The Seven Network and the Australian Racing Group (ARG) have struck a deal that will see top line motorsport return to the Network, starting in 2020.
Seven will broadcast live coverage of ARG categories and key events including the TCR Australia Series, S5000 as well as other feature categories from the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships racing program in a new multi-year deal.
Seven’s new CEO James Warburton joined the board of ARG earlier this year after departing Supercars Australia where he was CEO at the end of 2017. Warburton told Mediaweek this morning his interest was declared all through the negotiations with Seven. Warburton is stepping down from the ARG board next month.
A minimum of six hours of live coverage across the Saturday and Sunday of each event is part of the deal, simulcast on 7plus, Seven’s BVOD service.
Seven’s renewed commitment to Australian motorsport will also feature extensive live coverage of two major events at Australia’s most iconic race track – Mount Panorama, Bathurst.
The two ARG events which include the popular Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour over the Easter weekend and the recently announced Bathurst International event in late 2020 will both receive extended TV time on the Seven channels.
The Seven Network has a history of motorsport coverage, having broadcast the Australian Touring Car Championship, the Bathurst 1000 and other motor racing categories through every decade since the 1970s.
The Network pioneered cutting edge technologies such as in-car racecam and driver-to-commentator interviews.
Lewis Martin, managing director Seven Melbourne and head of network sport, Seven, said: “We’re thrilled to be broadcasting these great motorsport events from next year. Motorsport has long been a passion of ours at Seven, and we’ve led the way with innovative coverage of iconic Australian motorsport for decades.
“This agreement marks the next step in our commitment to motorsport, and we look forward to working with Australian Racing Group to bring these events to Australians live and free from 2020.”
The TCR Australia Series will be one of the featured racing categories in the coverage.
Matt Braid, director, Australian Racing Group, said: “The maiden season of TCR Australia has been hugely successful with fantastic feedback from drivers, teams, commercial partners and, most importantly, from fans.
“ARG is extremely pleased to announce our new broadcast partnership with the Seven Network and look forward to continuing to develop the TCR Australia Series, and the new S5000 Championship with the support of Australia’s leading television network.”
The all-new S5000 racing car class will also feature on the live and free broadcasts. The category’s debut at Sandown in September attracted a record Shannons Nationals crowd who witnessed a display of high speed racing from the V8-powered open wheelers.
The coverage will also feature a range of other high-quality racing categories, including the popular Touring Car Masters, among others.
The first round that TCR Australia and the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships will be seen on Seven will be at Sydney Motorsport Park on March 27-29 next year.