ESPN to air more than 150 hours of original NHRA programming as multi-year TV partnership continues.
GLENDORA, Calif. (Jan. 16, 2003) - NHRA and ESPN, Inc., will continue their partnership in presenting the fast-paced excitement of the world's most sensory-filled motorsports experience to millions of viewers in 2003.
ESPN and its family of networks will dedicate more than 150 hours of original programming to showcase a variety of drag racing action from all three of NHRA's major national touring series in 2003, anchored by 110 hours of coverage dedicated to the sport's marquee 23-event nationwide circuit, the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
It is the third year of an exclusive five-year agreement between ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports, and the NHRA, the world's largest motorsports sanctioning organization.
"The relationship between ESPN and NHRA has never been stronger," said Tom Compton, NHRA president. "Our television package with ESPN has had an immeasurable impact on our racing community.
"We're especially excited that ESPN has outlined a plan to provide more than 150 hours of original NHRA programming in 2003, solidified by a major commitment to the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, as well as significant exposure planned for the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and the increasingly popular NHRA Summit Sport Compact Series."
The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series telecasts will be highlighted by 11 hours of coverage dedicated to the prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Aug. 27-Sept. 1. Each POWERade Series event will include four hours of coverage or more, including five-and-one-half hours of coverage for the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals and five hours of coverage for events in Columbus, Ohio; Denver; Sonoma, Calif.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Dallas.
All NHRA POWERade Series races will be telecast on a live or same-day basis, mostly on ESPN2. Nine of the 23 races will feature some coverage on ESPN.
Veteran motorsports announcer Marty Reid will continue to anchor the NHRA POWERade Series telecasts and will be joined in the booth by second-year race analyst Mike Dunn. Bill Stephens, Dave Rieff and Parker Johnstone will continue to report all of the action from the pits. The telecasts will be produced by Shawn Murphy.
NHRA POWERade Series coverage will be supplemented by 41 half-hour episodes of NHRA 2Day, NHRA's weekly news magazine show that airs each Sunday morning (11 a.m. ET) on ESPN2. NHRA 2Day will kick-off its 2003 season on Feb. 9 and continue a weekly schedule until the final episode of the season on Nov. 16.
ESPN also will feature 16 one-hour shows with coverage from select NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series national events as well as present a half-hour show from each of the 10 NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series events in 2003. Both of those series' coverage will be featured on a week-delay basis.
ESPN, Inc., The Worldwide Leader in Sports, is a multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring the broadest portfolio of multimedia assets in sports marketing with over 40 business entities. The company is comprised of seven domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes (launching 2003), ESPN Now, ESPN Today), ESPN HD (high definition service launching April 2003), ESPN International (25 international networks and syndication), ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Regional Television, SportsTicker and ESPN Enterprises, overseeing brand extensions such as ESPN Zone, an interactive sports-themed dining and entertainment experience. Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc, which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., the NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. It presents 23 national events through its NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. The NHRA has more than 80,000 members nationwide and 140 member tracks. The NHRA-sanctioned sportsman and bracket racing series' provide competition opportunities for drivers of all levels. The NHRA develops the stars of tomorrow by offering the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series, NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Street Legal Program. The NHRA also offers the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League for youths ages 8 to 17.