INDIANAPOLIS 500 MILE RACE TO BE BROADCAST INSIDE THE SPEEDWAY
INDIANAPOLIS, April 29, 1998-Fans attending the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Sunday, May 24, will have the opportunity to watch live televised action of the race via a low power television signal that can be received in the stands. Tony George, president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, announced today that the Speedway has received approval from the Federal Communications Commission, for the broadcast of the low power signal that can be received by small hand-held television sets.
"We hope this will help our fans to enjoy the race," George said. "We continue to look for ways to improve our fans' experience at the Indianapolis 500, and we believe this will be an important one." George noted that the Speedway is continuing to investigate installation of large television screens at the 2.5 mile oval, but that will not be accomplished for this year's race."
The low power television broadcast of the race will only be able to be received within the stands of the Speedway. The race, which will be telecast nationally for the 33rd time by ABC Television, is tape delayed in the Indianapolis television market. It will be carried on WRTV, Channel 6, at 7 p.m. the evening of the race.
The FCC approval for the race broadcast may be unprecedented, according to John Newcomb, vice president of sales and marketing for IMS. "Channel 6, ABC-TV and the Speedway all signed off, and we appreciate the cooperation we have received from all parties, including the FCC," said Newcomb. "As far as we know, this is the first time anything like this has been done."
Chris Schmidt, vice president and general manager of Channel 6, said he was pleased with the agreement. "Back in 1949 we signed on the air with the 33rd running of the Indianapolis 500. Now as we approach our station's 50th anniversary, we are pleased to join the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the ABC Television Network to bring this live telecast of the race to fans inside the Speedway.
Channel 6 officials believe the broadcast within the Speedway will enhance viewing of the tape-delayed broadcast later that evening.
A decision has not yet been made on which signal will be used for the low power broadcast, according to Newcomb. It will be either the ABC signal or the signal intended for international use. The telecast will be race day only, and will not include qualification or practice days.