SPEED Reaches Multi-Year Agreement on FIA Formula One World Championship - Engine Builder Magazine
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SPEED Reaches Multi-Year Agreement on FIA Formula One World Championship

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SPEED
and Formula One Management have reached an agreement to extend a
relationship that dates back to 1996, the network’s first full season
on the air. SPEED will continue to offer its long-running live coverage
of the FIA Formula One World Championship, including live coverage of
qualifying and practice sessions.

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“The global Formula One fan base is one of the most passionate in all
of motor sports,” said SPEED President Hunter Nickell. “In America,
fans gather at all hours of the morning – with races coming in from
places like Malaysia, Singapore and Monaco – to watch SPEED and cheer
their favorite drivers and constructors. We look forward to continuing
and expanding our relationship with these fans, both on air and through
SPEEDtv.com.”

“I’ve been on pins and needles waiting for this new agreement, and I’ve
lost track of how many questions I’ve answered from our
viewers regarding what the future holds, whether we’ll see much of our
colleague Peter Windsor in his new role as a team boss, and so much
more,” said Bob Varsha, the longtime SPEED voice of Formula One.
“Anyone who was a part of the paddock fun at the old USGP at Indy knows
that our fans are smart, loyal and vocal. I look forward to trying to
give them what they expect on grand prix weekends for years to come. “

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SPEED began covering F1 racing in 1996 with delayed race broadcasts,
moving to live coverage in 1997. Beginning in 2010, SPEED also will
have online clip usage rights from F1.

“We are delighted with the ability to offer Formula One video clips
online at SPEEDtv.com” said Kevin Annison, VP Digital & Interactive
Media for SPEED. “Acquiring broader Formula One online rights was
important to SPEED as it is one of the most popular sections of the
site. As the U.S. home to F1, we look forward to marrying these new
video rights with SPEEDtv.com’s excellent Formula One coverage,
enhancing our article pages, photo galleries, expert commentary and
race series editorials every race weekend.”

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Four F1 races will air on FOX this season with the SPEED on-air team
calling the action. Those four races, which will be consecutive events,
have yet to be named.

Varsha said he already is expecting big things from the 2010 season, which begins March 14 with the Bahrain Grand Prix:

“Every season we think nothing could possibly top the previous one,”
Varsha said. “But despite three straight world championships that came
down to the final race, followed last year by the unlikely triumph of
Jenson Button and Brawn GP, I think 2010 will be even better. We’ll
have the biggest field of cars since the ’90s, so knockout qualifying
will be crazier than ever. Three new teams, including one from here in
the USA, new tracks, new rules, a new points system, no refueling,
narrower front tires, the return of the Canadian GP and, we are
told, the return of Michael Schumacher! What more can we ask?”

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