Champ Car Canadian TV deal close

UPDATE See Hot News page for F1 TV news article making that part of this rumor 'fact.' 02/27/05 For Champ Car fans out there, this is the scoop: TSN is in the midst of finalizing its Champ Car World Series schedule. Although all the U.S. and Mexican Champ Car races will be available on CBS or the Speed Channel, a contract for a Canadian simulcast on TSN is still in the works.

Global, of course, will televise live the three Canadian Champ Car rounds: the 20th anniversary Molson Indy Toronto (July 10), the Molson Indy Montreal (Aug. 28 ) and the brand new Edmonton event (July 17).

Champ Car is also coming to Canadian radio. Aflalo Communications, Inc., of Montreal has purchased the national rights for the Toronto and Montreal Molson Indys and will produce live and taped coverage for broadcast on stations throughout Canada.

NASCAR: TSN will televise 18 more NASCAR Nextel Cup races this season — 15 of them in high definition, for those of you who have a digital signal — starting with tomorrow's Auto Club 500 from California Speedway. Fox and NBC announcing teams (Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds, Benny Parsons, et al.) will be in the broadcast booth.

F1: Andrea Goldstein, TSN's communications manager, said this week that TSN will carry all 19 races on the Formula One schedule this season. TSN even plans to cover Saturday qualifying, with anchor Vic Rauter calling the play-by-play and Canadian F1 expert Gerald Donaldson providing color commentary from the site.

Sundays, Rauter will anchor a pre-race show that will include highlights from the second qualifying session. Then, for the races, TSN will feature on-site ITV commentators James Allen and Martin Brundle, with the inimitable Louise Goodman ("Hard luck Kimi, Juan Pablo, David …,'' etc.) in the pits.

The first Grand Prix of 2005 will be the Australian round next weekend (March 6 Down Under, Saturday, March 5, here because of the time difference) and the last will be held in Shanghai, Oct. 16.

Speed Channel, incidentally, will be covering all 19 F1 races as well. But there's one major difference: Speed's Bob Varsha, Steve Matchett and David Hobbs will do their announcing from a studio in the U.S. while watching TV like you and I do.

Canadian F1 fans are unique in the world, by the way, in that we have a choice of networks. If we're watching one and there's a commercial, we can switch to the other. What a deal!

IRL: TSN will televise a dozen Indy Racing League events this season, starting with the Homestead-Miami Speedway 300-mile race on March 6 and going through to the season-ender at California Speedway on Oct. 16, a 400-mile event. The highlight of the IRL season, of course, will be the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29.

TSN will use the ABC/ESPN feed featuring Todd Harris as anchor, with retired drivers Gil de Ferran and Canadian Scott Goodyear providing the color and analysis. Former anchor Paul Page's contract was not renewed and I'm sorry about that. Much like Murray Walker was Mr. Formula One on the air. Toronto Star

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