What Speed Becomes in Canada on August 17th

Edit as of 8/7: It seems the news isn’t so dire for Canadian motorsport fans. The advanced listings that were available at the time of this post are now updated and it seems Speed will continue to broadcast motorsport programming from Fox Sports 1 in Canada. Fox Sports 1 will not be available in Canada. See here for more information.

It’s the news Canadian sports fans have waited for since Fox Sports 1 was officially unveiled in the winter; however, it isn’t the news any were hoping for. Even auto racing fans who held out faint hope for continued coverage of NASCAR practice, Moto GP, V8 Supercars and other forms of auto racing won’t like what will become of Speed in Canada on August 17th, when Fox Sports 1 launches in America. The last program that Speed will show is an encore of NASCAR qualifying from Michigan from 4-6am ET. Then Canadians will get endless repeats of mostly non-racing or automobile shows. All day. Every day. August 17th features Pass Time, Pumped, Wrecked, Hard Parts, Unique Whips and an encore of the Barrett-Jackson Auction from January. Sunday features many of the same shows with RU Faster Than a Redneck, Drag Race High, Pinks and Unique Whips joining the schedule.

The impact of this on Canadian sports broadcasting is actually quite striking and far-reaching. Immediately it means NASCAR fans will not see Sprint Cup Saturday practice or the Truck Series race at Michigan on August 17. Nor will they see signature Speed programs NASCAR Raceday or NASCAR Victory Lane on August 18. Both of those are are moving to Fox Sports 1. The Moto GP race at Indianapolis, another Speed staple, will also not air in Canada.

Something else that is interesting is how Fox Sports 1 is replacing Speed in the United States. Notice I said replacing. This is not a straightforward re-brand. Speed will go off the air, Fox Sports 1 will replace it.  Fox is negotiating new contracts with American providers for Fox Sports 1, hoping for higher subscriber fees than they could collect for a niche channel like Speed. So the channel that is approved for Canada is effectively shutting down in the States, while a new channel (which is not approved for Canada) is launching. So, Fox would have to apply to the CRTC for approval of Fox Sports 1, which certainly wouldn’t be granted considering it will compete with the TSN and Sportsnet networks. Remember how confused and mad Canadians were when WTBS became Peachtree TV in October 2007?  While this is a different situation it will likely lead to the same result.

It is important to note that the only Canadians losing out are those who want to watch programming which has previously exclusively aired on Speed in Canada, such as the programs previously mentioned; or Fox’s new studio show, such as the new Fox Sports Live featuring former SportsCentre anchors Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole. Canadians looking for most of Fox Sport 1’s other programming will find it on Canadian channels Sportsnet and TSN. The first UFC on Fox Sports 1 card on August 17th will air on Sportsnet 360, as will other UFC programming and The Ultimate Fighter. In fact Sportsnet owns rights to most of Fox Sports 1’s programming including UEFA soccer, college football and basketball from the Big 12 and Pac-12. Sportsnet will also have rights to the MLB games that Fox Sports 1 begins showing in 2014. And the 7 Sprint Cup races Fox Sports 1 has from 2015 will surely land on Canadian TV as well, just as every Sprint Cup race does now.

However, it does seem that Speed will (somehow) continue to broadcast new Barrett-Jackson Auctions live in Canada. Here is a quote from the press release announcing the auctions will continue to air on the Fox family of networks after the launch of Fox Sports 1.

For Canadian viewers, the SPEED brand will remain, and the new FOX Sports coverage of Barrett-Jackson will be broadcast on the network as usual. The transition of another FOX network, FUEL TV, to FOX Sports 2 will also happen in August and will play a role in future Barrett-Jackson programs.

ESPN FC... ESPN is launching a new daily soccer show on August 12. It will air weekdays at 5:30pm ET on TSN2 in Canada. Considering ESPN doesn’t air the Premiership or Champions League, and is losing FIFA rights after next year, I give them credit for finally launching a daily soccer show. And in the evening to show fresh Champions League and other weekday highlights. Dan Thomas and Max Bretos will share the hosting duties. The list of analysts (of which there are 23) includes familiar names Craig Burley (who is moving to the US to become the primary analyst for the show), Ian Darke, Steve McManaman, Derek Rae, Stewart Robson, Sid Lowe, Gabriele Marcotti, Raphael Honigstein, and others.

