V8 Supercars have just announced a new six-year deal with Foxtel, FOX SPORTS and Ten Network. The deal worth $241 million media includes all media rights including digital from 2015 to 2020. The deal consists of $196 million cash and $45 million of advertising and is the biggest deal ever inked for the sport.
As you read through the announcement, the sad reality of the new contract is actually revealed by reading between the lines. What’s not included in the announcement is anything in relation to High Definition broadcast on FreeView. You also won’t find the word SuperView in the announcement, this was V8 Supercars own IPTV streaming service that allowed you to watch practice, qualifying and races online as well as support categories.
V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton said: “This is a tremendous and significant deal for our sport. It is a great boost to our amazing race teams and fans and will lead to unprecedented coverage on multiple platforms for our sport, never before seen on such a scale.”
The reason V8 Supercars scored the big dollars in this deal is that they sold their soul to the devil. I say the devil because they refuse to give users just what they want, instead packaging channels that leave the entry price at $50 per month. Foxtel are the big winners in this agreement and those who don’t subscribe to pay TV are now subscribed to a sub-standard V8SC experience until at least 2021.
FreeView not getting HD
If you have watched the hashtag #V8SC or visited Channel 7’s Facebook page during a V8 round in the past couple of years, you’ll know the pitchforks are out for the broadcaster for not delivering HD. It’s bad enough this wasn’t the case in 2013, but to continue that until 2021 is absolutely ridiculous and expect some very unhappy fans.
The quality of broadcast should not be the determining factor between paid and not paid television viewing. Differentiate on the pre-post information, the advertising during the events, the second screen experiences, but don’t make HD the kingdom of the rich. Consumers have been sold on HDTVs on the basis that broadcasting was moving that way and is most important in fast moving content like sporting events. This is just broken and the government should change the broadcasting licences to avoid these kinds of deals. I appreciate the sport and V8 Supercars as a company needs to make money, but they need to find a way to do that without selling off HD.
The following statement confirms that Foxtel got the HD rights.
FOX SPORTS CEO, Patrick Delany, said: “V8 Supercars have a proud history of innovation. We relish the opportunity to work with talented V8 Supercars race teams and the team at V8 Supercars TV to give the sport the FOX SPORTS treatment – every minute of practice, qualifying, support categories and the Championship races – all LIVE and in stunning HD.
SuperView killed off
The experience of V8 SuperView this year, in general, was pretty good. There were multiple times where I found myself away from view of TVs and made use of the season pass I purchased. The pricing was affordable and please don’t think I’m against paying for a service like this, the point is that it should be optional.
The most common complaint about V8 SuperView is quality, especially if you’re viewing it on a larger display. V8 Supercars should have moved to increase streaming quality but instead are killing off the service in 2015. Enjoy it while it lasts people, I know I used it multiple times in airports.
“Not only will the series be available in amazing High Definition on the Foxtel cable and satellite service, fans will also be able to enjoy all the action on the move with Foxtel Go or with the convenience of Foxtel Play.”
Yep, that’s right Foxtel also go the mobile rights to V8 Supercars coverage. While the announcement sounds great for the sport on the surface, it seems V8 Supercars has forgotten about the fans in this new contract.
More information @ V8 Supercars