ESPN will continue its longstanding relationship with the IndyCar Series by providing television coverage during the 2008 season.
The entire 16-race IndyCar Series season, including the 92nd Indianapolis 500, will appear on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC. The 2008 schedule, ESPN’s 13th as the IndyCar Series television partner, includes seven events each on ESPN2 and ABC and two on ESPN.
The networks also will cover Indianapolis 500 qualifying May 10-11 and 17-18.
“ABC and ESPN have played a significant role in the advancement of the IndyCar Series,” said Terry Angstadt, president of the commercial division of the Indy Racing League, sanctioning body of the IndyCar Series. “With innovations, such as side-by-side and Sportvision, our broadcasts offer viewers a unique motorsports experience.”
The IndyCar Series season begins Saturday, March 29, at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a prime time telecast on ESPN2 at 8 pm EST. The series concludes at Chicagoland Speedway Sunday, Sept. 7, at 3:30 pm on ABC. The 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500 airs Sunday, May 25, at noon on ABC, which will televise the Indianapolis 500 for the 44th year.
The ESPN alliance dates back to the series’ inaugural 1996 event and with ABC’s first telecast of the Indianapolis 500 in 1965, a relationship that is the second-longest in sports between a network and sports property. Only CBS and The Masters have been together longer.
ESPN EVP of Programming and Acquisitions John Wildhack said that the ratings growth the series had in 2007 proves the televised races and driver personalities are resonating with ESPN viewers.
The 2008 IndyCar Series season begins under the lights with the SpeedJam Indy 300 on March 29 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 16-race schedule features races on 11 ovals, three permanent road courses and two temporary street circuits, all broadcast worldwide through a comprehensive, long-term agreement with ABC Sports/ESPN. The 2008 Indy Pro Series season also begins on March 29 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 16-race schedule, which features eight ovals and four road/street course doubleheader weekends, will be televised by ESPN2.