INDYCAR TO BE AIRED ON ABC THROUGH 2018
INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard's goal of a long-term, solid TV network foundation was realized today with the announcement that ABC will be the exclusive broadcast network partner for the IZOD IndyCar Series from 2013-18.
Through the new agreement, ABC will televise five races each year, including the Indianapolis 500.
ABC has televised IZOD IndyCar Series races every year since the formation of the series in 1996 and has aired five races each season under the current agreement, which began in 2009 and runs through 2012.
Beginning next year, ABC’s coverage of the Indianapolis 500 and the IZOD IndyCar Series will be expanded to include live streaming of ABC’s onboard cameras on ESPN3.com, ESPN’s signature broadband sports network. The streaming video also will be available to ESPN3 subscribers via www.indycar.com.
The worldwide presence of the Indianapolis 500 and the series on television will continue as ESPN also has international syndication rights for all IZOD IndyCar Series races. ESPN also has highlight rights for the ABC races across all ESPN platforms.
“INDYCAR is very excited about our continued relationship with ABC,” Bernard said. “This allows the series long-term growth on the network. This new contract also helps us expand our presence around the world with ESPN representing our international rights. I want to thank ABC for their strong confidence and commitment in our brand and series.
"This deal will help our series, team owners, sponsors and fans for the long term with a much more solid foundation.”
Through a long-term deal, VERSUS, which will be rebranded NBC Sports Channel on Jan. 2, 2012, broadcasts the other IZOD IndyCar Series races and airs ancillary programming. For 2011, ABC is televising five races, including the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Aug. 14 (3:30 p.m. ET) and the IZOD INDYCAR World Championship on Oct. 16 from Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
ESPN on ABC will broadcast the 500 Mile Race for the 48th consecutive year on May 27, 2012, and, with the new agreement taking effect in 2013, also will televise the 100th running of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in 2016.
“The Indianapolis 500 and ABC have been together since 1965, and we are very proud to extend the relationship with this new agreement,” said George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN and ABC Sports. “The '500' is a uniquely American event and a Memorial Day tradition, and we especially look forward to televising the 100th edition of the race in 2016.”
The Indianapolis 500 aired as part of ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” from 1965 until 1971, when it was broadcast for the first time as a same-day, stand-alone, tape-delayed telecast in prime time. It was shown on a delayed basis until the first live telecast in 1986. This past May, ESPN’s production of the Indianapolis 500 telecast used 64 high definition cameras, a satellite-activated effects system and more of the most modern television technology available.
“We value our partnership with ABC and ESPN and are pleased that the relationship will continue into the future,” said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and CEO. “Along with a vast understanding of the Indianapolis 500 and the sport of IndyCar racing, ABC’s production team continues to seek out innovative ways to televise our sport. As broadcast technology advances and opportunities arise to implement new technology, we can count on ABC and ESPN to bring the best quality production to our viewers.”