34 thoughts on “What Speed Becomes in Canada on August 17th

  1. This channel is effectively useless now. Please bring on Motors TV or one of the Euroports…or a code to rejoin racingfor.me…

  2. Well that blows. I was looking forward to Fox Sports 1.

    • Same here Chris S. Sportsnet regional channels, Sportsnet One & Sportsnet 360 have the rights to Fox College Football here in Canada. In 2011, Sportsnet preempted half the games that were on their broadcast schedule. Hopefully my assumption turns out to be incorrect, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Sportsnet will do the exact same thing this year. For those who don’t know what I am talking about:


      • Well, Sportsnet has other commitments on Saturdays too. Premier League on the main channels and UFC and CIS football on 360 are a couple examples. FS1 usually has 1 Thursday game and 3 Saturday games this season. Fox has 1 Saturday game, I’d expect SN1 will probably show 1-2 Saturday afternoon games and SN360 will show Thursday and Saturday night.

    • If you thought Fox Sports 1 would be replacing Speed in Canada, you are sorely misinformed about the workings of Canadian tv.

      • I figured it would have been the same situation as TNN changing to Spike TV about 10 years ago.

        • It’s different.

          Viacom was re-branding TNN to Spike even they have different formats. This time: Fox stop supporting Speed and make to the brand new “Fox Sports 1” and hope all the BDU will use Speed’s channel number to carry Fox Sports 1 after August 17.

          In a similar Canadian example: the TNN to Spkie move is like when Shaw rebranding the Cave into H2, they are having different format(the Cave was men-targeted channel and H2 is…well,just another History Channel); Speed to Fox Sports 1 is like when Corus replaced Discovery Kids with Nick, they are both targeted to young people but they were actually holds a different licenses.

    • I never really thought FS1 would be available in Canada, to be honest. If Fox was even going to try that, Bell and Rogers would have launched injunctions with the CRTC months ago.

  3. The difference between TNN and Speed…is in all honesty Spike posed 0 threat to any canadian networks…with the exception of the WWE or WWF at the time. TNN really didn’t have anything that brought in ratings and that was also on TSN at the time…FS1 has endless sports properties 75% of which will likely be on canadian TV anyways i.e. MLB, NASCAR and UFC…any important NCAA matchup will be gobbled up by sportsnet….really all we’re missing is Jay and Dan, low profile NCAA and the stated motorsports stuff which sucks but I’m assuming the canadian NASCAR deal is up shortly as well???

    • I’m not really sure how TSN’s NASCAR deal works seeing as they support the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.

      As S-Wan noted, there are other differences. If Speed/FS1 was a simple rebrand, it would have been up to Bell and Rogers to ask the CRTC to remove it from the list of approved services. Since it is a new channel, it is up to Fox to apply for Canadian carriage.

      • I researched and TSN’s contract to broadcast the nationwide and sprint cup is through 2015…as for the canadian tire series it was a separate deal with the same term dubbing them in charge of:” marketing and growing nascar in canada”. So more than likely as you said nobody else is touching it.

        I see…judging by the news you shared today it’s not as bad as originally thought..I’m a little shocked actually that Fox is putting that much work into a channel only seen in Canada though….

  4. What’s the point of even continuing Speed here in Canada if all it’s going to have is filler programming aside from the Barrett-Jackson auctions? Does this mean we’re also saying goodbye to Rolex Grand Am as well as NASCAR Camping World Trucks? If so I guess this means the inaugural NASCAR trucks Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Mosport north of Bowmanville ON may not even be available on TV in Canada…

    • Looks like all of Speed’s live programming that’s moving to FS1/2 will disappear in Canada. They are probably continuing Speed because they have a contractual obligation with the providers to do so.

  5. Such a shame that the Australian version of Speed couldn’t replace it instead. Much more live action from around the world than the US version ever had. Much more niche, but nevertheless.

