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  1. #1
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    Rogers to drop Speed Channel

    Rogers has announced that they will drop Speed Channel as of March 1, 2014.

    More information can be found here.
    http://www.rogers.com/web/content/sp...=serviceupdate

  2. #2
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    Even as someone who watches more motorsports than all other sports put together, I understand how Rogers had to do something. This was an awful excuse for a channel. It was great for its first few years when it started in the 1990s, but it was slowly but surely intentionally ruined by Fox after they bought it.

    There was nothing of any worth left on this channel except the Fox Sports (1 and 2) racing coverage on weekends, and of course even that disappears during the winter. The only things I've watched on this channel in the last three months were one hour highlights packaging of the FIA GT series and World Endurance Championship series, but those are recorded much earlier in 2013 and deliberately held back by Fox/Speed to give them something (sort of) "new" to show in the racing off-season. And there was no commercials, just very repetitive promos, one of them for the defunct Rolex SportsCar Series and another for their speed2 website which is useless for Canadians. Most of their schedule was reruns of the reality and game shows long ago discontinued when (or before) the US Speed channel ceased to exist last year.

    I really don't know why Rogers or any of the Canadian BDUs kept carrying this channel as long as they did. Everyone definitely knew almost a year ago that the US channel would be disappearing, and the Canadian BDUs should have been looking to replace it as soon as possible, certainly by the time the US Speed disappeared in August.

    I'm not sure what to read into the part of the Rogers statement saying "if the channel provider will come to an agreement that allows us to offer the channel to a more specialized audience at a reasonable rate". I assume Rogers and everyone else realized this version of Speed was not a worthwhile channel. Maybe Fox had answered that if Rogers wanted a channel with more actual racing events like their Speed channel in Australia, they would have to pay a lot more, and Rogers response was to give Fox a deadline to drop the channel.

    At least we get to see the 24 Hours of Daytona later in January. I think the broadcast Fox network will show the start of the race, with Speed/FS1-2 showing much of the rest. But I hope by March Rogers has something arranged to let us see the 12 Hours of Sebring and other racing the rest of the year, beyond the F1, Nascar, and IndyCar racing that is usually on Sportsnet or TSN. If they do eventually add another racing channel (Motors TV, a new version of Speed resembling the one in Australia, or a new channel of their own), I would assume it would now likely be outside of any large packages of channels and carry a high price for subscribers.
    Last edited by Donovan's Monkey; 01-21-2014 at 08:56 AM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donovan's Monkey View Post
    If they do eventually add another racing channel (Motors TV, a new version of Speed resembling the one in Australia, or a new channel of their own), I would assume it would now likely be outside of any large packages of channels and carry a high price for subscribers.
    I never got the chance to enjoy and tune in to this channel back when it was Speedvision. Only a few months after I started having satellite, it was renamed Speed Channel and became a FOX property.

    That being said, I'm sure there have been license applications for Canadian motoring-based channels submitted to the CRTC over the past decade or so, although my guess is that they've since expired. I do recall at least a couple, one by Alliance Atlantis, called "Wheels" and this was years before they were consolidated by Shaw, and another by Astral Media called "Tele-Vitesse". Perhaps there may be others, but I'm not sure.

    If we were to get a channel like Speed again in this country, it would be nice if it covers all aspects like the old Speedvision did (cars, motorbikes, boats, planes) or MotorsTV could expand and launch a channel for the North American market.

    In terms of packaging, it could be similar to that of BBC World News or CNN International, both of which were exclusively part of separate packages at a slightly higher cost. As a Bell TV customer living in Quebec, those channels were just recently added to the pick and pay options.
    Last edited by lostjon; 01-17-2014 at 01:57 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostjon View Post
    ... I'm sure there have been license applications for Canadian motoring-based channels submitted to the CRTC over the past decade or so, although my guess is that they've since expired. I do recall at least a couple, one by Alliance Atlantis, called "Wheels" and this was years before they were consolidated by Shaw, and another by Astral Media called "Tele-Vitesse". Perhaps there may be others ...
    I think sometime in the 1990s there was talk of a "TSN Motoring" channel, named after their long-running TV show.

