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 in January 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, officials 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 Britain's Isle of Man featuring zero-carbon, clean-emission 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, aimed at passionate motor sports fans.
Speed2 won't have Speed series now available on Hulu 30 days after they air. "You're not going to see Pinks All Out on Speed2 at this time," Kevin Annison, Speed's vice president of digital & interactive media, said.
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.