Indianapolis 500 to Remain on ABC through 2012
The Indianapolis 500 will remain on ABC
through 2012 as part of a new, four-year rights agreement between the
Indy Racing League and ESPN. ABC will televise the race for the 45th consecutive year in 2009.
In addition, four other races in the
IndyCar Series will appear on ABC in each year of the agreement,
continuing coverage that has existed since the formation of the series
in 1996. The four events for 2009 will be determined in the near future.
“We are very pleased to extend our long
relationship with the Indianapolis 500 and the Indy Racing League,”
says John Skipper, executive vice president, content, for ESPN, which
produces all sports coverage for ABC. “The Indianapolis 500 is one of
the world’s marquee sporting events and one that sports fans look
forward to every year.”
ABC televised the 2007 Indianapolis 500
in high definition, a first for the historic event, and all IndyCar
Series race telecasts on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC were elevated to high
definition in 2008.
“2009 is the beginning of the Centennial
Era celebration of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis
500 Mile Race,” says Tony George, the founder and chief executive
officer of the Indy Racing League. “We are proud of our heritage,
history and tradition; and we are proud of our long standing
association with ABC Sports. The 93rd running of the Indianapolis 500
will mark the 45th consecutive year that ABC has broadcast the
‘Greatest Spectacle in Racing’ and they have been a great network
ESPN also has the rights to televise its
five races on ESPN’s international networks and highlights rights for
the five races across all ESPN digital platforms.