    I do know that Speedvision quickly became a popular channel in the US when it was launched in 1996, and was an analogue channel on Rogers cable from 1997 into the early 2000s. You'd think there should be enough demand in Canada for that type of a channel, and they exist and are popular in Europe and Australia, and maybe even the US one would have kept going if Fox had not been planning for years to change it into their answer to ESPN.

    Although the channel is now obviously crap, it's strange that Rogers has unilaterally dropped it. Did their contract just happen to expire before the other Canadian BDUs, or they found that what Fox was providing did not meet the terms? March is also co-incidentally the time that most major racing series start, or at least get into the regular part of their schedule after Daytona. Apparently when asked, the Rogers customer service people are saying they're not sure if or when anything will replace Speed, as opposed to just saying the channel will be gone and not replaced. There's not enough information to really make an educated guess, but maybe they have been planning something? If so, we may hear about it in the next few weeks.
    Last edited by Donovan's Monkey; 02-15-2015 at 03:37 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donovan's Monkey View Post
    Did their contract just happen to expire before the other Canadian BDUs, or they found that what Fox was providing did not meet the terms?
    Most likely. Renewals are up, around-the-clock filler programming ain't what it used to be, and some of the remaining live programming is either owned by TSN or Sportsnet. Fox is also a money-hungry company, asking more money from affiliates and some had to drop affiliation (see the Fox section), so they probably asked for a high amount of money for a channel as dead as BookTV, leading to the drop. Other canadian BDUs should follow suit when their respective contracts expires.
    "It's not a rerun if you haven't watched it yet." (© 2010 by TVViewer)
    "Ne jamais s'obstiner avec un épais. Il va vous abaisser à son niveau et vous battre avec l'expérience."

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by InMontreal View Post
    ... Other canadian BDUs should follow suit when their respective contracts expires.
    I don't understand how Fox can get away with forcing the Canadian BDUs to keep paying for this channel until their contracts expire. If what Fox is now sending here meets their contractual obligations, then the Canadian BDUs should fire their lawyers, and make sure future contracts list more appropriate requirements to prevent this from happening again.
    Last edited by Donovan's Monkey; 01-21-2014 at 01:44 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donovan's Monkey View Post
    I don't understand how Fox can get away with forcing the Canadian BDUs to keep paying for this channel until their contracts expire. If what Fox is now sending here meets their contractual obligations, then the Canadian BDUs should fire their lawyers, and make sure future contracts list more appropriate requirements to prevent this from happening again.
    The carriage fee for Speed is fairly low. This sounds more like Rogers wanted to move Speed into a lower tier package with less customers but Speed wanted to remain in a higher tier.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigoranget View Post
    The carriage fee for Speed is fairly low. This sounds more like Rogers wanted to move Speed into a lower tier package with less customers but Speed wanted to remain in a higher tier.
    This channel had become almost entirely pointless. I really hope Rogers was not considering keeping it at any price. Unless Fox was suddenly and sincerely promising to improve it, no Canadian BDU should keep carrying it even if Fox was going to pay them to do so.
    Quote Originally Posted by InMontreal View Post
    ... around-the-clock filler programming ain't what it used to be ... Fox is also a money-hungry company ... probably asked for a high amount of money for a channel as dead as BookTV ...
    I hope you're correct and Rogers noticed this channel had become useless and not worth paying for, no matter what Fox's asking price may be.
    It's about time the message starting getting through to the channel owners (American, Canadian, or others) that they're no longer going to keep getting paid for providing channels with very little or no useful programming.
    Last edited by Donovan's Monkey; 01-21-2014 at 02:53 PM.

