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SPEED Channel

SPEED Channel

Overview
Speed is a cable
Cable television
Cable television is a system of providing television programs to consumers via radio frequency signals transmitted to televisions through coaxial cables or digital light pulses through fixed optical fibers located on the subscriber's property, much like the over-the-air method used in traditional...

 and satellite
Satellite television
Satellite television is television programming delivered by the means of communications satellite and received by an outdoor antenna, usually a parabolic mirror generally referred to as a satellite dish, and as far as household usage is concerned, a satellite receiver either in the form of an...

 television network
Television network
A television network is a telecommunications network for distribution of television program content, whereby a central operation provides programming to many television stations or pay TV providers. Until the mid-1980s, television programming in most countries of the world was dominated by a small...

 broadcast to various parts of North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, but primarily the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The network, based in Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte is the largest city in the U.S. state of North Carolina and the seat of Mecklenburg County. In 2010, Charlotte's population according to the US Census Bureau was 731,424, making it the 17th largest city in the United States based on population. The Charlotte metropolitan area had a 2009...

 at University Research Park, currently broadcasts mostly automotive-related programming.

Programming includes live Formula One
Formula One
Formula One, also known as Formula 1 or F1 and referred to officially as the FIA Formula One World Championship, is the highest class of single seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile . The "formula" designation in the name refers to a set of rules with which...

 racing
Racing
A sport race is a competition of speed, against an objective criterion, usually a clock or to a specific point. The competitors in a race try to complete a given task in the shortest amount of time...

, NASCAR
NASCAR
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is a family-owned and -operated business venture that sanctions and governs multiple auto racing sports events. It was founded by Bill France Sr. in 1947–48. As of 2009, the CEO for the company is Brian France, grandson of the late Bill France Sr...

-related shows, how-to programming, auto-related movies such as The Fast and the Furious
The Fast and the Furious (film series)
The Fast and the Furious is a series of action films that focuses on street racing and heists. Produced by Universal Studios, the series was established in 2001 with the eponymous first installment, which has since been followed by four sequels, and two short films that tie into the series...

, auto show
Auto show
An auto show, or motor show, is a public exhibition of current automobile models, debuts, concept cars, or out-of-production classics. It is commonly attended by automobile manufacturers. Most auto shows occur once or twice a year...

s, less-popular racing series, a weekly news show, call-in shows, and reality shows.
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Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Speed is a cable
Cable television
Cable television is a system of providing television programs to consumers via radio frequency signals transmitted to televisions through coaxial cables or digital light pulses through fixed optical fibers located on the subscriber's property, much like the over-the-air method used in traditional...

 and satellite
Satellite television
Satellite television is television programming delivered by the means of communications satellite and received by an outdoor antenna, usually a parabolic mirror generally referred to as a satellite dish, and as far as household usage is concerned, a satellite receiver either in the form of an...

 television network
Television network
A television network is a telecommunications network for distribution of television program content, whereby a central operation provides programming to many television stations or pay TV providers. Until the mid-1980s, television programming in most countries of the world was dominated by a small...

 broadcast to various parts of North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, but primarily the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The network, based in Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte is the largest city in the U.S. state of North Carolina and the seat of Mecklenburg County. In 2010, Charlotte's population according to the US Census Bureau was 731,424, making it the 17th largest city in the United States based on population. The Charlotte metropolitan area had a 2009...

 at University Research Park, currently broadcasts mostly automotive-related programming.

Programming includes live Formula One
Formula One
Formula One, also known as Formula 1 or F1 and referred to officially as the FIA Formula One World Championship, is the highest class of single seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile . The "formula" designation in the name refers to a set of rules with which...

 racing
Racing
A sport race is a competition of speed, against an objective criterion, usually a clock or to a specific point. The competitors in a race try to complete a given task in the shortest amount of time...

, NASCAR
NASCAR
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is a family-owned and -operated business venture that sanctions and governs multiple auto racing sports events. It was founded by Bill France Sr. in 1947–48. As of 2009, the CEO for the company is Brian France, grandson of the late Bill France Sr...

-related shows, how-to programming, auto-related movies such as The Fast and the Furious
The Fast and the Furious (film series)
The Fast and the Furious is a series of action films that focuses on street racing and heists. Produced by Universal Studios, the series was established in 2001 with the eponymous first installment, which has since been followed by four sequels, and two short films that tie into the series...

