IRL: 2008 IndyCar television package announced

INDYCAR SERIES EVENTS SET FOR ESPN, ESPN2 AND ABC IN 2008 INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007 -- ESPN will continue its longstanding relationship with the IndyCar® Series by providing television coverage during the 2008 season. The...

INDYCAR SERIES EVENTS SET FOR ESPN, ESPN2 AND ABC IN 2008

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007 -- 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 p.m. ET. The series concludes at Chicagoland Speedway Sunday, Sept. 7, at 3:30 p.m. 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.

"We look forward to another exciting season of IndyCar Series racing on our networks," said John Wildhack, ESPN executive vice president, programming and acquisitions. "The series showed ratings growth in 2007 and we feel that the personalities of the drivers and the close, competitive racing are resonating with our viewers."

The complete 2008 IndyCar Series schedule:

<pre> Date Venue Network Time March 29 Homestead-Miami Speedway ESPN2 8 p.m. April 6 Streets of St. Petersburg ESPN 2:30 p.m. April 19 Twin Ring Motegi, Japan ESPN Noon April 27 Kansas Speedway ESPN2 5 p.m. May 25 Indianapolis Motor Speedway ABC Noon June 1 The Milwaukee Mile ABC 4 p.m. June 7 Texas Motor Speedway ESPN2 10 p.m. June 22 Iowa Speedway ABC 3 p.m. June 28 Richmond International Raceway ESPN2 8 p.m. July 6 Watkins Glen International ABC 3:30 p.m. July 12 Nashville Superspeedway ESPN2 8 p.m. July 20 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course ABC 1:30 p.m. Aug. 9 Kentucky Speedway ESPN2 6:30 p.m. Aug. 24 Infineon Raceway ESPN2 5:30 p.m. Aug. 31 The Raceway at Belle Isle Park ABC 3:30 p.m. Sep. 7 Chicagoland Speedway ABC 3:30 p.m. (all times Eastern)

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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, one of the most diverse in all of motorsports, 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.

-credit: irl

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