News

TWC to Launch Speed2 Broadband Net

5/11/2010 5:57 AM Eastern

Speed network is launching
an authenticated broadband
channel — Speed2 — in June,
starting with Time Warner Cable
and adding other affiliates as
deals are completed by Fox Networks
Group.

The channel will be available
only to Speed subscribers, authenticated
by the multichannel
provider using a quick sign-in
procedure, channel officials said.
The agreement with Time Warner
Cable to be the first launch partner
arose from negotiations that
led to January’s new agreement
for carriage of the Fox broadcast
and cable networks, officials
said.

The June launch of a “beta”
service will be in Charlotte, N.C.
Starting in July, it will be ready
for a wider launch. On TWC, the
rollout is expected to occur on a
market by market basis, Speed officials said.

Subscribers who get Speed on
TWC will be authenticated using
a sign-in screen the cable operator
created for that purpose
and for account management
tasks. The same setup was used
by customers to watch Olympics
events online from the Vancouver
Games, via NBC Universal.

Speed2 will launch with international
racing series fare, some
shown live but most archived from
recent events. Video-on-demand
international motor sports content
and other programming for racing
enthusiasts also will be available.

NASCAR will not be in the mix:
broadband rights to those events
are held by Time Warner Inc.’s
Turner Broadcasting System, offi
cials said. Speed2 will be home
to a host of events to which Speed
has rights but doesn’t have time
for on the linear network. They
include Formula 2 and lower levels
of Formula 1 racing (GT1 and
GT3) and intriguing events such
as Time Trial Xtreme Grand Prix,
a new event on the Isle of Man
featuring zero-carbon, cleanemission
motorcycles.

“As NASCAR programming has
increased on Speed, there are certain
series that are no longer on the
network and other series, particularly
international series, that we have
not carried on the network previously,”
network president Hunter Nickell
said. Speed2 provides an outlet for
that programming.

“There certainly is an audience
for this type of racing,” Speed vice
president of digital & interactive
media Kevin Annison said. “How
big is it? We’re going to find out.
It’s all predicated on distribution.”

Event-centric Speed2 won’t
have Speed series that are now
available on Hulu 30 days after
they air. Standard- and high-definition
content will be offered.

Mike Biard, executive vice
president of Fox Networks Affiliate
Sales and Marketing, said in a
statement: “Our distributors have
been seeking more online content
to complement their video offerings,
and this network will deliver
what drives viewership
— exclusive
live events and dramatic
action — all in
an authenticated online
environment.”

Other events on
Speed2 will be from
these series: German
Touring Car (DTM);
World Touring Car Championship
(WTCC); International Rally; British
Touring Car Championship
(BTCC); World Motocross; World
Supermoto; World Enduro Challenge;
Nurbring 24; F3 Euroseries
and VW Scirocco Cup.

Library fare also will be available,
from Speed shows American
Muscle Car, Behind the Headlights,
Back in the Day and Victory
by Design
.

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