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HomeNewsMotorsport Australia to reclaim SpeedSeries TV rights

Motorsport Australia to reclaim SpeedSeries TV rights

MOTORSPORT Australia will take the Shannons SpeedSeries television rights back from the Australian Racing Group at the end of the year, opening the door for further changes.

ARG struck a lucrative deal with Stan Sport in early 2022, which saw the majority of content fall behind a paywall (with a minority free-to-air via the Nine Network).

The FTA component has increased this year, but even with Stan reporting audience growth, some sections in SpeedSeries land remain unhappy with the existing arrangement.

There’s no guarantee the SpeedSeries will leave Stan, but Motorsport Australia is currently conducting negotiations.

“We’re talking to potential broadcast partners to see who that will be for next year, and we’re in the middle of having those discussions at the moment,” Motorsport Australia’s Michael Smith told V8 Sleuth.

“And then the second part of that is who will be doing our production, and again we’re talking to a number of parties.

“So whilst I can’t sit here now and tell you exactly where it is going to be shown and on what network, what I can say is it will be broadcast, and I would anticipate by the end of this month or certainly very early next month, we’ll have a really clear idea of what our broadcast is going to look like next year.

“We’re just going through the process now of seeing what we can deliver.”

Matt White and Fabian Coulthard on the Stan Sport broadcast. Pic: Supplied/Daniel Kalisz

The structural change will see ARG focus on category management in 2024. Currently under its watch is TCR Australia, National Trans Am, S5000, Touring Car Masters, GT World Challenge Australia, and the Kumho Tyre V8 Touring Car Series.

“It’s just a change in the dynamic of who’s doing what,” said Smith.

“To be honest, we don’t anticipate there to be any change in what it looks like externally, it’s just a change in the fact that we’ll be doing (the broadcast) as opposed to ARG doing it.

“In terms of the SpeedSeries, we’ll still be working very, very closely together, the ARG categories will still be a core part of what the SpeedSeries is.”

It has been a rather tumultuous time for ARG, with chief operating officer Liam Curkpatrick the latest departure to be announced, while some entertaining on-track action has been offset by small grid sizes.

Motorsport Australia is upbeat about seeing things trend in the right direction next year.

Jim Richards, Garry Rogers and Barry Rogers. Pic: Supplied/Daniel Kalisz

“We have got a lot of confidence in the ARG product and we have had discussions with a lot of the TCR teams,” Smith added.

“From a Motorsport Australia point of view, TCR remains a really important category for us and we’re very keen to make sure that it succeeds.

“We’ve had a lot of discussion with Barry and Garry Rogers around what we do structurally moving forward and I think it’s just about them concentrating on what they should do as a business and us concentrating on what we should do as a business, but working together in a very collaborative way to make it all work.

“So whilst they’re not doing the broadcast next year and we’re taking it back, it doesn’t necessarily mean that things are going to change.

“In fact, I think from a SpeedSeries point of view, we’ll continue to really invest in that and make sure it grows and make sure that we’re offering the very best for our categories and for our fans.

“The core ARG products, we’re really confident in and we want to see that they have got a long-term future.”

A draft 10-round 2024 SpeedSeries calendar was released over the weekend.

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