, auto show
Auto show
An auto show, or motor show, is a public exhibition of current automobile models, debuts, concept cars, or out-of-production classics. It is commonly attended by automobile manufacturers. Most auto shows occur once or twice a year...

s, less-popular racing series, a weekly news show, call-in shows, and reality shows. Bobsledding, luge
Luge
A Luge is a small one- or two-person sled on which one sleds supine and feet-first. Steering is done by flexing the sled's runners with the calf of each leg or exerting opposite shoulder pressure to the seat. Racing sleds weigh 21-25 kilograms for singles and 25-30 kilograms for doubles. Luge...

, and skeleton
Skeleton (sport)
Skeleton is a fast winter sliding sport in which an individual person rides a small sled down a frozen track while lying face down, during which athletes experience forces up to 5g. It originated in St. Moritz, Switzerland as a spin-off from the popular British sport of Cresta Sledding...

 events were shown during the winter
Winter
Winter is the coldest season of the year in temperate climates, between autumn and spring. At the winter solstice, the days are shortest and the nights are longest, with days lengthening as the season progresses after the solstice.-Meteorology:...

 months (especially since 1986 Daytona 500
Daytona 500
The Daytona 500 is a -long NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race held annually at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. It is one of four restrictor plate races on the Cup schedule....

 champion Geoff Bodine
Geoff Bodine
Geoffrey Eli Bodine is an American motorsport driver and bobsled builder. He is the oldest of the three Bodine brothers . Bodine currently lives in Cornelius, North Carolina....

 began his support of the International Bobsleigh Federation (FIBT) events, including a fund-raiser with automobile racing stars) until 2007-08 when Universal Sports
Universal Sports
Universal Sports is an American television network that airs various sports, primarily those contested in the Olympic Games, including swimming, gymnastics, cycling, track and field, figure skating, skiing, bobsledding and triathlon.-Programming:...

 took over. Speed is also the exclusive United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 broadcaster
Broadcasting
Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and video content to a dispersed audience via any audio visual medium. Receiving parties may include the general public or a relatively large subset of thereof...

 of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the 24 Hours of Le Mans
24 Hours of Le Mans
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the world's oldest sports car race in endurance racing, held annually since near the town of Le Mans, France. Commonly known as the Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency, race teams have to balance speed against the cars' ability to run for 24 hours without sustaining...

, the Petit Le Mans
Petit Le Mans
The Petit Le Mans is a sports car endurance race held annually at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, USA. It uses the rules established for the 24 hours of Le Mans by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest , which are slightly modified if necessary, mainly to allow additional cars to compete.The race was...

, the NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Race, the Gatorade Duels at Daytona
Gatorade Duel
The Gatorade Duel is NASCAR Sprint Cup Series preliminary event to the Daytona 500 held annually in February at Daytona International Speedway. It consists of two races, and serves as a qualifying race for the Daytona 500...

 & the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

History


The channel which eventually became Speed Channel was launched on New Year's Day
New Year's Day
New Year's Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in ancient Rome...

 1996, by Roger L. Werner Jr., E. Roger Williams, Nickolas Rhodes and Robert Scanlon under the name Speedvision. Ownership included Cox Communications
Cox Communications
Cox Communications is a privately owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises providing digital cable television, telecommunications and wireless services in the United States...

, Continental Cable and AT&T
AT&T
AT&T Inc. is an American multinational telecommunications corporation headquartered in Whitacre Tower, Dallas, Texas, United States. It is the largest provider of mobile telephony and fixed telephony in the United States, and is also a provider of broadband and subscription television services...

. Under their management, Speedvision became the fastest growing cable network of all time while delivering the highest male viewing audience per household of any cable or broadcast network in existence.

In the summer of 2001, Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch
Keith Rupert Murdoch, AC, KSG is an Australian-American business magnate. He is the founder and Chairman and CEO of , the world's second-largest media conglomerate....

's News Corporation
News Corporation
News Corporation or News Corp. is an American multinational media conglomerate. It is the world's second-largest media conglomerate as of 2011 in terms of revenue, and the world's third largest in entertainment as of 2009, although the BBC remains the world's largest broadcaster...

 purchased one-third of Speedvision. In August 2001, they negotiated to acquire the stakes owned by Cox and Comcast
Comcast
Comcast Corporation is the largest cable operator, home Internet service provider, and fourth largest home telephone service provider in the United States, providing cable television, broadband Internet, and telephone service to both residential and commercial customers in 39 states and the...

