MONDAY, JUNE 5: The Seven Network will televise a total of 16 hours of free-to-air coverage of the 2000-2001 BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship. Kelvin O'Reilly, Chief Executive of championship organisers TOCA Australia, announced...
MONDAY, JUNE 5: The Seven Network will televise a total of 16 hours of free-to-air coverage of the 2000-2001 BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship.
Kelvin O'Reilly, Chief Executive of championship organisers TOCA Australia, announced today each of the eight rounds would be televised in delayed two-hour national programs across the Seven Network and its regional affiliates including Prime Television.
Commentators are Mark Beretta, a rising star for the Seven Network, and Cameron McConville, who drove for the works Audi team in the championship in 1997-98. Former Nine Network 'Wide World of Sports' journalist Michael Meagher will compile feature stories for the programs, which will be produced for the fifth successive year by TOCA Australia and Sydney-based Watchout Productions.
"We have a fresh and dynamic commentary team and a proven level of production expertise, which I'm confident will help maintain and enhance the growth of the championship and motorsport in general," said O'Reilly.
"We have always been innovative with our production and viewers will see a number of new initiatives again this year."
The telecast of the first round, held at Sydney's Oran Park on May 28, will be on June 14.
O'Reilly said the telecasts of the opening four rounds would start at midnight, but timeslots for the remaining four rounds would switch to 11am to 1pm a week after race meetings in the new Summer section of the championship from November to February.
He said the scheduling and timeslots allocated of the four Winter rounds had been in part affected by the Seven Network's commitments to the Australian Football League and the Olympic Games in Sydney.
"This is a one-off situation because next year we move to a full Summer championship away from the AFL season, and obviously the Olympics will have come and gone by then," he said.
O'Reilly said the late night timeslot allocated to the first four championship rounds was an established sports program period on the Seven Network, and in 1999 had rated well across the network and its affiliated stations.
He said a major improvement in the telecasts was a two-hour program for each round, compared to two 60-minute programs in 1999, and a consistent timeslot across the Seven Network.
Beretta has 12 years experience in sports commentating, presenting, and journalism, including covering two Olympic Games for the Seven Network, plus the Bathurst motor racing meeting in October, 1999. The 33-year-old recently moved from Melbourne to Sydney to co-anchor 'Sunrise'.
"The Seven Network has had a long tradition with touring cars, and I'm keen on being involved with the championship," said Beretta.
"Fast cars and the people who drive them provide so many interesting stories, and it's good to have Cameron (McConville) alongside me because he is a real expert with his up-to-date knowledge of the technical aspects of the sport."
McConville, who was runner-up in the 1998 Super Touring championship, has previous television commentary experience with the Porsche Cup and GTP Production car categories and is currently racing a Holden Commodore V8.
"Super Touring cars have some very interesting technology, and my past experience in the category will help me with the commentating, as well as knowing most of the drivers," said McConville.
"Mark (Beretta) is very enthusiastic so we should make a good team. I started my commentary career with TOCA Australia and its good to be working with their professional production team again."
The Seven Network began televising the championship in 1999 as part of a five-year agreement with TOCA Australia.
<pre> 2000-2001 CHAMPIONSHIP TELECAST TIMES ROUND VENUE/DATE // TELEVISION TIMESLOT 1. Oran Park, NSW; May 28 // 0000-0200, June 14 2. Lakeside, Queensland; June 18 // 0000-0200, June 28 3. Oran Park, NSW; July 9 // 0000-0200, July 19 4. Winton, Victoria; August 27 // 0000-0200, September 6 5. Mallala, South Aust; Nov 12 // 1100-1300, November 19 6. Symmons Plains or Baskerville, Tas; Dec 10 // 1100-1300, December 17 7. Sandown, Vic; Jan 7 // TBA 8. Oran Park, NSW; Feb 11 // 1100-1300, February 18
</pre> NOTE: The Sandown round telecast date and timeslot is to be advised, and is subject to the Seven Network's tennis coverage commitments
NEWS BRIEF: The TOCA Australia website, featuring daily reports from the opening round of the BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship at Oran Park, had 125,974 hits for the week ending June 3. There were a total of 425,730 hits on the site during May. The website address is: www.toca.com.au