MONTERREY, Mexico (March 7, 2002) - Seven-and-a-half hours of CART race event television coverage on SPEED Channel from the season-opening Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix will officially kick-off the new relationship between the burgeoning ...
MONTERREY, Mexico (March 7, 2002) - Seven-and-a-half hours of CART race event television coverage on SPEED Channel from the season-opening Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix will officially kick-off the new relationship between the burgeoning television network and the CART FedEx Championship Series this weekend.
"CART is America's No. 1 open-wheel racing series and adding this major player to our motorsports programming package simply strengthens our position as the place to turn for all the best motor sports coverage on television," said SPEED Channel network President Jim Liberatore. "With the NASCAR season underway and Formula One kicking off its season last week, SPEED Channel is loaded with live racing and insider news programs that are set to become the benchmark in the industry."
Following its announcement of the full 2002 schedule of CART programming yesterday, SPEED Channel opens its CART event coverage on Friday with same-day coverage of Champ Car qualifying at 9:00 p.m. ET. Immediately following the qualifying telecast at 10:30 p.m. ET, the first installment of the 30-minute CART Friday Night program hits the SPEED Channel airwaves.
On Saturday, live coverage of the final round of Champ Car qualifying airs at 2:30 p.m. ET, and same-day overage of the 2002 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship opener from Monterrey airs that evening at 9:30 p.m. On race day - Sunday, March 10 - SPEED Channel's coverage begins with a 30-minute pre-race program at 3:30 p.m. ET.
The pre-race show will be followed at 4:00 p.m. ET by two-and-a-half hours of live coverage of the Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix. Including scheduled re-airs, 15 hours of total CART programming from Monterey will air on SPEED Channel.
"I believe that the SPEED Channel coverage that we will see from Monterrey and all year long is going to substantially raise the bar for television coverage of motor racing events," said CART President and CEO, Christopher R. Pook. "CART programming will dominate the SPEED Channel schedule this weekend, and SPEED Channel is poised to show our sport in a new light. SPEED Channel and our friends at Lingner Group Productions have assembled a very talented, passionate, and entertaining group for CART television broadcasts. CART fans will be refreshed by these television broadcasts, and I am confident that this will be the dawn of a new era in Champ Car event broadcasting."
Now carried in more than 50 million homes, SPEED Channel is the nation's fastest growing sports cable network, having added almost 12 million new homes in the past 12 months. The SPEED Channel and CART relationship launches as the network is setting record numbers in viewers and households reached after last month's re-launch. Formerly Speedvision, the new SPEED Channel witnessed average ratings 74% higher from 7:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight compared to February 2001 daypart averages. Households watching SPEED Channel increased by 120% and the network posted a .30 rating in prime time for the week of Feb. 11 - 17, its highest weekly prime time ratings ever. In the past year, SPEED Channel ranks among the top-10 overall in household growth among the 43 ad-supported cable networks.
Just prior to CART Sneak Preview at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last month, SPEED Channel announced that the on-air talent will consist of long-time racers Derek Daly, Tommy Kendall, Scott Pruett, and Calvin Fish; and veteran motorsports broadcaster Bob Varsha. The television production will be handled by Indianapolis-based, Lingner Group Productions.
Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the CART FedEx Championship Series. Former series champions Michael Andretti and Jimmy Vasser are among the stars who will battle for the 2002 FedEx Championship Series title on ovals, temporary street circuits and permanent road courses. The 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series season kicks off March 10 at Monterrey, Mexico and the 20-race schedule will be broadcast by new television partners, CBS, FOX, and SPEED Channel. CART also owns and operates its top development series, the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship. Learn more about CART's open-wheel racing series at www.CART.com