, thus giving them majority ownership. Fox
Fox Sports (USA)
Fox Sports is a division of the Fox Broadcasting Company . It was formed in 1994 with Fox's acquisition of broadcast rights to National Football League games...

 leveraged the network as a negotiating tool for NASCAR television rights which were split with NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

. The plan was to morph the channel into a 24-hour NASCAR network. This plan was ultimately shelved in the fall due to Fox management's unwillingness to place NASCAR races on the channel.

On February 11, 2002 at 7:59 p.m. ET, Speedvision relaunched as Speed Channel. The first program of the new format was a special launch show and 2002 NASCAR preview focusing on Speedweeks 2002. News Corp.'s Fox had a year-old relationship as a NASCAR broadcaster
NASCAR on Fox
NASCAR on Fox is the Emmy-winning branding used for Fox Sports's broadcasts of NASCAR races airing on the Fox network since 2001. The production has been in high-definition since 2005.-Background:...

, many NASCAR shows began airing on Speed Channel, a move that was unpopular with some of the network's viewers. However, with the increased NASCAR programming, viewership is at all-time highs, with the channel being added to many regular cable lineups.

Programming notes


In its nearly seven-year existence under its new name, Speed has made an effort to show more live races. From 2001–2003 and in 2005 and 2006, Speed broadcasted select Champ Car
Champ Car
Champ Car was the name for a class and specification of open wheel cars used in American Championship Car Racing for many decades, primarily for use in the Indianapolis 500 auto race...

 races. In October 2002 Speed bought out the remaining year of ESPN
ESPN
Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, commonly known as ESPN, is an American global cable television network focusing on sports-related programming including live and pre-taped event telecasts, sports talk shows, and other original programming....

's three-year contract for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, and in February 2003, began showing live exclusive coverage of the series. The network's coverage of the truck series' Florida Dodge Dealers 250 for February 18, 2005 scored a Nielsen rating of 2.1, the highest-rated program in the network's history. Another Speed staple is WindTunnel with Dave Despain
WindTunnel with Dave Despain
WindTunnel with Dave Despain is a live viewer call-in show exclusively for auto racing fans that debuted on Speed Channel on February 22, 2003...

, a live call-in show that has been on the network since February 2003.

Since its inception in 1996, there has been a racing series which was created by Werner, Williams and Scanlon, named after the network-the SPEED World Challenge
SPEED World Challenge
The Pirelli World Challenge is a North American auto racing series that is sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of America . Founded in 1985, it consists of four classes: grand touring, touring car, a "GTS" class since 2010, and a "touring car B-spec" since 2012...

, formerly named, not surprisingly, the Speedvision World Challenge. SPEED also runs a very short segment during its commercial breaks, titled, "My First Car", in which celebrities like Ron Howard
Ron Howard
Ronald William "Ron" Howard is an American actor, director, and producer. He came to prominence as a child actor, playing Opie Taylor in the sitcom The Andy Griffith Show for eight years, and later the teenaged Richie Cunningham in the sitcom Happy Days for six years...

, Pierce Brosnan
Pierce Brosnan
Pierce Brendan Brosnan, OBE is an Irish actor, film producer and environmentalist. After leaving school at 16, Brosnan began training in commercial illustration, but trained at the Drama Centre in London for three years...

, and George Lucas
George Lucas
George Walton Lucas, Jr. is an American film producer, screenwriter, and director, and entrepreneur. He is the founder, chairman and chief executive of Lucasfilm. He is best known as the creator of the space opera franchise Star Wars and the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones...

 (who has a great love for Fiat
Fiat
FIAT, an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino , is an Italian automobile manufacturer, engine manufacturer, financial, and industrial group based in Turin in the Italian region of Piedmont. Fiat was founded in 1899 by a group of investors including Giovanni Agnelli...

) and SPEED Channel viewers talk about the first set of wheels they ever drove.

Speed made news with the 2005 firing of network president Jim Liberatore, who had been with the network since Fox bought it in 2001 when it was still Speedvision, reportedly because Liberatore had wanted to reduce the number of NASCAR-related shows on the network, and the network brass wanted more NASCAR-related programming. Liberatore is now attempting to start a new network called The Racing Network, which will be closer to the original Speedvision.

