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
||Streets of St Petersburg|
||Barber Motorsports Park|
||Streets of Long Beach|
||Streets of Sao Paulo - Brazil|
||Indianapolis Motor Speedway|
||Texas Motor Speedway|
||The Milwaukee Mile|
||Streets of Toronto - Canada|
||Edmonton City Centre Airport - Canada|
||Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course|
||New Hampshire Motor Speedway|
||Streets of Baltimore|
||Twin Ring Motegi - Japan|
||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