DETROIT (November 30, 2001) - Speedvision, set to broadcast an all-time high number of programming hours in CART FedEx Championship Series history beginning with the new relationship as a television partner in 2002, reiterated Friday its commitment to the most competitive open-wheel racing series in the world.
The announcement earlier this week regarding the newly formed NASCAR Channel on Speedvision will not have an adverse effect on CART's scheduled programming. All first-run CART programming will receive priority time periods, according to Speedvision officials. Plans for broadcasting CART's weekly magazine show, "Countdown to CART," as well as Friday practice (qualifying for Saturday events) during the week in favorable time slots remain as scheduled. "Countdown to CART," is set to air each Friday at 7 p.m. ET in 2002.
Live CART FedEx Championship Series action will dominate the weekend with Saturday qualifying, pre-race shows and extended coverage for approximately 12 of the series' 19 scheduled events.
"We got involved with CART just like NASCAR because they are properties critical to motorsports fans and should be treated as such," Speedvision President Jim Liberatore said. "We view CART as one of the premier racing products in the country and in turn they became involved with us because we will treat them with the respect the series deserves. We will provide extensive coverage of CART for their fans - more than ever seen before - and the series will enjoy favorable time slots. We've made an investment in each other and will work together to allow both entities to grow in the future."
On each of the CART FedEx Championship Series race weekends, Speedvision will provide an hour of live practice coverage on the first day of the race weekend - typically Friday - with two hours of live coverage then devoted to qualifying Saturday.
Sunday race-day coverage will kick off with a live half-hour Speedvision pre-race program prior to either 2½- or 3½-hour broadcasts - depending on race length - of live racing coverage on either CBS, CART's other esteemed broadcast partner beginning in 2002, or Speedvision. CBS Sports is planning to air seven events next season that will fall primarily during the June and July portion of the season.
Also, Fox Cable Networks and Speedvision will produce 24 half-hour "Countdown to CART," programs, which will focus on the behind-the-scenes activity in the CART FedEx Championship Series. Speedvision also plans to telecast special programming from the annual CART FedEx Championship Series Awards Banquet in November of 2002 and the annual CART FedEx Championship Series Sneak Preview and All-Star Night early next year.
In February, Speedvision will be re-launched as Speed Channel and will include an updated graphics look as well as new programming, including the CART FedEx Championship Series.
Details are being finalized on the complete television programming schedule for the 2002 FedEx Championship Series season and will be announced at a later date.
Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the FedEx Championship Series. Reigning two-time champion Gil de Ferran and former series champions Michael Andretti (1991) and Jimmy Vasser (1996) are among the stars who battle for the FedEx Championship Series title on ovals, temporary street circuits and permanent road courses. CART also owns and operates its top development series, the Toyota Atlantic Championship. Learn more about CART's open-wheel racing series at www.cart.com.