  9. #9
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    It's about time the message starting getting through to the channel owners (American, Canadian, or others) that they're no longer going to keep getting paid for providing channels with very little or no useful programming.
    I am inclined to believe bigoranget here, this channel is probably being dropped due to some sort of dispute between Rogers & Fox not because Rogers doesn't like the channel. Rarely do you ever see a BDU drop a channel from their lineup because its not well received by subscribers, most channels are dropped due to a dispute of some sort between the broadcaster and provider.

    I think BDU's should drop all channels that have very low viewership, if no one is watching then what is the point of carrying the channel?! I think many crappy channels are still on the air because their carriage is tied into the carriage of other more popular channels owned by the same broadcaster.

  10. #10
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    Going back to the part of the Rogers statement I mentioned before --

    "if the channel provider will come to an agreement that allows us to offer the channel to a more specialized audience at a reasonable rate"

    -- it implies Fox is pushing a less specialized channel to a larger audience at a higher rate. That does not sound like Speed in any form, certainly not the Speed channel Canada has been getting since August 17, 2013. It sounds like maybe Fox somehow still delusionally think they can push Fox Sports 1 and 2 on to Rogers and the other Canadian BDUs. I would guess they must have been told by now that it can't happen because of CRTC rules, and maybe their bull-headed reaction was something along the lines of "So what? Get the rules changed."

    If you have taken a look at the Speed channel recently, or the descriptions I gave above, I don't think it's possible that even Fox thought this version of Speed they've been sending to Canada for the last few months was anything except a temporary arrangement until their contracts expire.
    Last edited by Donovan's Monkey; 01-21-2014 at 07:34 PM.

  11. #11
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    It seems Bell has now said it will drop Speed channel as of May 1.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostjon View Post
    ... there have been license applications for Canadian motoring-based channels submitted to the CRTC over the past decade or so, although my guess is that they've since expired. I do recall at least a couple, one by Alliance Atlantis, called "Wheels" and this was years before they were consolidated by Shaw, and another by Astral Media called "Tele-Vitesse". Perhaps there may be others, but I'm not sure.

    If we were to get a channel like Speed again in this country, it would be nice if it covers all aspects like the old Speedvision did (cars, motorbikes, boats, planes) or MotorsTV could expand and launch a channel for the North American market.
    The Alliance Atlantis "Wheels" application was apparently approved in 2000 and listed as expiring in 2007.
    http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2000/DB2000-669.htm

    The Tele-Vitesse approval
    http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2011/2011-648.pdf

    apparently occurred in October 2011, and states "The undertaking must be operational at the earliest possible date and in any event no later than 48 months from the date of this decision... The licence will expire 31 August 2018."
    Presumably it's all meaningless now since Bell acquired Astral.
    I see this was going to be a French channel. But would Bell now be prevented from launching any new English channels even if they wanted to, since they had to sell a bunch of them to get their acquisition of Astral approved?

    These were to be automotive oriented channels with little or no racing.
    There are already at least two channels like this in the U.S. -- MavTV and Velocity(by Discovery) -- that appear to be somewhat attempting to fill the void left by the absence of Speed, even carrying a small amount of former Speed programs and employing on-air personalities like Dave Despain and Alain de Cadenet.

    http://www.mavtv.com/schedule.html
    http://www.velocity.com/tv-shows/tv-schedule.htm

    They would be better than nothing I suppose, but if the Canadian BDUs were to apply to bring in a "non-Canadian" channel or channels, I want one that is all or mostly racing, like Motors TV which is available in most of Europe, or the Speed channel from Australia (despite the same name and logo, it has always had its own very different schedule from the US one, and since last year has been under a separate corporate umbrella).
    http://www.motorstv.com/tv-guide
    http://www.foxsports.com.au/motor-sport/whats-on
    (Edit, Jan. 2015: According to Wikipedia, the Speed and Fuel channels in Australia were replaced by new Fox Sports 4 and 5 channels in November 2014.)

