A recently announced deal between Supercars and Foxtel, and Seven appears to have hit its first bump in the road, according to industry sources speaking to a leading Sydney masthead.
The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that Supercars has told Foxtel that it may be unable to air popular motorsport races for free on Kayo Sports, due to an agreement in place with its other broadcast partner, Seven West Media.
The news comes on the authority of industry sources, who spoke to The Herald on the condition of anonymity, because talks of the broadcast schedule remain confidential.
It comes after Supercars in late September announced a $200 million broadcast deal with Foxtel and Seven, with the former to broadcast every Repco Supercars Championship session live with no ad-breaks during racing and to stream them on Kayo Sports, Foxtel GO and Foxtel Now.
Over at Seven, from 2021, six Supercars races will be broadcast live and free on the Seven Network, including the Bathurst 1000, plus the Bathurst 12 Hour race. Seven’s coverage will also include live streaming on 7plus.
Despite being behind a paywall, Foxtel can still make some events free for users trialling the app.
But according to The Herald, Foxtel cannot make the same events that Seven broadcasts for free available to people who are not Kayo subscribers.
This means the Bathurst 1000, among others, would be off the cards for Foxtel to stream for free.
A spokesperson for Supercars told The Herald the organisation is still finalising its 2021 calendar.
“Once the calendar is complete, we will work through 2021 coverage plans with our broadcast partners and they will become public from there,” the spokesperson told The Herald.
“Any contractual details between Supercars and its partners [broadcast or otherwise] will always remain commercial in confidence.”
The news comes shortly after it was announced that Adelaide would no longer host an annual Supercars event, due to the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and a decline in motorsports interest, which have reportedly made the event unsustainable.
The Superloop Adelaide 500 (formerly known as the Clipsal 500) was part of Foxtel’s existing contract.
However, despite the loss, Foxtel Group chief executive Patrick Delaney said motorsport has never been more popular in Australia.
“Overall our motorsport audiences are up by 35 per cent this year compared to 2019, with streaming growth for the category on Foxtel Now, Foxtel GO and Kayo is up 82 per cent,” Delaney said in a statement, announcing the deal with Supercars.
“Supercars are quintessentially Australian, and the Championship is a core part of our motorsport offering attracting huge audiences in its own right. The iconic Bathurst 1000 recorded the highest rating day in subscription television history in 2019.”
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