Speed Revs Up VOD, Internet Tracks

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Speed Channel will enhance its free video-on-demand offering by adding three NASCAR-related shows as part of a 16-month VOD deal the parties reached last week.

The network will also offer an online-based, multi-camera subscription package that will run during live network auto racing telecasts, according to network vice president of business development and operations Kevin Annison.

Speed Channel will add content from three originally produced NASCAR shows to its current 20-hour Speed On Demand VOD offering, currently available to 11 million homes through pacts with Comcast Cable, Time Warner Cable and Blue Ridge Cable.

The network will block off all of its NASCAR VOD programming under the “Speed NASCAR TV On Demand” moniker to distinguish it from other original Speed-produced VOD fare.

The new shows are: Victory Lane, a weekly one-hour show that recaps the weekend’s races; NASCAR Race Rewind, a 10-minute highlight-program; and Beyond the Wheel, an anthology series.

“We’re looking to make these shows available Monday nights – a day after the race finishes,” said Annison, likening the effort to NFL Network’s VOD recap content]. “It’s a quick turnaround for NASCAR fans.”

Added NASCAR vice president of broadcasting and new media Dick Glover: “VOD is a platform that NASCAR is looking into actively and this test run with Speed Channel will help us begin to formulate our long-term strategy.”

Annison hopes that the additional NASCAR content will make the package more appealing to non-affiliated operators. “Speed Channel has been working hard over the last year to increase its VOD offerings,” Annison said. “We believe adding NASCAR to the list of programs available will significantly grow the network’s VOD viewership.”

Along with the VOD service, Speed Channel will test a new subscription Internet-based service that will provide viewers with as many as six camera angles to complement Speed’s live event coverage from such auto racing series as AMA Superbike, American Le Mans, ARCA, Rolex Sports Car and IROC, Annison said. Overall, the network will offer 19 events.

The On Board Speed Pass service — which will carry a suggested retail of $4.95 per race, or a discount if all events are purchased in advance — will allow subscribers to toggle through several camera angles from a live race carried simultaneously by Speed.

In Demand offers a similar multi-camera subscription package for digital cable dubbed NASCAR In Car.

The two deals follow on the heels of a wireless mobile product partnership with Airborne Entertainment, as well as an interactive effort with new mobile marketing company Proteus Inc. to offer auto racing-oriented ring tones, wallpaper and other content via mobile phones.

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