    Cogeco cable has also announced they will soon drop Speed.
    As far as I know, there has been no evidence of any of the Canadian BDUs making any attempt to return to carrying any automotive or motorsports oriented channel, despite all the complaints. There is a 23-page thread about it on Rogers own TV forum. Their brief notifications attempting to imply that all the racing has moved to other channels are ridiculous and dishonest, since not one thing that was on Speed in 2013 and 2014 has moved to TSN or Sportsnet. One of the biggest annual sports events in the world, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, was a little over a week ago with most Canadians unable to see it on a TV channel like most of the rest of the western world, and the same situation for MotoGP, Nascar Truck Series, United SportsCar, DTM, World Superbike, AMA Supercross, World Rally, World Touring Cars, Isle of Man TT, etc.
    Last edited by Donovan's Monkey; 01-21-2015 at 10:26 PM.

  13. #13
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    I now generally avoid all the racing events you mentioned, even when there are HD streaming feeds available online. When they were on Speed (via Rogers), I watched many of them (even some of the bike stuff), probably because the events were new to me and I even taped many of them to watch again in the future. And while I was recently getting used to the wonderful world of Internet streaming, I also enjoyed watching some of the events online.

    However, now that the joy of streaming has brought with it too many viewing choices, I find it much too difficult to find the time or desire to pay much attention to anything other than the main racing content that is carried by the Canadian channels (even though I now still watch most of that content online).

    I watch/listen to Fox Sports 1 and 2 almost strictly for the new poker episodes that won't air on Canadian TV for another year (they play in the background while I surf the net -- I have many tabs open for various things). Sure, parts of the episodes are often extremely boring (they are all so similar), but since Canada is behind, I use piracy to beat the system. I assume that I will also soon ignore the online poker broadcasts, much like I now ignore the racing that isn't carried by Canadian BDUs.

    It would be interesting to see how popular a Canadian racing channel would be, but it almost doesn't matter. It's simply something that should be offered, especially if so many racing events are going to be skipped by the BDUs.
    Warning: I'm not playing with a full deck.

  14. #14
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    A website, torque.tv, has the backing of Speedvision founder and former ESPN executive Roger Werner, and is positioning itself to become the online equivalent of Speedvision. It will charge a subscription and will have greatly increased racing coverage starting in March 2015, along with other motoring oriented programming, similar to Speedvision/Speed in its heyday. They also have a TV agreement with the CBS Sports channel, available in Canada.
    http://autoweek.com/article/racing/s...racing-content
    http://www.racer.com/international-r...sports-network

    I'm hoping it won't cause any of the presently free online streaming to be geo-restricted for Canada.
    http://discuss.channelcanada.com/sho...g-this-weekend

    It makes me wonder if any of the Canadian conglomerates will eventually complain about the formerly college sports oriented but now mainstream oriented CBS Sports channel, as allowing it would seem to open the door for ESPN, Fox, and NBC sports channels.

    Quote Originally Posted by PokerFace View Post
    ... It would be interesting to see how popular a Canadian racing channel would be, but it almost doesn't matter. It's simply something that should be offered, especially if so many racing events are going to be skipped by the BDUs.
    I don't think we're going to see many new channels added to BDUs any more. I saw a story about a Huffington Post channel applying to be added to the list of approved non-Canadian channels, but it acknowledged it did not yet have an agreement to be carried. I think U.S. channels would want some kind of guarantee for a minimum number of subscribers that Canadian BDUs will likely no longer give. I had thought a specialized racing channel started by a Canadian conglomerate, most likely Bell/TSN, could charge a premium rate per month and get enough subscribers to be worthwhile, but there's been no sign of it being considered. With a more pick-and-pay type of system on the way, it's probably more likely that there will be contraction with more of the specialized niche channels disappearing or being merged into more general type of channels.
    Last edited by Donovan's Monkey; 01-19-2015 at 08:12 AM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donovan's Monkey View Post
    It makes me wonder if any of the Canadian conglomerates will eventually complain about the formerly college sports oriented but now mainstream oriented CBS Sports channel
    It's still college sports oriented. They've had a significant amount of other programming for the last four years, although some of it is blacked out in Canada. No one has complained yet, so unless they add more mainstream sports, I doubt anyone will.

