Supercars chief quells talk Ten will go

Laine Clark
Supercars' six-year broadcast deal with Network Ten expires at the end of 2020

Supercars CEO Sean Seamer has dismissed a report that claimed Network Ten will walk away as free-to-air broadcaster as "pure speculation".

Seamer has thrown his support behind Peter Wiggs despite the Supercars chairman's claim that the category has been a "poor investment" for his private equity firm Archer Capital, which bought a 65 per cent stake in 2011.

There were more encouraging signs on Tuesday for the Supercars season to restart, after it was postponed in March, with work on permanent lights beginning at Sydney Motorsport Park before the Sydney SuperNight round scheduled for August.

Supercars will announce details of the season's revamped calendar on May 15.

Off-track there have been ominous rumblings, with The Australian Financial Review reporting that Network Ten was no longer prepared to invest in Supercars beyond this year, describing it as a "loss-making endeavour".

The six-year broadcaster deal with Foxtel and Ten - worth $241 million - will expire at the end of 2020.

Seamer wasn't concerned by the report, saying talks to finalise a new broadcast deal were "ongoing" but expected them to ramp up after Supercars returned to the track.

"That (report) is pure speculation," he told AAP.

"Our focus right now is making sure we can deliver this year's championship, locking down the calendar, how we go racing, making sure we are being medically and socially responsible.

"Our broadcast rights through to 2021 and beyond will be picked up after we get going again."

Seamer backed Wiggs despite the latter telling News Corp that he was dissatisfied with his investment in the category this week.

Wiggs' Archer Capital bought its majority stake for about $137 million nine years ago.

News Corp said the stake was now valued at $34.9 million after coronavirus forced the Supercars season shutdown.

Asked if Wiggs' comment could hinder broadcast talks, Seamer said: "Peter is a very supportive chairman. He does a great job.

"If you look at our content, look at the growth of ratings over the last few years you will see we have got a very strong product and that is the basis of the broadcast negotiations."

Meanwhile, Seamer said Supercars has had promising talks with state governments around the country as they look to receive exemptions and adhere to protocols to recommence the season in June.