2014 IndyCar TV schedule underscores focus on Indy 500

Many in the IndyCar paddock are beginning to agree that the IndyCar brass only care about the Indy 500 so the rest of the series remains small and never again threatens the Indy 500. The 2014 TV schedule underscores that theory with Indy getting the majority of the ABC air time with just about all the other races stuck on NBCSN and its meager ratings.

The IndyCar Series is shifting all of its race programming (see related article) in the month of May, when it holds the Indianapolis 500, to ABC in '14. The series worked out a deal to shift qualifying from NBC Sports to ABC/ESPN this year. ABC will show the series’ new road course race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 10, qualifying on May 17 and May 18 and the Indy 500 on May 25. NBCSN will televise Carb Day, which is the final practice before the Indy 500.

Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles, whose company controls IndyCar, wanted to shift the programming in hopes that it would boost promotion and drive viewership by creating a single destination for broadcasts in the month of May. ABC also will air the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 30, and the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix doubleheader on May 31 and June 1. NBCSN will televise two early-season races and cover 11 races between June 7 through the season finale on Aug. 30.

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