Indy 500 To Remain on ABC Through 2018; ESPN3.com To Live Stream Onboard Cameras

The annual drinking of the milk at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s finish line will continue to appear on ABC through at least 2018, as the network and the the IZOD IndyCar Series have announced a new six-year rights agreement for the Daytona 500. The Memorial Day weekend race, along with four additional IndyCar races, will continue to air under the ESPN on ABC moniker on the broadcast network. ESPN also retains the international syndication rights for all IZOD IndyCar Series races.

In 2012, ABC will broadcast the Indy 500 for the 48th consecutive year. The new agreement takes effect in 2013 and includes the 100th running of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in 2016.

“Producing the Centennial Indy 500 was a career milestone for many of us and we’ll remember it for years to come,” says ESPN VP of Motorsports Rich Feinberg. “Knowing the Indy 500 is staying with our company for seven more years, including the 100th Indy 500 in 2016, is the icing on the cake. “

This past May, ESPN’s production of the Indianapolis 500 telecast used 64 HD cameras, a satellite-activated effects system, and variety of cutting edge production technologies. Beginning in 2012, ABC’s Indy 500 and IndyCar coverage will take it a step further, live streaming ABC’s onboard cameras on ESPN3.com and Indycar.com.

“Along with a vast understanding of the Indianapolis 500 and the sport of IndyCar racing, ESPN’s production team continues to seek out innovative ways to televise our sport,” says Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and CEO. “As broadcast technology advances and opportunities arise to implement new technology, we can count on ESPN to bring the best quality production to our viewers.”

The Indianapolis 500 aired as part of ABC’s Wide World of Sports from 1965 until 1971, when it was broadcast for the first time as a same-day, stand-alone, tape-delayed telecast in prime time. It was shown on a delayed basis until the first live telecast in 1986.

“The Indianapolis 500 and ABC have been together since 1965 and we are very proud to extend the relationship with this new agreement,” says George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN and ABC Sports. “The 500 is a uniquely American event and a Memorial Day tradition, and we especially look forward to televising the 100th edition of the race in 2016.”

ABC has televised IZOD IndyCar Series races every year since the formation of the series in 1996 and has aired five races each year under the current agreement, which began in 2009 and runs through the 2012 season.

“IndyCar is very excited about our continued relationship with ABC,” said Randy Bernard, CEO, IndyCar. “This allows the series long-term growth on the network. This new contract also helps us expand our presence around the world with ESPN representing our international rights.”

The next IndyCar Series race airing on ABC will be at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H., on Sunday, Aug. 14, at 3:30 p.m. ET.