ABC Sports to broadcast USGP live

INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, Sept. 10, 2001 - The SAP United States Grand Prix Formula One race will be broadcast live on the ABC Sports television network from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 30, Speedway officials announced...

INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, Sept. 10, 2001 - The SAP United States Grand Prix Formula One race will be broadcast live on the ABC Sports television network from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 30, Speedway officials announced today. ABC will carry the SAP United States Grand Prix live at 2 p.m. (EDT) Sunday, Sept. 30. The broadcast talent will be Bob Jenkins, host; Eddie Cheever Jr., color analyst; and Jason Priestley, pit reporter. Jenkins and Priestley are part of the ABC/ESPN broadcast team for Indy Racing Northern Light Series events, and Cheever, the winner of the 1998 Indianapolis 500, is one of the top drivers in Indy Racing. He competed in the Formula One World Championship from 1978-1989 and started 132 races, the most of any American driver in history.

"This is very good news for the growth and development of interest in Formula One racing in the United States," said Tony George, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "The ABC broadcast makes the SAP United States Grand Prix available to virtually every home in the United States, which is needed to increase the interest and popularity of the world's premier road-racing series."

ABC Sports has been the leading broadcast partner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for 36 years. The network first aired the Indianapolis 500 in 1965 and has broadcast it live since 1986. The Brickyard 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race was aired live on ABC Sports from its inaugural running in 1994 through 2000. In addition, ABC Sports and cable network ESPN are the exclusive broadcasters of Indy Racing Northern Light Series events through 2007.

"Formula One is the ultimate in open-wheel, road-circuit racing in the world, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the greatest racing venue in the world," said Howard Katz, president of ABC Sports. "Bringing the two together has resulted in a very special world-class event, and ABC Sports is thrilled to be televising the race, excited about our association with Formula One and proud to further extend our long-standing partnership with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway."

Officials of SAP, the title sponsor of the U.S. Grand Prix, were equally pleased with the announcement.

"We are thrilled at the news that ABC will carry the SAP United States Grand Prix live in our key U.S. market," said Marty Homlish, SAP executive vice president and chief marketing officer. "Now, millions of Americans can join the hundreds of millions of Formula One racing fans in watching this exciting and unique SAP-sponsored event. The combination of ABC's heritage in motor racing coverage and the legacy of racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are sure to make this one of the most important sporting events on television this year."

George expressed his thanks to Speedvision, which was originally scheduled to carry the race live, and which will rebroadcast it twice, at 8 p.m. (EDT) and midnight Sunday, Oct. 7. "Without Speedvision's cooperation, we could not have accomplished this," George said. "Speedvision does an excellent job carrying the Formula One season broadcasts in the United States, and they have been helpful in making sure this event reaches the maximum number of possible viewers."

The SAP United States Grand Prix is the largest-attended Formula One race in the world. This will be the second year for the event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, also the site of the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400.

Practice will air live on Speedvision from noon-4 p.m. (EDT) Sept. 28 and 9 a.m.-noon Sept. 29, and qualifications will be broadcast live from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Sept. 29.

-IMS-

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Series AUTOMOTIVE , F1
Tags TV