Incensed motor racing fans have called for V8 Supercars to hand licensing rights to a new broadcaster after the Seven network delayed broadcasting of Bathurst 1000 by nearly half an hour.
Viewers were furious to discover that the “live” broadcast of the race had been delayed to accommodate the networks advertising commitments.
Television audiences were still watching the race at Mount Panorama Circuit in New South Wales more than 25 minutes after Craig Lowndes and his co-driver Mark Skaife crossed the line in a historic 1-2 finish for team Vodafone.
Fans of the popular Bathurst 1000 race were already irate by Seven’s decision not broadcast the V8 Supercars event in high definition. When they discovered that the TV coverage was 10 laps behind they flooded social networking sites like Twitter, venting their frustration about Seven and V8 Supercars.
Many of the comments were laced with obscenities; others described the network’s decision to delay the broadcast for adverts as “disgusting”.
Adverts are usually slotted into the live broadcast during lulls in the race, but Seven struggled to find space during this year’s nail-biting race and began delaying its coverage to accommodate its advertising commitments.
Seven’s spokesman Simon Francis blamed the tight race and lack of safety cars – used to slow down the race after prangs – on the 10-lap delay.
He said: “The closeness of the race, the reduced number of safety cars, advertising commitments and our desire that viewers not miss a single moment of the race led us to time-shift our coverage.
“Our objective was viewers not miss a moment of action.”
But the decision angered motor-racing enthusiasts who missed the start of the Japanese Grand Prix – and Mark Webbers attempt to maintain his lead in the world championship – because of Seven’s decision to delay broadcast of the Bathurst 1000 event.
The V8 Supercars race should have finished in time for viewers to watch the beginning of the Formula One Grand Prix on Ten Network’s One channel.
A spokesman for V8 Supercars Australia said the decision to delay the live broadcast was beyond its control and blamed the Seven network.
He added that the scale of the event was beyond the network’s ability to cover in HD and pointed out that many of Australia’s HD cameras were in Delhi for the Commonwealth Games.
Words: Adam Edwards