I may not be a regular Supercars follower these days, but tomorrow’s possible announcement from their end will be interesting.
That would be a new TV rights deal that will begin over the next five years starting from 2021.
As we know, Network 10 chose not to renew the TV contract due to loss-making revenue in this free to air product that only aired just six to seven live races a year plus the rest belonged to highlights.
It’s fair to say that Network 10 made the right move because this strategy didn’t provide maximum value compared to the last time they held the Supercars rights exclusively from 1997-2006.
The latter proved to be the golden years that got the best out of Leigh Diffey, Greg Rust, Neil Crompton, Mark Howard & Bill Woods rather than taking off a straight Supercars Media commentary feed.
Now Channel 7 will most likely re-take the free to air package for the first time since 2014.
Since Seven is the No.2 free to air TV network in Australia, the ratings in this series should improve this time around or at an equal standard where they aired every race live from 2007-2014.
Thanks to the ongoing pandemic, Seven will pay at a bit cheaper rate at $4 million per year compared to Network 10’s $8 million an annum to use Supercars’ limited-access free to air content.
The question is how Seven will air these races?
As usual, the six big-event races will remain a primary network on Channel 7. So no change there.
But I think Seven should get some upgrade regarding airing the remaining races of each Supercars season.
That would be airing a mix of Saturday night highlights & Sunday afternoon races live on 7mate and 7plus.
For race and sports fans wanting to watch on the go for free, you’re in luck, which is one area that improves as Network 10 doesn’t have these rights.
In my opinion, I’d like to see the remaining Sunday races live on Seven ONLY at noon in all states as an excellent foil towards the Sunday Afternoon AFL coverage if you live in Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory, or Western Australia.
But having the remaining races on 7mate is alright; at least the Sunday races are LIVE and not on delay or highlights.
Plus, re-adding Supercars alongside the Bathurst 12 Hour & ARG Motorsport of Touring Cars, Trans-Am & Formula S5000 reflects a brilliant history of Seven’s coverage with cars since 1963.
Yes, Fox Sports will always have the exclusive say of things as injecting money into Supercars is crucial to stay afloat.
That way, Supercars can keep producing their in-house media arm for Fox & Seven and investing in other areas requiring attention.
But the need for a bit more free Supercars content makes both sides win this time around.
And you see Seven inheriting a low-rating product from Network 10 in the hope of turning it into something valuable.
The big-event races on Seven are still intact, plus the remaining Sunday races LIVE on 7mate & 7plus all for FREE is a great move.
Now we will have to wait if Seven will use their in-house commentary or likewise from Network 10, take a straight feed from Fox Sports of Neil Crompton and Mark Skaife in the booth.