SBD/March 22, 2011/Media

Versus Unveils IndyCar Broadcast Plans, Increases Live Programming

Versus will air a total of 140 hours of IndyCar coverage this season
Versus has expanded its broadcast window for IndyCar races "from three hours to five continuous hours to include live broadcasts of eight Firestone Indy Lights races,” and in total the net will “air more than 140 hours of coverage” throughout the IndyCar season, according to Dave Lewandowski of SPEEDTV.com. Versus has also added “Inside the Izod IndyCar Series” -- a weekly studio show that will premiere May 3 and air at 4:00pm ET with re-airs during the week. Izod IndyCar Series race “encores will air Mondays, while the network will provide more than 17 hours of qualifications coverage leading up to the Indianapolis 500 on May 29.” Wally Dallenbach Jr. will join Bob Jenkins and Jon Beekhuis in Versus' broadcast booth for the series this year, replacing Robbie Buhl. Marty Snider, Lindy Thackston and Kevin Lee will serve as pit reporters, with Speed TV's Robin Miller joining the network's pre-race show and serving as an "in-race reporter for select telecasts” (SPEEDTV.com, 3/21). SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Tripp Mickle notes Versus' "expanded coverage comes on the heels of the Comcast acquisition of NBC and offers the first indication of how the network’s new management team, composed of longtime NBC executive Jon Miller and longtime Comcast executive Jon Litner, view IndyCar." Former NBC NASCAR Director Mike Wells "will direct the IndyCar coverage on Versus" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/21 issue).
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