Speed Channel will turn into Fox Sports One or Fox Sports 1, however it may be named. Making it Fox’s equivalent of NBC’s NBC Sports Network to compete with ESPN. This network will change from NASCAR centered programming to a wider variety of sports, all of this is still just heavily rumored. Currently, NASCAR and Fox are in negotiations for a new TV deal which will presumably end with some Sprint Cup races moving from Fox to Fox Sports One, in an effort to get more money out of the deal by Fox.
The real kicker lies with the Camping World Truck Series and Sprint Cup qualifying and practice which will presumably be bumped in favor of other Fox sports. Right now Fox has deals with NFL, MLB, College Football, UFC and NASCAR which are heavily featured on their airwaves. The UFC has found a home with Fuel TV and FX, where barring another major shake-up they should stay. However, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility for Fox Sports one to show UFC programming. MLB could use the new channel during the week to get some more prime time coverage. Maybe a deal can be reached with the NFL to broadcast games Fox already holds the rights to on Sunday afternoons.
Then, there’s College Football on the network during the weekends, which is probably the biggest reason for the switch of the network. Fox is trying to compete with the other networks who have run College Football for years. This is where NASCAR fans worry. It’s okay if we don’t see every practice during the week, but missing races due to football wouldn’t be ideal for NASCAR or the fan base. Perhaps we’ll see the racing programming move over to Fuel, you know that thing they use in cars.
The most important thing about the rumors about the negotiations is that Fox may be looking to stream the races. That means if you’re not home, no problem. College room only has one TV? Use the laptop. Finally NASCAR racing streaming live, legally, and pixel free. It would be important. I wouldn’t mind watching other on track activities online either. Fox may be leading the road towards a real stream option for NASCAR fans. We might lose Speed, but at least we can get the race anywhere else.
Fox Sports One could mark the end of a favorite channel for NASCAR fans, but it will be better for the network. Honestly, as a fan of football, MMA and NASCAR, I’m looking forward to the new network and hopefully the daily broadcast of The Dan Patrick Show, which already airs on Fox Sports affiliates. NASCAR fans will get to watch all the races they’ve grown accustomed to, even if the same networks don’t renew (others will be in contract talks soon). NASCAR brings better revenue to the networks, so don’t worry about losing your programming, get ready to accessing it on a better platform.