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DATE News (chronologically)
02/07/11
irl
IndyCar broadcasts in Europe to move to ESPN?  UPDATE This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today, at least for the UK. 

Sky Sports has confirmed a new two-year deal for exclusive live high definition coverage of the Izod IndyCar Series.

Sky Sports will endeavor to screen live high definition coverage of all 17 events from the centennial year of the IndyCar Series - including the Indy 500 from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May.

The season begins with the streets of St Petersburg on March 27 and will also include races from Japan, Brazil and Canada.

The show will be presented by Keith Huewen, with Johnny Mowlem the regular studio analyst. Speaking about the new season, Keith said: "It's really exciting to have IndyCar back on our screens, especially in HD.

"There is a lot of fantastic British talent in the sport at the moment, including current reigning champion Dario Franchitti. We've seen Dario's career come to life on Sky Sports, and over the next two years we will see the conclusion.

"This year will be huge for IndyCar and to have the next two Indy500 confirmed on Sky Sports really excites me - it's where the world's biggest motorsport event belongs."

Sky Sports will also screen a regular highlights show featuring the Nascar Sprint Cup Series.

2011 Izod Indy Car Series

DATE RACE
March 27 Streets of St Petersburg
April 10 Barber Motorsports Park
April 17 Streets of Long Beach
May 1 Streets of Sao Paulo - Brazil
May 29 Indianapolis Motor Speedway
June 11 Texas Motor Speedway
June 18 The Milwaukee Mile
June 25 Iowa Speedway
July 10 Streets of Toronto - Canada
July 24 Edmonton City Centre Airport - Canada
August 7 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
August 14 New Hampshire Motor Speedway
August 28 Infineon Raceway
September 4 Streets of Baltimore
September 19 Twin Ring Motegi - Japan
October 2 Kentucky Speedway
October 16 Season Finale - TBA

01/26/11 One issue for the IZOD IndyCar Series that has had little press is the lack of an apparent TV deal for the UK in 2011. IndyCar’s contract with Sky Sports was up at the end of last year and a replacement deal has yet to be announced.

While it is understandable that INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard and his team may be concentrating on programs in the Americas, the series should not ignore another ready made audience on  the other side of the pond – especially when one considers the number of European and Foreign drivers racing in IndyCar. 

ESPN International does the international TV distribution of IndyCar races so it remains to be seen what they do with Europe given they are in Europe. zzzz

In 2002, ESPN launched its first branded television channel in Europe, ESPN Classic. ESPN Classic is currently available in 23 million households in over 43 countries across Europe and can be seen in English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Turkish and Dutch. ESPN Classic became ESPN’s first dedicated sports channel in the United Kingdom when it launched in 2006. ESPN Classic launched a Middle East and Africa feed in May 2008, reaching a further 2 million subscribers.

In February 2007, ESPN acquired NASN, the only European network dedicated to North American sports. The name of the network was re-branded to ESPN America in February 2009. The network airs over 800 live and as-live sports events each year, including those from the National Hockey League, the National Football League, Major League Baseball and NCAA. ESPN America is available in 14 million households, in over 43 European countries. ESPN America launched a Middle East feed in June 2008, reaching a further 500,000 subscribers in 19 countries across the Gulf.

ESPN operates a robust syndication business, offering a variety of programming including NASCAR, IndyCar, X Games, ESPN’s Big Fights Library (featuring classic heavyweight bouts), and ESPN original programming. ESPN supplies programming to leading European outlets such as the BBC, BSkyB, TVE, and Canal Plus 

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