DETROIT (July 1, 2000) - Championship Auto Racing Teams announced today that
it has partnered with sports and entertainment powerhouse SFX Sports Group
to assist North America's leading open-wheel auto racing sanctioning
organization in its television negotiations for its FedEx Championship
CART Vice President of Broadcasting Keith Allo made the announcement on the
eve of CART's negotiating period with current Champ Car rights holder ESPN.
CART's present agreement with ESPN concludes after the 2001 racing season.
The contract calls for an exclusive 120-day negotiating period with the
world's leading sports network beginning July 1.
Each of CART's 20 races this season is shown in the United States on either
ESPN or ABC. ESPN International, with a few exceptions, holds the TV rights
to CART's worldwide distribution and has created a broadcast network that
reaches 208 countries. Each worldwide telecast of the FedEx Championship
Series reaches more than 60 million viewers in more than 20 languages.
"We are very pleased to partner with SFX Sports Group to grow the CART
television package and presence," said Allo. "SFX brings a great deal of
expertise to the table and we believe they will play an integral role in
building our television package, both domestically and worldwide."
SFX Sports Group has negotiated television contracts on behalf of a number
of sports entities, including NHRA on ESPN; Supercross Motorcyle events on
ESPN, ABC and Pay-Per-View; Breeder's Cup on NBC; ATP Tour events on Fox
Sports Net; USSA (US Ski Team) events on NBC and CBS; and NTRA Champions
Series on FOX. In addition to providing comprehensive sports television
production and programming services, SFX Sports Group is one of the world's
top sports marketing and management agencies providing corporations,
athletes, teams, leagues, universities, events and properties unrivaled
access to each other.
"CART and Champ Car racing are an exciting property, one we believe commands
its rightful position in the sports hierarchy worldwide," said Michael
Trager, SFX Sports Group President of Television & Entertainment. "It is
important for the ongoing growth of CART that we develop a television
partnership that continues to raise the presence and awareness for open-wheel racing. We are pleased to be working with CART and helping to
broaden its audience base."
The SFX Sports Group is a division of SFX, the world's largest diversified
promoter, producer and venue operator for live entertainment events. The
Sports Group includes many of the world's leading sports marketing and
management agencies, specializing in the representation of athletes,
integrated event management, television programming and production, and
marketing services in the sports, news and entertainment industries.
SFX recently announced that it had entered into a definitive merger agreement with Clear Channel Communications, Inc. (NYSE: CCU), a transaction
that is expected to close by the third quarter of this year, subject to the
vote of shareholders, and customary regulatory approvals and closing
conditions. Clear Channel is a global leader in the out-of-home advertising
industry with radio and television stations and outdoor displays in 36
countries around the world.
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