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Concerns grow for non-existent TV rights deal


With less than sixty days to the start of the 2013 season, V8 Supercars has yet to announce its new media rights deal, which kicks off this year.


While Channel Seven is considered the favourite to continue as host broadcaster of the series, there is no official word from the network or V8 Supercars amid growing concerns that the lack of interest from other networks will force the price of the deal down.


According to a report in The Australian Financial Review today, Channel Seven is currently pushing for a cheaper one- or two-year extension to their existing contract, as opposed to a new five-year deal as per previous television rights arrangements.


The newspaper reports that both Channel Nine and Ten have indicated that they are not interested in the V8 Supercars rights, at a time when both networks have struggled financially and are locked in battle for the television rights to Australian cricket.


While the AFL, NRL, A-League and other codes have seen a significant rise in the value of their television rights, it remains to be seen whether the V8 Supercars deal will exceed the previous arrangement that expired post-2012, worth $32 million.


SpeedTV Australia is tipped to have an increased amount of V8 Supercars coverage as part of the new deal, with industry sources suggesting an AFL-type live simulcast on the pay-television platform.


With teams' shares in V8 Supercars decreased following the majority sale of the series to Archer Capital in May 2011, income from the new television deal is seen as vital.


The delay in finalising the deal has heaped pressure on teams trying to lock down sponsors for 2013, the first year of the new Car of the Future regulations, with no television schedule let alone network in place to sell to potential backers.


Teams yet to finalise their title sponsors for the 2013 season include Tekno Autosports, Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport, Dick Johnson Racing, Tony D'Alberto Racing, Charlie Schwerkolt Racing, Brad Jones Racing and Erebus Motorsport.


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