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DATE News (chronologically)
01/10/08
irl
IndyCar Series Telecasts Elevated to High Definition
Fans of the IndyCar Series will be treated to a new look for event telecasts in 2008 as ESPN will televise all 16 events of the series in high definition for the first time. ESPN on ABC’s coverage of the 2007 Indianapolis 500 was the first IndyCar Series event ever to be televised in HD.

All cameras used in ESPN’s IndyCar Series coverage will be HD, including in-car cameras and those used in the pits and for other points of view. Included will be an HD onboard camera that can provide a rotating 360-degree view.

“The Indianapolis 500 and the IndyCar Series are very important to ESPN and our affiliates,” said Bryan Burns, ESPN vice president, strategic business planning and development. “Taking our coverage to the next level with high definition has been a priority for us and the series, and will enhance the breadth of our HD services. We’re happy that sports fans will be able to reap the rewards all season.”

The IndyCar Series will appear on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC in 2008, including seven events on both ESPN2 and ABC and two on ESPN. The networks also will cover Indianapolis 500 qualifying May 10-11 and 17-18, and high definition coverage is extending to ESPN2’s telecasts of the 16 Indy Pro Series races this season.

“We are extremely pleased to be working in conjunction with ESPN to showcase the speed and excitement of IndyCar Series racing in the clarity and wide-screen format of high definition television,” said Terry Angstadt, president of the commercial division of the Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body for the IndyCar Series and the Indy Pro Series. “The addition of the 360-degree, onboard camera for the first time in the United States continues the IndyCar Series’ role as a leader in innovation and technology while offering our teams added value for their sponsors.”

The new onboard camera is the first of its kind in domestic motorsports and is the next evolution of the previous onboard system used in the series. Broadcast Sports, Inc., which developed the system, worked with the league's technical team on wind tunnel simulation and aerodynamic research to ensure the new mount does not affect race car aerodynamics at speeds of more than 220 mph.

The IndyCar Series season begins Saturday, Mar. 29, at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a prime time telecast on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. ET. The series concludes at Chicagoland Speedway Sunday, Sept. 7, at 3:30 p.m. on ABC. The 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500 airs Sunday, May 25, at noon on ABC.

ABC will televise the Indianapolis 500 for the 44th year and ESPN will celebrate its 13th year of IndyCar Series coverage in 2008. The ESPN alliance dates back to the series’ inaugural 1996 event and with ABC’s’ first telecast of the Indianapolis 500 in 1965, a relationship that is the second-longest in sports between a network and sports property. Only CBS and the Masters have been together longer.

In 2008, ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD will deliver more than 1,000 live events in high definition including: NFL Monday Night Football, NASCAR, NBA, MLB, college football, the Masters, MLS, MLL, IndyCar Series, NHRA, Winter and Summer X Games and more. All of ESPN and ESPN2’s Bristol-based studio programming originates in high definition, including SportsCenter, NFL Countdown, NFL Monday Night Countdown, NFL Live, Monday Night Countdown, Baseball Tonight, Mike & Mike in the Morning, NASCAR Now and First Take. In addition to live sports programming, ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD produce individual programs, movies and series. ESPN will launch two new HD services this year, ESPNEWS on Mar. 30 and ESPNU on Aug. 28. 

Currently, ESPN HD reaches more than 15 million subscribers and is available to more than 93 million homes and ESPN2 HD reaches approximately 12 million subscribers and is available to more than 79 million homes.  ESPN PR

[Editor's Note: Once again Champ Car misses the boat as all their competition will now be on HD.  Can they all be wrong?  Of course not.]

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