Speedvision was a cable network
dedicated to motorsports in all its forms, particularly to those forms of motorsport
neglected by the mass media
. Speedvision has been a regular supporter of road racing
competition, including the Runoffs
which take place every fall at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course
the Trans Am
, Grand Am
are all broadcast, often live. They even encouraged Touring Car
racing from Australia
, which is some of the world's fiercest racing, The Speedvision
cup is the closest thing North America
offers to the European Touring Car racing, and fiercely comptetitive. They also cover the Motorola Cup
Off road racing also recieves coverage. They broadcast road rally from Europe including the challenging Paris to Dakar Rally. They cover motorcycle racing in all its forms and hyrdoplanes.
Unfortunately, the cable availability of Speedvision has been spotty at best, making it unavailable to many consumers. In addition, it is treated as a premium channel never available on basic cable. This has greatly limited its viewing, and hurt motorsports in general. Speedvision was purchased by the Fox Network in early 2001. While it is hoped the purchase would lead to more cable companies to carry Speedvision, early rumors suggested that Fox intended to turn the network into the "NASCAR Channel". Many race fans were incensed, w hile they enjoyed stock car racing there was a feeling that other forms of racing had gotten short shrift. The result was 'The Petition" an online message campaign which drew thousands of signitures.
Fox representatives have stated that The Petition took them by suprise, and they realize that to neglect other forms of motorsport to support their Winston Cup campaign would probably alienate most current viewers. As Speedvision had always covered all racing, including stock cars. it was would continue to cover all forms of racing, and become available to more viewers. They changed their name to Speed in 2002 though the events they covered got slower and slower.
To some extent they have, as they still carry F1, The Runoffs and some of the Grand Am series as well as American LeMans. They have some other cool programs. However racing coverage has fallen off sharply in favor of auto auctions, ride pimping and a street racing series where the cars are the stakes. The automotive scene is much more their beat than actual competition. Show is much more important than go. Touring car racing has almost disappeared, and without Tivo the real race fan won't get to see much racing. With a DVR you can find some cool stuff, but without one they aren't sufficient reason to justify investing in cable.