SBD/21/Sports Media

WHICH NETWORK WILL JOIN CART IN TAKING ON THE INDY 500?

     Turner Sports Senior VP Kevin O'Malley said Turner
Broadcasting is not interested in covering IndyCar's U.S. 500 in
Michigan on May 26.  O'Malley:  "We were offered the race, as a
number of other people were, and we declined."  O'Malley said
they did not wish to go up against the Indy 500, but there was
speculation Turner would use the U.S. 500 as a lead-in to their
coverage of NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 later in the day.  However,
O'Malley said a movie would be a better lead-in (USA TODAY,
12/21).  However, AP's John Nelson calls Turner the "runaway"
favorite to land the race, with Turner Sports spokesperson Greg
Hughes saying the two sides are talking and that Turner "is
interested."  One "industry source" said in shopping the U.S.
500, organizers have offered to run the race later in the day so
it would not conflict directly with the Indy 500.  NBC and CBS
said they have no interest, while Fox and The Nashville Network
reported no conversations with IndyCar at this time.  ESPN "did
not rule out" showing the race.  But ESPN "is in an odd position
of both representing CART in its TV rights negotiations through a
subsidiary, Ohlmeyer Communications, while at the same time
having common ownership" ABC, the network of the Indy 500
(AP/INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS, 12/21).
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