The Seven Network will remain as the free-to-air broadcaster of the V8 Supercars Championship, with the long-running saga over the series’ broadcasting rights finally brought to a close with both parties announcing a two-year deal today, just six weeks before the 2013 season gets underway.
The deal guarantees live free-to-air broadcasting of all championship rounds in all Australian metropolitan markets, although it is not yet known which of the Seven Network’s three stations – Seven, 7Two or 7Mate – will put the content to air.
A separate subscription television package deal with FoxSport’s SPEED channel is expected to be announced soon.
The non-championship round at the Australian Grand Prix will be broadcast on Channel Ten, which holds the F1 broadcasting rights.
“This is an excellent outcome for the sport and fans,” V8 Supercars CEO David Malone said of the deal.
“The extension gives great continuity heading into a very exciting 2013 season. Seven has been a great partner and we look forward to their ongoing commitment to the highest level of coverage and promotion.”
The deal is believed to have come in at less than the previous $28 million a year amount paid by Seven under the previous six-year deal.
Series bosses had hoped that the championship would attract a serious bidding war from Australia’s major free-to-air networks to secure the broadcasting rights, but this hasn’t been the case, giving the Seven Network the opportunity to tender a cut-price deal – believed to be some $10 million a year less – that V8 Supercars couldn’t refuse.
Undoubtedly, a shorter deal has been agreed upon to cut their losses, in the hope that the bidding market will become more viable in two years’ time.