DETROIT (July 1, 2000) - Championship Auto Racing Teams announced today that it has partnered with sports and entertainment powerhouse SFX Sports Group to assist North America's leading open-wheel auto racing sanctioning organization in its ...
DETROIT (July 1, 2000) - Championship Auto Racing Teams announced today that it has partnered with sports and entertainment powerhouse SFX Sports Group to assist North America's leading open-wheel auto racing sanctioning organization in its television negotiations for its FedEx Championship Series.
CART Vice President of Broadcasting Keith Allo made the announcement on the eve of CART's negotiating period with current Champ Car rights holder ESPN. CART's present agreement with ESPN concludes after the 2001 racing season. The contract calls for an exclusive 120-day negotiating period with the world's leading sports network beginning July 1.
Each of CART's 20 races this season is shown in the United States on either ESPN or ABC. ESPN International, with a few exceptions, holds the TV rights to CART's worldwide distribution and has created a broadcast network that reaches 208 countries. Each worldwide telecast of the FedEx Championship Series reaches more than 60 million viewers in more than 20 languages.
"We are very pleased to partner with SFX Sports Group to grow the CART television package and presence," said Allo. "SFX brings a great deal of expertise to the table and we believe they will play an integral role in building our television package, both domestically and worldwide."
SFX Sports Group has negotiated television contracts on behalf of a number of sports entities, including NHRA on ESPN; Supercross Motorcyle events on ESPN, ABC and Pay-Per-View; Breeder's Cup on NBC; ATP Tour events on Fox Sports Net; USSA (US Ski Team) events on NBC and CBS; and NTRA Champions Series on FOX. In addition to providing comprehensive sports television production and programming services, SFX Sports Group is one of the world's top sports marketing and management agencies providing corporations, athletes, teams, leagues, universities, events and properties unrivaled access to each other.
"CART and Champ Car racing are an exciting property, one we believe commands its rightful position in the sports hierarchy worldwide," said Michael Trager, SFX Sports Group President of Television & Entertainment. "It is important for the ongoing growth of CART that we develop a television partnership that continues to raise the presence and awareness for open-wheel racing. We are pleased to be working with CART and helping to broaden its audience base."
The SFX Sports Group is a division of SFX, the world's largest diversified promoter, producer and venue operator for live entertainment events. The Sports Group includes many of the world's leading sports marketing and management agencies, specializing in the representation of athletes, integrated event management, television programming and production, and marketing services in the sports, news and entertainment industries.
SFX recently announced that it had entered into a definitive merger agreement with Clear Channel Communications, Inc. (NYSE: CCU), a transaction that is expected to close by the third quarter of this year, subject to the vote of shareholders, and customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions. Clear Channel is a global leader in the out-of-home advertising industry with radio and television stations and outdoor displays in 36 countries around the world.
Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the FedEx Championship Series. Series champions Juan Montoya (1999), Michael Andretti (1991) and Jimmy Vasser (1996) are among the drivers who battle for the FedEx Championship Series title on oval circuits as well as temporary and permanent road courses. CART also owns and operates its top two development series, the Dayton Indy Lights Championship and the Toyota Atlantic Championship. Learn more about CART's open-wheel racing series at (www.cart.com.)