The network's targeting of younger viewers with an overwhelming amount of NASCAR coverage at the expense of other racing series and automotive instructional shows angered some network viewers, who feared that SPEED was close to becoming a network which would not cover anything but NASCAR. However, the organization's programming continues to draw viewers to the network. Some Speed viewers have thus suggested a spin-off
Spin-off (media)
In media, a spin-off is a radio program, television program, video game, or any narrative work, derived from one or more already existing works, that focuses, in particular, in more detail on one aspect of that original work...

 network for non-NASCAR programming or to focus on open wheel racing, just like ESPN has with ESPN2.

Name change


In late 2005, Speed Channel re-branded itself as Speed, canceling some TV shows including NASCAR Nation
NASCAR Nation
NASCAR Nation was a program on the Speed Channel, which aired Monday nights, discussing the lifestyle of NASCAR drivers when they are not on the track. It was cancelled after the 2005 season....

. Sometime in 2007, the change became official, as the word "channel" was dropped from its logo. Its trademarked name uses all upper case letters, rendering the name SPEED.

SPEED HD


Speed HD is a 720p
720p
720p is the shorthand name for 1280x720, a category of High-definition television video modes having a resolution of 1080 or 720p and a progressive scan...

 high definition
High-definition television
High-definition television is video that has resolution substantially higher than that of traditional television systems . HDTV has one or two million pixels per frame, roughly five times that of SD...

 simulcast of Speed that launched on February 8, 2008. DirecTV
DirecTV
DirecTV is an American direct broadcast satellite service provider and broadcaster based in El Segundo, California. Its satellite service, launched on June 17, 1994, transmits digital satellite television and audio to households in the United States, Latin America, and the Anglophone Caribbean. ...

 was one of the first to carry this new channel. Dish Network launched Speed HD on May 8, 2009.

The channel was also launched on November 1, 2010 in Australia on Pay TV provider Foxtel
Foxtel
Foxtel is an Australian pay television company, operating cable, direct broadcast satellite television and IPTV services. It was formed in 1995 through a joint venture established between Telstra and News Corporation....

. It accompanied the launch of the standard-definition version of the channel.

Controversy


Speed has also been criticized for narrowing its offering of professional motor sports, in particular after it quit coverage of WRC
World Rally Championship
The World Rally Championship is a rallying series organised by the FIA, culminating with a champion driver and manufacturer. The driver's world championship and manufacturer's world championship are separate championships, but based on the same point system. The series currently consists of 13...

. With the exception of most NASCAR, Formula One
Formula One
Formula One, also known as Formula 1 or F1 and referred to officially as the FIA Formula One World Championship, is the highest class of single seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile . The "formula" designation in the name refers to a set of rules with which...

, Grand Am
Grand American Road Racing Association
GRAND-AM Road Racing or GRAND-AM is an auto racing sanctioning body that was established in 1999 to organize road racing competitions in North America...

, American Le Mans Series
American Le Mans Series
The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is a sports car racing series based in the United States and Canada. It consists of a series of endurance and sprint races, and was created in the spirit of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Teams compete in one of five classes: LMP1, LMP2 and LMPC...

, and World of Outlaws
World of Outlaws
The World of Outlaws is an American motorsports sanctioning body. The body sanctions two major national touring series. It is best known for sanctioning a national tour of sprint cars. It later purchased a national tour of late model stockcars called the World of Outlaws Late Model Series...

 races, few of the races are broadcast live. Some races are even broadcast months after they take place.
Fans have also been critical of Speed because coverage and programming has become very NASCAR-centric with hours of pre race shows, re-runs, and talk shows leaving little room for other events to be broadcast live.
Likely a reason that for the 2011 season and onward the American Le Mans Series
American Le Mans Series
The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is a sports car racing series based in the United States and Canada. It consists of a series of endurance and sprint races, and was created in the spirit of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Teams compete in one of five classes: LMP1, LMP2 and LMPC...

 left the network for ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

/ESPN
ESPN
Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, commonly known as ESPN, is an American global cable television network focusing on sports-related programming including live and pre-taped event telecasts, sports talk shows, and other original programming....

/ESPN3 coverage citing that Speed did not reach out to enough people for the series to properly expand its fan base.

