SBD/February 2, 2011/Media

Speed To Add Primetime Programming Targeted At Casual Fans

Speed will celebrate its 15th anniversary by “revving up its weekly primetime lineup in February with motor sports-themed reality series programming,” according to R. Thomas Umstead of MULTICHANNEL NEWS. The Fox Sports Media Group-owned network will “keep live coverage of NASCAR, Formula One, Grand American Road Racing, AMA Supercross, and MotoGP races,” but Speed President Hunter Nickell said that the new primetime reality fare “is meant to appeal to casual motor sports fans.” Nickell added that the primetime lineup, debuting the week of Feb. 21, will feature “reality series targeted to motor sports ‘enthusiasts’ into fast cars and racing.” Nickell: “There’s not a lot of motor sports competition going on Monday through Thursday night, so we’re going to feed the enthusiasts’ appetite with our new shows.” One of the new shows, “Car Warriors,” is a “reality-competition series in which eight ‘all-star’ car builders race average Joes from local garages around the race to see who can turn a basic, run-down car into a slick-running automobile.” Additional shows include “American Trucker,” which features “iconic trucks and their historic cargo missions;” “Car Science,” an “offshoot” of ESPN's “Sports Science;" and “Speedmakers,” which “takes a look at builders and epic innovators of acceleration.” Umstead notes Speed “hopes the primetime focus on reality will reverse a 19% decline in audience in 2010 to 228,000 viewers, compared to 280,000 in 2009” (MULTICHANNEL NEWS, 1/31 issue).
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