Speed (TV network)
|Launched||December 31, 1995
July 2005 (Latin America)
|Closed||February 5, 2012
November 5, 2012 (Latin America)
August 17, 2013 (United States)
|Owned by||Speed Channel Inc.
(21st Century Fox)
|Picture format||480i (SDTV/16:9 letterbox)
|Country||United States (currently only distributed outside U.S.)|
|Headquarters||Charlotte, North Carolina|
|Formerly called||Speedvision (1996
Speed Channel (2002 –2005 )
|Replaced by||Fox Sports 1
Fox Sports 3
|Bell TV||Channel 417 (SD)
Channel 1413 (HD)
|Shaw Direct||Channel 406 (SD)
Channel 274 (HD)
|Available on most Canadian cable providers||Check local listings|
|May remain available on some minor American cable providers||Check local listings|
|Bell Aliant TV (Canada)||Channel 104 (SD)
Channel 469 (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 dedicated to motorsports owned by the Fox Sports Media Group division of 21st Century Fox. Although based in the United States, Speed ceased being available to most U.S. viewers and ceased as a stand-alone network with its own original programming on August 17, 2013, when it was replaced by the general-interest sports network Fox Sports 1. The network remains available in Canada, the Caribbean, and Puerto Rico, airing archived Speed programming and live simulcasts of motorsports events shown on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 in the United States that would be otherwise unavailable to non-U.S. viewers. Speed's headquarters were located at University Research Park in Charlotte, North Carolina.
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 Fox in 2001 and re-launched as Speed Channel, the network's lineup became increasingly NASCAR-oriented; prior to its U.S. shutdown, 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 on for Fox Sports 1, carrying a loop of the network's past reality programming.
Many of the programs once found on Speed can now be found in the United States on MAVTV, shows like Gearz, My Classic Car, Chop Cut Rebuild and Dream Car Garage as well as live coverage of racing events.
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2012)|
The network that eventually became Speed launched on December 31, 1995 by Roger L. Werner, Jr., E. Roger Williams, Nickolas Rhodes and Robert Scanlon under the name Speedvision. Its original ownership included Cox Communications, Continental Cablevision and AT&T Corporation.
Its 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 syndicated from PBS member stations in Maryland and Detroit respectively. Speedvision also carried coverage of various minor and professional auto racing series, including the SCCA's World Challenge series (of which it also acquired title sponsorship of in 1999, becoming the Speedvision World Challenge).
Fox acquisition and NASCAR push
In the summer of 2001, Fox Entertainment Group purchased a one-third ownership interest in Speedvision. In August 2001, the company negotiated 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. To coincide with the 2002 Daytona 500, Speedvision was re-launched as Speed Channel (later just Speed) on February 11, 2002, and the network was re-located 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, re-ran 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.
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. 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 still maintained 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. In recent years, 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.
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.
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, and 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 had also recently announced the addition a new race at Austin's Circuit of the Americas for the 2013 season.
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. 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.
Shutdown of Speed and relaunch as Fox Sports 1
On March 5, 2013, Fox Sports announced that it would relaunch Speed as Fox Sports 1 on August 17, 2013. Fox directly positioned the network to be a major competitor 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 will also feature Major League Baseball games and coverage of select post-season games (beginning in 2014; the Fox network will air significantly fewer games as a result), and select NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races will be moved to the network in 2015. College football and basketball games from the Big East, 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. Ultimate Fighting Championship events and live fights are also featured on the network.
The last program broadcast by Speed was a replay of qualifying for that weekend's Sprint Cup event, the Pure Michigan 400, after which Fox NASCAR play-by-play announcer Mike Joy marked Speed's sign-off with these words:
|“||For 18 years, it’s been our honor and privilege to present motorsports and automotive-related programming to you on the network that began as Speedvision, became Speed Channel, and is now known as Speed. From the visionaries who started this network, from maintenance to management, from the talent to the truck drivers, we’ve shared your passion for motorsports over lo these many years. We love that you care as much about your cars as family, God and country. And so do we. But now, it’s time to switch off the ignition and turn in the keys. This is the end of Speed in America. We hope you’ll follow us on our new journey to Fox Sports 1 because all your favorite live NASCAR programming and much more is coming along with us. So now, it’s goodnight and farewell to America’s motorsports authority – Speed.||”|
Although marketed as a re-launch of Speed, Fox was required to re-negotiate its carriage deals with the television providers to carry the new network due to its change in scope. There was uncertainty over whether Fox Sports 1 would have sufficient carriage on launch, as it had not yet reached deals with three of the United States' four largest television providers (DirecTV, Dish Network, and Time Warner Cable) only a month before its launch. However, all three finally agreed to terms three days before the scheduled launch. For any remaining television providers that did not reach a deal to carry Fox Sports 1, Fox offered a "watered-down" version of Speed (with a loop of reality and car auction programs and no live events) on an interim basis to fulfill existing carriage contracts until they signed on for Fox Sports 1. In international markets such as Canada, a similar feed was established that retains motorsports programming simulcast from Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2. Speed's former website now occupies a Speed-branded motorsports-related blog.
North America (outside the United States)
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 non-Canadian network approved for carriage on Canadian cable and satellite providers in 1997. As such, Speed is carried by most Canadian television service providers. Prior to August 2013, the schedule seen in Canada was largely identical to the U.S. schedule, except that some programming, particularly live Formula 1 events, were blacked out to protect TSN, the owner of F1 broadcast rights in Canada (as foreign services must own Canadian broadcast rights to the content they air). However, this point became moot in the 2013 season, as NBC Sports Network is not carried in Canada.
For viewers 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, it carries repeats of Speed's past reality and documentary programming. The international feed only carries advertising for Speed's own programming and Big Ten Network during commercial breaks, with no outside advertising aside from promotions inserted by local providers.
Speed launched in Australia on November 1, 2010 on Foxtel in both standard and high definition. After months of negotiations and controversy, on March 25, 2011, Speed and Speed HD launched on Austar (the regional Australia subscription television provider). The Australian network shows NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, V8 Supercars, and Superbike World Championship to name a few. The network also has its own version of Speed News as well. 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.
Speed's Latin American network has live coverage of the Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series, Rolex Sports Car Series, American Le Mans Series, 24 Hours of Le Mans, Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Also shows delayed coverage of World Series by Renault and NASCAR Mexico. Other programming includes highlights shows of Australia's V8 Supercars (delayed), British Formula Three Championship, FIA GT (months delayed), AMA Supercross (delayed), Monster Jam (delayed), Argentine TC 2000 and Turismo Carretera and Colombian T.C. 2000, 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, this service no longer broadcast in Brazil and replaced by a local version of Fox Sports. From 2012, free practices for Formula 1 are broadcast live and delayed qualifying and races, and the races of GP2 Series and GP3 Series are broadcast live. On November 5, 2012, Speed Latin America was relaunched as Fox Sports 3.
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- "AUSTAR News: SPEED Channel , About Austar – AUSTAR Television". 'Austar'. Retrieved 2011-03-24.
- SPEED: The Motors on FOX Blog (former location of official website)
- Speed2 Website
- Fox Sports Website