American Le Mans Series 2008 Television Plans to Include ESPN on ABC, NBC Sports and SPEED MONTEREY, CA (October 19, 2007) - In announcing its 2008 event television plan today, the American Le Mans Series introduced a key new ...
American Le Mans Series 2008 Television Plans to Include ESPN on ABC, NBC Sports and SPEED
MONTEREY, CA (October 19, 2007) - In announcing its 2008 event television plan today, the American Le Mans Series introduced a key new network partner, welcomed back a long-standing network broadcast friend and reaffirmed its 10-year relationship with SPEED through its recently announced new three-year agreement with the motorsports network.
For the first time in Series history, ESPN on ABC will join the mix of network broadcasters featuring the world's most competitive sports cars, and will feature "three-in-a-row" second quarter event coverage from great venues in St. Petersburg, Long Beach and Houston. It is the first time in American Le Mans Series history that it will be so heavily exposed early in its season during the important second quarter sports viewing season.
"We could not have a better start to our season than these four races," said Scott Atherton, CEO/President of the American Le Mans Series, "and to add a new television partner like ABC with its ESPN brand certainly validates the prestige and growth of our series."
"We look forward to the opportunity to televise the American Le Mans Series and help it continue to grow," said Tag Garson, ABC senior director of programming and acquisitions. "We're very pleased to be associated with this great American road racing series."
Then, in July, the Series returns to the airwaves of NBC Sports - the network of the Beijing Olympics next August - for the first time since 2004 from Mid-Ohio and the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (October) in the chase to its four-class championships.
"We at NBC believe that the American Le Mans Series is one of the most exciting and fastest growing sports entities across the board," said Jon Miller, NBC's executive vice president of sports programming. "Our telecast from Mid-Ohio allows us to showcase one of America's classic sports car courses just as the American Le Mans Series is gathering momentum going into the second half of its season."
"The American Le Mans Series has become one of the marquee race series in America," said Gill Campbell, CEO/general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. "It is certainly fitting that a premier network such as NBC recognizes the special event here in Monterey as we conclude the American Le Mans Series season."
SPEED, now reaching more than 74 million cable households in the United States and more than five (5) million in Canada, opens the season with its traditional endurance coverage of the 56th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 15. The 2008 Series television slate also balances the exposure for SPEED's seven airings with Salt Lake City (May 18) and Lime Rock (July 12) before NBC Sports airs the Acura Sports Car Challenge of Mid-Ohio on July 20. Then, SPEED picks up the chase for the Series' championship with consecutive events from Road America, Mosport, Detroit's Belle Isle and Road Atlanta (Petit Le Mans) before NBC Sports caps the telecast season from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, CA.
Earlier this month at the annual State of the Series address, Atherton announced a new three-year agreement with SPEED which will telecast up to seven American Le Mans Series events per season through 2010.
Internationally, the Series will continue to air "live" on MotorsTV in Europe to its 31 countries and 45 million viewers in four languages as part of an on-going multi-year agreement. "Live" platforms in Mexico and Latin America with Fox Latin America channels and Russia with terrestrial 7TV are expected to continue with various upgrades. The American Le Mans Series also has a partnership with Greenlight Television that delivers race highlights and three weekly anthology programs - Motorsports Mundial, Planet Speed and Max Power - to nearly 500 million television viewers worldwide.