IndyCar, WEC, WRC join Stan streaming
THE FIRST major flex in the streaming wars to be felt by Aussie Motorsport fans has been confirmed, with streaming service Stan Sport announcing today that it has secured rights to three major international motorsport properties.
The Nine Entertainment Co-owned service has confirmed it has secured rights to the NTT IndyCar Series, FIA World Endurance Championship and the FIA World Rally Championship for the 2022 season.
The three series will be shown live, ad-break free and also be available on demand next year.
IndyCar has been a Fox Sports property in recent years, though only expanded back to full-season coverage in 2021 following Scott McLaughlin’s shift to racing in the ‘States.
The WRC has also been a Fox and Kayo staple, while the WEC was essentially homeless for Australian audiences this year after Eurosport shut up shop locally – leaving the WEC app the only place to consume the racing with pictures, and with no domestic TV for the iconic Le Mans 24 Hour race for the first time in recent memory.
While IndyCar, WRC and WEC are popular among hardcore racing fans in Australia, they are not traditionally massive audience-pullers for networks given they generally air in the early hours of the morning and due to their somewhat niche’ status.
However, the rights grab from Stan is an interesting move that continues the trend of streaming giants spending to attract sports rights that bring with them paying customers.
For local motorsport fans the news could be seen as both positive and negative.
While it assures a home for IndyCar – after it went MIA on Fox and Kayo before Scotty joined the ranks – and the WRC, it also gives fans of Sports Car racing a place to consume the racing after having no TV output in Australia this year.
There was outcry among local fans this year when TRT confirmed that the Le Mans 24 Hour would be without domestic TV coverage, on a subscription TV outlet or streaming, for the first time.
In proof that this has been a canny move from Stan, that story is among our most-read of the year proving its appeal among proper racing fans, like those who read TRT.
However, it also means that those fans who already subscribe to Foxtel, or Kayo Sports, will need to fork out for another streaming service to get their racing fix from those categories.
A subscription to Stan currently costs $10 per month, with the Sports add-on an additional $10 monthly.
As of May this year, Stan claims more than 2.1 million subscribers – though it is not known how many also subscribe to the optional sports pack.
Supercars, F1, MotoGP and other major properties remain linked to Fox Sports and Kayo Sports Streaming, with Supercars also broadcast on the Seven Network, and the Australian Grand Prix to be shown on Channel 10.