NBC DISMISSES ANY INTEREST IN INDY 500 ALTERNATE; FOX QUIET
As reported in yesterday's SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY, some
IndyCar owners are said to be discussing a possible alternate
race to the Indy 500 if Indianapolis Motor Speedway President
Tony George refuses to lift new qualifying standards. Currently,
the new standards will require 25 of the 33 Indy 500 qualifying
spots to go to those accumulating points in George's upstart Indy
Racing League. Sources indicate a possible alternative race
could be held Memorial Day Weekend at Michigan Int'l Raceway in
Brooklyn, MI, which is owned by Roger Penske. THE SPORTS
BUSINESS DAILY asked the four major networks for their stance on
a possible alternate Indy 500. Other than ABC, which holds the
rights to the Indy 500, THE DAILY inquired if there was any
interest in televising such an event.
ABC: ABC Sports Dir of Media Relations Mark Mandel said the
network will not become involved in the dispute between IndyCar
and the IRL. Mandel: "We have a good relationship with both
parties. This is not a good situation. But both sides are
reasonable people. We hope they come up with a solution to these
NBC: NBC's Ed Markey said there has been no discussion
about possibly televising such a race, and added: "I don't think
we have any interest in that."
FOX: Fox Spokesperson Vince Wladika said there had been no
discussion about it and had no other comment.
CBS: The DAILY was unable to reach anyone for comment.