with pay television providers to carry the new networks due to their sudden change in programming. There was uncertainty over whether Fox Sports 1 would have sufficient carriage at launch, as it had not yet reached deals with three of the four largest pay television providers in the United States (these being DirecTV, Dish Network and Time Warner Cable) with only a month before its launch. However, all three finally agreed to terms to carry Fox Sports 1 three days before the scheduled launch.[17] For any remaining television providers that did not reach a deal to carry Fox Sports 1, Fox offered a "watered-down" version of Speed (dropping all motorsports programming, replacing it with a loop of the network's other automotive programming) in an attempt to keep the channel on air whilst Fox Sports was gradually picked up by the country's pay TV providers. In international markets such as Canada, Speed continued to broadcast motorsports programming (usually running the same coverage as the Fox Sports channels in a simulcast).[5][4][18] The Speed.com domain used for the channel's website is still in use as a Fox Sports motorsports blog.

Speed's former Formula One commentators record a panel discussion at the 2006 United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (left to right – Derek Daly, Peter Windsor, Bob Varsha, David Hobbs, Sam Posey, Steve Matchett).

International versions[edit]

North America (outside the United States)[edit]

Speed became available in Canada shortly after its U.S. launch. As Speedvision, Speed was approved by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to be added to its list of foreign cable networks approved for carriage on Canadian cable and satellite providers in 1997.[19] As such, Speed is carried by most Canadian television service providers. Prior to August 2013, Canadian viewers saw a largely identical schedule as the U.S. channel, although some programming, particularly live Formula 1 events, were blacked out to protect TSN, which holds domestic broadcast rights to F1 events (under CRTC rules, foreign services must own Canadian broadcast rights to the content they air).[20] However, this point became moot when NBC Sports Network obtained rights to F1 events beginning with the 2013 season, as that network is not available in Canada.

In Canada, as well as the Caribbean and Puerto Rico, Speed was not converted to Fox Sports 1. The exact reasons for this have not been confirmed, although in the case of Canada, it is not clear whether Fox would have had the ability to make such a change given that Speed's Canadian authorization was based on it being a motorsports-based network. The version of Speed available in these areas continues to carry various NASCAR and other motorsports events, as well as related studio programming, mostly simulcast with their U.S. broadcasts on Fox Sports 1 or Fox Sports 2, but does not otherwise originate any new programming of its own. During hours when the network is not simulcasting FS1 or FS2 coverage, it carries repeats of Speed's past reality and documentary programming. The international feed only carries advertising for Speed's own programming and the Big Ten Network during commercial breaks, with no outside advertising aside from promotions inserted by local providers.[4]

In early 2014, major Canadian service providers including Rogers Cable and Bell TV began to drop the service upon the expiration of their carriage contracts. Cogeco dropped the Speed Channel on July 15, 2014.[21] Reports indicate that Fox had attempted to raise the channel's carriage fees significantly, despite the major reductions in original programming for international viewers,[22] and Rogers suggests Fox was unwilling to allow Speed to be moved to a more specialized package in light of the programming and cost changes.[23]

Australia[edit]

Speed launched in Australia on November 1, 2010 on Foxtel in both standard and high definition.[24] After months of negotiations and controversy, on March 25, 2011, Speed and Speed HD launched on subscription television provider Austar.[25] Among other racing events, the Australian network airs NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series, Camping World Truck Series, V8 Supercars and Superbike World Championship. The network also has its own version of Speed News. Unlike the U.S. version, it is owned by Fox Sports Pty Limited, a subsidiary of News Corp Australia – which is no longer directly connected to 21st Century Fox due to its inclusion in the split of News Corporation.

Former[edit]

Latin America[edit]

The Latin American version of Speed carried live coverage of the Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series, Rolex Sports Car Series, American Le Mans Series (including 24 Hours of Le Mans), Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters and the Camping World Truck Series. It also aired delayed coverage of the World Series by Renault and NASCAR Mexico. Other programming included highlights shows including British Formula Three Championship, the Argentine TC 2000 and Turismo Carretera, and the Colombian T.C. 2000 and delayed highlights of Australia's V8 Supercars, FIA GT (airing on a few months delay), AMA Supercross and Monster Jam, as well as non-motorsport programs such as Grand Prix On Track, Grand Prix Story, Unique Whips, Tuner Mania and Pinks.

On February 5, 2012, the Latin American channel was replaced in Brazil by a domestic version of Fox Sports. Beginning in 2012, the network broadcast Formula 1 free practices and live and delayed qualifying events and races, as well as live races from the GP2 Series and GP3 Series. On November 5, 2012, Speed Latin America was relaunched as Fox Sports 3.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pedigree part of pitch for Fox Sports 1". SBD. Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Fox Reveals Details of New National Sports Network, Variety, March 5, 2013.
  3. ^ "Fox Sports Media Group Gives Rise To Fox Sports 1, A New National Multi-Sport Network (Press Release)". Fox Sports. Retrieved 5 March 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "Two channels will carry Speed name". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "FS1 carriage talks sticky a month out". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c "The final days of Speed". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "Time Warner Cable Revs Up Speed 2 Broadband Launch". Multichannel News. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "Waltrip joins US TV coverage of Bathurst 1000". Crash.net. Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
  9. ^ "SPEED coverage of Formula One comes to an end in 2012". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  10. ^ "Formula 1 lands four-year deal with NBC". Racer. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  11. ^ "NASCAR rides hot rights market to increase with Fox". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  12. ^ Hiestand, Michael (5 March 2013). "Fox Sports launches direct challenge to ESPN dominance". USA Today. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  13. ^ "Fox Sports announces Fox Sports 1". Retrieved 5 March 2013. 
  14. ^ http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nascar-from-the-marbles/fox-extends-nascar-tv-contract-adds-races-broadcast-221529120.html
  15. ^ Soon-to-be-renamed Big East, ESPN complete TV deal; contract runs through 2019-20 season, Fox News (via the Associated Press), March 19, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
  16. ^ As Speed dies, Mike Joy provides look back, then bridge to Fox Sports 1
  17. ^ Flint, Joe (2013-08-14). "Fox Sports 1 will launch with DirecTV, Dish and Time Warner Cable". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-08-14. 
  18. ^ "Speed Channel TV listings (August 17, 2013 onwards)". Zap2It. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  19. ^ Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (1997-07-22). "Public Notice CRTC 1997-96". Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  20. ^ Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (2013-02-13). "Revised list of non-Canadian programming services authorized for distribution as of 13 February 2013". Retrieved 2013-03-05. "Authorization for the services on this list is subject to the following: Providers of these foreign services must have obtained and must remain in possession of all necessary rights for the distribution of their programming in Canada. [...]" 
  21. ^ . Cogeco http://www.cogeco.ca/speedchannel/. Retrieved 2014-07-18.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. ^ McDonald, Norris (2014-02-25). "Fogarty, Gurney at large, Villeneuve at Indy and Speed Channel". Wheels.ca. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  23. ^ "Speed Channel". Rogers Communications. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  24. ^ "SPEED is on the air". 'David Knox'. Retrieved 2010-11-02. 
  25. ^ "AUSTAR News: SPEED Channel , About Austar – AUSTAR Television". 'Austar'. Retrieved 2011-03-24. 

External links[edit]