Turner is going outside its family of cable networks to launch a new Web video channel-along with three original series–on Nascar.com.
The company’s Turner Sports division, which manages Nascar.com, has inked a deal with News Corp.’s auto-racing centric Speed Channel to launch ‘Nascar on Speed.’ The new video channel, which goes live on Sept. 9., will be entirely Speed-branded and will feature talent from the network—something of an unusual situation for a Turner-managed property, given that its cable networks TNT and TBS have each long broadcast Nascar events.
But this deal is about serving the site’s audience, according to Scott Doyne, senior director, business operations for Nascar.com. “I’m really looking at this from the standpoint of Nascar.com,” he said. “Our goal is to bring the site the best content we can. If that means working with Speed talent, that’s good for everybody.”
Among the original shows schedule to be offered each week via Nascar on Speed are Speed’s Race & Chase Preview, which will feature several current drivers such as Michael Waltrip and Greg Biffle previewing that week’s upcoming events, and Victory Lane Fan Finish, a post-race analysis show during which Speed commentators will answer viewer-submitted questions.
In addition, each week the broadband channel will post episodes of Speed’s Rutledge at Large!, a lighter, behind the scenes look at Nascar. All three shows are scheduled to run through the end of 2010. “These are all shows that are not going to be available anywhere else,” said Doyne. “What we have found is that Nascar.com fans come back multiple times during the week, so we plan to feed that by [staggering] these shows throughout a given week.”
Lastly, besides originals, Nascar on Speed will house shoulder programming from the cable network. Turner Sporst, which handles all digital sales for Nascar.com, is currently seeking sponsors for the new video channel.