Multiple industry sources say the network’s parent company will rebrand SPEED as Fox Sports One next season, introducing an expansive slate of Major League Baseball, college football, basketball and other sports to its broadcast lineup in an effort to compete with ESPN, NBC Sports Network and CBS Sports Network. While the new Fox Sports One will likely continue to broadcast live NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events next season, some of SPEED’s ancillary NASCAR programming – including practice and qualifying coverage and pre- and post-race programs – could fall victim to the channel’s new stick-and-ball commitments.
SPEED has struggled to establish a cohesive personality in recent years. Executives assembled a solid lineup of weekend motorsports programming, headlined by live broadcasts of Camping World Truck Series, Formula One, AMA Pro Motocross, ARCA, Sports Car and Australian V8 Supercar events. Unfortunately, the channel’s weekday lineup consists of some truly horrendous lifestyle and reality TV programming, including Wrecked, a reality series based on tow truck operators; Pass Time, a game show requiring contestants to guess how fast a series of cars will traverse a quarter-mile drag strip; and Hard Parts: South Bronx, which chronicles the trials and tribulations of operating an auto parts store.
While there are still more questions than answers concerning a future role for NASCAR programming on Fox Sports One, the bottom line appears likely to be a net loss of programming hours for NASCAR fans to enjoy.