ESPN AND NHRA EXTEND EXCLUSIVE MULTI-MEDIA AGREEMENT THROUGH 2011 ESPN2 TO REMAIN THE EXCLUSIVE NETWORK OF THE NHRA POWERADE DRAG RACING SERIES AND NHRA LUCAS OIL DRAG RACING SERIES POMONA, CALIF. (NOV. 1, 2005) -- On the eve of the final race...
ESPN AND NHRA EXTEND EXCLUSIVE MULTI-MEDIA AGREEMENT THROUGH 2011
ESPN2 TO REMAIN THE EXCLUSIVE NETWORK OF THE NHRA POWERADE DRAG RACING SERIES AND NHRA LUCAS OIL DRAG RACING SERIES
POMONA, CALIF. (NOV. 1, 2005) -- On the eve of the final race of the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season, ESPN and NHRA officials announced a five-year extension of their exclusive television agreement.
The new deal will begin with the start of the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season and continue through 2011, representing, at that time, an 11-year relationship between NHRA and ESPN.
"This multi-media agreement represents our long-term commitment to the NHRA," said Kelly LaFerriere, vice president, programming and acquisitions, ESPN. "NHRA has an incredibly loyal following, and as a result, delivered strong results for the network. We look forward to continue to bring the excitement of NHRA's two premier series to living rooms around the country into the next decade."
ESPN and NHRA began an exclusive pact in 2001. In 2005, ESPN2 became the exclusive home of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series and NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and each has shown strong audience growth over the last year. Attributing to the growth in 2005 has been a more consistent schedule for both qualifying and final round coverage of the Series, a focus moving forward into 2006 and beyond.
"Clearly the benefits of being on ESPN2 are immeasurable," said Tom Compton, president, NHRA. "Since the relationship began with ESPN, we have seen very significant growth in nearly every area of the sport including viewership, sponsorship and fans. This new extension promises to continue to build on the momentum the sport currently enjoys and, along with our recent extension of POWERade as the Series sponsor through the next decade, assures a solid foundation for our future."
Over the years, the network, along with NHRA, have made strides to integrate NHRA into a variety of ESPN's other assets, including more presence on ESPN's news and information outlets including ESPN News and ESPN's SportsCenter, and a strategic alliance with ESPN.com. NHRA programming also has been featured in some of ESPN's new media platforms, including ESPN360, ESPN's broadband service. In 2005, ESPN introduced NHRA as one of its flagship properties on ESPN2 HD, a high definition simulcast service of ESPN2, delivering the sights and sounds of NHRA POWERade and NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing to those at home in high definition.
As part of the deal, all 23-NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series events will be televised on a same-day basis, along with the week-delay airings of the 16 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series events that will feature the Top Alcohol Dragster and Alcohol Funny Car categories.
ESPN2 is currently received in more than 89 million homes.
ESPN, Inc. is the world's leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of over 50 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of seven domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPN News, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU, ESPN Today), ESPN and ESPN2 HD simulcast services, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (networks, syndication, radio, web sites), ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, SportsTicker, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN Zones (sports-themed restaurants), and other growing new businesses including ESPN360 (Broadband), Mobile ESPN, ESPN on Demand, ESPN Interactive and ESPN PPV. Based in Bristol, Ct., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., the NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. It presents 23 national events through its NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. The NHRA has 80,000 members and 140 member tracks. The NHRA-sanctioned sportsman and bracket racing series' provide competition opportunities for drivers of all levels. The NHRA develops the stars of tomorrow by offering the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Racing Series, NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Street Legal Program. The NHRA also offers the NHRA O'Reilly Auto Parts Jr. Drag Racing League for youths ages 8 to 17.