Speed2: No NASCAR, but Also No Free Ride

Motor sport fans can soon watch races live from the Nürburgring on their computer, thanks to a new broadband network dubbed Speed2 that is going to be launched by Fox (s NWS) this June. Speed2 is tied to Fox’s Speed cable channel and will initially only be available to viewers who subscribe to Speed through Time Warner Cable (s TWX).

Speed2 isn’t the only online offering that’s tied to a customer’s cable subscription or choice of broadband provider. ESPN’s (s DIS) recently-renamed ESPN3 network is limited to a few select ISPs, and Cablevision (s CVC) launched a site called MSG Varsity last year that restricts some of its content to Cablevision customers.

It’s unclear yet whether consumers will bite and subscribe to a cable channel or become customers of a certain network operator simply because of such a broadband network site. The first comments on Speed’s website seem to reveal that some of its viewers have different ideas of how Speed2 should work. Here’s just one example:

“I will gladly pay for Speed online as soon as I get the PC > TV hookup. Then I can DUMP $175 in Time Warner crap every month!  :)”

However, it seems like Speed didn’t completely ignore the wishes of many motor sports fans: Speed’s programming has long been dominated by NASCAR, leading to complaints by fans of other tournaments. Speed2 on the other hand will not feature any NASCAR coverage at all.

Picture courtesy (CC-BY-SA) of Flickr user tonylanciabeta.

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