Speedvision Revs Up Subs


Speedvision, set to relaunch next month as Speed Channel, is gaining some
distribution momentum.

The network for racing enthusiasts will soon add roughly 2.8 million new
subscribers by being moved to a broader tier by EchoStar Communications Corp.
and through some additional rollouts by Cox Communications Inc. The MSO is
launching Speed Channel in several markets located near racetracks.

This month, EchoStar's Dish Network will put Speed Channel on its 'America's
Top 100' offering, off the 'America's Top 150' package.

Speed Channel will gain about 2.5 million homes as a result of that action,
as well as at least 300,000 subscribers through the Cox launches.

As of January, Speed Channel was in 46.5 million homes, according to Nielsen
Media Research.

Cox will launch the new Speed Channel -- now totally owned by the Fox Cable
Networks Group -- on systems in North Carolina, Las Vegas and Kansas, according
to Lindsay Gardner, Fox Cable's executive vice president of affiliate sales and

Those DMAs are important to Speed Channel because they serve subscribers near
major racetracks such as the North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, N.C.; Lowe's
Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C.; Las Vegas Motor Speedway; and the Kansas
Speedway in Kansas City.

Cox will add Speed Channel to analog on several systems in Kansas and put it
on enhanced digital tiers in Las Vegas and North Carolina.

Fox Cable is eager to take advantage of Speed Channel's placement on digital
systems since its Fox Interactive Television unit is developing complementary
services such as viewer-controlled camera angles, statistics on-demand, role
playing and other applications.

For example, Fox will mount cameras inside several stock cars so viewers can
get a bird's eye view of races, Gardner said

On Feb. 11, Speedvision will relaunch as Speed Channel, with a daily block of
programming related to the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing.

The block's lineup will include original news and lifestyle shows, historical
races, talk shows, special-event coverage and NASCAR-themed programs.

In addition to its NASCAR-related coverage, Speed Channel will include
Formula One, Championship Auto Racing Teams, World Rally and AMA Supercross

The network will also go live every day to NASCAR's Daytona, Fla.,
headquarters for press-conference coverage.