For several months now I have been asking Rogers, SpeedTV, and others what we in Canada will see after August 17th on the channel that has been known as Speed or Speedvision since we started receiving it in 1997, and failed to receive an answer. TV listings for August 17 and later have now made it apparent that we will be receiving an even more watered-down version of what we have been getting in recent years.
Fox in the U.S. bought this channel several years ago, and has been intentionally working to kill it off by removing more and more of the motorsports programming from this formerly motorsports oriented channel, replacing it with car collector, game and 'reality' show programming. Now even that will be continuously repeated loops of old shows, with very little or nothing that is new. Their intention has been to start their own general sports channel to compete with ESPN in the U.S., and now to attempt to force the American cable and satellite carriers to replace Speed with the new Fox general sports channel. The U.S. carriers who have not yet signed on for that new channel will continue to receive the pointless and almost entirely non-motorsports Speed channel as a punishment for failing to agree to pay for the new Fox Sports 1 channel.
Yet this punishment channel appears to be what we will continue receiving in Canada. Surely there must be something about this that fails to conform to their contracts with Canadian carriers, if not CRTC regulations regarding permitted non-Canadian channels, and could lead to it being removed and hopefully replaced as soon as possible?
Note that the Fox-owned Speed channel in Australia has remained very much a motorsports channel.
And most of Europe including Britain has a motorsports channel (not owned by Fox) called Motors TV.
Please, as soon as possible, replace the Speed channel we presently receive with one of these or another motorsports channel if others exist.
Solved! Solved! Go to Solution.
Wow, what a politician-like announcement! How did you find it? Rogers never notified me.
But then, there wasn't much worth watching on Speed anymore, anyway. They still had Moto GP, but I didn't see any WRC. The rest of it's just a load of NASCAR and redneck reality shows. The important NASCAR stuff would be on one of the major networks and I only watched the couple of road races and some of the more significant events. Speed started going down hill after they axed Wind Tunnel.
"If the channel provider will come to an agreement that allows us to offer the channel to a more specialized audience at a reasonable rate, we'd be happy to make it available."
What are they talking about in that strangely cryptic sentence? Does Fox still think they can bully the Canadian carriers like Rogers into carrying Fox Sports 1, like they did in the US? If that's what's going on, Fox really doesn't understand the regulatory situation in Canada and is clueless if they think there is any chance it will work. And presumably the largely pointless version of Speed they've been giving us was just to comply with the last few months of the existing contract, before it finally disappears for good.
Sorry, Fox, but Speed was allowed into Canada as a niche motorsports channel that did not directly compete with any Canadian channel, and you can't just change it into something else that does directly compete against Canadian-owned channels. It's Speed or nothing. Sounds like Fox has chosen nothing, so it's good bye to Speed. And I hope it's hello to some better motorsports channel from someone else before much longer. How long does it take to get a channel newly approved for distribution in Canada?
I don't pretend to know the details behind it, but it just looks to me like Rogers and Fox can't come to an agreement over the price of Speed. If Rogers realized how many Canadian car enthusiasts actually watch Speed it could be a different story. About all we can do is keep sending the message to Rogers. Find Rogers on Facebook and Twitter and let them know how you feel about this!
Well I certainly agree that there is a demand for this kind of channel in Canada, and I hope Rogers understands that.
But I think it's quite apparent that Fox in the US has long ago given up and lost interest in providing a worthwhile Speed TV channel to anyone in Canada or the US, and what we've been getting for the last few months is just a temporary thing until their existing contracts for it expire.
Rogers would have to be unbelievably apathetic to want to retain it, at least in its present form, even if Fox was willing to continue it (and I doubt they are). I suppose at most they might briefly extend the present set-up until the existing Speed contracts expire with all the other Canadian BDUs, but I'd guess Fox is probably not interested if Rogers has made this announcement of dropping it as of March 1.
Now, if Fox was to come to the realization that getting Fox Sports 1 into Canada is impossible, and giving up on Speed would be just needlessly throwing away all of the Canadian subscribers and their revenue, and return to providing a worthwhile version of Speed (hopefully resembling the one in Australia in terms of programming it would carry), then that would be satisfactory for all involved. But I really don't see that happening. If the channel was for Canada only and not the US, it still would not be allowed to sell commercials. And they have no interest in re-starting Speed in the US.
Also, last year there apparently was some kind of corporate split or re-organization involving NewsCorp, meaning that the Speed channel in Australia now has no connection the US TV operation.