ABC downgrades NASCAR races to ESPN ESPN will air 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup race telecasts in 2010, including nine of the 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. ABC will air three prime time Saturday night races. For the past three seasons, ESPN has aired six races, with 11 on ABC.
“Last year’s performance showed us that ESPN provides the best home for NASCAR,” said John Skipper, ESPN executive vice president, content.
“This is exciting news for NASCAR and our fans,” said NASCAR Media Group President Paul Brooks. “The ESPN subscriber base is larger than ever at nearly 100 million, and the network has the proven ability to attract younger viewers. As the premier network during the most competitive time of the year for sports, having more NASCAR races on ESPN will create more exposure.”
Skipper added, “ESPN further strengthens NASCAR’s consistent start times message for the fans, and with the strong support of NASCAR across our multimedia platforms, we hope to build on that momentum in 2010.”
With 12 nights of college football, three NASCAR Sprint Cup races and the Aug. 28 Little League World Series U.S. championship game, ESPN is producing 16 consecutive weeks of prime time Saturday night sports for ABC. “Saturday night racing on ABC benefits from the strong crossover between NASCAR and college football fans,” Skipper said.
ESPN’s 17-race coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series begins with the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 25 and concludes with the season-ending Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 21. The three Saturday night races on ABC will be at Bristol, Tenn. (Aug. 21); Richmond, Va. (Sept. 11); and Charlotte (Oct. 16), with the Charlotte race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
All NASCAR Sprint Cup race telecasts on the ESPN networks will continue to be preceded by NASCAR Countdown, which airs live from the ESPN Pit Studio at the track and sets up the race with interviews, news and analysis. And with NASCAR’s new 1 p.m. ET starting times for Sunday afternoon races in the Eastern and Central time zones, NASCAR Countdown will air on ESPN2 at noon prior to the 1 p.m. races that air during the NFL season. For other races, NASCAR Countdown will air on the same network as the race.
The entire NASCAR Nationwide Series season will continue to appear on ESPN networks, with most on ESPN2 and selected races on ESPN and ABC. ESPN’s daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now resumes Feb. 1 and will continue to appear on ESPN2.
2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Schedule on ESPN Networks (All Times Eastern)
DATE (Day) LOCATION NETWORK TIME July 25 (Sun.) Indianapolis Motor Speedway ESPN 1 p.m. Aug. 1 (Sun.) Pocono Raceway ESPN 1 p.m. Aug. 8 (Sun.) Watkins Glen International ESPN 1 p.m. Aug. 15 (Sun.) Michigan International Speedway ESPN 1 p.m. Aug. 21 (Sat.) Bristol Motor Speedway ABC 7:30 p.m. Sept. 5 (Sun.) Atlanta Motor Speedway ESPN 7:30 p.m. Sept. 11 (Sat.) Richmond International Raceway ABC 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19 (Sun.) New Hampshire Motor Speedway ESPN 1 p.m. Sept. 26 (Sun.) Dover International Speedway ESPN 1 p.m. Oct. 3 (Sun.) Kansas Speedway ESPN 1 p.m. Oct. 10 (Sun.) Auto Club Speedway ESPN 3 p.m. Oct. 16 (Sat.) Charlotte Motor Speedway ABC 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24 (Sun.) Martinsville Speedway ESPN 1 p.m. Oct. 31 (Sun.) Talladega Superspeedway ESPN 1 p.m. Nov. 7 (Sun.) Texas Motor Speedway ESPN 1 p.m. Nov. 14 (Sun.) Phoenix International Raceway ESPN 3 p.m. Nov. 21 (Sun.) Homestead-Miami Speedway ESPN 1 p.m.
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