Mike Audcent helped make Ten the ‘Home of Motorsport’ in the 1990s …
STORY: V8 SLEUTH
FORMER Ten Network Head of Sport Mike Audcent has passed away suddenly.
Audcent suffered a heart attack on Monday morning (January 28), his death rocking those that worked with him during his time at Ten and, later, upon the establishment of Supercars Television in his role as Director of Television.
‘Audey’ as he was well known within the industry, was the Head of Sport at Network 10 in the late 1990s when it made a significant move into telecasting a significant amount of Australian motorsport.
Under his hand the network took over coverage of the Australian Touring Car Championship when it morphed into V8 Supercars, the Gold Coast IndyCar event and CART IndyCar Series, World Superbike Championship and MotoGP, truly making it the ‘Home of Motorsport’ in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Neil Crompton, currently the voice of the Supercars Championship who also worked with Audcent during the Channel 10 era, paid tribute to Audcent today.
“He was really at the heart of the foundation of what became Network 10’s ‘Home of Motorsport,” Crompton told V8 Sleuth today.
“When Ten weren’t travelling too well among the big three commercial networks he decided to embrace some motorsport and I recall around the mid 1990s when they grabbed the IndyCar rights.
“He was part of the process for Ten becoming the home base for your V8 Supercars, F1, IndyCar, RPM, Aussie and World Rally, the suite of products was unrivalled at the time and it became a destination and he was right at the base of all of that.
“If you look at the itme assembled under Mike, it’s a huge list of who’s who that have made a massive contribution to motorsport and become senior executives and producers who were all given a shot by him.
“I first encountered him at the ABC when he was in senior management in sport there and he always had a soft spot for motor racing and he fostered it on his watch.
“Mike made a really big impact, he’ll be very sadly missed.”
Former Ten commentator/host Greg Rust paid tribute to Audcent today on social media.
“He was the first person who interviewed me at Channel 10 in the late 90s for the job as host/commentator of the Super Touring Championship,” Rust posted today.
“It was the beginning of a special chapter for me at Ten … a life changing moment.
“He was straight with feedback, had in infectious laugh and helped build a mega team.”
Audcent was Director of Television at Supercars Televsion when V8 Sleuth’s Aaron Noonan began his TV commentary career on the Seven Network in 2007.
“Mike gave so many young people a go in television and he was a great supporter in those early years for me personally,” says Noonan.
“He formed very close relationships with the people he worked with. So many of those that have worked with him have said in the last 24 hours how much they came to regard working in Mike’s teams as being part of a family rather than a TV broadcast group.”
V8 Sleuth passes on its condolances to Mike’s family, friends and many work colleagues.