The Barrett-Jackson Auction Company announced Thursday it will switch television channels beginning in January 2015 when live coverage of the collector-car auctions will be turned over to Velocity and the Discovery Channel.
With this move, Barrett-Jackson will end its long-time relationship with the Fox Networks. Fox had telecast all Barrett-Jackson auctions since 2001, when the network bought out Speedvision, which had been showing Barrett-Jackson auctions since 1996.
Until recent months, Fox telecasts of Barrett-Jackson events were shown on the network’s SPEED channel. Fox pulled SPEED from U.S. cable outlets last August and opted to turn the station into Fox Sports 1 and to limit its automotive coverage. While Barrett-Jackson events were mainly shown on Fox Sports 1, at times they were shown on Fox Sport 2 and the National Geographic channels, or even on Fox Sports, a broadcast rather than cable station.
Barrett-Jackson’s relationship with the SPEED channel, and earlier with Speedvision, has been credited with bringing collector-car auctions before the eyes of the public and in boosting the Scottsdale auction company’s success and acclaim.
No one from Barrett-Jackson or Fox was available for comment late Thursday. Apparently, the Fox stations will continue showing the three remaining Barrett-Jackson auctions for this year — scheduled for April 11-13 in Palm Beach, Fla., for August in Reno Tahoe, and for October in Las Vegas.
In January, when the auction company holds its main event in Scottsdale, Velocity and the Discovery Channel will take over. According to a Barrett-Jackson news release, Velocity and Discovery will telecast more than 100 hours of live coverage of the four annual auctions in 2015.
As part of the agreement, Barrett-Jackson will be seen globally on Discovery Networks International, which reaches more than 1.6 billion subscribers in 224 countries and territories, the release says.