  6. I don’t understand how the Canadian BDUs (Bell, Shaw, Rogers, Cogeco, etc.) and their customers (us) would find this acceptable, to be forced to continue paying for this racing channel with no racing and very little or nothing else but reruns of “Unique Whips”, “R U Faster Than A Redneck?”, etc.

    Wouldn’t it be normal to have contractual provisions regarding minimal levels of certain types of original (non-repeat) shows and perhaps actual racing events in this case? If not, then maybe the Canadian BDUs should fire whoever they had writing up their contracts if this was allowed to happen. And if the Canadian BDUs don’t care and think it’s okay to make us pay for this, we should definitely be letting them know that it is not acceptable. Have we heard any statement from the Canadian carriers yet, and is it possible Fox may have just been trying to get away with this underhanded move without telling anyone and hoping none of us in Canada noticed?

    Unless they have absolutely no choice other to allow it to happen, I have trouble imagining this situation would exist for very long.

  7. The description you’ve done of the new SPEED channel looks like the American version of SPEED for those without a deal for Fox Sports 1 (DirecTV and Dish for example). On zap2it.com, it looks like the Canadian version of SPEED will have all the motorsports coverage of FS1.

  8. Great information, much appreciated. I was hoping that through Fox Sports 1 we might get access to Spanish and Italian soccer again. Obviously, that’s not going to happen. Do you know whether any Canadian networks have secured the rights to those leagues from BeIN Sports or whether any of the cable or satellite providers are close to a deal to bring BeIN Sports to Canadian subscribers?

    • Fox Sports 1 isn’t showing any Liga or Serie A anyway, just UEFA and FA matches that are already on Sportsnet.

      The American beIN Sport isn’t approved for Canadian carriage, so a cable or satellite provider can’t just sign a deal to give it to Canadians. Most likely beIN would get a piece of a Canadian channel (such as Euroworld Sport) in return for the rights if it were to happen, but I haven’t heard anything new in months.

  9. Nascar is making a very big mistake.when they switched from network t,v, to cable, alot of people could not afford too pay or the channels aren’t available.august17th I’m canceling speed. Where I live only fox will be available,learn from F1 and keep nascar on network tv so ALL can watch!!!look already none of the races sell out anymore and now alot more can’t watch our favourite sport. For the long time of the sport cable is a very bad idea! Now I get 7 races a year! Indycar makes the same mistake. I am lucky too get 3-4 live races a year! Fox sports 1-2, espn tnt, are not available! And if those channels were available I would not order them just too watch nascar. It’s time too stop being greedy and look at building up the sport again. After the debacle of years of fake debris cautions and playing favorites too certain teams,manufacturers, and very inconsistent rules nascar needs too look farther ahead. With the loss of a lot fans I understand they need money. But making the sport available too people who have money is going hurt the sport!

    • There are so many things wrong / non-understandable with this, I don’t know where to begin. Maybe next time try using some paragraphs and punctuation.

    • What if they went back to network tv but only had 8 races a year would you support that?

    • Umm F1 isn’t on network TV anymore than NASCAR is. 4 races a year in the US, so I don’t really see your point.

      Did you ever think that NASCAR races are moving to cable because ABC, Fox and NBC don’t want to show every race anymore? There are less fans at the track for a reason, the sport isn’t as popular as it used to be.

      And NASCAR isn’t switching to cable. This season 16 races are on network TV (13 on Fox, 3 on ABC). In the new contract the same number of races are on network TV (9 on Fox, 7 on NBC). If anything this is better for NASCAR because more of the late-season schedule is on network TV now. Easy for anyone without ESPN to forget about NASCAR after Charlotte now.

  10. I talked to Shaw Direct this AM and they pretend to know nothing. I believe we will lose all of the Nascar pre race and post race coverage including the Nascar truck races.

  11. That sucks. I’ve been waiting all summer for FS1 to come to Canada to see Jay and Dan again

  12. I think this is absolute crap we pay for something we don’t get!

  13. Can somebody tell me were I can watch the Monster Energy Supercross Series in Canada now that Speed Channel have been discontinued? My friends and I have been getting together to watch this every Saturday night for years. Thank You.

  14. I want back supercross&motocross may 16 2015 tv cogeco and oct17 2015 janurany 2016 supercross continue tv fox sports 1

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