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05/23/08
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ESPN Providing Worldwide Distribution for Indianapolis 500  UPDATE #2 Another reader from the Netherlands writes, First of all I’d like to say that there is a way to watch the Indy 500, through Sport1, a digital Sport channel for which you have to pay about € 13 / $20 usd each month! Most people in the Netherlands don’t have digital TV and the people who do, most don’t pay so much money just for 1 TV channel, which barely broadcasts motorsports. By the way, from the current IndyCar Series season, they’ve only broadcasted the Homestead race (which started local time in The Netherlands at 2 am!) and they will broadcast the Indy 500.

For me this is another clear sign that this just isn't a merger. Champ Car had a pretty good TV package (well… compared to the current one), with Eurosport, that can be seen by the majority of the European citizens, without having to pay extra for it! The IndyCar Series just focuses itself on the American market and completely refuses to see that the series is already an international racing series. As matter of fact, only 7 of the 27 fulltime IndyCar drivers are American, so 20 drivers are foreign! For some reason the series just refuses to abandon the part of Tony George’s completely failed ‘All American Racing Series’ vision, probably the only part that’s still standing of George’s vision.  Patrick Fong

05/23/08 A reader from the Netherlands writes, Unfortunately this article is not totally true.  In The Netherlands it is NOT possible to watch the Indy 500 ... This for a country which last year organized a very successful Champ Car race ....Even worse, we (the viewers / fans of American Open Wheel racing in The Netherlands) cannot watch any Indy Car Series race at all ... There is no channel which shows the Indy Car Series (and I have Digital TV at home and therefore I can receive 127 channels!).  No wonder Robert Doornbos has joined Super League Formula as there is no way he can provide his sponsors with any coverage of the Indy Car Series in his home country. Peter Wahl

05/23/08 ESPN, the exclusive worldwide television representative of the IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500, will televise the Indianapolis 500 live to 177 countries and territories outside the United States. ESPN's international networks will televise the race throughout Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Pacific Rim. The green flag falls on the 33-car starting field of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing on Sunday, May 25, at 1 p.m. ET at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

ESPN is also responsible for the global syndication of the Indy 500 for live broadcast in Belgium, Bosnia/Serbia, Canada, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, and the U.K. In addition, ESPN will distribute the Indy 500 to the American Forces Network, which serves military personnel stationed in 176 countries and U.S. territories. In the United States, the Indy 500 will be telecast live to a nationwide audience on ABC. When combined with ESPN's international distribution efforts, the estimated worldwide total for the Indy 500 includes more than 212 countries and more than 375 million households worldwide.

ESPN will have two separate on-site teams broadcasting the race in Spanish and English to international audiences. Spanish-language announcers will be veteran broadcaster AndrAgulla and Alex Pombo; Gary Lee and Larry Rice will provide commentary in English. ESPN's coverage will peak at 12:30 p.m. ET Sunday, May 25, with a 20-minute special edition of its auto racing show RPM Semanal, telecast in Spanish in Latin America, and pre-race show Before They Go Green, telecast in English on ESPN networks in Africa, the Middle East, Israel,' the Caribbean and the PacRim/Australia.

In addition to the broad global television distribution of the race, this year's Indy 500 also has a particular international appeal. Of the 33 starting drivers, 19 are from countries other than the United States, including Australia, Brazil, England, Italy, New Zealand, Japan, South Africa, Spain, and Venezuela.

ESPNdeportes.com, the company's Spanish-language Web site, also will provide comprehensive coverage of the Indy 500 by offering live Real Time results of race action, daily columns from ESPN reporters and commentators, chats with ESPN personalities, a full pre- and post-race photo gallery, video clips and more. Update this section with the following information:'

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