Home' Supercar Xtra : Dec 2015 Jan 2016 Issue 90 Contents 39
out it’s like the AFL and NRL that are also
televised on a combined pay/FTA basis.
But C-Scott says there is a crucial structural
difference that has probably contributed to
the anger among V8 fans.
“I think the NRL and AFL deals are
slightly different, because Ten is mainly
showing highlights,” he argues.
“The difference compared to the AFL and
NRL is if my team is not on the television
I can get off the couch, go down the road
and watch a game. But it doesn’t happen
with V8s because one day they are one side
of the country and the next day the will be
The line from Warburton and co at V8
Supercars has been that we should be
giving the new deal time to settle down
and sort itself out. What’s become appar-
ent so far is we have never had a telecast of
the quality we are getting this year; a show
which V8 Supercars’ own TV unit produces.
What we are also learning is that people
are still watching, but in a different way.
According to official OzTam (metro-
politan viewers) and RegTam (regional
viewers) average ratings figures, with
V8 Supercars adding an unspecified (but
understood to be relatively minor) number
of Foxtel Go and Play digital viewers in as
well, the overall number of eyeballs watch-
ing events in 2015 is basically lineball with
Seven’s results in 2014.
Obviously, the number of live viewers of
the events being telecast exclusively live by
Fox Sports is miniscule compared to Seven
last year. According to V8 Supercars own
weekly media coverage bulletins, Tassie
was down 23 per cent, Barbagallo 30 per
cent, Winton 26 per cent, Ipswich four per
cent and Sydney Motorsport Park 25 per
cent. The only pay-TV round to increase
was Darwin by four per cent.
At these rounds, understandably, some
of the live viewer numbers make grue-
some reading. Just over 3000 people in
Sydney watched the Sunday race live Fox
telecast from Ipswich. And ratings based
on the traditional five mainland capital
cities measuring method – because that’s
where the vast bulk of the potential audi-
ence lives – showed there were only 43,035
viewers in total. It was a number that was
widely reported and used as proof that
the new telecast model was a failure. But
V8 Supercars counters that the five-cap
measure is not one it uses to measure its
“We have always put out a combination
of five-cap metro plus regional, because
we have always been strong in regional
markets,” says V8 Supercars marketing
director John Casey.
Meanwhile, the simulcast events have
been solid. Again, using the Oztam,
Regtam and Fox digital platform viewer
numbers; Clipsal 500 was up 12 per cent,
the Australian Grand Prix supports 10 per
cent, Townsville nine per cent, Bathurst
one per cent and the Gold Coast 14 per
cent. The Sandown 500 was the exception
to the rule, dropping one per cent.
Where people think the figures become
murky is when V8 Supercars chucks in
all the ancillary magazine programming
produced by Fox and Ten. On that basis,
to the start of November, the category is
claiming a 25 per cent lift in cumulative
television ratings compared to 2014.
“People can make up their own mind
about what the numbers mean,” says
“We will always put forward the view
that we hold to be true, which will be posi-
tive where positive, neutral where neutral
and we’ll tell it how it is if it’s negative.”
Ongoing commercial backing of the cat-
egory will surely be the arbiter of the verac-
ity of these numbers. If they don’t add up
then at least some naming-rights sponsors
that underpin an incredibly expensive
business will look elsewhere to spend their
From 2014 to 2015 naming rights spon-
sors that disappeared included Norton,
Lockwood and Jeld-Wen. Ones that have
joined include Freightliner, Carsales.com.
au and the returning Caltex for 2016.
The online classified giant Carsales.
com.au is particularly notable because it
signed on with Todd Kelly and Nissan from
Sandown and will continue on throughout
2016. So it had plenty of time to digest and
analyse the new television broadcasting
scenario before joining in.
“We were aware what was going on and
that the free-to-air arrangements would
change,” explains dealer director Chris
“It wasn’t so much a factor for us
because what’s really important to us is
connecting to the enthusiasts and people
who are passionate about the sport.”
Meanwhile, team boss Charlie
Schwerkolt predicts the rotating liveries we
have seen this year on his car – as well as
at DJR Team Penske, Erebus and Nissan
Motorsport – will become more common
as sponsors pick and choose the rounds
they want to compete at depending on the
exposure they generate.
In fact, Schwerkolt says the smart play
now is to charge more for your space at the
big events and carry your costs at the small
“Bathurst is the biggest event and its 40
per cent of our year,” he says.
“If you are in the Shootout you have mil-
lions of people watching just before the
V8X90 p36-40 TV Deal.indd 39
13/11/2015 1:46 pm
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