National Hot Rod Races Jump to Fox Sports 1 From Espn

Espn has parted ways with the National Hot Rod Assn. in a move that ends 15 years of televising the sports organization’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Starting in 2016, those events will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.

The Nhra is essentially buying out the last year of its contract with Espn, which was slated to end in 2016. Espn and Nhra last signed a deal in 2012, a move that was supposed to have extended their partnership for five years.

“The Nhra is an exciting form of racing with a very loyal fanbase,” said Julie Sobieski, Espn vice president, league sports programming, in a prepared statement. “Unfortunately, we have had scheduling challenges with Nhra programming due to other commitments in the fall.” Fans of the Nhra races have complained about tape delays and rescheduling, as well as decisions to run the events on Espn networks other than the one for which the telecasts were scheduled.
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WWE 24/7 tag-teams with Cox

NEW YORK -- World Wrestling Entertainment is set to unveil today that its subscription video-on-demand service WWE 24/7 will launch on systems of cable operator Cox Communications, as well as several smaller cable firms. After holding discussions with possible distribution partners for about the past six months, the deals are the latest sign that the newest WWE product has started to gain traction with distributors just ahead of the company's annual WrestleMania extravaganza, which takes place this year at Staples Center in Los Angeles. "WWE 24/7 has started to sell itself," WWE Enterprises senior vp Tom Barreca said. Added Peter Clifford, vp WWE affiliate sales: "Our jump into the on-demand world comes with a promise to once again be a market-maker. We intend to do for SVOD in this decade what we did for pay-per-view in the 1980s."

WWE pushes its VOD

World Wrestling Entertainment said Monday it has hired Peter Clifford as vp, affiliate sales with a focus on finding cable and satellite distribution partners for the company's recently unveiled subscription video-on-demand service WWE 24/7. Clifford worked on affiliate sales for The Golf Channel, where he started in 1996. Most recently, he served as the network's managing director, affiliate ad sales and new products. In that position, he was responsible for the management of the channel's VOD product.

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