It’s almost time — time for the highly publicized changeover from SPEED to FOX Sports 1. The change is slated for Saturday, with that day’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich., scheduled to be the new all-sports network’s first broadcast of a live event.
NASCAR fans and fans of other motorsport series have been, somewhat, mourning the upcoming death of the SPEED network, especially during recent broadcasts of the last installments of popular programs Speed Center and Wind Tunnel. While those programs fell by the wayside with the switchover to an all-sports network, it looks as if there will still be a significant amoung of motorsports coverage after the changeover. Question is, will fans get to see it?
Sure, at least some of them will. But that may not be the case for some loyal viewers of SPEED who looked to the network for their motorsports and automotive fixes. With only a few days remaining until the switch from SPEED to FOX Sports 1, three major carriers who currently have SPEED on their menus of offerings have not yet come to an agreement with FOX to carry the new sports network — DirecTV, Dish Network and Comcast.
Why the hold up? Apparently, FOX wants significantly more money from providers for its new all-sports network than it did for SPEED, and the aforementioned “big three” don’t want to pay the extra cost, or at least not all of it.
As a DirecTV subscriber, I have to admit that I am, at least slightly, concerned. I’m not ready to push the panic button just yet, though. Why? Because I’ve seen this kind of thing before. And in my case it always worked out. No, I’ve never been in a situation before where I was eagerly anticipating the debut of a new network — no, I wasn’t on pins and needles, anxiously awaiting for the debut of OWN a few years back.
I’ve come close to losing SPEED before. When FOX was negotiating higher pricing for SPEED awhile back, I kept seeing messages on my TV screen that I may lose SPEED on such-and-such date if an agreement couldn’t be made with FOX over charges to carry the network. The same was true with other FOX-owned networks like FX and others.
Long story short, a deal was struck between FOX and DirecTV just in time to keep channel 607 (SPEED’s location in the DirecTV lineup) from going dark. Pheewww, that was a close one, I thought at the time.
But then again, there’s this whole deal between CBS and Comcast that’s been going on for awhile now. I don’t live in a Comcast-serviced area, but it’s my understanding that Comcast customers have been without their CBS for awhile, now. So maybe I shouldn’t be so optimistic.
Maybe I’ll have FOX Sports 1 on Saturday or maybe I won’t. But I’m not getting all worked up over just yet. After all, what good will that do me? Guess I’ll just have to wait and see. And maybe I’ll even cross my fingers as I turn my TV to channel 607 on Saturday and see what happens.
By the way, it’s my understanding that for those who won’t have FOX Sports 1 come Saturday, there will be reruns of SPEED programming in its spot for a few days, I guess to give a little bit more time for negotiations.
Here’s hoping that everyone who wants their FOX Sports 1 gets it. Good luck!
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***** UPDATE: Since this blog was orginally published, FOX Sports 1 has worked out an agreement with DirecTV, Dish Network and Comcast, so all major carriers are now on board in time for the networks debut on Saturday.