I remember SPEEDVISION starting when I was in college. Finally, Motorsports on TV! The channel which eventually became Speed Channel was launched on New Year’s Day 1996, by Roger L. Werner Jr., E. Roger Williams, Nickolas Rhodes and Robert Scanlon under the name Speedvision. 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. Its initial lineup featured various automotive programs, including various documentary-style series focusing on prolific vehicles, manufacturers, and racing teams, series focusing on classic automobiles (such as Dream Car Garage, coverage of Barrett-Jackson’s auctions, and My Classic Car, an AutoWeek-branded television series, along with MotorWeek and Autoline Detroit—two programs syndicated from PBS member stations in Maryland and Detroit respectively. It was also the home of 2 Guys Garage which I hosted.
Flash forward to 2013, rumors are circulating that Fox who owns SPEED is changing the format to a general sports network. The new station will be Fox Sports One, a new all sports channel that will carry Major League Baseball, college football and basketball and other sports in addition to NASCAR programming.
Its sad to me to hear that one of the biggest industries in the world isn’t enough to support their network. Obviously they don’t respect the heritage of one of America’s great love affair’s…the one with their car or motorcycle. Hopefully, after some soul searching, the powers at be will change their mind and bring it back. If not, Velocity has done a great job of picking up the slack Fox’s lack of interest in Motorsports has generated.