New age of ALMS broadcast distribution begins Friday

The 59th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida will be a momentous weekend for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n on several fronts. Not only will ALMS welcome a capacity grid for its 2011 season opener and opening round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, but the Series will debut its ground-breaking TV and digital package with ABC and ESPN.

The new package makes its debut this Friday, March 18, at 2:55 p.m. (ET), with qualifying for the 12 Hours of Sebring broadcast live on Live, flag-to-flag coverage of the race begins at 10:15 a.m. (ET) on Saturday, March 19, and includes 15-minute pre- and post-race shows. ABC’s coverage of America’s great sports car race will air Sunday, March 20, from 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. (ET). ESPN2 will air an encore presentation March 22.

Announced in January, the ALMS’ new partnership with the worldwide leader in sports broadcasting features more than 62 hours of programming in 2011. All nine races, plus qualifying sessions, will be broadcast live and in their entirety on Four of those races (Sebring, Road America, Baltimore and Petit Le Mans) will then air on ABC and five (Long Beach, Lime Rock Park, Mosport, Mid-Ohio and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca) will air on ESPN2. All ABC race programs will receive encore presentations on ESPN2 as well.

In addition to the 65 million-plus homes with access to, the 99.5 million with ESPN2 and the 114.5 million with ABC in the U.S., the Series’ new TV package has an expansive international component to match its worldwide appeal. International fans will also be able to access the live Web content via a number of ESPN digital players, including ESPN360 (Brazil, Australia, New Zealand), ESPN Play (Latin America) and ESPN Star Sports (Far East/Asia).

Those currently unable to access the myriad of ESPN players, including ALMS’ loyal Canadian fans and those in Europe, will be able to view live Web broadcasts on ESPN Player will be available in Europe later this year. A Canadian licensing agreement is expected to be finalized soon as well. Fans elsewhere outside the U.S. will also be able to view Sebring qualifying and the live stream via will be the exclusive provider of the telecasts in the U.S. can be accessed via a pop-off player on as well here in the States.

Because the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida is also one of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s seven Intercontinental Le Mans Cup events, international distribution for Sebring has been structured by the ACO. The American Le Mans Series will announce its international distribution for all its non-ILMC races prior to its next race at Long Beach.

Producing the 62-plus hours of programming will be an intricate dance done entirely in-house by the ALMS Production Services team. At each race, the team will create a live, fully-produced Web broadcast complete with a talent team, graphics, standings and information crawler, while simultaneously creating the traditional ABC or ESPN2 TV programs. Additionally, the production staff and partner Greenlight-TV will create a 52-minute race highlight package for several of the international affiliates.

The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n began race week with testing on Monday at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla. Friday’s qualifying for the 59th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh From Florida will be broadcast live on at 2:55 p.m. (ET). America’s great sports car race will make its debut live and in its entirety on March 19 at 10:15 a.m. (ET) and be shown on ABC from 12:30 – 2 p.m. (ET). Visit the American Le Mans Series' schedule page for information on tickets and area accommodations.

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