V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton Backs New Broadcast Deal With Foxtel, Channel Ten
V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton "believes the sport will undergo its biggest transformation since 2007 next year with a new broadcasting deal and more prime-time exposure," according to Hall, McCowen & Ottley of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The V8 series will commence a six-year, A$241M ($226M) agreement with Foxtel and Channel Ten from next year after what Warburton "deemed an ailing eight-year relationship with current broadcaster Channel 7 in which it was 'difficult to grow.'" He said, "The issue with television at the moment is that we continue to be shuffled around on the different 7 channels. To be frank, we’re really looking forward to being well promoted and we’re actually looking forward to being part of a network that wants to be part of it." Under the new broadcasting deal, only six rounds -- Adelaide, Townsville, Sandown, Bathurst, Gold Coast and Sydney -- "will be seen live on Ten (and simulcast on Foxtel)." Warburton, a former TV exec, "is adamant the move away from live free-to-air races would be offset by consistent programming." Likening the Foxtel coverage to its National Rugby League and Australian Football League programming, he said, "There’ll be something each weekend and also during the week, on free-to-air and on Fox" (SMH, 7/12).