V8 Supercars to boycott GP
V8 Supercars in Australia is threatening to boycott next year's Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne due to "unreasonable behavior" by Formula One broadcaster Network Ten.
Supercars Australia chairman Tony Cochrane made the threat after learning that Network Ten had vetoed a request by the Seven Network to drop one of their AFL games on Sunday to offer a live broadcast of the Eastern Creek round of the V8 series this weekend.
Seven is required to transmit a replay of the Foxtel-produced Adelaide v Geelong game from AAMI Stadium for SA viewers, and had requested it do so after showing the V8 series live instead of the Seven-produced coverage of the St Kilda versus Kangaroos game.
The AFL television rights deal dictates that each of Foxtel, Seven, Ten and the AFL must agree to proposed scheduling changes, and Cochrane said that while Seven, Foxtel and the AFL have agreed to the change, Network Ten had answered in the negative.
Cochrane responded by saying he would pull the V8 program from the Australian Grand Prix unless given assurances that Ten would not be allowed to broadcast it.
"Because of this we will now only attend the AGP next year if organizers can guarantee that Network Ten will not televise any V8 Supercar footage from that event," he said.
"As much as we would like to finalize arrangements with the Australian Grand Prix, who we have been working quietly with for some months, and attend for our fans, sponsors and corporate partners it will not happen if Network Ten telecast the V8 Supercar component of the event.
"We have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to achieve a resolution to this problem in Adelaide and have agreement between Seven, the AFL and Foxtel.
"One can only wonder how Network Ten claims to be the home of motor sport yet behaves in this totally un-Australian way to deny the very fans of the sport."
Cochrane said if the impasse continued, the Eastern Creek round would not be seen on SA television screens until 10.30pm on Sunday night.
"Ten's attitude is unacceptable," he said.
"Seven has done all in its power as has the AFL to overcome a scheduling issue which impacts only in Adelaide.
"Sadly, for reasons only it could explain, Ten has decided to veto any change proposed by both the AFL, Foxtel and Seven.
"V8 Supercars Australia and Seven are already working on scheduling for next season and are committed to ensuring that Adelaide will not miss out on a live or near-live broadcast in 2008.
"The tens of thousands of fans who are upset should express their concern directly to Network Ten." Stuff.co.nz