European TV deal sealed

Long-suffering European Champ Car fans have been given a boost by the announcement of a new television deal for next season with Eurosport. Champ Car World Series officials did not release details of the contract, but gave an assurance that it includes "live coverage of each of the events on the 2005 schedule"

European TV deal sealed

International interest in Champ Car racing peaked at the time of Nigel Mansell's defection to the US-based series in 1993 and was sustained by comprehensive TV coverage on Eurosport through to the end of the 1990s. Since then, however, the European fanbase has dwindled and a major contributing factor has been an unsatisfactory and unstable TV package, with three different channels carrying the series in the last three years.

Eurosport aired the 2003 season but its coverage was marred by frequent scheduling problems and conflicts. A switch to Motors TV this year resulted in far more reliable programming, but the deal was limited to the UK and most of mainland Europe was left with no significant CCWS coverage. Also, the ratings were inevitably limited by Motors' position as a niche channel with no presence on cable platforms NTL and Telewest.

Eurosport, by contrast, is Europe's largest free-to-air broadcaster, available in 54 countries with a potential viewership of 240 million. Its pan-European reach has the attraction for Champ Car of not having to negotiate separate contracts with each and every country on the continent.

"This is a major step forward for Champ Car and will provide many new opportunities for us in the coming season," said Champ Car CEO and president Dick Eidswick. "With young, exciting European drivers such as Sebastien Bourdais and Justin Wilson enjoying great success last year, the popularity of Champ Car in Europe has increased tremendously and we are excited about this new deal."

The live race broadcasts will be supplemented by "extensive coverage" on Eurosport's other multimedia platforms, Eurosportnews and Eurosport.com.

Eurosport's managing director of broadcast services Laurent-Eric Le Lay added: "Being the European partner of the Champ Car World Series consolidates Eurosport's development strategy in all motorsports."

Champ Car's domestic TV package for 2005 has yet to be announced, but is expected to include a mixture of network and cable coverage - most likely some combination of NBC, CBS and CNBC.

shares
comments
Di Resta: A star of the future

Previous article

Di Resta: A star of the future

Next article

FIA GT champs jump ship

FIA GT champs jump ship
Load comments
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Plus

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 8, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

General
Apr 21, 2021
The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan Plus

The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan

Having had the door to F1 slammed in his face and come within three laps of winning the Indianapolis 500, the collapse of a Peugeot LMP1 shot meant Japan was Bertrand Baguette's last chance of a career. But it's one which he has grasped with both hands

General
Feb 27, 2021
The female all-rounder who arrived "too early" Plus

The female all-rounder who arrived "too early"

From Formula 3 to truck racing, Dakar and EuroNASCAR via a winning stint in the DTM, there's not much Ellen Lohr hasn't seen in a stellar racing career that highlights the merit in being a generalist. But she believes her career came too early...

General
Feb 17, 2021
How Radical's latest machines fare on track Plus

How Radical's latest machines fare on track

The lightweight sportscar manufacturer has not rewritten the rulebook with its latest machines, but the new SR3 XX and SR10 still provide a step forward on its previous successful models

General
Feb 8, 2021
The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction Plus

The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction

The forthcoming Netflix film linking the world of underworld crime and motorsport plays on a theme that isn't exactly new. Over the years, several shady figures have attempted to make it in racing before their dubious dealings caught up with them

General
Jan 31, 2021
How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory Plus

How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory

The New Zealand Grand Prix's mix of rising talent and big-name stars thrilled the crowds (yes, remember crowds?) assembled for the Toyota Racing Series meeting at Hampton Downs last weekend and left distant observers craving a repeat

General
Jan 26, 2021
How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going Plus

How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going

OPINION: The 67th edition of the Macau Grand Prix might have been a largely muted affair to the outside world without its international influx and star line-ups, another victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, but organisers deserve huge credit for keeping the party going

General
Nov 24, 2020