  16. #16
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    MotorsTV will become available in North and South America,
    http://sportscar365.com/industry/mot...north-america/

    but I do not see any specific mention of Canada in this story. And it appears applications to the CRTC to add non-Canadian channels take about four months to get approved after they are filed, which presumably has not happened yet and won't until if and when a Canadian BDU is interested in doing so.

    I believe Motors TV already provides different feeds to different European countries, depending on what events they may have rights to show in particular countries. Hopefully they can become available in Canada and be able to provide a feed separate from the US one. Since almost nothing except F1, IndyCar, NHRA, and some Nascar races are on TSN and Sportsnet, a Canadian MotorsTV feed could conceivably carry a much better schedule with bigger events than it could in the US.
    American channels such as Fox Sports 1 and 2, CBS Sports Network, and NBCSN between them carry a bunch of racing -- 24 Hours of Le Mans, MotoGP, United SportsCar Championship, World Challenge, Nascar Truck Series, DTM, IndyCar support series races, etc. -- that would presumably not be able to be shown on MotorsTV in the US but perhaps could be shown on a Canadian feed if they wanted to go to the trouble of doing so.

    Edit: From what I've read, it seems this channel in Europe is still only available in 16x9 standard definition. If it's going to be that way in North America, I suppose it's better than nothing, but in 2015 TV channels should be HD.
    Last edited by Donovan's Monkey; 01-21-2015 at 05:38 PM.

  17. #17
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    I can't see Rogers or Bell or TVA sponsering it, as it would compete with their channels. I could see Shaw or a ind sponsoring it. After all there are only less then 10 Euro channels in Canada.(Ethnic Channels not included in list)

    France 24
    Euronews
    EuroSports
    DW News
    BBC World News
    just to name a few, not sure of the others.
    Last edited by TOM_T; 01-20-2015 at 07:26 PM.
    It's fun being weird.It's fun being weird.It's fun being weird.You should try it sometime. What?Don't frown.It just went down.Its fun being weird.You should try it sometime. The Detour. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjT-QOJG9qQ

  18. #18
    The Discovery World is now Velocity and something is coming from Rogers at least soon a Fox Sports ch.
    Last edited by View; 02-15-2015 at 12:07 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by View View Post
    The Discovery World is now Velocity ...
    The Canadian version of Discovery Velocity involves simply changing the name of what had been Discovery World. They have not changed the licence. It will not be showing any motorsports. The show about Patrick Dempsey appears to be the only thing even remotely related to racing.
    Quote Originally Posted by View View Post
    ... something is coming from Rogers at least soon a Fox Sports ch.
    I don't understand what you're trying to say. Could you maybe explain it a little more?

    A new sports channel could not just suddenly appear on Rogers overnight. If Rogers was starting a new channel, they would have to apply to the CRTC for a licence, and go through the process of getting it approved which takes several months after a public notice appears on the CRTC website. I see nothing there, or anywhere else.

    Similarly, Fox Sports can't just start a new channel in Canada or start distributing a US channel here overnight. A US channel would have to apply to be added to the list of authorized non-Canadian channels and prove it was not directly competing against any Canadian channel. Again, I see nothing on the CRTC website, or anywhere else.

    And the simple reality is that it has become extremely difficult to introduce completely new TV channels and get them carried in Canada. I doubt we'll be seeing many more. More likely that some will be disappearing after a more pick-and-pay type of system will probably be required to become available.

    I could see Fox finally ending all Canadian distribution of Speed since Shaw is dropping it as of April 1st, if that's what you mean.
    Last edited by Donovan's Monkey; 02-16-2015 at 08:36 AM.

  20. #20
    It did just appear overnight, just in time for the start of the racing season.

    Channel 409 is now Fox Sports Racing HD.

 

 

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