At the starting line with Fox Sports and National Geographic

By Bob Golfen

Barrett-Jackson NatGeo FS1 FS2Starting with its sixth annual Las Vegas event, Barrett-Jackson begins a new chapter in its history as the pioneer of live television coverage of collector car auctions. The SPEED network was re-branded as FOX Sports 1 in August in the United States, and Barrett-Jackson’s auction coverage will now be carried on several platforms within the FOX family of networks. For viewers in Canada, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean,  the SPEED brand remains, and the new FOX Sports coverage of Barrett-Jackson will be broadcast on the network as usual.

Barrett-Jackson’s coverage will now be available in nearly 100 million homes, and the relationship with FOX continues to evolve with the goal of bringing additional FOX networks into play in 2014. This creates the opportunity for Barrett-Jackson to reach a new audience and bring even more people into the car collecting hobby.

In addition to coverage on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 (formerly FUEL TV), the acclaimed National Geographic Channel will air eight hours of live Saturday coverage of the Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas auction. The mission of National Geographic Channel is to explore the most intriguing aspects of our world — and there couldn’t be a better opportunity to introduce their audience to the collector car world than a Saturday night at Barrett-Jackson in Las Vegas.

“Television viewers will now be able to find us on several of the networks within the FOX family,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “As much as we enjoyed our long history of providing auction programming exclusively on SPEED, we are incredibly excited about this evolution in our relationship with FOX. With this groundbreaking mix of coverage on networks programmed to reach different demographics, Barrett-Jackson programs will be seen in more homes than ever before.”

Barrett-Jackson’s inaugural Reno Tahoe auction in August marked SPEED’s final bow for its auction coverage after 17 years, although the same exceptional team of TV professionals will continue to broadcast live on the other FOX networks. Viewers will still see the familiar faces from SPEED on the auction podium and surrounding venue, with many of the same popular features also continuing, such as Fantasy Bidding.

“The heart of SPEED will still survive on FOX Sports 1,” Jackson said. “There is a talented team of professionals behind the scenes who have worked with us for many years. It was very important to us that this continuity be in place for future Barrett-Jackson auction coverage.”

FOX will provide an unprecedented 22 hours of live coverage for the three-day Las Vegas auction. A total of more than 100 hours of live broadcasts are scheduled for Barrett-Jackson’s four auctions in 2014: Scottsdale, Ariz.; West Palm Beach, Fla.; Reno Tahoe, Nev.; and next fall again in Las Vegas.

“I see a great advantage in moving to this new, larger platform; it’s a broader market we’re going after now,” Jackson said. “To have a Major League Baseball game or a (NASCAR) Cup race that leads into and out of a Barrett-Jackson broadcast could bring many more viewers to us than I could have ever dreamed of coming to us strictly through SPEED.”
Craig Jackson & Mike Joy
Jackson also noted that having multiple networks available means that more auction action can be delivered live to viewers, replacing some of the tape-delayed coverage offered by SPEED in the past. “This means viewers can enjoy more uninterrupted live coverage now with a simple change of the channel.

“When FOX Sports 1 launched on August 17, it became available in 90 million homes. National Geographic Channel is available in 85 million homes,” he added. “These numbers represent a greater reach and a wider range of demographics than for any other collector car auction programming in history. The addition of National Geographic is particularly exciting. Additional viewers will be reached through international distribution of the auctions.”

Jackson said that the evolution of the relationship between Barrett-Jackson and FOX Entertainment Group will continue to take shape as company leaders prepare for the 2014 auction season.

“All in all, having a much larger on-air footprint will open car collecting to even more people,” Jackson said. “Stay tuned for an exciting future of groundbreaking firsts with FOX.”

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