As The Racing Channel (TRC)
The Racing Channel (commonly referred as TRC) is an American 24-hour motorsports cable network . The company was founded in 1980 as a part of ABN Sports . As a fully-funded commercial-free public cable network, TRC is owned by Sabana American Broadcast Holdings and operated by ABN Sports as a part of the ABN Domestic Television Corporation . TRC operated TRC 2, and TRC 3, the network's live web streaming service for out-of-market viewers. The network primarily airs Intercontinental Motor Sports of America stock car races, World Sports Car Tour GT touring car races and Formula USA open-wheel races in a 1080i picture format. TRC became the first motorsports cable network to air high-definition programming in 1997 making the transition to full high-definition television in 2009. On January 1, 2016 at 12:00 AM, The Racing Channel was signed off. A minute later at 12:01 AM, ABN Motorsports was signed on.
As ABN Motorsports
ABN Motorsports remains a 24-hour motorsports cable network following its predecessor, The Racing Channel, still fully funded by Champion Digital Broadcasting and ABN Sports. It took over as The Racing Channel's successor on January 1, 2016 to further expand motorsports coverage beyond the United States and Canada while still keeping some of the former TRC library of programming in the lineup with fresh content, new hosts, and a new lineup of sports car, stock car, drag racing and automotive entertainment programming.
Programs on ABN Motorsports (formerly TRC)
These are the programs that air during the broadcast week on TRC:
- ABN Speed Central (Airs Friday-Sunday from 5:00 to 6:00 PM Eastern)
- The Fast Lane (Talk show format; airs Monday night at 7:00 PM Eastern)
- DCS 24/7 (Documentary format; airs Monday night at 8:00 PM Eastern with an encore Tuesday afternoon at 3:00 PM)
- Burnout (Game show format; airs Monday thru Friday at 4:00 PM Eastern)
- World of Speed (Various racing events; airs on TRC 2 Friday thru Sunday depending on the type of racing event and the timing of the event)
- Fortner and Haymen (Talk show format: airs Sunday night at 6:00 PM Eastern after ABN Speed Central)
- IgnitionTV (Magazine television format; airs Monday thru Friday at 2:30 to 3:00 PM Eastern)
- Ken and Ben: The Morning Drive (Talk show/entertainment format; airs Monday thru Friday at 6:00 AM to 8:00 AM Eastern)
- Thursday Night Thunder (sporting event; airs Thursday night at 7:00 PM Eastern)
- IMSA Delta Cup/Tecate Series/K&N Trucks Series
- World Sports Car Tour
- Formula USA
- FIA World Rally Championship
- Verizon IndyCar Series (starting March 2016, excluding Indianapolis 500)
- IDRA (International Drag Racing Association)
- IMSA Mr. Lube Championship Series (Canadian racing series)
- NASCAR Weekly Series on ABN Motorsports
- NHRA on ABN
- U.S. Motorbike Championships
- North American Off-Road Championship Series
- Formula DRIFT
- WSCT Super Ute Championship
- V8 Supercar Series
- World feed coverage of the WSCT 24 Hours of Karjala (May 2016)
- World feed coverage of the ALMS/ACO/FIA 24 Hours of Le Mans (June 2016)
- SuperGT coverage via ABS International world feed
Information/entertainment/motorsports news programming
- The Last Lap with Bob Jenkins (airing 12:00-2:00 PM Eastern)
- Ken and Ben: The Morning Drive (replacing TRC Morning Drive, still remaining on its normal air time of 6:00 to 8:00 AM Eastern, hosted by motor racing journalist-emeritus Ken Squire and Ben Johnson)
- ABN Speed Central (replacing TRC Race News, becoming weekly Monday-Friday 4:00-6:00 PM Eastern with ABN Speed Central Weekend Edition Saturday's and Sunday's 5:00-7:00 PM Eastern)
- Fortner and Haymen (new show replacing Falcon 406, airs Monday-Friday 6:00-7:00 PM Eastern)
- DCS Insider (replacing DCS 24/7)
- TM Master Cup Nation (new show airing March 2016, hosted by Allan Foster)
TRC 2 (subchannel)
With the increase in interest in extreme motorsports, The Racing Channel was targeting the 18-32 year demographic. By creating TRC 2 in 1999, it served as the network's backbone in covering Drift USA (D-USA) competition, Super G powerboat racing and the Boeing Cup air racing event in May to name a few of the programs not normally covered by TRC's main demographic of 19-38 years. TRC 2 also aired the weekly World of Speed program covering various racing events from across the United States, Canada, and Mexico, with varying events in Europe such as EuroUte, a racing series featuring modified utility pickup trucks.
TRC 3 (live web streamming service)
During times when programs cannot fit the schedule on TRC or TRC 2, the network offered the TRC 3 web stream. TRC 3 was primarily used for out-of-market events that cannot be covered by TRC or TRC 2 and also acted as a live stream when events do air on TRC or TRC 2. Starting January of 2016, ABN Sports will shut down TRC 3 in favor of signing on ABN Motorsports.
Signing on as ABN Motorsports
Starting January 1, 2016, ABN Sports condensed TRC, TRC 2 and TRC 3 programming into ABN Motorsports. The network has expressed interest in covering the Verizon IndyCar Series for the 2016 season as well as the regional NASCAR Weekly Series events, and the post-season Chase for the Cup for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series post-season to add on to ABN's vast motorsports coverage including IMSA Delta Cup, Tecate Grand National Series and K&N Trucks Series. The network is also looking to air Formula 1 events in 2016.
Indianapolis 500 coverage restrictions
In regards to IndyCar, because of Disney-ABC's contract with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, ABN Motorsports cannot cover the Indianapolis 500 nor the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, one of IndyCar's recently new events. However, ABN Sports Radio, the sports radio counterpart will cover the 500 and GP of Indy in 2016. ABN Sports Radio will work in conjunction with the IMS Radio Network to cover the events leading up to the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis 500. The TV network will still cover the IMSA Delta Cup Indianapolis 600 and K&N Midwest Challenge @ Indy as usual.
Japanese motorsports coverage via ABS International
Beginning in 2016, ABN Motorsports in conjunction with Japanese television network ABS International will begin airing Japanese motor racing events in an over-the-air setting. Japan is a hotbed for drift racing, GT touring cars, superbike touring, and Formula One, each sport producing a tally crop of Japan's finest motor racing drivers. Two of Japan's major circuits, Suzuka being one and Fuji Speedway the other, host a majority of Formula One, Formula Nippon, FIA touring cars, and superbike championship events, most covered by ABS International's main signal in Japan alone. This will be the first ever season that ABN Motorsports will take in ABS International's world feeds to bring in their coverage of these events to North America.