SBD/15/Sports Media

JUMPING THE GREEN FLAG: IRL MOVES TWO RACES TO ABC/ESPN

          The IRL will "switch" its last two events in the '99
     season -- the September 26 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
     to ESPN2 and the October 17 race at Texas Motor Speedway to
     ABC -- from Fox Sports Net (FSN), according to Bill Koenig
     of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS.  Koenig notes that "nearly
     all" of the IRL's races appeared on FSN this year, but Fox
     "became a lame duck in May after" IMS and ABC reached a new
     five-year TV contract for IRL events.  Sources "familiar
     with the situation" said that after the contract was signed,
     IMS "sought to switch to the Disney networks early."  But
     FSN "had set schedules and could not alter them."  As a
     result of the switch, Fox "will still telecast" the Atlanta
     500 Sunday (FSN), the August 1 DE race (Fox) and the August
     29 CO race (FSN). Under the deal, the IRL "bought time and
     guaranteed payments" from advertisers and FSN "gets to keep
     payments for purchased broadcast time" (STAR-NEWS, 7/15).

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