V8 Supercars rubbish claims of drop in free-to-air coverage in new Ten deal

L to R Ten Network's Hamish McLennan, V8 Supercars' James Warburton, Foxtel's Richard Freudenstein, FOX SPORTS' Patrick DelanyV8 Supercars has rubbished claims free-to-air viewers will get fewer races when it moves broadcasters in 2015,  insisting there will be more coverage than ever when it moves from the Seven Network to a joint Network Ten and Foxtel arrangement.

Reports had suggested the $241m V8 Supercars broadcast deal between Network Ten and the pay TV broadcaster Foxtel and Fox Sports announced last month, will bring only a handful of races to free TV viewers, while the majority of content will be reserved for subscribers to Fox Sports.

However a spokesperson for V8 today told Mumbrella: “There will be more on free to air television than there has been this year and last year.”

The announcement the franchise would move from Seven to Ten and Fox Sports emerged last month, with online rights which were held by Telstra until 2011 and are now held by V8s also moving to Foxtel and Fox Sports.

Reports had claimed every championship race event including practice, qualifying and support categories would be broadcast live in HD on Fox Sports, with only key races like the Bathurst 1000, Clipsal 500, Gold Coast 600 and Sydney 500 simulcast on Channel Ten.

“I wouldn’t believe any speculation at all. It’s quite the opposite,” said the spokesman.”That’s only speculation being driven by inaccurate reporting.

“We can assure our fans that there will be more free to air and more pay television, so more content in total.”

However the spokesperson would not reveal how the programming will be divided between the free and pay TV networks, saying it will not be decided until the 2015 scheduling is finalised around September. The broadcast schedule for 2014 will be announced in early February.

Both Ten and Fox Sports have refused to comment on the deal.



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