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Seven in rights talks for new Australian motorsport series

Australian commercial broadcaster Seven is said to be in advanced talks over a rights deal for fledgling motor-racing series TCR Australia and S5000.

TCR Australia, a touring car championship, and S5000, an open-wheel racing series, are both in their debut seasons and currently have rights deals with public-service broadcaster SBS.

However, the Speedcafe.com website said Seven is in the final stage of negotiations with Australian Racing Group, promoter of the two series, over a deal that would start in 2020.

Talks are thought to have commenced earlier this year and have continued after James Warburton, a non-executive director at ARG, became the new chief executive of Seven West Media last month.

ARG director Matt Braid told Speedcafe.com: “Obviously we’re currently with SBS, who have done a fantastic deal with us and job with us promoting TCR in its first year.

“We’ve had interest from other networks, we’re in multiple conversations, nothing’s signed yet, but there’s positive conversations all-round, which is great for the category, and we’re looking forward to announcing something probably in the coming weeks or months.”

Warburton added: “Whether we are promoting the Erebus Kiss Supercar or (former Formula One driver) Rubens Barrichello who happened to be in an AFL changing room (on Friday night), the power of the Seven brand across its assets is what motorsport partners really like.

“We promote across the assets so we think we are a good partner, but for a deal it has to commercially stack up regardless of the sport. Motorsport is a great opportunity and a good revenue opportunity for the network.”