V8 Supercars is hot property and it seems everyone wants a slice of the action.
Australia’s premier motor racing category is the subject of a television bidding war over telecast rights estimated to be worth $300 million.
Existing partners the Seven Network, Telstra and Foxtel are all part of discussions as the media race hots up. V8 chairman Tony Cochrane (pictured) won’t comment on the frontrunners and what they’re willing to pay.
“All our broadcast rights are now under negotiation, from free to air, digital and pay television. All those contracts are being decided, but I am not going to speculate on the end price,” he says.
AVESCO is making big changes to its on-track product and is in the process of introducing more competitors into what has been a two-horse race with Holden and Ford since its inception in 1996.
Already Nissan has agreed to enter the competition in 2013 and Cochrane is confident a fourth brand, tipped to be Chrysler, will also join the party.
Cochrane sold 60 per cent of the Supercars business to Archer Capital last year for more than $300 million to fund an overseas expansion, along with the development of a ‘control’ engine and chassis to make it more affordable to race in the category.
Enter ‘car of the future’.
“The highlight of what was undoubtedly a huge year for V8 Supercars was its partial sale to a private equity firm which will allows us to further our expansion plans, race at international destinations and continue developing the car of the future which will reduce costs and attract more brands to the sport,” says Cochrane.
“2013 is going to be a very big year because three things we have been working on will all come to fruition together. Car of the future will have started, Nissan will be competing and we are almost certain there will be a fourth brand and there will be three or four international races on the calendar.”
The Gold Coast hosts the three-day Armor All 600 V8 extravaganza in October and several teams and their drivers are based here.