SpeedSeries has returned for another new season that started today at Sandown Raceway in Victoria where a few categories have came back, while some have came into the fold for the first time on what is going to be a huge year ahead – including the Bathurst 6 Hour during the Easter long weekend, as well as the TCR World Tour drivers coming back again to take on the Aussie field this November at Eastern Creek (Sydney Motorsports Park) & Bathurst (Mount Panorama Circuit) respectively.
But there’s also a change of broadcaster too as Seven has returned replacing Nine & Stan Sport as their broadcast partner for the next two years. Yes, the shift of having most of the stuff behind the paywall including elements of free-to-air content didn’t work out for the majority. Although if they did add the three-hour Sunday races on top of the three-hour Saturday coverage including the Bathurst 6 Hour race, then it wouldn’t be bad. However, it was the change of hands from Australian Racing Group back to Motorsport Australia that led to Nine/Stan leaving the series also after two years when ARG brought them here exactly two years ago. Before that, Seven first broadcasted the competition in 2021 (the 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID) before the split paywall experiment while SBS aired the inaugural TCR Australia season for one year in 2019.
Now most of the broadcast graphics including the leaderboard haven’t changed much except the SpeedSeries logo being moved from the bottom right to the bottom left. Same goes with the broadcast team like Chris Stubbs (he will still be on Stan’s grand slam Tennis coverage throughout the year as he’s freelance), Matt Naulty, Richard Craill & Greg Rust. Although one new face have now come onboard front & centre in Sarah Burt as a few will be moved on. We won’t be seeing ex-Supercars driver Fabian Coulthard & Rally legend Molly Taylor back again. So does Matt White, who not only appeared on Nine for the first time over the last two years as host after he spent so much time between Seven & Ten, but he also returned to commentary for a bit towards the end of last season in the Trans-Am alongside Naulty due to Craill having to focus on the TCR World Tour’s Australian leg with Rust and Paul Jeffrey.
Another thing we won’t have to put up is Nine’s inability on not wanting to use the Wide World of Sports watermark as seen with the SpeedSeries’ free-to-air broadcasts last year where Seven & even Ten and SBS has presented it so nicely when it comes to their motorsports coverage. But I doubt it won’t go away anytime soon since they barely broadcast any racing until Stan Sport was born back in 2021 when Nine will get to air a bit again Live during the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June with parent streaming subsdiary Stan still holding the rights there alongside IndyCar, Formula E, Rallying, Motocross & the World Endurance Championship. So there goes your SpeedSeries broadcast guide this season other than Supercars being on Seven for half the time as well as Fox Sports who holds all of the races including Formula 1, NASCAR & MotoGP & both Australian Grand Prix events will stay on Network 10. And that is that for now as we wish SpeedSeries all the best going forward in growing the competition towards better milestones for Motorsport in Australia.