|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Launched||October 1, 2004|
|Former names||Maverick Television (2004–2012)|
MAVTV (originally known as Maverick Television) is an American cable and satellite television channel owned by the automotive lubricant company Lucas Oil, a ubiquitous presence in the motorsports world, which mainly airs programming focused around motorsports and programming for automotive enthusiasts. Bob Patison serves as the network's president.
MAVTV launched on October 1, 2004 based out of Atlanta with distribution limited to select cable companies, with the name a shortening of Maverick Television (the network's name at launch). The network was privately held and founded by four former executives from Showtime Networks—Steve Severn, Steve Smith, Doug Jost, Rob Stevens. It had no connections to the NBA's Dallas Mavericks or Mark Cuban, their owner, nor to Maverick Television, a British reality television production company owned by All3Media.
In October 2011, longtime partner lubricants company Lucas Oil purchased Maverick Television; the company had provided and sponsored most of the network's motorsports rights even before their purchase, and the network was likely to go dark without the purchase as programming rights had deteriorated towards barter programming and heavy repeats of library content. The network was quickly reformatted away by the new management from a completely male focus featuring lowbrow comedies, low-tier male targeting programming and Canadian content dramas with low cost purchase rights, and late night shows featuring women in bikini shoots towards a general family programming direction.
On July 4, 2012, Lucas re-branded the network, shortening the name to MAVTV (now all capitalized), but with the MAV initials standing for "Movies, Action, and Variety" with the addition of films and more concert programming to the schedule, and a gradual drawdown of racing-related programming to a smaller, yet important part of the schedule to maintain its cable carriage mainly among digital sports tiers, including the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series and the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League. The network is also advertised on the containers of many Lucas Oil products.
Until 2015, the network also aired classic programmings such as The Lone Ranger, Starsky & Hutch, and Bonanza, along with films. However, the recovery of the network's revenues under Lucas Oil, along with heavy competition in the classic television rights race from digital over-the-air networks such as MeTV, Antenna TV and movie networks like Movies! and getTV meant that the network began to draw down non-motorsports programming by the start of 2016. The conversion of Fox's Speed to the general-interest Fox Sports 1 also left a plethora of motorsports rights for other networks to pick up, which MAVTV took advantage of. The network also carries motorboat racing and various events from the Federation of International Motorcycling, including ice speedway and motorcycle speedway events.
The network's 1080i high definition feed was launched during the fall of 2008. The standard definition version of the network is downscaled from the HD master feed at the cable operator's headend level.
Before Lucas Oil took over full management of the network, MAVTV carried programming such as the second season of Rad Girls, SpeedFreaks, Women's Flat Track Roller Derby, American Tailgater, AMA Motorcycle Racing, Wrestlicious TakeDown, Ultimate Combat Experience, Bikini AllStars and Best of the Best. In addition, MAVTV presented the male-specific documentary series Manumentaries. Except for existing Lucas Oil programming and the AMA, none of this programming currently remains on the network's schedule. Overnights had been filled by music video/interactive SMS programming from NOYZ via a time brokerage agreement before that company went bankrupt in early 2008.
In 2007, MAVTV struck a deal with the Women's Flat Track Derby Association to broadcast two of the three roller derby finals: the Eastern Regional Tournament (Heartland Havoc, which was broadcast as a series of one-hour weekly episodes) and the National Championships (Texas Shootout).
MAVTV contracted with the Automobile Racing Club of America, the auto racing sanctioning body, to air at least 6 races in 2008, including both 100-mile dirt races at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, and the Southern Illinois State Fairgrounds in DuQuoin. SpeedFreaks hosts Kenny Sargent and Crash Gladys also appeared on episodes of the Lucas Motorsports hour.
MAVTV sponsored the MAVTV 500, the final race in the 2012 season of the IndyCar Series, which took place at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.
MAVTV is partnered with King of the Cage, broadcasting their live and past Martial Arts events, as well as Championship Wrestling From Hollywood.
MAVTV did their 1st live motorsports event, the Lucas Oil Challenge Cup featuring the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series on October 27, 2013 from Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park. They will also do live coverage of the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals, one of the biggest midget car races every year. The East Bay Winter Nationals from the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and all Moto1 rounds of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motorcross championship in 2014. They will also cover several King of the Cage MMA events live in 2014.
In 2014, MAVTV partnered with professional road racing series Pirelli World Challenge to air the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car Championship.
In 2017, MAVTV signed a multi year deal with ARCA Racing to bring almost all their races live or broadcast at later time/date. Outside the races broadcast from Fox Sports.
In 2018, Signed a deal to show highlights of Tony Stewart All Star Circuit of Champions Also MAVTV expanded it coverage of ARCA Racing with 11 of its 12 races broadcasting live
In 2019, MAVTV is showing all of its ARCA races its broadcast live for the first time
On April 27, 2010, MAVTV signed a deal with Sony Pictures giving them access to select titles from Sony's film library. The deal was part of MAVTV's programming strategy to expand its schedule and abandon their former all-male programming direction. The network added films from the Warner Bros. library in July 2012. These deals eventually expired though as mentioned above, and MAVTV eventually went to an all-motorsports schedule by the start of 2016.
Key people at MAVTV include:
MAVTV can be found in the US on Cablevision, Spectrum, GCI in Alaska, select cable systems within the Caribbean Co-op, Xfinity, RCN Corporation, AT&T U-verse and DirecTV.
As per an email sent to its subscribers, Verizon FiOS removed the channel from its TV service along with Youtoo TV, Blue Highways TV, and Black Belt TV as of December 31, 2012, making it available as an "On Demand" service. However, the channel returned to Verizon FiOS on June 10, 2014.
DirecTV added MAVTV on June 10, 2013. The channel is carried in standard definition and high definition.
MAVTV Canada was launched in January, 2017 in a partnership with the Neon Star Sports & Entertainment Inc, which produces Canadian content.
Dish Network previously carried MAVTV in high definition from May 8, 2009 to May 12, 2015. Dish dropped the channel as MAVTV and its parent company Lucas Oil failed to reach a new agreement to continue carrying the channel.
FuboTV was added in March 2018 with Sportsman Channel, Outdoor Channel, World Fishing Network, Outside TV and til late October motorsports.tv to the Adventure Plus Package.
A free version of MAVTV, branded "MAVTV Select," provides a selection of MAVTV's programming through advertising-supported over-the-top media services Pluto TV, Stirr, The Roku Channel and Plex, among others.
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