Distribution


Speed is primarily a satellite and digital cable network, although many areas in the U.S. do have the network in their basic cable packages. It is also available in Canada and in Brazil. Racing coverage, particularly that of Formula One, is sometimes subject to blackout outside the U.S. In the spring of 2006, Speed launched Speed Mobile, where fans can download ringtones and mobile wallpaper
Mobile wallpaper
A mobile wallpaper is a computer wallpaper sized to fit a mobile device such as a mobile phone, personal digital assistant or digital audio player. Screens range in size from 128x128 to 640x360 and the height is often greater than or equal to the width...

s made by Speed to their mobile phones.

Latin American service


Speed's Latin American channel has live coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide Series, Rolex Sports Car Series
Rolex Sports Car Series
The Rolex Sports Car Series is the premier series run by the Grand American Road Racing Association. It is a North American-based sports car series that was founded in 2000 under the name Grand American Road Racing Championship to replace the failed United States Road Racing Championship...

, American Le Mans Series
American Le Mans Series
The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is a sports car racing series based in the United States and Canada. It consists of a series of endurance and sprint races, and was created in the spirit of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Teams compete in one of five classes: LMP1, LMP2 and LMPC...

 and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Also shows delayed coverage of World Series by Renault
World Series by Renault
The World Series by Renault, formerly the World Series by Nissan from 1998 to 2004, is a motor racing series. The series consists of the flagship Formula Renault 3.5 Series , the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and the Eurocup Mégane Trophy...

 and NASCAR Mexico
NASCAR Mexico
NASCAR Mexico is a joint-venture between NASCAR and OCESA, a Mexican entertainment company, aiming to develop, manage and operate local motorsports events and oversee television distribution, sponsorship and licensing....

. Other programming includes highlights shows of Australia's V8 Supercars (delayed), Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters
Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters
The Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters is a touring car racing series based in Germany, but also with rounds elsewhere in Europe....

 (One week delayed to Brazil), British Formula Three Championship
British Formula Three Championship
The British Formula Three Championship is an international motor racing series that takes place primarily in the United Kingdom with a small number of events in mainland Europe. It is a junior-level feeder formula that uses small single seater Formula Three chassis. Its current official title is...

, FIA GT (months delayed), AMA Supercross (delayed), Monster Jam
Monster Jam
Monster Jam is a live motorsport event tour and television show operated by Feld Entertainment. The series is sanctioned under the umbrella of the United States Hot Rod Association and takes place primarily in the United States and around the world...

 (delayed), Argentine TC 2000
TC 2000
The TC 2000 Championship is a touring car racing series held in Argentina since 1979. It's considered the most advanced racing car series in South America and one of the top 10 touring car series in the world.-Rules:...

 and Turismo Carretera
Turismo Carretera
Turismo Carretera is a popular touring car racing series in Argentina, and the oldest car racing series still active in the world....

 and Colombian T.C. 2000, as well as non-motorsport programs such as Grand Prix On Track, Grand Prix Story, Unique Whips
Unique Whips
Unique Whips was a television show that aired on Speed Channel from 2005–2008 and then on Spike TV in 2010. It is similar in concept to other automotive shows such as West Coast Customs and Modern HotrodZ. The show follows the work of Unique Autosports based on Long Island, New York as they...

, Tuner Mania and Pinks
Pinks
Pinks is a franchise series of television programs on Speed Channel based on illegal street racing, held at legal closed drag strips with a theme around drag racing. The original aired from 2005 to 2008, with the spinoff Pinks: All Out following in 2006...

.

Australian Service


Speed launched in Australia on November 1, 2010 on Foxtel
Foxtel
Foxtel is an Australian pay television company, operating cable, direct broadcast satellite television and IPTV services. It was formed in 1995 through a joint venture established between Telstra and News Corporation....

 in both standard and high definition.
After months of negotiations and controversy, on March 25th 2011, Speed and Speed HD launched on Austar
Austar
Austar is an Australian telecommunications company. Its main business activity is Subscription Television but it is also involved with internet access and mobile phones...

 (the regional Australia subscription television provider).
The Australian channel shows NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, V8 Supercars, and Superbike World Championship
Superbike World Championship
Superbike World Championship is the worldwide Superbike racing Championship. The championship was founded in . The Superbike World Championship season consists of a series of rounds held on permanent racing facilities...

 to name a few. The channel also has its own production of SPEED News.

SPEED on-air personalities




External links

  • Official website
  • Speed on Facebook
    Facebook
    Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

  • Speed on Twitter
    Twitter
    Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets".Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July...

  • Speed content for mobile phones