American Le Mans Series Renews Television Relationships with Speed Channel, CBS Sports in Multi-Year Agreements BRASELTON, Ga. - The American Le Mans Series, SPEED Channel and CBS Sports have announced renewed multi-year agreements that will see...
American Le Mans Series Renews Television Relationships with Speed Channel, CBS Sports in Multi-Year Agreements
BRASELTON, Ga. - The American Le Mans Series, SPEED Channel and CBS Sports have announced renewed multi-year agreements that will see the continued appearance of the professional sports car racing series on both television outlets for years to come.
The announcement at the annual American Le Mans Series press conference on the day before the running of Chevy presents Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta was made by Scott Atherton, President and CEO of the ALMS, as well as Rob Correa, Senior Vice-President of Programming for CBS Sports and Jim Liberatore, President of SPEED Channel.
The new arrangements will continue the American Le Mans Series' mix of network and cable television coverage that has been an important element in the growth and development of the series since its inception in 1999. The 10-race 2005 season will see three appearances on network TV with CBS Sports and seven on cable with SPEED Channel.
"This new agreement enables us to continue offering the best overall television package in road racing," said Atherton. "Being able to continue with SPEED Channel and CBS Sports is what makes it all possible. We could not be happier and I am sure our manufacturers, sponsors, entrants and fans will agree.
"It is fitting that we are announcing a renewed agreement with SPEED Channel on the eve of SPEED's coverage of the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta," said Atherton. "Our relationship with SPEED goes all the way back to the very first running of the Petit Le Mans in 1998, and next year will be the sixth season of American Le Mans Series action on SPEED.
"SPEED has been a terrific partner and we look forward to even more American Le Mans Series races appearing on SPEED in 2005," he said. SPEED Channel is in 63.5 million US homes and another 4.5 million in Canada, and is one of the fastest growing cable networks in North America.
"SPEED Channel's road racing viewers are extremely passionate," said Liberatore. "Our continued relationship with the American Le Mans Series and signature events like the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans renews SPEED's commitment to bring those viewers the best coverage from this competitive series."
"We look forward to the opportunity to continue the outstanding level of production that SPEED and our production partners have delivered to the ALMS," said Rick Miner, SPEED Channel's Sr. VP Programming/Production and Executive Producer. "We look forward to raising that bar even higher in the future."
"The 2005 season will be our fourth year with CBS Sports and it is an outstanding partnership," said Atherton. "Our network television ratings have seen a 40 percent increase in 2004. We attribute much of the viewership growth to the outstanding support and close working relationship the ALMS with CBS. Additionally, CBS' interest in our series in terms of the on-air product as well as promotion for it continues to help grow our events and national broadcast presence."
"We are very pleased to be continuing our relationship with the American Le Mans Series into its fourth season," said Correa. "The races make for very good television and our viewers are responding positively. We look forward to more great seasons of racing."
Atherton indicated that the American Le Mans Series and CBS Sports are continuing to discuss the expansion of ALMS telecasts that appear on the network.
The 2005 American Le Mans Series season begins with the 13-hour 'live' SPEED Channel telecast of North America's oldest and most prestigious sports car race, the 53rd annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on Saturday, March 19.
About the American Le Mans Series
The American Le Mans Series is a series of North American sports car races based on the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world's most famous endurance race. American Le Mans Series races feature four classes of race cars competing for class wins and the overall win, with the fields including many of the same drivers and cars that compete at Le Mans. The series holds events at many of North America's premier permanent road racing facilities. The series motto is "For the Fans" and all events feature driver autograph sessions, open paddock, fan forum, tech talks and many other innovative activities designed to provide unprecedented access for fans. All events are on television in the United States. Well-known automotive brand names such as Audi, Corvette, Dodge, Ferrari, Lamborghini, MG, Panoz, Porsche and Saleen are represented on the series. The series, which has its headquarters in Braselton, Ga., was founded in 1999 by entrepreneur Don Panoz and is sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA).