FOX TELEVISING NINE OF 11 PEP BOYS INDY RACING LEAGUE EVENTS IN 1999
INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 23, 1998 -- FOX Sports and FOX Sports Net will telecast nine of the 11 Pep Boys Indy Racing League events in 1999, Indy Racing League officials announced today.
"We are very pleased to have FOX joining us as a new broadcasting partner," said Tony George, founder of the Indy Racing League. "FOX brings a new energy to the Indy Racing League television mix and a commitment to innovation that has been demonstrated in how they have broadcast other major league sports.
"FOX's enthusiasm for Indy racing, the younger demographic of their viewing audience and their commitment to partner with us in bringing the excitement of the Indy racing experience into American living rooms is very appealing."
"It's clear that the exciting sport of auto racing in its many forms has been growing in popularity over recent years," said Ed Goren, Executive Producer, FOX Sports. "FOX's commitment to carry world-class Indy Racing League action provides us an important entry into the sport, while helping us to diversify our schedule even more."
This will be FOX Sports' entrance into telecasting American motorsports events as the network adds to its sports portfolio, which already includes the National Football League, the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball.
"FOX Sports is fast-developing a national reputation as a provider of major auto racing coverage coast to coast," said Arthur Smith, Executive Vice President for Programming and Production at FOX Sports Net, already the exclusive carrier for Formula One Racing in the U.S. "The Indy Racing League series adds another powerful and attractive element to our racing schedule, and we're thrilled to bring this caliber of competition to our viewers."
Up to three Indy Racing League events have the potential to be carried by FOX Sports. The Sunday, Aug. 1 race in Dover, Del., is set, while races in Las Vegas on Sunday, Sept. 26 and Fort Worth, Texas, on Sunday, Oct. 17 are subject to the over-the-air network's still undetermined 1999 NFL on FOX regular season broadcast schedule. Any of the aforementioned races not broadcast by FOX Sports will be carried by FOX Sports Net in addition to its six exclusive races, which will have multiple runs. FOX Sports Net is an alliance of 22 regional sports cable networks that provides nationwide coverage.
Qualifications for all Indy Racing League events except for the Indianapolis 500 will be broadcast live on SpeedVision. "We had narrowed the competition to two very competitive plans," said George. "The final decision was based on what we believe to be the best future course for the league."
FOX joins ABC, which will telecast the 83rd Indianapolis 500 and the TransWorld Diversified Services Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Speedway, in bringing coverage of the entire Indy Racing League schedule to fans. ESPN will telecast a variety of programs associated with the Indianapolis 500.
1999 PEP BOYS INDY RACING LEAGUE TELEVISION SCHEDULE Date Event site Network(s) Jan. 24 Orlando, Fla. ABC March 28 Phoenix FOX Sports Net May 1 Charlotte, N.C. FOX Sports Net/SpeedVision May 30 Indianapolis ABC June 12 Fort Worth, Texas FOX Sports Net June 27 Colorado Springs, Colo. FOX Sports Net July 17 Atlanta FOX Sports Net Aug. 1 Dover, Del. FOX Sports Aug. 29 Colorado Springs, Colo. FOX Sports Net Sept. 26 Las Vegas FOX Sports or FOX Sports Net Oct. 17 Fort Worth, Texas FOX Sports or FOX Sports Net