Champ Car TV deal in Europe

UPDATE #5 See Hot News page on Eurosport 2 announcement we talked about below. 12/09/04 See Hot News page for official announcement on the Eurosport deal. 12/07/04 has some good news for European Champ Car race fans. We hear the Eurosport deal was negotiated for Champ Car by Jacques Kremer, the former General Manager of Eurosport. Because of his relationship with them, the company will give Champ Car a fair shake this time. All races that can be live, will be live in each European country in their native language. A very large majority of the races will be live on Eurosport. The ones that can't be live for time zone reasons or because of a prior conflict, will be shown on Eurosport 2, which is like ESPN 2 in the USA. Eurosport 2 will also carry a 30 minute qualifying highlight show each Saturday of a race weekend as well as a 30-minute race highlight show during the week. In addition to that, deals are being made with terrestrial channels in Europe to show the race highlights. One example would be Sport Italia in Italy that reaches 15 million homes. In Spain, the big sports channel will include a 3 to 4 min. race report on Sunday nights during their regular sports report hour. These sort of deals are all in addition to Eurosport. We expect Champ Car to announce more details of this vastly superior (vs. 2004) European coverage in the coming weeks. Mark C. 12/06/04 Eurosport is the most widely available channel in Europe, reaching over 95 million homes and 250 million viewers in 54 countries. The station claims that over 96% of its viewers can watch their favorite sports in their native language, a key point for Champ Car, something it did not get this year with Moteurs TV. 12/04/04 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today with Eurosport announcing they will broadcast all Champ Car races in 2005. 11/27/04 A reader writes, Dear, We wait for the Champ Car TV deal for 2005. Especially we are interested in coverage in Europe. Do you have any news? Alexander Besserer, Germany Dear Alexander, We heard that Eurosport was an option. While Eurosport is by no means perfect (change around broadcast times, tape delay some stuff, etc.), it does provide coverage in all European countries (Eurosport UK and Eurosport). Certainly having individual TV deals in each European country would be preferable, especially if they are with terrestrial TV stations, however, Champ Car has failed miserably in the past when they tried to do that because a few countries get great coverage and all the rest get nothing. Until such time as Champ Car has enough staff or a consultant to negotiate a TV deal in each and every European country, we doubt they can do better than Eurosport. More racing fans get Eurosport in their homes in Europe than stations such as Moteurs TV, which although available via satellite, not as many people get it. Mark C.

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